By Confidente Reporter
The African National Congress says it has received with profound sadness the news of the passing of Namibian liberation struggle icon, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
The South African ruling party described Ya Toivo as a loyal friend of the South African people, and as a freedom fighter, hero and icon of Namibia’s struggle for self determination.
Ya Toivo passed yesterday in Windhoek, at the age of 92
He was a founder member of Swapo and its predecessor the Ovamboland People’s Organisation (OPO).
“A man of strong beliefs and convictions, Cde Toivo dedicated his life to the fight against oppression by the then South Africa authorities, rejecting apartheid South Africa’s reduction of a sovereign Namibia into its colony,” the ANC said in a statement.
“He was Namibia’s longest-serving Robben Islander, having served 16 years on the Island with other luminaries of the African peoples’ struggles, following their conviction for contravening South Africa’s Terrorism Act. His life was the personification of solidarity, the quest for self-determination and unyielding commitment to the liberation of his people.”
The ANC further referred to Ya Toivo as a Pan-Africanist and progressive internationalist.
“Cde Toivo was a vocal and ardent supporter of the oppressed peoples of the world, leading from the front in, amongst others, the mobilisation and call for the release of Africa’s friends – some of whom fought in the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale for Southern Africa’s liberation – and the Cuban Five Heroes, from American jails.
“He was also militant workerist who advocated for the rights of African and black mine workers in South Africa and Namibia and was banished from South Africa for smuggling taped testimonies to the United Nations (UN) about the harsh experiences of black mine workers. “Following his release from Robben Island in 1984, Cde Toivo committed himself to the building of a democratic Namibia, serving as Secretary-General of Swapo and in various portfolios in government.
“South Africa has lost a true friend in Comrade Toivo ya Toivo and we send our deepest condolences to our fraternal organisation, Swapo, the people of Namibia and Comrade ya Toivo’s family, on his passing.
“Comrade Toivo has left an indelible mark in the history of our region and the continent. Ours is to emulate his life’s work and continue to fight for the realisation of his vision of freedom for the oppressed peoples of the world and of the continent,” the ANC said.
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