A Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) founder, politician Marcelino dos Santos, died on Tuesday, February 11, in Maputo at the age of 90 struggling a long-term illness, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, the President of the Republic, confirmed the news from the city of Pemba, Cabo Delgado.
Nyusi said in his speech that ‘Comrade Marcelino dos Santos was the nation’s icon and people have lost their hero. He also promised that more details would be made public soon.
“We will organise ourselves, as a government, because he has already been declared a national hero in 2015”, he added.
Born on May 20, 1929, in Lumbo, Mozambique Island district, in the northern province of Nampula, he was destined to become a defender and fighter for the rights of his compatriots in those difficult days. He was deeply involved in nationalist policies from an early age.
When he was 19 he went to Portugal for education and spent three years there. Being under close monitoring by the Portuguese political police, the PIDE, he fled to France where he worked with many other exiled African nationalists. Alongside the Angolan Mario Pinto de Andrade, and the leader of the Guinea-Bissau liberation struggle, Amilcar Cabral, he founded the Conference of Nationalist Organisations of the Portuguese Colonies (CONCP) in 1961 and became General Secretary of this organisation.
In 1962 he became a founding member of FRELIMO and served as the party’s deputy president from 1969 to 1977.
From some time to the date of his death, the Frelimo veteran no longer made public appearances because his state of health declined up to the time.