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Namibia’s president dies aged 82

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Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, 82, died in hospital early on Sunday, the presidency said, weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Geingob had been in charge of the thinly populated and mostly arid southern African country since 2015, the year he announced he had survived prostate cancer.

Vice President Nangolo Mbumba takes the helm in Namibia – a mining hotspot with significant deposits of diamonds and the electric car battery ingredient lithium – until presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of the year.

A presidency post on social media platform X did not give a cause of death, but late last month the presidency said he had travelled to the United States for “a two-day novel treatment for cancerous cells”, after being diagnosed following a regular medical check-up.

Born in 1941, Geingob was a prominent politician since before Namibia achieved independence from white minority-ruled South Africa in 1990.

He chaired the body that drafted Namibia’s constitution, then became its first prime minister at independence on March 21 of that year, a position he retained until 2002. (Reuters)

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