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Home / Genocide deal opponents delusional - Kapofi…can’t negotiate directly with Germany

Genocide deal opponents delusional - Kapofi…can’t negotiate directly with Germany

2022-01-11  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Genocide deal opponents delusional - Kapofi…can’t negotiate directly with Germany

Swapo member of parliament and defence minister Frans Kapofi has said it is delusional for the descendants of affected communities to think they can directly engage Germany on the genocide matter.  

Some Ovaherero and Nama have over the years been calling on the government to step aside, and to let them deal directly with Germany on the genocide matter.  

“We see people who think they still stand a chance of directly talking to Germany, which I think is basically delusional. There is no way they will be able to make it by directly engaging Germany as a community,” Kapofi told the revamped Swapo mouthpiece Namibia Today in late December. 

“There is a government here, and the trust that seems to be lacking from their side is basically just political; it is not true that the government cannot deliver. It is by far not true,” he added.

In September 2021, Kapofi tabled a motion to discuss the joint declaration in the National Assembly. 

The motion provoked heated debate inside and outside parliament, including a protest march by opposition parties on the day he tabled the motion.

In October 1904, Lothar von Trotha, then commander-in-chief of the German colonial protection force in German South West Africa, informed the Ovaherero in a letter that they were no longer German subjects and, therefore, had to leave the country. 

Up to 100 000 Ovaherero and Nama are believed to have been killed by German imperial troops in the early 1900s in what was then the German colony of South West Africa.

In June last year, the German government has acknowledged the mass killings, and agreed that Germany would apologise for the genocide and extend financial assistance of N$18 billion in project funding over 30 years to the descendants of affected communities. 

However, the majority of the affected communities, including opposition members of parliament, feel that Germany must do more to atone for its sins.

Kapofi in the interview said it is the government’s hope they will be able to achieve some kind of consensus in the genocide matter, “Where we say, fine, let us find an option”. 

“If Parliament wants the mandate to look at it and take it upon itself to go and consult further, I don’t see government or Swapo objecting to that. But certainly, what we do not want to allow is a situation where there was something – and the thing is, at least people have worked; money was spent. 

“Make no mistake; it was not a cheap exercise. It took people’s time and national resources to come to that point. It was a discussion – intense exchange of views – sometimes acrimonious between our negotiating team and the Germans. It was not easy,” he added. 

Furthermore, Kapofi called on the affected communities and the Namibian people at large to have faith in government. “This is a government they have put in place. We have never failed to deliver. We have not failed you. Why would it be so that they feel we will fail them when it comes to German money? We are providing leadership to the country. We are providing resources where necessary,” Kapofi said. He said, thus far, the government has not signed anything with the German government. 

“What we have done is to authenticate the document that indeed, that is what was discussed. For those who want to take Government to court, the laws of this country provide an opportunity for people to do so. We will not stand in their way”. 

He said those who are threatening the government with court orders over the issue are doing it to score political points.Kapofi said he has seen some members of parliament (MPs) talking about civil war.

“I advised against that. I said, please, let’s not even contemplate throwing words like that because civil war means people killing each other. Just because of German money? Really? That we contemplate taking guns because Germany has given us money that is not enough? Imagine people talking about that.” 

“Taking Government to court? They tried taking Germany to court. We wish them well. An opportunity was created, but why the anger? What is the point of being angry? For what? But, as I said, maybe that is the opportunity they have to try and rally people behind their political philosophy and ambitions but I don’t think there is anyone who is capable of delivering that issue from Germany,” Kapofi said.

He urged Namibians to forge ahead as united people.

“People acting in unison as we face Germany to make-do for their crimes against our people in this country. That crime affects all of us. It is not for the purposes of monetary rewards and what have you – maybe for the affected communities – but in general, it is the whole country that is affected. We will never recover from that genocide,” he said. -

2022-01-11  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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