04 May 2016 16:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 04 MAY (NAMPA) - A group of politicians, mostly from the Swapo party, and community members on Wednesday gathered in a Swakopmund church to commemorate Cassinga Day.
Cassinga Day is a national public holiday in Namibia in remembrance of about 600 Namibians, mostly women and children, killed on 04 May 1978 when the South African Defence Force attacked a Swapo base at Cassinga in southern Angola.
Swakopmund Constituency councillor Juuso Kambueshe said this year her office decided to attach a religious message to it by doing it in church.
The church service was followed by political and motivational speeches by mostly Swapo officials, liberation songs and a summary of the Cassinga Day history.
We must honour our heroes and heroines by making sure we achieve economic emancipation as they fought for independence, said Kambueshe.
Swakopmund Mayor Paulina Nashilundo said the suffering of freedom fighters should remain a constant reminder that the freedom in the country was achieved through a long and bitter struggle.
She said there is a need to educate young people about the significance of Cassinga Day by telling them the history so that they learn to appreciate what their parents have done and sacrificed for the sake of giving them freedom.
Do not take the freedom you enjoy today for granted because it did not come on a silver platter, it took the lives of others, said the mayor.
She said the goals and objectives of social development require continuous efforts to reduce and eliminate social distress and instability in Namibia.
We should pledge our focus and attention to the fight against conditions which pose severe threat to health, safety, peace as well as the overall wellbeing of our people, said Nashilundo.
Minister of Safety and Security Charles Namoloh accompanied by mourners and Cassinga survivors visited Cassinga in Angola on Sunday and laid wreaths on the graves of those who perished that fateful day.
The occasion also marks the first time that about 300 survivors visit the massacre site at Cassinga.
Namoloh said Government plans to erect a monument at the grave site very soon.