Talk to us, Mr President - Lubowski family

Slain activist’s children feel neglected

14 September 2021 | Local News



The family of late anti-apartheid activist Anton Lubowski – whose assassination on 12 September 1989 marked 32 years this past Sunday – say they continue to get the cold shoulder from President Hage Geingob, with whom they want to discuss the late icon’s legacy.

Lubowski’s children Almo and Nadia, speaking on Namibian Sun’s The Evening Review talk show last night, said while they are happy that the Geingob administration re-buried their father at Heroes’ Acre in 2015, there was nothing else done to recognise their father’s contribution to independence.

He officially joined Swapo in 1984, and is believed to have been the first white person to officially join the former liberation movement – to the chagrin of many fellow whites in Namibia at the time.

Although he held no official party position, Lubowski used to give public statements on behalf of Swapo, and initiated the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).

Almo, a lawyer and financial expert, said: “He was a white man who sacrificed to fight for the black majority who were the real victims of apartheid. White people were not affected and many chose to look away. Our father didn't”.

He made no secret of his intention to represent Namibia as ambassador in a foreign country, saying his skills and experience would benefit the country in this regard.

“I’ve made my intentions clear to the Namibian presidency but I haven’t gotten any answers. We are not asking for handouts but to be given an opportunity to contribute to the country of our birth,” the Cape Town-based man said.

The presidency did not provide comment when approached late yesterday.

‘Too great to ignore’

Nadia said her father’s contribution was “too great to ignore”.

In the evening of 12 September 1989, Lubowski was shot by a group of assailants in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in central Windhoek.

He was hit by several shots from an AK-47 automatic rifle and died from a bullet wound to his head. Although there has been much speculation about who was behind his murder and the arrest and release of a foreign hitman, Lubowksi's murder was never solved.

Donald 'Dolan' Acheson, who had previously served with the Rhodesian Army, was connected to the killing through the car he allegedly rented for the operation, which is said to have involved apartheid's infamous Civil Cooperation Bureau.

When Acheson was arrested in Windhoek, police found a piece of paper with numbers on it that led them to his handlers. Despite overwhelming evidence against him, Acheson was released after eight months in detention.

No one has been convicted for the killing to date.

“In the absence of justice, the next big thing you can do is a proper recognition and remembrance,” Almo said.

He added that his family has not received any financial benefits that recognised war veterans usually receive as a token of appreciation – which include a N$50 000 cash lump sum and N$200 000 funding for business projects.

It is not clear if the Lubowski family made any formal application for such assistance.

Destined for greatness

Former prime minister Nahas Angula said Lubowski would have made a notable contribution to Namibia after independence had he not been murdered.

Angula reflected on Lubowski’s life following the anniversary of his death on 12 September.

“He was a committed citizen for equality and justice. The situation in the 1980s was tough and the country was at war. Lubowski decided to be on the right side of history and the cost was death. We lost a comrade and Lubowski was destined to make a great contribution to an independent Namibia,” Angula said.

On remembering Lubowski, he said: “We have to bow our heads in remembrance to him”.

Reflecting on the work Lubowski had done prior to Namibia’s independence, Angula said Swapo had tasked him with finding accommodation for its exiled leaders that had returned to Namibia. He said he remembered working well with Lubowski shortly before independence.

The inspector-general of the Namibian police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, confirmed that no suspect had been apprehended for Lubowski’s death. “The police were involved, [but] there was no one arrested as suspects in that case. Many people fled from Namibia,” he said when approached for comment.