State radio says Zimbabwe's former foreign minister Stan Mudenge has died. He was 71.

The radio on Friday reported Mudenge collapsed before giving a speech at a meeting of academics in the southern town of Masvingo.

A loyalist of President Robert Mugabe's party, he was the foreign minister for a decade after serving as the country's chief diplomat at the United Nations for five years. At the time of his death Thursday he was the higher education minister in charge of universities and colleges.

Mudenge had received treatment for a heart condition. As an academic and historian, his writings on ancient African civilizations became school textbooks after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 that debunked much of the colonial-era teaching on a 14th Century tribal dynasty from which Zimbabwe draws its name.