CORRECTION TO: Veii laid to rest at Heroes' Acre

25 Feb 2015 14:10pm
REPLACING descendent WITH descended IN FIFTH PARA.

WINDHOEK, 25 FEB (NAMPA) - Hundreds of Namibians bowed their heads in honour of Namibian revolution hero, the late Gerson Hitjevi Veii, as they laid him to rest at the Heroes’ Acre on Wednesday.
Veii was buried at the national war shrine next to another freedom fighter, Simon Mzee Kaukungwa who passed away late last year.
The burial service was attended by among others President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Prime Minister and president-elect Hage Geingob, Cabinet Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, family and members of the public.
The coffin was lowered alongside a 17-gun salute.
Family members cried as Veii descended to his final resting place.
“In life, the late Veii distinguished himself as a fearless and patriotic freedom fighter,” said Pohamba in a sombre mood.
He indicated that Veii was targeted for imprisonment by the South African apartheid regime, but he remained steadfast for the just cause of freedom, justice and peace for Namibia.
“As we lay him to rest among different heroes and heroines from different epoch, we shall remember his deeds of bravery and patriotism,” said the Namibian Head of State.
He added that Veii fought a good fight and his dedication will serve as an inspiration to generations to come.
Veii, a Namibian politician and former Robben Island prisoner, is the first non-Swapo member to be buried at the Heroes’ Acre.
The late Veii, who was among the founders of the SWANU Party of Namibia, died of cardiac arrest in Windhoek's Katutura State Hospital on 14 February 2015 at the age of 76.
He was elected SWANU Deputy Secretary-General in 1960, and later served as party president from 1968 to 1982.
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.
In that 1967 speech he said “The redder the blood, the sweeter the victory”.
For that statement, he was convicted of inciting racial hatred 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 another struggle icon Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo and former South African president, the late Nelson Mandela.
He was the first governor of the Kunene Region after Namibia’s independence in 1990.
He leaves behind his wife, Adelheid, nine children, and 15 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.