12 September 2014

SAHA remembers Anton Lubowski

12 September is the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Namibian lawyer and human rights activist Anton Lubowski by members of South Africa's Civil Cooperation Bureau (CBB). On this day, 25 years ago, bullets fired from a passing vehicle hit Lubowski in front of his home in Klein Windhoek. Namibian lawyer Anton Lubowski addressing an End Conscription (ECC) meeting in Johannesburg, July 1984, photographer: Gille de Vlieg, archived as AL3274_B9

Lubowski was an executive member of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) and was committed to ending the oppression and exploitation of the Namibian people by  South African occupation. His widow Gabrielle recalls that: three weeks before his death he said “Even if I have to die, Namibia will have peace.”

David Beresford wrote in the Guardian on March 21 1990: "Anton’s death can be seen as a fulcrum which has tipped the balance between civil war and peace. His killing somehow seemed to lance the boil, drawing the pus of hatred and easing the fever of inter-communal conflict.”

Gabrielle Lubowski told SAHA that the family have recently requested a meeting with the SWAPO Executive and there is an agreement to meet early next year. She said: "Our request is to have Anton's legacy restored and Namibian history be rewritten - giving him the place he deserves: fighting a just cause and giving his life for his country."

SAHA has a number of documents in the archive relation to Anton Lebowski, some of these were released in response to PAIA requests made by SAHA in 2010. Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) report to the Amnesty Committee and to the Human Rights Violation Committee on the murder of Advocate Anton Lubowski is one such document and can be found in The Freedom of Information Programme Collection, along with other related documents, some of which are listed below (you will need to register and log in to download).

SABC Truth Commission Special Report

SABC Truth Commission Special Report: TRANSCRIPT: Human Rights Violation Hearings

SABC Truth Commission Special Report: VIDEO: Assassination of Anton Lubowski

AL2878 :: The Freedom of Information Programme Collection