WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob yesterday demanded a retraction through his lawyers from Gabrielle Lubowski, who suggested in an open letter this week that the Head of State is linked to the death of her husband, anti-apartheid activist Anton Lubowski.
“You were the last person Anton spoke to,” Gabrielle said, in an open letter that leaked this week.
“He shared information with you that was so sensitive, that the two of you could not even sit down for a cup of coffee, but had to walk along Kaiser Street (now Independence Avenue) so that no one could hear the conversation. A few hours later, Anton was dead,” she wrote.
“I still want to tell you that you have taken everything from us, by first betraying Anton and then smearing his name.”
President Geingob’s lawyer Sisa Namandje, in a letter shared by the presidency late yesterday, demanded that Gabrielle retracts her allegations and unconditionally apologise to the Head of State by not later than Monday next week, 24 June.
Namandje said Gabrielle falsely made these allegations knowingly to whip up public anger against the President and to portray him as unworthy of occupying the office of the president.
Speaking to New Era from South Africa last night, Gabrielle confirmed that she authored the letter, but only shared it with five people.
She described that letter as a “test round” which she shared confidentially with those close to her and had not sanctioned its release into the public domain.
“The open letter that I sent in confidence was not meant for the media, although I indicated I will send a letter to the media if I do not get a response [from Geingob],” she said.
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 12 September 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.
The version that seems to have taken firmer hold is that the assassination was arranged by the Civil Co-operation Bureau, a state-terrorist organisation that operated clandestinely within the apartheid security apparatus during South Africa’s illegal occupation of Namibia.
Lubowski was intimately involved in the 1989 election campaign for Swapo, but never lived to see the party triumph ahead of the country’s official independence in March 1990.
Yesterday, Gabrielle said she is curious to know what her slain husband spoke to Geingob about before getting assassinated later that day.
“I lived with Anton and he appeared very troubled a few days before his killing,” she told New Era.
“Something obviously was not right but he spoke to Geingob. All I want is for Geingob to look me in the eye and tell me what Anton told him. He needs to tell me why Anton behaved the way he did in his last few days. We can get fresh leads from that or we can get closure,” the activist’s widow said.
“If Geingob was truly Anton’s friend, why hasn’t he spoken to me or the children for all those 30 years?”
In a more subtle letter to President Geingob, subsequent to the one the President’s lawyers reacted to, Gabrielle insisted she needs to meet with the Namibian Head of State.
“After 30 years of searching for the truth, I still need to speak to two people to get closure and you are one of them,” she said, without naming the second person she is yearning to meet.
“Being the man who was seen as a comrade of the struggle and a close friend of Anton Lubowski, the man under whose presidency Anton was finally laid to rest on Heroes Acre and a man whose intention is to uphold human rights values and prosperity for the people of Namibia, I trust you will finally give me a hearing,” she concluded.
2019-06-20 09:14:56 3 months ago