Eswatini’s Prime Minister dies after testing positive to COVID-19

Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini, who tested positive for COVID-19 four weeks ago, has died at age 52 after being hospitalised in neighbouring South Africa.

Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said Mr Dlamini had been under medical care when he died on Sunday afternoon.

The Prime Minister of the landlocked nation was moved to South Africa on December 1, to “guide and fast track his recovery” from COVID-19, the Government had said.

At that time, Mr Masuku said Mr Dlamini was stable and responding well to treatment.

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a tiny absolute monarchy of about 1.2 million people.


Mr Dlamini was appointed Prime Minister in November 2018.

He had worked in the banking industry for more than 18 years, and his roles included managing director of Eswatini Nedbank Limited.

Mr Dlamini was one of several world leaders hospitalised for coronavirus while in office. Others include UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Donald Trump and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.

The southern African nation of Eswatini has so far recorded 6,768 cases of COVID-19, with 127 confirmed deaths, according to its health ministry.


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Eswatini’s PM dies after testing positive for Covid-19

Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini tested positive for coronavirus in mid-November

The government of Eswatini says Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini has died, four weeks after he tested positive for coronavirus.

A government statement said Dlamini, 52, died on Sunday afternoon in hospital in South Africa.

No cause of death was mentioned, but Dlamini had recently been receiving treatment for Covid-19 in South Africa.

Dlamini had been prime minister of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, since October 2018.

The tiny landlocked country in southern Africa is one of the last absolute monarchies in the world.

With a population of about one million, the country has recorded 6,768 coronavirus infections and 127 deaths linked to the pandemic, according to the health ministry.

Dlamini announced he had tested positive for coronavirus on 16 November. At the time, he said he was asymptomatic and was feeling well.

A few weeks later, on 1 December, the Eswatini government said Dlamini had been moved to a hospital in South Africa, with the aim of fast-tracking his recovery.

But on Sunday the government said Dlamini died “while under medical care in a hospital in South Africa”, without giving more details.

“Government in collaboration with the family will keep the nation informed of subsequent arrangements,” Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said in the statement.

Dlamini was among a number world leaders to have contracted Covid-19 during the pandemic, including US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

A former banker, Dlamini was a political novice when he was appointed prime minister by King Mswati III.

The head of government’s role is limited in Eswatini, where the king names all ministers and controls parliament.

King Mswati III was crowned in 1986 at the age of 18, succeeding his long-serving father King Sobhuza II, who died at the age of 82.

The king rules by decree and has been criticised for the heavy-handed treatment of opponents and for requesting public money to pay for new palaces and luxury cars.

In 2018 he announced he was renaming the country “the Kingdom of Eswatini”.

More than 39% of the country’s population lived below the poverty line in 2016 and 2017, according to the World Bank.

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