The South African government on Thursday confirmed that Tanzania's Finance Minister William Mgimwa has died at a Pretoria hospital where he was receiving medical treatment. Mgimwa, 63, died of an illness at a Pretoria hospital on New Year's day, the South African Finance Ministry said in a statement. The statement did not identify his illness but said Mgimwa died of natural causes. Mgimwa had been hospitalized for several months at Milpark Hospital in Pretoria. South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan described Mgimwa as a someone who "keenly appreciated the importance for African countries to strengthen their economies" in order to ensure stability and attract investment. Mgimwa was appointed finance minister on May 7, 2012. Before becoming a minister, Mgimwa was a lecturer at Bank College in Mwanza and Member of Parliament for Kalenga Constituency in Iringa region.