• July 16th, 2020

/Khomanin Chief wants Daan Viljoen, Namib Naukluft as communal areas

WINDHOEK – /Khomanin Traditional Authority Chief Juliane Gawa!Nas has demanded that the government avail Daan Viljoen Game Park, Namib Naukluft Park and farm Bona as communal land for her community.

Gawa!Nas made this appeal during a hearing of the Presidential Commission into Claims on Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution held at farm Baumgartzbrum, Khomas Hochland, Khomas Region on Saturday.

The /Khomanin are a sub-clan of the Damara people who inhabited the central areas during the 1930s. Gawa!Nas claims Khomas Region as her community’s ancestral land, saying that they were the first inhabitants to settle in Khomas.

Daan Viljoen Game Reserve is a game reserve near Windhoek. It is situated in the hilly area of Khomas Hochland, whereas Namib Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world with an overall area of 49 768 km2.

Gawa!Nas told the commission that currently her community does not have land of their own where they can practise their beliefs and norms.

“The graves of our ancestors are all over the Khomas Region,” she stressed.
She said Khomas is the only region without communal land despite her traditional authority being recognised in the region.

“My subjects are on a daily basis evicted from the farms and dumped in the corridors and urban areas,” she added.

Gawa!Nas said farmworkers do not have land of their own and once the lose their jobs they go to Windhoek where they also do not have land.    

She said the establishment of conservancies as communal areas for her subjects will enable financial independence to her community to undertake the annual traditional festivity, burial of its kings and queens without government support.

She said this would also create more job opportunities for her subjects.
Gawa!Nas also called for the renaming of Daan Viljoen Game Reserve to Alpheus Haraseb National Game Park. 

Alpheus Haraseb is the late headman.
“It is unfair that Daan Viljoen, the South African administrator who presided over the removal of the Damara community to Okakarara, Otjimbingwe, Okombahe and Sorris-Sorris in the so-called Damaraland, continues to enjoy the dubious distinction of honour, having an area named after him during this era of independence,” he said.

She said honour should be bestowed on Namibian heroes such as the late Haraseb, who according to her built the dam in the first place, or other liberation stalwarts such as late Fritz Gariseb.
Gawa!Nas also wants the City of Windhoek to be compelled to open a trust fund on behalf of the traditional authority so that her subjects can benefit from it as a way of restorative justice.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2019-08-13 06:57:30 | 11 months ago

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