I want to see the ‘political’ graves of Itula, Venaani here – Nekundi

… analyst flags comments as hate speech

Deputy minister of works and transport Veikko Nekundi says he wants to see the ‘democratic’ burial of the presidents of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) and the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM).

Nekundi was referring to Panduleni Itula and McHenry Venaani at a Swapo rally at Emono village in the Oshana region on Sunday.

He said when he returns to Emono on 28 November, he wants to see Itula’s and Venaani’s graves at the sport grounds where Sunday’s event took place.

“When I come back here on 28 November, when the election results are announced, I want to see Itula’s and Venaani’s graves here,” Nekundi said.

He urged the residents of Emono village to invite a local undertaker to put up a “big tombstone that cannot be removed by anyone” on the graves of the two opposition leaders.

“They should be buried forever,” Nekundi said.

He said “anything breathing that is an opposition . . . here at Emono . . . buried”.

Nekundi said Swapo will defeat Itula and the IPC while stripping the PDM bare.

“We will defeat them all. It’s that time again that Judas Iscariot will be dealt with. Judas should be put in his rightful place,” he said.

Former Swapo president Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2008 compared Swapo members who joined the Rally for Democracy and Progress to Judas, who betrayed Jesus Christ.


Nekundi accused the PDM of working against the country’s freedom.

“God and Swapo work hand in hand, while the DTA/PDM and Satan work together. Let’s not be confused by the name that has changed. The PDM is the DTA – don’t follow them,” he said.

Nekundi questioned Itula’s commitment to Namibia, claiming that when Namibians were leaving the country to join the liberation freedom, Itula fled to Britain, returning only after the recent discovery of oil in the country.

“Now he is back saying Namibia is the only country we have. Since when? Now that you have heard that oil has been discovered in Namibia, you are back. Where were you? He is everywhere now – Okongo, Uuvudhiya, everywhere,” he said.

“The Congress of Democrats was sent from England. We defeated it. We should do the same to the IPC.

“Then there is the PDM. This party has been an opposition party from birth – let’s give it a walking stick. It should rest. It should not exist from this year on. Its soul should rest with Satan.”

Speaking at the same event, Swapo regional coordinator Werner Iita said 17 people from the IPC have joined Swapo, while Nekundi said many other IPC members at Kapako in the Kavango West region have joined Swapo.

He said these new members only joined the IPC after they were promised drought relief food.


Responding to Nekundi’s remarks, Venaani described himself as a threat to Swapo due to the admiration he receives from thousands of young Namibians within their ranks.

“Namibians have matured and cannot be intimidated by lies and political conjecture,” he said yesterday.

“My tombstone will be engraved in the hearts of our people as a genuine fighter for their betterment. I am a man of peace, and the motto of mutual respect cannot be erased from my political conduct,” he said.

Venaani said he plans to visit Emono village and encouraged residents not to be swayed by Nekundi’s threats and propaganda.

“I will be his president and the leader of all those who hate and love me. My responsibility is too great to allow hatred for anyone, even my opponents.”

IPC spokesperson Immanuel Nashinge yesterday said Nekundi’s remarks are deeply disturbing and a desperate attempt to distract the public from pressing issues.

“Nekundi chose to make personal attacks and spread what can only be considered misinformation,” Nashinge said.

“The insinuation that our party president returned to Namibia only for self-serving reasons is not only false, but a deliberate misrepresentation of his dedication to the country,” Nashinge said.

“Nekundi’s morbid comments are not just in poor taste, but reveal a lack of respect for political discourse and human dignity . . . Such language is unbecoming of a leader and serves only to incite division and hatred,” he said.


Political analyst Henning Melber yesterday said Nekundi’s remarks are shockingly irresponsible and require undeserved condemnation.

He said Nekundi should be officially reprimanded by Swapo and should apologise publicly.

“This is the kind of hate speech the party condemns rightly so when practised by others. It sets the wrong tone and risks paving the way for taking off the gloves,” Melber said.

He said given the increased contestation for votes during the next few months, all parties ought to strictly adhere to the electoral guidelines and civil behaviour, which is required to limit the risk of verbal or physical abuse and violence.

“Nekundi needs to be named and shamed – like everyone else resorting to similar agitation. One cannot condemn the slapping of a Swapo campaigner and remain silent when it comes to this abhorrence,” Melber said.

“Politicians should base their campaigns on factual arguments about why their party deserves support, sharing realistic policy programmes, rather than building castles in the air and attacking competitors in a way that puts their physical integrity at risk.

“There should be condemnation by all parties and a public outcry which names and shames this and similar other excesses, no matter by whom and by which party.

“Namibian democracy deserves better,” he said.

Political scientist Rui Tyitende says Nekundi’s remarks may not bode well for a party with a serious image problem.

“We should expect more of this kind of frivolous talk as most of these people talk because they must say something, and not because they have something subtantive to say,” he says.

Tyitende says those supporting Swapo presidential candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah’s campaign are not there because they believe in her, but for their own benefit.

“So we should expect a lot of noise from now till November as they compete to outshine one another as the jostling to be included in the 2025 Cabinet intensifies,” he says.

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