Tributes have poured in for struggle stalwart Jason Angula, who died this week and was known for his political and social activism.
Angula died on Monday in a Windhoek hospital after a long illness, according to his brother Aupapa.
He was 72.
Former Robben Island political prisoners Martin Kapewasha and Ben Ulenga remembered Angula as one of the freedom fighters who suffered under the apartheid system.
“Comrade Angula was not with us on Robben Island but he was detained for many times. He really suffered under apartheid.
"We have lost a cadre in the party, a man of the people who was committed to the wellbeing of Namibians,” Kapewasha said yesterday.
Ulenga also said Angula would be remembered for his dedication towards the wellbeing of the Namibian people.
“I met him when he came from Swakopmund to study in Ongwediva. He came with his brother called ‘little John’ and they were both fantastic footballers,” Ulenga added. He said Angula was one of the initiators of the Swapo-affiliated National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).
“May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Nahas Angula said the late Angula made an enormous contribution to the struggle for the freedom of Namibia, while he suffered harassment by agents of apartheid and imprisonment by police.
“He is our hero! May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he said.
Former Walvis Bay mayor King Mandume Mwatunga yesterday described Angula as a selfless leader, who played a significant role in the struggle towards the country’s independence in the 1980s.
“Angula was one of the people who came to influence our politics. He played an important role in the integration of Walvis Bay. We used to meet him regularly to update him on the progress made in terms of negotiations,” Mwatunga said.
“I remember him vividly in 1993 during a meeting with NUNW and the Cosatu (Congress of South African Trade Unions) of which I was part of representing the Swapo Party Youth League. Angula played a momentous role in that meeting.”
Swapo parliamentarian Mandela Kapere said he came to know Angula as ‘Uncle Jason’.
“Throughout my childhood, Angula was a good and close friend of my father, Asser Kapere,” he said.
“My parents were contemporaries of Angula in the internal leadership of Swapo, wherein Uncle Jason served with my mother in the then Swapo NEC led by Daniel Tjongarero and others.”
Kapere said Angula was a brave and heroic giant of a man, whose sacrifices inspired younger generations and student activists to be dedicated to the freedom of the Namibian people.
“Despite his giant stature and gravitas, he was humble and down to earth beyond measure, a quality that made it easy for him to be appreciated and as loved as he was,” he added. Angula was a former Swapo secretary for labour and was imprisoned at the notorious Osire detention centre. He was kept in solitary confinement without any prospect of being charged or released. He was released after 14 months.
“The conditions were bad. In winter, I thought I was going to die. I felt the freezing cold in my feet coming up in my body, and was surprised the next morning to find that I have survived,” Angula was quoted as saying by the Network newsletter upon his release from the solidarity confinement.