Coastal groups meet in support of Swartbooi

15 Dec 2016 13:40pm
SWAKOPMUND, 15 DEC (NAMPA) – A group of about 20 residents on Wednesday gathered in support of Land Reform Deputy Minister, Bernardus Swartbooi, while another group in solidarity attended a meeting in Walvis Bay.
Led by Erongo Regional Coordinator for the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), Uahimisa Kaapehi, the Swakopmund residents said they support Swartbooi's comments and the deputy need not apologise for what he said.
Supporter John Kamure told the gathering the land issue should not be isolated to one community and should be dealt with as a national issue.
“We fully support the truth, he must not apologise or resign. This matter should not be treated as a Nama issue but as a national concern.”
The group said the resettlement process should be halted until a land conference is held to discuss the issues.
Government this year planned to hold Namibia’s second national land conference after 26 years of independence but in October announced an indefinite postponement due to a lack of funds.
The concerned group in Swakopmund said the decision by the President to order Swartbooi to apologise is uncalled for.
“If he is still in office then we are happy. We are just preparing ourselves to support him if he gets fired,” said Johanna Goagoses.
A similar meeting led by Chief of the Topnaar Traditional Authority, Seth Kooitjie took place in Walvis Bay the same day .
The groups are prepared to march in solidarity as planned by other groups in Windhoek and Keetmanshoop.
President Hage Geingob last week instructed Swartbooi to apologise for accusing his senior, Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma, of mishandling the national programme by resettling people from the North in the South and at the expense of the Nama people who lost their land to the German colonial forces.
Swartbooi, in a meeting with the President this week, offered his resignation and defied the order to apologise.
Clarifying the President’s position, Press Secretary at State House Albertus Aochamub on Wednesday told NBC news Swartbooi was advised to resign as he appears not happy with the position.
“He said fine that is what I will do (resign), before he stood up and slammed the door behind him. So the President is waiting for his official resignation as he promised.”
Aochamub said Swartbooi was not asked to apologise for what he said but for the platform he used to say it.