2024 May 29 – The Namibian: Declaring genocide remembrance holiday an election ploy – opposition

Namibian report reaction opposition traditional leaders proclamation 28 May Genocide Remembrance Day Namibia

“Declaring genocide remembrance holiday an election ploy – opposition

By Ellen Alberts and Envaalde Matheus

29 May 2024

… Nama, Herero leaders reject date
Opposition parties have praised the government’s move to declare 28 May as Genocide Remembrance Day, which will be a public holiday from 2025.

They argue, however, that this is an election ploy.


Meanwhile, disagreement on a date for Genocide Remembrance Day were expressed by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA).

The secretary general of the NTLA, Deodat Dirkse, yesterday said the association rejects the declaration of 28 May 1908 as Genocide Remembrance Day, saying the first extermination order was made on 12 April 1904.


The Okandjoze Chiefs Assembly commemorated Remembrance Day, starting on 21 May with a church service, night vigil, youth discussions and an exhibition, running until 28 May.

The group marched to Independence Memorial Museum to remember the extermination order and horrendous acts committed by Germans against the Nama and OvaHerero people during the 1904 to 1908 genocide.

Speaking at the occasion, chief Tjinaani Maharero, the chairperson of the Okandjoze Chiefs Assembly, said the brutality did not come to an abrupt end on 28 May 1908 with the announcement of the closure of camps.

Many ancestors continued to be subjected to inhuman treatment, including hard labour, floggings, and rapes, he said.

The closure of the camps was, however, a relief.





Editor’s note:
On 2 October 1904, the then commander of the colonial German Schutztruppe, Lothar von Trotha, issued the so-called ‘extermination order’.
On 28 May 1908, the then commander of the colonial German Schutztruppe, Ludwig von Estorff, ordered the formal closure of all concentration camps in then German South West Africa.

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