Remains of More Heroes to Be Repatriated

Government would like to repatriate the remains of all heroes who died in exile during the struggle for independence but difficulties to identify gravesites are hampering the process, the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Dr Nickey Iyambo told New Era yesterday.

Iyambo revealed that four graves of combatants who died during the struggle were discovered recently, two in South Africa and two in Zambia.

“Of course it is our wish as government to repatriate the remains of all the leaders but we are finding it hard to find their graves. As you can recall they died way back and the graves are not in formalised cemeteries hence it is difficult to find the remains of the leaders we want to repatriate,” he said.

The bodies of Putuse Appolus and Linekela Kalenga have been exhumed and are under the care of Zambian authorities until such a time they are repatriated back to Namibia.

Appolus, who was one of the first black women to go into exile, was a member of the Swapo Women’s Council as well as a Central Committee member.

She was also the Swapo representative in the World Women Organisation before her death in 1986.

Kalenga, who is believed to have died in 1981, was Swapo’s secretary for education and a Central Committee member as well.

Two graves of Namibian leaders who died on Robben Island were also identified but Iyambo did not have their names at the time.

“No date for the repatriation of the remains of the four combatants has been set, but they will be brought home,” Iyambo said.

On Friday, Namibia received the remains of one of Namibia’s struggle stalwarts and formidable anti-apartheid fighter, Eneas Peter Nanyemba, along with the remains of four other combatants – Walde Homateni Kaluenja, Isak Shikongo, Natalia Ndahambelela Shikangala Mavulu and Augustus Nghaamwa.

The five combatants all died in Angola between 1977 and 1983 while on duty.

Source : New Era