THE controversial speech delivered by the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs at the end of exercise Khan Strike about a month ago merits further investigation.
Advocate Gerson Narib, the President of the Society of Advocates of Namibia, called on the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps on that score and to keep the Namibian public informed of the outcome.
In a statement, Advocate Narib said the Society of Advocates of Namibia has noted the alarming media report concerning statements attributed to the Minister of Defence, Rear-Admiral (retired) Peter Hafeni Vilho.
“The media reported, inter alia, that the Minister of Defence, at a military event held in Karibib, singled out white people and accused them of being greedy and further stated that there exist groups of people who were obsessed with the idea of the black government failing,” the Society’s President said.
Advocate Narib said that if the media report is accurate, the statements are irresponsible, disappointing and unbecoming of a Cabinet Minister in a democratic State founded upon the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all.
He added that the statement serves to incite racial disharmony and has no place in a democratic Namibia.
Narib added that the statement by the defence minister conflicts with the constitutional guarantee of equality and freedom from racial discrimination as embodied in Article 10 of the Namibian Constitution; undermines the founding principles enshrined in the Preamble of the Namibian Constitution, which recognise the equal and unalienable rights of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status.
“The constitution also unequivocally records the people of Namibia will strive to achieve national reconciliation and to foster peace, unity and a common loyalty to a single state and is committed to these principles, have resolved to constitute the Republic of Namibia as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State securing to all our citizens justice, liberty, equality and fraternity,” he said.
Advocate Narib said the matter merits further investigation.
“The Minister of Defence is called upon to, at all times, respect the Namibian Constitution and its founding principles,” Narib concluded.