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Namibia’s president to undergo treatment after ‘cancerous cells’ found

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Al Jazeera


Namibian President Hage Geingob will start treatment for cancer after routine medical checkups led to the detection of “cancerous cells”, his office has said.

In a statement from the Namibian Presidency on Friday, it said that “as part of regular annual medical examinations” the 82-year-old leader had a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy on January 8, followed by a biopsy.

“The results revealed cancerous cells,” the statement said.

“On the advice of the medical team, President Geingob will undertake appropriate medical treatment to deal with the cancerous cells,” it added.

Geingob’s office gave no more details on his diagnosis but said he would continue working.

“With Presidential and National Assembly elections programmed for the end of the year 2024, The Presidency wishes to inform the Namibian public that President Geingob will continue to carry out presidential duties, alongside the Cabinet, of which he is the Chairperson,” the statement said.

Health scares have followed the president even before he took office.

In 2013 Geingob underwent brain surgery. A year later, he told the public that he had survived prostate cancer.

In 2023, the tall, deep-voiced leader, underwent an aortic operation in neighbouring South Africa.

Geingob, who is serving his second term, was first elected as president in 2014 after spending 12 years as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.

Namibia will hold elections to choose a new leader in November.

Geingob will not be standing for re-election.

Last year, the governing party, the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), named Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as its candidate for the election. She is the party’s vice-president and Namibia’s current deputy prime minister.