German Groups Threaten to Sue Over Reiterdenkmal

WINDHOEK: Three German organisations are threatening to sue the Namibian government over the removal of the Reiterdenkmal statue.

The Kriegsgräberfürsorge, the Traditionsverband ehemaliger Schutz- und Überseetruppen and the Memorable Order of the Tinheads group, through local law firm Andreas Vaatz and Partners, have said they will do all things necessary, including legal proceedings in the High Court of Namibia, to secure the reinstatement of the Reiterdenkmal to exactly the same place where it was removed from.

A letter from Andreas Vaatz and Partners dated 21 February 2014 addressed to the Ministry of Works and Transport said the groups are in the process of investigating the circumstances surrounding the events of the removal of the Reiterdenkmal.

The letter was read out loud by Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture Jerry Ekandjo on Thursday during the unveiling of two new statues at two spots where the Reiterdenkmal was situated before its final removal on 25 December 2013.

The Reiterdenkmal was replaced with the Genocide Memorial and a statue of former Namibian president Sam Nujoma, and these were unveiled by President Hifikepunye Pohamba in front of the new Independence Memorial Museum, a stone’s throw away from the Alte Feste Museum, which currently houses the Reiterdenkmal in its courtyard.

The German groups said the Namibian government risks the demolishing of anything built on the place where the Reiterdenkmal was to cater for the reinstatement of the Reiterdenkmal.