NEFF condemns exclusion of small traders at Lüderitz Crayfish Festival

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) has denounced the exclusion of Namibian traders from participating in the Lüderitz Crayfish Festival, slated for 29 April to 5 May at the Lüderitz Waterfront.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, NEFF condemned the actions of festival organisers, particularly Victoria de Klerk, labelling them as deplorable and a violation of the rights of local entrepreneurs.

According to the NEFF, four traders, Ronald Engelbrecht, Hendrina Willem, Magdalena Mckay, Maria Gumbo, and Sodom Andreas – have been unfairly denied space at the festival.

NEFF deputy commander in chief, Kalimbo Iipumbu said these traders, who come from different towns and rely on the festival to support their families, have been relegated to undesirable locations by the organisers.

“They are Namibians like everyone else and have also paid to be at this event. We would like to make it clear that the exclusionary actions of the festival organisers, particularly De Klerk’s , are deplorable,” said Kalimbo

He said the situation escalated when the traders were asked to seek recourse at the magistrate’s court, without legal representation.

“It is displeasing to note that these four have been trapped at court without legal representation and have been made to wait for a decision by the court since 08:00 in the morning. These individuals, who have travelled from different towns intending to sell their goods and provide for their families, have been callously relegated to undesirable locations by the festival organisers,” he said

The NEFF called on the authorities to intervene immediately and ensure justice would be served.

Kalimbo urged the magistrate’s court to expedite the matter and deliver a verdict that upholds the rights and dignity of local traders.

Additionally, the NEFF demanded transparency and accountability from the festival organisers and called for an investigation into their discriminatory practices.

Another member of the festival’s organising committee, Salom Ndevahokwa said he was not aware of  the allegations and refused to comment further

“I am busy organising a festival right now. I am not aware of the allegations and cannot comment on matters I have no knowledge of,” he said.

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