By John Ekongo
The late Joseph Ithana will be laid to rest on Saturday, May 10 in the Pionierspark Cemetery here in the capital.
The day before the burial, a memorial service will be held for him at the Hossiana Lutheran Church in Katutura, at 17h00. Ithana was an active member of the congregation.
The funeral will proceed from Ursula Street No. 6, Ludwigsdorf to the cemetery from 07h00, Saturday morning.
Ithana died in the Roman Catholic Hospital on Monday morning after a long battle with cancer.
Relatives of the late Ithana informed New Era that President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma have confirmed their attendance already.
The death of the late Ithana is perceived as a blow to Swapo Party, which has over a short time lost four eminent personalities.
On March 14 the party lost former Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister John Pandeni who tragically died in a motor vehicle accident, and 11 days later on March 25, another Swapo stalwart Niko Bessinger died at his Khomasdal residence after suffering a heart attack. He had been battling cancer and diabetes for some time.
The next day Julia Nepembe, Ongwediva Councillor and Swapo Party Women’s Council Regional Coordinator for Oshana, also died of natural causes at her house at Ongwediva March 26.
Ithana is credited with promoting gender balance in the public service amongst many things, and was instrumental in the restructuring of the civil service, which had inherited most of its technocrats from the previous dispensation.
Ithana was born in Osona in Okahandja district, on January 23, 1938.
The late Ithana is described as a peace-loving man, a patriot and an outstanding comrade who dedicated his whole life to the just struggle of the Namibian people.