Friday 18 June 2021
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Cassinga Massacre: 38 years after the bloodshed


“Cassinga Day reflects Namibia’s painful journey’
Cassinga Day commemorations are poignant moments in the history of Namibia’s struggle for independence,” President Hage Geingob says.
He made these remarks in a media statement availed on Wednesday on the occasion of the 38th commemoration of Cassinga Day.
Cassinga Day is commemorated on 04 May every year in honour of about 600 people who died when the South African Defence Force attacked a Swapo base at Cassinga in Angola in 1978.
The main commemoration takes place at Cassinga this year.
The occasion also marks the first time that about 300 survivors visit the massacre site at Cassinga.
Geingob said Cassinga Day carries a multitude of emotions that only the atrocities of war can conjure up.
“It is a day which revealed to the world the sheer brutality and callous nature of the enemy, which the sons and daughters of Namibia faced and in so doing, galvanized the support of our friends and allies from all over the world.”
He added that in commemorating Cassinga Day, Namibians should dedicate themselves to honour fallen heroes and heroines by uniting as one people, one Namibia and one nation in the spirit of Harambee to build a Namibian House worthy of the struggle.
The president said this is also a day to pay tribute to Cuba and Angola that stood with Namibia as it endured the brutality of South African military aggression and oppression.
“May the memory of Cassinga always spur us on to pursue a future of peace and prosperity for all Namibians. Long live the heroes and heroines of Cassinga. Long live the memory of our struggle,” Geingob said.
The commemoration in Angola was attended by Government officials including the Minister of Land     Reform Utoni Nujoma; Namibian
Police Force (NamPol) Inspector-    General Sebastian Ndeitunga; Cuban Ambassador to Namibia Giraldo Mazola and various Angolan dignitaries.
Struggle kids feel left out of Casing Day commemorations
Over 200 children of the liberation struggle living at a Swapo-owned farm on the northern outskirts of Windhoek on Wednesday commemorated Cassinga Day with a peaceful march, but feel left out of the main remembrance event in Angola.
Cassinga Day is commemorated on 04 May each year in honour of the about 600 people who died when the South African Defence Force attacked a Swapo camp at Cassinga in Angola in 1978.
The group of about 237 women, men and children marched to and from their camp near the Ndilimani Cultural Troupe farm to the B1 road between Windhoek and Okahandja, singing liberation songs in     remembrance of the injustice that took place that fateful day.
The farm is situated about 10 kilometres outside Windhoek.
The group’s spokesperson, Tunelago ya Toivo said the march was held in remembrance of some of their parents who died at Cassinga during the liberation struggle.
She said they feel left out because they were not included in the official commemoration which takes place in Angola this year.
“We feel bad; our parents are buried there but we have never been there and Government left us out. We were not aware that the commemoration is taking place there, otherwise we would have been there,” said Ya Toivo.
Another member of the group, Daniel Aludhilu, said their parents sacrificed their lives for the country and its independence.
He said one of the reasons they came to Windhoek was for Government to answer their call for employment but that has not yet happened.
“We were treated badly when we arrived in Namibia. Our parents are [buried] at Cassinga, while we are here suffering. We remember our mothers who died for the liberation struggle,” said Aludhilu.
The group will spend the day singing songs of remembrance at the camp.

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