|1977||Niko Bessinger becomes treasurer
of the SWAPO Office in Windhoek.
Crispin Mabebo Matongo becomes Branch Chairman of SWAPO in Kitwe (Caprivi Strip).
Danny Tjongarero is arrested in Oshakati by the SA Security Police. They release a statement ostensibly written by Tjongarero which is critical of SWAPO, and which Tjongarero later withdraws since it was written under coercion and torture.
Jan Samuel Herero (|HŰ|arab) becomes leader of the Bethany Nama (until 1984).
John McNab, Karl Freygang and AJ Strauss leave Ben Africas RBA and found the Rehoboth Democratic Party.
Due to the depressed copper prices the Otjihase Mine has to close but re-opens again in 1980.
|March||The HNP forms a "white resistance movement" called Beweging vir die Behoud van die Onverbreekbare Eenheid tussen die Republiek en Suidwes-Afrika (BOERSWA) (Movement for the Indissoluble Unity between the Republic and South West Africa). The Turnhalle principles are typified as a "race federation", which would result in "black majority rule" and the "alienation of the white man" in Namibia.|
|18.03.||The outline of a Constitution for
Namibia is finally ratified by the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference. The official
"white" opposition, the FP under Bryan OLINN, voices well-substantiated
criticism against the Turnhalle Constitution. Kozonguizi, legal adviser to the Ovaherero
delegation to the Turnhalle, supports it as "viable". Substantial criticism
comes from the major churches in Namibia: the United Evangelical Lutheran Church, the
Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church. SWAPO rejects the Turnhalle Constitution as
a "neo-colonialist ploy by South Africa to ensure the fragmentation or
Bantustanisation of Namibia, while relying on the help of a few loyal tribal
The SA Parliament takes no decision on the Turnhalles constitutional outline because representatives of five Western countries (Canada, England, France, Germany and the USA) intervene in the UN Security Council with the aim of resolving matters on the basis of SC Resolution 385 of 1976.
|22.03.||The UN Security Council enters a new debate on Namibia. The African states call for a mandatory arms embargo and a curb on all new loans for and investments in SA, unless Pretoria brings its illegal occupation of Namibia to a speedy end.|
|April||After the internal wing of SWAPO has split from the NNC (end of 1976), the NNC links up with the Namibia National Council to form the Namibia National Front (NNF). The NNF is formed as an alliance between the Damara Council (and the DEC), the FP, SWANU, the Mbanderu Council, the Namibia Progressive Party (Bondelswarts), the National Independence Party and the Voice of the People Party. The SWAPO Democrats (SWAPO-D) under Andreas Shipanga later form a working alliance with the NNF. The NNF favours a unitary independent Namibia free from SA control, the abolition of apartheid, a bill of fundamental human rights, an independent judiciary and a mixed economy. The NNF becomes dormant in 1980.|
||The five Western countries ("Western Contact Group") meet with SA Prime Minister Vorster in Cape Town to discuss the Namibia issue on the basis of a strongly-worded diplomatic note pertaining to SA ending its illegal occupation of Namibia ("First Cape Town Summit").|
|12.04.||Hompa Daniel Sitentu Mpasi is inaugurated as the new Uukwangali Chief in Kahenge in the Kavango.|
|22.04.||Vorster summons the Turnhalle Constitutional Committee under the chairmanship of Dirk Mudge to Cape Town before negotiations with the Western Contact Group are resumed.|
|27.04.||The Western Contact Group, led by Don McHenry, deputy to Andrew Young (who is later pivotal in the creation of SC Resolution 435), begins tough bargaining with Vorster and Pik Botha. Following this, SWAPO (through Peter Katjavivi) makes it clear that it will only participate in the constitutional process if the Turnhalle principles are abolished, if elections on a non-ethnic basis are held under UN supervision, and if the SADF leaves the country prior to the elections.|
|18.05.||In a "whites-only" referendum 94,69% of all "whites" vote in favour of the Turnhalle proposals on independence and on a Constitution. Special emphasis is placed on the "principle of group autonomy". A "Yes" means a vote for the NPs policy and a "No" means a vote for the ultra-conservative HNPs policy.|
|20.05.||Vorster meets the US
Vice-President, Walter Mondale, in Vienna. Mondale speaks on three issues: majority rule
for Namibia, majority rule for Rhodesia, and a progressive transformation for SA to the
Anna Katrina Christian becomes the new Chief of the Bondelswarts.
|30.05.||The Western Contact Group hands over a diplomatic note to the effect that SA must pursue the Namibia case further.|
|06.06.||A strong Turnhalle contingent meets the SA Government in anticipation of a new round of deliberations with the Western Contact Group.|
|08.06.||The Western Contact Group again meets with the SA Government in Cape Town ("Second Cape Town Summit").|
|10.06.||SA agrees to suspend plans to establish an interim government in Namibia, to allow free elections for a Constituent Assembly, persuades Turnhalle delegates to drop their plans. In preparation SA passes the South West Africa Constitution Amendment Act No. 95 of 1977 and appoints an Administrator-General to administer the territory and to work with a UN Representative in the run-up to the UN-supervised elections. However, Pretoria still follows a two-track approach by continuing to work actively towards an internal settlement in Namibia, largely on SAs own terms, while co-operating in the diplomatic venture to reach a peaceful and internationally recognised settlement on Namibia.|
|11.06.||SWAPO rejects the idea of a Pretoria-appointed Administrator-General and prefers direct UN control over the transitional process in Namibia. Theo-Ben Gurirab states that "South Africa has no legal, moral or other rights to administer the territory either now or during the interim period".|
|22.06.||Hendrik Witbooi is forced to resign as headmaster of a school in Gibeon, after 22 years of service, due to his involvement with SWAPO.|
|July||Namibia starts to establish its own national defence force the South West Africa Territory Force (SWATF).|
|04.07.||Sam Nujoma addresses the OAU Summit and states that "these Western initiatives are appreciated", but he warns the Contact Group "not to bypass the UN". Vekuui Rukoro, NNF Secretary for Information, also dismisses the idea of SA installing an Administrator-General.|
|15.07.||Since last year members of SWAPOs PLAN and those who give them assistance, are increasingly brought before the courts of charges of contravening the Terrorism Act, No. 83 of 1967. The charges against Ruben Hengula, Michael Shikongo and Lazarus Guiteb refer to alleged acts of "terrorism" committed in 1976. They are all sentenced to high prison terms. Shortly after the case against Hengula, Shikongo and Guiteb, Ben Ulenga is taken prisoner by the South Africans, put on trial and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, of which he spends nine years on Robben Island.|
|27.07.||A Damara Representative Authority is created, led by Justus ||GaroŽb.|
|11.08.||Some German-speaking Namibians found a political pressure group (initiated in June), the Interessengemeinschaft Deutschsprachiger SŁdwester (IG) (Community of Interests of German-Speaking South Westers), to lobby for the interests of the German-speaking community in an independent Namibia and to make a contribution to the independence process in the interest of Namibia (Slogan: "Landesinteressen gehen vor Eigeninteressen"). This lobby group later co-operates with the DTA (terminated in 1983) but is not really a political party. The IG is supported by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its first President is Herbert Halenke, its first Chairman Konrad Lilienthal, and its first board members are Klaus Dierks, Claus Kock, Herbert Schneider, Hans-Erik Staby, Johann-Albrecht BrŁckner, Volker Rodenwoldt, Eberhard von Alten, Adolf Bartsch and Wilhelm Weitzel. Within two years the IG establishes 18 regional branches throughout the country with nearly 3 000 members.|
||Walvis Bay Administration Proclamation R202 of 1977 makes provision for incorporating Walvis Bay and the Atlantic offshore islands (Mercury, Bird, Seal, Penguin, Halifax, Possession, Albatross, Pomona, Plum Pudding, the Roast Beef Islands and Long Island) into the Cape electoral division of Namaqualand.|
|September||The envoys of the five Western
powers hold a third round of talks in Pretoria. The major issue of contention is the
continued presence of SA troops in Namibia, and this becomes one of
the "make-or-break" issues in the international diplomatic efforts to gain
independence for the territory. Theo-Ben Gurirab wants the SA troops out "before
the political process starts".
UN Secretary-General Waldheim meets with various experts on UN peace-keeping operations, notably Brian Urquhart. A UN task force of 7 000 to 10 000 members is envisaged. SWAPO insists that all SA troops must leave prior to the elections. The UN proposes that Pretoria compromise by reducing the SA troop strength to between 5 000 and 7 000, and confining these troops to base at Grootfontein or Oshivelo or both. Vorster rejects this proposal. SA suggests monitoring the Angolan border from both sides, and accepts Martti Ahtisaari as Waldheims representative to supervise "free and fair" elections for a Constituent Assembly. Such elections are envisaged for the second half of 1978. Apart from the disagreement between SWAPO, the Western powers and SA on the issue of UN military presence, the Walvis Bay issue is another stumbling block. SWAPO demands the "total reintegration of Walvis Bay into an independent Namibia". The negotiations come close to collapse and a fourth summit is envisaged.
|01.09.||SA appoints Marthinus Theunis Steyn as Administrator-General for SWA/Namibia, to rule by proclamation as set out in Government Notice 1666 of 19.08.1977.|
|26.09.||A group under Dirk Mudge breaks away from the NP of SWA, which has controlled the legislature ever since its first election victory in 1950.|
|28.09.||The NP of SWA severs it links with the NP of SA.|
|October||The Administrator-General repeals
the Mixed Marriages and Immorality Acts. The pass laws are also repealed, but the contract
labour system is continued.
The Roman-Catholic Church holds its first Synod of the Vicariate of Windhoek at Mariabronn near Grootfontein. For the first time representatives of all communities meet officially in a common meeting.
|03.10.||An election is held for a Kaptein (Captain) for Rehoboth in terms of the Rehoboth Self-Government Act, No. 56 of 1976. The election is narrowly won by Ben Africa, leader of the Baster delegation at the Turnhalle Conference and of the Baster Vereniging. His opponent is Diergaardt of the Rehoboth Liberation Party. Diergaardt challenges the outcome of the election in court, and the court rules that Africa cannot be installed as Kaptein of the Rehoboth Gebied (District). Such institutionalisation of further ethnic councils still clearly forms part of Pretorias Gaullist approach towards Namibias decolonisation.|
|05.10.||A new party, the Republican Party (RP), is formed (05.10.). The leadership of the "all-white" RP consists of Dirk Mudge, Hans-Erik Staby, Abraham Davids, Anna Frank and "Bertie" Botha. The NP residue is later re-organised (1978) as the Action Front for the Retention of Turnhalle Principles (ACTUR).|
|06.10.||The Turnhalle Constitutional Conference is officially dissolved by the Administrator-General, Steyn.|
|21.10.||The inaugural congress of the "all-white" RP is held.|
|31.10.||Elections for the Rehoboth Volksraad are held and won by Diergaardt.|
|01.11.||SA incorporates Walvis Bay into the Cape electoral division of Namaqualand.|
|04.11.||The UN Security Council unanimously passes UN SC Resolution 418 which provides for a mandatory and extensive arms embargo against South Africa.|
|05.11.||The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
(DTA) is founded, with Ovaherero Chief Clemence Kapuuo as its first President and Dirk
Mudge its Chairman. The NUDO (Clemence Kapuuo), the RBA (Ben Africa), the LP (Andrew
Kloppers), the RP (Dirk Mudge), SWAPDUF (Engelhardt Christy), the Nama Alliance (DaniŽl
Luipert) and the NDP (Cornelius Ndjoba) join the DTA as member parties. The Caprivi
Alliance Party (CAP) is formed with GabriŽl Siseho as its President, and CAP joins the
The Kavango Alliance Party (KAP)(Alfons Majavero) is constituted to join the DTA.
The Tswana Alliance (P. Tibinyane) is formed by Turnhalle delegates to join the DTA.
|December||Administrator-General Steyn announces the abolition of the "Bantu education system". The Department of Water Affairs and the Department of Bantu Administration and Development, Coloured, Rehoboth and Nama Relations, are transferred to the Administrator-General.|
|01.12.||The RP establishes the newspaper Die Republikein. First editor is Johannes Petrus Spies.|