Plans underway to erect monuments in Angola

02 May 2016 13:30pm
TCHETEQUELA, 02 MAY (NAMPA) – Plans to erect monuments at two former Swapo camps in Angola are underway, Minister of Safety and Security Charles Namoloh says.
Speaking at a commemoration event here on Sunday, Namoloh said the Namibian Government plans to erect monuments at Cassinga and Tchetequela village in Angola's Cunene province, were many Namibians lost their lives during the country’s liberation struggle.
“We should all cherish the memories of our heroes and heroines by rededicating the ideals for which they laid down their lives for,” he said.
During the South African apartheid regime, thousands of Namibians refugees were housed in foreign-based refugee camps, including in Zambia, Cuba and Angola.
“I would like to pay a special tribute to amongst others, the heroic people of Angola, Zambia, Cuba and former front-line states, including the international communities, for the crucial role they played in our country’s struggle for independence and the elimination of the apartheid system,” Namoloh said.
Thousands of mourners, including survivors of the attack by the South African Defence Force on the Cassinga refugee camp and 'Vietnam' military camp at Tchetequela, gathered to commemorate the day many described as “dreadful”.
Recalling what happened on 04 May 1978, Andreas Shomangue, a representative and survivor of the ‘Vietnam’ attacks, said the attack started at the Cassinga refugee camp and proceeded to’Vietnam’ the same day.
“We the survivors of ‘Vietnam’ will never forget what happened that day. The enemy attacked, murdering and wounding many young and old Namibian freedom fighters. The bodies of the comrades who were murdered were tied to enemy armed vehicles, and we watched as they drove around the camp.
“There was a lot of confusion as people were running around, pleading to God to save them from the merciless killings. However, the enemy did not stop,” he said.
On Sunday, wreaths were laid at the graves of some People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters who were killed during the attack, including the grave of the camp commander, Wilbard Tashiya Nakada.
Namoloh; Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma; Swapo’s Information Secretary, Helmut Angula; the Namibian Police Force’s Inspector General, Sebastian Ndeitunga and Namibia’s ambassador to Angola, Grace Uushona, were amongst the delegation that attended Sunday’s event.
About 1 000 Namibians who were attacked and killed by the South African army at the Cassinga settlement in southern Angola on 04 May 1978, and those who died elsewhere due to the liberation war, are honoured on 04 May (Cassinga Day) every year.