President appoints Commission of inquiry into claims of ancestral land rights and restitution
The President, HE Dr Hage Geingob, Thursday appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the Claims of Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution, in fulfillment of one of the resolutions of the 2nd Land Conference, according to a statement issued by the Office of the President.
Fifteen officials were appointed to the Commission. The following persons were appointed members of the Commission: Hon. Justice Shafimana Ueitele, Chairperson; Mr. Phanuel Kaapama, Deputy Chairperson; Gaob Immanuel /Gâseb; Mr. Ryno Van der Merwe; Dr. Helmke Sartorius von Bach; Mr. Uhuru Dempers; Dr. Marius Kudumo; Prof. Lazarus Hangula; Rev. Willem Konjore; Mr. Neels Kooper; Mr. Josef Petrus Van der Westhuizen; Mrs. Anna Fredericks; Mrs. Nadia M Le Hane; Ms. Jeaneth Kuhana and Ms. Ingenesia Inge Murangi.
The Director of Resettlement, Ministry of Land Reform, Ndiakupi Nghituwamata was appointed Secretary to the Commission, the Presidency said.
President Geingob said one of the main priorities of 2019 is to commence with the implementation of the resolutions taken at the 2nd Land Conference which took place last year in October.
“There is no doubt that the issue of dispossession from Ancestral land requires concerted efforts for healing and provision of social justice. The effects and aftershocks of the brutal policies of colonialism and apartheid continue to reverberate in the psyche of Namibians to this day,” he said.
The untold suffering experienced by the nation cannot be ignored or circumvented, but must be faced head on, Geingob stated.
According to the statement, the Commission is tasked to investigate ancestral land claims and produce a report that will assist the government and affected parties to effectively implement the resolutions of the 2nd National Land Conference.
Furthermore the Commission is to undertake desktop reviews, interviews with key stakeholders and group consultations, and visit any part of Namibia and relevant institutions in the country.
“The Commission will also report to the President as and when the Commission considers fit, any act, by commission or omission of intimidation of any witness, potential witness or sources of information regarding any matter relevant to the investigations by the Commission,” the statement added.
The Commission is also expected to report to the President on its findings and make relevant recommendations.
Meanwhile, the Presidency said the commission will submit an interim report on the terms of reference within nine months of its appointment and its final report three months later.