Evicted /Khomanin vow to fight for ancestral landBy: NICO SMIT
/KHOMANIN Chief Josephat Gawa!nab says he is prepared to fight in court and even to go to jail over a piece of land which he regards as belonging to the /Khomanin community.
Last week the Windhoek Municipality took the first steps to have a group of illegal occupants evicted from a piece of land belonging to the City of Windhoek, close to the Daan Viljoen park.
The land is officially known as Windhoek Town and Townlands No. 31 and is approximately 8 000 hectares in size.
Judge Johan Swanepoel last week issued a High Court order giving the group of illegal occupants until September 23 to give reason to the Court why an eviction order should not be granted against them.
The Namibian last week spoke to Gawa!nab, who regards the land as his ancestral home, and said that he would fight the case in court, and was even prepared to go to jail over it.
Gawa!nab acknowledged that he had settled the illegal occupants on the land, and said that the Khomas Region was the only one of Namibia’s 13 regions where there was no communal land, adding that the /Khomanin people had lost the land of their forefathers.
The Namibian also spoke to Moses Abram, one of the alleged illegal occupants of the land, who said that Gawa!nab had given him permission to settle on the land. Abram (63) has a number of sheep, goats, cattle, chicken and two shacks on the land where he says he lives with his nephew who works in Windhoek.
Abram said the whole situation was very saddening to him, as he had nowhere else to go should he be evicted. Abram is one of the respondents in the High Court matter.
Gawa!nab also said that if the City and the Government want to evict the people from the land, then they should provide an alternative for them to be relocated to.
Referring to the land in question as Satan’s Loch, Gawa!nab said he had no intention to threaten the Government or the City, but could not understand why he was being taken to court instead of negotiating over land which belongs to his people.
Gawa!nab also said that he had been in negotiations with the central government over the land since 2008, but nothing had come of the talks thus far.
The /Khomanin community had a meeting in Windhoek on Saturday, and community spokesperson Eddie !Nawaseb said they will aim to have meetings with Lands Minister Alpheus !Naruseb and Windhoek Mayor Elaine Trepper on September 20.
!Nawaseb said they hope to be able to discuss the issue with the leaders, and that they would be handing over petitions to them, as the community is suffering due to the delay in finding a solution.