Amper-Bo gets young chief

31 Jan 2016 18:00pm
AMPER-BO, 31 JAN (NAMPA) – The !Khara-Khoen of Amper-Bo on Saturday finally installed Dawid Hanse as successor to his late father, Chief Frederick Hanse, who died in 2011.
The nearly five-year delay of official recognition was due to investigations and processes of legitimacy on rightful succession by the Namibian Government, the new chief told Nampa before the proceedings.
The 37-year-old Hanse, however, unofficially took over some chieftain duties after the death of his father, alongside senior councillor of the clan, Samuel Goliath.
In his yellow captain attire during the ceremony, a touched but calm chief Hanse expressed his gratitude to God and his clan.
“I grew up with love from all my elders and I was left in good hands. If I do wrong, forgive me, but give me permission to see what I would like to achieve with this place of ours,” he said to his followers in Nama.
The !Khara-Khoen Traditional Authority is one of very few Nama sub-clans not beset by fights over succession.
The young chief was already nominated by his father before the latter’s death and accepted by the community, also known as the Simon Kooper clan.
Governor of the Hardap Region, Esme Isaack congratulated the group on the smooth succession and also called on other tribal groups across the country to harmoniously resolve succession disputes in the interest of communities.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, in a speech read on her behalf, cautioned “those tribalistic leaders who look down on ‘One Namibia, One Nation’ causing divide among people and disputes over land”.
The coronation was performed by two senior female elders of the clan, as well as Chief Johannes Isaak and Deputy Chief Stephanus Goliath, both of the /Hai-/Khaua of Berseba.
Chairperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association, Chief Seth Kooitjie of the Topnaar in the Walvis Bay area watched over the proceedings.
Kooitjie advised that cultural and customary interests be upheld to ensure a heritage for future generations.
The !Khara-Khoen number just over 4 000, according to Chief Hanse, and are spread mainly across Gochas, Aranos and Stampriet besides the group in Amper-Bo and a few hundred in Botswana.
A delegation of about 20 Nama people from Botswana – where they are known as Bakgathu – attended the inauguration.
“We feel very joyous to be here today,” said Willem Jagter, 25, who lives in Gaborone, in a heavy SeTswana accent.
The Botswana people are descendants of the group who fled to the neighbouring country with then chief Simon Kooper during the war of resistance against German occupation in which he sided with /Khowese Captain Hendrik Witbooi.
Kooper died in Botswana, reportedly in January 1913.