Rehoboth Baster Community

McNab opposes Deeds Bill

Published by Mar 12, 2013

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The Rehoboth Baster community will not give its blessings for the new Deeds Bill should government fail to remedy the alleged injustices of the past, Kaptein John Mcnab of the Baster community informed the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Apheus !Naruseb, during a consultative meeting in Rehoboth yesterday.

The below article was published by NewEra

According to McNab, the Baster community was illegally relieved of their fixed property and as such a number of houses in the town were “illegally” transferred by political opportunists into their names during the transition to and after independence.

McNab noted that the functions of the community were suspended, their laws amended or totally scrapped and their fixed property rights violated without any compensation.

This was the first ministerial meeting to discuss with communities the amendments to the new Deeds Bills. The Reboboth community was first on the list because the community has indicated it has been sidelined and was never consulted regarding land affairs since independence.

McNab accused government of orchestrating “a one-sided” administration that saw the Baster people lose moving property, investments with commercial banks as well as insurance with Old Mutual in the names of Kaptein Diergaardt and one N. Olivier.

He further claimed the actions by the government equate to “genocide”, adding that the community approached the  government but was met with rather “shameful treatment”.

“We want your government to return everything that has been taken from us, the full restitution for everything that we were stripped of. There is simply no way that I can offer our cooperation … if there is no attempt to address our grievances,” McNab demanded.

However, Minister !Naruseb pointed out that once Namibia achieved independence in 1990 all Namibian communities had to start on a clean slate including the Rehoboth community. He told McNab that the meeting was merely to inform the leadership of the Rehoboth community of the nature of the new Deeds Bill and that he did not come to seek the approval of the captain.

“If there are unresolved issues, maybe you must find a more opportune time to discuss them. The reason for my visit – I am consulting because as you have said no consultation was done with the Rehoboth community. This visit is a courteous approach and out of respect. You will not prevent me from consulting the broader community, which does not only include Basters. I will go ahead with the new law that is in the best interest of our country. We cannot and dare not put the interest of one community above that of another,” !Naruseb said firmly.

The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement is currently in the process of amending the Registration of Deeds in Rehoboth Act, 1976, and the Deeds Registries Act, 1937.

!Naruseb said he was aware that the government and the Rehoboth community have experienced several “challenges” within these two existing pieces of legislation. He said that government in particular experienced difficulties with regard to agricultural land held under undivided shares and its application in the implementation of land tax. The proposed land registration system in the Deeds Bill will facilitate land transfers, secure tenure and provide consistency.

According to the Registrar of Deeds, Dana Beukes, the new law will allow people to employ the services of an agent or conveyancer should they not be able to do registrations or transfer of deeds themselves.

Beukes also urged communities to seek the assistance of government, i.e. town and village councils to measure their land if they are not in a financial position to do so themselves.