JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's governing party says the king of Nelson Mandela's Thembu clan has died.

In a statement, the African National Congress said King Zwelenkosi Lwandile Matanzima "worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his people and rural communities in general." He was 39. No cause of death was reported. Local media report he had recently been hospitalized frequently and died Saturday in a hospital in East London, in southeastern South Africa.

Mandela was raised in the Thembu royal household alongside K.D. Matanzima, grandfather of King Zwelenkosi Lwandile Matanzima.

During the apartheid years, Mandela clashed with K.D. Matanzima, who collaborated with the white government to deny blacks citizenship.

- AP

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