Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

He became so fond wearing the red traditional regalia of the Red Flag from Namibia from where his great grand forebears, 114 years this year had fled, escaping colonial German genocide against the Ovaherero, Ovammbanderu and Nama.

Red in the quest for his traditional roots. For Red became the symbol of resistance of his people against German imperialism. To this day when it has become a symbol in the seeming never-ending quest for the redemption of the souls of his ancestors through reparation. A quest which has very much has come to be his embodiment and that of fellows in his native South Africa. A cause for which he died a hero this month through equally inspiring and mobilising descendants of the great warriors against German colonialism to retrace their roots and reclaim their Namibian heritage.

But for him RED only about the Ovaherero Red Flag. It equally represented the struggle of the workers in his native South Africa through the National Union of Mineworkers, and the South African Communist Party. But in Namibia we shall remember Comrade “Hosea” as a hero within the Reparation movement. Unwaveringly and unyieldingly he has been carrying the torch and holding high the banner of REPARATION all these years.

Now that he has joined the ancestors, it is not time to mourn him. But to reflect. On the distance covered this far. On a long and arduous road. Comrade “Hosea”, as his fellow revolutionaries and workers in South Africa would affectionately and revolutionary refer to him, never reached the destination. But DIED FIGHTING. We thus cannot but do justice to the memory of those who DIE FIGHTING him by mourning them. But by remembering them by emulating their deeds forever. Not reflecting on whether we are and have been on the right path, and in the right direction. Because that would be a betrayal of his believe in the correctness and righteousness of the cause and rightness of the path. And a travesty of the cause of REPARATION when Comrade “Hosea” is no more now, to change lanes and direction. Thereby betraying his good memory of his DEDICATION, BELIEVE and SACRIFICE.

But it is only right and appropriate to reflect on what we did, and/or could have done, to help him do more for our common cause. Reflecting on what we could have done to give him the necessary support, morally, financially , physically and otherwise. We need to ask ourselves how firm the REPARATION movement in the South African Diaspora is today? If not firm this is not because Comrade “Hosea” did not do his best. But simply because we did not give him the necessary and utmost support that we could and must have given him. First in ensuring an independent and solid Ovaherero Descendants Foundation in the Republic of South Africa; and secondly and consequently; that the GENOCIDE of the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama is today a household subject in South Africa. Firstly among the genocide descendants themselves in South African. And further in the South African media. But foremost among indigenous South African politicians/activists. We are well aware that the Comrade “Hosea” and Tuamanovandu Papos have clo

se ties with some of the leading African political movements in South Africa. Ties which with close cooperation and the requisite determined push between us the descendants of Genocide in Namibia, and our fellows in South Africa, and also in Botswana, could catapult the REPARATION demand on political agendas in both South Africa and Botswana.

But sadly some of us in Namibia have been overlooking the fact that Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama descendants in the South African and Botswana Diaspora, are equal descendants of the victims of Genocide in Namibia, just like their Namibian counterparts. Causing to render their voices in the current campaign and demand for REPARATION muted, subdued and peripheral. Naturally, fellow descendants of the victims of Genocide in South Africa and Botswana, should have their governments as their natural allies in our common demand for REPARATION. But it is not clear today where both the governments of Botswana and South Africa stand on this vexed issue. Pilgrims to South Africa to celebrate with fellow descendants have shown that the South African government is not averse to our REPARATION demand from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. There’s thus a fertile ground there for the South African government to standing behind their citizens but of Namibian descent on this cause. Only if there was better

focus from Namibia to help fellows in South Africa to sharpen their focus in this regard. And likewise in Botswana.

Needless to say this was part of the grand vision of Comrade “Hosea” for the Ovaherero Descendants Foundation in the Republic of South Africa, and indeed for the broader REPARATION campaign. He has established the necessary network and laid a fertile ground in South Africa and beyond to further nature awareness about the Genocide of the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama. He may not have finished the race in this regard. But this is and could not have been his race alone. But for all of us. We who are surviving him surely ow it to him and others to finish the race to honour his good memory and keep his legacy alive forever.