The Cross-Cultural Trust of Namibia (CCTN) is herewith lobbying for parliamentarians to review and declare genocides in then South West Africa to have occurred between 1884 and 1915.
In 1884 South West Africa was declared a German protectorate and German colonial rule was far from egalitarian. Natives were used as slave labourers and their lands frequently seized and given to colonialists. On 17 December 1920 the Council of the League of Nations conferred a “C” class mandate on South Africa for the administration of South West Africa until independence. On 21st March 1990 reconciliation for atrocities committed was accepted and recognised by all the ethnic groups in Namibia.
In the book “The Hiding in Full View: Forgotten Bushman Genocides of Namibia”, Robert J. Gordon examines the Bushman genocide of 1912 to 1915 which, despite overwhelming evidence of it having occurred, has been largely ignored by both scholars and the local populations.
Emile Durkheim’s distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions, first made in the classics study on suicide, is useful in examining this genocide.
It is unfair and discriminatory that parliament and the governments of Namibia and Germany only recognise Nama and Herero genocides from 1904 to 1908 but exclude others committed between 1884 and 1915.
CCTN is convinced that all the people are equal before our constitution. The Damara and San atrocities had been equally severe in South West Africa. They were regarded as slaves and traded as labourers, disappeared and many were killed between 1884 – 1903, massacred between 1904 and 1908 and San people suffered particularly through genocide from 1912 to 1915.
That the Damara and San disappeared and that many people were killed through crimes can be considered genocide. The reparation for genocide should be based on equal distribution of reparation to all the ethnic groups during that time such as Nama, San, Herero, Ndonga, Damara etc., who were subjected to slavery, hard labour, and disappeared and were killed.