WINDHOEK – Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu of Nudo has joined the chorus calling for the Reiterdenkmal statue to be removed and replaced with a statue that will commemmorate victims of the Herero and Nama genocide.
“Reiterdenkmal should be removed and replaced with a statue commemorating the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century. It must be replaced with Samuel Maharero, Hedrick Witbooi or a genocide statue,” said Kandorozu in a press release issued on Tuesday.
He said the area where the statue stands is where the Windhoek concentration camp was and where many ancestors lost their lives to German soldiers.
Kandorozu said the rider and horse must be placed in the new genocide museum with the returned skulls and other genocide memorabilia.
“Our people must understand that the idea behind the Reiterdenkmal and all other statues of German origin was to honour German soldiers and German civilians in celebration of overcoming the Ovaherero and Nama during the uprising in 1904-1908,” elaborated the Okakarara constituency councillor.
“Removing all these statues will not fade away the history and will not affect our case reparation. The people must know that the international case does not need these types of statues to be used as evidence if it is placed in public. We must not hail, nor clap hands for what the Germans did to us,” he said.
In his statement he further said that people must understand that keeping the Reiterdenkmal at the place where the biggest concentration camp was situated, “where our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews, uncles and aunts died, is like putting a tombstone of a killer on top of the deceased’s grave”.
He further said that the statue of Curt von Francois/ Theodor Leutwein also in Windhoek should be replaced with one of Hendrik Witbooi.
“These are our heroes who fought the heavy battles with little knowledge of modern war and its weapons. They used all possible tactics at their disposal to defeat the enemy,” said the outspoken councillor.
Kandorozu also used the opportunity to condemn the Rally for Democracy and Progress members for in parliament opposing the removal of the statue.
“They must not abuse that august house to defend the barbaric German history, by not supporting the removal of the Reiterdenkmal,” he said.
“How on earth you can state that the removal of the Reiterdenkmal statue is unconstitutional – but ironically you claim the statue of the founding father must be removed, “he said.
Kandorozu said It was very painful to hear and see the German community standing up for the “tombstone of a soldier that was put on top of our parents’ grave but they don’t stand up and tell the nation that we are demanding from the German government to pay reparation to the Ovaherero and Namas”.
“No German has ever stood up to say that they will return stolen land to the Ovaherero and Namas,” he added.
Condemning the Vergenoeg/Hochfeld killing of Axarob Slinger, Kandorozu said this was a clear racist killing and it was evident that “the Germans have started killing us again”.
“The way Slinger was buried is the same way our ancestors were buried then by the German murderers in 1904-1908,” he said.
He called on the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb, to expropriate the farm of the killer with immediate effect and give it to destitute people.
“If the minister is not supporting our call, as we know him, Nudo will organise a demonstration until our call is heard,” he said.
By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa