Touch not our minister

10 July 2015

The unfortunate physical confrontation involving the Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku as reported by the weekly Confidente newspaper speak volumes about the arrogance of some white members of our society.

Save for a few incidences in volatile Greece, Egypt and other restless countries, it is unheard of and almost taboo for a cabinet minister to be accosted in public.

The incident on Monday shows that we have white supremacists amongst us who still suffer from a colonial hangover.

It is important to state right from the beginning that we are not suggesting that cabinet ministers or members of parliament are a special breed of people who should be treated differently to anyone else.

But, it is equally important to note that cabinet ministers and members of parliament, although not different from the rest of us, should be treated with respect because of the positions they hold.

We cannot have some bigoted racist fool manhandle ministers in public and be allowed to get away with it 25 years after independence.

The full wrath of the law should descend upon those racists amongst us who think they can bully their way in life.

The incident on Monday night unfortunately raises a number of pertinent questions.

Are whites in this country really part of the wider Namibian community or the Namibian house as the president would like to put it?

Surely, anyone with half a brain who calls themselves Namibians should know by now who is the health minister. 

To feign ignorance of our leaders is just pure arrogance and makes one question the patriotism of some members of the white community.

The other question that needs to be asked is, have we really moved on as a people, whether black or white, to the extent that we can all respect each other as equals without any prejudices?

We have read several reports of how whites occupy top management positions in certain companies or banks. Should we read anything into this or it is just a mere coincidence?

Some people might argue that it is always easy to cry racism whenever there is an incident between a person of colour and whites, but how does one explain the unprovoked behaviour displayed on Monday?

We need to move beyond seeing each other with racial glasses and remain united as a people. Both blacks and whites should be able to work together and treat each other with mutual respect, but some things have to give first.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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