‘Provocative’ statement by white farmer unlocks angry reaction

Tujoromajo Kasuto

A RECENT statement by a farm owner of German descent that has been condemned by some Namibians as provocative has led to more angry reactions by those who lost land through forceful dispossession.

The latest to show its disgust with the statement is the Ancestral Land Foundation Of Namibia (ALFON) which over the weekend conducted a peaceful demonstration in the Otjozondjupa Region to create awareness of the unjust treatment of the Otjozondjupa communities for their claim to ancestral land, genocide and land thievery, and quest for justice.

AFLON associate Tjeja-uaTjatindi says this in light of their outcry on the manner in which some white (commercial) farmers have been conducting themselves regarding ownership and access of land in Namibia.

“Our community within the region, having been subjected to many such incidents in their quest towards restoration of its dignity coupled with their constitutional rights to shelter, land and housing, would be staging a peaceful sit-in along the C22 and C30, ” he added.

The protest peaceful action 25th-27th of February also involved the handing over a petition to the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein and Otjozondjupa Governor, James Uerikua, which was followed by a Sacred Commemoration of Genocidal heroes from the site.

Tjatindi notes ARLON’s plan is to intensify the fight, “with all options on the table. All previously advantaged persons in their individual and collective capacity must be prepared to engage with us or face us summarily in our quest for Restorative Justice. We can’t be in our ancestral Land, without Land, and pretend as if everything is well and good. It mustn’t sit well with a reasonable mind.”

The petition handed over demanded for answers within 30 days from date of receipt, concerning the reckless and insightful utterances made by a German speaking Namibian, Harry Schneider in The Namibian newspaper of 11 February 2022.

It contended that Schneider consciously and willfully made those reckless and insightful utterances to create tension among the land dispossessed and to deliberately undermine them – hence to date he has not made any effort to retract those statements and/or to apologize to the affected communities.

Thus, they demanded that a proper investigation be undertaken to determine whether Schneider acted individually or on the instruction of a group/organization.

Additionally, they assert that for the benefit of the dispossessed communities and the Namibian nation, Schneider must demonstrate through his title deed the rightful indigenous community from whom he has bought the ancestral – as customarily and traditionally land ownership vests in the community.

Farm Okozongominja must be expropriated in favor of the dispossessed communities and his intended eviction of people from Farm Okamuru must be stopped, the petition demands .

Schneider, the petition says, must unreservedly retract his reckless and insightful utterances and give assurance that he would not repeat the contemptuous statements.

The group also wants the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, who also happened to be a German descendant to unequivocally distance himself from these reckless and insightful utterances. All political parties, all faith based organizations and ancestral land advocacy groups must condemn this “ugly matter” in the strongest terms, the petition states. “We demand the immediate official release of the report of the Commission of Enquiry on Ancestral Land and the implementation of all its resolutions and the Ombudsman’’ and all the relevant agencies must take keen interest in this provocative matter, the petition reads.

Meanwhile, the National Unity Democratic Organization (NUDO) also hit back at Schneider’s comment that “Germany never stole the land” deeming it as provocative and insensitive.

The party further demanded that the comment be withdrawn because such utterances elicit a reaction from the Herero and Nama communities, that undermine peace and democracy in the country.

NUDO’s Nocky Kaapehi chastised Schnieder for seeming to forget the Land and Livestock Expropriation Ordinance 151 of 1907, Ordinance 151 of 1907 that expropriated all Nama and Ovaherero land and livestock and sold them with high subsidies to new settler soldiers, while the Nama and Ovaherero were held in concentration camps. Unfortunately, Kaapehi said that these historical facts are being concealed in order to justify generational land ownership and generational landlessness. When Shark Island, often known as the Death Camp, was decommissioned in 1908, slave labor camps were established to rent out the indigenous Nama and Ovaherero people to the new settler land owners.

“We, including myself, are the offspring of raped survivors. So, for God’s sake, get your facts straight. Ordinance 151 was enacted unilaterally by Imperial Decree with the stroke of a German royal pen, while newly subsidized settlers were throwing women and children into the sea to feed sharks off the coast of Shark Island, forcing others to boil human heads for racist experimentation, or raping them to demonstrate white superiority,” he griefs.

He further urges Schneider to bear this in mind that Germany was a minor colonial power in Africa, but among its few possessions, Namibia then called South-West Africa, was its most prized African colony.

 

 

 

 

 

By Observer