Shanghala blames colonial government soldiers for Barclays bomb

19 Feb 2015 18:10pm
OSHAKATI, 19 FEB (NAMPA) – The chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission, Sacky Shanghala says Leonard Sheehama did not participate in the killing of innocent people in the 1988 Oshakati Barclays Bank bomb blast.
Speaking at the commemoration of the said bomb blast at Oshakati on Thursday, Shanghala admitted that Sheehama was a Swapo Plan fighter with a mission to bomb certain targets.
“However, the Barclays Bank in Oshakati was not one of them,” he stressed.
Shanghala’s sentiment came in opposition to ex-combatants of the then colonial government who, during their media conference held at the Okankete village near Ondangwa on Monday, singled out Sheehama as the culprit in the said bomb blast.
The bomb blast took place on 19 February 1988, killing about 30 innocent civilians and left several injured.
The ex-soldiers of the colonial regime, under the auspices the Namibia War Veterans’ Trust (Namvet), continue blaming Swapo and Sheehama for the bomb blast and two other bombs planted in Walvis Bay.
The colonial regime convicted Sheehama as the culprit and sent him to a prison in Pretoria, South Africa following his arrest in July 1988.
He was, however, released but passed away shortly after Namibia achieved independence in 1990.
“Some people may find our loss as their stepping stone to redemption,” charged Shanghala, whose mother also died in the blast.
He referred to the Namvet members as “people seeking to atone for the hurt they have caused to many”.
Namvet members on Monday this week laid wreaths on the bomb blast victims’ grave at Ongwediva and memorial stone at Oshakati, but Shanghala described it a move to reconcile their guilty conscience.
“These people are achieving at least one thing – the deliberate and politically motivated perpetration of hurt towards forgiving people. Nothing else!” said Shanghala, who is a Swapo Member of Parliament in waiting.
According to him, the Namvet members’ laying of wreaths are “theatrically placed to attract attention whilst hurting people”.
He referred to many Namvet members as “hired thugs, who went about killing and instilling fear in Namibian people”.
A prominent Namibian religious and political leader, Bishop Zephania Kameeta, who was the main speaker, placed a wreath on the memorial stone at Oshakati after Thursday’s commemoration event.
Oshana regional governor, Clemens Kashuupulwa and the chief financial officer of the First National Bank (FNB) of Namibia, Oscar Capelao also laid wreaths at the memorial stone.