WALVIS BAY- The death of chief Seth Madawa Kooitjie (65) has been described by Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa as unexpected and a great loss not only for his people but also for the country on Friday.
Hanse-Himarwa visited the chief’s residence in Naraville on Friday afternoon to pay respect on his grieving spouse, children and the Topnaar community. Kooitjie died last Thursday, around 23h45 at his residence due to fatal asthma attack, shortly after the family came home from a local restaurant dinner.
Spokesperson of the chief, Colin April, on Friday told New Era the chief told his family that he was not feeling well. His condition worsened at home and an ambulance service was called while the family tried to help him with his medicine. “Family tried everything to resuscitate him but it was too late and was declared dead upon arrival at the Welwitschia Private Hospital,” April said on Friday. Chief Kooitjie was the 39th leader of the #Aonin clan and has been serving his people for the past 21 years. He was appointed in 1998, shortly after his father Esau Kooitjie passed on. Kooitjie is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dianne, three children, Claudia, Len and Luciano and grandchildren.
Hanse - Himarwa describes Kooitjie as a great legend who was admired and respected by many. “We can learn a lot from his leadership as he was propelling his people from poverty,” she says. He also served as the chairperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and has been instrumental in the many successful coronations of various Nama chiefs.
Meanwhile, a meeting as per tradition took place yesterday afternoon at the chief’s house to discuss funeral arrangements. The meeting was expected to be attended by various Nama traditional leaders.