Chief Kauluma laid to rest

ILENI NANDJATO

18 February 2019 | People

The deputy chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Namibia, Chief Immanuel #Nu Axa /Gaseb, has urged young Namibians to emulate the virtues and qualities of the late Peter Shimweefeleni Kauluma, whom he described as a selfless leader full of wisdom.

Kauluma, who died in a Windhoek hospital on 11 February, was buried at his home village of Ongula yaNetanga in the Ohangwena Region at the weekend.

Although Kauluma was only known as a traditional leader, he was one of the founder members of Ovamboland People's Congress (OPC) in 1957, along with the late Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, Emile Apollus, and Kuhangwaand Mifima.

The OPC later became the Ovamboland People's Organisation (OPO), which was then transformed into the South West African People's Organisation (Swapo).

Though he was dismissed by the Ondonga king, Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, Kauluma was still the recognised and gazetted chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority at the time of his death.

/Gaseb said the Ondonga community had lost a man who was always ready to serve his community.

“Tatekulu Kauluma was a remarkable person with a very good heart and he was always straightforward. He was a personal friend to King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas and up to the king's illness he extended his support, guidance and leadership to the council of traditional leaders. He was instrumental in helping the council to steer the ship during the difficult time when the chairperson was not there,” /Gaseb said.

“I had to take the reins of the council and Kauluma was always there to support. I therefore urge his children, grandchildren and indeed all the youth to emulate Kauluma's qualities.

Kauluma was the brother of the first Namibian bishop of the Anglican diocese in the country, the late James Hamupanda Kauluma.

He is survived by 12 children and five siblings.

On behalf of his children, his daughter, Dr Rahja Kauluma, described her father as their best friend who always listened to their problems and offered them support and guidance, but never spoiled them.

Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba said Kauluma was his friend and a source of wisdom. He said he could always visit Kauluma whenever he needed advice.

President Hage Geingob's message, which was read by Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said when the war of national liberation intensified in the mid-1970s, Kauluma was arrested by the apartheid regime in 1976 and was incarcerated without charges.

He was accused of aiding guerrilla fighters of the People's Liberation Army of Namibian (PLAN), Swapo's military wing.

“Although he was subjected to degrading and dehumanising torture at the hands of the enemy, the revolutionary spirit that coursed through his body allowed him to resist all attempts to break his will,” Geingob said.

“For 37 long years, Kauluma served Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas with unquestioning loyalty and dignity.

“He possessed a natural acumen for dealing with traditional matters and this was extremely valuable for Omukwaniilwa Elifas and the Ondonga community, particularly during the war of liberation.

“He continued to provide sound advice to Omukwaniilwa Elifas after independence as senior traditional councillor and chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority. Shimweefeleni was a person who personified kindness and humility,” Geingob said.

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