Acting President Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has sent condolences to the amaXhosa royal family and the community after the death of King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu early on Thursday.
"I am deeply saddened by the untimely passing of his majesty King Zwelonke whose contribution to the development of the institution of traditional leadership is beyond measure," said Dlamini-Zuma who is the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs
"Our country has lost a leader who was close to his people; a torch-bearer for peace and unity.
"As the government, we are proud to have worked with such a great leader. Kumkani [king] Zwelonke will forever be remembered with great respect and admiration for his dedication and selflessness in serving his people."
President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently abroad on government business, with Dlamini-Zuma acting until his return.
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