The details of his death were unclear but according to a statement from the KwaBhaca Great Kingdom, Diko passed away in an Eastern Cape hospital on Sunday afternoon.
“Ingonyama Madzikane II Diko passed away in the afternoon of Sunday, 21 February 2021 in East London following a short illness. ISizwe samaBhaca [the amaBhaca nation] and the royal family are still coming to terms with this shocking and painful loss of our beloved father, son and husband,” read the statement.
The royal family said they would make further announcements once they have finalised the funeral arrangements .
“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.”
Passing of King Madzikane II Diko pic.twitter.com/c6Z0Kne7YX
— Nonceba Mhlauli (@NoncebaMhlauli) February 22, 2021
Diko took leave of absence in July last year after her husband was implicated in the irregular awarding of a R125 million personal protective equipment (PPE) tender involving the Gauteng department of health.
Thandisizwe Diko denied any wrongdoing, saying he asked for the contract to be cancelled and although he supplied the equipment, his firm, Royal Bhaca Projects, was not paid a cent by the Gauteng health department. His wife Khusela had apparently insisted he must pull out of the contract.