Hendrik Witbooi (politician)

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The Honorable
Hendrik Witbooi
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
President Sam Nujoma
Preceded by position established
Succeeded by Libertina Amathila
Minister of Labour and Manpower Development
In office
21 March 1990 – 1995
President Sam Nujoma
Preceded by position established
Personal details
Born (1934-01-07) 7 January 1934 (age 84)
Gibeon, Hardap Region
Died (2009-10-13)13 October 2009
Nationality Namibian
Political party SWAPO
Occupation Politician

Reverend Dr Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi (traditional name ǃNanseb ǀGabemab, 7 January 1934, in Gibeon – 13 October 2009, in Windhoek) was a Namibian politician and the seventh Captain of the ǀKhowesin clan.[1] A member of SWAPO from 1976 until his death, Witbooi brought with him several clans of Namaqua into the liberation organisation.

Imprisoned numerous times during the Namibian War of Independence, Witbooi was first elected as Vice-President of SWAPO in 1984 and was re-elected for the last time in 1997. A member of the Constituent Assembly in 1989-90, Witbooi served in the National Assembly until his 2004 retirement, including a stint (1990-1995) as Minister of Labour and Manpower Development.[2]

Witbooi became Namibia's first Deputy Prime Minister in 1995. He served in that position until 2004.

In October 2009, it was reported that Witbooi was facing major medical problems and had slipped into a coma at the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek.[3] On 13 October, Witbooi died at the Roman Catholic Hospital due to cancer.[4]


Witbooi was the great-grandson of Hendrik Witbooi, the early resistance leader who led his chiefly followers against European colonisation.[1]


  1. ^ a b Dierks, Klaus. "Biographies of Namibian Personalities, W". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Official biography from the National Assembly of Namibia Archived September 19, 2003, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Witbooi critical The Namibian, 13 October 2009[dead link]
  4. ^ Reverend Witbooi passes The Namibian, 14 October 2009[dead link]