17 Jun 2017 11:30am
ONDANGWA, 17 JUN (NAMPA) More than 3 000 people on Friday gathered for a memorial service to pay tribute to the late struggle icon, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo at Ondangwa.
Ya Toivo died last Friday at the age of 92.
Several speakers described Ya Toivo as having been a champion of the liberation struggle.
The mourners remembered him with prayers and religious and revolutionary songs.
Former Minister of Defence, Nahas Angula said Ya Toivo was a loyal, humble and patriotic man who lived for his people and the country.
He added that he did not fear dying for what he believed in.
The Minister of Safety and Security, Retired Major-General Charles Namoloh represented government at the event.
The history of Namibia will be incomplete without the name of Ya Toivo, said Namoloh.
Ya Toivos wife Vicky and several war veterans, former Robben Island political prisoners and community members attended the service at the Ondangwa Trade Fair Centre.
Ya Toivo, who was born at Omangundu village in the Oshikoto Region, was an anti-apartheid activist, politician and political prisoner who was active in the pre-independence movement.
He was a co-founder of the South West African Peoples Organisation (Swapo) in 1960, and its predecessor the Ovamboland Peoples Organisation in 1959.
Ya Toivo served 16 years in prison on Robben Island in South Africa; in the same section as former South African president, the late Nelson Mandela.
He was released from prison in 1984 and rejoined Swapo in exile in Lusaka, Zambia and returned to Namibia in 1989 where he served as a Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister until 2006 when he retired from active politics.
Ya Toivos body will be flown back to Windhoek on Saturday for another memorial service and for his burial at Heroes Acre next Saturday.