Namvet condemns OSASN's call for elections' boycott

11 Jun 2014 18:30pm
ONGWEDIVA, 11 JUN (NAMPA) – The leader of the Namibia War Veterans’ Trust (Namvet), Jabulani Ndeunyema has once again called on ex-colonial Government soldiers to vote for the DTA of Namibia during the upcoming general elections.
Ndeunyema started to encourage ex-colonial government soldiers to vote exclusively for the DTA during a consultative meeting held at Oshakati some two months ago.
Speaking to Nampa in a telephonic interview recently, Ndeunyema said the DTA is the only political party in Namibia that knows about the ex-soldiers of the colonial government and their plight.
These are the soldiers who fought for the colonial government under the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet who were demobilised in 1989.
Ndeunyema said the ex-SWATF and Koevoet members are suffering poverty as a result of the rejection by the Swapo-led government for the past 24 years of Namibia’s independence.
He believes the ex-SWATF and Koevoet soldiers are suffering from poverty for the past 24 years of independence after deserting the DTA, the party that knows them, to join Swapo, Congress of Democrats (CoD) and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).
“A statement made to the media by the leader of the Old South African Soldiers in Namibia (OSASN), Lukas de Klerk, encouraging ex-SWATF and Koevoet members not to vote during general elections this year is a wrong statement,” Ndeunyema charged.
He added that De Klerk wants the ex-SWATF and Koevoet soldiers to remain in poverty by encouraging them not to vote.
“He (De Klerk) should take note that only through the ballot box a united force of ex-SWATF and Koevoet soldiers and their wives and children can neutralise Swapo dominance by voting for the opposition, the DTA,” Ndeunyema argued.
The Namvet leader went on to say the ex-soldiers of the then colonial government were united during the war, faced Swapo and successfully stopped the organisation from taking over the Namibian government by force and to bring a system of communism in the country.
“De Klerk could have encouraged ex-SWATF and Koevoet members and their wives and children to go to the polls in thousands this year to vote for the opposition, instead of discouraging them,” Ndeunyema said.
Approached for comment on Tuesday, De Klerk indicated that he retracted the statement he made in the media last week encouraging the ex-colonial government soldiers that they must not vote during the upcoming election because the government is refusing to grant them war veterans’ status.
De Klerk also pointed out that it is the ex-colonial soldiers’ constitutional right to choose whether to participate in elections or not.
“Therefore, I have advised ex-soldiers of the old government (colonial government) to vote for the United People’s Movement (UPM) during the election this year when I addressed them in Windhoek on Saturday,” De Klerk claimed.
De Klerk is said to be a member of the United People's Movement (UPM), formerly known as the Rehoboth Democratic Movement.