Two Ovaherero groups at each other’s throats over land

Two Ovaherero groups � Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and the Otjikatjamuaha Royal House (Red Flag Regiment)� were at each other's throats on Thursday after the latter illegally occupied Erf 1755 which is allegedly owned by the OTA.

Members of the OTA did not take the fact that individuals from the Otjikatjamuaha Royal House occupied their property without their consent lightly.

Coupled to what the OTA termed illegal occupation was the cutting open the fence which cordons off the disputed land.

It is alleged that members of the Otjikatjamuaha Royal House made way to the premises by cutting open the fence of the property belonging to the OTA to commemorate the Red Flag Day in remembrance of Chief Samuel Maharero whose remains were repatriated from Botswana on 23 August 1923.

While on the property, the group and their Chief, TjinaaniMaharerowere allegedly attacked by assailants from the OTA with knobkieries during a violent confrontation after erupted between the two groups.

The OTA demanded that the other group vacates its premises.

Maharero and his faction were overpowered by the OTA army and subsequently removed from the plot.

When Nampa arrived in Okahandja around 18h30, the confrontation which required intervention by the Namibian Police (NamPol)'s special field force had been dissolved.

Meanwhile, members of leaders of the Otjikamuaha Royal House were in a closed-door meeting with the police which their counterparts refused to attend, as they felt undermined.

Speaking to Nampa, Brigadier David Tjiposa of the OTA indicated that they were ready to die for their land.

This is our land. As you can see our fence was vandalised by the other group. That is a clear sign of disregard and disrespect. We cannot let other people walk over us, he told Nampa.

He added: The police wanted to remove us but we told them that we are not moving an inch. This is our home. It is clear from where we stand that the government and the police are behind this. They want to make sure that the Ovaherero people don't unite. They did not take any action against the other group despite it being clear that invaded our property.

Despite this, Maharero maintained his group's innocence to the Windhoek Observer, saying OTA does not hold a title deed to the land in question.

The two factions have held the Otjiserandu or Red Flag Day separately over the last few years due to the deepening rift between them.

The Otjikatjamuaha group declined to comment when approached by Nampa after the meeting with the police.

The Nampol leadership in Okahandja also refused to entertain a question from the media shortly after the meeting.

Indications are that the Otjikatjanuaha faction will continue their commemoration as planned in Okahandja this weekend as planned.

Source: Namibia Press Agency