By Eliaser Ndeyanale
FORMER Deputy Land Reform Minister, Bernardus Swartbooi, has claimed that Namibian Defence Force (NDF) members have been “patrolling” near his Windhoek home since last year, after he openly criticised the country’s land resettlement programme.
Swartbooi asked Defence Minister, Penda ya Ndakolo, during a parliamentary debate on the ministry’s 2017/18 budget last week, why soldiers were “patrolling” his residence.
“Last year, when I started talking about land, the Namibia Defence Force started patrolling at my house, day and night. Whose defence force is the Namibian Defence Force? Who does it defend? If peace and stability that we are being told about every day is like Koevoet, it needs to be taken back from where it came from,” Swartbooi said in the National Assembly last Thursday.
In his response to Swartbooi, Ya Ndakolo said it was not his ministry’s duty to patrol at the young parliamentarian’s house.
“It’s not our responsibility. You have to report it to me in writing, because we are not responsible for crushing our people,” he advised Swartbooi.
Asked by the Confidente this week whether if he feels intimidated or insecure, Swartbooi responded, “There is no fear; I am unafraid of anybody, except God.”
Swartbooi was sacked as deputy minister by President Hage Geingob late last year, after he refused to apologise publicly for openly criticising his senior, Minister Utoni Nujoma, during a traditional festival at Hoachanas.
He accused Nujoma of resettling people from as far as the Zambezi Region in the South, on land that had been seized from the Nama people by German colonialists.
“It is unacceptable what Utoni does with resettlement. He must be called to order. I do not work for him. I work for President Hage Geingob,” Swartbooi was quoted as saying at the time.
Swartbooi was initially given 24 hours to issue a written public apology, because his remarks were deemed as inappropriate and had the potential to disrupt peace and stability in the country.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015