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Fallen Namibia President Geingob challenged apartheid, colonialism & Israel brutality



Namibia's President Hage Geingob has died at the age of 82

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob has died at the age of 82 while receiving medical treatment at a hospital in the capital, Windhoek.

A veteran of the country’s independence struggle, Mr Geingob had been diagnosed with cancer and revealed the details to the public last month.

He died early on Sunday with his wife and children by his side, Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba announced.

Namibia “has lost… a distinguished servant of the people”, he said.

He was first sworn-in as president in 2015, but had served in top political positions since independence in 1990.

According to the constitution, Mr Mbumba will now act as president as there was less than a year left of Mr Geingob’s second term in office. Presidential and parliamentary elections had already been scheduled for November.

The exact cause of the president’s death was not given but last month he underwent “a two-day novel treatment for cancerous cells” in the US before flying back home on 31 January, his office had said.

On Namibian radio, people have been paying tribute to someone they described as a visionary as well as a jovial man, who was able to share a joke.

Mr Geingob returned from exile in 1989, a year before independence

Leaders from around the world have been sending condolence messages with many talking about Mr Geingob’s efforts to ensure his country’s freedom.

Among them has been Cyril Ramaphosa, president of neighbouring South Africa, who described him as “a towering veteran of Namibia’s liberation from colonialism and apartheid”.

Born in a village in northern Namibia in 1941, Geingob was the southern African country’s first president outside of the Ovambo ethnic group, which makes up more than half the country’s population.

In his early years he took up activism against South Africa’s apartheid regime, which at the time ruled over Namibia, and in 1964 he was appointed representative for the SWAPO liberation movement at the United Nations.

He spent almost three decades in Botswana and the United States, returning to Namibia in 1989 to lead SWAPO’s election campaign in his now independent homeland.

He came back to Namibia in 1989, a year before the country gained independence.

A staunch supporter of Palestine

Namibia declared its support for South Africa’s legal action against “Israel” during a UN General Assembly session on January 10, 2024. This move reflects Namibia’s late President’s stance on condemning the actions of the Israeli government, aligning with South Africa in addressing these concerns on the international stage.

Namibia also rejected, on January 14, Germany’s support for the “genocidal intent of the racist” Israeli occupation entity against innocent civilians in Gaza. At the time, the Namibian Presidency concluded its statement by saying, “In that vein, President Geingob appeals to the German Government to reconsider its untimely decision to intervene as a third party in defense and support of the genocidal acts of Israel before the International Court of Justice.”

Swapo, in power since independence, had chosen Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as its presidential candidate for November’s planned elections.

She is currently the deputy prime minister, and will become the country’s first female president if she wins.