Nama leadership accused of inaugurating corpse as chief
July 14, 2015, 7:52am
The Christiaan royal family has accused the Nama Traditional Leadership Association (NTLA) of inaugurating a dead body as the Bondelswarts chief.
Reading a press statement last Saturday, Mercia Schneider pointed out that the royal family is greatly disturbed and disappointed by the actions of NTLA and in particular Chief Moses Kooper of the Kai //Khaun clan, for presiding over the ceremony in which the late chief Joseph Christiaan who was buried about two weeks ago was allegedly inaugurated as chief as he laid in his casket.
“How can a man of his calibre and stature officiate and preside over a ceremony where a dead person, now technically a body, be inaugurated as a chief?” she questioned.
She said traditionally the ceremony is designed in a way that the person being inaugurated answers to questions on whether he is ready and willing to accept the position and thus it’s impossible for a dead person to be inaugurated as chief.
Chief Kooper telephonically told New Era that he only presided over the ceremony upon request by the community and family members and there was no objection from anyone at the time as the ceremony attracted a huge number of people who were happy. “I don’t understand why people are complaining about that only now,” he noted.
He said such complaints are just an attempt by certain individuals to tarnish the name of the traditional authority and NTLA, adding that the late Christiaan was the rightful person for the chieftaincy but could not be inaugurated due to disputes in the clan.
He added that it is customary in all Nama traditions that the throne be taken up by the male and thus the children of the late chief Anna Christiaan are not eligible to be chief as they are from the female side.
NTLA Secretary General Lazarus Kairabeb refuted the claims of inauguration explaining that the ceremony was not an inauguration but just sign of recognition for his contributions. He elaborated that plans and preparations were in place and the late chief was due to be inaugurated in October but because he passed away before it could happen, the community decided it was right to recognise him and thus was buried dressed in a coat that he was set to wear as chief during his inauguration.
He also made clear that the late chief was not inaugurated because of the disputes in the clan, but a report from a hearing by the traditional authority to get the input of community members on the matter clearly states that the late chief was the right person to be crowned chief. He added that during this hearing the elders were clear that the chieftaincy is passed on through the patrilineal line and thus the sons of the late Anna Christiaan are ineligible to be chiefs although their mother was a chief.