‘Cassinga bloodbath an inspiration to all Namibians’
Windhoek – Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba has said the spirit of heroism and bravery of the many people who died during the country’s war of liberation should inspire all Namibians.
“It should inspire us to cherish and promote the noble values of liberty, equality and non-discrimination,” President Pohamba said.
The President also called on Namibians to endeavour to make the country a better place, guided by the principles of social justice, democracy, respect for human rights and the improvement of the standard of living of all people.
Addressing hundreds of people gathered to commemorate the 35th Cassinga Massacre at UN Plaza in Windhoek on May 4, President Pohamba stressed the need to document the country’s history of the liberation struggle.
He said such history should be passed down from generation to generation until it is fully documented.
The President described the Cassinga incident as the worst bloodbath ever to be committed against Namibians since 1960 when SWAPO Party was formed and later waged the war of liberation.
South Africa’s former colonial troops attacked the Cassinga refugee camp in southern Angola on May 4, 1978, leaving close to 1 000 people dead ‑ mainly women and children.
Pohamba stressed that the country will never forget the merciless killing of hundreds of defenceless women and children by the South African army.
The attack on Cassinga took place when SWAPO and the Western Contact Group, made up of France, Britain, West Germany, the US and Canada, were concluding negotiations for Namibia’s independence at the United Nations in New York.
“But the attack did not stop us from fighting. We continued to organise the people and rally them behind SWAPO. We used all the political, diplomatic and military means at our disposal and defeated the Boers,” he said.
The President also enlightened Namibians born after independence that the freedom they are enjoying today did not come on a silver platter.
“Therefore, I appeal to you to study hard and complete your education in order to contribute to the development of the country,” said President Pohamba.
“Every Namibian has a duty to work for the benefit of our society and a duty to participate in the developmental efforts that can take the country towards the achievements of its 2030 targets,” he said.
The Namibian leader pointed out that the country will continue with its implementation of service delivery programmes in order to bring public amenities such as potable water, housing, electricity and market access to all parts of the country, especially to rural areas and informal settlements.