As tributes continue to pour in for the late Swapo leader Mandela Kapere, National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi says the house has lost a bright parliamentarian with so much promise.
Kapere has been conferred the honour of an official funeral by President Hage Geingob.
Kapere died of Covid-19 at the age of 38 while under medical attention at his home in Windhoek on Monday.
“We are saddened by the passing of comrade Mandela Kapere. The Swapo Party and the country have lost a fine young man, who has consistently contributed to the development of the country and in particular to youth empowerment. He will certainly be missed by so many of us,” Katjavivi said.
On behalf of the National Assembly, the speaker extended his sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the Kapere family and friends.
Kapere’s father, who is also Namibian High Commissioner to Botswana, said his son grew up among freedom fighters and he would always take him to political meetings as a young boy aged four.
However, Asser Kapere said he stopped taking him along to radical meetings, as his life was more in danger as a young boy.
“He was a friend, a comrade and we took decisions at home together as a family,” his father remembered him.
The diplomat described his son as disciplined and always listened to elders’ advice.
The father said the family is in consultation with the health ministry for memorial and funeral arrangements since his death was Covid-related.
He is hopeful they could have a memorial service at Parliament Gardens this week while adhering to Covid-19 regulations.
Industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu said she was devastated and torn apart by Kapere’s death.
“Mandela was such a true comrade, brother, a genuine, credible, steadfast and cool-headed politician of our time who stood up for the youth of this country even where he was in challenging circumstances his stance was firm and resolute,” Iipumbu reminisced.
At a personal level, she said he was one “comrade and friend” who believed and stood by her in all weathers.
According to her, it is hard to believe he is gone at a prime time of his life, and when his political career was just taking shape. “I will miss your genuine heart and loving care for this nation. Go well my Cde and brother and my condolences to the crop of young leaders the SPYL have groomed and to the nation at large and above all the Kapere family. It is such a painful loss,” she sympathised.
Former Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua described Kapere as a softhearted person, unifier, seasoned politician, diplomat and negotiator.