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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Death threats in Namibia

A leading human rights activist in Namibia received death threats in February from an anonymous person claiming to be a member of SWAPO, the government's ruling party.

Emma Kambangula received a handwritten note, tossed near the entrance of her apartment in Windhoek, Namibia's capital. Kambangula's story of torture at the hands of SWAPO military leaders during its struggle against South Africa was featured in The Lutheran's July 1996 issue.

Accused of being a spy, Kambangula was imprisoned and regularly tortured for three years after having worked for SWAPO for seven years in Angola.

The threat came after Kambangula was interviewed on the BBC's Africa Service program about atrocities SWAPO allegedly committed against hundreds of Namibians before national independence.

The note mentioned the broadcast and, in part, said, "I hope Amnesty International attends your funeral. Tell them to buy two coffins." It then threatened Kambangula's 8-year-old daughter, concluding, "People die in mysterious accidents."


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