Windhoek-The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation says books of condolence for the revered anti-apartheid struggle icon, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, would soon be opened at embassies around the world.
Ya Toivo died last Friday at the age of 92 in Windhoek.
International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Peya Mushelenga yesterday said the government initially had been waiting for a final portrait of Ya Toivo for use with the books of condolence at the embassies.
He said the family have since provided a portrait and President Hage Geingob is expected to sign it off officially.
“We will be informed as to when the books of condolence will be opened. First we were waiting for the declaration of the national mourning days. The choice of the picture was left to the family. We were waiting for the family to provide an official picture, but they have decided and finalised it now. Everything will be announced in due course as to when the books of condolence will be opened,” he stated.
National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi, who formally announced Ya Toivo’s death to the House on Tuesday, said Ya Toivo’s life was shaped by the liberation struggle, so much so that his life should become public knowledge.
A moment of silence was observed in the National Assembly to honour the fallen giant.
Katjavivi noted Ya Toivo was a man whose character could have summarily been described as unassuming and highly principled, adding he had great faith in the cause of his people and was an anchor for activism.
“In other words, he was a rallying point committed to the common good for all. May our good Lord rest his soul in eternal peace.”
Starting Wednesday next week (June 21), all national flags will be flown at half-mast in honour of Ya Toivo, according to a presidential proclamation.
Geingob, who formally conferred the honour of national hero status on Ya Toivo on Tuesday, said flags are to be flown at half-mast until Ya Toivo’s burial at Heroes Acre next week Saturday, June 24. In the proclamation the president further directed that a state funeral be held.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Permanent Secretary, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana, in an interview said vigils are continuing at the residence of late Ya Toivo to offer mourners an opportunity to pay homage and deliver their message of condolence.
He revealed that yesterday the casket would travel to his hometown of Ondangwa where a memorial service would be held on Friday at Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Secondary School, at Oluno in the same town.
He added the casket would then return to Windhoek on Saturday and vigils would continue throughout the week until his burial.
The final memorial service will be held on June 23 in Windhoek and the hero’s send-off will be on June 24 at Heroes Acre.
The P.S. said the government in collaboration with the family has set up a national preparatory committee on logistics for the funeral. The venue for the memorial service in Windhoek is yet to be decided. It is expected that the directors of ceremony for the service would be Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, deputised by Ambassador Tuliameni Kalomoh.
The head of the Anglican Church would deliver the main sermon at the memorial service in the north. The directors of ceremony for the memorial service in the north are expected to be former prime minister Nahas Angula, deputised by Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh.