Bloodshed can be avoided: Ndeunyema

09 Jan 2018 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 09 JAN (NAMPA) - Violence can be avoided if the government handles the issue of former South West Africa Territorial Force members’ recognition carefully, Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) leader Jabulani Ndeunyema has said.
Speaking at a media conference in Windhoek on Monday, Ndeunyema described the situation involving the former Koevoet members as having gone from bad to worse.
“If we do not take care of this situation or maybe find a solution now, we might experience something unusual in Namibia. It is not a good language when people are saying ‘we are prepared to die’,” he said.
More than 30 former SWATF/Koevoet members broke away from Namvet and have now established the Namvet Liberation Movement.
On Monday, they vowed to spill blood if their demands are not met. These include being recognised as war veterans, which would amongst others mean they are entitled to pension payouts.
The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga told Nampa on Monday their threats will be met “with the force it deserves”.
Meanwhile, Ndeunyema accused politicians of politicising the issue.
“Namibian politicians should not have politicised the issue of SWATF/Koevoet. They should have just left it between the former soldiers and the Head of State,” he said.
Koevoet was a paramilitary wing formed under the then South-West African Police as the most effective combat force deployed against the PLAN fighters during the liberation war.
The Koevoet personnel have been held responsible for committing human rights violations against civilians in northern Namibia.
Over the years, the Namibian Government has maintained that it is impossible to recognise them as war veterans, saying laws that pertain to veterans only make provision for individuals who fought for the liberation of Namibia.