King Goodwill Zwelithini was born in Nongoma, KwaZulu Natal, in July 1948. He is King Cyprian’s eldest son by his second wife, Queen Thomo. He attended the Bekezulu College of Chiefs and then received private tutoring. He was trained in traditional Zulu traditions while living at his father’s official residence in Khethomthandayo.
On the 3rd of December 1971, Zwelithini was elected as the eighth Zulu King at a traditional ceremony in Nongoma, which attracted a crowd of 20 000 people. The King’s position is ceremonial and subject to the authority of the Chief Minister, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, according to the country’s constitution.
The Zulu Nation’s King, His Majesty King Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu, has died. In the early hours of this morning, the king passed away.
Zwelithini, who had been admitted to the hospital for diabetes care, “took a turn for the worse” and died “in the early hours of Friday morning,” according to his relatives.”On behalf of the Royal Family, we thank the nation for your continued prayers and support in this most difficult time,” the statement read.
He was 72 years old.
King Zwelithini made history as the longest serving monarch of the Zulu Kingdom – with a reign spanning over five decades.
Born on the 14 July 1948 in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal – he’s the eldest son of King Cyprian Bhekuzulu and his second wife Queen Thomo.
Following his father’s passing in 1968, King Zwelithini was appointed to the throne – he was just a 20-year-old student at the time.
But – he was not crowned until 1971 – because he had to go into hiding outside the kingdom following a plot to have him killed.