Ya Nangoloh’s Swapo membership application collecting dust

03 December 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE



RUNDU

Swapo secretary-general (SG) Sophia Shaningwa this week wanted nothing to do with questions on a membership application by Namrights leader Phil Ya Nangoloh.

“Sorry my dear, no discussions,” a seemingly annoyed Shaningwa told Namibian Sun before ending the call.

Swapo had given the self-styled human rights defender and former staunch critic of the party an ultimatum that his membership will only be approved if he apologises to the party, founding president Sam Nujoma and other Swapo leaders.

Ya Nangoloh, lately a vocal supporter of President Hage Geingob, yesterday said he complied with the conditions set by the party, including publicly apologising to Nujoma.

“I think you better talk to the SG. I have completed the requirements; now it is her turn,” he said.

However, when asked if he had enquired from Shaningwa on the progress of his membership, he said he does not intend to as this would mean telling the SG how to do her job.

“I don’t think there is an agenda out there; what I rather think is that the SG has been very busy. I think sooner rather than later she will sign the card. But if she personally - in an unlikely event – doesn’t want to sign the card, there are people in the party who are senior [to] her who can sign it,” Ya Nangoloh said.

‘I even cried’

“There is a very strong support for me to get a membership card. You probably would have seen that in the media that there is a very strong support and when I realised that, I even cried.

“I never cry at any time but I felt so emotional for the support I apparently have amongst my comrades.”

Ya Nangoloh added that being a card-carrying Swapo member is not his mission, but rather saving the party - which he believes is being destroyed from within and by outside influences.

“I have been a People’s Liberation Army of Namibia [PLAN] operator during the struggle without a card and I will continue the same way, promoting the party but not at the expense of the rights of the Namibian people. I will continue advocating good things for the party like people to vote for the party even without the card,” he said.

Unapologetic

Meanwhile, Ya Nangoloh said his views on human rights atrocities at the hands of Swapo and the apartheid government during the liberation struggle have not changed.

He still believes that events such as the well-known Lubango dungeons - where Namibians were allegedly tortured and subsequently went missing - should still be addressed.

“We cannot ignore the fact that there have been thousands of Namibians who have gone missing and are unaccounted for and there needs to be justice. That is why Namrights has gone to the International Criminal Court,” he said.

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