Ngavirue denies reparation twist

Special envoy Zed Ngavirue has rubbished allegations that the German government will create a trust fund to benefit the Herero and Nama communities directly.

03 January 2017 | International

Namibia's special envoy on German reparations, Zed Ngavirue, has denied allegations that the German government has decided not to pay reparations to the Namibian government.

Sources have alleged that the German government would instead create a trust fund to benefit the affected communities directly.

Speculation is rife that the talks between the two governments are on life support due to the conditions set by the German government.

However, Ngavirue has rubbished the allegations, stating that it is not logical for the Germans to come up with such a conclusion before the two governments come to an agreement.

Speaking in an interview recently, Ngavirue said: “That is something very shocking to hear because the talks between the two governments have not even been concluded.

“As we speak, we still await a response from Germany which will be in Berlin by January at a meeting between the two countries.

“The only thing which is not assured at the moment is the time and date these negotiations will be concluded, given that we still do not have a final response from Germany.”

Ngavirue said he hoped the talks would be concluded before the German elections this year, which he fears could slow down the negotiations. The chief of the Otjikatjamuaha Royal House and Maharero Traditional Authority, Tjinani Maharero, confirmed to Namibian Sun that the trust fund was a suggestion made by the affected communities.

“Well, it was something that was suggested by the affected communities but I am not in a position to say if the allegations are true or not,” Maharero said.

Germany ruled what was previously known as South-West Africa from 1884 to 1915, when South African government took over.

Namibia is demanding reparations for the 1904 genocide which saw Germany issuing an extermination order against the Ovaherero and Nama people after the tribes decided to oppose the stealing of their land by the Germans.

The Germans under General Lothar von Trotha killed around 24 000 Herero people and an estimated 10 000 Nama people.

Attempts to get comment from the German embassy to Namibia proved impossible because all the diplomats had left on holiday.

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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