Reflections as we commemorate Heroes Day


By Nkrumah Mushelenga

THE liberation struggle for Namibia’s independence was waged on three fronts namely, political, diplomatic and the military fronts. Little is known about the significance of the 26 of August 1966 military activities and the military innovative legacy of the people’s liberation army of Namibia PLAN the then military wing of SWAPO liberation movement during the liberation struggle. For curiosity and educational sake, this is what the Commander-in-Chief of PLAN said:

“We are and will always remain indebted to those gallant sons and daughters of the Namibian people who paid with their lives so that our nation could regain its dignity, peace and democratic liberties. By staying the course and prosecuting the liberation struggle to its logical conclusion, we ensured that their sacrifices were not in vain.

We also remain committed to their dream by creating a peace-loving and progressive state resolute in its commitment to provide its citizens with the opportunity to realise their full potential as members of a truly free society.

“In this new, free nation, we have ensured that the children of the martyrs of our liberation struggle are afforded free access to education by the state, are provided access to health services, and, above all, are afforded an opportunity to exercise their freedom of choice.

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Equally, to honour our fallen heroes, had made a decision to observe 26 August as Namibia’s Heroes Day in remembrance of the first armed clash between the forces of liberation and those of colonialism at Ongulumbashe in 1966. That clash was the first of many battles that ultimately shook the foundations of colonial rule in Namibia and heralded the doom of the apartheid system as a whole.

“The creation and shaping of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia into a fighting force with a power of endurance that spanned nearly a quarter of a century was no easy task.

“It required organisation, an inculcation of iron discipline, an unbending will to win, as well as resolute action and vigilance. All these called for commanders, political commissariats (officers) and soldiers who possessed exemplary qualities. My comments will be incomplete without at least making a reference, albeit brief, to some of the officers who were truly outstanding in the execution of their patriotic duty. Among them are:

1. Tobias Hainyeko

2. Peter Eneas Nanyemba

3.Kapelwa Kabajani

4.Christoph Niipele

5. Lazarus Shihepo

6.Akapeke Hipangelwa

7.Jeson Kahenge

8.Angula Shoonyeka

9.Eliaser Tuhadeleni Kaxumba Kandola

10. Dimo Hamaambo

11. Jason Hamutenya Ndadi

12. Greenwell Matongo

13. Hanganee Katjipuka Kavezeri

14. Helao Nafidi

15.Wilbard Tashiya ‘Nakada’

16. Peneyambeko Hahoongo

17. David Mbango

18. Isack Shikongo

19. John Hamukoto

20.  Peter Manyuku Mberushu and others.”

1. PLAN Military Council, SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee members who sacrificed at the battle fields during the war for national liberation.

1.Peter Eneas Nanyemba ‘Diliman’ SWAPO Secretary for Defence, PLAN Military Council, SWAPO Political and Central Committee

2.Tobias Hainyeko First PLAN Commander

3.Jonas Hamutenya Ndadi ‘Wanhepo’ Commander: PLAN Military Council, SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee

4.Greenwell Matongo ‘Green’ PLAN Military Council, PLAN Political Commissar and SWAPO Political Bureau member

5.Nabot Helao Nafidi ‘Camilo PLAN Military Council, PLAN political Commissar, SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee member

6.Isack Shikongo ‘Pondo’ PLAN Military Council, SWAPO Central Committee member

7.Tauno Hatuiikulipi: PLAN Military Council, SWAPO Central Committee member

2.Some of the PLAN Commanders and members of the Military Council who sacrificed at the battle field during the war for national liberation were;

1Jonas Haiduwa

2.Abisai Hanghome

3.Wilbard Tashiya ‘Nakada’

4.Hanganee Katjipuka Kavezeri

5.Augustus H. Nghaamwa ‘McNamara’

6.Enrenfried Jeomba ‘Baby’

7.Phillipus Hainana ‘Shikoka’

8.John Hamukoto ‘Kalola’

9.David Kamwi

10. David Mbango

11. Peter Manyuka Mbereshu

12. Erikson Hauwanga ‘Kapanya’

3. Some of SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee members who sacrificed at the battle front during the war for national liberation

1.Homateni Kalwenya SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee member

2.Lineekela Kalenga: SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee member

3.Benjamin Namalambo: SWAPO Central Committee member

4.Nataria Mavulu SWAPO Central Committee member

5.Peneyambeko Hashoongo: SWAPO Central Committee member

6.Putuse Meekulu Appolous: SWAPO Central Committee member

7. Lucas Stephanus: SWAPO Central Committee member

8. Victor Nkandi: SWAPO Central Committee member

9. Pejavi Muniaro; SWAPO Central Committee member

Sam Nujoma 1996

“Their blood waters our freedom”

(Glory to the heroes and heroines of the Namibia Liberation Struggle Published by SWAPO Party, printed by: Namib Graphics)

Who is a veteran and why is 26 of August a commemorative date in the history of an independent Namibia?

Dear comrades, cadres and supporters of the SWAPO party, history is the best judge whose verdict cannot be ignored. History defines SWAPO as a mass based political party borne and steeled in the crucible of a popular and heroic struggle for national independence. It is founded upon the principles of democracy, solidarity, freedom, social justice and progress. In other words, the liberation struggle was waged by nationalists who had an inbuilt nationalistic viewpoint.

Its core objective was to fight for land and its God given natural resources and indeed to liberate the Namibian people from colonial apartheid occupation regime.

For the national liberation movement to accomplish its national task, it had to consolidate its national political bases, by establishing national institutional implementation arrangements inside and outside the then colonised ‘South West Africa Territory’. The purpose was to consolidate organisation inner-party democracy by coordinating political, diplomatic and military activities under the PLAN Military Council, SWAPO Political Bureau and Central Committee.

The political, diplomatic and military fronts were complementing each other in the fulfillment of the SWAPO movement’s core objective of liberating the motherland, Namibia including its natural resources from foreign colonial occupation apartheid oppressive regime.

During his trial in a South African court, Comrade Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo said, “The struggle will be longer and bitter but my people will wage the struggle to its final victory”.

The first phase of political struggle was achieved on 21st March 1990. Ya Toivo’s predictive narrative forms part of the trajectory of the SWAPO liberation movement road map to victory.

We marched tall through thorn mountains, thick forests, and crossed many rivers of sweat, tears and bloods to bring national political independence as projected in the mighty SWAPO Party flag colours, and to bring about freedom, independence and justice for all Namibians.

1. SWAPO blue represents minerals and the wealth of Namibia.

2. Red represents the precious blood of the Namibian people that was shed in the struggle against colonialism, the struggle for nationhood, in general and land in particular.

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3. Green represents the;

• People,

• The land;

• The agricultural potential and;

• Vegetation of the land of the brave.

Nkrumah Mushelenga is the Rt. Commissioner for Refugees, former NNLVA National Coordinator and Chairperson and Founder of Peter Nanyemba Veterans Trust.