Cassinga survivors leave for Angola

08 May 2018 | Events

NAMPA

A group of nearly 210 Cassinga massacre survivors on Monday left for Angola to participate in the late 40th commemoration of Cassinga Day.

The group was scheduled to leave on 29 April to observe the day on 4 May, but the trip was cancelled due to the official commemoration held in Namibia, where the Angolan president João Lourenço was a guest of honour.

In an interview with Nampa before the departure here, the chairperson of the national committee organising the trip, Ignatius Mwanyekange, said the committee had been organising the trip since 2016 to observe the 40th commemoration in Angola at the site of the massacre.

“It is important to commemorate at the site where the massacre happened because 40 is a big number,” he said.

Among the activities expected on Saturday are the observation of the day, story-telling and viewing of videos relating to the massacre.

Mwanyekange further noted that the group will hand over second-hand clothes to the communities around Cassinga which the survivors had collected over the last two years.

The group includes police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga, Omusati governor Erginus Endjala and the deputy minister of veterans’ affairs, Hilma Nicanor.

The Cassinga massacre occurred on 4 May 1978, when South African Defence Force (SADF) planes flew over the Swapo refugee camp at Cassinga in southern Angola and dropped bombs, destroying infrastructure and killing close to 600 Namibians, among them children and women who were accommodated at the camp.

About 400 people were wounded.

Cassinga is located about 300 kilometres north of the Namibia-Angola border.

In 2016, a group of 217 Namibians undertook a similar trip to Angola for the observation.

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