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View Full Version : The Expropriation of White Farms in Namibia



Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, August 31st, 2006, 02:11 PM
Black labourers eke out a living on former "white" farm

The “Namibian”-newspaper reported on 31 August 2006 that the labourers of the farm Ongombo-West expropriated last year from its white owner by the Namibian government have neither funds nor implements to start farming. The farm workers had been allowed to stay and live on the farm after ownership had been transferred to the Namibian government.

The farm 30 km northeast of the capital Windhoek has a long history of intensive irrigation mixed with livestock farming and formerly belonged to the German-speaking Wiese family since German colonial times (1984-1915). The farm was expropriated last year after a snowballing labour dispute had arisen when an employee had killed a goose. The long and drawn-out labour quarrel received international media attention and was characterized by dramatic events. During the course of the dispute Mrs Hilde Wiese´s well-known enterprise “Gartenbau Floryplant”, that produced cut flowers for export, came to a complete standstill.

The Namibian government decided to expropriate the 4 000-hectare farm, which it is entitled to in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia. Once transferred to the state, such expropriated farms are divided into several economic units to resettle landless black families.

There was much discussion about the real motivation behind the government’s decision to expropriate this farm that has abundant water resources and is situated close to Windhoek’s International Airport. Last year media reports claimed that two companies, Regenant Investments and Starlight Investments, had applied for licences to prospect for copper on the farm, raising fears that this was the real reason for expropriation. The government however denied that there was a link between prospecting and expropriation.

The Namibia Farmworkers Union (Nafwu), - a union representing black farm labourers -, then claimed that it had information that the Namibian government had given instructions to the owner of Ongombo West to evict 12 employees and their families (70 people in total) before officially handing over the farm. The Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Isak Katali, however denied this in Parliament, saying that the employees and their families were among the beneficiaries for resettlement on the farm.

In November last year the Wiese family sold selected items at auction, including a antique furniture piece that Mrs Wiese´s grandfather had brought from Germany when he settled on the farm a century ago. Mrs Wiese had settled for a selling price of N$3,7 million for the farm despite initially demanding N$9,5 million.

Namibia is presently ruled by the SWAPO-party that fought South African mandatory rule for decades until independence was implemented in terms of UN-Resolution 435 on 21 March 1990. The German minority seemed to have been a special target of terrorist attacks after the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), SWAPO´s armed wing, had intensified its armed campaign in the late seventies. Namibian Germans constitute approximately 1 percent of the total Namibian population of almost two million and have always been thought of being the only settled part of the White population group.


The following article was published in "The Namibian" on 31 August 2006:

Ongombo settlers in limbo

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

WORKERS resettled on a farm expropriated by Government last year have neither the funds nor the implements to start farming.

The farm Ongombo West, which is situated 40 kilometres east of Windhoek, belonged to Hilde Wiese and was the first farm in Namibia to be expropriated by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement last September.

One of the former employees at Ongombo West, Elias Hoebeb, received a letter on June 13 2006 from the Ministry informing him and his family that they were allocated Unit A on the farm, with a size of 1 391 hectares.

"We were very happy about that, because it means that my relatives and I can stay on the farm; we are about 40 people," Hoebeb told this newspaper at the farm on Tuesday.

"The big problem is that we have no farming implements, no money to buy diesel for the water pump and also no transport."

According to Hoebeb, they even struggle to put food on the table each day.

"The plants in the vegetable garden have died because there is no water. We have a few goats and we are slaughtering some so that we can eat," Hoebeb told The Namibian.

A few elderly relatives are also living in the former workers' quarters and their pension money helps the group to eke out a living.

The farmstead is deserted and all the flowers in the garden have died.

A supervisor of the Ministry of Lands is living in the empty house and he sees to it that nothing gets stolen.

On enquiry, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement said it helped all newly resettled people, but had to work in concert with other ministries.

"The needs of the people at Ongombo West who received their confirmation letter for resettlement must be assessed first," said Crispin Matungela, the public liaison officer in the Ministry of Lands.

"Extension officers come from the Agriculture Ministry and the co-ordination might take a bit of time, but they will receive assistance," Matungela told The Namibian this week.

The Wiese family left the farm in compliance with the compulsory sale agreement last November and Government paid N$3,7 million as compensation.

The farm was expropriated after a dispute arose between the owners and some of the workers.

Six farmworkers were dismissed in a dispute after an employee, Cornelia Rooinasie, said she killed a goose "by accident".

The owners demanded that she pay compensation.

Then Heinz Wiese, the husband of owner Hilde, shot and killed a goat belonging to an employee, saying it was in a restricted area of the farm where the farmworkers were not allowed to graze their livestock.

The worker demanded compensation from him for the goat.

The whole labour dispute snowballed and became political.
[END]

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Announcement: More news about topics relating to the white population groups (Afrikaans, German and English) in Namibia, especially the issue of land ownership, will be posted on this English-medium thread on a regular basis.

Liberator Germaniae
Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Expropriation of white farms in Namibia continues

The Namibian government has apparently expropriated two farms hitherto in white ownership in the vicinity of Otjiwarongo for almost twice their real value. According to a report in the “Namibian” from September 27, 2006, the government coughed up N$8 million to expropriate the adjoining farms of Okorusu and Marburg that have been in the possession of Heidi Lacheiner-Kuhn´s family for the past 90 years. Okorusu is well known for its fluorspar deposits that are being extracted by a mining company. During her ownership Ms Lacheiner-Kuhn received a monthly payment of N$25 000 from this firm.

Ms Lacheiner-Kuhn has also operated a needlework project on Okorusu since 1983, providing work for over 400 women in the area. The embroidered tablecloths and pillowcases have been exported to Germany. The fate of this project is not clear. :~( :~( :~(

Ms Lacheiner-Kuhn is the second owner to lose her land in a dispute with the government after the first farm, Ongombo-West, which belonged to Ms Hilde Wiese, passed into government hands last year. The copper deposits at Ongombo-West are presently explored by two companies, Regenant Investments and Starlight Investments, but the Namibian government denied that there is a link between prospecting and expropriation.



Read full report in the “Namibian”:

Going, going, gone for N$8m

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

[B]GOVERNMENT has quietly coughed up N$8 million to expropriate two farms that it originally wanted to buy for only N$3,2 million.

The adjoining farms of Okorusu and Marburg, situated about 50 kilometres southwest of Otjiwarongo, belonged to Heidi Lacheiner-Kuhn.

They were pegged for expropriation in August last year.

A mining company extracts fluorspar on Okorusu, earning the owner N$25 000 a month.

Originally the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, headed by Minister Jerry Ekandjo, offered Lacheiner-Kuhn N$750 155 for the 3 410-hectare farm Okorusu, and N$2,5 million for Marburg, which covers 5 000 hectares.

WILLING SELLER

Although the farm had been in the family's possession for 90 years, Lacheiner-Kuhn did not oppose the expropriation.

However, she did regard the initial price as too low.

In 2003, she decided to sell Okorusu because farming activities clashed with those of the mining company.

Namibian laws stipulate that every commercial farm to be sold must first be offered to Government.

The State has 60 days to consider and must issue a waiver certificate to the owner if not interested to buy the farm.

Lacheiner-Kuhn offered the farm to Government in January 2004, but did not receive a waiver for five months.

A High Court judge ordered the Lands Ministry to immediately issue the waiver - in July 2004 - and pay the costs of her court application.

The mining company was interested in buying the farm Okorusu.

During negotiations, however, which also had the blessing of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Lands Ministry last year said it wanted to buy Okorusu and the adjacent Marburg farm.

EAGER BUYER

Lacheiner-Kuhn found the Lands Ministry's initial offer too low.

A South African valuation company put the combined value of the farms at N$4,8 million.

The matter then landed in the High Court and was postponed several times this year.

"Both parties reached a settlement this month for N$8 million, otherwise the matter would have gone to the Land Tribunal," Charles Bodenstein, the lawyer for Lacheiner-Kuhn, told The Namibian yesterday.

The court had already ordered the Lands Ministry to pay 80 per cent of the original offer of N$3,7 million, which was done in February 2006.

"When the transfer was done, Government paid the remainder of this sum in June," Bodenstein added.

He was in Windhoek yesterday to collect a cheque for N$4,29 million.

"Altogether this comes to N$8 million."

The Namibian was yesterday unable to establish how the two parties arrived at the final settlement figure.

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Liberator Germaniae
Monday, October 16th, 2006, 08:18 AM
The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) appealed to white commercial farmers to make their land available to the government, the Namibian reported on Friday 13, 2006:



NAU urges whites to give farms

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

LAND reform is a key factor for stability in Namibia and commercial farmers who are nearing retirement age and have no heirs or successors should make their land available to Government, the leader of a national farmers' organisation has urged.

The president of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), Raimar von Hase, said at the body's annual gala dinner on Wednesday night that every farm made available for the land-reform process would "contribute to the stabilisation of our country and the stabilisation of our young and resourceful, dynamic farmers".

"If you consider retiring, or have no successor, have death or disease in the family and are thus unable to continue farming, or if you have multiple farms or underutilised land, please make it available."

Legislation stipulates that any commercial farm to be sold must first be offered to the Lands Ministry, which decides to either buy it for resettlement purposes or to issue a waiver certificate if not interested. The waiver allows the farmer to then sell it on the open market.

"The NAU submitted a workable model to Government for incentives to encourage more farmers to sell their land to Government," the NAU president said, "but we have not found many ears open to listen to us."

Tax incentives or exemptions were just some of the possible ways to get commercial farmers to part with their land, Von Hase said.

According to the latest statistics, some 1 300 previously white-owned farms had been already sold to black emerging farms via affirmative action loans, Von Hase said.

This accounted for 15 per cent of all freehold land, which shows that this loan scheme is an important pillar of the overall land reform process, he added.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the NAU, which is holding a two-day congress this week, decided to create a new award for the best emerging commercial farmer each year.

Former Deputy Education Minister Clara Bohitile received the first award on Wednesday.

"It is a double reward for me, as it also shows that women from a previously disadvantaged background can be successful farmers," she said.
[END]

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Liberator Germaniae
Sunday, November 12th, 2006, 03:31 PM
"The Namibian", November 10, 2006:

Govt foray triggers fear among farmers

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

THE Ministry of Lands and Resettlement sent teams to more than 40 commercial farms this week to assess if they can be utilised for the Ministry's land-use plans.

The move has sent shock waves through the farming community, as their owners fear it is a prelude to expropriation.

The Namibian has reliably learnt that 45 farms are targeted and their owners - among them 10 black commercial farmers - received the same standard letters from the Lands Ministry.

In a letter dated October 18 2006, Lands and Resettlement Minister Jerry Ekandjo informed the farmers that the assessment was required to "create a land-use model".

In the same letter, which one affected farmer showed to this newspaper, Ekandjo further stated that "the data collected is important for the Government's resettlement programme and (its) regional integrated land-use plans".

A Namibian farmer, who only bought his farm 10 years ago and has invested huge sums in it, said he feared his farm would be expropriated.

"In the letter the Minister used the word 'resettlement', so I don't think I can keep the farm," he said.

"The team came to my farm on Wednesday and they were accompanied by a Police officer and a labour inspector.

Why do you need Police and somebody of the Labour Ministry if you want to make an agricultural assessment only?" he told The Namibian.

"They looked at all boreholes and noted down their positions with a GPS device and they even took down the serial numbers of the windmills, is that necessary for a land-use plan?" Most of the targeted farms are situated in the areas Block D and J, demarcations used on the official farm map.

"Our assessment teams normally go to farms we intend to buy," Crispin Matongela, spokesperson in the Lands Ministry, told The Namibian yesterday.

However, he could not say if this was the case in this situation.

He would neither confirm nor deny whether some or all of the 45 farms had been listed for expropriation.

"The teams are still out there, we must wait for them to return to office and give a report on the assessments regarding productivity and suitability for livestock farming or crop production," Matongela added.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) would not comment on the possible expropriation.

Sakkie Coetzee said several members of his organisation had notified his office that they had received such letters, but he could not state the exact number.

"We encourage farmers to co-operate with the assessment teams,since they do their work according to the stipulations of the Commercial Land Reform Act," Coetzee told The Namibian yesterday.

The land reform process will cost the Namibian Government N$3,7 billion over the next 15 years for acquiring a targeted 10,3 million hectares of commercial farmland to resettle 6 727 families by 2020, according to the Land Reform Report and Strategic Action Plan which was made public in August this year.

It was compiled by a team of experts at the end of 2004.

It recommended the acquisition of 270 000 hectares of commercial farmland annually until 2020.

This translates into about 50 commercial farms per year, averaging 5 000 hectares each.

Government has bought 194 commercial farms on the basis of the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle since the start of the land reform process 10 years ago.

These farms cover a total of 1,2 million hectares and 1 616 families were resettled on them.

Commercial farmers wanting to sell their farms on the open market must first offer them to the Ministry of Lands.

After an assessment the Ministry will either buy it at market price or issue a waiver certificate to the owner, who can then sell it.

Government has expropriated three commercial farms up to now - Ongombo West, Okorusu and Marburg.

Namibia has about 69 million hectares of land that can be used for agriculture.

About half of that (36 million ha) is freehold land, owned by some 3 000 commercial farmers.

Approximately 33 million ha is communal or non-freehold land.
[END]

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Tryggvi
Sunday, November 12th, 2006, 04:06 PM
The farm 30 km northeast of the capital Windhoek has a long history of intensive irrigation mixed with livestock farming and formerly belonged to the German-speaking Wiese family since German colonial times (1984-1915). The farm was expropriated last year

[...]

Mrs Hilde Wiese´s well-known enterprise “Gartenbau Floryplant”, that produced cut flowers for export, A very productive farm and business in other words. Created and maintained by one Germanic family.

Now let's analyze the achievements of dozens (if not hundreds) of Negroes within only one year. Most of them former farm workers with knowledge of how farming and the already established business worked.



Mrs Hilde Wiese´s well-known enterprise “Gartenbau Floryplant”, that produced cut flowers for export came to a complete standstill. Well done.


"The big problem is that we have no farming implements, no money to buy diesel for the water pump and also no transport." No. You only have a farm with thousands of hectars land and a thriving, established business valued between N$3.6m and N$9.5m. There are banks that give loans to buy a bit of diesel and farming implements if you have such security. So whom do you try to bullshit?


According to Hoebeb, they even struggle to put food on the table each day. It takes skill to starve on a prosperous farm that breeds livestock, indeed.


"The plants in the vegetable garden have died. How about ... watering them? :-O


We have a few goats and we are slaughtering some so that we can eat," Hoebeb told The Namibian. You surely took care of the breeding, too, so that you will still have some next year, did you? Oh, you forgot! :doh


A few elderly relatives are also living in the former workers' quarters and their pension money helps the group to eke out a living. A few pensioners keep the farm and export business alive. Hear, hear!


The farmstead is deserted and all the flowers in the garden have died. Why doesn't this surprise me? But you need the Germanic property, right? Because... you never were given chances, right? Now you had your chance, and hey, you had it in Zimbabwe, too. You turned its farms from one of Africa's most important food exporters to producers of starvation in only one year.


A supervisor of the Ministry of Lands is living in the empty house and he sees to it that nothing gets stolen. He lives in an empty house (with dozens of other Negroes around that live on the farm) and sees to it that nothing gets stolen. Makes sense. Productive job.

Horagalles
Sunday, November 12th, 2006, 04:24 PM
The consistency of this behaviour demonstrates the extraction mindset of negroes. What we see here is the same as in many other countries with largely Negro populations. Land is not really worked, but Fruit is taken from that land or cattle is allowed to do overgrazing. If everything is extracted the Negroes move to the next area. The governments work in the same way. They exploit the nations as much as they can, while the vast majority lives in poverty. This while they've got all the material resources they'd need to establish flourishing countries.

The reason for expropriating "White" farms is simply because they need some hand outs for their following. Besides that seeing successful White Farmers, while Blacks achieve only minor things does hurt and lets the Negro feel inferior. The causes for this are not attributed to White creativity or Black lack of initiative. No of course they blame discrimination, underpriviledge, Apartheid, Racism or whatever mythical beast they can imagine. And just remember The NP government had many programs in place to advance the Blacks in South Africa and South-West Africa.

Earendil
Wednesday, November 15th, 2006, 07:59 PM
How can we support our german brothers in Namibia ? : (

Susisaari
Wednesday, November 15th, 2006, 08:12 PM
The consistency of this behaviour demonstrates the extraction mindset of negroes. What we see here is the same as in many other countries with largely Negro populations. Land is not really worked, but Fruit is taken from that land or cattle is allowed to do overgrazing. If everything is extracted the Negroes move to the next area.


Yes. They are like locusts.

Liberator Germaniae
Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 04:10 PM
A very productive farm and business in other words. Created and maintained by one Germanic family.


The "Namibian" reported on November 4, 2006, that just before the farm Ongombo West was expropriated last year, the former German owners had intended to expand their flower production into a N$10-million business, employ around 40 more people, build a kindergarten and more houses. Instead, more than 50 adults have moved with their livestock into one of the new economic units on the farm. The Namibia Farmworkers´ Union, which represents Black farm labourers, has now told relatives of the former farmworkers to get off the land!

The farm "Ongombo West" was the first of three white-owned farms in Namibia that have been expropriated by the Black majority government. It is striking that all affected farms had belonged to German women farmers, and all three farms have rich mineral deposits, that are presently either exploited or prospected by foreign mining and investment companies.



Ongombo resettlement falters

CHRISTOF MALETSKY

THE Namibia Farmworkers' Union has told former farmworkers resettled at Ongombo West, a farm 30 km northeast of Windhoek, to start looking for jobs or to initiate projects to help themselves instead of waiting for Government handouts.

Nafwu Secretary General Alfred Angula also told the relatives of the seven former farmworkers to get off the land because it cannot accommodate all of them.

Ongombo West was expropriated by Government a year ago and seven former farmworkers, who started a dispute with the owners that led to the expropriation, were resettled on it together with three other families.

However, when a Nafwu delegation visited the farm on Saturday, close to 50 adults had moved into a 1 200-hectare camp with their livestock.

The other three families occupy the remainder of the 4 006-hectare farm.

"Firstly, the camp is too small to accommodate all of you. Keep your animals at a reasonable level and start identifying a project such as a poultry project that can sustain you. Government cannot build houses or feed you all the time," Angula told the community who met with him under a tree.

He was responding to an appeal by one of the former workers, Immanuel //Hoebeb, who requested that the union facilitate Government assistance for them.

//Hoebeb said the camp was too small, the water pump was broken, they wanted a Government loan to buy livestock and, perhaps, also relief food.

//Hoebeb, along with Elias //Hoebeb, a father of nine who has worked on the farm for the last 21 years, Cornelia Rooinasie, Erik !Ganeb, Wilfred Sethie //Hoebeb, Ben !Ganeb were dismissed by former owner Hilde Wiese after a labour dispute.

The dispute started with a dead goose, developed into a labour dispute and ended with the expropriation of a family farm.

Rooinasie killed the goose "by accident".

The owners demanded that she pay compensation.

Then, Heinz Wiese, the husband of owner Hilde, shot and killed a goat belonging to an employee, thinking it was in a restricted area.

The dispute snowballed and became political.

Government moved in and expropriated Wiese's farm in September last year and paid her N$3,7 million - more than N$5 million short of what she had requested.

When The Namibian visited the farm, the flower production had totally ground to a halt.

Just before the farm was expropriated, the Wieses had intended to expand their flower production into a N$10-million business, employ around 40 more people, build a kindergarten and more houses.
[END]

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Read what an academic from the University of Namibia had to say about the land issue in Namibia (my emphasis in red).

"The Namibian", December 13, 2006:



Experts search for better land management tools

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

LAND reform in Namibia should take a holistic approach and involve all stakeholders including the beneficiaries and should not be about "taking land from the previously advantaged whites and given to previously disadvantaged blacks".

"Land in itself is not wealth, it is only the ingenuity of men and women in devising ways to properly administer and manage land as a productive resource that will create wealth," said Dr Omu Kakujaha-Mutundu of the University of Namibia.

Speaking at the first conference for decision makers on land administration from African countries, Kakujaha-Matundu said without adequate training and financial support to beneficiaries, land administration and management policies would be "an exercise in futility".

The expert urged fellow academics in Namibia to do more research on the topic to acquire a "deeper understanding of the complex dynamics of the land question" and come up with proposals for best methods in land use and management to solve unemployment and poverty.

The conference was organised by the School for Land Administration Studies of the United Nations University (UNU) based in The Netherlands, in cooperation with the Polytechnic of Namibia.

Delegates are discussing innovative systems of land management and its administration like the registration of title deeds, land tenure, cadastral mapping and how land policies in African countries should proceed.

Deputy Lands Minister Isak Katali stated that land administration was the key to development and economic growth for any country.

Existing systems of land rights registration and of freehold titles were costly and cumbersome.

"We have developed a flexible land tenure system, which allows for a starter title in urban informal settlements, which allows for a simple, inexpensive form of initial registration at municipalities providing a degree of security of tenure," Katali told the conference.

"The second form is the landhold title where individual land tenure in informal areas of towns is registered by local authorities in a data base without the complications of a freehold title."
[END]

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Horagalles
Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 04:43 PM
Read what an academic from the University of Namibia had to say about the land issue in Namibia (my emphasis in red).

"The Namibian", December 13, 2006:



Experts search for better land management tools

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

LAND reform in Namibia should take a holistic approach and involve all stakeholders including the beneficiaries and should not be about "taking land from the previously advantaged whites and given to previously disadvantaged blacks".
....
Actually it should read:""taking land from the previously TAXED whites and given to continuesly Non-TAXPAYING blacks".

But let them go on, they are shooting in their own foot (like always).

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, January 4th, 2007, 04:00 PM
There is more news from Namibia on this topic. However, not white commercial farmers, but the Roman-Catholic Church seems to be the main affected party this time.

The claim by the Bondelswarts that their forefathers had been deceived a century ago when selling a piece of land now partially owned by the Roman-Catholic church has been rejected by Father Klaus Lettner in Karas, the "Namibian" reported on its front page on January 4, 2007.

The Bondelswarts are a sub-group of the (Khoisan) Nama ethnicity that has traditionally been living in Southern Namibia since their arrival from the neighbouring Cape Colony about two hundred years ago.



'We were robbed of our land'

LUQMAN CLOETE at KEETMANSHOOP

THE Bondelswarts clan in the South, a branch of the Nama tribe who claim they were robbed of their ancestral land at Heriaxabes, measuring 180 000 hectares, now claim restoration of what was theirs.

Heriaxabes is located near Ariamsvlei, on the southeastern border with South Africa.

This was revealed at the Bondelswarts centennial festival held two weeks ago at Heriaxabes.

Speaking at the event, Josef Christiaans, a special adviser to the Bondelswarts Captain Anna Christiaans, claimed their forefathers were duped out of their land by a certain Charles Eduard William Wheeller.

He claimed that Wheeller, who then sold the land to the Roman Catholic Church, had conned the tribe's forefathers into the land deal over a debt of 550 pounds they allegedly owed him.

"What happened 100 years ago was daylight robbery. Our forefathers were duped out of their land," said Christiaans.

"It is now our obligation as descendants of our passing heroes such as Captain Jan Abraham Christiaans and Willem Christiaans, to ensure that we (leave) no stone unturned to redress the travesty of injustice," Christiaans said.

However, Father Klaus Lettner, an administrator of the Roman Catholic Church in Karas, expressed anger and disgust over the claims by the Bondelswarts.

Lettner told The Namibian on Tuesday that Wheeller legally bought the land under the existing laws at that time.

"The Bondelswarts must stick to historical facts instead of getting emotional over a land deal that was done legally according to the existing laws at that time," Lettner said.

In a letter to the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Windhoek on December 21, Hendrik Christian and Jacobus Josob demanded that the church give back the land.

"We the undersigned will be the curators overlooking the restoration of the above-named property to its rightful owners," they said.

"We further demand the you pay back the income the property had brought you since 1921 and a monthly lease since that time."

The pair said the moneys should be paid into a trust account of which the two men are trustees.

It is unclear whether the two men were writing to the RC Church in an official capacity on behalf of the Bondelswarts clan because they sent copies of their letter to the Bondelswarts Traditional Authority.

Lettner said the Roman Catholic Church only owns only 47 000 hectares of the 180 000 hectares of land in question.

He said the rest of the land is owned by commercial farmers.

Lettner said the two parties agreed to enter into a dialogue next month in an effort to resolve the land dispute.
[END]

Source: http://www.namibian.com.na/

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, February 15th, 2007, 03:42 PM
No progress on Bondelswarts land claim

LUQMAN CLOETE

TALKS between the Roman Catholic Church and the Bondelswarts clan in the South ended yesterday without finding a solution to the clan's land claim.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, both parties expressed their commitment to continuing their discussions and cooperation.

It was decided that each party will appoint members to serve on a committee that will continue the deliberations and prepare future meetings.

The dialogue was set in motion following claims by the Bondelswarts during their annual festival in December that their forefathers were duped out of 180 000 hectares of land by a certain Charles Eduard William Wheeler.

Wheeler sold the land to the Roman Catholic Church.

The church was represented by Father Kluas Lettner in his capacity as administrator of the diocese, five priests and Deacon Willem Konjore, who is also the Minister of Environment and Tourism.

Josef Christiaan, adviser to Bondelswarts Kaptein Anna Christiaan, accompanied by the clan's deputy chief, Rudold Stephanus, and nine other traditional leaders represented the Bondelswarts.

Thursday, February 15, 2007 - Web posted at 8:10:57 GMT



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)

Liberator Germaniae
Monday, February 19th, 2007, 03:48 PM
White farmers should help San: Swapo

Monday, February 19, 2007 - Web posted at 7:00:15 GMT

CHRISTOF MALETSKY

SWAPO has supported a call by the Hai//om San that they be given land but said such land must come from those commercial farmers who "grabbed" it from them.

The ruling party's co-ordinator in the Kunene Region, Samtaca Katjizemo, said white commercial farmers needed to complement Government efforts in helping find a lasting solution to the plight of the community.

Katjizemo issued a media statement after he visited the Hai//om traditional authority at Outjo recently.

Katjizemo said the Hai//om lived in extreme poverty and were severely marginalised.

"The community were dispossessed of land like any other Namibian by the colonial authorities and were left landless.

However, access to land, education, housing, health and employment provision for the Hai//om community should not be treated equally until they are on par with the rest of Namibians," Katjizemo said.

He said they need to be given preference because of their status.

There are around 2 000 Hai//om San in Namibia.

They are demanding that they be given at least two farms near Etosha as they have been landless for 100 years - since Etosha was proclaimed a national park.

Recently, commercial farmers in the Outjo district offered to assist the Hai//om but not with their farms.

Headman Pedro //Gam#gaebeb told The Namibian that they were still awaiting concrete proposals from the commercial farmers.

The Hai//om have long claimed that Independence means nothing to them because they live in abject poverty.

Since 1993 the tribe has pressed Government to return their ancestral land in the vicinity of Ombika, Outjo, Otavi, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Tsumeb and Oshivelo.

In 1997 they were arrested after they piled tree trunks and rocks in front of two gates - Ombika and Namutoni - leading into Etosha and physically prevented visitors from entering the park.

Members of the tribe say it was a peaceful demonstration intended to show their strong feelings on the land issue.

Assisted by the Legal Assistance Centre of Namibia, the Hai//om eventually succeeded in having the charges - related to the possession of dangerous weapons and hindering and interrupting the flow of traffic - against them dropped.



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, February 22nd, 2007, 09:18 PM
Owner in dark as the State snaps up his farms

Thursday, February 22, 2007 - Web posted at 7:51:01 GMT

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

THE Ministry of Lands and Resettlement has advertised two farms for resettlement without the foreign-born owner's knowledge.

The first resettlement applicant has already arrived for a "farm inspection", The Namibian learnt yesterday.

The advertisement appeared in a Government publication last Friday, offering the two farms Wyoming and Kansas, situated about 250 kilometres south-east of Windhoek, for resettlement purposes.

The owner, retired eye specialist Dr Rolf Schindler, is a German national who arrived in Namibia in 1985 and has permanent residence here.

For a number of years, Schindler was the only eye specialist in the country.

He is the third farm owner to have his land forcibly expropriated.

The farms Ongombo West, Marburg and Okorusu were confiscated in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Each of Schindler's two 5 000-hectare farms near Nina have been carved up into three portions measuring approximately 1 600 hectares each.

Schindler, who bought the two farms in 2002, said he was unaware of the advertisement.

"I was very surprised when a man arrived on Friday in a company car wanting to look around on one of the farms, telling me he had applied to be settled there," Schindler told The Namibian.

"I bought the farms for my retirement," he said, "but now all those plans are shattered."

Schindler bought the two farms from an Austrian national, Erich Prenn, who obtained a waiver in 1998 from the Ministry of Lands after offering them for sale to Government.

At that time, the Ministry was not interested in acquiring the farms.

A farming neighbour of Schindler said one of farms, Kansas, was totally unsuitable for resettlement as it had no fenced camps or other farming infrastructure.

"Schindler has bought a lot of wild game and brought it there, but to actually farm there professionally with livestock would require substantial investment," the farmer told this newspaper.

Schindler will take the matter to the Lands Tribunal, as he is not satisfied with the price the Ministry has offered him for the farms.

He received a letter of expropriation in 2004.

About 20 other farmers received letters in the first wave of expropriation notices sent out by the Lands Ministry.

On August 12 last year, Schindler received a letter from Minister Jerry Ekandjo, telling him to vacate the farm just before Christmas.

This date was later extended to March 22 2007.

Schindler said the expropriation was not completed yet.

"I have not signed on the dotted line," he told The Namibian.

He would not disclose what price the Ministry offered him.

But Lands Minister Jerry Ekandjo saw the matter differently.

According to him the Ministry "has already paid 80 per cent of the sum offered to Dr Schindler".

Thus, he told The Namibian yesterday, the expropriation was already completed and therefore the Ministry had advertised the farms for resettlement.

"We even granted him extension until March 22, and after that he must leave the farm.

He stays there for free during that time, looking after the infrastructure."

The remaining 20 per cent of the purchase fee would be paid out to Schindler once an inspection after the handover date concluded that nothing was missing.



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)

Liberator Germaniae
Friday, March 9th, 2007, 07:43 PM
Owner in dark as the State snaps up his farms
[...]
THE Ministry of Lands and Resettlement has advertised two farms for resettlement without the foreign-born owner's knowledge.


The Afrikaans daily newspaper "Republikein" reported on March 9, 2007 that there is a substantial difference in the valuation prizes for two expropriated farms by the Namibian Ministry of Lands and Resettlement and a private evaluator appointed by the expropriated farmer, Dr Ralf Schindler.

The farms "Wyoming" and "Kansas" are the fifth and the sixth farms to be expropriated from their white owners by the Black majority Namibian government. Only farms owned by ethnic Germans have been expropriated so far. Read full report (Afrikaans content) below.


Schindler-onteieningsdebakel duur voort

• Ronelle Rademeyer

DIE waardasie van die Ministerie van Grond en Hervestiging en dié van 'n private waardeerder wat dr. Ralf Schindler aangestel het om die waarde van sy twee onteiende plase Wyoming en Kansas te bepaal, verskil met sowat N$800 000.

Dié twee plase, die vyfde en sesde om in Namibië onteien te word, het op 22 Desember verlede jaar die Regering se eiendom geword. Dit is in die omgewing van Nina sowat 250 kilometer suidoos van Windhoek geleë.

Dr. Schindler woon egter nog op Kansas nadat hy uitstel gevra het tot 22 Maart vanjaar om elders 'n heenkome te vind.

Volgens mnr. Frans Tseehama, permanente sekretaris in die Ministerie van Grond en Hervestiging, is 'n tweede uitstel in die lig van die hangende hofgeding onlangs aan hom toegestaan. Hy het nou tyd tot die einde van April om die plaas te verlaat.

Mnr. Mackay Rigava, waardeerder-generaal in dié Ministerie, sê die Regering se waardasie beloop N$4 032 899,81. Die twee plase, wat as 'n eenheid gekoop is, is saam 9 410 ha groot. Dit beteken die prys per hektaar is N$428, 57.

Mnr. Richard Müller van die prokureursfirma PF Koep & Co, dr. Schindler se regsverteenwoordiger, sê die private waardasie wys die grond is sowat N$85 per hektaar méér werd.

Mnr. Rigava wou nie op hierdie verskil kommentaar lewer nie. “Ek weet nie op grond waarvan dr. Schindler se waardeerder tot bepaalde waardes gekom het nie.”

Hy sê die prys wat die Regering aangebied het, is markverwant.

Mnr. Rigava sê voorts aangesien dr. Schindler die koopsom voor die Grondtribunaal gaan betwis, is net 80 persent daarvan tot dusver betaal.
“Ons kan nie die transaksie afhandel voor ons nie weet wat die Grondtribunaal se bevinding gaan wees nie.”

Me. Emma Kantema, sekretaris van dié tribunaal, sê 'n datum is nog nie bepaal waarop die saak gehoor gaan word nie.

Dr. Schindler het vroeër aan Republikein gesê dit was sy lewensdroom om met sy aftrede te gaan boer. Hy het in die middel tagtigs uit Duitsland na Namibië gekom om hier as oogarts te praktiseer en het die twee plase in 2002 toe hy afgetree het, van mnr. Erich Prenn gekoop.

Mnr. Prenn, 'n Oostenryker, het kort vantevore die plase vir die Regering te koop aangebied. Aangesien die Ministerie van Grond en Hervestiging nie belang gestel het nie, het hulle hom die nodige kwytskelding verleen sodat hy dit op die ope mark kon verkoop.

Dié kwytskeldingsbrief is deur me. Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, wat in daardie stadium dié portefeulje gehou het, onderteken.

Mnr. Tsheehama sê dit is nie vreemd dat sy Ministerie aan 'n plaaseienaar die kwytskelding verleen en dan 'n jaar of twee later anders besluit nie.

“Dit hang af hoe die Ministerie se behoeftes verander,” het hy vroeër verduidelik.

Volgens hom moes dr. Schindler nooit die grond gekoop het nie, aangesien hy net oor permanente verblyfreg in Namibië beskik en nooit vir burgerskap aansoek gedoen het nie.

Volgens dr. Schindler is hy in die stadium toe hy die plaas gekoop het, deur sy destydse regsverteenwoordiger in kennis gestel dat sy verblyfreg hier op 'n permanente grondslag hom wel in staat stel om grond aan te skaf. Hy is nie tydens daardie transaksie deur mnr. Müller geadviseur nie, maar deur 'n ander regsverteenwoordiger. Dit is nie bekend wie dit was nie.

Die Grondhervormingswet op Kommersiële Landbougrond, 1995, bepaal dat 'n buitelandse burger nie sonder die skriftelike toestemming van die Minister grond mag koop nie.

Grondeienaar wat dié bepalings in die wet oortree en sy grond wel aan 'n buitelander verkoop, kan met N$100 000 beboet word of vir vyf jaar tronk toe gestuur word of albei.



Source (http://www.republikein.com.na/content/nuus/2007/Mrt/09_schindler.php)

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007, 05:00 PM
The following Afrikaans article is a bit off-topic, but it shows that Black commercial farmers in Namibia also feel the effects of illegal land occupation and the threat of expropriation.


Eienaar van Otjiku nou keelvol

• Christo Retief

‘n VELDTOG van vier jaar om ‘n bekende Damarasprekende boer van Otjiwarongo van sy kommersiële plaas te dwing, is nou tot die spits gedryf nadat ‘n veediefstal-sindikaat oopgevlek is.

Dié wending rondom die geteisterde plaas, Otjiku van mnr. Herman Awaseb, het opnuut die kollig geplaas op die Regering se sogenaamde “streng beheer” oor die vleisbedryf en die land se naspeurbaarheidstelsel.

Mnr. Awaseb, ‘n bekende sakeman van Windhoek en beesboer teenaan die Omatako’s, was sedert 2003 gereeld in die nuus weens die onwettige besetting van een van sy plase deur ‘n groot groep plaaswerkers.

Mnr. Awaseb het op 17 November 2003 die plaas van mnr. Harro Hoenck gekoop en die sewe plaaswerkers met hul gesinne het geweier om vir ‘n Damarasprekende persoon te werk.

Die werkers het die plaas en hul werkershuise vir ‘n tydperk van twee jaar onwettig beset totdat mnr. Awaseb op 18 April 2005 ‘n dringende aansoek in die Hoërhof gebring het vir hulle uitsetting.

Die groep werkers waarvan die getalle wissel tussen 25 en 50 mense, het hulle egter daarna op die padskouers van die plaasdienspad, D2404, gaan vestig van waar ‘n skrikbewind van teistering en veediefstalle nou teen mnr. Awaseb gevoer word.

Só het mnr. Awaseb die laaste paar jare tientalle beeste, kleinvee en wild ter waarde van derduisende dollars verloor en volgens hom staan selfs die Namibiese polisie magteloos teen die aanslag op sy plaas.

Verlede week het die beesdiewe weer toegeslaan en agt van sy diere gesteel.
Die beeste is vermoedelik in die nag aangekeer, van nuwe brandmerke en oorplaatjies voorsien en dieselfde nag na ‘n veiling wat op Otjiwarongo aangebied is, vervoer.

‘n Werknemer van Agra op Otjiwarongo, mnr. André Joubert, het verlede Donderdag die beeste by die veilingskrale opgemerk en ook gesien dat hulle vars brandmerke gehad het met die brandmerk van mnr. Awaseb, HA, nog duidelik leesbaar.

Die beeste is onder die naam van ‘n kommunale boer van Okakarara, ‘n mnr. Dawid Mujazu, bemark en op ‘n goedgekeurde permit vir mnr. Mujazu na Otjiwarongo vervoer. Die nuwe oorplaatjies het ook mnr. Mujazu se naam en nommers gehad.

Mnr. Joubert het onmiddellik onraad gemerk en mnr. Awaseb telefonies ingelig van die verwikkelinge waarop mnr. Awaseb sy seun na die veilingskrale gestuur het om sy beeste positief te identifiseer.

Die polisie is daarna ontbied en twee van mnr. Awaseb se eie plaaswerkers, twee van die afgesette werkers uit die padskouers en mnr. Mujazu is op die plek in hegtenis geneem.

Die vals brandmerkysters en twee vervoerpermitte wat deur Veeart-senydienste uitgereik is, is in mnr. Mujazu se besit gevind.

Die een permit is op 11 Maart uitgeneem vir die vervoer van 20 beeste en die ander permit is op 15 Maart uitgeneem vir die vervoer van vier beeste.

Die vyf beskuldigdes was gister nog in polisie-aanhouding op Osire.

Mnr. Awaseb het gister aan Republikein vertel dat die werksaamhede van dié sindikaat deel is van ‘n deeglik beplande veldtog om hom van sy plaas af te werk.

Die vakbond vir plaaswerkers, Nafwu, het in 2005 reeds gevra dat die Regering mnr. Awaseb se plase vir hervestigingsdoeleindes onteien.

“Elke keer maak ek ‘n saak by die Polisie, ons betrap die mense op heter daad, maar niks gebeur nie. Ek dink hierdie is alles pogings om my van die plaas af te kry en die Regering doen niks nie, niemand doen niks nie. Hierdie mense sit in ‘n veilige hawe met beskerming, hulle smokkel en hulle steel en steeds word niks gedoen nie,” het ‘n ontstoke mnr. Awaseb gesê.



Source ("http://www.republikein.com.na/content/nuus/2007/Mrt/22_eienaar.php)

Liberator Germaniae
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 04:43 PM
Govt harmonises land valuation for AA and resettlement farmers

Thursday, March 22, 2007 - Web posted at 8:08:47 GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GOVERNMENT will embark on a major shift in its valuation of farmland for resettlement and for previously disadvantaged Namibians, who can obtain preferential loans from AgriBank to buy commercial farms.

Cabinet resolved that the official carrying capacity figures for livestock on farms as given by the Ministry of Agriculture should be used as the basis to determine carrying capacity and stocking rates for farms to be valued.

Government had so far not been clear on its criteria for buying farms on the willing buyer, willing seller system to resettle landless Namibians or for expropriation.

Neither were the farm valuation criteria of AgriBank clear.

Cabinet further approved that AgriBank and the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement should adopt that model for the valuation of agricultural land for the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme and for the acquisition of land for resettlement.

"It is important to ensure that new entrants into the agricultural sector do not fall victim to inflated farm prices," said Information Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

"It is therefore, necessary that agricultural land valuations reflect fair market values.

These must be linked to the capacity of the land to produce agricultural products and ensure that a return can be realised from the proper marketing of such products," the Minister said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

A fair market value for farmland could be achieved, provided that valuations were conducted on a professionally sound basis, she added.

It is against this background that Cabinet adopted the income capitalisation approach as the appropriate method to be used in conjunction with the other methods of valuation, especially the sales comparison approach with respect to the valuation of farmland for the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme and the land reform programme.

The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement must now amend the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act of 1995 to bring it in line with the new valuation approach.

"In emerging economies, where land ownership has been a subject of political and economic debate, land is used as an instrument of economic empowerment and poverty alleviation," Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah said.



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)

Liberator Germaniae
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 10:21 PM
San to get land near Etosha

Monday, March 26, 2007

ABSALOM SHIGWEDHA

GOVERNMENT will buy two farms near the Etosha National Park to develop them into conservancies for the minority Hai//om clan of the San people, Environment and Tourism Minister Willem Konjore has announced.

"This will create jobs and other income opportunities, leading to social upliftment, poverty reduction and will enable our Hai//om community to farm on their own land," said Konjore.

He said the upgrading of the Oshivelo airstrip and the envisaged opening of the gate near Oshivelo will also greatly benefit the Hai//om community.

"The Narawandu gate and the western Etosha gate will also be opened to enable our tourists to experience the rich and diverse culture of our communities to the west and north of the park," said Konjore.

He made these remarks when he officially launched the Etosha Centenary celebrations in Windhoek on Thursday evening.

The Chief of the Hai//om people, David //Khamuxab, attended the event while some Hai//om children performed traditional dances for the gathering.

Etosha turned 100 years old on Thursday and the centenary celebrations will continue until March next year.

Last month, Konjore said the Hai//om people and other neighbouring communities would be invited to participate in the Etosha Centenary celebrations.

Etosha was established in 1907 to protect the dwindling herds of animals from hunters.

Within a hundred years, Etosha's wildlife populations have recovered to an extent that surplus animals can restock areas outside the park.



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)