"From whence shall our help come?" THE TRAGEDY OF SOUTH WEST AFRICA
by American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
Undated, early 1960s
Brochure seeking donations to the Africa Defense and Aid Fund (ADA) of the American Committee on Africa for projects in South West Africa, where 473,000 Africans have inherited a history of suffering. In 1884, South West became a colony of Germany. The Germans nearly exterminated the Hereros, who were reduced from 80,000 to 15,000. South West Africans fought with the Allies in World War II against Germany. In exchange, they were promised the return of their ancestral lands. Instead, the League of Nations gave them mandate status under the rule of South Africa. After the war, South Africa was the only nation which refused to turn its mandated territory to become a trust territory of the United Nations. The International Court of Justice (or World Court) forbade South Africa from annexing the country and ruled that the Union must submit annual reports on South West Africa and transmit petitions to the U.N. Two-thirds of South West Africa's nonwhites live outside the "Police Zone,'' the area of white settlement, in rural areas called reserves, where the land is arid and sterile, so they are recruited by the South West Africa Native Labor Association. to work in mines and on farms for one-tenth the wages of white workers. The Committee on South West Africa, established by the General Assembly, is empowered to receive documents and petitions from aggrieved parties in South West. For many years, Michael Scott was the only petitioner, acting on behalf of Chief Hosea Kutako. In 1956, Scott was joined at the U.N. by a young Herero petitioner, Mburumba Kerina. The Union of South Africa has refused to allow a single petitioner to leave South West; petitioners have had to escape the country. The brochure mentions Sam Nujoma, the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), Chief Hosea Kutako, the Rev. Marcus Kooper, and the Windhoek massacre.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Winifred Courtney Collection, National Archives of Namibia