Rehoboth Basters: Right to A Legitimate Land Redistribution
On Monday 2 May 2016, a peaceful protest was organised by members of the Rehoboth Basters community in Namibia. Unfortunately, the manifestation went sour when the Namibian Police Force violently intervened in order to interrupt the demonstration. This is yet another proof of the continuous desire of the Namibian government to hide the situation of this unrepresented people from the eyes of the international community.
Below is an article published by The Namibian
Members of the community of Rehoboth's Kuviki Land Location during their 'peaceful' land demonstration earlier today.
Chaos erupted between community members and the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) during what started off as a peaceful demonstration for land at Rehoboth’s Kuvuki Land residential area on earlier today.
According to some community members, they had gathered at an open area to wait for the town council’s response on their land allocation needs when members of NamPol arrived.
Five people were arrested.
“They started firing rubber bullets at us for no reason as we did not intend to use violence. People were injured,” they claimed.
About three people were injured and a vehicle was damaged during the scuffle, angering the community members who then started demanding the presence of minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa.
David Majiedt, one of the demonstrators said he has been living in Rehoboth all his life. He said he has been applying for land for the past two years but has not received any response.
“All we need is land to build our home for our children and future grandchildren, but the town council just never seems to have an answer for us,” he said.
NamPol spokesperson Slogan Matheus said during the police crime briefing in the capital today the group gathered with cleaning equipment to clear the land.
He added that members of NamPol were on the ground and told the group to disperse as they were there illegally.
“By 09h00 this morning the number of the crowd picked up to 300 people and within the crowd we noticed a suspect who is wanted on a pending warrant of arrest for traffic violation and that person was arrested,” he said.
He confirmed that the police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, but said they did not receive any reports of serious injuries or damage to property in that area.
He however stressed that there was a gunshot heard in the crowd and the police is investigating the matter.