Ndeitunga: We won't stop Küska

13 June 2018 | Local News

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga says Nampol has no right to stop peaceful gatherings like the annual Küska carnival in Swakopmund and has referred genocide activist Laidlow Peringanda to the country's courts.

Ndeitunga said the Namibian Constitution allows for people to assemble and march peacefully.

“We cannot stop a peaceful march. They can apply for a court order with the courts.

The Supreme Court is there, the Office of the Attorney-General is there. They can go to court to stop the march, if they feel it is not right, but the police cannot stop a peaceful march or gathering,” said Ndeitunga.

This follows a complaint Peringanda laid with Ombudsman John Walters over the police's failure to attend a meeting with the 'Descendants of the Survivors of 1904-1908 Genocide' at their office in the DRC settlement of Swakopmund.

According to Peringanda the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the hosting of the annual Küska carnival, which according to him is disrespectful to the memories of those who were slain during the 1904-08 genocide.

“They cannot hold that carnival until we have a complete list of all the people that have died and those that were prisoners in the concentration camps,” he said.

Peringanda also wrote a letter to Marco Swartz, the CEO of the Swakopmund municipality, requesting that approval should not be granted for the event, which normally takes place from 15 to 22 June.

He demanded that the names of genocide victims buried in nameless graves at the coastal town cemetery be made known and that the skulls of Namibians used for research in Germany be returned.

Peringanda is also campaigning to have free land allocated to all descendants of those killed in the genocide.

In April, Peringanda mobilised descendants of victims of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide to put a stop to the annual Küska carnival.

Peringanda said the event commemorates white supremacy and referred to an incident in recent years, when photos of Küska participants dressed in Ku Klux Klan attire and with painted black faces, surfaced in the media.

“This is degrading to all Namibians who suffered under segregation.

Our ancestors constructed most of the buildings in Swakopmund as slave labourers and it is painful to witness the German community commemorating conquering Africa. It is similar to honouring the German emperor Wilhelm II, who issued the order to General Lothar van Trotha to exterminate and massacre Ovaherero and Nama people.”

He also questioned the involvement of the navy brass band at the parade.

“They are wearing their official uniforms and using instruments paid for by taxpayers.

We have a right to tell them not to participate. They are apparently being paid to perform by the German community. How come they are nowhere to be seen when the Ovaherero reparation march takes place?”



JEMIMA BEUKES

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