THERE is a real possibility that former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi who was killed in combat in February 2002 and whose remains were exhumed earlier this year, will be reburied.
Pending final positive identification, the reburial is provisionally scheduled for Africa Day on the 25th of May 2019, an interesting coincidence according to some observers.
The former leader of UNITA, who is considered a villain by some and a national hero by others, was buried without any honours in the eastern Moxico province.
UNITA leaders have for the past 17 years persistently demanded a proper burial for their slain leader, but former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos steadfastly rejected the idea.
However, his successor Joao Lourenco has taken a totally different approach.
The government and UNITA initially agreed on “a dignified reburial” for Savimbi and the date was initially set as the 6th of April but the event had to be postponed because the DNA test results were not yet available.
Savimbi’s body was exhumed earlier this year and samples sent to laboratories in Portugal, Spain, Argentine and South Africa.
According to the Angolan media the DNA test results are now available and Africa Day, the 25th of May, is being suggested as the date for Savimbi’s reburial, what some observers say would be an “interesting coincidence”.
Savimbi was the foreign minister of the Revolutionary Angolan Government in Exile and, in that capacity, was a founder member of the Organization of African Unity on 25 May 1963, having served as secretary of a committee that drafted the founding documents for the OAU’s Liberation Committee.
Savimbi founded UNITA in 1966 to fight against Portuguese colonialism and from 1975 to 2002 waged a brutal war against the MPLA government with which he signed several failed ceasefire agreements.
The death of Savimbi in 2002 brought an end to a civil war that caused untold suffering to Namibians living in northern regions.