Martin Nambala Wilpard

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Biographical information


Banished person.

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Martin Nambala Wilpard was acknowledged as the Chief of the Ondonga community in Ovamboland, South West Africa [now Namibia].

 It was claimed that he was guilty of various misconducts.  He accused his wife of poisoning him and attempted to murder her, solicited money from his wife’s brother, forced a certain man to marry a particular woman (when he had refused he was punished), sent people to kidnap children from the Obekonda Primary School to work in his home; forced his indunas to pay him a yearly fee, and levied inappropriate fines.  He was also accused of torture and other unacceptable punishments. 

After a police investigation into a torture case, Wilpard allegedly armed his bodyguards.  He was arrested on 20 March 1967 and it was considered to be in the public interest to banish him from Ovamboland. 

On 10 April 1967, he was banished to Neuhoff Native Reserve, Maltahohe, Ovamboland, South West Africa [now Namibia]. 

In 1968, Neuhoff was deproclaimed and its residents were moved to the Gibeon District.  Wilpard was moved to the farm Halt No. 379 in the Outjo District, Ovamboland. 

In 1970, it was argued that he needed to live near a hospital due to his deteriorating health.  It was decided that he should be moved to Welwitschia Bantu Township in Outjo District. 

Having won the trust of the Ndonga Tribal Authorities in Okavango, Namibia, Martin Nambala Wilpard’s order was withdrawn on 6 October 1972.  

• Contribution by Professor S. Badat, Rhodes University, 2012.  From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat  

Last updated : 15-Jan-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 15-Jan-2013