Not Seeking Political Street Fights – Pretorius


AS one of your more regular readers the letter of the SWANU President, Dr Rihupisa Kandando, in your edition of 2 June 2006, did not escape my notice. As a matter of fact, although I do not agree with everything you publish, I find the New Era very interesting especially as far as the opinions of our intellectuals are concerned. This is very important, because for us to learn from each other and to understand the way of thinking of each other, it is very important to have equal opportunity to put our published different viewpoints. That is then also the main purpose of my column in The Windhoek Observer. Not to look for political street fights, but to put my ideas and those who believe the same, in a straightforward and honest way. I shall never claim that I have all the rights and facts at my disposal. Therefore I welcome reaction and different points of view. Actually the editor of the The Windhoek Observer promised me that he would also publish such contributions within the framework of the policy of this newspaper. The letter of Dr Rihupisa Kandando was published and highlighted by you under the heading of “Don’t Distort the Facts, Kosie”. Against the background of what I have written above, I have not much to say except that I welcome his efforts to broaden my perspective. It is up to your readers to decide for themselves whether I have distorted the facts. But to do that they need to read what I have written. My humble request is therefore to friendlily ask you to reprint what I have written in The Windhoek Observer of 13th May 2006, namely: “Sixteen years after independence, it is still happening. Reproaches are hurled particularly on the ground of skin colour, that all do not attend festivals in Namibia. It also applies to those which take place at Heroes Acre. “Incidentally, that place is being maintained at great cost and rarely utilised. The hard fact is that different people have different heroes. Thus it was decided at Independence in 1990 that August 26 every year to be known as Heroes Day so that each community could honour its heroes. On account of that there is in existence various sentiments in regard to Casinga Day. “That there are even differences within population groups is just as true. Many Afrikaners regard the Day of the Covenant as very important while there are others who pay no attention to it. “The latest example, of which I had taken note of with surprise, was in regard to the Herero people. In the New Era of April 7, 2006, Dr Rihupisa Kandando, the president of SWANU, for example, writes: ‘As far as I am concerned, Chief Kapuuo and Mburumba Kerina will go down in the annals of Namibian history as having compromised the unity of the Namibian people at the altar of political expediency.’ And further on: ‘As an amateur in the political history of the sixties to mid-seventies, what I can derive from the history of Chief Kapuuo is that he was a personality with great potential and inclinations, but unfortunately he used his energy and dynamism in the service of the Vorster regime in Namibia. He engaged the progressive forces and this is what dialectics is all about.’ “Two matters are clear to me. In the first place, it is clear that we will never rid ourselves of the role of skin colour in the past, the present and the future, particularly in regard to politics. “In the second place, all those who attempted to cooperate beyond the colour border, were regarded as stooges. “Or, as someone on occasion expressed himself as, ‘If your own people do not even trust you, how could others do it?’ “That is the Namibian approach.” Thanks for your kind dealing with the subject. Sincerely yours J.W.F. (Kosie) Pretorius

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