Namibian President Dead at 82 Years Old

( – Hage G. Geingob, the long-standing president of Namibia, died while undergoing treatment for cancer. The exact cause of death remains undisclosed, but tests from a recent exam may have detected the deadly disease in his colon. The 82-year-old had previously survived prostate cancer.

Namibia swore in Nangolo Mbumba, who had been Geingob’s vice president, on February 4, 2024, within hours of his announcement of the leader’s death. He shared the news on the deceased president’s Facebook page, stating that Geingob passed away at Lady Pohamba Hospital surrounded by his wife and children. The interim president said the medical team made a “spirited effort” to help the ailing senior recover, but they weren’t able to save him.

Geingob had just returned from a two-day trip to the United States, according to a previous Facebook post, for a “novel treatment” to fight his recently diagnosed cancer. The protocol had been in its trial stages, so it’s difficult to say where he may have been in his recovery.

Namibia suffered for over a century under the thumb of colonialism and apartheid, which ended in 1990 — thanks, in large part, to Geingob’s activism. BBC News reports that he was forced into exile in Botswana, the UK, and the US for 27 years before his country earned its independence. He returned in 1989 to help finish the fight. He rose to vice president of the political party South West Africa People’s Organisation, more commonly known as SWAPO, in 2007. Alongside SWAPO, Geingob helped establish Namibia as a sovereign country.

Geingob was elected as the country’s first prime minister in 1990, serving until 2002 and reprising the role between 2008 and 2012. He became its third president in 2015. The African leader was in the final year of his second term when he passed away. He had been grooming Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah to run in his place in the country’s November elections. She is currently serving as Namibia’s first female vice president in the interim. She could make an even bigger spot in history if she wins the presidential seat.

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