Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini died this morning at the age of 73. ANA photographer Nqobile Mbonambi, who developed a special bond with the monarch, shares pictures she has taken of him over the years.
King Zwelithini had been monarch for more than 50 years - since his coronation in the early 1970s, and led the nation until his death.
Traditional Prime Minister to the monarch, and the Zulu nation, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced the death of the king early on Friday morning.
“It is with the utmost grief that I inform the nation of the passing of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu, King of the Zulu Nation,” a statement from Buthelezi said.
The king was admitted to hospital in February after his glucose levels shot up.
“Tragically, while still in hospital, His Majesty’s health took a turn for the worse and he subsequently passed away in the early hours of this morning.”
“On behalf of the the Royal Family we thank the nation for your prayers and support in this most difficult time. May His Majesty our King rest in peace,” Buthelezi said.