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Recommendations for The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre
Title: The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre
Subtitle: Survivors, Deniers and Injustices
Author: Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha
Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien
Basel, Switzerland 2017
ISBN 9783905758801 / ISBN 978-3-905758-80-1
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 186 Seiten, several b/w photos
About: The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre
The Cassinga massacre, as the author duly put it, represents the darkest and most unresolved chapter of the colonial violence committed against Namibian civilians during the struggle for independence and democracy The Fourth of May 1978 is commemorated annually as a national holiday, but what does this really signify? As one of those who were lucky enough to escape at least physically unharmed from the hell of Cassinga, I, Ellen Ndeshi Namhila, am privileged to write the foreword to this insightful piece of work that takes the reader through the mass killing of Namibian civilians by the South African military on 4th May 1978. The book, The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre: Survivors, Deniers and Injustices, raises the painful memories that the massacre continues to generate in the hearts and minds of the victims of that experience. It is within this context that Vilho Shigwedha attempts to explore the unacceptable afterlife of that episode beset with the aggressive perpetrators' denial of the killing of innocent civilians, the absence of restorative justice to encourage the victims to deal with the trauma of loss and their recurring nightmare of experiencing and surviving the killings of their comrades, friends and relatives in Cassinga.
Content: The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre
Foreword by Ellen Namhila
The rescuing task
The Cubans' intervention
The following day
The systematic planning to kill civilians
Mass Burials: The "Iconic Photograph" and Other Witness Accounts
Remembering Cassinga and the challenge of representation
The "iconic photograph" and the search for the familiar
The purpose of picturing the open mass grave and contested representation of violence publication.
The Attackers' Photographs and the Eyewitness Testimony
"Credible coverage" of the attack
"I personally saw him killing wounded civilians!"
Memory of the Wounded Body, Oral Testimony and the Other
Scars are visible, the pain is hidden
Damaged bodies, long suffering and passive victimhood
The Aftermath of Cassinga and the Unapologetic Perpetrators: Guilty or Innocent? The day of parading and medals
The Aftermath of Violence, Framed Reconciliation, and Injustice
The Abandoned Cassinga Mass Graves and Breytenbach's Visit
A: Statement by the Administrator General for SWA; Judge MT Steyn
B: Statement by the Commander General, Commander Southwest Africa, General Major JJ Geldenhuys, S.M.
C: Suggested approach for statement by Minister of Defence & The Guidelines for statement by GOC SWA
D: Some photographs taken by the SADF during the Cassinga attack.
E: Extract from the transcription of the author's interview with
Rev. Samwel Mateus Shiininge about his experience of the Vietnam' attack.
F: UNICEF report on Namibian refugees at Cassinga before the attack.
G: "Cassinga battle account reveals biased claptrap: a former SADF Colonel who led forces in controversial battle speaks out"
H: Ellen Namhila's response to Jan Breytenbach's article "I was at Cassinga and it was not a military base"
I: "Bullets do not lie," Jan Breytenbach's response to Ellen Namhila's letter.
J: Jan Breytenbach's role in regional and other conflicts
K: The SADF torture and deliberate killing of the suspected SWAPO fighters as told by Lance Corporal Sean Callaghan & Warrant Officer John Deegan, former SADF soldiers:
L: "Cassinga events need to be documented"
M: "Don't Scrap Cassinga Day."
List of Figures