Namibian struggle icon Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo died at the age of 93 in Windhoek on Friday, the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) reported.
Namibian President Hage Geingob announced his death on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) news on Friday night. He expressed condolences to the family, saying their loss was felt by the whole Namibian nation.
Ya Toivo was an anti-apartheid activist, politician, and political prisoner active in the pre-independence movement and one of the co-founders of the South West African People’s Organisation (Swapo) in 1960, and its predecessor the Ovamboland People’s Organisation (OPO) in 1959, Nampa reported.
He served 16 years in Robben Island prison in South Africa, in the same section as former South African president Nelson Mandela. Ya Toivo was released from prison in 1984 and rejoined Swapo in exile in Lusaka, Zambia.
He returned to Namibia in 1989 and served as a member of parliament and cabinet minister. He retired from active politics in 2006, Nampa reported.