Genocide and land dispossession can't be separated: Hoffmann

06 Feb 2017 16:40pm
MALTAHÖHE, 06 FEB (NAMPA) - The history and details of extermination are frightening as they include killings, rape, torture and land dispossessions, said Chairperson of the Nama/Herero Genocide Technical Committee, Ida Hoffmann.
She made the remarks during a mass meeting of about 1 200 landless Namibians in Maltahöhe in the Hardap Region on Sunday. A similar meeting was held in Keetmanshoop, //Kharas Region, on Saturday, when some 2 500 landless Namibians gathered in support of a different land reform policy in Namibia.
Hoffmann said the issue of land dispossession and genocide cannot be separated because their forefathers died fighting for land against German colonialists from 1904 to 1908, which has resulted in long-term scars.
“The poverty, hunger, landlessness and loss of culture and self-esteem that we still witness today are the results of the fateful destruction by the Germans against us,” said Hoffmann.
The Swapo-party Member of Parliament (MP) said through extermination orders executed by the German military in Namibia, over 110 000 people perished and their land taken.
“Germans through their notorious military men massacred over 110 000 Namas and Hereros cold-bloodedly to put their hands on the land, property and riches that the Nama and the Herero owned.”
She said Germany intended to exterminate every Nama and Herero from the face of the earth, and that is why the mass killings should be regarded as genocide.
“Here we are at this rally of landless Namibians to do justice for the marginalised landless Namibians.”
At the same occasion, Swapo MP and former Deputy Minister of Land Reform Bernardus Swartbooi said poverty is a design of the colonial regime and a new government hinged on correcting historic injustices, cannot continue with the same policies as the colonisers by denying citizens land and yet proclaiming it is fighting poverty.
“Poverty can never be successfully removed unless the land question is handled in accordance with our views, experiences and expectations,” he said.
Swartbooi charged that lives of the Nama and Herero people since the genocide has been a life of survival without economic freedom.
“We have survived for too long. We want to live well in the land of our ancestors,” Swartbooi said.