Namibia’s president dies

Henry

Namibia’s president, Hage Geingob, died early Sunday morning at the Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek. He was 82 years old.

Geingob, who was serving his second term as president at the time of his death, revealed last month that he was being treated for cancer. This announcement came after “cancer cells” were found in the president during a routine medical examination, after which he went for a biopsy.

Geingob has had several health challenges in recent years, and underwent brain surgery in 2013. He also underwent aortic surgery in South Africa last year.

According to a statement by the presidential office, Geingob’s medical team did everything in their power to save the president’s life. However, he passed away shortly after midnight, with his wife, Monica Geingos, and his children by his side.

Geingob, who was first elected president in 2014, was Namibia’s longest-serving prime minister and third president. He was also this Southern African country’s first president outside the Ovambo ethnic group, which makes up more than half of the country’s population.

“The Namibian nation has lost a distinguished servant of the people, a freedom struggle icon, the chief architect of our Constitution and the pillar of the Namibian house,” said Dr. Acting President Nangolo Mbumba said.

“In this moment of deep sorrow, I appeal to the nation to remain calm and controlled while the government attends to all necessary state arrangements, preparations and other protocols.”

According to Mbumba, the cabinet will urgently meet in this regard on Sunday.

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa has since mourned Geingob’s death, and expressed his condolences to Geingob’s next of kin, the cabinet and the country.

“Today South Africa mourns together with the people of our sister state Namibia over the passing of a leader, patriot and friend of South Africa,” Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Geingob family and the people of Namibia who have lost an outstanding leader in a year in which Namibia, like South Africa, must hold elections.”