Freedom Fighter’s Work to Be Discussed

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A former PLAN fighter will be discussing his written work as part of the Meet the Writers series by publisher Ingrid Demasius at the Book Den in the Gutenbergplatz at 11h00 on Saturday, October 21. Retired Namibian writer, Helao Shityuwete, will discuss his novel, Never Follow the Wolf, described as a unique and compelling autobiography of a Namibian freedom fighter. The son of a Rain King in southern Angola, Healo Shityuwete was educated in mission schools in Namibia before poverty forced him into migrant labour – virtual slave-labour for the South African occupiers of Namibia. His involvement in organizing worker strikes led him to join the newly-formed SWAPO movement at the time. After harassment by the police, the author undertook a dangerous and difficult journey across southern Africa to Tanzania, where SWAPO had established its external headquarters. He became one of the first Namibians to take up the armed struggle, and in 1966 he joined a group of ten SWAPO combatants on an ill-fated mission to prepare for the war of liberation of the country. Captured and horribly tortured, Shityuwete was one of 37 Namibians charged in Pretoria at a notorious trial under the Terrorism Act. He spent the next 16 years on Robben Island, in the company of Nelson Mandela and other South African and Namibian political prisoners. Helao Shityuwete now lives in Namibia, which became independent under a SWAPO government on March 21, 1990.