12 Dec 2013 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 12 DEC (NAMPA) This week the world witnessed the biggest assemblage of Heads of State and Government in Soweto, South Africa like never before, and it is also the second time that a gathering of its kind takes place.
Professor Joseph Diescho pointed out this fact during a memorial service in honour of the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela held at Parliament Gardens here on Thursday.
The memorial service was organised by Namibian churches together with the government.
Diescho said the first assemblage took place in 1965 when British politician and Prime Minister Winston Churchill passed away.
The second assemblage, he said, was on 10 May 1994, when the world came together to welcome and usher in the first democratically-elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
Diescho said the question many people continue to ask and shall ask is What did Mandela do to become the most celebrated icon in modern history?
Records, he said, show that so far as the world can see from the human enterprise, there are four men who stand out to have seized the moment.
According to him, these men are the leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the late Martin Luther King; Cuban communist revolutionary and politician Fidel Castro; South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Mandela; and Swapo-Party member who too was incarcerated at Robben Island, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
So as we celebrate Mandela, we look inward inside the spirit, the struggle and the sacrifice in South Africa that were inseparable from the commitment and the struggle for national independence in Namibia, he said.
Diescho added that Mandela was being celebrated like no other, as his life stood out and stood over the lives of others.
Representing the Namibian Government, Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Theo-Ben Gurirab said he was honoured to have formed part of the delegation which attended Mandelas memorial service in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday.
He said the memorial service took place for world leaders and the world at large to celebrate the quality of life and achievements of Madiba, as Mandela was also affectionately known.
And as Diescho reminded us here, it was one of the greatest gatherings ever of world leaders. The leaders were truly celebrating the person - Madiba, he said.
Gurirab reminded the hundreds of mourners who participated in the memorial service that Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, was the only African president given the opportunity to speak on behalf of the entire Africa.
I got to know about Madiba even before I met him in person from Ya Toivo. Madiba was one person who believed in collective leadership and the need for leaders to consult, not only amongst themselves but also the youth, he remembered the fallen icon.
The memorial service was attended by amongst others, the Secretary-General of the Swapo-Party Nangolo Mbumba, Foreign Affairs Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Governor of Khomas Region Laura McLeod-Katjirua and Windhoek Mayor Agnes Kafula.