Thandisizwe Diko, the chief of the Bhaca nation and husband of presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, has died.
Family member Zolile Makaula confirmed to TimesLIVE that he passed away in a hospital in East London after a short illness.
“I can confirm he passed away last night in hospital,” he said, adding he could not provide further details.
Diko was 43 years old.
“His death took us by surprise, usizimele usibali. This has left us devastated,” his brother-in-law, Prince Vuluthuba Sangoni, told DispatchLIVE.
The KwaBhaca Great Kingdom confirmed his “untimely passing after a short illness.”.
“iSizwe samaBhaca and the royal family are still coming to terms with this shocking and painful loss of our beloved father, son and husband,” the statement read.
“We are humbled by the outpouring of support and grief since the news of His Majesty’s passing first became known. We thank you for keeping the family and iSizwe samaBhaca in your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.”
Arrangements for the funeral are yet to be arranged.
Khusela Diko is currently on special leave.