New Era (Windhoek)

18 January 2013

Namibia: Jason Daniel Mutumbulwa: The Tortured Son of the Soil and One of the Early Political Mobilizers (1939 - 1991)

editorial

Article Views (non — Biographical collections on the life and political history of Jason Mutumbulwa cite that he is one of the many Namibians who as result of their agitation against the South African colonial administration, were imprisoned and tortured, however without compromising their vision for a free and independent Namibia.

Citing the implication of Mutumbulwa's involvement in the liberation struggle, a publication by the United Nations entitled "International Covenant on Civil Right and Political Right" dated November 4, 2004 affirms that Mutumbula was indeed charged under Section 6 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1967 as a result of his political work inside the country and he, together with his compatriots, had to endure what the publication refers to as "merciless persecution" at the hands of the colonial authority.

Mutumbulwa is noted to have been born on the 2nd of July 1939 and became one of the teachers in the Old Location and a leading political activist against the South African colonial administration. His political involvement ultimately landed him in prison where "he was incarcerated for more than three years" cites one of his biographical files.

Since he was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act that legitimized torture against the so-called "terrorists", Mutumbulwa was subjected to the most vicious form of torture during this time in prison.

The agonizing experience he went through at the hands of the colonial authorities is well documented in a publication by the former South African defence lawyer, Joel Carlson.

Carlson's publication entitled "No Neutral Ground" vividly reveals how the likes of Mumbulwa and many other political activists who were imprisoned by the South African Administration during the apartheid era were interrogated, and the brutal methods used to extract information from them.

Mutumbulwa's life in prison reveals moving glimpses of the inhuman humiliation that the apartheid administration imposed on African political activists. He is noted to have been kicked on several occasions, his beard was pulled and his stomach is noted to have been turned into a punching bag by the South African Security agents. Besides being toured his biographical collections also reveal that he was subjected to verbal humiliation

"You had six years to build your organization, we decided to break it in nine months. If you thought that UNO will help, then you made the greatest mistake. Now we are going to f***k you up here. Here we shall work you so that if you don't go to the gallows you will at least go to a lunatic asylum," cites Mutumbulwa's biographical file in the National Archives of Namibia.

Despite the pain and humiliation he endured, Mutumbulwa is noted to have been a dedicated cadre and he never wavered in fighting for the interest of the Namibian people.

He was fortunate to see the country he fought for attaining its independence on the 21st of March 1990 - however he did not live long enough to enjoy the free Namibia. He died in September 1991 after his car got stuck some kilometers from Tsintsabis whilst he was on his way to Kavango and Mauni. It is believed that Mutumbulwa either died because of heat exposure or the poisoned water he is believed to have drunk from the radiator.

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