Ondeshifiilwa remembers victims of liberation war

05 May 2017 10:40am
ONDESHIFIILWA, 05 MAY (NAMPA) – The communities of the Ohangwena Region’s Engela and Ongenga constituencies on Thursday convened at the Ondeshifiilwa village to remember People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters who were killed at the village on 01 April 1989.
Twenty-two fighters were killed by South African apartheid regime troops on the eve of the implementation of the United Nations Resolution 435, which paved the way for the independence of Namibia.
Twenty-one fighters were buried in a mass grave on the field where they were massacred, while another one was buried some 2 kilometres away, on the field of Theofelus Shilongo.
“He fled from the spot where others were massacred and came to die later in my grandmother’s house; the villagers buried him here the next day,” Festus Shikokola told Nampa in an interview shortly after the commemoration. He was a young boy at the time.
These communities also joined the rest of Namibia in commemorating Cassinga Day.
Cassinga Day honours some 600 Namibian refugees also killed by South African apartheid forces in the Swapo transit camp at Cassinga in southern Angola on 04 May 1978.
Speaking on Thursday's commemoration at Ondeshifiilwa, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Anna Shiweda said Cassinga Day is dedicated to the forbearers who paved the way for the freedom of Namibia.
The day, Shiweda said, is also to remember all the survivors of brutal attacks of the South African troops during the war for Namibia’s freedom and independence.
These survivors carry physical and psychological scars.
“They live with disabilities that remain as constant reminders of the cruelty that was perpetrated on that particular day,” Shiweda told the audience.
She noted that Cassinga Day means Namibians should, among others, evaluate whether they are still on track in their efforts to work towards the achievement of the ideals and aspirations of those who died for Namibia’s political independence.
Shiweda laid a wreath on the graves of the 22 fighters.