Briefing from ROAPE Volume 7 Number 17
Namibia in the Frontline: Decolonisation in SA's Colony
My purpose here is to provide a brief background to the recent history of the political struggle over the future of Namibia between South African colonialism, Western imperialism and the liberation movement, always with a view to the substance of the issues at stake. My use of terms like ‘imperialism’ , which are often used pejoratively, is intended here to be reasonably precise. By ‘imperialism’ I mean the exercise of political domination by stronger capitalist nations over weaker ones in order to structure the latter's' economies in their interests and to make possible the export of profits by their transnational companies. One form of imperialism is colonialism, or direct rule; another is neocolonialism, or political domination through economic control - both forms serving the same objective but in different ways. The crux of the argument in recent years between South Africa and the West has been whether a stable neocolonial regime can be established in Namibia, as the West wants at the expense of much of South Africa and West has been whether a stable neo-colonial regime can be established in Namibia, as the West wants at the expense of much of South Africa's direct economic stake, or whether colonial rule - however disguised - is essential to the preservation of Western as well as South African interests, as the South Africans have argued. The liberation movement, SWAPO, with which both sides have had to contend and which both are trying desperately to outflank, has long since declared its total opposition to both forms of foreign exploitation.