By Catherine Sasman
The sudden death of Congress of Democrats (CoD) MP, Reinhard (Kalla) Gertze, in the early hours of yesterday morning stunned his family and friends.
Gertze died at his home in Windhoek from an asthma attack.
According to close friends who gathered at his home yesterday, Gertze was ill over the last few days.
“Kalla’s passing at the young age of 47 is a great loss, not only to us in the CoD, but to the whole Namibian nation and especially his wife Ria and children, his brothers, sisters and extended family. He left us in the prime of his life when there was so much he could still contribute,” the CoD said in a short statement issued yesterday.
Close friends said Gertze, who was a Swapo detainee in Lubango for six years, spent his time and resources to find closure on his time in the dungeons.
“He died without that closure,” a friend who did not want to be named said.
Gertze was born in Otjimbingue in 1960. He went into exile in 1978 and studied at the UN Institute for Namibia (Unin) in Lusaka, Zambia.
He then went to France where he completed a BA degree and a teaching diploma. He later returned to France to complete a Degree in Specialised Superior Studies and a Master of Arts in Linguistic Theories and Literature at the Metz University of France.
Gertze was one of the founding members of the CoD and later served as the party’s secretary general from 2004 to 2007. In 2005, he became a Member of Parliament after leaving a lecturing post at Unam.
Gertze leaves behind his wife and five children.