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Allies in Apartheid: Western Capitalism in Occupied Namibia

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Allies in Apartheid: Western Capitalism in Occupied Namibia


"The struggle for Namibian independence is not one that has generated widespread attention or support from the people of the Western industrialised countries. Much of this apathy is due, no doubt, to the failure of Western media corporations to report on their respective countries' economic and political relations with Namibia, which have been a violation of international law since 1971. The illegal aspects involved in any transaction with the South African administration in Namibia has compelled Western-based transnational corporations to obscure or lie about their involvement in Namibia, and has forced Western governments to engage in elaborate pretentions about finding a solution to the Namibian crisis.

In general, the academic community has been silent as well. Given the informal demands of the tenure track process, few scholars have been willing to risk the opportunities for job security by exposing their country's illegal involvement in the suppression of Namibian independence. It is one thing to challenge one's relations with South Africa as being immoral, but fewer scholars or activisits have been willing to publicly confront their country's illegal relations with Namibia.

Consequently, it was with great appreciation that the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) organised an international conference on Namibia in November 1982, bringing together dozens of activists and scholars from around the world to share their work and interest in Namibia. Speaking on behalf of the other participants, the conference was extremely educational and therapeutic. As a result of that conference, the global network of support for Namibia was enhanced, leading, in part, to the evolution of this manuscript. The 1982 conference in Washington DC served to awaken many of the participants to the overlapping probiems we all share in our work on Namibia. For the first time, many of us gained an understanding of how important it is to collaborate with each other on Namibia, much as Western governments and corporations have been doing for decades. The idea behind this book is to offer the reader the same international perspective on Namibia that developed out of the 1982 conference.

Most of the contributors to this book were participants in that
conference, and all are considered to be among the leading authorities on their respective countries' involvement in Namibia. Each of us is greatly indebted to the ACOA and especially to its Executive Director, Jennifer Davis, for creating the environment that helped to bring about this book.

The contributions in this book are not copies of the papers presented to the 1982 conference (these may be obtained from the ACOA). Rather, each of the Namibian specialists involved in this manuscript have offered a unique insight into the issues and events that currently are shaping their country's relations with Namibia. This effort has not been without its casualties, most notably Alun Roberts' two-month detention by the South African authorities in Namibia while he was collecting data for this book. I also would like to give tribute to Anton Lubowski and Gotthardt Garoeb, two Namibians who suffered imprisonment and harassment from the South African occupation forces in Namibia after they guided me around Namibia in 1985.

The contributors to this book hope that in some way our 'detective work' will hasten the independence and self-determination of Namibia. For this reason, we offer all our royalties from this publication to the South West African People's Organization which is leading the independence struggle against the white-minority regime of South Africa."


Allan D. Cooper






Bernard C. Moore


© Allan D. Cooper 1988


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Allan D. Cooper, “Allies in Apartheid: Western Capitalism in Occupied Namibia,” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed August 20, 2019,

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