By: Kelvin Chiringa
The Namibian Exiled Kids Association (NEKA) has rejected and shredded into pieces an apology by NamRights director Phil ya Nangolo, who has now begged for forgiveness from the founding president, Sam Nujoma.
NEKA’s leader, Rauna Amatati, wants Ya Nangolo to physically apologise to Nujoma before doing the same at the Swapo Head Quarters and not through letters and social media posts.
The organisation this week arm-twisted Swapo Secretary-General Sophia Shaningwa, out of holding a press conference designed to welcome him back into the fold of the party.
The SG, however, later flip-flopped on her decision, telling the media that the press conference was, after all, meant for Ya Nangolo to bend a knee and apologise.
After he initially refused to apologise publicly, ya Nangolo released a missive. He begged Nujoma for forgiveness, called for reconciliation, and demanded that Shaningwa sign his membership card immediately.
But NEKA has criticised the language in the apology and slammed Ya Nangolo for being desperate and unrealistic.
“It’s either he apologises unconditionally, or he doesn’t apologise. Unfortunately, NEKA does not accept that apology. It’s fake. He is undermining the leadership, which has maybe allowed him to do what he is doing. And that is why he is demanding,” said Amatati.
Yet the long-time party critic, now turned sycophant, said he would not apologise for seeking to drag Nujoma before the International Criminal Court, adding that he was coming in to use his experience to save the party from its inside and outside enemies.
However, NEKA has laughed off Ya Nangolo’s statement.
“Why couldn’t he save the party a long time ago? That is fake. Phil ya Nangolo must learn that what he has done in the past has done so much damage, especially for us children of the liberation struggle,” she said.
The organisation said he appears to have ulterior motives pushing him to seek shelter within the party.
“Is there an agenda from him that we do not know? Maybe there is something that the leadership owes him,” said Amatati.
She said the initial push to ceremoniously welcome Ya Nangolo was laughable.
Ex-NEKA leader Benitha Nakaambo said the form in which the apology is written, and the fact that it bears no signature leaves a lot to be desired.
“He says, “I have sincerely apologised to the great people of Namibia for the gross and systematic human rights violations which we Swapo members…” How do you speak of “we Swapo members” when you are not even a member? You are apologising so that somebody can open the door for you to become a member. So how do you speak of “we” when you are not part of the “we” yet?”
Nakaambo also said his apology to the late struggle veteran Herman Toivo ya Toivo and ex-president Hifikepunye Pohamba was misdirected and not needed.
“Has he ever publicly denounced or insulted them?” she questioned.
She added that his call for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission was not welcome and went against what has been done so far as healing the wounds of the past is concerned.
In the meantime, Ya Nangolo said he apologised for anything that he might have said to any Swapo leader or member but would not budge on the ICC issue.
“So, there is no change of mind. There are certain people who fear me (laughs). They are afraid of me, and you can see it through the press statements made by NEKA and whoever. There is that fear, but people should not fear me.
“I am a good-hearted, well-intentioned and well principled Swapo member. I have always been a Swapo member. I was never expelled. So, they must not be afraid. I don’t have any incriminating information against Swapo, and if I did, I would have released that already,” he said.