Windhoek — Swapo of Namibia President Hage Geingob says he is grateful for Senior Headman Shimweefeleni Peter Kauluma's contribution to society.
"The Swapo Party lauds the contribution of this foremost stalwart to the conceptualization, development and phenomenal growth of the Swapo party into a formidable popular political force," Geingob says in a statement.
Kauluma, who died in a Windhoek hospital last Monday, aged 82 years, was buried at his traditional homestead at Ongula yaNetanga village on Saturday. Apart from King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, late Kauluma has been the second most powerful leader of the Ondonga traditional community for the past 37 years. "Together with other giants of his generation such as Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Peter Mueshihange, Tobia Hainyeko, among others, Cde Kauluma was one of the founding members of the Ovamboland People's Congress in 1957, later transformed into Ovamboland People's Organisation (OPO) and then into Swapo in 1960," President Geingob says. Kauluma remained in Cape Town while some of his compatriots including Mueshingage and Hainyeko left for exile in the early 1960's,while Ya Toivo was deported to Namibia in 1958.
"Comrade Kauluma was himself subsequently deported to Namibia in 1969. He continued his active underground work for Swapo youth league activists in northern Namibia, " says Geingob, adding that when the war of national liberation intensified in the mid-1970s, Kauluma was arrested by the apartheid regime in 1976, and was incarcerated without charges. He says although Kauluma was subjected to degrading and dehumanising torture at the hands of the enemy, the revolutionary spirit that coursed through his body allowed him to resist all attempts to break his will.
"Kauluma was an important asset in Swapo and the PLAN underground network. For 37 long years, Cde Kauluma served Omukwaniilwa Cde Immanuel Kauluma Elifas with unquestioning loyalty and dignity," Geingob says, adding that the late Kauluma possessed a natural acumen for dealing with traditional matters and this was extremely valuable for King Kauluma and the Ondonga community particularly during the war of liberation.
"As we bid him farewell, we salute this dedicated son of the soil for his loyal service to our people and country. He comes to occupy a special place in the lives of so many Namibians, through strength of character, patriotism, selflessness and integrity," Geingob points out.
These characteristics coupled with valorous deeds, have cemented Kauluma's legacy as stalwart of the country's liberation struggle, Geingob says.