Rehoboth Baster Community
ACC to investigate Groot Aub land issue
Published by Mar 13, 2013
The Rehoboth Baster community has approached the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the illegal selling of land in Groot Aub. The community has also requested audience with the government to discuss land matters in general.
The following article was published in NewEra
Headed by Kaptein John McNab, the self-proclaimed legitimate traditional authority for the Groot Aub area alleges that there is widespread illegal selling of land in a network that involves various prominent council members of the Khomas Rural Constituency. They claim this became apparent at a community meeting on the southern side of Groot Aub settlement on February 10.
“It is against this background that we request you to urgently investigate the issues of concern at Groot Aub,” reads the letter addressed to the ACC dated March 6 and signed by McNab.
McNab has appointed Theo Wagner, Jan Stumpfe, Moses Beukes, Dawid Swarts, Alan Stumpfe, John Beukes and Ghillian Louw to the newly formed Groot Aub Residents Committee (GRC).
McNab maintains that he has appointed the committee and added that it is the only legitimate body at Groot Aub. The committee is to conduct monthly meetings, attend meetings with the ‘Kapteinsraad’ investors, the regional councillor and the Khomas Regional Council regarding developments at Groot Aub.
However, Bernard !Gaogoseb of the /Khomanin Traditional Authority in Groot Aub dismissed claims that Groot Aub and nearby farms belong to Rehoboth. He questioned how they could claim ownership of the area named by the Namas and Damaras born in the area.
“Where were the Basters? It is our people who named the place,” he said adding that many of the Damara people were moved from their original habitats taken over by Basters.
Dawid Swarts, one of the Groot Aub Residents Committee members, said that he would withdraw himself from the committee, saying that things were just getting out of hand.
“This thing will bring a lot of unnecessary clashes,” he said referring to the meeting that McNab had with the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb where the Baster Kaptein reportedly opposed the proposed Deeds Bill, which would merge previous laws to govern all property registration in the country.
However, Jan Stumpfe of the GRC maintained that there was substantial proof that the Basters bought land from Namas in 1872. He said Rehoboth stretches from the Auas Mountains to Kalkrand in the south, cutting through Swakopmund and Walvis Bay into the sea and stretching to Leonardville to the east. He claimed that Groot Aub, farm number 267, which was registered in the name of the Baster Gemeente, was transferred to Rehoboth in 2002 but those dates were allegedly falsified to 1988.
Stumpfe questioned how the land could have been transferred in 1988 while the ‘Rehoboth Regering’ was only established in 1989. “We have problems in Groot Aub. None of the new settlers can show evidence that they bought land,” he said, adding that they have tried to talk with government about the problem but to no avail.
He lashed out saying that government was recognising other traditional authorities, but not the Basters, “I am asking, why are they so unfair. We cannot continue like this anymore.” Last year’s call by Frederick to put an end to land grabbing in the settlement appears to have fallen on deaf ears as people still continue to sell and allocate land to each other.