• March 22nd, 2019
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Dirk Mudge and political pedagogy

Columns, Special Focus
Columns, Special Focus

Last week an ensemble of like-minded political bed-fellows, Uncle Toms and yesteryear quislings assembled at the National Arts Gallery of Namibia in what resembled the congregation of the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference of September 1, 1975, that was held in defiance of the 1972 United Nations General Assembly resolution that recognised Swapo as the “sole and authentic representative” of the Namibian people. The sole purpose of the Turnhalle Conference was to prevent and where necessary delay the independence of Namibia through balkanising Namibia into Bantustans, the ethnic constellation of homelands. The chairperson of that creation by apartheid South Africa was Dirk Frederik Mudge. “We don’t want a Swapo government in this country. We will make it as difficult as possible for Swapo to rule this country,” said Dirk Mudge at the start of the Turnhalle Conference. The 134 members from 11 ethnic groups, who attended the conference, ululated and cheered their master, as his voice pierced the eardrums of freedom-loving Namibians. The conference produced a 29-page document, among others, petitioning apartheid South Africa to allow for the setting up of an interim government that would maintain the status quo of a paraphernalia of Bantustans, as well as a draft constitution for a republican, democratic state. What a contradiction!!! The Turnhalle document did not mandate the holding of elections, something that would commonly be regarded as a crucial component of both democracy and a republic. It did not enshrine any provisions for the independence of the judiciary or executive, and relied on apartheid South Africa as the overall authority. How, under those circumstances, a state would have been constituted defies logic. Although the Turnhalle constitution provided for multi-racial participation in the interim government, it firmly entrenched the racial segregation of Namibia’s population. The Turnhalle Plan was approved in a Whites-only referendum in 1977 under the watchful eye of Dirk Mudge. Not to be outdone by their Turnhalle peers and heroes, the ensemble at last week’s launch of Mudge’s newly published autobiography competed for eloquence in praising Mudge – some going to the extreme of ridiculousness of elevating him to a cult hero of democracy in Namibia. “Mudge and the party he found laid the foundation for multi-party, multi-ethnic, multi-point-of-view politics in Namibia, which is today the most stable and democratic country in Africa”, said a professor who should know better. Another paid similar sugar-coated accolades to Mudge, crediting him with creating a multi-party political system in Namibia. Our history is doomed if it is to be left in the hands and mouths of this type of political pedagogy. It should be remembered that ethnic representation rather than political parties were the main consideration for membership of the Turnhalle Conference. That is what Mudge created and fought for. It is therefore nonsensical to equate this to the foundation of multi-party democracy in Namibia. In the first place, a multi-party political system entails a system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, each having an equal chance of winning, either individually or in a coalition. A multi-party political system is different from a two-party system and a third-party system, also called a Stalled Third-Party system. This is elementary to any political science student or a novice politician. Dirk Mudge did not break away from the National Party in 1977, as is being propagated by those who wish to hoodwink public opinion. He was funded by the National Party of South Africa to form the Republican Party and to join and lead the 10 ethnic Bantustan groups under the DTA at the end of the Turnhalle constitutional talks. His reporting point was Pretoria, the citadel of apartheid and colonial illegal occupation of Namibia. Surely, it is insane to preach that Mudge broke away from the NP to form his own party, while continuing to work for the NP and receiving directives and funding from the NP. Regurgitating this lie borders on dishonesty and outright duplicity. Only those who fought against apartheid colonialism can understand the duplicity, chicanery, deceit and manoeuvres that were used by the apartheid regime to divide Namibians and perpetuate colonialism in different forms and guises. Obviously, some of our professors, Uncle Toms and apartheid apologists may not understand this, as they rely on the writings of Dirk Mudge and his kith and kin, and were possibly far removed from the political reality of the day. When the dawn of independence was imminent, Dirk Mudge solicited funds from the National Party in Pretoria. He was given N$100 million to share with the various tribal groupings under his command to fight Swapo during the 1989 independence elections. It is alleged that the bulk of those slush funds were ultimately used to set up businesses for the big Kahuna – Democratic Media Holdings and Democratic Media Trust, among others. In essence, the DTA under Mudge secured seats in the first National Assembly as a result of the funding they received from the National Party. Those funds were not meant to contribute to multi-party democracy but to prevent Swapo from winning the 1989 elections and thereby derail independence and further prolong the illegal occupation of Namibia. “Those members of the House, who owe their presence here to South African money cannot be expected to owe their allegiance to Namibia. Their first allegiance, it is reasonable to assume, has to be South Africa,” said Dr Hage Geingob, then as Prime Minister in 1991, said in the National Assembly in reference to Dirk Mudge, who had tried to deviate from the debate on the slush funds. Dirk Mudge was complicit to apartheid colonialism. He did more harm to Namibia by working for and supporting the divide and rule policy. It is a shame that some of our professors do not realise that by actively participating in delaying the independence of Namibia, Mudge and the whole collage of apartheid henchmen prolonged the suffering of Namibians. Brutal atrocities, massacres of civilians and wholesale detentions without trials were the order of the day during Dirk Mudge’s political career as a senior member and leader of the National Party, which he joined in 1955. When he joined the Legislative Assembly in 1961 as one of seven members appointed to represent Namibia’s white citizens in the Parliament of South Africa, he willingly partook in the enactment and effective implementation of draconian apartheid laws in Namibia. He knowingly presided over the illegal governance of Namibia. *Dr Charles Mubita holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Southern California.
New Era Reporter
2015-06-12 11:49:19 3 years ago

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