Kapuuo was a towering political giant: Venaani

31 Mar 2017 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 31 MAR (NAMPA) – DTA of Namibia President, McHenry Venaani described former Ovaherero Chief Clemence Kapuuo as a towering political giant and unsung hero who contributed in shaping modern Namibia.
In his keynote address during the late chief’s commemoration here on Monday, Venaani said as a nationalist who believed in the people of then South West Africa (now Namibia), Kapuuo helped many despite their political differences.
“History has it that he assisted with the case of then Swapo-party Vice-President, Brenden Simbwaye with the legal counsel of his friend, Advocate Israel Goldblatt during the illegal arrest of the former in the Kunene Region after he received briefing from the late Levy Karora Nganjone.”
Venaani said Kapuuo was on various occasions criticised for assisting his adversaries, “but he always rose above pettiness and consistently fought the oppression of his people”.
Kapuuo was assassinated on 27 March 1978 by two armed men in Katutura. Both South Africa and Swapo accused each other of the killing.
He is buried next to another former Ovaherero Chief Hosea Kutako in Okahandja.
“Namibia is worth dying for. Indeed you paid with the highest price. South Africa silent your life because you could not succumb to their short-handedness,” said Venaani in tribute to Kapuuo.
Kapuuo was elected president of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) in 1964.
The former teacher played an important role in the formation of the National Convention, an alliance of parties, including Swapo and Swanu, against the South African apartheid regime, after the International Court of Justice ruled in 1971 that South Africa’s occupation of Namibia was illegal.
In 1973, the United Nations declared Swapo the sole authentic representative of the people of Namibia, and this soured relations between NUDO and Swapo.
In 1974 the National Convention broke up and Kapuuo participated in the Turnhalle negotiations, as a result of which NUDO joined the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance.
Kapuuo was born on 16 March 1923 at Ozondjona za Ndjamo near Okahandja, and obtained education at St. Barnabas College in Windhoek.
He qualified as a teacher at the Stofberg Teachers’ Training College, Transvaal in the Union of South Africa.