4 March 2013

Namibia: Pohamba Wants King Mandume's Head Returned

Omhedi — President Hifikepunye Pohamba has called for scholars and researchers to assist in locating and returning the head of Oukwanyama King Mandume Ndeulikufa ya Ndemufayo, the young king who died in battle against the combined colonial forces of Britain, Portugal and South Africa on February 06, 1917.

"We heard, that the head of Mandume had been cut off his body and taken away by the colonial forces. We appeal to the researchers to discover where it was taken to," Pohamba made the appeal during a commemoration over the weekend at the Oukwanyama Palace in Omhedi, a village in the Ohangwena Region. The event marked the ground-breaking for the King Mandume Museum that will be built next to the palace.

King Mandume ascended to the throne at the age of 17, and died six years later in battle. History has it that the gallant king opted to commit suicide instead of being captured and the colonial forces removed his head when they found him at Oihole, 96 years ago.

"We are not asking, but we are demanding that the British should give us King Mandume's head. They can either hand it over to the Angolan government or to the Namibian government - it is all the same. We want the historians to write and the investigators to find out where his head is. I know it was the British, and they should tell us where his head is," said Pohamba.

Oukwanyama Queen Martha Mwadinomho ya Kristian Nelumbu supported the president's call and added that February 6 should be designated King Mandume Commemoration Day. Pohamba said King Mandume proved to be a gifted, extraordinary person and a leader who had the wellbeing of his people at heart.

Among other laws that he implemented was the abolition of the practice of killing young women who fell pregnant outside of wedlock, and ordered that all children born out of wedlock should live at the palace.

Mandume also implemented laws against the abuse of natural resources, shooting in public, and the abuse of power by his councillors, as well as attacks on traders and missionaries.

Mandume also banned attacks against other African tribes and cattle raiding, which was very common. Mandume could speak German, Portuguese and English and he could also read and write the three languages.

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