Territory of South West Africa
1915–1990
Motto: Viribus Unitis
(Latin for "With United Forces")
Anthem: "God Save the King" (1915–52); "God Save the Queen" (1952–57)[a]

"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (1938–90)[1]
(English: "The Call of South Africa")
Location of South West Africa (light green) within South Africa (dark green)
Location of South West Africa (light green) within South Africa (dark green)
StatusLeague of Nations mandate of South Africa (until 1966)
Under South African occupation (from 1966)
Capital
and largest city
Windhoek
Official languages
Common languages
Demonym(s)South West African
Namibian
Administrator 
• 1915–1920
Sir Edmond Howard Lacam Gorges
• 1985–1990
Louis Pienaar
History 
• Occupation of German South West Africa
9 July 1915
28 June 1919
• Mandate repealed by the UN
27 October 1966
• Territory renamed to Namibia
12 June 1968
• Independence
21 March 1990
CurrencySouth West African pound (1920–1961)
South African rand (1961–1990)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
German South West Africa
Republic of Namibia
Today part ofNamibia

South West Africa[b], renamed to Namibia from 12 June 1968 was a territory under South African administration from 1915 to 1990, after which it became modern-day Namibia. It bordered Angola (a Portuguese colony before 1975), Botswana (Bechuanaland before 1966), South Africa, and Zambia (Northern Rhodesia before 1964). During its administration, South Africa applied its own apartheid system in the territory of South West Africa.[2][3][4][5]

A German colony known as German South West Africa from 1884 to 1915, it was made a League of Nations mandate of the Union of South Africa following Germany's defeat in the First World War. Although the mandate was repealed by the United Nations on 27 October 1966, South African control over the territory continued despite its illegality under international law.[6] The territory was administered directly by the South African government from 1915 to 1978, when the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference laid the groundwork for semi-autonomous rule. During an interim period between 1978 and 1985, South Africa gradually granted South West Africa a limited form of home rule, culminating in the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity.

In 1990, South West Africa was granted independence as the Republic of Namibia with the exception of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, which continued to remain under South African rule until 1994.

German colony

Main article: German South West Africa

As a German colony from 1884, it was known as German South West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). Germany had a difficult time administering the territory, which experienced many insurrections against the harsh German rule, especially those led by guerrilla leader Jacob Morenga. The main port, Walvis Bay, and the Penguin Islands were annexed by the UK in 1878, becoming part of the Cape Colony in 1884.[7] Following the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, Walvis Bay became part of the Cape Province.[8]

As part of the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty in 1890, a corridor of land taken from the northern border of Bechuanaland, extending as far as the Zambezi River, was added to the colony. It was named the Caprivi Strip (Caprivizipfel) after the German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi.[9]

South African rule

In 1915, during the South West Africa campaign of World War I, South Africa captured the German colony. After the war, it was declared a League of Nations Class C Mandate territory under the Treaty of Versailles, with the Union of South Africa responsible for the administration of South West Africa. From 1922, this included Walvis Bay, which, under the South West Africa Affairs Act, was governed as if it were part of the mandated territory.[10] South West Africa remained a League of Nations Mandate until World War II and the collapse of the League of Nations.[11]

The Mandate was supposed to become a United Nations Trust Territory when League of Nations Mandates were transferred to the United Nations following World War II. The Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, objected to South West Africa coming under UN control and refused to allow the territory's transition to independence, instead seeking to make it South Africa's fifth province in 1946.[12]

Although this never occurred, in 1949, the South West Africa Affairs Act was amended to give representation in the Parliament of South Africa to whites in South West Africa, which gave them six seats in the House of Assembly and four in the Senate.[13]

This was to the advantage of the National Party, which enjoyed strong support from the predominantly Afrikaner and ethnic German white population in the territory.[14] Between 1950 and 1977, all of South West Africa's parliamentary seats were held by the National Party.[15]

An additional consequence of this was the extension of apartheid laws to the territory.[16] This gave rise to several rulings at the International Court of Justice, which in 1950 ruled that South Africa was not obliged to convert South West Africa into a UN trust territory, but was still bound by the League of Nations Mandate, with the United Nations General Assembly assuming the supervisory role. The ICJ also clarified that the General Assembly was empowered to receive petitions from the inhabitants of South West Africa and to call for reports from the mandatory nation, South Africa.[17] The General Assembly constituted the Committee on South West Africa to perform the supervisory functions.[18]

In another Advisory Opinion issued in 1955, the Court further ruled that the General Assembly was not required to follow League of Nations voting procedures in determining questions concerning South West Africa.[19] In 1956, the Court further ruled that the committee had the power to grant hearings to petitioners from the mandated territory.[20] In 1960, Ethiopia and Liberia filed a case in the International Court of Justice against South Africa alleging that South Africa had not fulfilled its mandatory duties. This case did not succeed, with the Court ruling in 1966 that they were not the proper parties to bring the case.[21][22]

Mandate terminated

There was a protracted struggle between South Africa and forces fighting for independence, particularly after the formation of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) in 1960.

On 27 October 1966, the General Assembly passed resolution 2145 (XXI) which declared the Mandate terminated and that the Republic of South Africa had no further right to administer South West Africa.[23] In 1971, acting on a request for an Advisory Opinion from the United Nations Security Council, the ICJ ruled that the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia was illegal and that South Africa was under an obligation to withdraw from Namibia immediately. It also ruled that all member states of the United Nations were under an obligation not to recognise as valid any act performed by South Africa on behalf of Namibia.[24]

South West Africa became known as Namibia by the UN when the General Assembly changed the territory's name by Resolution 2372 (XXII) of 12 June 1968.[25] SWAPO was recognised as representative of the Namibian people, and gained UN observer status[26] when the territory of South West Africa was already removed from the list of non-self-governing territories.

In 1977, South Africa transferred control of Walvis Bay back to the Cape Province, thereby making it an exclave.[27]

Bantustans (1968–1980)

Main article: Bantustan

The South African authorities established 10 bantustans in South West Africa in the late 1960s and early 1970s in accordance with the Odendaal Commission, three of which were granted self-rule.[28] These bantustans were replaced with separate ethnicity based second-tier representative authorities in 1980.

Bantustan Capital[29] Most represented tribe Legislative Council established Self-government Representative Authority years
 Ovamboland Ondangua Ovambo 1968[30] 1973[31] 1980[32]–1989 (1990)[33]
 Kavangoland Rundu Kavango 1970[34] 1973[35] 1980[36]–1989 (1990)[33]
 East Caprivi[37] Katima Mulilo Lozi 1972[38] 1976[39] 1980[40]–1989 (1990)[33]
Namaland Keetmanshoop Nama 1976[41] 1980[42]–1989 (1990)[33]
 Rehoboth Rehoboth Baster[43] 1977[44][45] [46] 1980[47]–1989 (1990)[33][48]
 Damaraland Welwitschia Damara 1977[49][50] 1980[51]–1989 (1990)[33]
 Hereroland Okakarara Herero [52] 1980[53]–1989 (1990)[33]
Tswanaland Aminuis Tswana 1980[54]–1989 (1990)[33]
 Bushmanland Tsumkwe San [55]
 Kaokoland Ohopoho Himba [56]

Three-tier system of governance (1980–1989)

The South African government convened the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference between 1976 and 1978 with a view to achieving an "internal" solution to the status of South West Africa. The conference was attended by representatives of 11 ethnic groups: Herero, Coloureds, Baster, Tswana, Damara, Ovambo, Caprivians, Nama, Kavango, San, and Whites. However, the largest freedom movement, SWAPO, was not invited.[57] The conference produced a 29-page document entitled "Petition for the establishment of an interim government". The petition contained a request to set up an interim government for the territory, as well as a draft constitution for "a republican, democratic state" to be known as "South West Africa/Namibia" with its own flag and national anthem.[58]

Under the proposals, there was to be a three-tiered system of governance. The first tier, the Central Government, would consist of a National Assembly which would appoint a Council of Ministers. The second tier would consist of ethnically based Representative Authorities and the third tier would be made up of Local Authorities.[59]

Tier one: Central Government

Interim Government (1980–1983)

The upper tier of governance consisted of an elected fifty member National Assembly with legislative powers. The assembly would appoint a Council of Ministers with executive powers. Multi-racial elections for the National Assembly were held in December 1978. The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) won 41 of the 50 seats and its leader, Dirk Mudge would become Chairman of the Council of Ministers on 1 July 1980. Johannes Skrywer, also of the DTA, became Speaker of the National Assembly.[60][61]

The interim government collapsed on 18 January 1983 following the resignation of the Council of Ministers citing interference from the South African government and proposals to create a State Council.[62]

Direct rule (1983–1985)

Following the collapse of the Interim Government, its legislative and executive powers returned to South African Administrator-General Willie van Niekerk, who was assisted by and Jan F Greebe as chief executive officer. The Representative Authorities and Local Authorities continued to function as intended during this period.

Transitional Government of National Unity (1985–1989)

Main article: Transitional Government of National Unity (Namibia)

A Multi-Party Conference was established in September 1983 to suggest arrangements for the formation of a new Central Government. Nineteen parties participated in the conference, but again SWAPO was excluded.[63]

The Multi-Party Conference issued the Windhoek Declaration of Basic Principles in 1984[64] and a Bill of Fundamental Rights and Objectives the following year, resulting in the establishment of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) on 17 June 1985.[65]

Unlike the previous Interim Government, the TGNU was not directly elected but instead consisted of an appointed 62 member National Assembly and an 8-member Council of Ministers which would be led by each member on a three-month rotational basis. The DTA was awarded 22 seats in the National Assembly with five other parties being awarded 8 seats each.[66] Johannes Skrywer would again become Speaker of the National Assembly and Dawid Bezuidenhout would be the first Chairman of the Council of Ministers.[67][68]

Tier two: Representative Authorities

The second-tier of governance in South West Africa consisted of ethnic-based Representative Authorities which replaced the previous system of Bantustans that were established in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Each authority would have executive and legislative competencies, being made up of elected Legislative Assemblies who would appoint Executive Committees led by chairmen. Representative Authorities had responsibility for land tenure, agriculture, education up to primary level, teachers' training, health services, and social welfare and pensions and their Legislative Assemblies had the ability to pass legislation known as Ordinances.[69] Unlike the former Bantustans, Representative Authorities functioned on the basis of ethnicity only and were no longer based on geographically defined areas.

Representative Authorities were created for Whites, Coloureds, Ovambos, Kavangos, Caprivians, Damaras, Namas, Tswanas, and Herero.[70] A similar body had been established for Rehoboth Basters by the Rehoboth Self-Determination Act, 1976. An advisory council was established for San Bushmen in 1986. No representative body was established for Himbas.[71]

Tier three: Local authorities

Local authorities formed the lowest tier of governance in South West Africa. Previously established local government bodies would continue to exist and new ones could be formed. In urban areas, the local authority would be an elected local council. In rural areas where local governance structures was based on traditional customary law, the relevant Representative Authority could support their further development.[59]

Transition to independence (1989–1990)

The Three-tier system of governance was suspended on 28 February 1989 following the signing of a peace agreement the previous year. As stipulated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 435, a United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) was deployed on 1 April 1989. Elections to a Constituent Assembly were held in November 1989 and the territory became independent as the Republic of Namibia on 21 March 1990. Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.[72]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Remained the royal anthem until 1961.
  2. ^ Afrikaans: Suidwes-Afrika
    German: Südwestafrika
    Dutch: Zuidwest-Afrika

Citations

  1. ^ "South Africa Will Play Two Anthems Hereafter". The New York Times. New York. 3 June 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. ^ Hasan, Najmul (1975). "Namibia: South— West Africa". Pakistan Horizon. 28 (3): 63–64. ISSN 0030-980X. JSTOR 41393277.
  3. ^ Crawford, Neta (2002). Argument and Change in World Politics. Cambridge University Press. p. 336.
  4. ^ Hebdon, Geoffrey (2022). Zero Hour: A Countdown to the Collapse of South Africa's Apartheid System. p. 683.
  5. ^ Streissguth, Thomas (2008). Namibia in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 29.
  6. ^ "The End of Apartheid". Archive: Information released online prior to January 20, 2009. United States Department of State. 2009. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009. South Africa had illegally occupied neighboring Namibia at the end of World War II, and since the mid-1970s, Pretoria had used it as a base to fight the communist party in Angola.
  7. ^ Makonnen, Y. (1987). "State Succession in Africa: Selected Problems". Recueil Des Cours, 1986: Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law. Vol. V. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 213. ISBN 9024736447.
  8. ^ Debates of Parliament Archived 2017-02-02 at the Wayback Machine, Hansard, Volume 9, Issues 19–21, Government Printer, 1993, page 10179
  9. ^ Caprivi Strip | Namibia Archived 2010-09-30 at the Wayback Machine. Namibian.org. Retrieved on 2012-12-18.
  10. ^ Ieuan Griffiths,Walvis Bay: exclave no more Geography, Vol. 79, No. 4 (October 1994), page 354
  11. ^ Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2001). Ethnic Politics in Kenya and Nigeria. Huntington, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. p. 223. ISBN 1560729678. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  12. ^ John Dugard, The South West Africa/Namibia Dispute: Documents and Scholarly Writings on the Controversy Between South Africa and the United Nations, University of California Press, 1973, page 124 Archived 2018-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Official Documents of the 4th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations, 1949, page 11[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Newell M. Stultz, Afrikaner Politics in South Africa, 1934–1948, University of California Press, 1974, page 161 Archived 2018-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Vivienne Jabri, Mediating Conflict: Decision-making and Western Intervention in Namibia], Manchester University Press, 1990, page 46 Archived 2018-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Turok, Ben (1990). Witness from the frontline: aggression and resistance in Southern Africa. Institute for African Alternatives. p. 86. ISBN 187042512X. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ "SUMMARY: International Status of South-West Africa, Advisory Opinion". International Court of Justice. 11 July 1950. Archived from the original on 2 October 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2006.
  18. ^ "Index-United Nations Organisations and Resolutions". Namibia Library of Dr. Klaus Dierks. Archived from the original on 3 May 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2006.
  19. ^ "SUMMARY: Voting Procedure on Questions Relating to Reports and Petitions Concerning the Territory of South-West Africa, Advisory Opinion". International Court of Justice. 7 June 1955. Archived from the original on 2 October 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2006.
  20. ^ "SUMMARY: Admissibility of Hearings of Petitioners by the Committee on South-West Africa, Advisory Opinion". International Court of Justice. 1 June 1956. Archived from the original on 2 October 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2006.
  21. ^ "SUMMARY: South-West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa, Liberia v. South Africa) Judgment". International Court of Justice. 21 December 1962. Archived from the original on 2 October 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2006.
  22. ^ "SUMMARY: South-West Africa (Liberia v. South Africa, Ethiopia v. South Africa) (Second Phase) Judgment". International Court of Justice. 18 July 1966. Archived from the original on 2 October 2006. Retrieved 15 July 2006.
  23. ^ UN General Assembly, res n° 2154 (XXI), 17 November 1966. Available at http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/21/ares21.htm Archived 2016-01-24 at the Wayback Machine [recovered October 1, 2015]
  24. ^ "Cour internationale de Justice | International Court of Justice". www.icj-cij.org. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  25. ^ Legal Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ UNGA Resolution A/RES/31/152 Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine Observer status for the South West Africa People's Organisation
  27. ^ The Green and the dry wood: The Roman Catholic Church (Vicariate of Windhoek) and the Namibian socio-political situation, 1971–1981, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 1983, page 6 Archived 2018-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Cahoon, Ben. "Namibian Homelands". www.worldstatesmen.org. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  29. ^ "South-West Africa, Proposed Homelands. in: The Bantustan Proposals for South-West Africa, p 179" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  30. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1968. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1969. pp. 309–310.
  31. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1973. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1974. p. 384.
  32. ^ Representative Authority of the Ovambos Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 23 of 1980)
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h "Constitution of Namibia – Schedules". Archived from the original on 21 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  34. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1970. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1971. p. 285.
  35. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1973. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1974. p. 392.
  36. ^ Representative Authority of the Kavangos Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 26 of 1980)
  37. ^ Renamed "Lozi" in 1975. A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1974. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1975. p. 419.
  38. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1972. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1973. pp. 446.
  39. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1976. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1977. p. 466.
  40. ^ Representative Authority of the Caprivians Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 29 of 1980)
  41. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1976. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1977. p. 465.
  42. ^ Representative Authority of the Namas Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 35 of 1980)
  43. ^ An elected Advisory Council for the Rehoboth Basters had already existed since 1928: A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1976. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1977. p. 463.
  44. ^ Rehoboth Self-Government Act, 1976 (Act No. 56 of 1976)
  45. ^ A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1976. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1977. pp. 463–465., A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1977. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1978. pp. 601–602.
  46. ^ Self-government in terms of the pre-1980 homelands system was provided for in the Rehoboth Self-Government Act, 1976 (Act No. 56 of 1976), but was only partially implemented before 1980. A "Kaptein's Council" as the executive and a Legislative Council were established in 1977.
  47. ^ The institutional framework established according to the Rehoboth Self-Government Act, 1976 (Act No. 56 of 1976)—a "Kaptein's Council" as the executive and a Legislative Council—remained in force as amended in 1980 and served as the basis of the Rehoboth Representative Authority
  48. ^ On 20 March 1990, one day before Namibia finally became independent on 21 March, Rehoboth unilaterally declared its independence from Namibia: "Declaration of Independence 1990. Rehoboth Basters, 20 March 1990". Rehoboth Basters. 24 November 2019. Archived from the original on 23 September 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  49. ^ An Advisory Council had been in existence since 1970: A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1970. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1971. p. 286.
  50. ^ The Damara council established in 1977 was the first institution to receive the title "Representative Authority", already before this designation was introduced in 1980 under the new ethnic second-tier government system also for the other population groups: A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1977. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1978. p. 602.
  51. ^ Representative Authority of the Damaras Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 32 of 1980)
  52. ^ Because of internal strife among different Herero groups, no unified institutions were established for the Herero people before 1980. Two districts of Hereroland (West and East) were formed in 1970. The chief of Hereroland West, Clemens Kapuuo, claimed to be the paramount chief of all Hereros since 1970, but this claim was not recognized by the other Herero groups: A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1972. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1973. pp. 449., A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1975. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1976. p. 340.
  53. ^ Representative Authority of the Hereros Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 50 of 1980)
  54. ^ Representative Authority of the Tswanas Proclamation, 1980 (Proclamation AG. 47 of 1980)
  55. ^ "The Bushmen were excluded because they had evinced no interest in having a governing authority." A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1980. South African Institute of Race Relations. 1981. p. 648.
  56. ^ Kaokoland was very scarcely populated and greatly affected by the struggle for independence of Namibia, and most specifically by the so-called "bush war" that was fought across the border with Angola. No unified institutions were established in Kaokoland either before or after 1980.
  57. ^ Kangueehi, Kuvee (22 October 2004). "DTA 'Down but Not Out'". New Era (via rehobothbasters.com). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  58. ^ Landis 1977, p. 12-13.
  59. ^ a b Find aidsmnhs.org Archived 12 July 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  60. ^ "Johannes Skrywer gestorben" [Johannes Skrywer died]. Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 18 September 2014. Archived from the original on 18 September 2014.
  61. ^ "Democratic Elections in Namibia. An International Experiment in Nation Building" (PDF). National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. June 1989. p. 12.
  62. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Krennerich, Michael; Thibaut, Bernhard (1999). Elections in Africa: a data handbook. Oxford University Press. p. 660. ISBN 0-19-829645-2.
  63. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1983". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  64. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1984". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  65. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1985". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  66. ^ NDI 1989, p. 13.
  67. ^ "Johannes Skrywer vorgestellt im Namibiana Buchdepot".
  68. ^ Address by Mr David Bezuidenhout. First chairman of the cabinet at the inauguration of the transitional government of national unity in Windhoek on monday, 17 june 1985 Archived 10 July 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  69. ^ "Official Gazette" (PDF). lac.org.na. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  70. ^ "Constitution of Namibia - Schedule 8".
  71. ^ "Namibian Homelands".
  72. ^ "Treaty between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Namibia with respect to Walvis Bay and the off-shore Islands, 28 February 1994" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 July 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.

Literature

Further reading