African Union chair pays tribute to the Prime Minister of eSwatini

CYRIL Ramaphosa, the Chair of the African Union and President of South Africa, has paid a warm tribute to Ambrose Dlamini, the Prime Minister of eSwatini who has become the first sitting head of state or government to succumb to COVID-19.

Ramaphosa expressed his deep condolences to the government and people of the Kingdom of eSwatini.

Dlamini (52) passed away on Sunday, during treatment for COVID-19 in a South African hospital..

Ramaphosa said: “Today, all South Africans and compatriots across our continent bow our heads in sadness at the passing of a leader who took pride in leading and representing his nation.  His untimely passing is also a tragic reminder of the  indiscriminate harm that is in our midst in the form COVID-19. May his soul rest in peace.”

In an announcement, eSwatini Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said:  “Their majesties have commanded that I inform the nation of the sad and untimely passing away of His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Manduvolo Dlamini. His excellency passed away this afternoon while under medical care in a hospital in South Africa.”

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Dlamini was moved to South Africa on December 1, to “guide and fast track his recovery,” from COVID-19. At that time, Masuku said Dlamini was stable and responding well to treatment.

Dlamini was appointed prime minister in November 2018, following his position as the chief executive officer of MTN Eswatini. He had worked in the banking industry for more than 18 years, including being managing director of Eswatini Nedbank Limited.

The southern African nation of around 1.2 million people has so far recorded 6,768 positive cases of the highly infectious respiratory disease, with 127 confirmed deaths, according to the health ministry. – African Mirror and Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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