Namibian President Hage Geingob died in the early hours of Sunday, a month after announcing he had been diagnosed with cancer.
Geingob, 82, revealed his diagnosis to the public last month, with his office announcing he would be travelling to the US for treatment and would return to Namibia on Feb. 2.
Announcing Geingob’s death in a presidential statement, acting President Nangolo Mbumba said his predecessor passed away at the Lady Pohamba Hospital in the capital Windhoek, where he was receiving treatment.
“At his side was his dear wife Madame Monica Geingos and his children. 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 said.
Geingob became president in 2015 and was serving his second and final term in office.
He had underwent heart surgery last year, and in 2014 he revealed that he had survived prostate cancer.
Namibia is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in November, with the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) party, which has been in power since the country’s independence in 1990, choosing Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as its presidential candidate.
She is also currently Namibia’s deputy prime minister and will become its first female president if she wins the polls.