The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre. Survivors, Deniers and Injustices

  • Introduction by Ellen Ndeshi Namhila
  • Language: English
  • 2017
  • 184 pages
  • Illustrations, map, index
  • Vol. 18
  • ISBN 978-3-905758-80-1
  • ISSN 2234-9561
  • eISBN 978-3-905758-92-4
  • eISSN 2297-458X
Vilho Shigwedha

The Aftermath of the Cassinga Massacre. Survivors, Deniers and Injustices

It took the former South African Defence Force (SADF) less than four hours to kill more than eight hundred Namibian refugees at Cassinga on May 4, 1978. Thousands of survivors were left with irreparable physical and emotional injuries. The unhealed trauma of Cassinga, a Namibian civilian camp in southern Angola before the massacre, is beyond the worst that the victims of the attack experienced on the ground. Unacceptable layers of pain and suffering continue to grow and multiply as the victims’ grievances and other issues arising out of the aftermath of the massacre have been ignored, particularly following Namibia’s political independence. In this book, the afterlife of the victims’ traumatic memories and their aspiration for justice vis-à-vis the perpetrators’ enjoyment of blanket impunity from prosecution, in spite of their ongoing denial of killing and maiming innocent civilians at Cassinga, are explored with the aim to create public awareness about the unfortunate circumstances of the Cassinga victims.

Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha obtained his PhD from the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town for this study. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Namibia in Windhoek.

Foreword by Ellen Namhila

1. Introduction
2. Mass Burials: The “Iconic Photograph” and other Witness Accounts
3. The Attackers’ Photographs and the Eyewitness Testimony
4. Memory of the Wounded Body, Oral Testimony and the Other
5. The Aftermath of Cassinga and the Unapologetic Perpetrators:
Guilty or Innocent?
6. The Aftermath of Violence, Framed Reconciliation, and Injustice
7. The Abandoned Cassinga Mass Graves and Breytenbach’s Visit
8. Conclusion

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