Nama and OvaHerero claim they were insulted

25 November 2016 | Cultural

German Special Envoy Ruprect Polenz has reportedly told the Nama and OvaHerero technical committee members that the Holocaust cannot be compared with the 1904-1908 Nama and OvaHerero genocide because the killing of the Jews was more extreme.

This prompted committee members to angrily storm out of what would have been the first meeting between Polenz and the affected communities.

Nama Technical Committee secretary Paul Thomas charged that the Germans are arrogant but that “they forget that the land is here, we can go into the German-owned farms and reclaim it.”

Technical committee member Clinton Swartbooi said Polenz''s utterances were a sign of blatant racism.

“Polenz arrogantly said the Holocaust was more extreme and global and the Jews were persecuted from country to country. So does that mean killing a Nama and OvaHerero is nothing compared to killing a Jew? This again comes to black lives don''t matter,” said a furious Swartbooi.

He added that the remarks by Polenz revealed that Germany''s approach towards the negotiations was not genuine but only a public relations stunt to show the world they are a responsible state.

“This is the same racist Germany than before, these negotiations under the leadership of Nickey Iyambo are a mess,” he said.

Swartbooi also accused the government of playing games and right into the hands of the Germans.

“Germany only came to offer us bribes in the form of training centres, vocational schools and big and small trusts,” he said.

When contacted for comment on Polenz''s alleged remarks, the deputy head of the German mission to Namibia, Ullrich Kinne, declined to comment because it had been agreed that the negotiations would be kept confidential.

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