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AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Sigcawu has died

It's understood that the king was rushed to hospital earlier this week due to ill health.

A screengrab of Mpendulo Sigcawu at his coronation as AmaXhosa king on 15 May 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Calvin Zwelonke Sigcawu has died at the age of 51.

It's understood that the king was rushed to hospital earlier this week due to ill health.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be released by the family later this week.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane is due to visit the royal family.

Mabuyane said that Sigcawu assisted the government to transform the province.

"He was not just a king for himself, he was a king for his people who was always out there articulating the interests of his people. As a government we've lost a serious social partner in him, a man with a very solid contribution on how we're shaping the province."

Sigcawu was the 22nd AmaXhosa monarch.

Additional reporting by Jarita Kassen.

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