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-a-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.
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“Shigwedha intends to and succeeds in opening a dis-cursive space in which the dominant national versions of the Cassinga massacre that circulate in Namibia, and the too long afterlife of the SADF version of the massacre, may be challenged and interrupted so as to allow for more open-ended narratives.”Ellen Ndeshi Namhila
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