Maxuilili hated shacks in Namibia

Those that attended a service at Walvis Bay on Saturday celebrating the legacy of the late freedom fighter Nathanael Maxuilili said shacks at the town would not have existed if he were still alive.

Two panelists born at Walvis Bay, Ruusa Shipiki and former parliamentarian Ben Amathila, associated with the freedom fighter on a regular basis during the liberation struggle.

They said Maxuilili wanted good living conditions for residents instead of shacks.

Maxuilili did not want people to live in shacks.

“When we moved from the old location, we left a history of people burning in shacks in the 40s and 50s and properties being destroyed. It was not that he did not want the people. His feelings were based on experience,” said Amathila.

NO TO GETTOS … Friends and family of the late Nathanael Maxuilili say they re- member him often saying the town will not have shacks as long as he lives. Photo: Taati Niilenge
Nathanael Maxuilili

“He would have been disappointed with the ghettos at Walvis Bay. People migrated and the working class moved to Walvis Bay looking for greener pastures. He realised that the town was based on racism and part of the racism was to have these small-boxed houses. The infrastructure was not ready for the influx,” said Shipiki.

Another Walvis Bay resident, King Muatunga, who was a former mayor of the town, said the town would have been in a better position if Maxuilili had not died prematurely.

“His aim was for everyone to have their own decent living conditions. That is why he also fiercely fought against the compound system, where contract workers at the town were forced to live at the Kuisebmond hostel, which was also not suitable,” said Muatunga.

Residents said that apart from not wanting Namibians to live in inhumane conditions, the late Maxuilili was impartial, with a vision for all Namibians to benefit equally from Namibia’s independence.

The memorial event was held at Walvis Bay, to honour the late Maxuilili’s legacy during the liberation struggle of Namibia.

Maxuilili was killed in a head-on collision at Walvis Bay on 23 June 1999 as he was being transported to receive emergency medical treatment in Cape Town.

An ambulance was taking him to the Rooikop airport when the accident occurred.

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