Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Namibian chief who urged German reparations dies of virus

Published:Saturday | June 19, 2021 | 12:08 AM


A prominent Namibian traditional leader, Vekuii Rukoro, the paramount chief of the OvaHererero people who led international legal battles to bring Germany to pay reparations for its genocide in the southern African country, has died of COVID-19.

Rukoro died early yesterday, secretary-general of the Ovaherero/OvaMbanderu and Nama Council, Mutjinde Katjiua, told The Associated Press.

Rukoro, who was elected paramount chief of the OvaHerero in 2014, represented both ethnic groups in the international legal cases.

Rukoro and other traditional chiefs have accepted Germany’s offer of compensation but said it should be improved through further negotiations, while some other traditional leaders have rejected it.

Last month, the German government apologised for the colonial-era massacres and agreed to pay €1.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to Namibia over a 30-year period.