The President of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mrs. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, both reacted with shock upon learning of the untimely death of Ambassador Hanno Rumpf.
President Geingob only received the sad news upon his arrival in Addis Ababa where he and Mrs. Nandi-Ndaitwah are currently attending the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union.
In a tweet Dr. Geingob said: “I have learned with sadness about the untimely death of Comrade Hanno Rumpf. Namibia has lost an illustrious son and SWAPO is poorer without a Freedom Fighter of the calibre of Comrade Rumpf. My condolences to his family, comrades and friends. May his soul Rest in Peace.”
In an official statement the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mrs. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said she has learnt with profound sadness of the passing of Ambassador Rumpf.
“Ambassador Rumpf has served Namibia and its people before independence and after independence with single minded dedication. He was a man of unbending principles. His bravery refused to be conscripted into the apartheid army of occupation to fight against his own people. For this, Hanno suffered ostracism by his friends. He was unyielding and fled the country to join the liberation struggle in exile.”
She said Ambassador Rumpf was a consummate diplomat and skillful negotiator who served the Republic of Namibia with distinction as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, with concurrent accreditation to the Federal Republic of Austria and the United Nations in Vienna. He also served as Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels and the Benelux countries, before retiring in 2015.
During his diplomatic tours, he endeared himself as a gentle giant both intellectually and through the warmth of his caring character to his peers and interlocutors at all levels. Through his unshaken and principled dedication and commitment to serving the people and government of Namibia, he distinguished himself as a forceful and ardent voice and promoter for socio-economic development, progress and well-being of the people of his country.
Since his retirement in 2015, he continued to impart his vast knowledge and diplomatic expertise to the Ministry and served as a member of the Namibia Association of Retired Ambassadors, until the time of his demise.
Ambassador Rumpf was a man of peace and he was dedicated to the well being of the Namibian people. He will be remembered as a hardworking, friendly person, whose dedication and commitment over his career has contributed towards shaping Namibia’s diplomacy and International Relations, particularly in strengthening bilateral relations between Namibia and the EU, at an economic level.
“On behalf of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, I extend our heartfelt condolences and deep sympathy to the bereaved family and friends of Ambassador Rumpf. His legacy as a tireless advocate in the fight against injustice and for freedom and independence of his country, and as a distinguished Diplomat will not be forgotten. He will be dearly missed by all of us. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Back home in Swakopmund, a domestic worker who was in the employ of the late Ambassador Rumpf got worried after he heard nothing from his employer for four days and consequently decided to inform the Namibian Police about the strange state of affairs
The late Namibian Ambassador Rumpf had two domestic employees who worked three days per week at his residence in Martin Luther Street in the Kramersdorf neighbourhood in Swakopmund.
According to the official police report provided by the Erongo Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, the pair of domestic workers last saw their employer alive on Monday 4 February.
“When they arrived for work on Wednesday the house was locked and the alarm activated. They tried to call him and cell phone messages stayed unanswered. They thought Mr. Rumpf was sleeping and they decided not to disturb him. When they got no answer they decided to return to their houses. When they returned on Friday they found the same situation and after more unanswered calls and messages, decided to contact the police.”
Deputy Commissioner Iikuyu said that officers accompanied by the Swakopmund Fire Brigade entered the house through an open window and discovered the former ambassador’s lifeless body next to his bed on the second story of his residence.
Ambassador Rumpf was certified dead at the scene by the family Doctor who, according to Deputy Commissioner Iikuyu, informed investigators that the he suffered from a heart condition.