King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation in South Africa has died in hospital where he was being treated for diabetes-related issues.
The king, 72, was the leader of South Africa’s largest ethnic group and an influential traditional ruler.
He had been admitted to hospital in KwaZulu-Natal last week to monitor his ongoing diabetes condition.
The king’s prime minister thanked South Africa for its “continued prayers and support in this most difficult time”.
King Goodwill Zwelithini had ruled the Zulu nation under the Traditional Leadership clause of South Africa’s republican constitution since the death of his father in 1968.
Around 10 million people live in KwaZulu-Natal province.