Namibia is geographically located in southern Africa near South Africa and Angola. It was a Germany colony between1884-1915.

Afterworld war 1 the League of Nations mandated it to South Africa in 1920.

However, the trusteeship council in 1966 terminated this mandate right but South Africa continued illegally to dominate Namibia which forced nationalists to take up arms.


  • The determination of South Africa to hold grip over Namibia, it was considered the 5th province of South Africa which could not be left to go. Such made the Nationalists to rise up to attain independence.
  • The lust for Namibia’s resources such as zinc, copper, Uranium and lead made it very difficult for South Africa to grant independence till 1990.

  • South African military strength, it sent about 5000 well equipped troops to act as watch dogs to Nationalist activities. This crippled them hence delaying independence.
  • The support South Africa got from outside countries like Britain, Holland, Germany made it stronger to be reckoned with. This worked to delay Namibia’s independence.
  • Ethnic rivalry forexample the Nama, Herero and Khoisan were great enemies to the ovambo and such ethnic collusion made it very difficult to have concerted efforts against South Africans.
  • The fear by South Africa to lose that cheap source of labour especially as South Africa was industrializing at a higher pace. They needed labour to work in Gold and copper mines and in the plantations. Granting Namibia independence could deny them chance hence continued domination until 1990.
  • Difference in approach by the nationalists to wards the South African questions forexample Sam Nujoma and Jacob Karuhanga preferred table talks throughout the 1950’s and to make matters worse they were socialist oriented yet other nationalists like Janhermal and Jah-Tario preferred the use of force and were capitalist oriented such disunity worked to prolong South African domination.

  • The brutal and inhumane response of the South Africans forexample in 1969 demonstration about thirteen people were killed and in the 1971 strikes the British declared a state of emergency which saw the destruction of schools and arrest of Namibians. Such threatened the masses and delayed independence struggles.
  • The introduction of Apartheid policy in Namibia in 1969 disorganized Nationalists as Africans were grouped in the Bantustans along tribal lines. Such as the Ovambo in the Ovambo land. Therefore such could not find lasting solution for Namibians in the struggle for independence.
  • The weakness of O.A.U which failed to discipline and repulse South African imperialism in Namibia. To make matters worse, its members like Zambia and Malawi continued supporting the Pretoria government. This worked to delay the independence of Namibia.
  • The heavy investments of the white settlers in Namibia made the whites get determined to stay. On top of that the multi- National companies influenced the masses to water down their nationalistic demands through increment of their wages every year. This meant that a number of people collaborated hence delaying the independence of Namibia.

  • External support offered by Jim Carter in 1977 to the pretorian government, this double standards of USA widened chances for the continued South Africa colonialism in Namibia.
  • The formation of the triumvalent of Don Salanza, voerwed of South Africa and Ian Smith of Zimbabwe, they vowed to assist each other militarily and economically to suppress nationalism. This made South Africa very strong to continue dominating Namibia.
  • The presence of Cuban troops in Angola led to cold war politics in the region and in a bid to counteract this communism by S. Africa; it used Namibia as a buffer colony. This delayed the independence of Namibia up to 1990.
  • The presence of British investment totaling to 25%, Germany had 18% investments, USA 15%, Canada and France each had 2%. These countries feared that granting independence their industries would be nationalized, they then agreed with South Africa to protect their interests in Namibia.

  • Lack of external support from immediate neighbours especially because they too up to mid 1970’s were still under colonialism like Angola and Mozambique and to make matters worse, even after independence they entered into the era of civil wars. This then acted to deny Namibia near by bases and support hence delaying independence.



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