South West Africa to Namibia 2
Prelude to Independence
Barend F. van Zijl
Olimpiad Pulishers 2018
Prelude to Independence forms part of a series of books under the theme ‘South West Africa to Namibia’. While reworked, it is based on earlier advanced studies in politics at the University of South Africa (UNISA). The book provides a carefully contextualized national canvas against which the independence of Namibia in March 1990 unfolded. The author harnesses theoretical perspectives culled from a wider body of scholarship and invokes these to analyze and contrast political parties and groupings along a spectrum that highlights their ideological planks and policies. The analysis crystallizes into a spectrum of political paradigms that straddles reactionary, conservative, liberal (centrist) and social revolutionary tenets and policy positions. Against such a comparative and contrasting frame, the author considers specific policy domains and articulations so as to substantiate the spectrum of political opinion and ideas prior to the independence of Namibia.
The reader encounters a finely balanced overview of the politics and policies of a number of the most important political parties at the time such as AKTUR, the DTA, the NNF and SWAPO-N (Nujoma). The analysis traverses key policy domains such as socio-economic policy, constitutional proposals, human rights, foreign policy, and explores the ideological grounding that underpins specific policy positions. Through a comparative lens, the author offers a sober analysis of political parties and their policies that shaped the political landscape before and after independence. The particular focus and engagement with political parties and with policies add meaningfully towards our understanding of a complex and dynamic political landscape in its national and international settings that continues to impact on Namibia nearly three decades after the country took independence. For those interested in understanding post-independent politics and society, the book has much to offer as a primer on the topic. Prelude to Independence is a valuable addition to the existing body of literature on contemporary Namibian politics and should be welcomed by students, researchers and the general public. The book culminates in a respectable bibliography that enhances its value to researchers and scholars alike