The Nama people ought to be repatriated

During the Herero Wars, the Herero and Nama people suffered a massive
racial massacre and human squalor by the Germans who were seeking to
overtake the then South –West African country which is today called
Namibia. These racial atrocities took place from nineteen o four to
nineteen o seven with others leaving their homeland. They sought refuge in
countries like Botswana and surrounding neighbours. Just like any war
others did not survive and were killed, livestock taken and land.
Throughout the world victims of human rights abuses have risen to seek
justice for atrocities they experienced regardless of the time in history.
In the United States of America victims of the Germans in Namibia, the
Nama and Herero people have filled a Class-Action Law Suit against the
German Government. Their genocide is considered the first in the twentieth
century and occurred around one hundred and ten years ago. A very
long-time ago and questions have emerged in relation to the timing to
initiate such an action. Regardless of the time; victims of genocide ought
to seek justice for the agony they suffered and impartiality must be

Repatriation are important in fostering social cohesion between both
parties. They symbolise a process of making peace and apologising for the
wrong committed against fellow human beings and countries. They further
affirm that such atrocities will never happen from both parties. Countries
which have continued to agree on engaging on the matter have shown earnest
will to correct the wrong committed by their fore-fathers, simply because
victims remain from generation to generation and the scars are still very
much detectable. To date the people of African still rails from slavery
which occurred time in memorial. For we know that the Germans have paid
their price for killing the Jews. The people of Maxiputi in Maxico sought
compensation and today celebrate the ‘New Reparation Agreement’. In recent
years the Australian government has initiated a number of programmes to
facilitate the return of indigenous humans held in Britain. In South
Africa the human remains of Sara Baartman and Moses Kotane were also
returned home for final resting place as part of repatriation. And so must
the Germans also assist the Herero and Nama people to find some kind of
peace. Their demand for Repatriation is not roguish.

In itself repatriation does not necessarily have to be financial but the
financial aspect is important as people’s livestock’s were unlawfully
taken, land with mineral wealth is also at play. The Nama people are
within their right to seek justice, it is within their right to
demandacknowledge of the wrong committed, apology and financial
compensation for what they suffered regardless of the duration.
Of importance is how the money will be distributed and to who. Does these
two Namibian tribes have some form of database and generational tree to
show who-is-who on the beneficiary list? In essence the compensation and
resources must be channeled to community development and not individuals.
Their suffering can never be compensated enough, the least which can be
done is to channel the resources to building lasting legacies like
schools, hospitals, clinics and community centers. It would defeat the
notion if such resources are not properly utilised with lawyers and
leaders cutting the share of the compensation for their narrow financial

Rhulani Thembi Siweya is the founder of Africa Unmasked, she is also an
NEC member of the ANCYL and writes in her personal capacity

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