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Namibia buries leader who campaigned against apartheid

June 24, 2017

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Namibians have gathered for a state funeral for Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, an independence leader who was jailed during South Africa’s era of white minority rule.

Ya Toivo’s flag-draped casket was driven through Windhoek on Saturday before its transfer to Heroes Acre, a burial site on the outskirts of the Namibian capital.

In a speech, President Hage Geingob described ya Toivo, who died June 9 at age 92, as a “symbol of defiance against tyranny and oppression.”

Ya Toivo was a founder of Swapo, the anti-apartheid movement that evolved into Namibia’s ruling party after independence in 1990.

South Africa’s white minority government had controlled South West Africa, the name for Namibia before independence. Ya Toivo was jailed for 16 years on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was also held.

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