17 Jul 2017 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) The Ovaherero and Nama Genocide and Reparation Litigation against Germany in the United States of America (USA) Federal Court has been postponed to 13 October 2017.
Chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), Advocate Vekuii Rukoro announced this during a media conference held at the UN-Plaza in Windhoek on Monday.
The said litigation on the 1904-1908 Genocide in Namibia by the German colonial administration was set for 21 July 2017, to allow Germany a reasonable opportunity to enter a defence.
According to Rukoro, the German government in March resorted to delaying tactics and did not attend the court proceedings in New York.
Rukoro said there were attempts to serve the defendant (Germany) through the Hague Convention, but the defendant refused and prefers another channel under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The very last loophole the Germans were hoping to crawl into was closed when Judge Laura Tailor Swain granted the request of the complainants through their eminent Council, Kenneth McCallion, to postpone the case management conference to 13 October at 11h00, said Rukoro.
This, he said, will allow the plaintiffs to have sufficient time to serve Germany via diplomatic service as per their last request.
Rukoro said a company named Crowe Foreign Services will be tasked to initiate a diplomatic service on Germany by asking the foreign affairs office of a specified country to send the summons and complaint directly under diplomatic cover.
Papers will then be hand-delivered by the embassy of that country in Berlin to the German foreign ministry, Rukoro said.
Should Germany again fail to appear in October, the chief said they will have a sound legal basis for filling a motion for a default judgement.
Plaintiffs Rukoro and Chairperson of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association, David Frederick in January this year filed a federal class action lawsuit in the USA, to demand financial reparations from the German government on the 1904-1908 Genocide in which about 100 000 people of the two tribes died in battle, or as they tried to escape from concentration camps.
Extermination orders issued by the then German armys Lieutenant-General Lothar von Throtha took the peoples lives and robbed them of their land, the plaintiffs argue, while the Namibian government they say has been excluding them from reparation negations with the Germany government.