22 December 2017

Namibia: Tribute to the Those Who Died in 2017

A national hero and liberation struggle icon, Ya Toivo passed away at his home in Windhoek this year, at the age of 92. He served 16 years at South Africa's Robben Island which drew tributes from the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada foundations. Fellow Robben Island prisoner Petrus Illonga: "What most of you are enjoying today, whether in business or otherwise, came because of the sacrifices that Ya Toivo and the people standing here, made."

Kerry McNamara

Described as a visionary, innovative and creative architect of his time, McNamara died peacefully in his sleep this year January following a long battle with cancer. The celebrated architect, among others, won 17 awards and was the first member of the institute to be placed on its roll of honour for his community work.

Appeal judge Dave Smuts: "His passion for low-cost housing was his way, within his field of interest, to address the massive wealth and income disparities in our society which disturbed him, and was deeply rooted in his strong belief in the right to housing and human dignity."

Angelika Muharukua

Muharukua served as governor for the Kunene region before she died from a heart attack this year at age 59. She was buried at Opuwo next to her father, Uemutonda Langman Ruhozu, at Okozongondjoza near Opuwo. President Hage Geingob: "She has left behind a map which will guide all young Namibians towards becoming outstanding citizens."

Robbie Savage

The much-loved sports lover, Robson 'Robbie' Savage, died in Windhoek following two months' hospitalisation for a mild stroke.

Boxing promoter Nestor Tobias: "This man was special. He was very passionate about sports and would cry when a Namibian fighter lost a fight. He was always at ringside, motivating the fighters. His energy motivated them. This is a big loss for Namibia. My condolences to his family and those close to him."

Peter 'Mamba' Shivute

Shivute succumbed to his longtime heart condition just after his retirement from his position as permanent secretary of the ministry of defence this year. Lawyer Sisa Namandje: "He contributed, in monumental proportions, to the establishment of the NDF, and the formulation and crafting of many strategic plans of the ministry of defence [...] He was soft-spoken but commanded a great deal of respect among his colleagues."

Nic Hannah

The longest-serving judge of the country died of respiratory failure in the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek at the age of 76 years. He was described as a principled man, who laid the foundation of the country's judicial system. Chief Justice Peter Shivute: "He and his post-independence colleagues laid a strong foundation on which Namibia's judicial values are now anchored, and his commitment to service delivery was evident in the many judgements he authored as well as in his prompt delivery of decisions after hearing cases."

Raul Costa Seibeb

The talented young cyclist lost his life in a car accident after his car overturned this year, at a tender age of 25. Rolf Adrian of the Namibian Cycling Federation: "Costa was a rare talent, and his death is a huge loss for Namibian cycling."

Hannchen Schneider-Waterberg

Schneider-Waterberg, who practised law as a member of the Society of Advocates of Namibia, ended her life by gassing herself in her car at the age of 53. Her colleagues described her as a person who was soft-hearted, very brainy, very funny and who loved others and was loved by all. Senior counsel Raymond Heathcote: "Her work was always meticulous, well researched and well considered."

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