Namibia: Africa’s New Far West | Genocide, Illegal Settlements & Chinese Mafia (Documentary)Sep 10, 2023
Abroad a country of great beauty bordering South Africa to the north
westrich in land and natural resources twice the size of Germany the population of Namibia is only 2.5 million people, but the majority of Namibians live in extreme poverty the Former German colony has one of the largest income gaps in the world A white minority descendants of German south
westAfrican colonizers still own most of Namibia's assets The scars left by the brutality of the German colonial regime run deep between 1904 and 1908 Germany carried out the first
genocideof the 20th century year more than 80,000 Blacksmith and Nama were systematically murdered by German soldiers Namibia only gained independence from South Africa in 1990.
Today, a few Namibians see some of the wealth generated by the natural resources of their country. Protests against the country's colonial legacy are frequent for workers, as are demonstrations. against foreign investors we don't even know if Namibia belongs to Namibia, it belongs to China and secret agreements with North Korea have come to light 29 million dollars transferred from Namibia to Pyongyang big game hunting is threatened in 2022 the number of rhinos poached in Namibia almost twice as much money was worth more dead than alive the city of suacobund is located on the edge of the desert on the Atlantic coast it does not look like a typical African city with its neo-baroque buildings German street names and spiked helmets it is like a little Germany in Africa all are of the old German style, so of the old buildings in the city they try to keep the similar style so that it creates a pleasant and egalitarian atmosphere in the city.
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Sylvia Clear and Stuber is of German origin. The family has lived in Namibia for generations. Germany colonized the country between 1884 and 1915. Sylvia runs the best-known cafe in town, it is famous for its German baked goods and our apple strudel is one of our best-selling products. A piece of layer cake, please, okay, little one. Almost everyone speaks German here. a lingua franca iser a little how you learned it I learned it through customers every day you have to learn something new here what Desiree, Sylvia's younger sister, works in the kitchen she is making a black forest cake she is using the recipe From his grandfather he was a baker who emigrated to Suacubunt in 1954.
He came from Germany here after the war, he didn't want to stay any longer, they already had family here just to try it and they said black forest, so today I will give that to the front. There are 30,000 descendants of German settlers living in Namibia. Her sister's mother, Haider, was the first person in the family to be born here. She wouldn't trade her life in Namibia for the world. I think we are very lucky to live in Namibia. I have a lot of quality of life to be free do you want you to live in no no no no no never yes after a few weeks in Germany it gets too green for me I look for my bronze desert bronze yes, I passed on his love for the desert to his daughter Sylvia every year. days Sylvia goes for a long walk through the enormous mountains of Svakobmund, not far from the site of the atrocities of the early 20th century.
The foreign tombs are located a few meters from the dunes. Imperial Germany set up concentration camps here as it fought colonization wars between 1904 and 1908. The German army massacred between 65,080,000 blacksmiths and at least between ten thousand and twenty thousand Namas, both ethnic minorities in Namibia. Germany was responsible for the first
genocideof the 20th century, every year a unique parade is held in suwakob Mund the Blacksmith marched towards Mark The Liberation of the Concentration Camp there they wear uniforms in the style of the imperial German armies we took over the clothing we took over the uniform and we said that at these hours from now an engineering professor Kavita Marama traveled 500 kilometers just to participate in the parade her grandmother was held in the concentration camp she was only nine years old then Blacksmith civilians men women and children were enslaved and starved The murderous orders of General Lota Von Trotta were the following within German territory, each blacksmith, armed or unarmed, with or without livestock, is going to be shot.
I will no longer welcome women or children, I will take them back to their village or let the troops shoot them more than A century later, in May 2021, the German Foreign Minister made a historic announcement: We officially describe these events today as what was a genocide in Fergamot, with that we also recognize our historical responsibility. Germany pledged 1.1 billion euros in aid the communities affected by the genocide were to play a key role in the implementation these protesters also want the land confiscated by the Germans the colonizers returned to them he must give them back our land which they must face on the morning of the parade Kavita is accompanied by jaredge Teja an activist ready to fight for his country there are several of us we are soldiers in fact, so whatever you do, whatever deal you make. what you want to do with us you should know that you are dealing with a trap that is so proud of itself that they drive to a farm owned by descendants of German settlers when you look at the buses from where we started, this is still a single unit that covers more than 60,000 hectares , so 60,000 hectares, you're talking the size of Berlin, owned by one person, they go to a place of prayer, the site of the first battle between the Germans and the Blacksmiths and their ancestors who died that day are buried.
Here we believe that our people do not die, yes, somewhere they are alive, they can hear, they can speak, they can solve our problems, ancestors, I am here with Kavita, please let it come to you, we want to follow in your footsteps and we ask for power. and strength to open doors and be brave, this is sacred land for them, but to visit the graves they need the permission of the owner. Where is the bus? Are you filming me? Could you please stop the camera in our private group? We want to go to grades. That? Serious our answers are grapes, why do you say what's the point of not having a single ancestor?
We only have German Graves here we know where it is we know where we're going it's just that it's on your farm you have to make an appointment before it's time so we take it with our car and it costs 500 thousand dollars per person. We can offer you a special price and when is it best for you? I wanted to go now. It's not possible. Now it's lunch time. Now we adjust the contacts. It's okay in 2022. article in the country's most popular newspaper the Namibian created a scandal Harry Schneider Waterberg a major landowner and descendant of the settlers participated in a round table his comments were published later he maintained that his statement was taken out of context the settlers germans never stole any land he is treating us the same way his ancestors treated our ancestors we are going to act and we are going to rebel do you think you could forgive them not only when you see a white person that drama is becoming big? it's a huge 400 square kilometers Farm on the Nevada plateau Harry Schneider Waterberg lives with his wife Sonia at some point I'll be working with cattle somewhere but now I have to go back to the office unfortunately go to bed how come you have the same name as him My grandfather's Plateau idea of adding the name of the mountain to his surname had to be approved by Parliament, so imagine I'm going to be a Soldier.
His grandfather came to the country. There is no way to serve in the military over time. I purchased a total of 18 Blacksmith farms from the German Colonial Administration and started raising cattle in the morning. Did you sleep well? Yes, that needs to be cleaned. Harry has a team of about 40 people working for him. Most are Blacksmith every morning. He registers. with his assistant to get updates on what happened during the night not not seen we lost a calf what was its number 22 33 the 1400 head of cattle heard roam around the property it is one of the largest meat producers in the country every day it passes hours in the car taking care of his cattle it is a huge piece of land it is enormous to manage it in such a way that it is efficient it is a lot of work a few years ago he started breeding Arabian racehorses look there the horses will come they are coming He has to protect more than a hundred animals from the big felines.
All our management on this farm is adapted to the fact that we have leopards here. We have many leopards here. The leopard is an everyday reality for us. He has already lost three horses. In two months I am very connected to his land, you know this emotionally, and this farm has given me a wonderful life. Namibians make up only six percent of the country's population, but most of the farmland belongs to the Germans. I will choose to have stolen land from them that is not only in Namibia, but was in all the colonies as such, that is the history of Australia and the Americas and, after the afternoon, perhaps an independent in 1990, the government of the day asked landowners to have a fairer distribution of land and uh my father at that time actually sold about 27 percent of his land, so owning land isn't really something that doesn't make you rich, It is working the land successfully that can make you some money Harry Schneider's semi-arid land has another important resource water and in abundance the conditions are ideal for raising cattle one of his Blacksmith employees mandaka looks after the cattle he is an absolute hermit he lives here completely just look at his pants they are eccentric.
He has been with me for 34 years. We wonder where it would be good. He ran away, but came back. Harry is proud of his heritage. He doesn't spend much time thinking about Germany's colonial past or the exploits of his ancestors. a very important part of the development of the country in Namibia which at that stage was called South West Africa and I mean, you know, and before that it didn't even have a name, I mean, you know from or European name, I mean, already you know, it was kind of dark, dark Africa at that time and then for the first time came the explorers and the development of the country and I think we have to appreciate it the way every nation needs to. appreciate the history German settlers were the first to extract diamonds from the soil of Namibia when Germany lost the First World War.
Namibia became a South African protectorate, while the mines went to the multinational company Debers. The corporation has dominated the diamond market for more than a century in Namibia. alone makes millions of euros in profits annually. The diamonds here are particularly valuable because they come from a unique source at the bottom of the Atlantic. This mining ship extracts diamonds from a depth of 150 meters. It belongs to the Namibian government and carries tens of thousands. of diamonds are delivered to the capital. We have been granted special permission to visit this closely guided place in the center of the city.
Diamonds worth hundreds of millions of euros are being sorted in this room. Hello, good afternoon, guys. So Pérez, what do we have here? Paulo is a supervisor at the semi-nationalized diamond joint venture NDTC and these were the first qualities, but we are checking the quality, he is the person who determines the value of the gems before they go on the market, the whitest ones. and the clearer they are, the more they are worth, isn't it, rough it could be say 20,000 US dollars, but when it is polished you probably have to add another 30 to 40 deals for which you might have to pay 40,000.
A stone like that, yes, here are 1,000 diamonds of the highest quality. Its market value is around 29 million euros. You can count them, but it will take forever, so we weigh them at the end of the day so we don't leave this building. Until we have what we call balance, we have reconciled every year 400 kilograms of diamonds end up on this table, the truly unique ones are stored separately. Wow, this is the biggest and brightest, the pretty color of this stone, as you can see, it looks pink. a very rare color, so we are talking about a lot of money on this stone.
I mean, they force a rough estimate on this one. Three, uh, cost about three million US dollars for this stone. It's painful when I look at this Craig. It is very painful. because you would have made more money, yes, I and you can't afford this, yes, it's just the shakes that have oil and a lot of money that they can buy Stone like that because when it goes up for auction, even if you go into the prices. They sell for a lot of money once polished. These diamonds will be delivered to the most famous jewelers in the world.
Very few Namibians benefit from this wealth. The vast, ancient Namib Desert stretches along the country's western coast. The hostile environment attracts seekers. Hi how? Are you OK? All the men in Imbando's family are minors. Should we take the lever? There's no need. He and CIS have long worked as a team. He's like my brother because we've grown up together here on the farm for 20 years. The two have met twice. a month here, let's look there, okay, they are looking for valuable materials. Black tourmaline is that, yes. Their fines are used for small pieces of jewelry or for therapeutic purposes.
IsAmazon. Can you find any diamonds? No, there are no diamonds around, there are no diamonds around, if there were diamonds maybe those years or they have already caught up with us they hope to find stones that can give them a better life they work hours here making a small hole yes, this is how we continued the afternoon and you can then you can get something like that in your pocket. I'm looking for big pieces. Big, pretty pieces. What I can sell. Maybe as big as my hand. They will only leave the desert after they have found something.
A week later, in this small cafe, all eyes are on. umbando proudly shows his little amazonites The treasures before selling them are not that but look just look I think it's wet What do you think is nice or pretty? We would like to get 250 dollars for the stones, enough to cover his living expenses until he can return to the desert he heads to Mike's souvenir shop hello good afternoon, how are you doing? Yes, I have some pieces of stone. Take a look to see what you have. Okay, beautiful color. Yes, it's a nice color. This is not like this.
Great, yes, for the moment, it's okay, but with all the greed and no walkthroughs, it's not too interesting at the moment. Bundu is one of Namibia's last independent prospectors in the land of diamonds. He lives a life of poverty, a situation many find outrageous on the outskirts of Windhook. katatura in english the name means the place where no one would like to live most of the residents here live on less than one euro a day this 31 year old man is a local celebrity it's not a problem thank you very much michael amochelelo is the charismatic leader of a small radical opposition party he grew up here hello how are you doing he wants people here to demand more they are building luxury apartments in the city but there is nothing here they do nothing for us we don't even have paved streets right Take a look for yourself Do you think this is a rich country?
The money in this country is only in the concentration of a few hands, but the majority of our people still continue to speak in poverty, it is in the hands of the whites and some elite blacks in the opinion of Michael Swapo the party that has been in The power for three decades is hopelessly corrupt. We are looking for fighters, man. Why don't you join the movement? Guevara travels in luxury, says he made his fortune trading cryptocurrencies he wants to See foreign powers exploiting Namibian workers expelled from the country in the construction industry has been totally taken over by the Chinese, so the Chinese have taken over of the majority of contracts in this country.
One is this new road that goes to the airport if it rains. Then it comes and erases this path as if there was nothing. Another major issue is that Chinese companies have allegedly misled Namibian workers about their salaries. The workers asked Michael for help. Power to the workers. They have been on strike ever since. You have the power. You must learn to stand up and fight for yourself every month, the company deducts 10 percent of workers' salaries for Social Security contributions, but the government has not received contributions since 2019. It is now clear that the government of swapo and the Chinese are busy stealing From all of us, the government is always going after small businesses, now maybe their own companies force them to pay taxes, but they are Chinese friends, they are busy protecting them, they should refund all that money to them and then you will receive tax exemptions, so tell the lord who, sir.
Hani they are going to collect their suitcases because we don't want thieves in this country Michael has no official authority but he is looking for a dialogue anyway you are in charge this is fine my Chinese is also a bit poor I finally agree to negotiate with Michael he has to be recorded why you deduct the workers' text messages but do not pay them to the government when the tax does not, you, as a company, are going to pay that tax that is owed to the government, but you are going to pay the workers' money give back to the workers that money is for their vacation that's what's going to happen that's all for Wednesday the workers are going to report to me if they haven't been paid then I'll do them I'm sure they'll all be in jail on Thursday and it'll be to be there for a long time.
Well, Wednesday. Make sure people get paid for too long. It may be known for being a peaceful country. Sometimes it is necessary to use violence to achieve this. for you to send a message and the message is to say stop exploiting Namibians if you continue to exploit Namibians then we will fight fire with fire demanding justice if necessary threatening violence it is risky it could be counterproductive but for now the business is working pay next day points to Chinese sellers in Chinatown, so these things are fake, we think we understand this is not real. fake habianas habianas tell the
chinesethat all the stores will close after this.
Michael is arrested for inciting violence. Thank you. China has long been an ally of swappo. Since Nimibia's independence, China has financially supported the ruling party, most of the public buildings in Windhoek have been built by Chinese contractors, Swapo headquarters and the Ministry of Interior are examples, meanwhile, China controls one of the assets most strategic in the country, its uranium mines, Namibia is one of the main uranium producers in the world a man has long adopted a critical view of China's activities in his country its location is kept secret because it receives many threats definitely I am under surveillance without a doubt I have been beaten I have been admitted to the hospital I know this on previous occasions and I have to take some basic precautions at all times.
I don't announce when I'm leaving or where I'm going. John Grobler is Namibia's most famous investigative journalist. I found out that a third country was actually using China as a cover when it comes to contracts for public buildings oh, I found this file because here you have the original documentation, all the invoices sent, you know, the construction of the State House, which is the presidential headquarters of Namibia, and yes, you can see 29 million dollars. transferred from Namibia to Pyongyang the United Nations does not allow certain agreements to be made with North Korea the penalty for violations are sanctions when news of the payment became public all employees of North Korean construction companies left the country within 24 hours John He was the first to arrive.
On the scene back then there was a kind of panic, you know, and they fled, I mean, they literally left food on the table, so they feared that Namibia was indirectly funding North Korea's nuclear weapons program. with projects like the State House. North Korea also benefited from other public contracts, such as the construction of the Independence Museum, in front of the museum there is a statue of the country's national hero and former president Sam Nuyoma, it looks like it is made of bronze, but in reality it is a species of a plastic is like a polymer and they just spray paint, you can see the cracks appearing everywhere, okay, this is all fake adhesive material, it's a fake museum facade with half-finished communist-inspired frescoes, what do you know? do you suppose that means?
Yes, because there are a lot of Another reason why Namibia is so attractive to Asia is its pristine natural environment, its gigantic open spaces and its almost uninhabited Namibia has only three inhabitants per square kilometer, making it one of the countries least populated in the world. It is a paradise for many wild animals. But hell for an endangered rhino species Namibia's largest rhino reserve is located in the northern part of the country Three wild rhinos are killed daily around the world Their horns are sold at high prices in Asia to help protect them from poachers the reserve brought a French NGO and protection, yes, we are not Jean-Claude Van Damme or Bruce Lee.
I don't want to see that, for example, no, that's for the movie, we're short, quick, quick, we ask for medical assistance. The Rangers are trying to prepare for a real attack. These simulations allow coaches to evaluate the Rangers' reaction in crisis situations. It looks like a military exercise. Preparation for an armed battle. A fight for life. And that's exactly what it is. Worldwide, an average of 150 Rangers die each year. How many? seven seven so how many people could go into the bush to save your friends? seven seven and uh, how many people did you go with?
I won't really tell you Hey guys, we're going to shoot, drink three, four minutes, get ready, now you'll shoot at night, guys, you'll shoot at night and everyone will be in cows like this, that's why we train, uh, this is Our Generation's war , our Century, is about the survival of hundreds of species that will die if we do not act. I have heard of a reserve in South Africa where 94 rhinos were slaughtered in less than a week. I can't imagine a world. without wild animals it is one of the last remnants of magic that I have left on Earth and we are going to annihilate it eight when it is not on deployment atubato is a beekeeper in France, so standard one of the biggest problems his troop faces is the lack of resources you're right, foreigner, the engine just shot, this happens quite a bit two or three times a day, the vehicles in the reserve are half a century old, whatever, and when it comes to problems with weapons, the extractor is fine, so that takes your charger. out of weapons often Jam there is a reason for that too what is not good they are not exactly new 53 then ammunition from Eastern Europe is in very bad condition I have never seen bent ammunition so it is incredible that it can lead to a situation in a shootout in which none of the Rangers could fire more than two or three shots, that is daily life in an anti-poaching team, a dangerous job that must be done seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for a miserable salary, maybe I can do a lot more work than expected that's being a ranger doing a little extra work what is the difference between a ranger salary and the price of the Rhino center?
No, the difference, the difference is, perhaps negative, from the Rhino to the salary of a ranger Rhino horns are sold for astronomical sounds on the black market Chinese medicine claims that the horn has therapeutic effects, although it has never been proven clinically to discourage poachers the reserve has implemented a radical method after a veterinarian has sedated the rhino, the horn is cut off it is a risky but painless operation like the nails the horns are made of keratin I said you have commissioned the Sergio's NGO his service is free so you are happy with his progress yes yes yes it is ok he does not receive any support from the government to protect his animals only the value of his horns could cover the costs of protecting the species we found him in a place secret of the city this is where he keeps his treasures on the black market this will be worth approximately 450,000 US dollars to us now it is really dangerous to have it people will come to kill me they will come to my house to kill me for these things over time he has collected dozens of horns and hopes that one day its sale will be legalized when there is a greater supply for it.
In the market the price will go down if I can get 6,000 dollars per kilogram. You can help me save the species from extinction, and there's an added benefit: legalization would make you a millionaire. The young nation of Namibia with its wealth of resources and its rich diversity of species. and Wide Open Spaces could generously provide for its population Namibia faces great challenges a deeply skewed distribution of wealth global competition for resources and of course the long shadow cast why a bloody colonial past thank you thank you foreigner
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