Namibians from all walks of life gathered at Okandjengedhi Swapo Party headquarters in the Oshana Region to commemorate the Cassinga massacre.

Swapo Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa, who addressed the gathering, reminded them that the liberation struggle for Namibia was long and bitter and claimed many lives, some of whom are buried in unknown graves.

"The acts of cowardice and brutality formed part of the desperate means used by the foreign rulers who oppressed the majority of our people to crush the Namibian people's will and determination to be free and independent."

She urged Namibians to jealously guard the prevailing peace, unity, and political stability to protect their hard-won independence.

Angelina Angula, the former Ongwediva Town Council Mayor who spoke on behalf of Cassinga survivors, recalled what had transpired at the transit camp.

"We saw airplanes and jet fighters in the air. Children then started saying "Tate Sam etu etela uulek (Tate Sam brought us sweets)". We thereafter heard the voice of the late Mbolondondo saying, "Take cover." After the voice of the late Mbolondondo, people were confused, running, and most of them were crying due to the mass destruction bombing that was happening at the camp."

Cassinga survivor Maria Haimbodi was found lying next to her mother's body on the day of the attack.

Haimbodi, who has now lost both of her parents, is a single, unemployed mother struggling to make ends meet. She also does not have a permanent home.



Tonateni Haimbodi