Hoffmann removed from Nama genocide committee

Activist alleges signatures were forged

28 September 2017 | Local News

Genocide activist Ida Hoffmann is challenging an alleged decision by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) taken at a special meeting on 20 September to have her removed as convener and chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee.

According to a summary of the meeting issued by the NTLA, it was resolved that the Nama Traditional Leaders and the NTLA would no longer recognise Hoffmann as their representative on any internal instruments, bodies or institutions.

It states that OvaHerero and Ovamanderu representatives were informed not to communicate with Hoffmann on genocide matters.

The notice was sent out on a letterhead of the NTLA and was apparently signed by Chief Petrus Kooper and Chief Dawid Frederick.

Hoffmann on Tuesday said no explanation was given for this drastic step.

In a letter addressed to the two Nama chiefs, Hoffmann insisted that the NTLA notice was not addressed to her personally and was, therefore, a public document.

She said Kooper's and Frederick's signatures were forged (“copied and pasted”) and described the document as highly unprofessional and cowardly.

Hoffmann said the NTLA did not have the authority to tell her not to involve herself in the affairs of Nama traditional communities.

“I will and shall involve myself since their problems are of national and particular concern to me,” responded Hoffmann, adding that she would continue her work, which she had started without the involvement of the NTLA.

She said the Nama Genocide Technical Committee had always operated as an autonomous organisation and that it had in fact assisted and guided the work of the NTLA.

“The NTLA joined a train that was already up and running. Therefore, the withdrawal of the mandate letter has no positive or negative effect on the way forward for me [and the genocide committee],” Hoffmann wrote.

She added: “Whether you like it or not I will continue to contribute in whatever way to the social, economic and political upliftment of the Nama people with or without your support. You will wait in vain for the day I will stand back.”

In her letter to the NTLA, Hoffmann said she was on her way to New York for the genocide court case and vowed to continue participating in discussions and conferences on the case.

The chairperson of the NTLA, Lazarus Kairabeb, could not be reached for comment.

CATHERINE SASMAN