Pohamba rejects Namvet demands

21 May 2014 19:40pm
OMUGULUGWOMBASHE, 21 MAY (NAMPA) – President Hifikepunye Pohamba has once again refused to recognise soldiers who fought for the colonial government under the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet as war veterans.
Speaking at the Omugulugwombashe national shrine in the Omusati Region where he unveiled the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters’ statue on Wednesday, Pohamba referred to the ex-colonial government soldiers as “killers”.
“I am asked to give veteran status to the killers (SWATF/Koevoet), I will not give it to them,” the Head of State said, adding that ex-members of SWATF and Koevoet are forgiven through national reconciliation, but Swapo will not forget the atrocities they committed against the Namibian people.
The President pointed out that the ex-colonial government soldiers are free to benefit from the old age government allowance, but not from the benefits that the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs is distributing to former PLAN fighters under Swapo.
Leaders of the Namibia War Veterans’ Trust (Namvet), which is an organisation for ex-members of SWATF and Koevoet, recently demanded that such former soldiers be recognised as veterans so that they can benefit from the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs’ grants for war veterans.
“They should not open the wounds. They can go back to war, we will meet them,” Pohamba warned.
The President went on to say “They must go to South Africa, but I will tell (South African president Jacob) Zuma not to accept them”.
He added that ex-members of SWATF and Koevoet must “go to the graves of their masters to demand their benefits”.
The statue which Pohamba unveiled at Omugulugwombashe Shrine symbolises the group of six PLAN fighters who launched the liberation struggle there in August 1966.