Apartheid revived at non-existent Rossmund golf estate

In what is reminiscent of the hated Apartheid labour pass (Dom Pas) system, domestic workers, gardeners and even personnel of building- and other contractors are not allowed into Swakopmund’s Rössmund suburb without identification cards which have to be cleared beforehand with the so called Rössmund Golf Estate Home Owners Association. The pass system stereotypes black people as the cause and concern for crime at Rössmund.

This is the latest scandal to develop in the already scandal-ridden Rössmund “golf estate” saga at Swakopmund.
This Home Owners Association is a Section 21 Company registered on 28 March 2006 and falsely pretends to be the legal authority with rights to regulate the so-called Rössmund Golf Estate imposed on Rössmund suburb’s home owners by false notarial bonds over such suburb’s property owner’s title deeds. It further asserts it has by implication rights to dictate to home owners certain issues at Rössmund including imposing standards of architectural features, building aesthetics, admission requirements and other prescriptions normally associated with exclusive residences in Body Corporates and registered Golf Estates.
The Rössmund Golf Estate has never existed since the first foundation bricks were laid. The Developer, Wim van der Plas, and the Municipality of Swakopmund never concluded an agreement for this suburb to become an exclusive golf estate. Furthermore, a false Section 21 Company registration number was used to register 76 notarial bonds against the Title Deeds of each home owner which by implication also left the Rössmund Golf Estate Home Owners Association without any jurisdiction over property owners at Rössmund in a suburb which is a sham golf estate.
Two coastal lawyers, Danie Malherbe and Gerhard van der Merwe of the law firm Malherbe Associates Inc, face a total of 76 counts each of fraud and theft under false pretences in the matter, after a segment of disgruntled Rössmund home owners launched an investigation. Several million Namibian Dollars have been paid to this bogus Home Owners Association in levies, of which approximately half thereof was paid over to the Rössmund Golf Club Close Corporation. It is expected that some owners in the wake of the golf estate scam will institute legal action to recover the loss of value of their properties because such properties are not on any golf estate.
A number of resident’s interviewed said that they had bought their properties at Rössmund on the false misrepresentations of lawyers Gerhard van der Merwe assisted by a second coastal lawyer, Percy van Zyl, that they were buying property in an exclusive golf estate. This has on investigation turned out to be a fraudulent misrepresentation. All they have bought is a piece of land in the suburb of Rössmund which happens to be situated next to a golf course owned by Rössmund Golf Course Close Corporation whose sole member is Mr Wim van der Plas. Mr Wim van der Plas was the developer of the non-existent Rössmund Golf Estate and is also under investigation for fraud by the Namibian Police in this matter.
With regards to the pass system, disgusted home owners demanded this week that this practice be immediately abolished. The spokesperson of the group of home owners, Mr Harald Sedlacek commented as follows when he was asked about the Dom Pas system: “Rössmund is an ordinary suburb of Swakopmund. It just happens to be situated next to a golf course. There is no difference to it than any other suburb. It was we who were brought under the false impression by those who marketed and sold the properties to us that it was a golf estate. We condemn this pass system in the strongest terms and want it abolished immediately. Members of the public are most certainly entitled to utilise the public roads and other public amenities in Rössmund and this desperate attempt to reintroduce segregation by the Rössmund Golf Estate Home Owners Association is going to be brought to the attention of the President and the Minister of Urban and Rural Development. It is cruel, insane and insensitive to insist on apartheid measures especially more so at this time when the land issue is so sensitive in Namibia. Some people seem to want to invite prosecution of their racist actions. We condemn such action in the strongest manner possible and disassociate ourselves from this so-called Rössmund Golf Estate Home Owners Association who has no jurisdiction over law abiding residents of Rössmund or the public’s access to the suburb of Rössmund.”
An email was forwarded to namib times dated 30 July 2015 where residents were informed of the pass system to be instituted. It reads: “To All Home Owners. In order to reduce the risk of crime in Rössmund it was agreed by the Board of Trustees that all workers (domestic & contractors) to be issued with ID tags. Currently, all Premier Employees have been issued with ID tags. We are in the process of sorting out ID Tags for the other contractors and landscaping companies.
We also want to roll this out to the domestic workers and require your assistance in this regard. I have attached two templates. The green is the sample of the finished product. The yellow is to be completed by the Home Owner.
The Home Owner is to insert all the relevant information in the blocks. If you are not able to email a digital photo that can be inserted into the block as per the sample. Then you can supply a passport photo of the domestic worker which we will insert during lamination of the ID Card. Please email the completed ID Tag to ryan@premier.com.na or drop off the information with Mr Peter Brumme at 3 Kestrel Crescent.”
Clearly, the Rössmund Golf Estate Home Owners Association is confused, because there is simply no golf estate in existence and they are no legislative body that can re-introduce laws into Namibia that bears down to the violation of people’s Constitutional rights of free movement – one of the basis ideas of Apartheid against which every Namibian must resist to the last ends.
A sensitive matter such as this needs intervention from the Highest Authority to avoid the appearance of discrimination against previously disadvantaged Namibians, it was said this week. Despite the newspaper and news desk manager receiving unspecified threats and insults over the matter, this newspaper will campaign tirelessly to ensure that the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia prevails over racist sentiments and actions by self-appointed persons.

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