Video: President Hage Geingob addressing ex-captives of the notorious Lubango Dungeons. – Footage: Zorena Jantze
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob yesterday warned that investigating crimes committed by the Swapo party against against political prisoners during the liberation struggle will result in the country going up in flames.
He made these remarks while holding a meeting with former captives who claim to have been tortured to admit to being spies and traitors of Swapo in the infamous Lubango dungeons from the 1980s.
Geingob further stated that all those involved in both sides of the war, both South Africans and Namibians, were granted Blanket Amnesty by the UN and were pardoned for their war crimes.
He stated that the issue of the Lubango Dungeon captives always resurfaces during election time and asked what the ex-prisoners what specific proposals they wish to make to gratify those who were falsely accused of being spies during the liberation struggle.
“In the war, there was no due process, and crimes were committed all over, thus there was a blanket amnesty signed. Forget the past. Whatever Swapo has done in exile, forget it. Whatever South Africa has done in exile, forget it. Thirty years after the war, you want to come back to the issue, what can be done?” Geingob stated.
Geingob emphasised that government has a clear policy of reconciliation, and giving the chance to freedom of expression.
“We must hold hands; I know it’s painful. A child of the Namibian house is crying, we have to hear them, let’s talk. I believe in dialogue; people only go to war when diplomacy fails,” Geingob stressed.
Representing the former political prisoners, survivor Pauline Dempers stated that the group of exiles appreciates the noble gesture of national reconciliation spearheaded by government, but stated that thousands of people were still left behind alive in Angola, and answers are being sought by their families.
“People’s dignities were taken away. People died in our arms and told us to tell those back home what happened in those pits. We are still being labelled as liberation struggle spies for the enemy. Let’s jointly look at the solutions. It can only happen through a process of dialogue with a sense maturity. It’s difficult, but not impossible,” Dempers stated.