Namibia Newsletter

by National Namibia Concerns
Denver, Colorado, United States
Undated, Fall 1986?
4 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage in Africa: Namibia, South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Germany
Language: English
Contents: NEWS BULLETIN - CALL TO ACTION • LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD, WE WON ONE • BUT THE NEW LEGISLATION FALLS FAR SHORT OF THE COMPREHENSIVE SANCTIONS THAT ARE NEEDED • MAJOR NAMIBIA CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MARCH • TORTURE BY FIRE DOCUMENTED IN NAMIBIA • NAMIBIAN CHURCH LEADER, CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER, AND NEWSPAPER EDITOR THREATENED WITH DEPORTATION • MORE VANDALISM AT COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN NAMIBIA • NEW RESOURCES • The newsletter says Dr. Zephania Kameeta, Deputy Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in SWA, has once again been denied a passport or travel documents which would enable him to attend a consultation on Namibia being held in Germany in November. The newsletter says Kameeta was scheduled to participate in a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) meeting in Hannover, before coming to Washington, D.C., in early December; his activities as an international church leader have been greatly hampered by South Africa's harassment and frequent refusal to grant the necessary documents to permit travel; some of you remember the difficulty that Kameeta experienced while trying to attend the LWF Assembly in Budapest in 1984; please contact your Senators and Representatives and Chester Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State U.S. Department of State; urge our government to bring strong pressure to bear on the South African government on this clear interference in the work of the church. The newsletter says also contact Ambassador Herbert Beukes, Embassy of South Africa. The newsletter says send a copy of your letter to Ambassador Beukes to: Mr. Louis Pienaar, Office of the Administrator General. The newsletter says thank you to all who contacted their Senators and Representatives before the crucial vote on Sanctions against, South Africa; the victory demonstrated your determination that the U.S. end its support for the apartheid system; it was a repudiation of the Administration's policy of "constructive engagement" and a serious defeat for the South African government; the override of President Reagan's veto came in spite of an intensive lobbying effort by the President, Secretary of State Shultz, the South African government, Senate Majority Leader, Robert Dole, and right wing apartheid supporters led by Senator Jesse Helms. The newsletter says this lobbying included phone calls from South Africa's Foreign Minister Pik Botha as well as from the so-called Zulu Chief, Gatsha Buthelezi, who sought to pressure farm state senators to vote with the President. many Senators were angered that members had been called from the Senate floor to receive Botha's message threatening retaliation; President Reagan quickly proposed new aid to the front line states, promised a trip by Secretary Shultz to southern Africa, and appointed a black ambassador-all in an effort to influence senators. The newsletter says we need to press hard for comprehensive sanctions as originally passed in the House of Representatives; we must help focus attention on South Africa's continued illegal occupation of Namibia; we must work to end U.S. aid to UNITA in Angola; By sending military aid to UNITA, our country openly allies itself with South Africa, loses credibility throughout the world, increases the suffering of the Angolan people, and delays indefinitely hope for independence in Namibia. The newsletter says a national conference on Namibia will be held on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, March 20-22, 1987; the purpose will be to educate people about the issue and train them for responding to the urgent and long-standing call for help which we have received from our Namibian sisters and brothers; the list of resource people includes many of the "giants" in Namibia's struggle for independence. Bishop Kleopas Dumeni, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Namibia (ELOC), and Andimba Toivo ja Toivo, one of the founders of SWAPO who was imprisoned for 16 years, now serving as General Secretary of SWAPO, will be main speakers. Other resource people include Namibians, scholars and activists from the United States and Great Britain. The newsletter says students and staff at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque continue to lead the way in active involvement in Namibia/southern Africa issues; letter-writing tables and telephone lines were busy during the sanctions debate; a television was set up in the dining area so students could follow the debate as it was occurring in the Senate; now the letter-writing has begun again; students are thanking Congresspeople for the sanctions legislation, but indicating that these were only the first steps; with posters and printed materials, the students are calling for an end to aid for UNITA and for the implementation of Resolution 435, without further delay. The newsletter says last year, a Christmas project of the World Mission Task Force at Gethsemane Lutheran in Portland, Oregon, was to provide books for the new library of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELOC); the library building, constructed with funds from the Finnish churches, was completed in the fall of 1985. The newsletter says according to a semi-official government newspaper, three leading opponents of South Africa's occupation of Namibia may be facing deportation under a new law which is still being formulated; Dr. Abisai Shejavali, General Secretary of the Council of Churches, David Smuts, a human rights lawyer, and Gwen Lister, editor of "The Namibian" may face expulsion because they were not born in Namibia. The newsletter says welfare offices of the Council of Churches and the independent Morenga School in Katatura were robbed and vandalized during the early morning hours of September 16. The newsletter says new resources include Witness to Apartheid; The Kairos Document, a Challenge to the Church; Namibia: A Violation of Trust by Susanna Smith; and Move Your Shadow by Joseph Lelyveld. The newsletter discusses Pastor Jonathon Hevita, the summer staff at Good Earth Village Bible Camp in southeastern Minnesota, the injustices of life under apartheid; the Martin Luther High School in Omaruru, Barb Danforth, Iipinge Petrus, Ndar Kapitango, Portius Blasiu, South African soldiers, SWAPO fighters, Titus Paulus, Red and Susan Burchfield, Vezera Kandetu, Winnie Mandela, John Evenson, the Namibia Communications Centre, Lutheran College Task Force on Peace and Justice.
Used by permission of former members of National Namibia Concerns.
Collection: Kenneth K. Martin Southern Africa Collection, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections