'I know who the spies are'

Opposition MP Nico Smit says he was a senior security police officer before independence and knows who the spies in Swapo were.

12 October 2018 | Politics

Nico Smit, MP of the official opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), says he will not be cowed into silence on the Basic Education Bill after the flak he got from Swapo parliamentarians over his comments on the bill.

During the parliamentary debate on the bill on Wednesday, Smit criticised the bill as being autocratic, undemocratic and draconian.

He also said he suspected a political motive behind some of the provisions in the bill, which seemingly attempt to ensure loyalty to the ruling party and to indoctrinate impressionable young minds, as well as teachers. Chaos ensued and Smit was heckled and labelled as a former member of Koevoet, a former counter-insurgency group of the defunct South West African Police (SWAPOL) by, among others, the minister of basic education, arts and culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.

Reacting to the chaos that erupted during the parliamentary debate, Smit yesterday said he had in fact never been a member of Koevoet but was in the security police.

Smit also denied that he had accused some Swapo MPs of being former Koevoet members. He said because he was a senior officer in the security police, he had access to documents proving that some Swapo MPs were in fact spies for the former SWA regime.

“I know who the spies were and how much they were paid,” Smit contended, saying the alleged spies should know that he would have such information because of his former position in the police.

He also said his criticism of the bill was never criticism against Hanse-Himarwa. Smit said after having consulted various education experts at Nust and Unam, he had to conclude that the Basic Education Bill “serves no purpose at all”. “They must be out of their minds,” he commented, saying none of the submissions made during consultation on the bill were considered for incorporation. “This is a predetermined bill. Consultation on the bill was just for window-dressing,” Smit said.

CATHERINE SASMAN

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