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No white farmer in Namibia ever stole land 

2019-03-22  Staff Reporter

No white farmer in Namibia ever stole land 
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I am writing this because I cannot believe in the scenario as being described in the New Era editorial of [last week].
 I, being a German-speaking born Namibian, and also being a farmer who has bought all his farms well after independence, have not witnessed or spoken to anybody in the recent days, joyously celebrating the dismissal of the [Ovaherero/Nama] court case in New York. 
What is true though, is that I (and I believe a lot of my colleagues too) did not ever believe in the success of trying to seek justice in an American court. 
 I also do not believe that the German government, or anybody else for that matter (provided that they do have able minds)  is “laughing their heads off”, because of the case dismissal.
 For doing so, not only did the attempt to seek justice in an American court attract too much attention around the world, but also, because the history that has led to this courtcase, is of far too serious a matter. 
 The situation in Namibia can rather be correctly decribed as follows. 
 No white farmer in Namibia ever stole land. The private person owning land, always had to purchase the land from the authority of the day; i.e. Germany and South Africa.  
Not only did the owner of land had to acquire the land from the said authority, but the owner also paid transfer duties and taxes to that authority. 
If anybody is aware of any piece of land, not being obtained in this way, they should inform the public about these specific incidents. 
 If we as Namibians, as a joint and united group of people conclude that the authority of the day did sell unrightful confiscated land to settlers  or farmers, then we should definitely find ourselves in a position to demand reparations from those former authorities.  
It should not be too difficult to unite all people (including the whites) in Namibia to fight this cause.   
 Reparations might be done by either financing specific development, but could also be done by purchasing farmland, specifically identified for such purpose. 
I believe that a lot of white farmers are very much eager to sell off their land, provided that they are refundend appropriately. 
Of course, this approach needs to include the San and Damara – communities of Namibia, who have been colonised by Ovaherero and Nama.  
 Let us do away with government-owned land in farming areas. I am of the opinion that it is the call for government to own all land that is the biggest hurdle in obtaining not only justice, but also economic growth. 
This, because when land is owned by government, the whole problem around land will always remain a political powerplay. 
The group ruling government will automatically also rule deep into the private lives of every citizen inhabiting such land.
 It is a common known fact that strong private ownership – rights to land in both rural and urban areas -  is the best recipe for a strong economy. 
Joachim Rust    

2019-03-22  Staff Reporter

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