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    HomeWorldNamibia's president and anti-apartheid activist Hage Geingob dies at 82

    Namibia’s president and anti-apartheid activist Hage Geingob dies at 82

    Namibia’s president and founding prime minister Hage Geingob has died at age 82 while receiving treatment for cancer

    HARARE, Zimbabwe — Namibia’s president and founding prime minister Hage Geingob died Sunday at age 82 while receiving treatment for cancer, and the southern African nation quickly swore in his deputy to complete the remaining time in office.

    Geingob played a central role in what has become one of Africa’s most stable democracies after returning from a long exile in Botswana and the United States as an anti-apartheid activist. He was the country’s third president since it gained independence in 1990 following more than a century of German and then apartheid South African rule.

    He had been president since 2015 and was set to finish his second and final term in office this year. His deputy, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, was sworn in as acting president in the capital, Windhoek, to complete the term as allowed by the constitution.

    Elections are set for November. A government statement said Mbumba will lead Namibia until Mar. 21 of next year, when the winner takes office.

    The presidential office said Geingob died in a local hospital with his family by his side. He had returned to Namibia last month from the United States, where he underwent a trial two-day “novel treatment for cancerous cells,” according to his office. In 2014, he said he had survived prostate cancer.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the leaders who sent condolences Sunday, saying he would “forever cherish” his memories of meeting Geingob. “It is difficult to overestimate his personal contribution to developing friendly relations between Namibia and Russia,” a statement said.

    Namibia, with just over 2.5 million people, is rich in minerals such as diamonds, gold and uranium. Despite being classified as an upper-middle-income country, socioeconomic inequalities are still widespread, according to the World Bank.

    Geingob was Namibia’s first prime minister from 1990 to 2002 and served in the same capacity from 2008 to 2012.

    Condolences from African leaders poured in on Sunday.

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described Geingob as “a towering veteran of Namibia’s liberation from colonialism and apartheid.”

    Kenyan President William Ruto said Geingob “strongly promoted the continent’s voice and visibility at the global arena.”

    Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa posted on X that Geingob’s “leadership and resilience will be remembered.”

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