Namibia: Free at Last! after Long Struggle, 1.3 Million Blacks Shake off Apartheid Rule of South Africa

By Massaquoi, Hans J. | Ebony, June 1990 | Go to article overview

Namibia: Free at Last! after Long Struggle, 1.3 Million Blacks Shake off Apartheid Rule of South Africa


Massaquoi, Hans J., Ebony


NAMIBIA: Free At Last!

It was at least 20 years overdue. So when independence finally came to Namibia after 106 years under colonial rule, it sent ripples of euphoria throughout Africa and the African Diaspora while raising demands for a free South Africa to a new pitch. Yielding to the triple pressures of U.S. sanctions, guerilla warfare and world ostracism, South Africa grudgingly relinquished its oppressive hold on the former German colony which it had occupied--largely illegally--since World War I.

With some 5,000 UN security troops standing by, the three-day-long independence celebration in Namibia's capital city Windhoeck (pop. 96,000) came off without a hitch. Shortly after midnight on March 21, following a brief congratulatory address by South Africa's State President Frederik W. de Klerk, the South African flag came down Namibia's new flag went up amid the cheers of some 25,000 people who had packed the Athletic Stadium outside Windhoek (pronounced Windhook) beyond capacity to witness the long-awaited historic event.

The ceremony was attended by one of the largest international gatherings of world leaders and heads of governments whose arrival at Windhoek International Airport momentarily turned the usually laid-back facility into one of the world's busiest. To accommodate the visitors, the authorities had confiscated all rooms in Windhoek's five major hotels. So big was the crunch for rooms that many members of the press were obliged to make do with emergency quarters in railroad cars.

Among the international superstars who were sharing top billing in the VIP section at the stadium were such disparate celebrities as U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, his Soviet counterpart Eduard A. Shevardnadze, ANC activists Nelson and Winnie Mandela, U.S. rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nigeria's Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat, Malcolm X's widow, Dr. Betty Shabazz, Capetown's Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda.

The undisputed star of the proceedings was President Sam Nujoma (pronounced New-yoma), the 60-year-old former guerrilla, who took the oath of office shortly after the raising of the Namibian flag. While in exile, the stocky, bearded leader of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), Namibia's most powerful political party, had waged a relentless fight--including armed combat--against the South Africa-fostered and won. In his inaugural address, the feisty president, undaunted by the presence of State President de Klerk, laid to rest the South Africa-fostered myth that the new government was handed a near-perfect country with a thriving economy, and openly rebuked South Africa's exploitive role. "We have inherited a lopsided and under-developed economy," he charged. "We are inheriting a budget deficit of 500 million Rand ($200 million) from the South African administration. Two-thirds of our population are very poor by our standards and by the standards of the world."

President Nujoma then served notice that the South African business monopoly, especially in mining, had come to an end. "Unlike in the past when no single mining corporation was owned wholly or partially by Namibians," he announced, "it is now time for the Namibian business community to participate in this vital sector."

During an interdenominational Independence Thanksgiving service in the stadium, attended by prominent church leaders from throughout the world, keynote speaker Rev. Jackson cautioned his audience not to let independence euphoria distract them from the formidable task that still lies ahead. "Namibia's true independence depends upon the success of Nelson Mandela and the ANC to end apartheid in South Africa, he declared. "Namibia will never be truly independent until apartheid in South Africa has ended. Mandela has emerged with more support within the country than the president [de Klerk] and more credibility in the world that the entire government, and yet, he does not have the right to vote. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Namibia: Free at Last! after Long Struggle, 1.3 Million Blacks Shake off Apartheid Rule of South Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.