RDP leaders urged to repentBy: STAFF REPORTER
Victims of Swapo atrocities demand justice THE founders of the Rally of Democracy and Progress (RDP) have been called upon to repent and distance themselves from atrocities committed by Swapo in exile.
This call was made by a former member of the Republican Party and now now a founding trustee of the Citizens for an Accountable and Transparent Society, Carola Engelbrecht, on Sunday at the commemoration of the Mboroma massacre in Zambia and of those killed in Swapo’s Lubango dungeons in Angola.
Engelbrecht said the RDP should “should repent and ask for forgiveness for the atrocities” some of their current leaders are accused of having committed while they were in the top leadership of the liberation movement in exile.
RDP Member of Parliament Kandy Nehova was part of the audience who remembered those who were killed in exile.
Asked what he made of the call, Nehova said: “Contact the RDP head office and talk to relevant people.”
The RDP was formed by former top Swapo politicians such as Hidipo Hamutenya.
In Lubango in Angola, hundreds of Swapo members, accused by the party as South African agents, were detained.
The Lubango dungeons are an emotive issue in Swapo, which the party has kept under wraps.
Those who survived the Lubango ordeal came back and told stories about their torture and living conditions in the dungeons.
This incident has torn families along party-political lines, pitting staunch Swapo supporter parents against children who were hurt and disappointed by the party they believed in.
Swapo has refused to apologise to the victims of the torture, with some senior leaders only saying that things may have gone wrong in exile.
In recent media reports, a senior Swapo official and presidential aspirant was reported to have said that he was also targeted for arrest and could have ended up in the notorious Lubango dungeons, where hundreds of Namibians died.
During a debate on national reconciliation in the National Assembly in 2007, Prime Minister Nahas Angula said the Lubango dungeons episode represented the tragedy of the war of liberation and was a painful experience for everybody.
“We had to take a painful decision to protect the struggle and isolate some of our own people that were accused of being spies,” Angula said.
He said the Lubango dungeons were an experience everybody wanted to forget and avoid.
“People suffered, lives were lost, property destroyed and [it was] a very painful period.”
Another issue that is haunting the ruling party is the number of exiles who remain unaccounted for.
The Mboroma massacre took place in 1976 in Zambia, where hundreds of Namibians were allegedly held in a detention camp by the Zambian police at the orders of Swapo.
The commemoration was hosted by the Breaking the Wall of Silence movement, the Forum for the Future and Namrights.
Most of the survivors of the Mboroma massacre and the Lubango dungeons’ eyes were filled with tears as they recalled their ordeals at the hands of the Swapo leadership during the struggle.