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Through the eyes of Mudge

Veteran politician, Dirk Mudge and his wife Stienie enjoyed the nostalgia of meeting so many compatriots earlier this week when his book chronicling the events before and after Independence, was launched.

The man who engineered Namibia’s Independence, Dirk Mudge, earlier this week launched his book describing events as they transpired from the middle seventies to the late eighties when Independence had become a fait accompli.
Published by Protea Boekhuis in Pretoria, titled Dirk Mudge, “Enduit vir ‘n onafhanklike Namibié”, the impressive tome captures Mudge’s political involvement that started with clandestine meetings in Katutura with Chief Clemens Kapuuo. This lead to his bitter break with the National Party, the founding of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, the first universal elections for an interim government, and the eventual negotiations with Swapo that lead to the first Constitutional Assembly elections in 1989. Mudge, being no stranger to adversity, said at some point, he had more white enemies than black compatriots.
At the launch, Professor Marinus Wiechers, architect and co-author of the draft document that eventually became the Constitution, enlightened the audience by telling them that despite the legal victory claimed by South Africa at the International Court in the Hague, to continue administrating the then Southwest Africa, this was simply not true. The fact of the matter is that the case was thrown out of court creating the vacuum exploited by South Africa to continue the occupation and administration of Southwest Africa. Throughout his political career, Mudge opposed this dispensation, insisting on a peaceful, negotiated transition to Independence. For this he was ostracised.

Professor Joseph Diescho, Executive Director of the Namibian Institute for Public Administration and Management, related how he, as a young post-graduate student, contacted Mudge for an interview. From this first encounter, sensing Mudge’s commitment to Independence, the two have become life-long friends.
Mvula ya Nangolo, special advisor to the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, had the audience enthralled when he told of his first encounter with Mudge after returning from exile. “I left Namibia to become a terrorist” he said to much applause from the audience.
During all the political travails, Mudge has remained a dedicated family man. For the launch of his book, he was joined by all five his children, Henk, Chrisna, Rieth, Annalien and Jaco, as well as the family Matriarch, Tannie Stienie. Mudge started writing his book at age 84 only completing it earlier this year at age 87.

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