Mixed reactions to Louis Pienaar’s death
Namibia’s former Administrator-General Louis Pienaar - who died at Cape Town on Monday - has been described as both a hero and villain by Namibian politicians yesterday.
The 86-year-old died at his home, South African media reports said.
His death has been described as a loss by DTA President Katuutire Kaura, but Swapo Secretary General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana did not have kind words for the man who ruled Namibia between 1985 and 1990.
While Kaura argues that Pienaar was key to the implementation of a United Nations (UN) resolution that led to Namibia’s independence, Iivula-Ithana said the nation endured atrocities under his rule.
In 1985, the South African apartheid government put him in charge of Namibia, in the lead-up to the country's independence in 1990.
Kaura said he had known Pienaar for years – describing him as an intellectual of high dedication.
The DTA leader said: “He was a dedicated man who helped Namibia gain her independence. He dedicated himself to the full implementation of resolution 435.”
Namibians should not forget the role played by Pienaar in a build-up to independence, the DTA President said.
“He was particularly active in 1989. He played a big role in the process that led to the lowering of the South African flag and hoisting of the Namibian flag on March 21, 1990,” Kaura argued.
Iivula-Ithana described Pienaar’s death as unfortunate, because ‘he was a human being’, but charged that the former administrator stood in the way of Namibia’s self-determination.
“Of course we do not celebrate the death of fellow human beings, but his passing signals the end of the colonial generation,” she remarked.