The former Governor of the ||Kharas Region, Lucia Basson, described the late Deputy Chief of the |Hai-|Khaua Traditional Authority, Stefanus Goliath, as a unifier and a man of integrity and wisdom.
In an interview with nbc News at Keetmanshoop, Basson said the death of the first governor of the ||Kharas Region is a great loss for the Namibian people.
Goliath died last week at the age of 78.
Lucia Basson was the regional coordinator for the Swapo Party Women's Council in the Hardap Region in 1991.
The former teacher served under the late chief, who was the Hardap Regional Coordinator for the Swapo Party.
"So I was working under him until the 1992 elections. In the elections of 1992, he went to his constituency because he was the chief there also, and then he was elected as the regional councilor of the Berseba constituency."
The late Chief was imprisoned under the AG 26 Act, which required authorities to arrest anyone suspected of engaging in any act against the then South African Regime for 90 days.
"He was detained under AG 26, and when you talk about AG 26, it means you sit in jail without trial. He has suffered. We don't know what happened to those people or how they were tortured. He is one of the chiefs that was tortured, so he is one of the torchbearers of the liberation struggle. So for me, let us remember Chief Goliath. He was one of the brave sons of Namibia. He stood up and fought for the independence of this country."
Chief Goliath, Basson says, was instrumental during his two terms as governor in seeking the government's support to kick-start the construction of the Neckartal Dam on the outskirts of Keetmanshoop.
She said Goliath united the Nama tribes by initiating an annual Nama Cultural Festival that showcases the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Nama people.
"He was instrumental in the Nama Cultural Festival so that the Nama tribe could come together and embrace their culture and language. So the first Nama Festival, I was the one who launched together with Chief Goliath. At the Gala Dinner, it was me and Chief Goliath who launched it, and he was very happy, and it was not a political thing."
As Namibia celebrates its 33rd independence anniversary, Lucia Basson says Namibians need to recognize the contributions and sacrifices many made towards the freedom and independence of Namibia.