22 January 2013

Namibia: 'What's All the Fuss About?'

THE secretary general of the Namibia Democratic Party (DPN), Adam Isaak, says the alleged tribal tirade of Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Willem Isaack should not be seen in isolation, but is rather part of a general state of affairs in Namibia.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba was called on to summarily dismiss the deputy minister after he was accused of having shouted at two police officers that he did not care about the "Swapo Owambo government" at a tribal meeting of the breakaway /Hai /Khaua Traditional Authority in December.

There was also talk that the deputy minister could face criminal charges under the Racial Discrimination Act.

Isaack has denied these charges.

"What is all the fuss?" asked DPN's Isaak. "It has been acceptable all along when one or another Swapo leader said, 'Beat the Germans with hammers on their heads' or 'Chase all the Boers into the sea' or when a National Planning Commission government report reads 'Namas/southerners are lazy drunks', and so on? The list is endless."

Isaak said those harbouring divisive tribal sentiments are setting up tribes against each other, and he accused the Swapo Party of using tribalism as a "covert strategy".

"[We] say the law must be applied equally for all, not only for persons from minority groups. The fact of the matter is that he [Deputy Minister Isaack] did wrong and he must be dealt with in terms of the law," Isaak said.

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