Thaddeus Sinvula Malumo – the Treasurer, Mobilizer and Struggle Activist

HAVING been a deputy treasurer for a Swapo branch in his area and an active mobilizer for the liberation struggle of Namibia, the name Thaddeus Malumo to the South African regime seemed to resonate with terrorism. As such he was detained several times, put in solitary confinement and subjected to inhuman conditions whilst in captivity.

Malumo was born on the 8th of August 1954 at Ndivi Village in Kabbe Constituency in the present day Zambezi Region. He was the first son of Dickson Malumo and Chaze Munzu. At the age of six he attended Nsundwa Primary School in Kabbe Constituency. He completed his lower primary education in 1963, however due to limited financial resources he was forced to take a break from his education and stayed home looking after his family’s cattle and engaging in other subsistence farming activities. “For the next three years I stayed home herding cattle and being a fisherman. I could not continue with my education because of limited financial resources,” writes Malumo in his personal biography. However, he later continued with his education until he completed matric and went on to pursue studies in nursing at the Ga-Rankuwa Nursing College in Pretoria, South Africa.

While pursuing his education he did not stay aloof of political developments in the country. From the early 1980s Malumo became a member of Swapo and began to play a formidable role in the liberation struggle. He attended Swapo meetings in his area and distributed Swapo publications, particularly The Combatant to community members towards mobilizing them to join the struggle. He also served as the deputy treasurer for the local Swapo branch.

Though he mostly conducted his political activities without being detected by the colonial authorities, he soon appeared on their radar. Things reached a turning point following a bomb blast that damaged the offices of the then Caprivi Administration on the 25th of March 1985. The South Africans linked the attack to Swapo, which prompted a manhunt of people suspected of being Swapo supporters. As a Swapo activist in his area, Malumo would not be spared. He was detained for the first time in 1986, under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act of 1967.

Citing his detention and the ultimate suffering he endured at the hands of the South African colonial authorities in a sworn declaration he made to the police, Malumo wrote that upon his detention the South African authorities took him to Kalimbeza where they electrocuted and tortured him. “I was taken from Katima Mulilo, blindfolded, to a place outside Katima Mulilo called Kalimbeza camp on the banks of the Zambezi River near Kalimbeza Village some 56 kilometers from Katima Mulilo. There I was stripped naked and electrical wires were connected on my toes, thumbs and ears,” reads Malumo’s declaration.

He was repeatedly electrocuted and subjected to vulgar verbal abuse. “This happened so many times and I fainted about 10 times in the process. Insults and all possible abusive language were hurled at me,” reads Malumo’s declaration.

He was released after five weeks but a short while later was again detained – twice – in January and April of 1988. After independence, Malumo worked in various government ministries and in 2010 he completed a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration

Source : New Era