LUDERITZ: The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Immanuel Ngatjizeko says children should be taught about the history of Namibia’s liberation struggle.
Addressing the community of Lüderitz at a Heroes Day’ commemoration event at the southern town’s sports grounds on Sunday, he said children need to know where they come from and where they are going.
“Independence did not fall from heaven like manna. Lives were lost, some people disappeared and nobody knows where they died or were buried. So let’s not forget where we came from,” he said.
The minister noted that Lüderitz is one of the historical locations in Namibia with regards to the country’s liberation struggle. Shark Island, which is situated here, was used as a German concentration camp where thousands of OvaHerero and Nama-speaking people were kept and tortured to death during the 1904-1908 war.
Ngatjizeko said Namibians must maintain peace and unity to enable development, because without peace, development will be impossible.
He further admonished employers at the coastal town who allegedly deny employees the right to belong to trade unions, saying they should stop the practice as workers also contributed to the country’s independence and should not be denied of their right to be represented by trade unions.
“I came to learn here that some employers deny workers the right to belong to trade unions. Whoever you are, you must stop it. Trade unions are the spokesperson of the workers and they help them negotiate salaries and other benefits,” he said.
The Labour Minister went on to say that local authorities should advise disadvantaged people on how to improve their living conditions, by informing them of the available opportunities to do so.
“It is not enough to focus on water and electricity supply. Let’s help our people to get out of poverty. This message does not exclude me, as I am also responsible for that,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Lüderitz Mayor Susan Ndjaleka suggested that Shark Island be declared a national heritage site as it shares the same history as other national heritage sites which bear the marks of the liberation struggle.
Ndjaleka urged her fellow leaders to continue working hard and addressing poverty situations.
“We at Lüderitz are striving for peace and unity, as well as for the development of our town,” she stated.
Heroes Day is a historical day in the history of Namibia’s independence celebrated nationally on 26 August every year.
The day marks the beginning of the struggle where the first shot was fired between People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters and South African soldiers in 1966 at Omugulugwombashe in the Omusati Region.