We do not want to destabilise the country: Namvet

19 Jan 2016 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 JAN (NAMPA) – Members of the Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) are pleading with Government to grant them veterans' status and the benefits that come with such status.
“You cannot tell people about reconciliation and still find it hard to incorporate us in the system. But we are confident that President Hage Geingob is a man of his word, and we plan on getting a favourable answer from him,” said Namvet Chairperson Jabulani Ndeunyema.
Namvet consists of former South-West Africa Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet soldiers.
He told Nampa on Monday that Namvet members are still discussing the deadline they will give Government to respond to their demands for inclusion.
Apart from veterans’ status, Namvet members want monies owed to them. The former South African Government apparently paid huge sums of money to them, and such money was withheld by the Namibian Government.
He said that after 25 years the Namibian Government is failing to put the past behind it and accept them as Namibians.
Ndeunyema claimed that they have been in consultation with the government since 2007 for their recognition as war veterans, but to no avail.
He asserted that should Government fail to grant them their demands they will leave the country and seek refuge in Botswana, South Africa and Angola.
“We have been in talks with many countries, and they advised us to come there if these people do not want to give us what we want. Namibia is a beautiful and peaceful country, and that is how we want to leave it,” he added.
Ndeunyema warned that most of them are dangerous, and if given a firearm they could cause “problems”.
“These people are highly qualified soldiers, and that is why some of them are in the army and the police. I am not threatening anyone, but some of them can even make their own bombs,” he said.
Meanwhile, close to 400 Namvet members are currently camped at the Red Flag Commando Hall in Windhoek and the number is expected to grow.
They are camping there indefinitely in order to put pressure on Government to respond to their demands.
Formerly known as “Operation K”, Koevoet was a major para-military organisation under South African-administered South-West Africa, now Namibia.
Koevoet operations mainly concerned the spying of Swapo fighters, suspected communists, and assorted criminals, whereas SWATF was a military arm of the South African Defence Force and comprised the armed forces of South-West Africa from 1977 to 1989.
Koevoet, along with the South-West Africa Police, was disbanded in Namibia in 1989.