THE NAMIBIAN LIBERATION STRUGGLE - the black cause and white obligation

by Gerhard Tötemeyer
Burlington, Vermont, United States
April 1982
17 pages
Type: Conference Presentation
Coverage in Africa: Namibia, South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
A background paper by Professor Gerhard Tötemeyer, Department of Political Science of the University of Transkei, for the conference NAMIBIA, AFRICA'S LAST COLONY: PROSPECTS FOR FREEDOM AND DEVELOPMENT at the University of Vermont, April 5-6, 1982. The paper discusses Swapo, which emerged as a result of internal conditions, not external influences and actions, as many of its adversaries want to believe. The internal conditions include contradictions created by the presence of an alien (colonial) force and its allocation of welfare and benefits. The Namibian liberation forces believe that being revolutionary in an undemocratic system is the best strategy for total freedom. The paper says black consciousness was meant to help free the black Namibian from a slave mentality, from social and psychological degradation, and from a conditioned servile and inferiority complex. Tötemeyer describes Swapo’s twofold, centrifugal and centripetal, strategy. The centrifugal, internal strategy concentrates on a liberation process from the center (urban areas) to the peripheries (rural areas). The centripetal strategy concentrates on a movement from the border to the center, involving predominately Namibian forces outside the country. Swapo is fighting on the northern border and predominately in Ovamboland against South African and allied forces, while also engaging in a fight against the current political dispensation in Namibia. The paper says the rural population is concerned with being freed from a status of quasi-serfdom and regaining their land. The paper says black political leaders and their followers are evaluating the current attitude and role of whites, which will largely determine their future role and credibility. The paper discusses SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), Amilcar Cabral, the DTA (Democratic Turnhalle Alliance), the NNF (Namibian National Front), Zephania Kameeta, theology of liberation, a socialist system, and non-alignment. 
Collection: Elizabeth S. Landis collection, National Archives of Namibia