14. Juni 2017

Swapo has lost purpose, vision – Angula

RETIRED politician Nahas Angula says the Swapo Party has abandoned its goals, vision and ideals. Angula said this while paying tribute to liberation-era icon Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo in Windhoek on Sunday.

Ya Toivo, who died on Friday aged 92, will be buried at Heroes Acre on Saturday, 24 June, after the state conferred national hero status on him.

The former Prime Minister, who addressed mourners, also called on the Swapo youth to embrace the legacy of Ya Toivo by fighting for workers' rights.

He said it was unfortunate that Ya Toivo departed as Swapo faced serious challenges in living up to its vision, goals, ideals and values. It was sad that the party, whose initial mission had been to fight for Namibian workers, had been hijacked by elites, he added. “It is further unfortunate that the Swapo Party that endured a bitter struggle and drew its support and strength from the rural persons, seemed to have drifted away from the workers and peasant bases.

“It is important, therefore, that to honour the legacy of comrade Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, we must return to our original mission of defending the dignity of workers and peasants, and the interests of the masses at large,” Angula stressed.

“Many of our youth have sold their souls to materialism. Some of them have sold themselves to the highest bidder among the tenderpreneurs. “They have abandoned the vision of working for the common public good. They have succumbed to the politics of the belly,” he said.

Angula described Ya Toivo as a true patriot, who endured a lot of suffering for the liberation of the country. Ya Toivo's humility should thus inspire the youth to be honest, humble and hardworking for the common good.

Ya Toivo co-founded the Ovamboland People's Congress (OPC) in 1957, with the aim of ending the contract labour system, which eventually changed to fighting for the independence of South West Africa, now Namibia.

The Institute for Public Policy Research's director Graham Hopwood wrote in his obituary of Ya Toivo that in 1958, Ya Toivo had smuggled a tape out of the country, which contained footage of the exploitative migrant labour system and apartheid South Africa's occupation of Namibia.

The tape was smuggled inside a copy of 'Treasure Island' to Mburumba Kerina in New York for presentation at the United Nations. This led to Ya Toivo's banning from South Africa. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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