1939 The SWA Administration passes the Natives Trust Fund Proclamation, No. 23 of 1939, which establishes the Herero Tribal Trust Fund as well as Nama and Dama Native Tribal Trust Funds.
A Native Affairs Officer is appointed for the Kaokoveld.
So far 17 "native reserves" spanning 23 000 square miles in total have been created. These reserves are beset with similar basic problems as were the reserves created under the German colonial authorities: they are small and widely scattered patches of land, with limited economic and political viability. Thus the official ideology is one of political separatism and economic exploitation of "black" labour, rather than being one of territorial development. Only with the economic growth after the Second World War does the demand for contract labour increases. The urbanisation of the "black" population also increases.
The Ondonga King Martin Nambala yaKadhikwa rebels against the SWA Administration. Three war planes intimidate King Martin to end the rebellion.
Ovambo contract labourers strike at two Namibian mines.
Three German newspapers (including the Allgemeine Zeitung and Swakopmunder Zeitung) merge to become one daily newspaper, Deutscher Beobachter which is fully controlled by the NSDAP.
All Crown Lands of SWA have been allocated to "white" farmers.
AM Barnard is the first officer in the tribal office at Ohopoho in the Kaokoveld.
14.01. The DSWB holds a meeting in Windhoek to protest against SWA’s incorporation into the Union of South Africa and automatic naturalisation.
23.01. Theo-Ben Gurirab is born in Usakos.
08.02. Internal dissension in the ranks of the German community is accentuated by the split in the DSWB and the formation of the Deutsche Afrikanische Partei (leader: Martin Maier). Only naturalised Germans can become members of the latter. Another anti-Nazi group is the Volksdeutsche Gruppe, which comes into existence soon after the Deutsche Afrikanische Partei was founded. Opposition against the Nazis also appears in the form of anonymous letters called Freiheitsbriefe, in which the evil machinations of the Nazi Regime and private lives of leading Nazis in SWA are exposed. As these letters are secret and apparently libellous, the SWA Administration intervene against the circulation. The anti-Nazi activities are a mere drop in the ocean - given the estimated of more than 80% support which Adolf Hitler enjoys among the Germans in SWA.
10.03. Administrator Conradie is again confronted with the matter of Baster autonomy. General Hertzog appoints a two-man commission (Geard and Allen) to consider "whether the Basters are capable of governing themselves". The commission reports in the negative and the SA Prime Minister accepts this conclusion. The Basters remain dissatisfied with this decision up to the present day.
28.03. "White" women are allowed to vote.
17.04. Three hundred additional policemen are sent to SWA with machine guns and tanks to control German anti-Union activities.
01.06. Until now the South West African Police have operated as a separate force, its financial costs borne by the SWA Administration. On this day the force is incorporated into the SA Police in terms of Act 19 of 1939.
July A delegation of the SWA League holds discussions with both the National and United Parties of SA. Prime Minister Malan refuses to meet the delegates. Paul Sauer of the National Party informs them that his party favours incorporation but would not go to war over it.
The National Party of SWA is reconstituted after a split in the UNSWP. The NPSWA adopts a policy of non-participation in the emerging World War II which is supported by most of the Germans in SWA.
August Administration of the Eastern Caprivi Strip is taken over by the SA Department of Native Affairs in Pretoria due to transport-related reasons. The western part of the Caprivi Strip together with the Mbukushu area is administered by the Commissioner of the Kavango.
26.08. New Conflicts arise between the "Otjiserandu" and Ovaherero leaders such as Hosea Kutako. Kutako requests the SWA Administration to order "Otjiserandu" members in Aminuis to leave the reserve. When they refuse to comply, police evict them by force. "Otjiserandu" are even seen displaying the German Nazi flag. This leads to the banning of the wearing of uniforms and marching at the Okahandja ceremony.
September World War II begins. Whereas Hertzog advocates a neutral stance for South Africa, Jan Christian Smuts, who becomes SA head of state, supports Britain’s war efforts. In contrast to World War One SWA does not play a direct role during World War Two. In the period 1940 to 1945 there are few political and economic developments in the territory.
Simon "Mzee" Kaukungua, who later becomes a stalwart of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), leaves the territory to serve in Egypt during World War II.

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Simon "Mzee" Kaukungua: One of the first SWAPO Stalwarts: August 2003
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

18./19.09. The first Germans are detained in a camp in Windhoek which they name Klein Danzig (in the buildings of the old German radio station, west of present-day Pionierspark). Following this, many Germans end up in internment camps or are placed under house or farm arrest. All German organisations are dissolved (with some non-political exceptions such as the Deutsche Wohlfahrtsgesellschaft (German Charitable Association)).
09.10. The South African Defence Act, No. 13 of 1912, is now made applicable to SWA.
December The Permanent Mandates Commission holds its 37th and last session, and the League of Nations ceases to function.
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