In open letter seething with grief, anger, frustration and forgiveness, Anton Lubowski's widow Gabrielle has called out head of state Hage Geingob.
20 June 2019 | Local News
In her 'open letter', Gabrielle Lubowski wrote: “You were the last person Anton spoke to.
“He shared information with you that was so sensitive that the two of you could not even sit down for a cup of coffee, but had to walk along Kaiser Street (now Independence Avenue), so that no one could hear the conversation. A few hours later Anton was dead.”
“I still want to tell you that you have taken everything from us, by first betraying Anton and then smearing his name. Life without Anton, who was generous, energetic, hardworking, optimistic, full of life and courageous, has been difficult. His two children suffered the most, as they had to grow up without the presence of this magnificent person, their dad,” Gabrielle wrote in her scathing letter, dripping with emotion.
“Never before, and never after, have I hated someone so much as I hated you. However, this hate only harmed me, not you. You went from an exiled freedom fighter to the first prime minister of an independent Namibia to the third president of Namibia. By God's grace I have been able to let go of the hate, for my own sake.”
Gabrielle confirmed the authenticity of the letter yesterday, but said she never wanted it to enter the public domain. She, however, added that she had repeatedly asked for a meeting with Geingob to hear about what he and Anton had spoken about on the night of his murder.
The 37-year-old anti-apartheid activist was shot by a group of assailants in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in central Windhoek on 12 September 1989.
He was hit by several shots fired from an AK-47 and died from a bullet wound to the head.
Gabrielle said Geingob continues to avoid her, but she will keep on trying to engage him.
She said in her letter she had accepted his refusal to talk to her as an “admission of guilt”.
In the letter Gabrielle also wrote that Geingob will be remembered him as “the man who had to betray a brother to get to the top”.
She said yesterday her intention was never for the letter to go public, but rather hoped it would serve as a “wake-up call”.
“Nobody is coming back to me; I have spoken to six people now. I cannot understand why Hage does not want to speak with me. It is as if I am trying to speak to a dead wall. Do you want me to go public?” she asked.
Gabrielle insisted that she has the right to speak to Geingob in person.
“I have gone through a lot of trauma and I need to talk to him in order to put the pieces together,” she said.
Late yesterday afternoon, counsel for Geingob, Sisa Namandje, wrote a letter calling Lubowski's remarks defamatory, adding that there is no truth to them. “Your allegations are particularly absurd in that there was an investigation.” Namandje said Lubowski was to provide an unconditional apology by 24 June or face a defamation claim.
In 2013, Namibian Sun reported that the South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) had exonerated Swapo from blame any blame linked to Lubowski's death.
At the time former TRC investigator advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza contradicted Gabrielle's remarks that certain members of the “incoming government” orchestrated her husband's killing.
Ntsebeza, who investigated apartheid era crimes, revealed details of his investigation into Lubowski's murder, including that on the basis of the information they had received, Swapo was exonerated from any involvement.
Pressed on whether the TRC, which was chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, shared its Lubowski file with the Namibian government or Swapo, he said: “It is not their TRC. Why didn't they create their own TRC?”
The TRC public hearings started in 1996 and ended with a presentation of the final report to former South African president Nelson Mandela on October 29, 1998. The TRC hearing dealing with the Lubowski murder took place from 3 to 24 April 1996.
Five years later, in 2018, the Lubowski family was still looking for answers, and said the book by investigative journalist Evelyn Groenink, titled 'Incorruptible - The Story of the Murders of Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani', was not helpful.
The book fingers former South African foreign affairs minister Pik Botha for having played a key role in Lubowksi's death.
At the time Lubowski's son Almo said while the book gave his family some insight into “why” his father was killed, he felt the revelations were not damaging enough to prompt a relook at the case.
According to him, the only way his family will get justice is if someone was to come forward with critical information.
“I believe it will take somebody that was directly involved coming forward and talking. Perhaps on his or her deathbed,” Almo said.