AMINUIS - The remains of Bakgalagadi chief Tidimalo Hubert Ditshabue, who succumbed to Covid-19 on 5 July 2021, at the age of 67, was laid to rest at the Corridor 20 Royal Cemetery on Tuesday.
He was honoured by a procession through significant places and posts such as his traditional office in Corridor 13 as well as the Kgotla, an enclosed area in a traditional village used for assemblies, court cases, and meetings of the leaders.
The procession also went through the Kgotla in Corridor 21 where his inauguration as chief took place. The last stop was at his homestead’s Kgotla in Corridor 20 from where he was sent off to his final resting place.
President Hage Geingob described the late Ditshabue as a leader who has made an invaluable contribution to the political consciousness of his community and endeavoured to uplift them from poverty as equal and proud citizens of the Namibian house.
Geingob said during Namibia’s dark history of colonialism, the majority of Namibians from all walks of life throughout the country were forcibly subjected under the yoke of apartheid colonialism, which denied them their basic human rights and dignity.
At the same time, many brave men and women stood up against the second class citizenship identity which the oppressors defined for them and decided to join the liberation struggle to fight against the injustices perpetrated against them, their communities and the Namibian nation.
Chief Hubert Tidimalo Ditshabue was one such individual who rather than being a victim of colonialism and suppression decided to join thousands of other patriotic Namibians in taking up the fight for the national liberation of Namibia.
“In the words of the member of Bakgalagadi on comrade Ditshabue’s vision of liberation, he taught us that there can only be a slave master if the slaves willingly allow being enslaved, therefore true to this liberation philosophy, he did not only verbally reject the apartheid designation of the Bakgalagadi and Batswana communities as second class citizens but actively joined the national struggle to uproot the apartheid administration,” echoed Geingob.
In recognition of his outstanding and visionary leadership, the community chose him to be chief of the Bakgalagadi in 1991 and he worked closely with the new Namibian government, which granted recognition to the Bakgalagadi Traditional Authority.
Ditshabue has been credited with the political consciousness of the Bakgalagadi community and with the promotion of many developmental initiatives such as tarred roads, schools, clinics and other government infrastructure for which he lobbied tirelessly in Corridors 13, 18, 20, 21 and adjacent areas.
The Swapo secretary general, Sophia Shaningwa described Ditshabue as one of the people who have done mobilisation work for Swapo during the national liberation struggle among the Batswana and Bakgalagadi communities to join the liberation movement.
Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba called the late Ditshabue a visionary Pan-African leader who fearlessly fought for unity and integration of his community in the Namibian society and his struggle against the hostile and divisive agenda of the colonial white occupier in Namibia.
“We mourn not only a traditional leader of the Bakgalagadi community but an African leader who refused that the fate of his people be determined by white foreigners and was successful in delivering the desire of his people to live in any place of their choice on the African continent,” said Pohamba.