Namibia's Liberation Struggle: The Two-Edged Sword

By Colin Leys; John S. Saul et al. | Go to book overview

I. L. Markowitz, Power and Class in Africa ( New Jersey: Prentice Han, 1977), p. 205.
B. Magubane, 'The evolution of class structure in Africa', in P. C. Gutkind and 1. Wallerstein (eds), The Political Economy of Contemporary Africa ( London: Sage Publications, 1976), p. 185. Magubane also cautions that the concept of élite should not be considered as a substitute for class, since the former 'refers to groups exercising power at a particular time and the latter to an economic relationship.... [I]n the present conditions in Africa', he maintains, 'an élite as a group which is not the owner of the means of production is a transitory formation whose hold on the state is extremely tenuous, as the recent military coups have demonstrated.' Ibid., p. 194. However, to this must be added the observation that, given sufficient time, élites can and do reproduce themselves (coups notwithstanding) and are capable of developing into, or merging with, independent classes.
H. Wolpe, Race, Class and the Apartheid State ( London: James Currey, 1988), p. 50.
A. Cooper, 'Namibia in the world economy', in B. Wood (ed.), Namibia 1884-1984: Readings on Namibia's History and Society ( London: Namibia Support Committee, 1988).
R. Moorsom, "'In the grip of imperialism'", in B. Wood (ed.), op. cit., p. 303.
R. Gordon, Vernacular Law and the Future of Human Rights in Namibia ( Windhoek: NISER Discussion Paper No. 11, 1991).
See SWAPO, To Be Born a Nation, The Liberation Struggle for Namibia ( London: Zed Press, 1981), p. 172; and UNIN, Namibia, Perspectives for National Reconstruction and Development (Lusaka: UNIN, 1986), p. 44.
Intellectuals in this context are distinguished from a professional intelligentsia. See A. D. Smith , The Ethnic Revival ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 108-12, for a discussion of this distinction. Although only some of the early nationalist leaders were, in fact, students or teachers ( Toivo ya Toivo, Andreas Shipanga, Fanuel Kozonguizi, Mburumba Kerina, Emil Appolus and Kenneth Abrahams, for example), the majority were individuals with the drive and ambition to rise above the oppression and inertia of colonial rule. They were what Gramsci would have called 'organic intellectuals'. See Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks ( London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1971), p. 6.
Interview with Dr Kenneth Abrahams, 20 September 1992, Windhoek. Abrahams, who was a founding member of SWAPO and part of the intellectual élite, recalls that some Namibians survived in Cape Town by passing themselves off as coloureds, thus obviating the need for contract labour passes.
A. Shipanga and S. Armstrong, In Search of Freedom ( Gibraltar: Ashanti Publishing, 1989), p. 36. According to Shipanga, the first black-owned store, the Ondangwa Cash Store, was established by Toivo ya Toivo, following his expulsion from Cape Town in 1958.
SWAPO, op. cit., p. 21.
G. Cawthra, Brutal Force, The Apartheid War Machine ( London: IDAF, 1986), p. 183.
D. Simon, 'Windhoek: desegregation and change in the capital of South Africa's erstwhile colony', in A. Lemon (ed.), Homes Apart: South Africa's Segregated Cities ( Cape Town, 1991), p. 187.
Abrahams, for example, states that while 86 per cent of black workers were earning incomes below a Household Subsistence Level of R261 per month, high school teachers and middle- level civil servants were earning salaries of R1,000 to R1,500 a month together with such perks as 100 per cent housing loans, car purchase schemes, entertainment allowances and a range of other benefits. K. Abrahams, 'The "Waserauta" phenomenon: additional notes on the Namibian élite', The Namibian Review, 25 ( July/August 1982b), pp. 23-4.
R. Green, "'Namibia -- notes on the political economy of transition: an applied planning and policy perspective'", in B. Wood (ed.), op. cit., p. 380.
W. Werner, 'Ethnicity and reformism in Namibia', in G. Totemeyer, V. Kandetu and W. Werner Namibia in Perspective ( Windhoek: Council of Churches in Namibia, 1987), p. 75.
P. Dutkiewicz and R. Shenton, 'Crisis in Africa: "Etatization" and the logic of diminished reproduction', Review of African Political Economy, 37 ( 1986), p. 111. According to the Van Eeden Commission, 'The primary concern (of the second-tier governments) is not administrative utility, or effectiveness per se. These matters are important of course, but the stability of communities in the same spirit, as determined by the division of functions already established between the Central Government and Representative Authorities, is of paramount importance' (cited in W. Werner, op. cit.).


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Namibia's Liberation Struggle: The Two-Edged Sword
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • About the Contributors viii
  • Chronology Namibia's Liberation Struggle, 1959-92 ix
  • Abbreviations x
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • I - The Struggle 19
  • 2 - Diplomacy by Other Means Swapo's Liberation War 19
  • Conclusion 37
  • 3: Swapo the Politics of Exile 40
  • 4: Swapo Inside Namibia 66
  • Notes 87
  • 5: The Churches 94
  • II - The Impact: Three Studies 115
  • II - The Impact: Three Studies 115
  • Conclusion 129
  • Notes 130
  • 7: State & Civil Society Policing in Transition 133
  • 8: War Peace & Social Classes 153
  • Notes 168
  • III - The Legacy 9 Swapo in Office 171
  • Conclusion 190
  • 10: The Legacy an Afterword 196
  • Index 207


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