Monday, February 28, 2005 - Web
posted at 10:40:43 GMT
NAMIBIA: San group demands immediate
resignation of WIMSA head
A group of San
people from across the country marched to the Working Group of Indigenous
Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) offices in Windhoek, handing over a
petition to co-ordinator Axel Thoma demanding his immediate resignation.
The group claims
that they have never seen the WIMSA constitution, nor in the 10 years of its
existence have they ever seen any financial reports.
documents are public documents and can be viewed by anybody wanting to do so,
according to WIMSA.
The group also
claims that Thoma has done very little to educate the San community and that
he does not recognise the traditional leader of the Hai //om community.
WIMSA has in the
past enrolled 21 students at the University of Namibia, the Polytechnic of
Namibia and the Teachers Training College.
They also train at
least four San people every year at their offices so that they can go back to
their communities and assist them with administration matters.
Joram /Useb, who
works for WIMSA and is a member of the Hai//om community, said: "The
traditional leader David //Khumuxub was appointed by Government and even we,
the Hai//om, do not recognise him as our leader."
about 100 000 San people in Namibia, Botswana, Angola and South Africa.
Of the estimated
38 000 San living in Namibia, the Hai//om are the largest group.
According to Joram
/Useb, they are also the best off.
The Hai//om have
an educational advantage over the other San groups and thus they get better
employment and easier access to further education, he says.
currently six Hai//om working for WIMSA and most of the San students at Unam
also wanted to know what happened to money that was supposed to be used for a
community project in Outjo.
Thoma, a community member misappropriated N$20 000 and a lack of interest from
the community itself led to the collapse of the project.
WIMSA is not
responsible for the implementation of projects; that has to be done by the
is only there to lobby, Thoma said.
of Outjo donated 50 hectares of land to the different communities living in
Outjo so that they can create jobs and generate income for themselves.
WIMSA has built a
cultural centre on the land given to the San.
The San community
must now develop the centre to create an income for themselves, Thoma pointed
WIMSA has proposed
that the remaining land should be used as a nature resort to generate income
for the community.
The group demanded
that Thoma close the office within 48 hours or they would take the law into
their own hands.
Thoma said the
petition would be discussed at a management meeting, and also at the annual
general meeting of all three countries involved, and a reply would then be
given in writing.