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The Year of the Pig brought no luck for these confined Windhoek porkers

The Year of the Pig brought no luck for these confined Windhoek porkers

The time has come for the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek to make a definitive statement on where they stand regarding our laws, rules and regulations. Do they and all Chinese nationals living in Namibia pretend to be law-abiding visitors, or is that just lip service so that they can have an open door to our future economy?

When a Chinaman offers an unsuspecting Namibian money for a pangolin or rhino horn or an elephant tusk, not only is he making a criminal out of my brother, he himself is a criminal, one we despise and do not want to share our land with.

I want the Chinese Ambassador to state very clearly, unequivocally exactly what his position is towards criminals. Will his government tolerate this type of behaviour in China? Can you imagine how hard the Chinese Government will come down on me if I pitch up in their mountains with a rifle over my shoulder to collect myself a Panda trophy?

Then why do they not apply the same measure to their own nationals who are guests in our country but who act as if they have already bought everything?

Earlier this week the SPCA in Windhoek was tipped off by a business owner about a slaughterhouse on an adjacent commercial property in Prosperita. The SPCA people requested back-up from the Windhoek City Police and they raided the premises. The horrors they found there are beyond belief. Were it not for the SPCA’s impeccable conduct over six decades, my first response would have been to say the scenes they described are not possible, not in a civilised, modern country and not in a Windhoek suburb.

The mail sent our by the SPCA after their search of the premises has gone viral on social media in the meantime. It is not necessary to repeat all the detail, I assume most Namibians are now too familiar with the appalling conditions the animal rights protectors and the police encountered. The issue that needs to be addressed is whether the Chinese view themselves as our masters, even if many of their underlings are plain, common criminals, or whether they see themselves as our guests, acting like guests, and respecting the laws which govern our everyday lives.

Our government also needs to state beyond any doubt, exactly what the attitude is regarding foreigners who break our laws. Is it OK when it is a Chinaman because their government does so much good for us?

Is it acceptable to us that Chinese contractors can vastly under-tender on large projects simply because they bring so much of the material directly from China, courtesy of their government, and secondly because they have no regard for labour laws and are known for their underpay to construction workers, completely ignoring any industry agreements on minimum wages and artisan pay.

If I slaughter a pig in my yard, I am contravening local authority by-laws. These are not lesser laws, they are all part of the Namibian legal codex. Granted, I will probably not be jailed for cutting a pig’s throat near my back door, but I will certainly be charged and taken to court where I will be fined. If I refuse to pay this fine, then a warrant for my arrest will be issued, I will be apprehended, and this time I run the risk of actually ending up in the tjoekie.

Can a Chinaman claim ignorance of health and safety regulations, of animal protection regulations, of protection of wildlife laws, of labour law and labour agreements in the construction industry, of foreign exchange laws and of basic human rights? Our constitution is built upon these principles. If we regards them so highly, who are they as foreigners to flaunt what gives direction to our communities and to our society at large.

I assume the Chinese did not slaughter the pigs for rations for their Namibian workers. I do not know why they would slaughter pigs and rabbits, keep tortoises and dogs, and bind the wings of birds with wire. To me this indicates a cold, primeval mind without the slightest concern for civility and respect for life.

Finally, and perhaps most indicative of what we have to deal with where Chinese are trying to integrate into our society: if they are prepared to live like that, and if they are prepared to use that meat for human sustenance, regardless whether it is for their brothers or for mine, what do they think of themselves?

Are crime, criminals and criminality accepted standards for the Chinese? What happened to their 5000 year old culture about which they are so fond to brag? Or is valid only when it applies to other people, non-Chinese, gullible Namibians who are so afraid of offending the Chinese Government in case they stop their financial support for our infrastructure projects.

We do not need Chinese criminals in Namibia. The Chinese Embassy must say out loud they will not tolerate crime, and our own government must say out loud they will not tolerate Chinese nationals who are criminals. A spot fine is an insulting slap on the wrist, they must be deported, never to set foot in Namibia again.



About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The newspaper started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at His editorial focus is on economic analysis based on budget analysis, dissecting strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored scores of journalism students as interns and as young professional journalists. He often assists economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to [email protected]