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 is first in line to become the next 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.
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”.