The family of Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko on Monday said it was waiting for the results of an autopsy report into the cause of his sudden death.
Diko, the husband of suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, passed away after a short illness at an East London hospital on Sunday afternoon. He was 43 years old.
Diko family spokesperson, Lumko Mtimde, confirmed to The Citizen that the family was waiting for the autopsy report to determine the cause of his death.
He said Diko was admitted to the hospital last week after complaining about abdominal pain.
“At this stage we await the results from the hospital to be able to confirm what may have been the cause of death. I can confirm that he went to hospital after feeling abdominal pain, but we have to await the results from the hospital in order to confirm the cause of death,” Mtimde said.
In a statement earlier, the KwaBhaca Great Kingdom said the family would make further announcements surrounding Diko’s passing once they have finalised the funeral arrangements.
“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,” Mtimde said.
He said the family was shocked and in pain following the chief’s passing.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) chairperson in the Eastern Cape, Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana, told eNCA the royal family was expected to meet in the afternoon on Monday. He said Contralesa would visit the family on Tuesday to send their condolences.
“From what we got is that it was sudden, he got an attack on Wednesday and he passed on yesterday [Sunday],” he said.
“We are really saddened and we have to come to terms with his passing because he was quite energetic as a young royal who was a go-getter and a visionary.”
The ANC in Gauteng said it was also shocked and saddened by the passing of Diko.
“ANC Gauteng sends its heartfelt condolences to the Diko family during these difficult and trying times. We call upon all our members to respect the regulations on Covid-19 and allow Sisulu house to lead the process of family visits and daily prayers,” said ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe in a statement.
“In the meantime, let us support comrade Khusela Diko and her family through messages and prayers. May the soul of Chief Thandisizwe Diko rest in peace!”
Most South Africans will remember the late chief from the controversial R125 million tender he was irregularly awarded by the Gauteng health department last year to supply personal protective equipment (PPE).
This led to much public outcry and an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which saw health MEC Bandile Masuku fired from his job.
The Presidency also announced that Diko would face an internal disciplinary process for failing to disclose all her financial interests.