Ovaherero wrangles over Okahandja plot continue

26 Aug 2016 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 26 AUG (NAMPA) – Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa says a recent investigation into the accounts of the Okahandja Municipality revealed that the municipality is in fact the rightful owner of Erf 1755 which the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) claims to own.
On Monday, Shaningwa granted a rival group of the OTA , the Maharero Royal House, permission to proceed with their annual Red Flag commemoration in Okahandja, which was planned for this weekend.
However the permission was subsequently withdrawn on Thursday after the OTA lodged a court application objecting to their rival, the Maharero Royal House’s occupation of the land as they claim to be the rightful owners.
Shaningwa disclosed her findings during a media briefing here on Thursday.
“We have done our investigation [at the deeds office] and that shows that the land still belongs to the council,” said Shaningwa.
However, Chairperson of the OTA Bob Kandetu was adamant they they have all facts to prove their claims.
“All I know is that we bought the land. We bought it procedurally, we went through all the procedures that must be followed [and] the Municipality of Okahandja issued us a deed of sale to us,” Kandetu told Nampa recently.
Meanwhile, in light of the growing tension Shaningwa is alleged to have met both parties during a meeting on Thursday as the Red Flag Day commemorations draw closer.
Shaningwa however refused to disclose the outcome of that meeting.
“My office is a public office and any traditional authority can come here and talk to me, and that does not mean that if I was with someone that should be probed,” she added.
The commemorations are held annually by both factions on 26 August to pay homage to ancestors of both parties who died during the 1904-1908 genocide at the hands of imperialist German troops.
In a letter addressed to the Maharero Royal House and the OTA, Attorney General Sakeus Shangala withdrew the earlier letter granting permission for the Omaharero Royal House to commemorate the day this weekend.
“As discussed with yourselves, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development has withdrawn her August 2, 2016 letter addressed to the Maharero Royal House Traditional Authority, in which she purports to grant the Maharero Royal House Traditional Authority permission to utilise Erf 1755, Okahandja,” reads the letter.
Shangala added that no commemorations will be held by either the OTA or the Maharero Royal House this year.