Don’t Distort the Facts, Kosie!

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Reference is made to the contribution of Kosie Pretorius in the Parliamentary Potholes of the Windhoek Observer, 13th May 2006. My opinion piece of April 7th, 2006 to which he has made a reference was selective and specific. It gave an opinion based on validated, applied and interpreted information as to whether the late Chief Kapuuo would fall in the category of those who are Namibian heroes or not. Pretorius must first and foremost acknowledge that Namibia before independence represented a classic example of a colonised country based on white settler apartheid colonialism and a monopoly outpost of international imperialism. The ascendance of national liberation movements of which SWANU was a component was also a response and negation of apartheid and monopoly outpost in an anti-racist class struggle. The political events of the 70’s and 80’s can be equated to a Newtonian Second Law of Thermodynamics in action. They also represented the dialectics in action: Simply put, to every action there is a reaction. They represented the dichotomy of forces whose interests were diametrically opposed to each other. There was a split in the Nationalist Party of South West Africa in September 1977 when Dirk Mudge established the Republikein Party and decided to work with the likes of Late Chief Kapuuo and Late Chief Cornelius Ndjoba. Kosie Pretorius together with P.H. Du Plessis and Janie de Wet, and late Sarel Becker of the National Party of South West Africa and the Herstigte Nasionale Party (HNP) were considered as “verkramptes” and Dirk Mudge considered as a verligte “enlightened”. He was therefore regarded as a sell-out within the white community. The National Party of South West Africa went as far as calling itself ‘AKTUR’ (Action for the Retention of Turnhalle Principles) because they wanted the continued fragmentation and balkanisation of Namibia into the eleven ethnic homelands on the basis of apartheid policy. Pretorius, it is not true to say that the late Chief Kapuuo (and the likes which included the late Cornelius Ndjoba)’s political approaches were beyond colour borders. They collaborated with both of you (Mudge as ‘verligte’ and Pretorius as ‘verkrampte’) to entrench racial and ethnic segregation based on the apartheid and Turnhalle principles. They were used as proxies by South Africa to rule Namibia. This is the basis and rationale why all those black Namibians (be they Hereros, Ovambos, Namas, Damaras, etc.) who collaborated were rejected and regarded as stooges by the national liberation movement just the same as you rejected Dirk Mudge as a sell-out of the white settler community. Our rejection was not only based on the analysis of our own peculiar and particular situation, but also on the basis of principles of decolonisation as developed by the United Nations. Namibia through some of our own black brothers and sisters became a convenient ‘verligtes’ and ‘verkramptes’ laboratory. Dirk Mudge, Kosie Pretorius and the former Rector of Rand Afrikaans University and ex-Chairman of the Broederbond Gerrit Viljoen (former Administrator Genera in Namibial) were evolved in neo-colonial strategies but their problem was how to achieve this, without surrending white privilege. These people with your connivance were promoting racism, colonial occupation and served as running dogs of international imperialism in the face of what we considered as our just and legitimate anti-racist and class struggles. If these people were against apartheid, why did they agree to the allocation of N$60 and N$300 as pension money to blacks and white respectively? Why did they agree to second-tier authorities for each ethnic group which we repealed in 1990 through Schedule 8 of the Namibian Constitution? Pretorius, you are priviledged to have a medium in which you can freely articulate your social, economic and political ideas. Others too in the liberal circles as well as advocates and adherents of the status quo have platforms. The downtrodden components of Namibian humanity don’t have and are relying on the mercy, gesture, good ill and generosity of these forces. Having this opportunity which is very rare to some of us must not be taken as a weakness on our part to contribute to the social, economic and political debate. In other words, we don’t have constipation of political ideas, on the contrary we do have political diarrhoea like all of you. Therefore, please don’t misplace and distort historical facts out of context because of the luxury of the platform you possess. Dr Rihupisa Kandando – Windhoek