|Nankudhu dies in poverty|
|Written by Marianne Nghidengwa|
|Thursday, 23 June 2011 08:19|
A WEEK before his death, John Otto Nankudhu revealed how he was looking forward to setting up personal projects that would see the well-being of the marginalised improve.|
In his personal account to this reporter, Nankudhu who himself was marginalised and died a lonely man, said after stepping down as councillor of the Greenwell Matongo Constituency late last year, he was set on moving away from politics which he had been in since 1965.
“Working with politicians was fun but stressful. I now chose to work closely with people because one can reason with them and plant hope and vision for change,” Nankudhu said in his rented room in Wanaheda while awaiting renovations to his three-bedroomed house also in the same suburb.
The war veteran who seemed withdrawn at times and forceful at others throughout the interview, happily spoke about his family and how he was looking forward to finally settling in his house that was under renovation by the Ministry of Veteran Affairs with his young children who were living in Havana and Greenwell Matongo respectively.
“The house is still under renovation. It’s just a matter of time before I go get them so they live closer to me,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude towards those he had worked with. “It wasn’t easy,” the senior hero said with a smile in what can now be considered as his last interview with media.
Nankudhu was found dead at around 06h00 in the morning in a toilet next to his room where he had been a lessee since April this year by his friend, Paulus Barnabas.
He lived in the rented room alone and was left to care for himself saying “There is not much here but it is temporary. I am alone so cooking does prove to be difficult for me.”
Barnabas said Nankudhu was in his usual cheerful spirit the night before his death, saying “We spent the day together. There was nothing wrong with him. He later went to his room where he was going to cook. Before I went to sleep he called me once more just to check up on me.”
Nankudhu was one of the first commanders of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) the military wing of the Swapo Party in 1965 and served 20-years on the notorious South African Robben Island Prison.
He is said to have fired one of the first bullets against the apartheid South African forces at Omugulugwambashe, in the Omusati Region.
Nankudhu revealed that he too was an organiser of the Namibian Food Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) saying it was through working closely with unions that led him to being a councillor.
An autopsy is expected to be performed soon to establish the cause of his death since he died in the toilet within the compound where he lived.
Nankudhu is survived by his wife Jacobina and five children. Funeral arrangements are still being made.