Predictably, and as some observers expected, including this columnist, the hearing in the Class Case brought by the Ovaherero and Nama against the German government last Wednesday was without any immediate closure, with the judge deferring the judgement.
Because there’s no way the judge in the matter in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Laura Taylor-Swain, could have disposed of this matter there and then. The first thing as it came to transpire since the counter-motion in January by Germany to have the initial application by the Ovaherero and Nama dismissed, is to deal with this motion. Which is what the hearing last Wednesday did. It must have been known all along that there is no way that the judge could have dealt with the substantive matter of the application before the court to, first, adjudicate on the plea for damages against the German government for its genocidal acts against the affected communities. And second, for Germany to include the affected communities in the ongoing negotiations between her and the Namibian government, so that it can also negotiate with the pleading affected communities.
Alas, there was no way that the court could entertain the above pleas over and above Germany’s counter-motion of dismissal of the initial application. The judge has addressed herself to Germany’s dismissal counter-motion, but deferred her judgement in this regard to a date still to be announced.
There can be no question that Germany with its dismissal counter-motion tactically sought to duck and avoid addressing the substantive issue of the application, which is about claims for damages ensuing from its predecessor colonial government’s genocidal escapades. Buying time so to speak.
But time until when? That is a million dollar question. Because the genocide of the affected communities is not only an undeniable fact, but one the descendants of the affected communities shall never forget and to which they shall pass on the baton from one generation to another for Germany to answer to them, and eventually atone for its genocidal war crimes. Meaning there’s no way that Germany can wish or hope that along the road, however long and bumpy this journey may be and can be, the affected communities shall forget and/or abandon the cause. That is wishful thinking. Nor can she imagine that they shall surrender it. That is farfetched. No surrender, at least as far as the bona fide leaders of this cause are concerned. Any one contemplating and daring surrender this cause cannot be bona fide and can be assured of the wrath of the spirits of the very ancestors whose lives he/she is purporting to redeem.
As it pertains to all technical matters, which it was all about during last Wednesday’s hearing, there cannot be right or wrong or who may have put forward a strong case. Technical is all what it is and now the waiting game is on. When the jury is eventually out soon or later, it can go either way. But whichever way it may go for the affected communities, this does not, and cannot, mean the end of their noble cause. Genocide is genocide and sooner or later, the German government must and would have to atone for such. Not as she might want to decree but as the spirits of thousands and thousands of the vanquished in its genocidal war, shall and had has been crying for in terms of redemption. If media reports are anything to go by regarding Germany’s plea for the dismissal of the application of the affected communities, Germany is simply running and hiding by pretexting and sub-texting technicalities with its counter-motion highly premised technicalities rather than facts. The facts are that Imperial Germany killed thousands and thousands of Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama. And humanity cannot and shall never exonerate her simply because of the claim that they were her subjects. No, and no nation however sovereign can claim immunity against killing humans, whether they are her subjects or not. Neither can there be any truism in its supposition of Imperial Germany acting lawfully. What laws legalizing the genocide of a people? In fact there and then judge Swain must simply have given her verdict! It is Aluta continua!