Ex-Koevoet/SWATF members lose hope in NamVet

18 Dec 2017 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) – Former soldiers who served in the Koevoet paramilitary unit and the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) under South African rule, do not trust their representative, the Namibia War Veterans Trust (NamVet).
The group, which has been demanding in vain for recognition as war veterans, staged an illegal demonstration in Windhoek on Monday, which was stopped by the Namibian Police Force. The group launched their march in Katutura, heading to State House, but was stopped when they reached the Katutura State Hospital. They were informed that the demonstration was illegal as they did not notify the relevant authorities about the planned action.
The group said they no longer trust NamVet and feel their messages never reach President Hage Geingob.
“We sent a lot of letters to the president and until now, no answers. That is why we lost hope in our leadership and demonstrated without telling them, to go and ask the president when he is planning to hold discussions with us,” group member, Ukanjingirua Muharukua said.
She added that they recently sent a letter to Geingob asking him to visit them and talk about their request for official recognition, which he promised to delegate to Vice-President, Nickey Iyambo.
An email seen by Nampa from the Office of Presidential Affairs in response to the letter, said the Office of the Vice-President will convene a meeting in due course.
“The Office of the Vice-President will be in touch regarding the upcoming meeting referred to in the letter. However, kindly note that the date and time has not been determined yet,” reads the email.
Executive director of NamVet, Ndeunyema Jabulani at the demonstration told reporters that people will lose hope in the organisation if Government “continues to play delay tactics.”
“People feel like we are not taking things serious and that we take time to resolve the situation of our status while the issue is at Government level,” he said.
In August this year, according to media reports, Geingob said Government will not recognise former Koevoet and SWATF members as war veterans.