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4 Feb, 2024 03:17

Namibian President Hage Geingob dies aged 82

The leader passed away days after receiving a novel form of cancer therapy in the US
Namibian President Hage Geingob dies aged 82

Namibian President Hage Geingob has died in a hospital in the capital Windhoek, where he was receiving treatment for cancer, the southwest African state’s authorities announced on Sunday.

“It is with utmost sadness and regret that I inform you that our beloved Dr. Hage G. Geingob, the President of the Republic of Namibia has passed on today,” Acting President and former Vice President Nangolo announced in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday morning.

Doctors discovered cancerous tissue during a routine medical checkup in January, a regular occurrence for the longtime leader, who previously survived prostate cancer. Geingob agreed to undergo an experimental treatment, and spent two days in a specialized Los Angeles cancer hospital. He had been undergoing chemotherapy in Namibia following his return from the US clinic on Wednesday. His wife and children were by his side when he passed away on Sunday at the age of 82.

“The Namibian nation has lost a distinguished servant of the people, a liberation struggle icon, the chief architect of our constitution and the pillar of the Namibian house,” Mbumba wrote. 

The acting president said the cabinet had convened “with immediate effect in order to make the necessary state arrangements.”

Hage Geingob was involved with the liberation South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) from the 1960s onwards. In his 20s, he traveled to the US to attend university, where he liaised with the United Nations. 

After Namibia gained independence from then-apartheid South Africa in 1990, he became Namibia’s first prime minister alongside President Sam Nujoma. In November 2014, Geingob was elected president, and served until his death.