Second phase of skull repatriation next week

27 Feb 2014 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 27 FEB (NAMPA) – Thirty-five more skulls and two skeletons of OvaHerero and Nama people killed by German colonial forces during the 1904-1908 genocide will be returned to Namibia next week.
The human remains are expected to arrive in Namibia next Friday.
A delegation led by the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo and including about 10 senior Government officials and representatives of the Council of Traditional Authorities will leave for Germany on Sunday.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said during a media conference here on Thursday Government will organise an official receiving ceremony at Parliament Gardens in the capital next Friday. It is set to take place as from 12h00.
The country’s first citizen, President Hifikepunye Pohamba is expected to accord the remains of the fallen Namibian nationals a fitting welcome home.
Ua-Ndjarakana invited members of the public to gather at Parliament Gardens from as early as 07h00 as immediately after the official receiving ceremony, the public will have the opportunity to view the remains and perform any traditional or religious rituals.
“Those who desire to perform any singing of religious or traditional songs and recite poems should indicate their wishes by contacting the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture for further information and arrangements,” he said.
The first repatriation exercise was carried out in October 2011, and saw 20 skulls returned to Namibia from Germany.
It is believed that the skulls were transported to Germany to be used in purported ‘research’ to prove that white people are superior to Blacks.
The repatriation follows a protracted battle by members of the OvaHerero/OvaMbanderu and Nama people, led by their various traditional leaders, with German government authorities to have the skulls released.
Meanwhile, Ua-Ndjarakana on Thursday also announced that this year’s main celebrations of Namibia’s 24th independence will take place in Windhoek.
Further details regarding the event will be released in due course.