ECN Endorses !Nami?Nüs as Legal Name

THE Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has accepted the name change from Luumlderitz to !NamineNuumls, despite an ongoing dispute over the name of the southern harbour town.

Proof that the election watchdog has adopted the new name was provided yesterday when the ECN placed a government gazette notification in daily newspapers, in which they referred to !NamineNuumls instead of Luumlderitz and !NamineNuumls Magistrate Office instead of the Luumlderitz Magistrate Office.

ECN director Paul Isaak told The Namibian yesterday that they printed !NamineNuumls instead of Luumlderitz because of the information they gathered from the gazetted information from the Fourth Delimitation Commission.

“It was the information that we were given from the gazetted work of the delimitation commission,” Isaak said, adding that he was awareof a dispute over the name.

The ECN director said that resolving the dispute was not their responsibility and that it “should be resolved somewhere else”.

“I am aware of the dispute but we are working strictly according to the gazetted information,” he said.

However, presidential affairs minister Albert Kawana told The Namibian yesterday that the only name which was changed is that of the constituency and that the town should remain Luumlderitz.

Controversy followed the name change after President Hifikepunye announced the delimitaion commission’s recommendation last year.

Pohamba said he had accepted the name change because it was the original one used for the area.

A new map unveiled at State House during the announcement showed that Luumlderitz had been replaced by !NamineNuumls Town.

However, presidential affairs minister Albert Kawana later said the map was not a legal document and thus “should not be considered”.

Kawana also admitted last year that the process of renaming the town was not complete, which meant that Luumlderitz would remain with its name until legal changes were implemented.

Human rights lawyer Clement Daniels last year said Pohamba and the delimitation commission had acted beyond their powers to rename Luumlderitz.

Daniels said in terms of Section 23 of the Townships and Division of Land Ordinance Order Number 11 of 1963 (as amended by Act 28 of 1992), only the minister can change a town’s name on application by the owner (local authority).

He said the definition of ‘township’ is different from ‘town’ and the application for name change must be done by the ‘owner’.

The Namibian reported last year that cabinet also approved the renaming of Luumlderitz to !NamineNuumls in July 2012 after the !Aman chief, Dawid Frederick, had made the proposal 10 years ago.

Even though there are those who objected to the name change, many southerners such as the !Aman tribe (a sub-tribe of the Nama) who claim to have founded Luumlderitz are fully behind the name change.

They defended and welcomed the renaming last year.

The group thanked Pohamba for accepting their proposal to rename the town.

“Words will never be enough to thank you and those involved in this process for the bold step you took. You stood firm and gave us back what was taken away from us 106 plus years ago.

“We, the generation of the late Chief Cornelius Frederick, can celebrate this day. We can say with pride that the wind of change is sweeping across !NamineNuumls. The blood of our great grandparents, who were brutally killed during 1904-1907 (German genocide), was definitely not shed in vain,” said the group’s spokesperson Brigitte Fredericks then.

Source : The Namibian