Open letter to Mr Albertos Bailleres The prospective buyer of Erindi Game Reserve..... 24th June 2019
Descendants of rightful bonafide indigenous owners of Erindi
'Every place has its village story'
We write this letter to appeal to your moral conscience and obligation to human rights protection, to inform you that we have learnt of your intention to purchase Erindi Game Reserve in Namibia. The descendants of indigenous communities from the OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu who lay empirical claim of ancestral ownership to the piece of land in question are sadly receiving this development with a pint of salt.
Just as you identify with Mexico, we identify with Namibia as our home and sole place of existence. Your plans are just about to erode this birthright and that is not acceptable by any international legal instruments protecting indigenous communities or first peoples. (Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples (United Nations) and the American Declaration of Rights and duties of man.)
While Erindi is currently in the hands of the Joubert family, who are South Africans, we are the legitimate owners of the land. It could be beneficial to you to revisit the history of dispossession in Namibia in general during he German Herero war of 1904 -1908 where an extermination order was issued to kill all OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu which culminated in the first genocide in modern history (21st Century), the most gruesome genocide in living memory whereby over 100,000, translating in over 80 percent of OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu being slaughtered in well orchestrated, premeditated, cowardice, and barbaric and cold-blooded acts.
These events led to these groups losing tracks of land to the German settlers and subsequent South Africans who over generations exchanged these tracks of land erasing some of the original villages, which were occupying areas making up Erindi today. But despite this inhuman attempt, indelible evidence exists pointing to the fact that many villages depicting the rich ancestral history of the OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu communities in and around Erindi Game Reserve exist even today.
Some of the following farms/villages were consolidated to form present day Erindi:
Okataanganda (where Erindi itself is) (Piriko, Kangorokotjiuru)
Okousaona - Uarukuijani
Otjandaue – Kaveterua, Komomungondo
Omingondo – (farm with Land Rover)
Okakoro (no sunrise or sunset)
Ongombe ja Navita
Otja Mahengu (wa Mbepo, wa Kazonjutji)
Omburo – Ndjiharine, Mutanga (Chief Hosea Kutako’s mother), Otjipuna (Kazenango, Kazondjandja, Ndjiharine)
It is in fact common knowledge that the hero of the struggle for the liberation of Namibia and his people, Chief Hosea Kutako was born in the vicinity of modern day Erindi Game Reserve It is henceforth our advise to you to reconsider your decision to buy this game reserve as it is a contested place now post the 2nd National Land Conference held in August 2018 where it was resolved that “No land should be sold to foreign nationals.”
We assume you could have been misled by our political leaders who will get a share of their blame in this debacle as they stand to be condemned for compromising when it became essentially imperative to defend the human rights of the indigenous people of Namibia.
It will not only be insensitive on you to continue with this transaction but we believe you stand to lose your investment of N$2 billion, equivalent of 143, 000,000 USD, should all laws be adhered to.
We the affected communities of OvaHerero, OvaMbanderu and Namas, San, Basters, Damaras and all other patriotic and sympathetic communities will not permit you to take away our natural heritage and inheritance.
In addition, Erindi Game Reserve is a natural resource and it should remain in Namibia for Namibians. The General Assembly adopted resolution 1803 (XVII) on the “Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources” on 14 December 1962.
The Commission on Human Rights recommended the establishment of a commission to conduct a full survey of the right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources, having noted that this right formed a “basic constituent of the right to self-determination”.
We are mobilised and determined never again to allow foreign ownership to our prime ancestral land. Our ancestral land is not for sale no matter how much wealth you have amass on earth.
Your cooperation in this very crucial and important matter is hitherto sought.
It will therefore, be prudent upon you to unconditionally and unreservedly withdraw your offer so as to pave way for a normal transitioning of this land to its rightful owners.
This is just a polite advice as the affected communities have undertaken a vow to seek the return of their ancestral land that was unlawfully and forcefully taken away from them more than 100 years ago. The campaign has started with Erindi Game Reserve and will reach every grain of land in Namibia that identifies with the history of dispossession and brutal killing of our ancestors.
Erindi is not for sale
Any ancestral land is not for sale
From: The bonafide indigenous owners of Erindi and other villages in and around Erindi Game Reserve
2019-06-28 10:13:12 | 11 months ago