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Namibia


Herero Grave Complex

Okahandja | Namibia

An entire dynasty of Herero leaders are buried here and as the official source states 'this Herero Grave Complex is the last resting place of the former Herero leaders Tjamuaha, Maharero, Samuel Maharero and Friedrich Maharero'. They were very influential figures in Namibia's early history. Kaimbire Tjamuaha, another member of the Herero family, is also buried here. He died on 15th May 1989.

Under Tjamuaha’s rule, the Herero enjoyed a certain amount of privileges and protection from Jonker Afrikaner until the relationship became embittered.

Maharero became Paramount Chief of the Herero and Guardian of the Holy Fire. A 6 year war against the oppressive Afrikaner rule ensued until peace eventually prevailed. Maharero had successfully liberated his people.

Samuel Maharero was Maherero's second son and assumed the leadership on his father's death. He foolishly attempted to strengthen his own position of power above that of the interests of his own people. He lost the Battle of Waterberg to Von Trotha and the resistance of the Herero was broken. He escaped to Botswana and many of his people died on the way. Von Trotha issued the Schiessbefehl (order to shoot) and 60,000 out of 80,000 Herero perished as a result of this decree.

The Herero Grave Complex is situated near the municipal swimming pool in Okahandja. It was proclaimed on 20 March 1990, one day before Namibia’s independence.

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