As tributes are pouring in following the passing of the late amaBhaca Chief Thandisizwe Diko, the family of KwaBhaca traditional leader says they’re still struggling to come to terms with his sudden passing.

He died in an East London hospital on Sunday after a short illness.  

A family spokesperson, Lumko Mtimde confirmed his death to SABC News. The 43-year old Diko was husband to the suspended Presidency spokesperson, Khusela Diko.

A family member, NgangoBhaca Sogoni, says the news has shocked the family.

“We got the report from himself, saying that he had stomach pain but he assured us that at least he was better. We also heard from the hospital that his oxygen was dropping and they tried to put oxygen that is when he passed away. Yes, of course, we are devastated and we are emotionally wrong right now.”

The Eastern Cape chairperson of Contralesa, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, has expressed shock and dismay with the passing of Chief Diko. He described him as a community developer.

“We are shocked and saddened about the sudden passing of one of our own Nkosi Thandisizwe Diko. I have just spoken to the family this morning they are equally devastated and members of the community the same. He has been the leader of that community, a visionary, a go-getter, somebody who was working very hard to change the lives of those people for to better.”

In the video below is chief Mwelo Nonkonyana

Diko is married to the spokesperson in the Presidency Khusela Diko.