28 February 2014

Namibia: Thirty-Five More Skulls to Be Repatriated From Germany

THE Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology has announced plans to repatriate more skulls from Germany.

ICT permanent secretary Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana yesterday said Cabinet has mandated the Minister of Youth, National Services, Sports and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo, to lead a Namibian delegation of senior government officials, a representative of the Council of Traditional Authorities in Namibia and a small media crew.

"Thirty-five skulls and two human skeletons of different Namibian communities will be repatriated later next week," said Ua-Ndjarakana. Although Ua-Ndjarakana said he did not know the exact date of the departure of the delegation, Ekandjo announced in Parliament yesterday that he will be departing with the delegation on Sunday and return next week Friday. According to Ekandjo, 21 human remains comprise of eight San remains, five Nama remains, four Ovahereo remains, two Ovambo remains and four Damara remains from the Charite University Hospital.

Ekandjo also said a total of 14 human remains from the University in Freiburg will include six Ovaherero remains, four Nama remains and four Damara remains.

Although Ua-Ndjarakans said that there will be a representative from the Council of Traditional Authorities, The Namibian has been reliably informed that the traditional authority of the affected communities were only informed of the repatriation plans yesterday.

Ua-Ndjarakana refuted the allegations, stating that the traditional authorities of the affected communities were already informed last week.

Ua-Ndjarakana said so far, a total of 20 skulls have been repatriated back in 2011 from the Freiburg University in Germany. Yesterday Ekandjo also said government is engaging the Director of Linden Museum in Stuttgart to return the Bible of Hendrik Witbooi from the Linden Museum later in the year.

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