Prime Minister of eSwatini dies from COVID-19

AMBROSE Dlamini, the Prime Minister of eSwatini has become the first sitting head of state or government to succumb to COVID-19.

Dlamini, 52, passed on in a South African hospital, four weeks after he contracted the COVID-19 and two weeks after admission to a hospital.

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.”

Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa has, on behalf of the government and people of South Africa, expressed his deep condolences to the government and people of the Kingdom of eSwatini.

Ramaphosa offered his sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Prime Minister, the Swazi Royal Family, the government of the Kingdom, and the nation.

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The President 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.”

Dlamini became Prime Minister after a career in the private sector where he held senior executive positions at MTN and Nedbank.

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 Reporter and Thomson Reuters Foundation. 

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