Swapo Councillor, War Vet Die

WINDHOEK West constituency councillor Shikwetepo Haindongo and Omugulu-Gwombashe war veteran Lameck Ithete have died.

Both Haindongo (62) and Ithete (87) died at the Ongwediva Private Hospital yesterday. Oshana governor Klemens Kashuupulwa, who confirmed the death of Haindongo, said the councillor fell ill after attending the burials of former Oshikango constituency councillor Usko Nghiyavelwa Nambinga and Endola constituency councillor Ruth Nhinda at the weekend.

The district senior headwoman Hiteni Shekudja, who is also Haindongo’s neighbour, said the councillor was expected to attend the opening of the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair at Ongwediva, and the Olufuko Festival at Outapi.

Khomas regional council members yesterday observed a moment of silence in honour of Haindongo and signed a book of condolences.

Chairperson of the Khomas regional council Zulu Shitongeni yesterday described Haindongo, who served as chief regional officer for Khomas from 2004 to 2008 before becoming Windhoek West constituency councillor, as a visionary and dedicated leader.

“His death is indeed a great loss to the Khomas regional council and the Windhoek West constituency in particular. It goes without saying that he has left a gap on the political landscape of the country. We will miss him dearly,” said Shitongeni.

Shitongeni said details about Haindongo’s funeral will be communicated in due course.

Councillor Haindongo is survived by a daughter and three sons.

Ithete whose combat name was Kagwaanduka was born on 16 June 1927 at Okahao in the Omusati region,where he also received his early education.

He then joined the Owambo People Organisation (OPO) in 1959 and then Swapo in 1960. In 1965, Ithete, Eliaser Tuhadeleni (Kaxumba Kandola) and others met the returning PLAN combatants at Endola village and strategised on how to recruit, train and engage in combat.

Ithete was one of the Plan fighters who set up the Omugulu-Gwombashe base that was later attacked by the South African colonial forces on 26 August 1966.

After the attack on the base, Ithete went into hiding but was arrested in 1969 and taken to Pretoria, South Africa where he was jailed. Released in 1972, Ithete returned home where he continued with his political activities, leading to further arrests in 1975, 1977 and 1978.

In 1980, he fled the country into Angola from where he was sent for military training to the Soviet Union. He was appointed deputy secretary for Swapo Elders’ Council when he was stationed in Luanda before his transfer to Lubango where he stayed until 1989.

Ithete is survived by his wife Selma Ananias Ithete and two children.

Source : The Namibian