Matheus Hamutenya Bethanie-The late Chief David Frederick of the !Aman Traditional Authority of Bethanie has been described as a unifier, a good leader, a true statesman, a son of the soil, and a man who put the wellbeing of the common man before all else. Swapo //Karas regional coordinator Matheus Mumbala, Deputy Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Hilma Nikanor, and !Nami#nus Constituency Councillor Jan Scholtz were the recent politicians to pay tribute to the late Frederick. Frederick died on January 12 in the Keetmanshoop state hospital after a long illness. He was 85 years old. “I never heard him say anything tribalistic, but he was fighting for his people and his people are those that are in his area no matter the language or tribe, so I am saying you have lost a great leader, a unifier and I urge you to follow in his footsteps,” said Mumbala at the late chief’s residence in Bethanie on Friday. Nikanor who was also part of the Swapo delegation said Frederick has left a legacy that will be cherished for generations to come, through his selfless leadership and the many things he had achieved. “He has done a lot for this region and for the country. We have lost a person that many looked up to, so let us keep up the legacy of our chief,” she said. She said despite the political differences, the late chief welcomed everyone even if they did not belong to the same political party, saying he was open to everyone and he was a peaceful man. Scholtz said that before and since his designation as chief of the !Aman Nama sub-tribe, Frederick worked tirelessly for the wellbeing of all Namibians and those of his people. Scholtz spoke during the memorial service of the late chief held at the A.M.E. Church in Lüderitz on Sunday. Scholtz stated that Frederick’s achievements were too numerous to list. Among them was that the late leader worked endlessly for the development of his area of jurisdiction, and he was heavily involved in the negotiations for reparations for the Herero and Nama people from the German government. “Many of us had the privilege and pleasure of knowing and working with him almost all his life, and it is therefore hard for us to say goodbye. While we are saddened by his death, we are not here only to mourn, but to remember him and celebrate life,” said Scholtz. He indicated that on a more local front, the late Chief Frederick worked closely with his constituency of !Nami#nus at Lüderitz to ensure that bones found at graves by the railway lines at first lagoon were provided a decent burial. Scholtz further explained that the late Chief Frederick was part of the driving force that resulted in the name change of Lüderitz Constituency to !Nami#nus, despite the stiff criticism. He had also proposed that Bethanie fall under Lüderitz Constituency, showing his love for this area. He said, through his efforts, a tombstone was put up for Joseph Cornelius Frederick on Shark Island, in commemoration of the Nama and Herero prisoners that were kept there by the German colonialists. At the same occasion former MP and regional councillor for Lüderitz Constituency, Fluksman Samuehl, explained that Chief Frederick was concerned about the country’s development narrative and how that could impact positively on the various communities in Namibia. Samuehl said he facilitated an interview with late chief, to set the record straight with regard to genocide and other atrocities meted out against the Nama and Herero communities at the hands of the imperial German government He said for generations to come, academics, researchers, scholars and historians would be able to see the last pictures of Chief Frederick at Shark Island, a place that is closely connected to his ancestors regarding the sad history. A book titled ‘Lüderitz: A Journey Through Time’ launched in September 2017 in Lüderitz, also captured the last statements of Chief Frederick, as he spoke candidly and profoundly on the subject of reparations and genocide committed in Namibia. Samuehl explained that Chief Frederick died fighting, seeking restorative justice for his community for having lost land and other properties. The Nama community endured cruel treatment under terrible conditions in concentration camps, where they suffered humiliation and faced death at the hands of German settlers during its military campaigns of 1904 until 1908. Chief Frederick is expected to be buried on February 3 at Bethanie.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-23 09:26:19 9 months ago