|1916||To secure control over
Ovamboland, and especially over King Mandume ya Ndemufayo of the Uukwanyama area, SA
appoints "Cocky" Hahn as Intelligence Officer to gather information on Mandume.
Kaokoland Chief Vita Tom ("Chief Oorlog") moves through the Ombuku and Omuhonga Rivers to Okonguati and Otjiyandjasemo in the Kaokoveld where he meets Ovatjimba Chief Kasupi at Ombepera. He returns the same year to Angola.
The "old state railway" from Swakopmund to Karibib is demolished.
The 200 m wooden port jetty at Walvis Bay is extended, two new jetties are built there and new cranage is obtained.
Eduard Frederiks (#Khaxab) becomes captain of the Bethany Nama (until 1922).
The High Commissioner of South Africa, Lord Sydney Charles Buxton, renews the rights of the Lozi people in present-day Zambia to use land in the Caprivi Strip. The area demarcated is 40 km long and 8 km wide, located between Katima Mulilo and the Machili River.
Louis Botha confirms that the Basters should be placed in the same constitutional position as they had enjoyed under German rule.
Erich von Bremen publishes a German newspaper, Der Blitz.
|29.04.||In Windhoek the newspaper Der Weltkrieg is established (Herrmann Rubien, Arthur Mylo). Der Weltkrieg later becomes Landeszeitung für Südwestafrika.|
|18.06.||For the last time stamps of German SWA are used (Swakopmund).|
|22.07.||The Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper is founded in Windhoek under the name of Der Kriegsbote (name changed on 01.08.1919)(Hans Berthold).|
|August||The Administrators Office (Administrator: EHL Gorges) informs that: "Under the German Law no native was allowed to possess any riding animals or large stock. Contrary to the provisions of this law the acquisition of Livestock is now sanctioned as it will tend to make the Native more contented and law abiding". In consequence of this policy leaders such as Traugott Maharero are officially recognised as Ovaherero chiefs.|
|1917||King Mandume ya Ndemufayo
(1911-1917) of the Uukwanyama area refuses to accept the boundary between Angola and SWA.
Captain F Garbett becomes Surmons successor in the Caprivi Strip.
Kaokoland Chief Vita Tom ("Chief Oorlog") returns, after a short visit in 1916, finally from Angola. He is accompanied by Edward Tjipepa (his brother), Martin Tjiheura, Moses Ndjai, Paul Zakekua, Wilhelm Tjireye, Ngairo Muhenye Gabriel Cabrito, Joel Kapi, Vetamuna Tjambiru, George Hartley and Adrian Karipose. He settles permanently at Otjiyandjasemo, south-west of present-day Okonguati. He is supported by Ovatjimba Chief Kasupi from Ombepera. Tensions build up, however, with the Ovahimba Chief Muhona Katiti. The South African authorities (SA Police at Cauas Okawa) try to mediate between Vita and Muhona.
Images of the Otjiyandjasemo Hot Springs west of Okonguati,
Gold deposits at Ondundu northwest of Omaruru in the Otjohorongo area
|04.01.||Reinhardt Maack and Alfred Hoffmann
discover the rock painting known as "The White Lady" in the Brandberg (C1 and C2
periods: 4400 - 100 B.C.). Maack and his party also climb the highest peak in Namibia,
Königsstein in the Brandberg (2 646 m) for the first time. In 1921 He makes known
his discovery of the petroglyphs and rock paintings on the sandstone slabs of the Etjo
Formation at Twyfelfontein (C1 to E periods: 4400 B.C. - 1200 A.D.).
Rockpaintings in the Tsisab Gorge in the
Brandberg (ca. 4400 - 100 B.C.): The famous "White Lady" Rockpainting
in Maack's Shelter: April 1971
The Rock Paintings in Maack's Shelter with
"White Lady", March 2003
|03.02.||SA Colonel de Jager starts moving his forces against Kwanyama King Mandumes capital, Oihole (former capital Ondjiva in Angola).|
|06.02.||Mandumes royal residence,
although deserted, is destroyed by South Africans. According to Uukwanyama oral
"evidence", Mandume commits suicide. The South Africans claim that he was killed
by Maxim machine-gun fire, and apparently they (Lieutenant Thomas Edward Moroney) later
decapitated him. The Finnish Missionary Society voices no protests.
On the same day Theophilus Hingashikuka Hamutumbangela is born at Onghala in the Uukwanyama area. He later becomes an Anglican priest and supporter of the Namibian fight for liberation and independence and against colonial injustice.
Decapitated Body of King Nandume ya Ndemufayo
|18.02.||SA Lieutenant Carl "Cocky" Hahn witnesses the traditional burial of King Mandume ya Ndemufayo.|
|26.02.||The Uukwanyama kingdom is left
without an heir to the throne following Mandumes death.
The result of these events is that the South Africans continue the German practice of controlling indigenous groups through their own tribal leaders, and consequently two administrative systems operate in Ovamboland. In the areas where there are no tribal chiefs, such as the areas of Uukwanyama, Uukwambi, Ombalantu, Uukolonkadhi and Eunda, senior headmen as well as various sub-headmen are gradually socialised to follow the advice of, and governmental procedures recommended by, the SA authorities. In those areas ruled by tribal chiefs, such as the areas of Ondonga, Ongandjera and Uukwaluudhi, the chiefs constitute the tribal government.
The former Ombandja King Shihetekela is considered by the South African authorities in Ondangwa and by the Ondonga King Martin Nambala yaKadhikwa King Mandumes "right hand". Therefore he is regarded as a danger for Ovamboland. He is imprisoned by the South African military administration and banned to the Kavango area, to Nkurenkuru (1918). He manages later to return secretly to the Uukwanyama area. He is, however, detected and expelled from the Uukwanyama area by the Native Resident Commissioner Charles N Manning. He then settles temporarily in the bushveld ("no mans land") between the Uukwanyama and Uukwambi areas, at Oshikwiyu (until 1928).
A serious drought followed by famine in Ovamboland forces many Ovambo to flee to the south and look for employment there.
|February/March||Floods of the Swakop River result in frequent traffic interruptions between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.|
|18.04.||After his return from exile in
South Africa, the former Okombahe leader Daniel Kariko applies for an Ovaherero reserve at
Otjohorongo which is granted by the magistrate for Omaruru, Major Thomas Leslie
OReilly. Kariko returns together with the surviving Ovaherero chiefs from Omaruru,
Moses Mbandjo, Christof Katjimune (who is the appointed leader of the reserve in 1918) and
Gerhard Zeraua. Mr Dixon becomes Superintendent of the reserve in 1918.
OReilly is appointed by the Military Government to compile the Blue Book of 1918 ("South Africa, Union of: Report on the Natives of South-West Africa and their Treatment by Germany: Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty") which investigates the German human rights violations during the resistance wars against the colonial administration.
|28.04.||Germans found the Farmwirtschaftliche Vereinigung (Commercial Farmers Association) in Windhoek.|
|06.06.||Tom Vita is called to Windhoek and meets SA Colonel MJ de Jager. This leads to an expedition to investigate the affairs in the Kaokoveld under the command of the Native Resident Commissioner Charles N Manning.|
|30.06.||The narrow-gauge railway lines are placed directly under Windhoek management.|
|24.08.||Charles Manning mediates between
Vita Tom and Ovahimba Chief Muhona Katiti in Otazuma in the vicinity of Otjivero in the
Kaokoveld. Consequently Muhona moves his residence to Epembe at the Ondoto River.
Ondoto River near Epembe east of Okonguati: Kaokoveld, September
Omuhimba at Epembe, September 2004
|1918||The Imperial "Blue
Book" depicting the atrocities committed under German rule is published. The bulk of
the evidence contained in the book is little more than literal translations of German
texts in the German official files and sworn descriptions of Namibian eye-witnesses. Two
statements will be used as examples:
"I was in Omaruru in 1904. I was commandeered by the Germans to act as a guide for them to the Waterberg district, as I knew the country well. I was with the 4th Field Company under Hauptmann Richardt. The commander of the troops was General von Trotha. I was present at Hamakari, near Waterberg when the Hereros were defeated in a battle. After the battle, all men, women, and children, wounded and unwounded, who fell into the hands of the Germans were killed without mercy. The Germans then pursued the others, and all stragglers on the roadside and in the veld were shot down and bayoneted. The great majority of the Herero men were unarmed and could make no fight. They were merely trying to get away with their cattle. Some distance beyond Hamakari we camped at a water hole. While there, a German soldier found a little Herero baby boy about nine months old lying in the bush. The child was crying. He brought it into the camp where I was. The soldiers formed a ring and started throwing the child to one another and catching it as if it were a ball. The child was terrified and hurt and was crying very much. After a time they got tired of this and one of the soldiers fixed his bayonet on his rifle and said he would catch the baby. The child was tossed into the air towards him and as it fell he caught it and transfixed the body with the bayonet."
"In 1906 the Germans took me a prisoner after we had made peace, and sent me with about a thousand other Hottentots to Aus, thence to Lüderitzbucht, and finally to Shark Island. We were placed on the island, men, women, and children. We were beaten daily by the Germans, who used sjamboks. They were most cruel to us. We lived in tents on the island; food, blankets, and lashes were given to us in plenty, and the young girls were violated at night by the guards. Six months later we went by boat to Swakopmund and thence by train to Karibib. Lots of my people died on Shark Island. I put in a list of those who died." [A note indicates that the list contained the names of 168 men - including the Nama leader Cornelius Frederiks of Bethany who had surrendered honourably to the Germans in March 1906 - 97 women, 66 children and 18 San, who were listed separately] ... but [Frederiks continued] it is not complete. I gave up compiling it, as I was afraid we were all going to die."
The first extract is from a statement by Jan Cloete of Omaruru and the second is made by Eduard Frederiks (#Khaxab)(son of old Joseph Frederiks II of Bethany).
Ironically it is the very dependence that the Blue Book places on the oral testimony of survivors of the war that provides the primary basis for past and contemporary German attacks on its claims. In 1919, the year after the publication of the Blue Book, the German Colonial Office publishes an official response and criticises the dependence placed by the compilers of the Blue Book "for the greater part" on "the sworn testimony of the natives themselves, poor, primitive creatures who have no conception of the nature of an oath."
The Blue Book's function is to justify British and South African takeovers, but it forces the new colonial power to engage in some kind of reform. The "Masters and Servants" laws (1916/1920)(Proclamation No. 2 of 1916) outlaw the infamous right of "paternal chastisement", i.e. individual floggings by farmers. Proclamations No. 3 and 5 of 1917 regulate the labour conditions in SWA. Polities are allowed to regain some of their rights (e.g. stock ownership) and social coherence. The age limit for compulsory labour of "blacks" is raised from age seven to fourteen. But, among the Germans and the German missionaries there is growing opposition to this South African liberal "native" policy. One reason for this is that it grows increasingly difficult to recruit indigenous labour. The Rhenish Missionary Olpp states, for instance, that "British propaganda on the subject of liberating nations ... immediately awakened in many of [the Africans] a veritable intoxication with freedom."
The indigenous peoples hopes for real change in their favour are soon frustrated. The land which was confiscated by the Germans and made available for "white" settlement as a result of the 1903 - 1909 wars is not returned by the South African administration. New colonial agendas emerge and the establishment of a network of fragmented and widely dispersed "Native Reserves" during the 1920s provides inadequate compensation for the earlier land loss.
There are still 17 schools for German-speaking children in the territory.
James La Guma who later (1920) becomes involved in the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) in Cape Town organises a diamond mines' strike in Lüderitz.
Captain H Neale becomes Garbetts successor in the Caprivi Strip.
Eliazer Tuhadeleni, also called Kaxumba kaNdola, is born at Omatangela in northern Namibia. He later becomes an active SWAPO member, actively involved in struggles on land issues, restriction of grazing areas, salt collection and against the contract labour system. Tuhadeleni gives shelter to SWAPO combatants returning from Egypt and Tanzania in 1965/1966. He is the first SWAPO soldier to be trained inside Namibia.
|08.08.||The Ovaherero Chief Traugott Maharero is physically assaulted by South African soldiers (Labuschagne and Hendrik Jacobus Uys Janse van Rensburg) in Okahandja.|
|09.11.||World War I ends.|