’Cassinga not a day of mourning’: Ekandjo

WINDHOEK: ‘Cassinga is not a day of mourning but a day of dedication to continue developing Namibia economically.’

These were the consoling words of the Minister of Youth, Sport annd National Service Jerry Ekandjo to the Cassinga survivors and the public who attended the belated commemoration of the Cassinga Day organised by the Khomas Regional Council here on Saturday.

We are gathered here today to commemorate a significant event in the Namibian history, when a sizeable number of gallant sons and daughter of this land lost their lives at the hands of South African apartheid regime forces on 04th May 1978 at Cassinga Refugee Camp in Angola,’ Ekandjo said.

Telling the history to hundreds of the members of the public in attendance, Ekandjo said Cassinga was a reception center for new refugee arrivals, who were leaving Namibia to join the struggle.

The camp he said was given by the late President Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto of Angola.

‘Cassinga used to be an iron ore mine, there were living quarters for the miners and so we used these as a reception center for new arrivals.

On 04 May 1978, early in the morning while our people were waking up while others were preparing for daily activities in the camp, the Boers first sent a wave of Buccaneer air crafts over the camp,’ the minister explained.

The Cassinga experience should however serve as a lesson particularly for the young generation he added, to study, learn and work hard and ensure economic freedom of this country.

Now in an independent Namibia, Ekandjo called on Namibians to develop the country economically, hence the establishment of the Poverty Alleviation Ministry.by President Hage Geingob.

Speaking particularly to the young generation who are the future of the country, Ekandjo reminded them that the independence of the country did not come on a silver platter.

He further told them not to betray the revolution but to take care of the independence of the country, which he said is very fragile.

‘If you let it down, and there is chaos in the country, it (independence) will not be easy to mend,’ the minister said.

‘As we commemorate the fighters of our independence let us recommit to hard work and perseverance. We must reverse this drastic and tragic situation of poverty, unemployment, hunger, diseases and ignorance by recommitting to nation-building all the time,’ Ekandjo urged.

(edited)WINDHOEK: Cassinga is not a day of mourning but a day of dedication to continually developing Namibia economically, Minister of Youth, Sport and National Service Jerry Ekandjo says.

Ekandjo said this while speaking at an event organised by the Khomas Regional Council for the belated commemoration of Cassinga Day here on Saturday.

Cassinga Day is commemorated on 04 May annually, in honour of the about 600 people who died when the South African Defence Force attacked a Swapo base at Cassinga in Angola.

“We are gathered here today to commemorate a significant event in Namibian history, when a sizeable number of gallant sons and daughter of this land lost their lives at the hands of South African apartheid regime forces on 04 May 1978 at the Cassinga Refugee Camp in Angola,” Ekandjo said.

He said the Cassinga experience should serve as a lesson, particularly for the young generation, to study, learn and work hard to ensure the economic freedom of Namibia.

The minister called on Namibians to develop the country economically, and mentioned the establishment of the poverty alleviation ministry by President Hage Geingob.

Ekandjo reminded members of the younger generation that Namibia’s independence was not handed to the country on a silver platter.

He further told them not to “betray the revolution, but to take care of the independence of the country, which is very fragile”.

“If you let it down, and there is chaos in the country, it will not be easy to mend. As we commemorate the fighters for our independence let us recommit to hard work and perseverance.

“We must reverse this drastic and tragic situation of poverty, unemployment, hunger, disease and ignorance by recommitting to nation-building at all times,” the minister said.

SOURCE: NAMPA