Damara king shows up for land conference

01 Oct 2018 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 01 OCT (NAMPA) - Damara king Justus //Garoeb, who was among the participants who chose to boycott the second National Land Conference, made a U-turn and showed up on the first day of the event on Monday.
//Garoeb told Nampa he was invited to attend the conference, but had a meeting with the Damara and San people under his leadership which led to a decision not to attend.
Several opposition parties, pressure groups, civil society organisations and faith-based organisation last week said they were withdrawing from the conference, labelling it a “political gimmick that is predetermined”.
Some traditional authority leaders who were expected to make presentations at the five-day land conference also announced that they would boycott the event for the same reason.
//Garoeb however said he is attending the conference in his personal capacity.
“I lead the people, therefore it is very important that I attend so that I speak for my people… I want to air my voice, because if I had missed this land conference, I would have never gotten another opportunity to air my voice again,” he said.
He added that the Damara and San people wanted recognition for their ancestral land because of their contribution to Namibia’s independence.
“We wanted the land for all Namibians but today all the good agricultural land is given away to white people, leaving Namibians with no land at all,” he said.
//Garoeb was expected to make a statement on Monday.