Today, 13 June 2017, President Hage G. Geingob formally conferred the honour of national hero status upon the Late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo (born August 22, 1924 and died on June 09, 2017). With that proclamation, the President further directed that a State Funeral be held in honour of the Late Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo.

As is customary with this announcement the remains of Ya Toivo will be interred at the Heroes Acre and it is directed that all flags in Namibia be flown at half-mast with effect from Wednesday, June 21, 2017 until Saturday, June 24th 2017, the date of the official State Funeral. Those dates also constitute the official period of mourning.    -End-


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 Founding President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Sam Nujoma (left), Toivo ya Toivo (right)

Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo is no more

New Era, 9 June 2017

Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Namibia’s iconic son, liberation struggle hero and former Robben Island prisoner, is no more. He passed away this afternoon at the age of 92 years. Born on 22 August 1924, ya Toivo was the co-founder of the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), as well as the founder of the Ovambo People’s Organisation (OPO) in 1959. He spent 16 years on Robben Island.

Namibian hero Toivo is no more

The Namibian, 2017-06-09, by Staff Reporter

STRUGGLE icon and former Robben Island prisoner, Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, has died today.

NM20141104026He was 92.

Ya Toivo played a crucial role as a founder member of Swapo in the 1950s, in fact the main force behind the creation of OPO, the fore-runner of Swapo.

For his strong beliefs and convictions, he endured arrest, imprisonment, detention and harassment at the hands of the colonial authorities.

Along with the late South African freedom figther Nelson Mandela, Ya Toivo was incarcerated on the notorious Robben Island Prison, where he was imprisoned for a period of 16 years, enduring long periods of solitary confinement and other forms of harsh treatment.

That was after he and 36 other Namibians were arrested on 9 September 1966 by members of the South African security forces in the north. They were charged under the Terrorism Act and on 9 February 1968 he was found guilty of contravening the act and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

After his conviction he made a statement to the court and said: “I know that the struggle will be long and bitter. I also know that my people will wage that struggle, whatever the cost. Only when we are granted our independence will the struggle stop”.

Throughout his years at Robben Island Ya Toivo refused to recognise South Africa's jurisdiction over Namibia and was the real troublemaker for the prison authorities. For instance, on 18 April 1970 Ya Toivo demanded that all Namibians be transferred back to their country and called for a drastic improvement of the medical services on Robben Island.

He personified courage and steadfast commitment to the struggle. “Quite militant”. This is how Nelson Mandela once described Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, with whom he spent around ten years in the same section on Robben Island. Two years after he was released, Madiba recalled Toivo in a conversation with Richard Stengel, who collaborated with him on his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. “He was quite militant,” Madiba said. “He wanted very little to do with whites, with the warders.”

After Independence, he served in various ministerial positions until his retirement in 2006 and was also involved with, among others the Red Cross and the fight for the release of the Cuban Five. His last public appearance was this week at the Cuba-African conference.

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