Genocide: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
22 September 2021 | Local News
Nudo parliamentarian Joseph Kauandenge yesterday asked National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi whether Parliament belongs to the people or to the ruling Swapo party, after security services shut out protestors by locking the gates with handcuffs.
Protestors who marched to the Tintenpalast in opposition to Germany’s N$18.4 billion Nama and Ovaherero genocide offer eventually jumped the gates and stormed the Parliament gardens, pushing barricades out of their way.
Kauandenge - along with Popular Democratic Movement’s (PDM) McHenry Venaani and Landless People’s Movement’s (LPM) Bernadus Swartbooi -joined the protestors as they jumped the fence and made their way to the steps of Parliament.
Venaani yesterday said the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier should stay in Germany and not come to Namibia, urging him instead to use his time to “fix the deal” and pay out the Nama and Ovaherero people the same way Germany compensated the Jews.
“The majority of the dependents for whom this deal is for are not happy with this deal. They are not happy with the construction and, secondly, the result that has been delivered. I have engaged the ruling party and President Hage Geingob, urging him to come to the table and do the right thing for the people whose parents have suffered these brutal acts,” he said.
Katjavivi said he regrets the atrocities of the genocide, adding that it is unacceptable and should never happen to anyone.
However, according to Venaani, the recent erection of barricades and fences at Parliament was a deliberate move in anticipation of protestors who would want to petition government to review the German deal.
The group handed over a petition to deputy National Assembly speaker Loide Kasingo, in which they say the German deal is flagrant disregard of their legitimate demands for reparations and restitution.
The petition seeks to stop the parliamentary discussions without the direct representation of the affected communities.
“The general principle that reparations are appropriate and required in cases of gross human rights violations such as genocide has been affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005,” they said.
Meanwhile, the Ovaherero/OvaMbanderu and Nama council for the dialogue on the 1904-1908 genocide held a press briefing where they repeated their acceptance with the German deal.
However, they insist that while it is not sufficient, they continue to hope that it will eventually be reviewed and improved upon.