• June 5th, 2020

Year of reckoning, yes, even for restorative justice

Columns, Comment
Columns, Comment

The case management session in the class suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in the United States of America (USA) has come and gone. But this time around the Namibian contingent of the descendants of the victims of the 1904 genocide cannot be said to have returned home hoping against hope. Eventually the legal counsel of the Federal Republic of Germany was there. Albeit not to answer to the charges but once again to try and deflect them as she has been doing all the time since the institution of the legal challenge in January 2016. An untiring Namibian delegation of descendants of the victims from Namibia, the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of South Africa, as has been the case since last year, undertook the thousands miles journey to New York to observe first hand what may transpire. Prior to going to New York the descendants had an ecumenical service in Okahandja on the weekend of January 12, and a retreat to the holy shrine of Ozombuzovindimba last week by the divine priests of the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu. This is the seriousness the descendants of the Nama, Ovambanderu and Ovaherero attach to the issue of their genocide by Imperial Germany, and the attendant demand for restorative justice, notwithstanding. Nothing can testify to their seriousness about their ongoing class action in court in New York, with some parting with perhaps their last hard-won resources to afford a flight ticket to the USA to be part of the history being re-written. In the words of Namibia’s head of state, His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, 2018 is the year of reckoning. Indeed, this is a year of reckoning and no less so for the issue of genocide and restorative justice, especially as spearheaded by Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, the late !Aman Chief, Dawid Frederick, may his spirit for ever live to imbue the warriors for restorative justice; Chief Seth Koitjie of the Topnaar; Chief Simon Kooper of the //Khau-Khan; Chief Turimuro Hoveka of Otjimana/Hoveka; Chief Hiangungo Kapia, and many others who, conscious of their inalienable right to claim restorative justice for the injustices meted against their forebearers, are prepared to meet any terms of endurance. After years of prevarication, dilly-dallying, equivocating and playing hide and seek, Germany seems eventually to have decided to man up and answer to the charges of genocide in the New York court. But its shenanigans cannot fool anyone. Because its agenda in the court is not really to answer to the substance of the charges, which is genocide. But to continue to run and duck as is the case with its motion to honourable Laura Twain pleading for the dismissal of the case. Not for its lack of substance but a procedural point claiming lack of jurisdiction by the court in question in hearing the charges against her as a sovereign. Whatever law gives any sovereign the right to wipe out a people without compunction for it only to claim sovereignty in international law in carrying out such a heinous and despicable act, cannot but be mindboggling. But how can Germany buy time in this matter? The writing has been on the wall. And such writing is becoming all the more inerasable. It is now only a matter of time for Germany to directly answer to the people its imperial forerunner regime nearly wiped out: in the court in New York as charged by the Nama, Ovaherero and Ovambanderu. Even should the court in New York be shown to have no jurisdiction in this matter, in the eyes of the descendants of genocide this shall never exonerate the government of the Federal Republic of Germany from the genocide of Namibians as charged. One can swear by the spirit of late Keharanjo II Nguvauva, late Dr Kuaima Riruako and lately, the just departed warrior of restorative justice, Chief Dawid Frederick. Yes, one cannot but also agree with the head of state, that indeed, this is the year of reckoning. Least not for genocide and restorative justice as far as the Namibian government is concerned. This is the year that the Namibian government needs to open its eyes to the real essence of the demand for restorative justice. It can only do this by listening to the voices of reason in this matter. And there can be no other voice of reason other than the voices of the descendants in their fullness and not partial co-option.
New Era Reporter
2018-02-02 10:57:45 | 2 years ago

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