By Eliaser Ndeyanale
CABINET last week decided that the matter of ex-SWATF and Koevoet members’ compensation should be handled by the Ministry of Defence, intelligence services and the South African government, Information Minister Tjekero Tweya said last week.
Tweya revealed that Tuesday last week, the Minister of Defence Penda ya Ndakolo submitted a proposal to Cabinet that this ministry was considering conducting joint humanitarian relief exercises with South Africa, and the Namibia Central Intelligence Services to cooperate in addressing the matter of ex-SWATF and Koevoet members.
“The Ministry of Defence is to consider conducting joint humanitarian relief exercises between the two countries from 2019, and together with the Namibia Central Intelligence Services to cooperate to address the matter of the ex-SWATF and Koevoet members,” said Tweya.
He refused to go into details referring questions to ya Ndakolo who also declined to comment; but ironically also denied having made the said proposal.
“No, I never made that proposal. Ask the Ministry of Information, I am not the spokesperson,” said ya Ndakolo.
Contacted for comment on Monday, War Veterans Trust (Namvet) chairperson Jabulani Ndeunyema had this to say:
“We met President Hage Geingob last year and we agreed on a number of issues, so if we comment on that issue our comment might be construed by some that we are tarnishing the President’s name (sic),” he said.
Namibians who served in the paramilitary unit and the South West African Territorial Forces (SWATF) unit under South African apartheid rule have been pleading with Government to be recognised as war veterans and to enjoy the same benefits as former PLAN fighters, who receive a war veterans’ pension each.
In 2015 they petitioned the United Nations (UN), demanding funds and legal assistance to enable them to present their case to the UN in New York.
In the petition handed to UN resident coordinator Kiki Gbeho , former members of the notorious counter-insugency unit requested an unspecified amount of money, saying the funds are needed to enable them to travel to New York to present the case of discrimination against them as allegedly perpetuated by the Swapo-led government.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015