Open Letter from late Samson Ndeikwiila to Bishop Zephania Kameeta

By Shivute Kaapanda [Think Tank Africa]

It was in Windhoek’s City Centre on 2 March 2016 when I met the late Tate Samson Ndeikwiila after we arranged that we should meet up so that I can purchase his Autobiography book titled “The Agony of Truth”.

After purchasing the book from him he gave me extra reading material which consisted of copies of several letters; one is written in fluent Oshimbaanhu directed to NBC and Omulunga Radio, while the other is written to Dr. Zephania Kameeta dated 22 February 2015. He further asked me to share these letters with the public.

The African orientation to spirituality reminds us that the living and the dead are always in constant communication with regard to wisdom and knowledge sharing; it’s via the instructions from the late Tate Samson Ndeikwiila deep in the ancestry that his spirit reminded me to share his letter with the general public in serving the truth and justice to the Namibian people regarding the 1988 FNB Oshakati Bomb blast as follows:

“With due respect I am writing this open letter to you (Dr. Kameeta) concerning your statement during the 27th commemoration of the FNB Oshakati bomb blast on 19 February 2015 at Oshakati. As a guest speaker you stated among others that ‘The attack claimed the lives of 23 innocent civilians and left many others injured and maimed. This was part of the brutal strategy of the colonial regime to cause confusion and fear among our people’…

“I see you (referring to Kameeta) still insist that the bomb was planted by agents of the apartheid South African regime. If the last part of the above statement was made by any other person it would not have disturbed me. I take it differently because it was made by a church leader. On 13 February 2015 I wrote an open letter in Oshiwambo to the churches in northern Namibia and to the radios NBC and Omulunga Oshiwambo services.

“I pleaded with them to revisit some words in the Christian songs, prayers and messages when commemorating this day. These words were composed at a time when the church and the nation had believed that the bomb was planted by the agents of the South African government.

“I drew the attention of these churches and radio services to the information in Judge Bryan
O’Linn’s book ‘NAMIBIA: The Sacred Trust of Civilization-Ideal and Reality Volume 1’ (Revised edition 2009). In this volume Judge O’Linn narrates his involvement in defending in courts of law the cases of several Namibian freedom fighters, starting with the case of Gerson Hitjevi Veii of SWANU in December 1966 and culminating in the case of PLAN combatant Leonard Sheehama in November 1988.

“Judge O’Linn assisted by Advocate Pierre Roux, was instructed by Hosea Angula of Lorentz & Bone to defend Leonard Sheehama. As a defense lawyer with in-depth information from his client, Judge O’Linn believed that Sheehama was responsible for the three bomb explosions at Walvisbay. He believed Sheehama’s story to the police that the Casa Mia Hotel was one of his targets for demolition. This is clear in Judge O’Linn’s statement in the book, ‘I was shocked at the revelations because I used to stay at Casa Mia Hotel when I visited Walvisbay and was actually staying there when I defended Sheehama’.

“Equally, Judge O’Linn believes that Sheehama was responsible for the bomb blast at the FNB Oshakati. This is reflected in his statement, ‘Sheehama was never prosecuted for the massacre at Oshakati of the 27 innocent Namibians and the injury of 50. The reason for this is not all together clear.

“Brother Bishop Kameeta, I do not think that as a guest speaker your statement at Oshakati was intended to dispute the information in Judge O’Linn’s book. I think you were just trying to make a popular political statement. This is exactly what Namibian church leaders must avoid at all cost otherwise the church in Namibia would not be able to help whatever government is in power to confront some harsh realities.

“It is true that FNB Oshakati bomb blast is a difficult test case for the church in Namibia, however the Bible has examples of the prophets sent by God to pronounce his will to the rulers of their times.

“The prophet Nathan had to devise an appropriate approach when he was given a difficult task by God to go and tell King David that he was wrong to have caused the death of Uriah and then take his wife. Likewise, the prophet Elijah the Tishbite was given a dangerous mission by God to go tell King Ahab that he was wrong to have taken possession of Naboth’s vineyard whose murder his wife Jezebel had engineered.

“Contrary to what the false prophets were telling King Ahab, the prophet Micaiah finally had to tell the king directly that he would certainly die should he go to war with Syria.

“In the light of the three examples above, former president Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia was correct when he observed that Africa does not need Christian rulers but courageous prophets within the earshot of the rulers.

“Former president Julius Nyerere of Tanzania was also correct when he taught that what we have to fear most is fear itself. Brother Bishop Kameeta, plainly speaking, your statement at Oshakati has failed the church in Namibia to encourage the Namibian nation, including government to find ways to address difficult issues in an honest and truthful manner.

“The church in Namibia is called to speak with its own voice and pronounce the will of God to the Namibian nation. As such I hope you will take this open letter as an encouragement to you to be the prophetic voice you are known to have been during Namibia’s pre-independence era.”

– Shivute Kaapanda is a pan-African writer and author of the book ‘The Conscious Republic’ published in 2020.