25 Feb 2015 10:00am
WINDHOEK, 25 FEB (NAMPA) The Namibian founding president, Sam Nujoma, has described the late Gerson Hitjevi Veii as one of the veterans who spearheaded Namibias modern struggle against colonial oppression.
Deputy Prime Minister Marko Hausiku read the speech on behalf of the founding father at the state memorial service that took place at the Parliament Gardens in the capital on Tuesday.
Nujoma said it was during Veiis incarceration that his mind was shaped and inculcated with political consciousness, which defined his identity as a freedom fighter.
As we lay him to rest, we are strengthened by the knowledge that he lived a purposeful life dedicated to the independence of our country, it said.
Nujoma further said that Veii should be admired for his quest for knowledge that propelled him to study Public Administration while in prison and because he was elected in absentia as the President of SWANU while in prison in 1968. He served in that position until 1982.
Veii was a founding member of Namibia's first student organisation - the South West Africa (SWA) student body.
He was the first Namibian to be tried under the 1962 Sabotage Act of apartheid South Africa, following a December 1967 speech in Windhoek's Old Location against the incarceration of SWAPO leaders in the wake of the military actions at Omugulugwombashe.
He is well known for his prominent statement: the redder the blood, the sweeter the victory.
Veii was convicted of inciting racial hatred because of that statement and sentenced to five years in prison.
He spent one year in solitary confinement in Pretoria, and a further four years on Robben Island with the likes of Herman Toivo ya Toivo and Nelson Mandela.
He is survived by his wife, Adelheid, nine children, 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.