CORRECTION TO: Lüderitzbuchters in distress over name-change

24 Feb 2015 19:40pm
Replacing 'he' with 'she' in sixth para. Also, third last para was restructured to include a reference to Government.

KEETMANSHOOP, 24 FEB (NAMPA) – Lüderitz residents are fuming at the proposed name change of their coastal town to !Nami#nûs, and are calling for a referendum because they were not consulted in the saga.
Generally referred to as ‘Buchters’ – derived from the original name Lüderitzbucht – the inhabitants have been keeping the airwaves abuzz since the announcement that the town’s name would soon change.
They are of the opinion that their views are being ignored.
Business owner Marion Schelkle of Lüderitzbucht Safaris and Tours told Nampa in a telephonic interview on Monday that the general view of the people is that they were never consulted in the name-change process.
“I cannot speak for all people or all businesspeople, but we simply feel that we are being robbed of our identity.
With all due respect to the Nama people, we feel that we have promoted this town, and as a small town, we are dependent on all the advertising we have done so far,” she stressed.
The Lüderitz Town Council last week gave notice of their U-turn on the name change following a decision in 2013 that only the name of the constituency would be changed, and not the town.
A resident for 67 years, Schelkle said residents were unhappy with the difficulty of pronouncing the proposed new name, and the fact that people from Bethanie and not Lüderitz are behind the name change.
Residents have spoken out on public media forums as well as social media platforms, expressing anger and disdain at the latest development.
Reports have it that Cabinet approved the renaming of Lüderitz to !Nami#nûs in July 2012 after !Aman Chief Dawid Frederick - who resides in Bethanie - made the proposal 10 years earlier.
Then, in August 2013, President Hifikepunye Pohamba announced a number of name changes of regions, constituencies and towns.
Lüderitz was one of them.
The issue has since caused an uproar amongst the town’s people, and once they were assured that only the name of the constituency would change, their emotions were allayed.
Another resident, Kirsten Sauerwein, 34, is originally from Keetmanshoop, and said the majority of inhabitants appeared to be against the name change.
“Judging from the reactions in town and on Facebook, I can tell that it is a very emotional issue for the people of Lüderitz.
They are looking at legal ways to halt the name-change process and means to fundraise to go to court,” Sauerwein told this agency.

She personally has no strong views on the matter, but feels the money Government will spend on the name-change could be of better value to other more pressing social issues.
A national newspaper on Monday reported that Lüderitz mayor Suzan Ndjaleka stressed that the town council’s decision to effect the name change was final, and that nothing would reverse it.
Questions were e-mailed to the mayor as per her request, but her feedback is yet to be received.