UPDATE: Ya Toivo, an icon of the Namibian struggle

10 Jun 2017 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) – Deputy Chairperson of the Robben Island Veterans Trust Fund, Ambassador Martin Kapewasha has described the late Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo as a highly dedicated cadre.
Ya Toivo died Friday evening at the age of 93 in Windhoek and was the chairperson of the trust.
Ambassador Kapewasha described Ya Toivo as an icon of the Namibian Liberation Struggle because of the role he played in fighting for freedom.
“We mourn the death of a hero, a dedicated cadre and an inspirational leader,” he said adding Ya Toivo never looked back when released from 16 years in prison on Robben Island.
“He never looked back and joined many Namibians who went into exile.”
Ya Toivo served in the same section as South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and was one of the more than 60 Namibians incarcerated in the historical prison, of which only 20 are still alive.
He was an anti-apartheid activist, politician and political prisoner who was active in the pre-independence movement and one of the co-founders of the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO) in 1960, and its predecessor the Ovamboland People's Organisation (OPO) in 1959.
Ya Toivo was released from prison in 1984 and joined SWAPO in Lusaka, Zambia, before returning to Namibia in 1989 and serving as a Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister after independence in 1990.
He retired from active politics in 2006.
Ya Toivo was born on 22 August 1924, at Omangundu village in the Oshikoto Region.