• January 17th, 2020

Topnaar meeting turns into chaos

Eveline de Klerk

UTUSEB – A meeting to discuss the way forward for the Topnaar community, following the recent death of its chief, Seth Kooitjie, turned chaotic on Saturday afternoon.

Not only did the gathering disagree on the provisions of customary law but also on the fact that the meeting took place exactly a month after Chief Kooitjie was buried on 16 February at Soutrivier.

A section of the meeting felt the gathering was taking place too soon while the community is still in mourning.
Others were of the opinion that the community must move on from their late chief.

They also lashed out at their deputy chief, Stoffel Anamab and accused him of causing division among the Topnaar after he refused to take his seat among the traditional authority leaders during the meeting.  

Anamab said he wanted to support the spouse of the late Chief Kooitjie, but this was seen by the community as choosing sides instead of uniting them.

The meeting was called by the Topnaar Traditional Authority leaders to seek guidance from the community while the issue around the election of a successor for Chief Kooitjie is being deal with.

Despite the unhappiness among the Topnaar, traditional councillor Ambrosius Swartbooi said they cannot access the community’s finances, making it difficult to pay much needed services such as water bills and other essential services needed for the upkeep and development of the community. 

“We cannot halt the work that has been done so far as well as the administrative division of the Topnaars because we are mourning,” he said.

“Yes we are all in mourning but business must continue. Our Chief is not coming back, hence we cannot allow his work so far go to waste simply because we are mourning,” he explained.
Hence, he said, the meeting was called to be guided by the community on how they wanted the issues at hand to be addressed.

The late chief’s widow, Diana Kooitjie, on her part expressed her disappointment on the fact that the meeting took place exactly a month after the burial of her husband.

 “I am still mourning my husband and his grave is not even cold yet. It is exactly a month ago that we burry him and you are already hosting meetings.  What respect is that?” she remarked emotionally.
Photo caption:  
Divided views… Members of the Topnaar community that attended a community meeting on Saturday at Utuseb.

Eveline de Klerk
2019-03-18 09:40:46 | 9 months ago

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