Whites must surrender ‘stolen property’

Swanu wants to stop reparations talks

24 November 2016 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES

Swanu president Usutuaije Maamberua has called on the Namibian government to immediately suspend the genocide reparation negotiations with Germany, saying they undermine the affected parties.

Maamberua also demanded that the government explain how it could negotiate on reparations when Germany had failed to officially apologise for the atrocities committed during the 1904-1908 Nama and OvaHerero genocide.

“An apology will determine reparations and inform the form of restitution. How can reparations be negotiated without an apology? In other words, it is only when we have agreed that the aggressor have apologised that we can negotiate. How do we know what the Germans will apologise for?” he asked.

According to him, an apology and reparations must be done separately and not in one process as the situation is currently.

“It is also expected that an unconditional apology be offered through a German parliamentary resolution as was the case with the apology for the Jews after the holocaust. It is also expected that the apology be delivered to Namibia by preferably the German chancellor or president as a way to express its remorse,” he urged.

Restitution

Maamberua further said the local white community, who have “unduly benefited” from the spoils of genocide, must also be part of the restitution process.

“What was taken from us was the land, assets and many other things and these things are here in Namibia under the possession of some of our white compatriots. They must be engaged to determine what is going to come from them – they have to surrender,” he said.

According to him, the pre-imposed genocide land grab by white people cannot be legitimised by apartheid laws.

“Stolen goods are stolen goods, no one is entitled to stolen property, and there is no law that allows the acquisition of stolen property. Therefore, they must come to the table so that they can discuss what they will surrender,” Maamberua said.

Resettlement

Maamberua urged the government to change the land resettlement policy so that only those communities who lost land during colonialism benefit. He further urged the government to give special priority to poor people who have no land.

“We want government to be realistic and stop resettling those who can afford to buy farms. This practice is unfair and creates tension,” he said.