Who killed Lyaboloma?


By Risco Lumamezi

Ms. Makazo Muyaukwa, Wife of Judea Lyaboloma at Linyanti Village

CELEBRATING 20 years of Namibia’s independence anniversary on 21 March this year from the colonial administrators, this paper has caught up with the heroine and a widow, Ms. Makazo Muyaukwa (78) a resident of Linyanti village some 75 KM in the southern part of Caprivi wife of late Judea Lyaboloma, an eyewitness who tells how her husband was killed by the former South African regime at Pretoria.

“It all started in 1968, when we were attending the church gathering at Makanga, Boers came in and took my husband out for interrogations,” said Makazo.

 1968 was a different year of struggle, people of Caprivi Strip at the time were persecuted, and some were fleeing to neighbouring countries such as Zambia for refuge.

 After hearing that Mr. Lyaboloma was a full member of the Caprivi African National Union (CANU), a political party for Caprivians, which joined SWAPO to fight for the independence of Namibia, it became a threat to the South African colonial masters.

Mr. Lyaboloma he was then taken to Pretoria where he was brutal killed.

 “I was taken by the South African Police after they took my husband to RSA, I was preparing my traditional porridge (Itanga) at my field, and Boers came to me with Mr. David Lopa Mbeha (Home Guard) they told me that I was needed by Inspector Malan (Chief of the Police in Caprivi Strip) at Ngweze now Katima Mulilo”

Mrs. Lyaboloma was then taken to the Airport where she jets to South Africa “we went to Mpacha Airport; they called me to enter the Aircraft while I was seven (7) months pregnant, they locked me at the side back of the plane in the room of the cats”.

She said when they reached their destination in South Africa at Pretoria Airport, “It took me long hours sited in their office, I was with Mr. Busihu the police officer called (Home Guard at the time) who was a black who went with me, they were lot of Boers surrounding me talking what I did not understand”. Remembers Makazo.

 According to her, it took her a month without knowing whether her husband was alive or not “they later took my husband for me to see him, they were all whites and I was afraid, they gave me a pen to sign, I stayed there for a month, and I counted my eighth pregnancy month while there.”

 She only saw the dead body of her late husband after they have killed him when they took off his cloth in a sleeping bag for her to see him and was then taken back to the Caprivi Strip.

Late Mr. Judea Lyaboloma was killed and buried in Pretoria by apartheid Boers. None of the people who knows his grave. Because of threats, late Lyabolomo ‘s children grew up without using his proper names. The family decided to change names of the late Lyaboloma and his children started using a surname of his younger brother Mr. Siyata and his other children since he was married to three wives, and some of his children used Kulobone the name of his elder brother in fear of persecutions since after he was killed they were fears from the SAP to call his name.

At her sadden after achieving the independence in 1990, Mrs. Lyaboloma and her children have alleged that they have been side-lined for any fruit that would reward the sacrifice of her late husband who was killed by the South African Police and has since being knocking up and down from the previous councillors and the current Councillor of Linyanti Constituency, Hon. Dorothy Kabula, SWAPO Regional office and the Ministry of Veterans Affairs but all in vain.

“I need help from the government for my suffering and my late husband who was killed for the independence of this country. In 2006 they told me to get away of their office and they said, they will call me till now nothing happened”

Mrs Lyaboloma’s first-born son with late Lyaboloma, Mr. Michael Mukumeli Siyata also died in exile still the same story that nothing she received. Her second born daughter Tosca Siyata did not finish her school and dropped her primary education (Standard 2) in 1979.

“I started feeding myself at a younger age, selling grass which I was cutting in the forest, because they were nobody who was taking care of us when my father passed away” said Tosca, daughter of Lyaboloma.

Her last-born son Muyahe who was in her womb when she was arrested by the South African Police is also unemployed and only getting a living on piece of works. When asked on how she survives, she started getting her old age pension very late in 1996 at the age of 64 instead of 60 years as stated by the Ministry of Social Welfare.

In 2004 at Masida Village during an inauguration ceremony of the graves honouring those Caprivians who were killed by the apartheid South Africa regime due to political freedom“Dr. Ngarikutuke Tjiriange while being a (SWAPO Secretary General) promised us that he will give us help up to now nothing, said the two daughters of late Lyaboloma.

 “He said he will collect the soil of my father where he was buried in Pretoria, we wrote several letters to the former president Dr. Sam Nujoma, no response.”

They said. Mr. Judea Lyaboloma was arrested in 1968 at Nziba Village in Makanga area while attending a church service.

Asked for feedback, from Dr. Tjiriange, Minister of Veterans Affairs proved futile and Mr. Frederick Mwala Matongo the special advisor to minister Tjiriange told Caprivi Vision that the ministry is still in the process to consider those heroes and heroines who were in the country at the time of the liberation struggle.

“Nobody has received anything for those who did not go to exile, they should be patient” explained Matongo.

Several cohorts of CANU and SWAPO in Caprivi and Namibia have been allegedly killed by the former South African apartheid and some went missing while in exile.

Namibian Ministry of Veterans Affairs was formed in 2007 after consultations with other sister countries in SADC region, before that former plan freedom fighters have been deployed in the Army, Police, Prison services and other GRN departments.

While some of the members of the Former South West African Territory Force (SWATF) joined the Namibia Defence Force in 1990, old age and hand capped ex-plan combatants are receiving a monthly pension of N$2000 and to date children of the Liberation Struggle have and are still joining government security forces.






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