1966 SWALA is renamed the Namibian People’s Liberation Army (NAPLA).
The Uniao das Populacoes de Angola joins the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in Angola.
The South West Africa National United Front (SWANUF) is formed by Mburumba Kerina and Veine Mbaeva as an attempted merger of NUDO and SWANU. By the late 1970s SWANUF is defunct.
Of more than 60 000 km of proclaimed roads (trunk, main, district and farm roads) 960 km are bituminised.
The Klein Aub Copper Maatskapy brings the Klein Aub Mine into production. The mine operates until 1987 when low copper prices force closure.
Falconbridge Exploration (Pty) Ltd. buys the Oamites Mine.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of SWA (ELC) is not allowed to establish a "black" secondary school in the "white" town of Karibib. The South African Government gives permission instead to build such a school in the Damara
Bantustan near the "white" farm Okombahe. The condition for the establishment of such a school is that the school has to be built in the "black" Okombahe reserve and the "white" ELC teachers have to live over the border fence on the farm Okombahe. The Martin Luther Highschool Okombahe is completed in 1968. The first director is Gottfried Tötemeyer. One of his teachers is Joshua Hoebeb who later plays a great role in the independence struggle of Namibia.
January During the Afro-Asian-Latin American People’s Solidarity Conference in Havana, the SWANU president, Kozonguizi, raises the issues of aid from external sources, the need for ideological purity and the need for independence from "imperialist" influences. Such criticism leads ultimately to the OAU’s decision to withdraw its recognition of SWANU in 1968. It also plays a role in the later decision of the United Nations General Assembly to recognise "SWAPO as the sole authentic voice of the Namibian people".
John Otto Nankudhu, commander of the Namibian People’s Liberation Army (NAPLA), establishes in co-operation with other leaders such as Simeon Shihungileni, Victory Namuandi, Patrick Iyambo, Nelson Kavela and James Hamukuaja, a reconnaissance camp at Ontamanzi in the Ongandjera area.
March In Ontamanzi the first military training centre named "Ondaadhi (reconnaissance)" is established. The first trainees are: Eliazer Tuhadeleni (Kaxumba kaNdola), Immanuel Shifidi, Festus Heita, Johannes Musheko, Paulus Shikolalje, Simeon Namunganga Hamulemo, Henok Jacob (Malila), Festus Nanjolo, Kornelius Shelungu, Thomas Haimbodi, Isak Shoome and Festus Muaala. In order to escape discovery by the South Africans, NAPLA shifts its training camp from Ondaadhi to Uuvudhija in the border area between the Uukwambi and the Ongandjera areas. The camp is named "Oondjokwe".
20.03. Returning to SWA for the first time since going into exile, Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba fly into Windhoek to test the legalities of the ICJ ruling regarding the status of the UN mandate. The SA Police return them at gunpoint to the airport and then on to Zambia.
June The NAPLA group from Oondjokwe moves under the command of John Otto Nankudhu to Omugulu-gOmbashe (Otjiherero: Leg of a giraffe) northwest of Tsandi in the western parts of Ovamboland and starts to build structures and trenches for defensive purposes. From Omugulu-gOmbashe, Shikalepo Iileka makes contact with resistance groups in the Kaokoveld.
A further NAPLA group under the command of Kalep Tjipahura leaves Tanzania. Rudolf Kadhikwa is Deputy commander. Other NAPLA soldiers are S Kakwambi, J Haiduua, Betuel Nunjango, Thomas Haimbodi, Abel Haluteni, P Hamalua Ndadi, Simeon Ipinge Iputa and Eliader Muatale. Muatale is later killed by combined SA and Portuguese forces. Ndadi is killed during the crossing of the Kwando River. Ipinge Iputa has to return to Zambia due to exhaustion. With many difficulties they manage to cross the Okavango River between Shakawe and Maun in Botswana. Finally they reach their destination in Ovamboland.
July The Administrator for SWA, Wentzel Christoffel du Plessis, opens the new "non-white" hospital in Oshakati.
18.07. The case brought by Liberia and Ethiopia to the ICJ (the case having been revised in 1965 to deal with the Odendaal report and new statements concerning human rights violations in SWA) is rejected by the ICJ on the grounds that the applicant countries have no standing in this matter, and that the UN is the competent legal body to bring the application. That there have been human rights violations in SWA is acknowledged. The SA Government presents this ICJ "judgement" as a major legal and political victory over the two applicants, Ethiopia and Liberia. The court ruling in favour of South Africa, with the casting vote of the Australian President of the ICJ, Percy Spender, dashes the hopes and expectations of the Namibian people for a peaceful deliverance from SA occupation.This judgement marks the turning point in the strategy of those who continue the struggle for an independent Namibia.
13.08. The new blacktop road from Windhoek to the coast is completed to a point near Rössing and joins the salt gravel road to Swakopmund.
26.08. SWAPO proclaims the armed struggle for the liberation of SWA after the first SWAPO soldiers complete their training. The first military clashes between NAPLA and SA troops occur near the northern border with Angola (Omugulu-gOmbashe). In the mean time a further unarmed group under the command of Leonard Phillemon Shuuya (Castro) runs into a South African ambush in the Kavango. Only Julius Israel Shilongo (Kashuku) escapes and reports the incidents. Shilongo hides in the house of Erastus Mbumba. Phillemon, however, is converted by the South Africans and participates in the battle of Omugulu-gOmbashe on the South African side. After the Commander John Otto Nankudhu realises that he cannot withstand the superior South African fire power, he orders the NAPLA unit to retreat. Many NAPLA soldiers die, are wounded or are taken prisoner by the South Africans. Eliazer Tuhadeleni (Kaxumba kaNdola) escape and is not arrested until March 1967 when he is captured at Okaloko near Ondangwa.

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The Omugulu-gOmbashe Monument remembers the Beginning of the armed Struggle against the South African Colonial Authority on August 26, 1966 (northwest of Tsandi in the Omusati Region)
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

07.09. Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, SWAPO’s secretary at Ondangwa, and 44 other prominent SWAPO members are detained and later tried and imprisoned on Robben Island ("Terrorism Trial": The State vs Tuhadeleni and Others).

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Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo: SWAPO Leader: August 2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Some of those arrested are detained without trial for over a year, or until the passing of the Terrorism Act, No. 83 of 1967, which is made retroactive to 27.06.1962. Among the arrested SWAPO members are Immanuel Gottlieb Nathaniel "Maxuilili" (restricted to house arrest until 1985), Eliazer Tuhadeleni, Axel Johannes and John Ya Otto (some are arrested in December). Even Sam Nujoma’s father, who is already over 70 years old, Daniel Utoni Nujoma, and whose sole "crime" is being his father, is arrested at the Okahao Hospital and sent to Pretoria prison. There he develops tuberculosis from which he later dies.

13.09. After Verwoerd’s assassination in the SA Parliament (06.09.), Balthasar John Vorster, a man with a pro-fascist past (linked to the "Ossewabrandwag") becomes his successor. Vorster puts his weight behind the establishment of an apartheid system in SWA, but at the same time propagates some kind of détente with African countries that have already gained their independence.
27.09. NAPLA carries out a fierce attack on Oshikango at the border with Angola, destroying the South African police station and administrative buildings. After the attack the NAPLA group returns to a base at Iiti jee Holo and later moves to Okalonga ka Nepaya, south of Ongwediva.
27.10. The UN General Assembly declares that SA’s rule by mandate has been terminated. SWA is seen as the direct responsibility of the UN, and its right to nationhood and independence is confirmed in UNGA Resolution 2145. This Resolution leads to the appointment of a new UN Ad Hoc Committee for South West Africa which later results in the creation of the UN Council for SWA (May 1967).
November Five different NAPLA groups are inside Namibia and are deployed in Eastern Caprivi, in the Kavango and in Ovamboland.
16.11. The NAPLA commander John Otto Nankudhu is captured by the South Africans at Ohakueenjanga. The commander Patrick Iyambo (Lungada), however, continues the fight against the South Africans until 1974, when he returns into exile via Angola to Zambia.
December John Ya Otto, Nathaniel Maxuilili, Jason Daniel Mutumbulwa, Eliazer Tuhadeleni and 32 others are arrested by SA. Ya Otto is detained in Pretoria where he is tortured and held in solitary confinement (in a cell previously occupied by Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, father of Thabo Mbeki, of the ANC).
04.12. Gerson Veii, Vice President of SWANLIF, is arrested following his address of a public meeting held in "Freedom Square" in the Old Location in Windhoek to protest about the arrests of SWAPO leaders that had taken place after the attack on Omugulu-gOmbashe. Consequently Veii is the first Namibian to be prosecuted under the Sabotage Act, No. 76 of 1962, as amended by Act No. 62 of 1966. He spends one year in solitary confinement in Pretoria and five years on Robben Island. He is released from Robben Island in 1972. Veii is defended by Bryan O’Linn who subsequently defends many Namibians like John Pandeni, John Ya Otto, Johannes Nangutuuala, Victor Nkandi and Axel Johannes.

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Gerson Veii: SWANU Leader: August 2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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