AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Calvin Zwelonke Sigcawu passed away early on Thursday morning.
The king was rushed to hospital at 6pm on Wednesday evening.
His passing has been confirmed by his uncle, Nkosi Xhanti Sigcawu.
“I can confirm that His Majesty King Zwelonke passed on at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha at about 5.30am this morning,” Xhanti told DispatchLIVE.
Xhanti has asked for privacy from the public and the media, indicating that a comprehensive statement would be released in time.
“We are devastated about this as the family but we still have to meet and inform all the people close to the family,” he said.
Zwelonke, the 12th king of the amaXhosa nation, succeeded his father King Xolilizwe Sigcawu in 2005.