The refusal of the German government to receive the petition by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civic organisations calling for the German regime to recognise the genocide committed against the Ovaherero and Nama was typical German arrogance. This was said yesterday by Ovaherero Paramount Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, who also condemned what he described as German paternalism “which we reject with the contempt it deserves after the office of Federal President Joachim Gauck in Berlin refused to receive the petition”.
“The refusal of the German president to personally come and receive such a historic document at this critical juncture and the uncivilized manner in which his office decided to receive such a dignified and high ranking delegation, which included MPs from both countries, is a punch of typical German arrogance and paternalism which we reject with the contempt they deserve,” said Rukoro yesterday.
Rukoro says confining the delegation to a street entrance, and refusing to invite a small delegation to sit down around a table to present the petition as befits such a high political office was a childish decision that was done in an unacceptable fashion.
“This reminds us of the very same attitude and treatment the German Foreign Office accorded to then minister (Kazenambo) Kazenambo and his delegation in 2011, when we came here to fetch the initial batch of human skulls,” recalled the paramount chief.
He said the Germans stayed aloof of the entire exercise maintaining it was a matter between the Namibian government and private German institutions in whose possession the skulls were.
“This begged the question – who killed our ancestors, chopped off their heads, skinned them and sent them to Germany for racist scientific research? It was the German authorities of the day,” he said.
“They can run but they cannot hide; we shall pursue them with all the means at our disposal to the end of time.
Restorative justice is our destination and no cosmetic diplomatic conspiracies will save the day for them or their partners in crime,” he added.
Rukoro says Germany must listen to the reasonable voice of its own citizens and avoid the unnecessary costs of not meeting the deadline of October 2, 2015 set for reparation by Namibian genocide descendants.
On Monday, NGOs and civic organisations were in Germany to present a petition to the office of the German president.
The petition was signed by over 2 000 German nationals across the political and socio-economic, cultural and academic spectrum and calls upon the German government to, inter alia, recognise the genocide committed against the Ovaherero and Nama.
The NGOs were joined by a delegation including Rukoro, chairperson of the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation, Utjiua Muinjangue, chairperson of the Nama Technical Committee on Genocide and Swapo Party Member of Parliament, Ida Hoffmann, and Daniel Fredericks.