Ex-SWATF Soldier Pleads for Help

A former apartheid-era SWATF soldier has appealed for financial assistance to have his sight, which is gradually failing following injuries sustained in a battle 29 years ago, restored.

SWATF is the acronym for the South West African Territorial Forces that conscripted thousands of Namibians to fight against People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters – the military wing of Swapo when it was still a liberation movement.

Onesmus Moses is progressively becoming blind and his doctor reportedly told him he would need N$30 000 to have sight in his left eye corrected – which he cannot afford.

Moses is a father of six and both he and his wife are unemployed. The family depends on his disability grand from government.

The 51-year-old led a normal life until 2005, when he developed a cataract in his right eye.

After it was removed, the right eye became totally blind while the left eye also started losing vision.

In 2013, he stopped working, as he could no longer see. “All I see with my right eye is total darkness, while my left eye can only differentiate between light and darkness. It is frustrating because I cannot even walk to the road, which is only a few metres away from here, on my own. Even if a snake or a dog with rabies comes it will just bite me because I cannot see. I feel so helpless. There are times when I just want to throw in the towel and end it all. I really think of ending my life,” he sobbed. Recalling the event that has come to haunt him close to three decades later, he said he was injured during a battle between the SWATF and PLAN fighters in 1987 at Oihedi village in Angola.

According to him, an RPG-7 bullet was shot through the supposedly armoured Casspir warhorse causing serious injuries to his head and arm.

Although he was treated and seemingly recovered from the injuries, in 2005, the battle came back to haunt him when he started working in a local bakery as a driver.

“I used to transport hot bread and that heat affected my eye,” he said.

After an operation to remove a cataract from the right eye in 2011, his left eye also started going blind, he said. The doctor allegedly told him that his right eye was affecting his left eye, hence the need for the operation.

Chairperson for the Namibia War Veteran Association Frans Jabulani Ndeunyema said he only discovered the extent of Moses’ plight when he recently visited him.

Ndeunyema thus urged Good Samaritans to help raise funds for Moses’ operation.

According to him, three people that can help to collect the funds are Pastor Hendrick Shimuku and Pastor Paulus Kristian who are both based in the north and Pontius Antindi who is based in Windhoek.

“Any cent can be helpful. Let us all contribute for this member of society to lead a normal life again. You can see that he is in good health, of course, apart from his eyes, he can be productive again,” said Ndeunyema.

Source : New Era