10 Dec 2013 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 10 DEC (NAMPA) People from all walks of life commemorated International Human Rights Day at the 1959 Heroes and Heroines Memorial Grave in Pionierspark here on Tuesday morning.
As flags from the ruling Swapo-Party and opposition party Swanu fluttered in the morning breeze, Governor of the Khomas Region Laura McLeod-Katjirua reminded the guests about the heroes and heroines who died when police officers opened fire during a protest in the Old Location, now Pionierspark, on 10 December 1959.
McLeod-Katjirua said the day is very symbolic in the history of Namibia.
This is a day we will never forget. In Namibia, we look back 54 years ago when men and women were relocated. It was a lesson and hard work for our independence which we cannot take for granted.
We will never again allow that this country and her people are taken hostage again by anybody, she stressed, adding that Namibians should enjoy the peace and freedom that exist today.
The Old Location uprising followed a decision by the Windhoek Municipality, in consultation with the South West Africa Administration and the South African Government in the late 1950s to build a new location north-west of Windhoek and to move all residents of the Main Location, as it was known at the time, there.
Most Main Location residents opposed the planned closure of the Main Location and refused to move to the proposed new location, now known as Katutura. Opposition to the move reached a climax, and 12 peaceful demonstrators were killed and more than 50 others were injured.
Between 3 000 and 4 000 residents fled the area and refused to return, fearing police reprisals.
This cemetery where the commemoration took place on Tuesday, contains a mass grave of those who were shot and killed on 10 December 1959 for refusing to be forcibly removed from the Old Location to Katutura.
McLoed-Katjirua and Windhoek Mayor Agnes Kafula laid a wreath at the cemetery at the end of the event, also witnessed by a handful of tourists.