Namibia: State Funeral for Meester Shipanga

President Hage Geingob has conferred the status of national hero upon struggle veteran and renowned educationalist Martin Shipanga who died early this week in Windhoek.

A state funeral will also be held in his honour this weekend.

According to Presidency spokesperson Alfredo Hengari, the head of state, following consultations with the wife and family of the late Shipanga, directed that his remains be interred at the Heroes' Acre in Windhoek on Saturday.

Hengari said Geingob also directed for a period of national mourning to be observed in honour of Shipanga during which all flags across the country will be flown at half-mast starting yesterday until Saturday this week.

Shipanga was a teacher and school principal at the former Augustineum in Okahandja during the 1960s before he was promoted to inspector and later became an education director.

Geingob, National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi, Reverend Andreas Biwa, Dr Libertina Amathila, and sport minister Agnes Tjongarero, are among those who went through Shipanga's hands at Augustineum.

Late politicians such as Hidipo Hamutenya, Theo-Ben Gurirab and Moses Tjitendero also went through his classroom. Geingob this week extended his sincere condolences to the Shipanga family, following the loss of what he termed "a family man, a father, an uncle, my teacher Tate Martin Lazarus Shipanga."

Geingob said the late Shipanga's kind but firm approach to education left an indelible legacy on many who were his students.

The late Shipanga also engineered the construction of Katutura state hospital, after he put a motivation together around 1973, to get funding from the German government, which ultimately materialised.

Shipanga was recognised as a war veteran for his contribution towards the liberation movement, especially among student movements.

- ktjitemisa@nepc.com.na

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