Slit defectors’ throats

The retired general demanded that his remarks, initially made in Oshiwambo, be translated to the audience in English, before he repeated them in Afrikaans, while gesturing slitting a throat.

09 November 2020 | Politics



Former Chief of the Namibian Defence Force Martin Shalli yesterday attempted to pour cold water over shocking remarks he made during a Swapo rally at Okahandja on Saturday, where he said those who defect from Swapo to form or join other political formations must be killed.

In a shocking video that has gone viral and led to opposition parties laying charges against the retired general, Shalli is seen insisting that the translator must repeat his remarks, which he made in Oshiwambo, so that the audience understood him fully.

Addressing an audience at Okahandja's Five Rand informal settlement, Shalli painted a graphic picture of how defectors must be killed – saying and gesturing that they must have their throats slit.

In the video, he is heard making reference to former Swapo blue-eyed boy Ignatius Shixwameni, who defected to the Congress of Democrats (CoD) in 1999, as an example of defections that warrant death.

He also referred to former CoD president Ben Ulenga as another example of such defectors.

‘Slit the bastards’

Ulenga was prominent in the labour union movement that mobilised support for Swapo ahead of the decisive elections of 1989, which the former liberation movement won.

A decorated combatant of Swapo’s military wing, the People's Liberation Army of Namibia, Ulenga was wounded in combat, captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison on Robben Island.

Speaking on Saturday, Shalli said persons who had defected from the party should excuse themselves from earth.

“Such people of such character, who would stand today and speak on behalf of the party and later be traitors of the party and establish new political formations, they must excuse us on earth,” he said.

The retired general went on to say that such people deserved to be killed.

“They must be slit. They must be killed. They must not be shot, they must be slit, slit the bastards,” Shalli said.

Much hullabaloo

When called to elaborate on the comments, Shalli yesterday told Namibian Sun that he did not exclude himself from such punitive measures if he defects from Swapo.

“I also made a reference to myself. You cannot stand with people and tomorrow you turn against them,” he said.

The call to slit defectors’ throats was also not meant at inciting violence, he insisted.

“No ways. This is not inciting violence, use your common sense. If a friend betrays you, it’s nonsense. Use your common sense, no incitement of violence, for what?” he said.

Comments ‘misinterpreted’

According to Shalli, the comments he made were being misinterpreted.

“I put [it] in a different context,” he said.

He also referred to comments that had been made by Landless People’s Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi in which he referred to founding president Sam Nujoma as a ‘liar’ in the National Assembly in June.

“We get offended when people sit in Parliament and insult the founding father [Sam Nujoma]. Calling him a thug, liar, loser, what do you mean?” Shalli said.

“We sacrificed a lot for this country. People must look at the bigger picture, we have feelings, all of us. By insulting the founding father, you are insulting all of us, what manners are these?” he questioned.

‘Figurative speech’

With Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Affirmative Repositioning (AR) and Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge all taking legal action against Shalli – PDM and Ipinge opened criminal charges against him – the retired general later released a written statement, saying he used ‘figurative speech’ to attempt to defeat Swapo’s political adversaries.

“This figurative speech should be seen in the context of a democratic political campaign in which opponents are fighting for votes. Cutting off the head of the snake [is a] proverbial expression used in our African languages all the time,” he claimed.

According to him, opportunists were now making use of the opportunity to paint him in a bad light.

“Political opportunists want to use symbolic language I’ve used to make it to appear that it was some form of declaration of physical harm to fellow Namibians who are political opponents. It says more about them than me,” Shalli said.

According to him, the statements he made should be seen in the proper context.

“Suggesting otherwise is a pathetic attempt at scoring cheap political points,” he said.

Pending legal action

AR said it has taken offence with the statement Shalli made as it violated the country’s constitution.

“Our client is aggrieved and concerned by utterances attributed to yourself being circulated by way of video footage wherein you are heard to communicate/direct/order the execution of members of the opposition parties. The aforementioned utterances are a direct violation of Article 6 of the Namibian Constitution,” AR said through its lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo.

The movement has in the meantime demanded that Shalli withdraw his remarks, failure of which will result in it seeking legal action.

Meanwhile, Ipinge said: “I defeated Swapo in the by-election held on 15 January 2020 and took oath of office on 16 January 2020 to uphold the Constitution of Namibia. On the 26th of August 2020, I resigned from Swapo and [I am] currently a candidate running against them against the upcoming elections, so I feel my life is at threat”.

Similar News


LPM misses PAP after parliamentary suspensions

1 week ago - 04 June 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE RUNDUThe Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has expressed disappointment at missing out...

Ambassadors of change

1 week ago - 01 June 2021 | Politics

Rivaldo Kavanga The Society for Family Health in partnership with the African Youth and Adolescents Network (AfriYAN), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation...

ICC must investigate Geingob – LPM

2 weeks ago - 27 May 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi has lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) demanding a fast-tracked investigation against President...

Geingob tight-lipped on Swapo presidency

2 weeks ago - 26 May 2021 | Politics

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob is playing his cards close to his chest as far as his ambitions for the Swapo presidential position are concerned, amid...

Rift over booted Swapo party school members intensifies

3 weeks ago - 24 May 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUWhilst the Kavango East Swapo leadership is adamant that it will uphold the suspension of Swapo members from the Rundu Rural district from attending...

Swartbooi, Seibeb appear before privileges committee

3 weeks ago - 20 May 2021 | Politics

NAMPAWINDHOEKLandless People’s Movement (LPM) leaders Bernadus Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb on Tuesday appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on privileges for a preliminary hearing. The...

Government politicised genocide matter – Nudo

3 weeks ago - 20 May 2021 | Politics

RIVALDO KAVANGAWINDHOEKThe National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) has accused the government of politicising the genocide negotiations and thus losing the trust of the affected communities.These...

More LPM parliament woes

1 month - 12 May 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe Landless People’s Movement (LPM) is facing yet another parliamentary battle after...

IPC welcomes 105 new members in Zambezi

1 month - 10 May 2021 | Politics

NAMPAWINDHOEKThe Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) on Saturday welcomed 105 new supporters from Linyanti Constituency in the Zambezi Region, saying they need a new political...

Swapo unity in Kavango East threatened

1 month - 06 May 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUWhile Swapo Kavango East regional coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi says all is well, some members have described the party's regional arm as a sinking ship.And...

Latest News

Starlile wins Winter Cup

14 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIStarlile from the Okahandja Racing Club beat the likes of You Touch My Heart (second place) and Newton Spark (third place) to the finish.Starlile...

Bronze for Du Plooy

14 hours ago | Sports

Namibia’s triathlon champion Divan du Plooy took bronze at the just-ended African continental championship in Egypt.The Namibian was competing in the Under-23 category in Sharm...

Plot prices in Keetmans nearly...

14 hours ago | Economics

The Keetmanshoop municipality has dropped the price per plot in the new Brukharos extension to N$16 900 per plot for low-income earners to afford housing.The...

President too quiet in crisis...

14 hours ago | Health

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKFormer health minister Dr Richard Kamwi is among those who believe that President Hage Geingob’s silence, as the country endures its worst wave of...

Covid-19: Six SA tourists die...

14 hours ago | Health

NEWS24JOHANNESBURGSix elderly tourists died from Covid-19 after 37 out of 40 travellers on a bus trip in Namibia tested positive for the coronavirus.According to Netwerk24,...

Covid-19’s impact on sports

14 hours ago | Sports

Limba MupetamiThe effects of Covid-19 continue to flow through Namibia’s health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions and the sport sector is no different.Matches and competitions...

Won’t do it - Kanalelo

14 hours ago | Sports

KickOffThe former Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Fillemon ‘Ronnie’ Kanalelo worked at both Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United as a keeper trainer, and had his last coaching...

SA govt sells majority stake...

14 hours ago | Business

Nqobile Dludla - The South African government is selling a 51% stake in South African Airways (SAA) to Takatso consortium, which will initially commit more...

EDITORIAL: President must address the...

14 hours ago | Opinion

The clarion calls for President Geingob to crawl from under his rock and provide leadership insofar as the deadly surge in Covid-19 infections is concerned...

Load More