Last respects to James Vigne
The Speaker of the National Assembly Hon Prof Peter Katjavivi and his wife Jane, visited London last week to attend the memorial service of anti-apartheid activist, James Randolph Vigne. Prof Katjavivi delivered a special message from the Namibian people and from the President HE, Dr Hage Geingob.
“We are gathered here to celebrate Randolph’s life because he made a great impact on all of us who knew him and appreciated what he stood for. Personally, I remember Randolph as a compassionate person, who gave himself for the cause of freedom and independence of both Namibia and South Africa. To this end, he actively devoted his time to assist the struggle for the freedom and liberation of Namibia by working with Namibians particularly in the area of solidarity and public awareness in the United Kingdom. He provided a dedicated leadership for the Friends of Namibia Committee, which was later transformed into the Namibia Support Committee” said Katjavivi in his eulogy.
“The grouping enlisted a number of men and women of various ages, of goodwill, who promoted the cause for Namibia’s self-determination. I worked closely with Randolph, along with many of our international friends in the solidarity movement, during my time as the SWAPO Chief Representative of its UK and Western Europe Office in the late 1960s-70s” he said.
Reading the President’s message, he said “As members of Swapo, we share very fond memories of James who visited our offices and camps in Tanzania, Zambia and Angola. These were dark days fraught with great peril but the character of the man and his dedication to the cause of freedom was palpable to all of us.”
“Like many of us he was forced to flee his country of birth escaping arrest in 1964 spending 30 years abroad campaigning agaist the Apartheid regime in South Africa and the occupation of Namibia where he also chaired the Namibia Support Committee and became a member of the Anti-Apartheid movement.”
“Humanity is grateful for James Randolph Vigne, a man whose dedication and passionate concern for those who were oppressed drove him towards a life of sacrifice, suffering and struggle. His undeniable heroism has helped contribute to human progress in Namibia, South Africa and the African continent as a whole.”