Swapo struggle victory not falsified

30 January 2019 | Columns

AMBASSADOR TULIAMENI KALOMOH



I have noted with interest an article published in Namibian Sun on 8 January 2019 on the front page with the headline: 'Swapo liberation victory falsified - Diescho'.

The article distorts the history of the liberation struggle of the people of Namibia led by their vanguard movement, Swapo, and I wish to put things into perspective. Swapo won a convincing political and military victory against the South African apartheid regime's illegal occupation of Namibia, and this is not “falsified”, as claimed by Professor Joseph Diescho.

Professor Diescho was quoted in the article as having said: “The truth is there was no party that won a war. We lie when we say we defeated the white regime. We defeated nobody.

“It was an international, peaceful negotiated settlement, with no winner no loser, Resolution 435.” Professor Diescho went on to say: “Swapo did not march in here with tanks to throw the white people out.

“The white people who are in Namibia were part of those negotiations. As a matter of fact, Swapo lost the election in 1989 - that militates against the lie that they defeated the enemy.”

It is not clear who Professor Diescho included when he said, “we lie when we say we defeated the white regime. We defeated nobody.”

I must emphatically state that the word “we” used by Professor Diescho does not include the vast majority of the Namibian patriots, especially those who fought under the leadership of Swapo, some of whom paid the ultimate price with their lives and limbs for the independence of their country, and the restoration of the human dignity of its people.



Dishonesty

The assertion by Professor Diescho that, “as a matter of fact Swapo lost the election in 1989”, is nothing but utter sophistry - a forlorn attempt to rewrite and distort the history of the liberation struggle of the people of Namibia led by their vanguard movement, Swapo.

How anyone, let alone an academic like Professor Diescho, can honestly claim that Swapo “lost” the independence elections in 1989, is simply beyond belief.

As for Professor Diescho's assertion that, “Swapo did not march in here with tanks to throw the white people out”, he and others should be reminded that it has never been the policy of Swapo to “throw the white people out” of Namibia.

The Swapo policy was to liberate all Namibians, irrespective of colour or race, from colonial oppression and not to “throw the white people out”, as propagated by the apartheid regime.

Professor Diescho should also be reminded that it was the sustained and relentless determination of the combined Angolan, Cuban and combatants of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) that decisively destroyed the myth of South Africa's military invincibility at the epoch-making battle of Cuito Cuanavale, which inflicted a humiliating defeat on South Africa's invading force.



Conceding defeat

The erstwhile South African military leaders - General Magnus Malan, General Jan Geldenhuys and General George Meiring - had conceded as much, however grudgingly.

Thus, Swapo did not need to “march in here with tanks to throw the white people out”.

This is a deliberate and wilful distortion of the policy of Swapo and the history of the liberation struggle, designed to mislead young and future generations of Namibians. The core and ultimate objective of Swapo and its military wing (PLAN) was to defeat the political, ideological and economic foundations that underpinned the illegal apartheid occupation of our country.

Our struggle was “the continuation of politics by other means”, to quote Carl von Clausewitz, a renowned German military strategist.

As a direct result of this multi-pronged Swapo strategy to wage the struggle at three mutually re-enforcing fronts - popular political mobilisation at home, an extensive and concerted diplomatic campaign abroad and sustained and effective military operations at the battlefront - the apartheid ideology was declared a crime against humanity by the international community. Similarly, the apartheid regime was suspended from the United Nations and from many international sporting organisations.

Importantly, the apartheid economy was crippled by international economic sanctions and an arms embargo.

Swapo was recognised by the United Nations and progressive governments the world over as the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people.

This recognition was resoundingly confirmed during the 1989 independence elections, when Swapo won 41 out of 72 seats in the Constituent Assembly or 57% of the votes.

These are indisputable and immutable historical facts. Attempts to deny or distort that victory can only be aimed at the desecration of the memories of the Namibian heroines and heroes who paid with their lives.



Namibia is free

Namibian citizens have the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of expression, including the right to criticise the policies and perceived deficiencies in the governance of the country.

And I for one will always fiercely defend the unfettered exercise of such rights. But neither anger at nor frustration with the governance of the country by the Swapo-led government should lead any Namibian citizen, including Professor Diescho, to call into question the glorious history of the Namibian people.

That Namibia is free, sovereign and independent from the daily humiliation of apartheid oppression should be the pride of every Namibian citizen, irrespective of their party political affiliation.

Those who fought bravely under the Swapo flag have the moral, historical and political obligation to steadfastly defend the gains of the struggle.

Similar News

 

Our people sustain our group

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Engaged employees help establish better relationships with customers, since staff are the ones who are actually in contact with customers. This is why FirstRand Namibia...

Our Achilles heel of accountability

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Enforcing greater accountability has always been an Achilles heel for the Namibian government over the years. Questions have been raised over whether there is indeed...

Beware the juggernaut

3 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Columns

The opposition in Namibia have their work cut out for them.As in other election years, there is nothing on the horizon that makes one believe...

Our drugs scourge

5 days ago - 12 February 2019 | Columns

There is no denying that Namibia is one of many countries battling the socio-economic challenges posed by the abuse of substances. The country continues to...

Nappily’ ever after?

5 days ago - 12 February 2019 | Columns

Octavia Tsibes They say hair, especially for a woman, is her crown, the roots of her confidence and her identity. The conversation over...

Let's give 'normalisation' a chance

6 days ago - 11 February 2019 | Columns

In typical Namibian fashion, self-styled football commentators and keyboard warriors on social media have already started casting aspersions over the newly unveiled normalisation committee members...

Down with bullying tactics!

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Columns

It is interesting that those in the Swapo top leadership are the first to concede that factionalism harms the ruling party. Swapo is clearly a...

Access denied

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Columns

Any country, or for that matter its president, cannot rightfully claim to be serious about fighting corruption without implementing an access to information law.The Institute...

Politicians must be held accountable

1 week ago - 05 February 2019 | Columns

Although the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is yet to declare campaigning for the 2019 general election officially open, the stage has already been set...

Why business leaders should join Mastermind

2 weeks ago - 01 February 2019 | Columns

Anne Sugar At the New Year, many business owners pause to examine the vast array of opportunities to push their businesses forward.Many gravitate towards joining...

Latest News

Logistical problems force Nigeria election...

19 hours ago | Africa

Nigeria's electoral watchdog today postponed presidential and parliamentary elections for one week, just hours before polls were due to open.The two main political parties swiftly...

Hostel a threat to lives

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Education

The Kavango West education directorate continues to subsidise a dilapidated church hostel at Nkurenkuru, despite a 2010 directive by the health ministry that it must...

Foreign graduates protest 'unfair' tests

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Health

Dozens of foreign-trained medical and dentistry graduates took to the streets yesterday to protest against a pre-internship exam which they claim is unfair and discriminatory.One...

FirstRand Namibia fights back

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – FirstRand Namibia bounced back to positive profit growth in the six months ended 31 December 2018 after taking a knock in the...

Our people sustain our group

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Engaged employees help establish better relationships with customers, since staff are the ones who are actually in contact with customers. This is why FirstRand Namibia...

NaCC scrutinises fuel imports

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Business

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) is requesting input from interested and affected parties on the reinstatement of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia's (Namcor) intent...

Our Achilles heel of accountability

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Enforcing greater accountability has always been an Achilles heel for the Namibian government over the years. Questions have been raised over whether there is indeed...

RA, Unam sign MoU

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Business

Justicia Shipena On 12 February, the Roads Authority (RA) and the University of Namibia (Unam) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the RA’s...

Mutorwa’s journey with science

2 days ago - 15 February 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Marius Mutorwa is a lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in the department of health...

Load More