New Era (Windhoek)

26 November 2012

Namibia: Nujoma Extols Agostinho Neto

Windhoek — Widow of the legendary first president of Angola Agostinho Neto, Maria Eugenia Neto, paid a courtesy call on former Namibian President and Founding Father, Dr Sam Nujoma, in Windhoek on Friday.

Nujoma hailed the late Neto as a visionary who fought to ensure the liberation of Namibia. "[Neto] was the man behind Swapo to ensure the liberation of Namibia."

"[Neto] was a farsighted revolutionary of our time ... he wanted the total liberation of the continent," explained Nujoma.

Maria Eugenia Neto said she received an official invitation from President Hifikepunye Pohamba to visit Namibia. She has also paid visits to Prime Minister Nahas Angula, Speaker of the National Assembly Theo Ben-Gurirab, as well as the Swapo Party headquarters during her stay in the country. She was in the country from Wednesday to Sunday.

"We brought along an encyclopaedia to showcase the work of Neto and what he has done for the region [SADC] despite his imprisonment and suffering and the struggle he led for the independence of Angola," she said. She also revealed that she came to collect testimonials from the Swapo Party to portray what Neto had done for Namibia to defeat the apartheid regime.

"Our aim is to tell the truth of what really happened and for the youth to learn about Neto and his great personality and all the suffering he sustained for the liberation of Africa," she said.

"Many of us in the liberation movement did not foresee that the main base to be destroyed was in South Africa," said Nujoma, adding that Neto was farsighted. Nujoma also gave the former Angolan first lady a copy of his biography 'Where Others Wavered', and showed her a picture of himself and the late Neto in Luanda in February 1976, indicating a longstanding historic friendship with the first Angolan president.

Maria Eugenia Neto handed over books about the legendary Neto as well as the history of the Agostinho Neto Foundation.

Neto was born on September 17, 1922 and died on September 10, 1979. He served as the first president of Angola from 1975 until his death in 1979 after having led the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the war for independence.

Until his death, he led the MPLA in the civil war. His birthday is celebrated as National Heroes Day, a public holiday in Angola.

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