1

Letter from Workers International to Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia

15 June 2015
To Mr. Peter Katjavivi
Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia

Sir,
we write to you in great concern about a campaign of slanders and threats, including death threats, which is targeting several members of our Namibian section, the Workers Revolutionary Party.
The authors of these criminal acts are members of a group around lay lawyer August Maletzky and former member of parliament Benson Kaapala. August Maletzky took this campaign to its highest point to date on Wednesday, 10 June, at about 18H30 when he shouted several times across the street at the house of our member and the legal representative of the WRP, comrade Hewat Beukes, that Hewat Beukes would be killed.
These threats by the Maletzky-Kaapala group have been multiplying and intensifying since you, Mr Katjavivi, as Speaker of the National Assembly, chose to promote this same group of violent and dishonest elements around Maletzky and Kaapala as a “faction” of the WRP on equal footing with WRP’s legitimate leadership and its only legal representative, comrade Hewat Beukes. You choose to ignore the fact that comrade Hewat Beukes is indeed the only legal representative of the WRP, a fact that is legally binding for everybody and especially for you in your function as Speaker of the National Assembly.

This is evidenced by your letter of the 21st of May, 2015, Ref 3/1/5/1, published by the Workers Revolutionary Party, by which you try to justify withholding from that Party the funds and offices to which it is entitled by law and by the votes of 13,328 Namibian citizens. Your arbitrary and illegal decision treats WRP voters as some second-class citizens whose political choice, embodied by the WRP and formulated in its electoral manifesto, are not entitled to be fully represented in the National Assembly and in the political life of Namibia.
That the Speaker of the National Assembly deems feasible such a blatant breach of law and such a massive denial of elementary democratic rights sheds a crude light on Namibian democracy. That the victims are the supporters of the sole workers party in Namibia shows unequivocally that the Speaker of the parliament of Namibia especially does not consider workers as worthy of being fully represented in that parliament.
We are sure that this lesson will not be lost on the workers and the poor peasants in Namibia and in other countries. But our primary concern at the moment is for the safety of our comrades. Obviously your promotion of the Maletzky-Kaapala group emboldens this group to ever more daring attacks on our members.
We ask you to rein in this group immediately. The first step to do so is to immediately start acting according to the law and release the funds and offices due to the WRP. Indeed, it is only your illegal stance on this question that entertains Maletzky-Kaapala group’s hopes to lay hand on funds and offices and thus encourages it to proceed with its dangerous, fraudulent and criminal activity.
We hold this group to be an instrument with which your party, SWAPO, tries not only to deprive the WRP, its voters and supporters of their democratic rights, but also to destroy the WRP politically and physically.
We inform you that not only our international organisation but the working class movement in Namibia and in several other countries hold your party and you personally responsible for all consequences past, present and future of your continued promotion and usage of the Maletzky-Kaapala group and of all other attempts to silence and destroy the WRP and the working class of Namibia.
We are certain that none of your actions, Mr Katjavivi, takes place without the knowledge and approval of your party and its supreme representative President Hage Geingob to whom we therefore send a copy of this letter.

Yours Sincerely,

for the Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International,

Bob Archer
Secretary




Defend the Namibian WRP! Put an end to the threats, interference, intimidation and harassment!

The Workers Revolutionary Party of Namibia (a section of the Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International) is registered as a parliamentary party with long-standing member Hewat Beukes as its official responsible officer. In November 2014 the WRP took part in the Assembly (government) elections and won two seats.
However they faced problems immediately when parliamentary officials tried to insert a certain Willem Beukes as one of their MPs, whereas under Namibian law it is for each party itself to name its MPs. This being the case officialdom was obliged to back down. But this did not end the threats, interference, intimidation and harassment of the WRP.

The aim of the SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) government is to silence effective opposition to their state-assisted looting of the country’s assets and natural resources. Therefore they are deeply opposed to the policies which the WRP wants to pursue in Parliament. These were detailed in the maiden speeches of the two MPs explaining that “we use parliament to advance the demands of the working class including the poor peasantry”. (NOTE: these two speeches are published in full in Workers International Journal no. 12, May 2015: web: workersinternational.info).

In cahoots with officials of the Namibian parliament, disgruntled, opportunist and politically backward elements are now attempting to close down the legally registered party and its responsible officer. These elements with craven respect for the “powers that be” are goaded on by unprincipled figures such as the well-known lay-lawyer Auguste Maletzky, who in text messages on 8 and 9 May denounced SWAPO and its leaders Sam and Utoni Nujoma in gutter language, but on 10 May, hand-in-glove with SWAPO officials, denounced the leader of the WRP saying: “You [Hewat Beukes] are not the leader of the WRP! And we shall prove it to you”.

With hopes of personal gain involving the funding available for a parliamentary office and parliamentary duties, these people organised a raid on the family home of Hewat and Erica Beukes (one participant brandishing a gun!). They held a “congress” on Sunday 17 May at a luxury Hotel in Windhoek not far – but a world away – from the great mass of tin huts in the city’s suburbs, and then on Monday 18 May a journalist from Republikein newspaper informed Hewat Beukes that the paper had received a press statement from Maletzky stating that this “congress” had “elected” new leaders of the WRP and carried out expulsions!

For over three decades and with huge personal tragedy, the leaders of the WRP in Namibia have stood with the workers, poor farmers and oppressed ethnic groups in their country;
• first in the struggle against apartheid,
• then against “liberation” leaders who held back the struggle, exploited and abused genuine freedom fighters and murdered them, delivered them over to apartheid forces, imprisoned them in holes in the ground and tortured them
• then – against a corrupt regime brought in by an unholy alliance of the USSR, western imperialist business interests and western governments – fought for over two decades against exploitation, legal chicanery and attempted class violence on the part of the new SWAPO state.

This is the principled and recognised leadership of the Workers Revolutionary Party of Namibia who dare to organise and speak out. It is therefore easy to see why the authorities urgently need to frustrate the wishes of the 13,328 Namibians who voted for the WRP. Under pressure and in public the SWAPO government is hoping to assuage opposition by “admitting” it has made “mistakes” and it will now work hard to do better, but behind the scenes SWAPO is fuelling attacks on the opposition – the WRP.

The “International Updated Report” from the WRP Namibia details the behind-the-scenes alliance between parliamentary officials of the SWAPO regime (the Speaker of Parliament and the Secretary of the National Assembly) with this group which hopes to “dismantle the Workers Revolutionary Party and set up a surrogate” (http://workersinternational.info/2015/05/international-report-from-wrp-namibia/).

We are now calling upon all socialists and upholders of democratic rights to defend the WRP of Namibia. The following questions are being put to the Speaker of the Namibian Assembly:
• On what legal basis does he disregard due communications by the WRP’s statutorily authorized representative?
• On what legal basis does he communicate with unauthorized persons?
• On what basis does he accept illegal communications (without the registered logo, name, address, authorized rep) which constitute criminal offences?
• On what legal basis does he suspend payment and offices?

We in the Workers International have spent our lives facing down attempts to bully and intimidate us, and we do not take such threats lightly. We will take all necessary steps to stop any intimidation. The WRP Namibia has over many years of struggle established a real alliance with the many oppressed and exploited sectors in the country:
• ethnic groups struggling to maintain their lands against sell-off to foreign business interests, and for a fair share of the reparations from the former colonial power;
• home-owners who are unconstitutionally foreclosed;
• miners and civil servants and others robbed of their pensions;
• workers struggling for a living wage.

The WRP Namibia has made considerable progress over the last couple of years. The party may suffer setbacks and blows orchestrated by the SWAPO regime manipulating opportunists who follow individual and sectional agendas. Such people have no confidence in the way forward involving the working class and poor farmers acting in their own class interests. But the WRP is a section of the Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International, and that body is precisely based on such confidence, not just in Namibia but all over the world.

So we will support each other in resisting and overcoming all such setbacks along the road of rebuilding the international leadership of the working class. We ask all those who have the interests of the working class at heart
1. To protest at these attempts to stifle and silence the WRP of Namibia.
Protests can be sent to:
j.jacobs@parliament.na and
parliament@parliament.gov.na

2. Contact the WRP Namibia (at PO Box 3349 Windhoek, tel 061-260647, or email jacobusjosob@ymail.com) to express your support and solidarity and if possible arrange to donate to the comrades’ fighting fund. Donations to the Workers International account: Account name: “Correspondence”, Unity Trust Bank, Sort Code: 08-60-01, Account number: 20059400