Appolus and Kalenga to receive State funerals

WINDHOEK: Namibian freedom fighters Putuse Appolus and Lineekela Kalenga will be accorded State funerals at locations their families will identify, president Hifikepunye Pohamba said on Thursday.

The remains of Appolus and Kalenga arrived at the Eros Airport on Thursday from Zambia, where they died and were buried in 1986 and 1981, respectively.

Pohamba – accompanied by Prime Minister Hage Geingob, family members of both the deceased as well as some Members of Parliament (MPs) – received the remains in the presence of a full guard of honour.

In his keynote address, the president said government would like to lay Appolus and Kalenga to rest at the Heroes’ Acre in the capital, but will consult with the families first.

He said government decided to repatriate their remains back to the ‘Land of the Brave’ to give them a proper and fitting burial.

“Although they did not live to see the dawn of independence (in 1990), they fought and died for the freedom, democracy and human dignity we enjoy today,” noted the Head of State.

Remembering Appolus, who was a nurse by profession, Pohamba said she ‘adopted’ and brought up many orphans of the Namibian liberation war by feeding and loving them like her own.

“Her home was where many comrades would go and have lunch, including myself,” he narrated.

Pohamba said he met Kalenga in Tsumeb, where they were teaching at the time, together with Geingob.

Thus, Kalenga will be remembered for his passion for the education and training of the Namibian people, he said.

Pohamba then thanked the government and people of Zambia for the assistance and support rendered to the Joint Technical Committee led by the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh in exhuming and returning the remains of the Namibian patriots.

Meekulu Putuse Leonora Dwyilli-Appolus was born on 23 September 1930, and died on 28 October 1986 in Zambia.

She was a member of the Swapo-Party Central Committee (CC), and was instrumental in mobilising material support for exiled Namibians, especially women and children, from friendly countries and organisations.

Appolus also served as Swapo’s representative to the Pan-African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) in Algiers, Algeria for many years.

Kalenga was born on 08 June 1939, and died on 27 January 1981.

He too was a member of the Swapo CC, and was the party’s Secretary for Education at the time of his death.

In the aftermath of the Cassinga massacre in 1978, Kalenga was instrumental in negotiating with the government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) for Namibian children to be admitted at kindergartens and primary schools in that country.

SOURCE: NAMPA

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