Eswatini PM dies after contracting COVID-19

Ambrose Mandulo Dlamini, Swaziland's prime minister, listens during a plenary session on day two of the 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. The World Economic Forum on Africa meeting runs from 4-6 September. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ambrose Mandulo Dlamini, Swaziland’s prime minister. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prime minister of Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, died in a South African hospital on Sunday after contracting coronavirus, the government said in a statement.

Ambrose Dlamini, 52, had been hospitalized in neighbouring South Africa in early December, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Their Majesties have commanded that I inform the nation of the sad and untimely passing away of His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini,” Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said.

The prime minister “passed on this afternoon while under medical care in a hospital in South Africa,” he added, without detailing the cause of Dlamini’s death.

Dlamini had announced in mid-November that he had tested positive for coronavirus but said that he felt well and was asymptomatic.

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

Dlamini, a businessman but political novice, was named prime minister in October 2018.

He had worked in the banking industry for more than 18 years, including as the managing director of Eswatini Nedbank Limited.



Story compiled with assistance from wire reports

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