09 Nov 2013 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 09 NOV (NAMPA) The late Frederick Matongo was laid to rest at Heroes Acre on the outskirts of Windhoek on Saturday morning.
Matongo, who was the Secretary of the Swapo-Party Elders' Council, passed away at the Rhino Park Private Hospital in Windhoek last Friday after a long illness.
He was 67.
He joins his fellow countrymen and women such as Peter Tshilumbu, John Otto Nankudu, Max Mutongolume, John Pandeni, and David Meroro, amongst others, who were laid to rest at Heroes Acre.
The last hero to be buried at the national shrine was Nankudhu, Commander of the Swapo-Partys armed wing, the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), who died in 2011.
Matongo's moving funeral service commenced with the arrival of the casket accompanied by President Hifikepunye Pohamba at around 09h00.
As per tradition, the casket was placed in front of the Eternal Flame, which represents the undying spirit of freedom and recognition of the ultimate sacrifice which the fallen heroes made for Namibia.
Integrity, humble, and fearless were just some of the words used by President Pohamba to describe the late Matongo during the funeral service which was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, family members, and members of the public.
As we are gathered here today to bid farewell to the late Matongo, we are at the same time celebrating his life for his contribution towards the freedom and independence of our country, he stated.
He said Namibians are also celebrating his contribution to the peace and unity they enjoy today in a free, democratic and independent Namibia.
The Head of State indicated that Matongos name will be inscribed in the history of Namibia for his role in the fight against apartheid colonialism, adding that there is no doubt that his legacy will live on and inspire current and future generations to cultivate a culture of patriotism.
On this sorrowful occasion, it is important to reflect on our past, present and future as a nation. Today, Namibia is a free and independent country. This was made possible by great sacrifices and many precious lives of our fellow compatriots which were lost in the process, Pohamba stated.
Family members and friends could not contain their emotions as the coffin descended to its final resting place, which was accompanied by a 17-gun salute.
Retired Bishop Zephania Kameeta conducted the rite of committal and benediction.
The late Matongo leaves behind his wife, Helena, and five children.