22 Dec 2018 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 22 DEC - (NAMPA) Hundreds of mourners paid their last respects to the late freedom fighter and trade unionist, Petrus Iilonga at the Heroes' Acre here on Saturday.
The late politician, who was born at Etilyasa-Ongandjera in the Omusati Region, died at the age of 71 after a long illness on 11 December 2018.
The brown coffin of the late Iilonga arrived at the Heroes Acre at around 08h30, ushered by members of the Namibia Defence Force, Brass Band, Navy and Air Force, with his widow, Paulina Iilonga, President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos, following behind.
Iilongas widow, dressed in a black head wrap fought back tears, with other mourners, whilst observing her late husbands coffin being lowered into the grave, done concurrently with a 17 gun salute.
Iilonga was buried next to the late Theo Ben Gurirab, and liberation struggle icon, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
A message read on behalf of the bereaved family by Professor Phillemon Amaambo appealed to the nation to foster unity while tackling social and economic challenges.
A people united, struggling for economic growth will always emerge victorious, the family said.
The family further reminded Iilongas children that when a parent has passed on, they have to mature faster to assume greater responsibilities in life.
Let us allow Petrus Iilonga to go into eternity as a natural hero, the family said.
The Namibian, African Union and Southern African Development Community flags were flown at half-mast during the State burial ceremony.
Both men and women, friends and family, trade unionists and former Robben Island prisoners took turns to fill the grave, after which nine wreaths were laid on the grave in his honour.
Iilonga is survived by his wife, nine children and two siblings.