“With the end of the old Cold War, a new opportunity arose. The economic and political crisis in the Third World could now serve as retrospective justification for (neo)imperialism”, writes renowned journalist, author, John Pilger, in his book “Hidden Agendas”.
Pilger arrives at the logical conclusion, “Although the word remained unspeakable, imperialism’s return journey to respectability had begun.”
On Thursday, March 22, 2012, the German Bundestag planned to debate its historic role as a former coloniser, particularly in Namibia.
Germany had kept a thundering silence until now on its history as a former colonial power, having committed genocide against the people of the Herero, the Nama and the San. These human beings were not fed porridge and carrots.
They were just slaughtered.
However, not only Namibia suffered a severe double-stroke of inhumane Caucasian-Christian misfortunes.
But, my country of birth, Namibia, was twice colonised.
First, in 1884 my forbears under Kaiser Wilhelm 2 conquered the geographic part between the British Cape Colony in the south and Portuguese West Africa and Angola, to the north, naming it Deutsch-Suedwest Afrika (German South West Africa).
Britain immediately annexed Bechuanaland, now Botswana, to drive a wedge between the Boer Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State and the Germans, as the German Kaiser had reportedly supported the Boers in their wars against the Brits.
Namibia was again colonised in 1920, this time by the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, the Boer General, Jan Smuts. Smuts was as much a racist and fascist, as he was an elitist.
The slain anti-apartheid activist Ruth First, wife of the late Joe Slovo, documented in her book “South West Africa”, Jan Smuts and his government saw South West Africa simply as a country suitable for White settlement, ready for parcelling into white men’s farms. South Africa had acquired a colony.
If the African (the local African population) was to survive, he would have to adapt himself to South Africa’s traditional (white colonial-settler) system, entering the white man’s service in a permanently subordinate position.”
First commented, “(Jan Smuts) regarded South West Africa as a mere extension of South Africa, despite any sacred trust for the territory’s indigenous inhabitants that he had assumed.”
In her book “South West Africa”, Ruth First describes the developments as follows: “Under the Germans the largest tracts of land had been owned by the government (in Berlin) and large concession companies like the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (DKG).
“The South African government expropriated the land of the concession companies (which would include the ‘Sperrgebiet’ of the diamond company ‘De Beers’, today the parastatals, (‘NamDeb’) and declared all unallocated areas to be Crown land.”
First explains her research, “When South Africa took over the administration of South West Africa, there were 1 138 farms in white use, totalling 11 490 000 hectares.
“She (South Africa) immediately applied her own land-settlement legislation to the territory. A Land Board was set up to allocate farms to new white settlers, and the land rush began.”
Ruth First reported, “By 1926 the white population had swollen to almost double that of 1914, despite the repatriation of some 6 000 Germans.
“In six energetic years of land settlement, the ‘sacred trust’ had been secured as a white man’s country. Land-hungry white South Africans, spilling across the border, were allocated huge farms, virtually for the asking, that were then petted and pampered into eventual solvency. Expense seemed no consideration.”
Since then, Germany had received a notorious leader in the form of Adolf Hitler. Under his brutal dictatorship, millions of people were murdered.
The Nazis made evil history. To this day, Germany pays “Wiedergutmachungsgelder”, or reparation monies to the Jewish community.
However, to this day Germany has not settled its bloody scores in its former colony, today’s Republic of Namibia.
It is to this day that racism prevails. Are Africans a lesser people than Caucasian-Semites?
The colonial-apartheid war in Southern Africa as part of the global Cold War from 1970 to 1998 cost Southern Africa 15 million indigenous black African lives.
It was extensively reported that the colonial-apartheid regime had traded its arms and ammunition from Israel, Britain, Germany and other Western countries, despite an arms embargo firmly in place.
The international West overtly and covertly supported the colonial-apartheid creation the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) in Namibia and other internal political structures all under the South African occupation until 1990.
South Africa’s former regime’s brutal military’s war in northern Namibia and southern and eastern Angola in support of the pro-Western UNITA under Jonas Savimbi was equally supported by the international West.
As John Pilger’s quote at the beginning of this column, “imperialism” is back on track.
Observing the continuation of such inequalities, it is small wonder that real African leaders in their countries on their continent more openly display anger and frustration.
Namibia’s Founding President Sam Nujoma responded in an interview with the SADC-wide newspaper The Southern Times, when asked if there is any progress in the land reform of Namibia and its SADC neighbours, “We are progressing very slowly, because there is sabotage by the whites here.
“We thought that when we have the policy of ‘national reconciliation’, those whites that remained with us in Namibia, they would have accepted our policy, also of land reform. But, we see how they are sabotaging land reform.”
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe openly attacks the international West for its illegal sanctions against his country.
His and his Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai’s calls for the lifting of sanctions have fallen on deaf ears in the international West.
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) and more particularly its president Jacob Zuma are continuously challenged and harassed by a criminal … pro-regime change civil society, the opposition and the pro-Western media.
The ANC-led government has been declared as “corrupt”, despite its serious efforts to rid itself of the elements of sabotage within its ranks and the government.
“National reconciliation” has certainly not worked in South Africa either. In conclusion, John Pilger in his book “Hidden Agendas” says: “The privileges of ‘discovery and conquest’ granted to Christopher Columbus in 1492, in a world the Pope ‘considered his property to be disposed according to his will’, have been replaced by other acts of piracy transformed into divine will.
“The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other ‘international’ institutions are invested with the privileges of conquest on behalf of the new papacy in Washington.
“The objective is what Clinton calls the ‘integration of countries into the global free market economy’, the terms of which, says the New York Times, ‘require the United States to be involved in the plumbing and wiring of nations’ internal affairs more deeply than ever before’. In other words: a de facto world government.”
Despite all the continuous suffering from the Bible, the bullet and the coin on the African continent, a sincere faith in a process of eventual peace on the African continent has grown beyond the courage in the war for freedom from oppression.
Finally, in the above context, this writer renders his humble and sincere apology for the murderous brutalities his forbears had meted out to you, the indigenous owners of the land, the country and the continent. - SWAPO
Udo W Froese is an independent political and socio-economic analyst and published columnist based in South Africa.