Ekandjo the jungle fighter has died
Ongwediva – Funeral arrangements for the late Peter Ekandjo (aka the Jungle Fighter) who passed away on January 8 have been finalised.
Late Ekandjo’s family spokesperson Dr Ben Mulongeni told New Era there will be a memorial service at the St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Windhoek at 15h00 today.
Ekandjo’s remains will arrive at Ondangwa Airport tomorrow morning at 07h00 and at 14h00 on Thursday a special tribute session will be held at his house in Omatando, during which comrades with whom he fought on the battlefield as well as those who assisted him while operating in Namibia will give tributes and pay homage to him.
Friday’s memorial service will be held at 15h00 also at his residence in Omatando, while the funeral service will be conducted on Saturday at 08h30 from the Okatana Roman Catholic Cathedral and his remains will be laid to rest in the Ongwediva Municipal Cemetery.
Ekandjo was born on January 1, 1959, at Omatando in Ongwediva Constituency, Oshana Region.
His parents are Simon Ekandjo and Ndapwohoni Mulongeni.
His father named him Nolte after his farm employer, but late Ekandjo did not like the strange name and later was baptized at Okatana Catholic Church as Peter (the Stone).
He schooled at Omusheshe Combined School from 1970 to 1977 when he went into exile at the age of 18. Among his teachers was late Nghidimondjila Shoombe whom he described as his political mentor.
Ekandjo joined the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), the then SWAPO military arm, on arrival in Angola in 1977 and engaged the colonial forces of the South African apartheid regime from then on. He fought together with other comrades for the larger part of the 12 years he spent in exile.
His operational area was known as the Far Eastern Front that included the Okongo areas where he and other fighters made it a no go area for the colonial forces.
After fighting for seven years he was given the task of carrying out clandestine operations in the country with responsibilities of establishing urban guerrilla units, and it was during one of those missions that he fell into the hands of his enemies in May 1986. He was brutally tortured but did not crack no matter how hard they tried to break him.
On October 30 the same year he escaped from one the fortified military facilities of the colonial forces. He evaded capture and returned to PLAN in November 1986.
Between 1988 and 1989 he attended the Rostock Institute of Political Science in Berlin in the then German Democratic Republic.
He returned home in 1989 and was posted to Lüderitz district to mobilize the masses for the UN supervised elections that brought independence.
Since 1990 he worked for the Presidency of Namibia until his departure from earth.
During his working career he obtained postgraduate degrees and penned two books telling stories of the liberation life. New Era and its sister publication Kundana published a series of excerpts from the two books while Kundana translated the book into Oshiwambo.