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DIE DEELNAME AAN 'N STEMMERY WAT 'N VOLK SY LAND GEKOS HET!

Die beklemtoning in hierdie dokument is die van die AVP.

The Captains Council

Rehoboth Baster Community

P O Box ****

REHOBOTH Namibia

6 September 2004

The Honourable Minister

Ministry of Lands, Resettlement

and Rehabilitation

Government Park

WINDHOEK

Namibia

Dear Honourable Minister

TRADITIONAL LANDS OF THE REHOBOTH BASTER COMMUNITY

Thank you for availing us as representatives of this community the honour and

opportunity to submit this humble but cogent matter to you as Minister of Lands,

Resettlement and Rehabilitation.

We convey our sincerest congratulations on your commendable promotion to be

elected as the Presidential Candidate for the ruling party in the coming elections. We do

believe that you are eminently suitable for this august office and that you will serve as

an excellent President for the Republic of Namibia. May God grant you health and

wisdom to sustain true democracy, peace, stability and prosperity in the years ahead.

We have compiled a series of documents for your perusal. The documents form

a short synopsis of our history, how we came into possession of what we call "Our

Traditional Land", how it was administered over the years and how we subsequently lost

it all.

Included are also extracts from various institutions and organisations to

substantiate the facts of our case as well as copies of Deeds of Property.

What we wish to clearly illustrate is that the Rehoboth Baster Community is not a

creation of the German Imperial Government or of the South African Colonial Power,

but that this community has existed in Namibia then known as South West Africa long

before the eras of Colonial Regimes.

This land was bought from the Swartbooi Chief Abram Swartbooi and his

Councillors who legally owned it. Later on the Paramount Chief Maharero of the

Herero's also gave it to our Forefathers as a grant.

Secondly, that over the years since 1872, the Traditional Leaders, i.e. The

Captain and Council was the legally recognised representatives of the community. As

Captain and Council they serve both as custodians and executives for the Rehoboth

Baster Community. Thus a Body Corporate that can acquire, purchase, lease, sell or

otherwise hold or dispose of movable or immovable property in trust for the Traditional

Community.

The Captain and Captain's Council exercised this function since 24 January 1872

when the written Traditional Laws, "The Paternal Laws", came into being. In 1993, the

High Court of Namibia in the case, "J G A Diergaardt and the Rehoboth Baster

Community versus the Government of the Republic of Namibia and Others" stated

clearly  "Although severely truncated, the Paternal Laws of the Rehoboth Baster

Community did survive Independence, especially the office of the Captain which

regulates the lands that the community may possessed. This function is in complete

harmony with the provisions of the Namibian Constitution on property rights, Art 16

whereby property can be possessed in association with others. It is also in harmony

with the act, Act 25 of 2000, the Traditional Authorities Act.

More than a year ago we applied for recognition for the Rehoboth Baster

Community as a Traditional Authority. To date we have been unsuccessful. The reason

given why we cannot be recognised as a Traditional Authority has been that we do not

have any jurisdiction over any land. Incidentally the alienation of our Community Land

was the reason why our people developed a degree of animosity towards the

Government.

As leaders of this community we encouraged this community to vote for SWAPO.

The response was favourable and support for SWAPO surged from 30% to over 50%.

The SWAPO Candidates prior to the elections as part of the electoral manifesto

made promises. These promises included:

1 the promise to help the Baster Community to regain their

Traditional Land which was alienated during 1991;

2 the promise to help them to regain recognition of their Traditional

Authority. As this manifesto was published in newspapers it has been regarded as having

been sanctioned by the whole SWAPO Party. Thus far the local Town Council is silent

on this matter. Before the local elections the Captain and Regional Councillor Dax met

with His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Namibia at Hardap.

At this occasion Captain McNab submitted a memorandum to His Excellency

pertaining to development in this area and the question of the returning of that land

which was expropriated from the Baster Community in 1991. His Excellency the

President instructed Councillor Dax to take the matter to Parliament in order that

Parliament can amend the Act thereby rectify and restore the land to the community. So

far Councillor Dax has done nothing constructive to execute this Presidential instruction. (MY BEKLEMTONING)

 

Honourable Minister, we as leaders of the community are experiencing an

uncomfortable dilemma viz that the expiry of the Government of Rehoboth did not

invalidate the position of Captain and Council but created a vacuum that cannot be filled

by the current local Town Council. As from 1990, the Captain and Traditional

Councillors have no jurisdiction over communal land and cannot play an active nor

decisive role in community affairs. This is in sharp contrast with the tradition and

conventions of the Rehoboth Baster Community over the past hundred and thirty two

years. It is also, we believe, in conflict with Traditional Enacted Law, the Traditional

Authorities Act 52 of 2000.

The absence of communal land for the said community does not only have

certain negative implications on local national and international law but had and still has

a devastating effect on our community. Having a traditional authority without recognition

from the State of Namibia and having no control over anything has impoverished the

community to a large extent. Poverty is one of the issues government has committed

itself to combat and eradicate in this country.

The following examples could serve as illustration:

1 Opportunists swarmed all over Rehoboth taking whatever they

wanted due to the helpless position of the Captain's Council. One

white man and four members of our own community, who were the

top employees of this company, were responsible for the dissolution

of Recor, a development corporation, with a total value of +- 15

Million Dollars in assets in a clandestine manner. This was done

notwithstanding a warning letter from the Attorney General of that

time.

2 A certain Mr Izaaks, a member of the community claimed and

occupies 30 hectares of communal land he supposedly bought from

the former Administrator-General . This was absolutely untrue.

3 Along the Schaapriver on a private farm, Audabib, Mr Tsubib, a

DTA Regional Councillor encouraged people from all over to

encroach on this farm telling them that it was a state owned farm.

This causes serious animosity between the owners of the farm

and the people who were in the act of taking over the farm. It

happened just prior to the local elections and we were hard

pressed in convincing the various factions to solve the problem

amicably.

4 Samkubis is a historical site and was bought by the defunct

Rehoboth Government for and on behalf of the Rehoboth Baster

Community.

We discovered that this site of the 15 hectares is registered at the Deeds

Office in Rehoboth in the name of the Rehoboth Culture Association, an

organisation that is unknown to us.

We realise that the examples cited above are serious and contains allegations

that should be qualified and proven. We are willing to give the necessary evidence if

your Honour wished to institute an investigation in the abovementioned matters.

Your Honour,

• Without land we cannot be recognised as a Traditional Authority;

• Without land and official recognition we cannot bring back our Traditional Court

to fight crime on the local front;

• Without land we cannot play a role in sustainable development of our area.

Your Honour, we humbly beg you to help us restore our Traditional Lands. (MY BEKLEMTONING)

Without being presumptuous we do believe that should this matter receive serious yet

sympathetic attention a spirit of goodwill and loyalty will be created which can be

fostered amongst all members of the community.

Please accept the assurance of our highest consideration.

Yours sincerely

McNab J C A

CAPTAIN REHOBOTH BASTER COMMUNITY

Cc The Honourable Minister

Ministry of Local, Regional Government and HousingThe Captains Council

Rehoboth Baster Community

P O Box ****

REHOBOTH Namibia

6 September 2004

The Honourable Minister

Ministry of Lands, Resettlement

and Rehabilitation

Government Park

WINDHOEK

Namibia

Dear Honourable Minister

TRADITIONAL LANDS OF THE REHOBOTH BASTER COMMUNITY

Thank you for availing us as representatives of this community the honour and

opportunity to submit this humble but cogent matter to you as Minister of Lands,

Resettlement and Rehabilitation.

We convey our sincerest congratulations on your commendable promotion to be

elected as the Presidential Candidate for the ruling party in the coming elections. We do

believe that you are eminently suitable for this august office and that you will serve as

an excellent President for the Republic of Namibia. May God grant you health and

wisdom to sustain true democracy, peace, stability and prosperity in the years ahead.

We have compiled a series of documents for your perusal. The documents form

a short synopsis of our history, how we came into possession of what we call "Our

Traditional Land", how it was administered over the years and how we subsequently lost

it all. Included are also extracts from various institutions and organisations to

substantiate the facts of our case as well as copies of Deeds of Property.

What we wish to clearly illustrate is that the Rehoboth Baster Community is not a

creation of the German Imperial Government or of the South African Colonial Power,

but that this community has existed in Namibia then known as South West Africa long

before the eras of Colonial Regimes.

This land was bought from the Swartbooi Chief Abram Swartbooi and his

Councillors who legally owned it. Later on the Paramount Chief Maharero of the

Herero's also gave it to our Forefathers as a grant.

Secondly, that over the years since 1872, the Traditional Leaders, i.e. The

Captain and Council was the legally recognised representatives of the community. As

Captain and Council they serve both as custodians and executives for the Rehoboth

Baster Community. Thus a Body Corporate that can acquire, purchase, lease, sell or

otherwise hold or dispose of movable or immovable property in trust for the Traditional

Community.

The Captain and Captain's Council exercised this function since 24 January 1872

when the written Traditional Laws, "The Paternal Laws", came into being. In 1993, the

High Court of Namibia in the case, "J G A Diergaardt and the Rehoboth Baster

Community versus the Government of the Republic of Namibia and Others" stated

clearly "Although severely truncated, the Paternal Laws of the Rehoboth Baster

Community did survive Independence, especially the office of the Captain which

regulates the lands that the community may possessed. This function is in complete

harmony with the provisions of the Namibian Constitution on property rights, Art 16

whereby property can be possessed in association with others. It is also in harmony

with the act, Act 25 of 2000, the Traditional Authorities Act.

More than a year ago we applied for recognition for the Rehoboth Baster

Community as a Traditional Authority. To date we have been unsuccessful. The reason

given why we cannot be recognised as a Traditional Authority has been that we do not

have any jurisdiction over any land. Incidentally the alienation of our Community Land

was the reason why our people developed a degree of animosity towards the

Government.

As leaders of this community we encouraged this community to vote for SWAPO.

The response was favourable and support for SWAPO surged from 30% to over 50%.

The SWAPO Candidates prior to the elections as part of the electoral manifesto

made promises. These promises included:

1 the promise to help the Baster Community to regain their

Traditional Land which was alienated during 1991;

2 the promise to help them to regain recognition of their Traditional

Authority. As this manifesto was published in newspapers it has been regarded as having

been sanctioned by the whole SWAPO Party. Thus far the local Town Council is silent

on this matter. Before the local elections the Captain and Regional Councillor Dax met

with His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Namibia at Hardap.

At this occasion Captain McNab submitted a memorandum to His Excellency

pertaining to development in this area and the question of the returning of that land

which was expropriated from the Baster Community in 1991. His Excellency the

President instructed Councillor Dax to take the matter to Parliament in order that

Parliament can amend the Act thereby rectify and restore the land to the community. So

far Councillor Dax has done nothing constructive to execute this Presidential instruction. (MY BEKLEMTONING)

 

Honourable Minister, we as leaders of the community are experiencing an

uncomfortable dilemma viz that the expiry of the Government of Rehoboth did not

invalidate the position of Captain and Council but created a vacuum that cannot be filled

by the current local Town Council. As from 1990, the Captain and Traditional

Councillors have no jurisdiction over communal land and cannot play an active nor

decisive role in community affairs. This is in sharp contrast with the tradition and

conventions of the Rehoboth Baster Community over the past hundred and thirty two

years. It is also, we believe, in conflict with Traditional Enacted Law, the Traditional

Authorities Act 52 of 2000.

The absence of communal land for the said community does not only have

certain negative implications on local national and international law but had and still has

a devastating effect on our community. Having a traditional authority without recognition

from the State of Namibia and having no control over anything has impoverished the

community to a large extent. Poverty is one of the issues government has committed

itself to combat and eradicate in this country.

The following examples could serve as illustration:

1 Opportunists swarmed all over Rehoboth taking whatever they

wanted due to the helpless position of the Captain's Council. One

white man and four members of our own community, who were the

top employees of this company, were responsible for the dissolution

of Recor, a development corporation, with a total value of +- 15

Million Dollars in assets in a clandestine manner. This was done

notwithstanding a warning letter from the Attorney General of that

time.

2 A certain Mr Izaaks, a member of the community claimed and

occupies 30 hectares of communal land he supposedly bought from

the former Administrator-General . This was absolutely untrue.

3 Along the Schaapriver on a private farm, Audabib, Mr Tsubib, a

DTA Regional Councillor encouraged people from all over to

encroach on this farm telling them that it was a state owned farm.

This causes serious animosity between the owners of the farm

and the people who were in the act of taking over the farm. It

happened just prior to the local elections and we were hard

pressed in convincing the various factions to solve the problem

amicably.

4 Samkubis is a historical site and was bought by the defunct

Rehoboth Government for and on behalf of the Rehoboth Baster

Community.

We discovered that this site of the 15 hectares is registered at the Deeds

Office in Rehoboth in the name of the Rehoboth Culture Association, an

organisation that is unknown to us.

We realise that the examples cited above are serious and contains allegations

that should be qualified and proven. We are willing to give the necessary evidence if

your Honour wished to institute an investigation in the abovementioned matters.

Your Honour,

• Without land we cannot be recognised as a Traditional Authority;

• Without land and official recognition we cannot bring back our Traditional Court

to fight crime on the local front;

• Without land we cannot play a role in sustainable development of our area.

Your Honour, we humbly beg you to help us restore our Traditional Lands. (MY BEKLEMTONING)

Without being presumptuous we do believe that should this matter receive serious yet

sympathetic attention a spirit of goodwill and loyalty will be created which can be

fostered amongst all members of the community.

Please accept the assurance of our highest consideration.

Yours sincerely

McNab J C A

CAPTAIN REHOBOTH BASTER COMMUNITY

Cc The Honourable Minister

Ministry of Local, Regional Government and Housing

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