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‘Struggle kids’ tear up Kapofi’s written response

THE ‘Struggle kids’, now renamed Dependants of Living or Deceased Veterans, yesterday tore up a written response minister of defence and veterans affairs Frans Kapofi sent them regarding their plight.

The group’s chairperson, John Amadhila, said Kapofi’s response did not address the key issues they have raised.

The group protested outside the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs’ office in Windhoek and refused to leave without being addressed by the minister.

They are demanding, among other things, to be registered under the ministry “because we are no longer young”.

“We are people born and raised in exile, dependants of veterans as per birth or repatriation and the Veterans’ Act,” Amadhila said.

He said according to the Veterans’ Act, these individuals should be dealt with by the veterans ministry, and not the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service.

“We now have ministry of youth cards, but we do not benefit at all. We want the government to give us jobs so we don’t die in poverty.

“We will stay here until they give us the response we want,” Amadhila said.

Maria Mukeke read Kapofi’s response to the group, which says their demands are not part of the veterans ministry’s mandate.

“However, we regard your request to be registered as dependants of living and [deceased] veterans’ affairs,” Kapofi’s statement reads.

Amadhila said the response from the ministry does not address their demands.

“We also know how to read, we have been educated too, this answer did not say anything valid on what we are asking.

“A child and a dependant is not one thing. Don’t think we are dumb,” he said.

Amadhila then tore the minister’s response up in front of the group.

He said they would not leave until Kapofi addressed them.

“We want Kapofi, so he explains to us who is a dependant and who not,” he said.

The group’s spokesperson, Wilhelm Julius, said: “We want the answers we wrote in the petition, we also want to check whether our parents are part of the database. If they don’t allow us, it’s corruption,” he said.

Julius said the government has no right to deny the group employment.

He said since they returned from exile, they have not received anything from the government.

Kapofi yesterday confirmed that he responded to the petition in writing.

“I have informed them that the law we are administering gives us clear direction on how the issue of veterans should be [addressed].

“If they are not happy with that, I don’t think it’s fair for me to give the answers they wanted,” he said.

Kapofi said he is not responsible for the ‘exile kids’.

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