South African president pays tribute to late Zulu King

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during the opening of the 33rd African Union (AU) summit of heads of state and government at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by Michael Tewelde/Xinhua)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to the late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, describing him as a “visionary monarch.”

Zwelithini, 72, died on Friday morning after being admitted to hospital about a month ago for diabetes treatment. “We offer our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Royal Family, to the Zulu nation, and to the people of KwaZulu-Natal and beyond – for whom the Ingonyama was an important symbol of history, culture and heritage,” Ramaphosa said in a statement released on the same day. He said that his death came at a time when many were hopeful about this recovery.

“This sad news comes at a time when we had all been hopeful that His Majesty was recovering well in hospital where he had been over the past few weeks.”

“His Majesty will be remembered as a much-loved, visionary monarch who made an important contribution to cultural identity, national unity and economic development in KwaZulu-Natal and through this, to the development of our country as a whole,” said the president.

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