• Short Summary

    In Namibia, or South West Africa, the funeral took place on Sunday (9 April) of Chief Clemens Kapuuo, who was murdered a fortnight ago.

  • Description

    In Namibia, or South West Africa, the funeral took place on Sunday (9 April) of Chief Clemens Kapuuo, who was murdered a fortnight ago. Tribal tension ran, and police and were out in force in case of violence.

    SYNOPSIS: On Saturday (8 April), five Black men were shot dead and 10 wounded in inter-tribal fighting as the funeral procession set out from Katutura Black township outside the capital, Windhoek. Earlier, thousands of Chief Kapuuo's followers, members of the Herero tribe, paid their last respect to the departed leader in the township. Chief Kapuuo, who had been tipped as a future President of an independent Namibia, was killed by gunmen on March 27.

    Chief Kapuuo, who was 55-years-old, was ambushed in the township. he died later in hospital. Police suspect the killers were trained guerrillas of the nationalist movement, South West Africa Coloured People's Organisation (SWAPO).

    Trouble began when the procession was on its way from the Black township to Okahandja, 65 kilometres (40 miles) from where the funeral took place.

    Police said the shooting broke out after the cortege was stoned as it passed a hostel for workers of the Ovambo tribe.

    Ovambos are the biggest tribe in South West Africa. They provide much of the support for the Swapo nationalist movement, which is bitterly opposed to the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance. The alliance was Chief Kapuuo's political party. The SWAPO responsibility for the murder, as claimed by the authorities.

    Katatura had been a scene of bloody clashes between Hereros and Ovambos before Chief kapuuo's murder.

    There was no repetition of the previous day's violent scenes as the procession set out for the final journey to an old church in Okahandja, where great Herero chiefs are buried.

    More than 10,000 people crowded into the ancient Herero capital to pay tribute to the Chief. Police, who were out in force with troops, later reported that all was quiet during the funeral, apart from a fight between one man and mourners after an argument.

    The coffin, wrapped in a red flag, was carried by troops to its final resting place.

    South Africa's administrator-general in the territory, Judge Marthinus Steyn, said in a graveside speech that the assassination had been aimed at causing confusion and minimising the political aims of Chief Kapuuo's party.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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