6. THE INDEPENDENCE PROCESS LEADS TO NAMIBIA'S FREEDOM: 1988-1990
|1988||The National Progressive Party is
formed under the presidency of Patrick Mufalo Limbo after the UDP splits. The Federal
Convention of Namibia (FCN) is formed in Rehoboth under Hans Diergaardt and Mburumba
Aksie Kontra 435 (Action against 435) is formed in Keetmanshoop under the leadership of Louis van der Westhuizen.
Andrew Kloppers disbands the CDU and merges with the LP once again. The LP leader is Reggie Diergaardt.
The Namibia Volksparty (Peoples Party) is formed by Willem "Billy" Phillips, after he leaves the LP with a number of supporters.
The Supreme Court gives an advisory opinion that AG8 contradicts the Bill of Fundamental Human Rights as contained in Proclamation R101. The SA Court of Appeal rejects the opinion.
The potential for escalating conflict in southern Angola between SA/UNITA and Cuba/MPLA halts internal constitutional developments in Namibia as negotiations around SC Resolution 435 and related matters begin between Angola, Cuba and SA, with US mediation and with support from the Soviet Union.
Mosé Penaani Tjitendero becomes Director of the UN Vocational Centre in Angola.
The Okorusu fluorspar mine is reopened by Okorusu Fluorspar (Pty) Ltd.
The Yeyi community in the Eastern Caprivi Strip directs an application for autonomy to the chief of the Fwe, Richard Muhinda Mamili. Mamili rejects this and punishes the rebellious Yeyi. He appoints his uncle, George Simasiku, as chief of the Yeyi.
The South African Defence Force destroys Ondonga Kings Immanuel Elifas (Kauluma) homestead at Onamungundo (Olukonda) because he is a strong supporter of SWAPO.
|16.01.||A series of military battles take place in the south-eastern corner of Angola. They derive from a MPLA-Soviet-Cuban assault on UNITA-held territory and bases, UNITA being given substantial support by South Africa. The MPLA troops fail in their assault on Mavinga and then loose a battle at the Lomba River. About 6 000 SA troops together with UNITA forces commence operations to conquer Cuito Cuanavale, but they are finding strong resistance. UNITA breaks off contacts with the SA troops. In May the SA forces return to the Namibian side of the border, calculating that there would be no further assault by the MPLA before the end of the rainy season.|
|28.01.||During the visit of the West-German right-wing politician Franz-Joseph Strauss in Windhoek, PLAN explodes a bomb in the South African Suiderhof military base.|
|17.02.||A bomb explodes in the First National Bank in Oshakati, killing 27 and wounding 70 people. Among those killed is the daughter of ELCIN Bishop Kleophas Dumeni. Both sides blame each other for the atrocity, although strong indications show that the South Africans, in attempt to discredit SWAPO, are responsible. Subsequently Leonard Sheehama is arrested on 09.07. and charged with the attack on the Oshakati bank. The court case is still pending at Namibias independence on 21.03.1990 and is not pursued further after the implementation of the policy of national reconciliation after independence. After Sheehamas arrest it is established that he had allegedly planted bombs in various public places in Walvis Bay and at the Okambebe School in the Omungwelume area in Ovamboland. However, during the court case, the South African police officer, Lieutenant Hillhause, admits third degree methods, including vicious assaults on Sheehama. Consequently his appeal (28.03.1991) against the death sentence for the Walvis Bay bombings is successful and he is released and returns to Namibia.|
|March||Several attacks by PLAN troops on South African military bases in Okatope, Eenhana, Okongo, Onesi and Okalongo take place.|
|07.03.||An application is brought before the SWA Division of the Supreme Court whether the Proclamation on Representative Authorities according to the AG 8 Act of 1980 are not in contradiction to the "Bill of Fundamental Rights and Objectives" in the annex to Proclamation R101 of 1985. The court rules in favour of abolishing of the AG 8 Act. However, the Action Front for the Retention of Turnhalle Principles (ACTUR) remains opposed to the abolition. The dispute in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) is still not resolved by the 1 April 1989, when the implementation of SC Resolution 435 commences.|
|04.05.||About 50 000 Cuban, Angolan and
PLAN troops succeed in pushing the SADF back at Cuito Cuanavale. The Cuban forces together
with their allies are even successful in carrying out a flanking manoeuvre
south-westwards. They establish a 400 km southern front running parallel to, and in some
cases only 20 km from the Namibian border. The front is protected by the Cuban and Angolan
Air Force stationed at the newly upgraded airbases at Cahama and Xangongo. The Cubans have
MIG-23 planes and are equipped with the full range of modern Soviet weaponry, with heavy
armour, full air-defence radar and several ground-to-air missiles. For its part, South
Africa begins bringing up heavier fighting units and mobilises the SWA Territory Force
(SWATF). During the advance Cuban war planes carry out a successful air attack on Techipa
and the Calueque Dam, just outside Namibia on the border of the two countries, threatening
the water supply to northern Namibia and the electricity supply from Ruacana. Cuban planes
even begin to appear in Namibian air space including some low-level fly-pasts above the
huge SADF air base at Grootfontein. By this stage, also, though the South African military
is still generally well-equipped, the international arms boycott is affecting aspects of
its capability, especially as regards aircraft, two of which are lost at Calueque. Nor
does the SADF possess attack helicopters. Estimates are placing the cost of the war at not
less than US$ two billion a year, and it is increasingly unpopular among South African
conscripts and their families. The impact of sanctions, and of the huge disinvestment that
had taken place are finally taking a major toll on the South African economy. Chester
Crocker quotes an estimate of 17% decline in the South African GNP from 1987 to 1991. Even
nature turns hostile - a virulent, often fatal, strain of malaria in the border regions
had become resistant to prophylactics and is rife among South African soldiers. South
Africas will to defend Apartheid is weakening, as is its control over
Namibia. All these events force SA to begin serious negotiations on the implementation of
SC Resolution 435, despite the fact that SA and UNITA still both claim victory.
On the same day Sam Nujoma announces in Washington D.C. a policy of national reconciliation, neutrality and non-alignment by a future SWAPO government in Namibia.
|May-August||Angola, Cuba, and SA meet in London, later Cairo (where on 24./25.06. the uncompromising attitude of the South African Defence Minister Magnus Malan nearly wrecks the second round of negotiations), then in New York (20.07.: The agreement on "Principles for a Peaceful Settlement in South West Africa, Angola, Cuba and South Africa") and finally in Geneva (02./05.08.).|
|Beginning June||75 000 school students boycott schools throughout the country in protest at the South African army and police repressions. The boycott begins at the Ponhofi Secondary School in Ovamboland.|
|20.-21.06.||The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) organises a general strike in support of the students. More than 60 000 workers support the strike.|
|27.06.||There is a heavy clash between PLAN, Cuban and Angolan troops on the one side and South African troops on the other at the Calueque Dam near Ruacana.|
|June-July||The SWAPO leadership (Sam Nujoma,
Hage Geingob and Hidipo Hamutenya and others) and a delegation of "whites" from
Namibia meet in Stockholm. Present is also the newly appointed UN Commissioner for
Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.
SA continues its troop withdrawal from Angola.
A conference is held in Bremen, West Germany, on "Education for Liberation", attended by SWAPO members including, inter alia, Mosé Penaani Tjitendero, Nahas Angula, Helmut Kangulohi Angula, Nangolo Mbumba and Klaus Dierks, as well as a representative of the University of Bremen, Manfred Hinz.
|August||During the 11th annual congress of the Interessengemeinschaft Deutschsprachiger Südwester (IG), the Namibisch-Deutsche Stiftung für kulturelle Zusammenarbeit (NaDS) is established (board members: Volker Gretschel, Gerhard Tötemeyer, Imke Weitzel and Marianne Zappen-Thomson).|
|01.07.||The Multimodal National Transport Corporation is established.|
|02./05.08.||Discussions in Geneva between
Angola, Cuba and SA lead to the "Geneva Protocol", which stipulates that SC
Resolution 435 will be implemented on 01.11. Angola and Cuba sign a bilateral accord to
govern the Cuban withdrawal from Angola (02.08.: The South Africans again delay the
negotiations by a new demand that Angola ceases assisting the South African ANC). Mediator
is Chester Crocker.
In view of the fact that SWAPO is not a party to the "Geneva Protocol", it is provided that "Angola and Cuba shall use their good offices so that, once a total withdrawal of South African troops from Angola is completed and within the context also of the cessation of hostilities in Namibia, SWAPOs forces will be deployed to the north of the 16th parallel."
|08.08.||SA voluntarily commits itself to a de facto cessation of hostilities.|
|10.08.||S/20109 conveys the US Permanent Missions verbal note to the UN Secretary-General, and also contains the text of the joint statement issued in Geneva on 08.08.|
|12.08.||The cease-fire is observed by SWAPO (S/20129).|
|30.08.||SA completes the withdrawal of its troops from Angola.|
|24.08./-13.12.||Five meetings are held in Brazzaville, Zaire (Congo), between Angola, Cuba and SA under the chairmanship of the US and with Soviet observation.|
|September||UN Secretary-General Péres de Cuéllar visits Angola and SA (the South Africans still try to delay the peace process by demanding an all-party conference in Namibia before SC Resolution 435 comes into force) to discuss the implementation of SC Resolution 435.|
|20.09.||In S/20208 the UN Security Council President indicates Council members support for the implementation of SC Resolution 435.|
|29.09.||The summit meeting between the US President Ronald Reagan and the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Michael Sergejewich Gorbachev paves the way to finally resolve the situation in Namibia and Angola.|
|October||A number of African heads of state meet in Franceville, Gabon, and Gbadolite, Zaire (Congo), to discuss and facilitate the peace process in Namibia.|
|09./11.10.||A "Consultative Conference" is held between SWAPO and progressive Namibians (inter alia Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Anton Lubowski, Frieder Rohn, Gerd Hanekom, Klaus Dierks, Bernd Riehmer, Peter Borsutzky, Hans Röhr, Christo Lombard) in Kabwe, Zambia. Prominent exiled SWAPO leaders are present, including, inter alia, Sam Nujoma, Hage Geingob, Theo-Ben Gurirab and Hidipo Hamutenya. Bryan OLinn, Chairman of the Namibia Peace Plan 435 (NPP-435), takes not part because the CDA leader, Peter Kalangula, is not invited by SWAPO.|
|16.11.||The SA Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, and the head of the SA National Intelligent Service, Neil Barnard, argue the need for the earliest action to resolve the Namibian question, which is destabilising the region and "seriously complicating" the major issue which South Africa itself would shortly have to face. Ten years later Botha speaks of the "decisive effect" which the Namibian Peace Process and Namibias Independence had had on the abolition of Apartheid in South Africa.|
|03.12.||The new Kai5khaun leader from Hoachanas, Petrus
Simon Moses Kooper, is sworn in.
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks
|04.12.||The "Mukorob" (a.k.a.
" Finger of God") near Tses collapses during a heavy storm.
The Mukurob (Finger of God), near Asab, collapsed on
04.12.1988. Nama oral tradition relates that the power of the "White Man" would
end when this Rock fell
|13.12.||SA, Angola and Cuba sign the "Brazzaville Protocol", which recommends that the UN Secretary-General sets 01.04.1989 as the deadline for the implementation of SC Resolution 435. The protocol also establishes a " Joint Monitoring Commission (JMC)".|
|14.12.||In S/20325 the Charge daffaires of the US Permanent Mission transmits the text of the "Brazzaville Protocol" to the UN Secretary-General.|
|20.12.||The UN Security Council sets up the United Nations Angolan Verification Mission (UNAVEM) in SC Resolution 626.|
|21.12.||The UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, is killed in the Pan Am air disaster at Lockerbie in Scotland, while on his way to the signing ceremony at New York.|
|22.12.||SA, Angola and Cuba sign the "New York Treaty" (or "Tripartite Agreement") at UN Headquarters, which finalises the agreements reached earlier in Geneva. Angola and Cuba also sign a bilateral agreement on the Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola, which paves the way for SC Resolution 435 to be implemented on 01.04.1989. The parties also confirm that the Joint Monitoring Commission (JMC) will monitor the implementation of the agreements. The US and Soviet Union both participate as observers and facilitators.|