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‘A Brave And Honest Decision By Kapofi’ – Helmut Angula

…as Kapofi Pulls Out At Last Minute

By: Justicia Shipena

Former cabinet minister Helmut Angula has described the decision taken by defence minister Frans Kapofi not to go ahead and contest for the Swapo vice president position as bold.

Kapofi, minutes before the launch of the Swapo party’s inter and intra campaign on Wednesday ahead of its congress in November, dropped the ball in the court and quit the race.

He was nominated in Swapo’s central committee meeting last weekend along with environment minister Pohamba Shifeta.

Shifeta, prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah remain in the race. “History will be on his side on such a bold and very brave decision but an honest one,” said Angula.

Angula said he is sure all those comrades who are delegates will understand the circumstances under which he (Kapofi) has enrolled himself in that ‘saga’ of contesting.

“That cloud of uncleared procedures. Men who realise their mistakes and acknowledge them deserve to be praised for they, too, understand the emotion and perceptions of their members and colleagues,” he expressed.

Angula said people must accept Kapofi’s decision and, at the same time, urged the delegates to vote for the ‘comrade’ to the central committee.

“So that he can play a very important role for which he has merits,” he said.

Earlier this week, Angula also came out to say that Shifeta and Kapofi’s nominations ignored Swapo’s constitution.

“The explanation given does not belong to the category of people like him because they said that reserved privileged is reserved for any member of the party, which cannot be correct,” he said.

Angula further questioned why there would be any amendment if any other party members could stand up and claim candidature to any position without the required specific criteria.

He was referring to the ‘Helmet Amendments’.

The so-called ‘Helmut Amendments’ passed in 2018 at the Swapo congress require those seeking top four positions within the party to have “persistently and consistently” been members of the central committee, politburo for 10 years, and a party member for 20 consecutive years.

The amendments were initiated by Angula to protect the party from “chance-takers.”

“The privilege that was preserved in that amendment was reserved for those members at the time of passing of the amendment who were already members of the central committee politburo but had not reached the complete criteria to avoid people incriminating themselves.”

When The Villager reached out to Kapofi regarding his decision to quit, he said, “I have withdrawn my candidacy. I cannot tell my reasons; that is the private decision I have made.”

Launching the campaign, President Hage Geingob also announced Kapofi’s withdrawal.

“We respect and accept his decision, assured that he will dedicate his time to supporting whoever emerges victorious,” said Geingob.

Geingob reminded the members to “play the ball and not the individual.”

“You are not campaigning against enemies and adversaries. You are campaigning to articulate to the masses why you are the most suitable candidates to lead the Swapo party. It should be that simple.”

He added that there is no reason for personal attacks because everyone is expected as disciplined and revolutionary cadres to rally behind the winners and help them lead the party to victory in the 2024 national elections and beyond.

Namibians will head to the polling stations in 2024 to vote for the presidential and national assembly elections.

He also gave his green light to step down as president.

“As for me, although I am unopposed, I, too, will step aside at the right occasion to hand over the reins to the cadre who will be entrusted to lead the party as its president.”

Justicia Shipena

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