By John Ekongo
The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), yesterday joined the nation in mourning the late John Pandeni, the erstwhile Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.
Pandeni, a former trade unionist played a pivotal role in the history of the labour movement, when him and other trade unionists like Ben Ulenga, Petrus Iilonga and Bernhardt Essau, were instrumental in the re-establishment of the labour movement in Namibia during the 1980s.
Pandeni was to become the first secretary general of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau), which he led from 1985 until 1992, when he became a regional councillor for the Soweto Constituency in the Khomas Region.
“We as workers mourn the untimely death of our comrade. His contribution to the development of our country is immeasurable and we as the workers have lost a true pioneer, a great son and an outstanding national leader”, says Evalistus Kaaronda, secretary general of NUNW.
Kaaronda added that as a trade unionist, Pandeni contributed immensely to the upliftment of Namibian workers “through his tireless and selfless efforts as an outstanding leader of the dehumanised Namibian workers”.
“We pray that his loved ones and all of us as Namibian workers will be strengthened by the grace of God during this time of bereavement”.