- Title: ZAMBIA: Zambia's Guy Scott becomes Africa's first white leader in 20 years
- Date: 29th October 2014
- Summary: LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (FILE - SEPTEMBER 30, 2011) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT MICHAEL SATA AND HIS DEPUTY GUY SCOTT AT CABINET SWEARING-IN CEREMONY LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (FILE - OCTOBER 27, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TRADITIONAL CEREMONY IN A FARM/ SCOTT LIGHTING GRASS WITH TRADITIONAL LEADERS AT CEREMONY
- Embargoed: 13th November 2014 12:00
- Location: Zambia
- Country: Zambia
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA8HC2G6EAYK8NT0GX756W9CF7G
- Story Text: Zambia's Guy Scott became Africa's first white head of state in 20 years on Wednesday (October 29) after the president, "King Cobra" Michael Sata, died in a London hospital aged 77.
Scott, a Cambridge-educated economist born to Scottish parents, was Sata's vice president. He takes over as interim leader until an election in three months, making him the first white African leader since South Africa's F.W. de Klerk lost to Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election that ended apartheid.
Scott, 70, will not be eligible to run for the presidency because of citizenship restrictions, analysts say.
Sata, an abrasive figure nicknamed "King Cobra" because of his venomous tongue, died on Tuesday in London, where he was receiving medical treatment, the government said earlier. He had been president of Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer since 2011.
The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but Sata had been ill for some time. He was being treated at London's King Edward VII hospital when he died, the website Zambian Watchdog reported.
Sata, whose varied CV included stints as a policeman, car assembly worker, trade unionist and platform sweeper at London's Victoria station, left Zambia on October 19 for medical treatment, accompanied by his wife and family members.
Defence Minister Edgar Lungu, secretary general of Sata's Patriotic Front party, had to lead celebrations last week of the 50th anniversary of Zambia's independence from Britain.
Concern over Sata's health had been mounting since June, when he disappeared from the public eye without explanation and was then reported to be receiving medical treatment in Israel.
He missed a scheduled speech at the U.N. General Assembly in September amid reports that he had fallen ill in his New York hotel. A few days before that, he had attended the opening of parliament in Lusaka, joking: "I am not dead."
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