Treat other Africans like guests, not intruders: Geingob

WALVIS BAY: President Hage Geingob has warned Namibians to treat other Africans who find themselves in Namibia like guests, and not intruders.

“There are a number of African brothers and sisters who have joined us in the Namibian house as our guests. They should be treated as guests and not as intruders,” Geingob stressed on Friday during the commemoration of Workers’ Day at the coastal town of Walvis Bay.

The warning comes after xenophobic attacks in neighbouring South Africa led to the deaths of seven people in the past month.

“We can never look at a fellow African as a nuisance,” the President stressed in a speech read on his behalf by Minister of Labour Relations Erkki Nghimtina.

Geingob said Namibia’s independence came about due to the collective effort of friends who decided to stand up and fight the injustices they witnessed Namibians experiencing at the hands of apartheid South Africa.

He said “these brothers and sisters from the frontline states and Nigeria, as it was known back then, had no obligation to fight for Namibia’s cause, but as Africans carrying the African spirit of pan-Africanism, they decided to join the fight”.

“We can never look at a fellow African as a nuisance, we must look at fellow Africans as comrades,” he stated.

Geingob commended the government of South Africa for the actions taken to address the situation.

During the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Harare, Zimbabwe on Wednesday, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma briefed southern African heads of state gathered for the summit about measures his government was taking to stop a recurrence of the xenophobic attacks in Durban and Johannesburg.

The measures include teaching South Africans “to treat foreign people as if they are part of South Africa”.