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SWAPO gained the sympathy of the Black African states and through them the UN, resulting in the resolution of the UN Security Council that banned the sale of arms to South Africa. During 1966 SWAPO’s first military action took place in Ovamboland. Two years later SWAPO members were convicted in the Pretoria terrorism trial and their leader, Toivo ya Toivo, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.

This changed South Africa's political approach to a policy of separate development. In 1964 the Report of the Commission of Enquiry, which had been prepared in close collaboration with Dr H F Verwoerd, recommended that South West Africa be partitioned. The 1968 the Development of Self-Government for Native Nations in South West Africa Act laid the foundations for homelands. As in South Africa bantustans, later known as homelands, were defined for the various Black, Khoi, San and Damara communities. More than 50% of the land was to be reserved as a homeland for the White minority. This included most of the territory's mineral wealth and agricultural potential, and was ultimately to be absorbed into South Africa.

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South Africa ignored this and took the administration of the territory under direct rule in 1969. Although the UN Security Council endorsed the termination of South Africa's mandate with a declaration that South Africa was an illegal occupier of Namibia (Resolution 276), and although it requested sanctions against South Africa (Resolution 283), it was unable to do anything about it. It therefore asked the World Court for an advisory opinion on the consequences of South Africa's occupation. In 1971 the World Court advised that South Africa's presence in South West Africa was unlawful.

This scheme was furthered when the South West Africa Affairs Act of 1969 transferred many powers from the Territorial Assembly in Namibia to the South African Assembly. Lack of Black support in Namibia for these plans, especially in SWAPO-supporting territory, was demonstrated in 1973 by the very small poll in the elections for Ovamboland's so-called ‘self-government'. Holy Cross Anglican Church, Onamunama, Ovamboland, Namibia, September 1971. Image source In 1967 the UN Council for South West Africa was established, and subsequently renamed the Council for Namibia. Prodded by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) international pressure mounted against South Africa. The UN again tried unsuccessfully to take over the administration of the territory in 1967, and two years later passed a resolution that South Africa should terminate its administration over South West Africa.

The hopes of the inhabitants of South West Africa for redress of grievances when the Union Government took over the territory were soon dashed. During the period 1922 to 1946 the indigenous peoples were allocated from 10, 6% to as little as 3, 6% of the budget. Even though about 6000 Germans left the country, grazing lands sequestrated by the German colonial government were not restored. Instead, pastoral chiefdoms and communities were dispossessed and almost half the territory was allocated to some 3 000 White settler ranches that were heavily subsidised. Some of these were given to about three hundred Afrikaners, descendants of Voortrekkers who had previously settled in Angola. Until 1948 the highest authority in the territory was the Administrator of the territory, appointed by the South African Government.

When the First World War broke out in 1914 South Africa agreed to participate in an assault on German South West Africa. Some Afrikaner Nationalists in South Africa opposed this. Led by Generals J B M Hertzog and C R de Wet they were against South African participation in the war against Germany and any attack on South West Africa, which they viewed as the colonial territory of a friendly power. The Union Government, however, had military necessity and economic reasons to incorporate the territory into the Union after the war.

They had also received reports from the Herero and others that indicated that the local chiefs had misunderstood the petition and that many of them were, in fact, against incorporation in South Africa. Smuts refused to accept that the UN was the legitimate successor to the defunct League of Nations by refusing to register South West Africa as a UN Trusteeship Territory. Dr D F Malan used Smuts' difficulties with the UN over South West Africa as a tool in his election campaign before 1948. The National Party (NP) intended to incorporate the territory into South Africa unilaterally, and to apply its racial policies in spite of world opinion.

In May 1922 the popular hero Abraham Morris, who had led the Bondelswarts resistance to the Germans in 1903, decided to come home with some armed refugees who had fled to the Union for sanctuary during the German occupation. Morris had served as a guide to the South African invasion forces, and had been given a gun in recognition of his services. The Bondelswarts were ordered to hand him over.

South Africa narrowly won the case by eight votes to seven. This strengthened the determination of members of the UN General Assembly to end South Africa's mandate over the territory and to place it under UN control. Rising political consciousness in South West Africa resulted in the formation of Black political parties. The South West African National Union (SWANU) was founded in 1962 and was active in central South West Africa for a time. Other small parties developed in the south. Toivo ya Toivo and Sam Nujoma transformed the Ovamboland People's Organization (OPO) into the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in 1960 and began training a guerrilla army.

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These conflicting motives and ideals led to the South African Rebellion. With the suppression of the rebellion General Louis Botha launched South Africa's troops upon the conquest of the German colony and the British navy captured Luderitz Bay in September 1914, cutting off German supplies. South African occupation started in May 1915 when General Louis Botha, first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, ordered 40 000 South African troops into the territory. Heavily outnumbered, the German forces were forced into retreat.

Its population is made up of San, Damaras, Ovambos, Namas, Hereros, Oorlams, Kavangos, East Caprivians, Rehoboth Basters, Kaokovelders, Tswanas and European settlers, mostly German. The country is rich in natural resources and its main mineral products are copper, diamonds, gold, lead and uranium. The South African and Portuguese governments jointly developed the Kunene hydroelectric scheme in 1969. Fishing is also a prominent industry in Namibia, but exploitation of the rich marine resources led to the near extinction of pilchards and anchovies in the 1960s and 70s. Strict controls were put in place and the numbers of fish have steadily increased since then. In 1885 the Chancellor of the German Empire, Bismarck, held a convention in Berlin where European powers divided Africa among themselves. This was called the “Scramble for Africa”.

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The reason Germany selected Namibia as its “protectorate” was influenced by the fact that a tobacco merchant from Bremen, Franz Luderitz, bought up coastal land in the area in 1882. This resulted in Germany actively establishing itself in the African country by 1884. They occupied Herero lands. Initially the Herero accepted the “treaties of protection”, but the Nama people resisted. In 1888 the Germans confiscated Herero lands and large numbers of their cattle. The aim was to turn South West Africa into a settler colony. In 1890 German soldiers attacked the Nama and by 1892, despite efforts by the Nama and Herero to put up a united front, they were crushed.

The colony surrendered on 9 July 1915, bringing 31 years of German rule to an end. General J C Smuts, a member of the British War Cabinet, put forward the idea of a League of Nations Mandate system for Germany's conquered colonial possessions. He did not intend this to apply to Germany's African colonies because he hoped to see South West Africa incorporated into South Africa. He was unable to persuade the Peace Conference to approve this and in 1920 he and General Louis Botha very reluctantly agreed that South Africa should administer South West Africa under a Class C Mandate from the League of Nations. The mandate purported to safeguard the rights and interests of the indigenous people. It was also obliged to submit annual reports to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission.

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In 1962 the World Court decided that it had the power to judge the case and it rejected the South African argument that the plaintiffs, Ethiopia and Liberia, had no standing. The plaintiffs argued that the franchise in South West Africa was restricted to Whites. They said that inadequate educational facilities were provided and that the inhabitants had to use travel passes. They observed that political party and trade union membership had been banned, that the inhabitants were kept racially segregated, that certain jobs were reserved for Whites, that Blacks were excluded from the right to own landed property over large areas of the territory and that the administrator of the territory could force deportation of individuals without right of appeal. The case dragged on for six years, during which time one judge died and a successor with different views was appointed who rejected the legal standing of Ethiopia and Liberia.

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Atlas Lions down Liberia to take control of Group K Morocco took full control of Group K in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after they defeated Liberia 2-0 at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca

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