EENHANA - Struggle icon Dr Naftal Tuyoleni Hamata was laid to rest at the Eenhana Memorial Shrine on Saturday.
Dr Hamata (78) died on 1 March at Ongwediva MediPark.
He was one of Namibia’s pioneer doctors, and apart from being a renowned gynaecologist, he served in several profiles in the medical fraternity. He held office as a special advisor to the minister of health, and as health director for the Oshana region.
Several speakers described Dr Hamata as a man of integrity, an unparalleled mentor, a humble servant to his people, and a dedicated freedom fighter.
In a statement delivered by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba on the behalf of President Hage Geingob, the President described Dr Hamata as one of the medical staff members who provided medical assistance to People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) combatants who used to operate inside the country during the struggle for liberation.
Dr Hamata received the National Medal for his contributions to the independence of Namibia in 2004.
He also played a crucial role by secretly transporting injured Plan fighters by ambulance and admitting them at the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital. Similarly, he used to supply medicine, money and food to Plan fighters. Clandestine meetings were held at his homestead at the Onamishu village in the Oshikoto region, hence the Onamishu Swapo branch was named after him.
“During this difficult time of bereavement, Namibia mourns a dedicated doctor who devoted his time and energy to assisting those in need, and young people who joined the medical fraternity,” said Geingob.
Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa likewise described Dr Hamata as one of the few professionals in the medical fraternity who opposed white minority rule at a time when the spilling of the blood of “our people was the order of the day, and when it was legal to eliminate anyone who fought against the apartheid regime”.
He is survived by his wife Maria Hamata and three children.