8 COLUMN Wednesday, February 21 2018 | NEW ERA Germany Remains Distant on Reparations STRIDES with Uncle Bob Kandetu The German government would rather talk about atrocities instead of genocide and, as such, will apologise to the Namibian government only with regard to atrocities. Furthermore, Germany will not entertain payment for reparations because this is too ghastly to contemplate as it may that country has wronged so many nations, many of which are closely monitoring the Federal Court proceedings in New York. Germany is self-contradictory. There cannot be an apology towards Ovaherero and Nama nations unless that apology is for genocide. Germany’s extermination orders that were articulated and subsequently signed into German State orders constitute genocide. The Hague Convention and the Rome Statutes are explicit on these acts. The suggestion that Germany can apologise for “atrocities” against Ovaherero and Nama people is as misplaced as it is deeply rooted in dishonorable motives. It is intended to white-wash development aid and construes this as money allocated for doing well to the victims of German genocide. In the context of Namibia’s Genocide, development aid cannot be reparations for genocide. Upon reflection, the German Ambassador to Namibia, Ambassador Schlaga, was cited in Namibian Sun newspaper of August 4 th 2017 as having said that Germany will apologise for the “atrocities” against the Nama and Ovaherero but maintained that these killings committed in self-defense. Because killing for land and its warranted no apology. This critical remark from the German Ambassa- German government has dangerous implications and equally cultivates dangerous assumptions, but in the interest of space it will be dissected in later editions. These misapprehensions lead one to conclude that Germany has been consistent with her position, never to apologise for genocide against Ovaherero and Nama and never to consider payment for reparations to the victim communities. Apologists of imperial Germany want the world to believe that German activities in South West Africa were no different from other colonial activities in Africa. The role played by Germany in South West Africa went beyond the scramble for the accumulation of wealth. For this war was premeditated, carefully planned and diligently executed. To this effect, a German physician by the name Gustav Frenssen, wrote a book titled “Peter Moors Farhrt nach Sudwes” circa 1930’s. He condensed the war mentality deeply rooted in a theological philosophy, reminiscent of the rationale used by the Nazi Party of Germany to eliminate Jews, a good twenty years after German genocide in South West Africa. I lift a few passages from the book. tality that characterised German genocide in South West Africa as it reads: “These blacks deserved death before God and man… because they have built no houses and dug no wells. God has let us conquer here because we are the nobler and more advanced people. That is not saying much in comparison with this black nation, but we must see to it that we became better and braver before all nations of the earth. To the nobler and more vigorous belongs the world. This is the justice of God.” Another says: “Here we lay in the dark night, 400 men worn out and half dead with thirst and in front of us a furious people numbering sixty thousand. These tall black and halfnaked people have large exposed teeth and wild laughing eyes. As I turned to shoot I saw in the grey green bushes men in cord uniform, rising from grass like snakes. I saw not far from me a black half naked his mouth and climbing with hands and feet into a tree. I aimed at him and screamed aloud with joy when he fell down the trunk.” I conclude these citations with cal indifference that obtained after Ovaherero’s last stance at Ohamakari. This is what a German soldier wrote in his diary: “How deeply the wild, proud sorrowful people had humbled themselves in the terror of death. Wherever I turned my eyes lay their goods in quantities: oxen and horses, goats and dogs, blankets and skins. And there lay the wounded and the old, women and children. A number of babies lay helplessly languishing by mothers whose breasts hung long and still living, with eyes and noses full drivers and I think that they helped them to die. We then led the men one side and shot them. The women and children who looked pitiably starved we hunted into the bush.” The German soldier concluded his observations somewhat ideological and somewhat philosophical, but evidently content: “It is wonderful how much a human being can endure. It is strange what a matter of indifference another man’s life is to us when he belongs to another race.” The synoptic appraisal of the book by Frenssen serves to contextualise the plight of Ovaherero and Nama of South West Africa’s demands from the German regime. The use of passages lifted from a book written by a German medical doctor of that time, recounting passing as observer-participants, is intended to eliminate doubts on authentic representation of the facts the German war mentality. Germany’s war of annihilation and ultimate extermination orders on Ovaherero and Nama had intended implications and were deeply embedded in the entrenched mentality of the Germans regarding themselves as the chosen race in the eyes of God. Seemingly this mentality has not changed much and contemporary German thinking was publicly expressed by the German Ambassador to Namibia on the 4 th of August 2017, when he said that Germany’s killing of Ovaherero and Nama people of it was done in self-defense. It goes without saying that in their DNA, the German government does not feel remorse and does not take serious the demands that Germany must apologise for genocide, because to them, the extermination orders were Global struggles of the landless people’s movements and political killings From this side of the Atlantic, with conviction and solidarity, the Landless People’s Movement of Namibia supports the popular struggles carried out by the grassroots landless people’s movements against big capital and agribusiness. At every juncture in our history, whether it be in Brazil, Bolivia, Philippines, Namibia, or South Africa, the daily struggles remain the same. The struggle for plots, land to plough, affordable housing, food, potable water and sanitation are critical variables for our daily existence. Global struggles of the landless working folks, peasants and indigenous communities are at the apex of world revolution for food sovereignty and space to live. More often than not, greedy land barons, bureaucrats, and neo-liberals are at the forefront of conniving with thugs to murder leaders of the landless peoples’ movements in urban centres and rural areas. Most recently, on the 29 January 2018, Marcio Mattos, leader of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) in the state of Bahia, Brazil was killed. According to family and friends, the leader was shot three times in front of his son, while they were at home in the Boa Suerte settlement in the Chapada Diamantina region. In South Africa, Philela Gilwa (23) was one of the leaders of the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement in Khayelitsa, Cape Town and chairman of the Pan- Africanist Student Movement of Azania at Free State University, where he was expelled during the Fees Must Fall protests. He was killed by seven men with knives, on Saturday night, 15 July 2017, whilst walking in Mandela Park, on his way from a friend’s birthday party. They had earlier occupied land with his group. His comrade, Thulani Zondani (35), was stabbed to death on Sunday, 16 July 2017. In May 2017, one of their own, Ras Mosses Moziah Zuma, died in almost a similar fate. After Ras Mosses Zuma died, Philela assembled his team and took over the leadership of the Zwelethu Community for Land Campaign. project, forces suspected to be behind the killing of Ras Mosses Moziah Zuma. In South Africa, political assassination is almost a monthly occurrence. Violence and urban land struggles are dubbed twins in urban land narratives. Gilwa in the tradition of the gallant Ras Mosses Moziah Zuma, put his life on the line for a noble cause, the return of the land to its rightful owners, the African indigenous majority. And he paid the ultimate price for it, with his life. These were part of the young boys’ collective which got active in the #FeesMustFall movement, and at the same time were also active in the land struggles. Struggles can get ugly and nasty in Africa. In Kenya the populist member of parliament Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, who campaigned for the restitution of land to Kenyans, preached an corruption and social inequalities, was assassinated in 1975 with the evident complicity of the political police, if not of the State House. In Namibia, we too are faced with similar challenges. We have a total population of 2.3 million people, much smaller than Cape Town’s, which has a metro population of 3.7 million people. Namibia has a staggering housing backlog of 300 000 units, whereas Cape Town has between 360 000 and 400 000. In Namibia, housing backlogs might take 300 years to eradicate, whereas in Cape Town it is predicted to take 75 years. In 2013, it was estimated that more than 30 percent of Windhoek 350 000 residents live in shacks. We have elite land grabbing and favouritism in land distribution process. Indigenous peoples and peasants, who lost land through successive colonial intervals of Imperial German and Apartheid South Africa are still landless, 27 years after so-called independence. Many of our people live in squalid conditions. Mismanagement and corruption are the order of the day. This depicts epic failure. We are now descending into real Africa, the Africa of corruption. “I Chop, You Chop” was the name of a political party in Nigeria in 1978, which aroused the ire of the Obasanjo government. “When good people in any country cease their vigilance and the struggle, then evil men prevail,” Pearl S. Buck once said. Just last Friday, during the meeting with European Union delegation, President Hage Geingob tried to paint a picture of chaos that might erupt in the country soon due to Bernadus Swartbooi’s and LPM’s activities on land. The President must not use our movement to try to depict us as lawless and rowdy people. * Henny H. Seibeb is deputy leader and chief strategist of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM).
NEW ERA Cryptocurrencies a mechanism for economic inclusion - Marshall Page 10 INSIDE USINESS This news is your business Deadlock reached in wage negotiations at Standard Bank Edgar Brandt Windhoek A usually cordial relationship between the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (BAWON) and Standard Bank is on the verge of turning sour as the two parties have reached a deadlock on wage and While the union is demanding an eight percent increase across the board, the bank is sticking to its offer has been reached the union has declared a notice of dispute with the While the two offers from the opposing parties seem fairly close together, they are in fact further apart once broken down into the four performance-based salary for best performing category, which is where the agreement ends as in the three other categories the bank Progress category (the union wants Time to Step Up category (the union According to BAWON’s National refused to meet the union half way negotiable offer in response to the are cognisant of the fact that the economy in general is predicted with hardship but promising in some ways based on the statement by Economic Associatin of Namibia iin partnership was a tough year but we can say we faced the challenges and reacted with intervention that now allow us to look forward with optimism to BAWON Secretary General, Thomas the basis of an expected recovery of does not believe that these challenges BAWON is now calling on all Shop Stewards, National Executive general membership to stand together to speak with one comprehensive humbly requests the support of both sister unions, namely the Namibia Financial Institutions Union (NAFINU) and the Namibia Bank Workers Union (NBWU) in the banking and other financial institutions to support the cause of the workers and stand united to protect and defend the interests of workers together on the cause they have Inroads… The range of dairy products at Talamo Foods has increased from just cultured milk Talamo Foods expands to drinking yoghurt Edgar Brandt Windhoek A relatively new player in the dairy industry is making inroads into a niche market by locally producing cultured (fermented) milk and Talamo Foods, a food and beverage company owned by husband and wife Erikson producing sauces and condiments dairy products after identifying a segment of the dairy market they After launching their cultured milk product, called Omaotekwa, in September last year, Talamo Foods this week launched four drinking yoghurt flavours, namely Strawberry, Banana, the products are being well- far, the products are available at some Spar Supermarkets but the enterprising duo expects more retailers to come on board this (with a recommended retail Talamo Foods, which is based Windhoek, intends to expand its operations this year to increase production and to eventually increase the availability of its To ensure its products adhere to all health and safety standard, Talamo tests everything they both inhouse as well as by external very small operation but our orders We are in the process of upscaling and we intend penetrating the northern market which I think will Erikson and Albertina but now appoints casual workers as and the local sauce and dairy food of our brands, organisation, it’s employees, stakeholders and the greater communities serviced Foods employs the foundational philosophy of faster innovation process that supports our brands in order to achieve continuous /607 ‘APPARENTLY I WAS TOO ADVENTUROUS FOR HIM’ PRE-OWNED CARS LOOKING FOR A KEEN EXPLORER. OFFER VALID UNTIL 28 FEBRUARY 2018. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. Visit our Nedbank Branch, Call 061 295 2222 or go to www.nedbank.com.na Nedbank Namibia Limited Reg No 73/04561 Authorised financial services and registered credit provider