Demo Might Spoil Centenary Event

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Today’s 100th centennial anniversary commemoration of the late Chief of the Kai-//Khaun clan in Hoachanas, Chief Manase !Noreseb could be negatively affected by a demonstration from a certain faction of the clan. It was on this very day way back in 1905 that the late Chief Manase !Noreseb was defeated and died in the war when he defied and fought against the invading German colonialists at the time. He was shot and then beheaded by the imperial forces and his head has not been found to date. However, concerns are that this historic commemoration could be tarnished by a peaceful demonstration later today as some disgruntled descendants of the Kai-//Khaun clan voice their discontent over the current leadership of Chief Petrus Simon Moses Kooper under the Kai-//Khaun Traditional Authority. In an interview with New Era yesterday, Chief Kooper said that these demonstrators are the very same people who expressed their discontent about his appointment as a pastor to the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1998. The faction, who mostly consists of teachers, then broke away in defiance of his appointment as pastor, forming a second AME church. Now for the past seven years, the “dissatisfied descendants” have been calling for Kooper’s removal, accusing him of not being transparent in his leadership and church jurisdiction. “The reasons given are so flimsy. They say apparently I belittled one of the elders in the church, Johannes !Noeteb. I was also said to have owned the properties of the church and they said I am not transparent,” explained Chief Kooper. He elaborated that even after the latest investigation launched under Hendrick Witbooi the church leadership did not see these reasons warranting a breakaway church, stating that this only causes disunity in an already small population. Kooper claims that all these allegations are not true and merely “made up lies…I have not done anything wrong to anyone, so people must tell me what did I do wrong, because I tried at many occasions to reconcile this group of dissatisfied descendants, but they never came to the meetings.” Through a letter given to him by his wife after his return from the Traditional Leaders meeting in Wind-hoek on the 26th of this month, “marginalised descendants” demonstrators led by David Topnaar stated that they would like to hand over a petition to Kooper today and they were therefore requesting his presence at the Hoachanas Community Hall to receive this petition. The chief further states that he is not aware about the contents of the petition and will only find out today. Yet despite these actions, the centennial anniversary of the death of Chief Manase !Noreseb, who was the 13th Chief of the Rooinasie, is of significance to this clan. History says that after rallying his people together to fight against the German colonialists, he was defeated and beheaded near Aminuis. Whilst fleeing to Botswana from the Germans, he was overwhelmed, defeated and killed at the fountain of !Gu-Oms on December 01, 1905. “We are even asking Germany till this day where they took the head of our chief,” said Chief Kooper. It is at this very same spot that the people of the Kai-//Khaun clan in Hoachanas and nearby areas will be honouring their history and heritage today. Topnaar could not be reached for comment yesterday despite several attempts to contact him.

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