WINDHOEK - Lawyers representing President Hage Geingob yesterday said they will proceed with legal action against Gabrielle Lubowski, former wife of Swapo activist Anton Lubowski, for her perceived rebellious stance over suggestions the President betrayed Anton in regard to his high-profile assassination in 1989.
An open letter by Gabrielle surfaced last week in which she said Geingob “took everything from us by first betraying Anton and then smearing his name”.
Gabrielle, who was divorced from Anton at the time of the latter’s killing by alleged South African secret operatives, said her ex-husband last spoke to Geingob before his cold-blooded killing hours later.
Lawyer Sisa Namandje, representing Geingob, last week demanded a retraction of Gabrielle’s allegations that the Namibian head of state betrayed her former husband.
Gabrielle, speaking to New Era from South Africa last week, conceded to have authored the open letter but said it was only meant as a draft that she shared with a close-knit group of five friends.
She said she had not authorised the letter into the public domain, where it became a viral social media sensation.
Responding to Geingob’s demand for retraction in a letter authored yesterday, Gabrielle said: “I confirm that the open letter was authored by me, but wish to state that it was still a draft version, shared among a small circle for their review and therefore had not been polished for release to the wider public. I at no point intended to accuse or defame Dr Geingob.”
“My initial letter was written to express my frustration at various attempts to meet with Dr Geingob for over 30 years. My reason for wanting such a meeting was that Dr Geingob was one of the last people to speak to my late husband, Comrade Anton Lubowski, before his assassination and therefore someone I was hoping could help provide me with closure, both as a widow, and someone seeking answers and justice. My letter was not intended to cast aspersions on the President in relation to Anton’s death, but rather to compel him to sit down and have the person-to-person conversation I have sought for all of these years.”
Namandje yesterday told New Era that Gabrielle’s letter was “not good enough” and, unless she unconditionally and wholly retracts the content of the original letter, his instructions are to go ahead with legal action.
“We are going ahead with legal action unless [she] gives an unconditional and clear apology and retraction,” he told New Era.
Anton Lubowski, a revered activist during apartheid who supported Swapo’s cause, defended political prisoners and got involved with the Namibian trade union movement in the capacity of secretary of finance and administration of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).
Officially, he joined in 1984. But five years later, on the evening of September 12, 1989 Lubowski was shot by a group of assailants in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in Windhoek. He was allegedly hit by several shots from an AK-47 automatic rifle and died from bullet wounds.
The gunman allegedly escaped in a car and has never been identified to date, despite a myriad of inquiries and inquests in both Namibia and South Africa.