South Africa will hand-over the remains of former Angola Deputy Chief of Staff Of the army and UNITA commander General Arlindo Chenda Pena “Ben Ben”. He died in South Africa in October 1998 while he was being treated for Malaria.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha will hand over the remains to his Angolan counterpart at the Waterkloof Airbase in Pretoria on Thursday morning.
General Arlindo Pena “Ben-Ben” served as the military commander of UNITA under his uncle Jonas Savimbi, and after independence when UNITA became part of the peace settlement and Pena became Army Chief of Staff.
At the time of his death, international mediators were relentlessly undertaking efforts to stall a return to outright hostilities. But the civil war would continue until 2002 when Savimbi was killed in a clash with government troops.
Pena’s repatriation comes after President Joao Lourenco’s undertaking that Savimbi – who was buried in Angola’s eastern Moxico province, where he died – can be also be exhumed and given a dignified funeral by the end of the year.