Namibians who fought for South Africa in the border war seek end of marginalisation
Leaders of the Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) are visiting South Africa seeking to strengthen their position in claiming their right to military veteran status. Namvet’s chairman Jabulani Frans Ndeunyema and secretary/treasurer Israel Katjaimo came to South Africa with the goal of organising a local branch and consulting former South West Africa Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet (SWA Police COIN Operation K Division) members, as well as seeking assistance and legal opinion. The Namibian government refuses to recognise former members of Koevoet or SWATF as military veterans, despite a policy of national reconciliation. The 2008 Veteran’s Act recognises only those who were members of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), the armed wing of SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organisation), as veterans as well as activists who supported SWAPO. The legislation does not make provision specifically for veterans of other wars, such as World War Two, in which people born in Namibia might have taken part and specifically excludes those who fought in SWATF or SWAPOL (South West Africa Police) units.