‘Struggle kids’ to sue SA govt

The Association of War Orphans of the Liberation Struggle of Namibia said various atrocities, including mass killings, rape, land disposition, theft of moveable property and general disenfranchisement, had been carried out by the then South African Defence Force.

17 February 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE







WINDHOEK

The Association of War Orphans of the Liberation Struggle of Namibia is seeking a formal apology from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa for atrocities carried out by the then South African Defence Force prior to Namibia’s independence.

The association is also calling for reparations to be paid and that an arbitrator be appointed to negotiate a settlement that government would need to pay.

Writing to South African High Commissioner to Namibia, Archie Whitehead, the association - through lawyer Kadhila Amoomo - said various atrocities had been carried out which include mass killings, rape, land disposition, theft of moveable property and general disenfranchisement against persons whom they are descendants of.

“To date, despite [it being] 31 years after independence, the victims of the aforementioned atrocities have not received any formal apology from South Africa, nor have they been engaged for purposes of discussing reparation measures,” the association said.

“The atrocities committed against the Namibian people and particularly against members of our client was aggravated by the implementation of the apartheid policy of discrimination across Namibia at the time,” it added.

Benefitted from resources

The association also accused the South African government of benefitting from Namibia’s resources.

“The contribution of Namibian resources, which was unlawfully obtained by the South African government, to the current economy of South Africa may be debatable, but the devastating effect of the atrocities committed by the South African army and administration on members of our client is clear as daylight,” it said.

Ramaphosa has been given 30 days to respond to the demands, the failure of which will lead to a formal adjudication, the association said.

“It is therefore our instructions to demand within a period of 30 workings days a formal apology from the South African government for the aforementioned atrocities, as well as an undertaking that the South African government would participate in reparation discussions which may be mediated by an independent arbitrator,” it said.

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