Namibians were left in shock after their leader, President Hage Geingob, passed away Sunday at the age of 82 following a battle with cancer.

Gengob died on Sunday at a Hospital where he was undergoing medical treatment for cancer. Vice President Nangolo Mbumba shared an emotional post on the late president’s official Facebook page.

“The Namibian nation has lost a distinguished servant of the people, a liberation struggle icon, the chief architect of our constitution and the pillar of the Namibian house,” Mbumba wrote. “At this moment of deepest sorrow, I appeal to the nation to remain calm and collected while the Government attends to all necessary state arrangements, preparations, and other protocols,”

According to Daily Caller, Geingob’s office had previously announced his cancer treatment, alongside a series of medical procedures in January. However, the announcement did not provide details of his diagnosis but said he would continue to carry out his presidential duties.

According to multiple news agencies, the late president had health problems before he was elected Namibia’s third president in 2014. In 2013, he underwent brain surgery and the following year, he revealed that he had survived prostate cancer. Last year, his office announced he had undergone aortic surgery in South Africa.

President Geingob was born in a village in Northern Namibia in 1941. Until his death, he was known for fostering relationships with Western Unions and China while navigating the complex dynamics of African politics and development. Geingob was Namibia’s first prime minister from 1990 to 2002.

He was also the minister of trade and industry from 2008 to 2012. He became president in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 for a second term and final term of five years. Leaders from all over the world have expressed their condolences, recognizing Geingob’s contributions to Namibia.

Among them was South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who described Geingob as a veteran of Namibia’s liberation from colonialism and apartheid.

According to BBC News, Vice President Mbumba has been sworn in as Geingob’s replacement and will serve in the role until elections are due later this year.