Monday, September 17, 2012

This Day in History: 17 Sep, 1919. German South West Africa is put under South African administration

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After the completion of World War one's Treaty of Versailles, German South West Africa was declared a mandate of the new international peace-keeping body, the League of Nations, and put under South African administration.

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 105-DSWA0095, Deutsch-Süd-Westafrika, Kamelreiterpatrouille.jpg

As result of this development, German was displaced as the official language, which prompted 4000 Germans to leave the country. South Africa on the other hand encouraged Afrikaans speaking families to settle in the country, especially in the south.!swa.gif


Since the late 1940s the South West Africa (SWA) issue was debated year after year with increasing animosity at the United Nations (UN), successor to the League of Nations. On 18 July 1966, the judges in the International Court of Justice gave verdict in favour of South Africa in a case brought before them by Ethiopia and Liberia.

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International pressure increased, and in October 1966 the General Assembly of the UN terminated the mandate and decided that South West Africa be placed under administration of the UN. South Africa rejected the resolution of the UN as unconstitutional and contrary to international law.

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In 1971 a reconstituted International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion, supporting the view of the UN, and years of guerrilla fighting followed when South Africa refused to abide by the decision. The country gained independence in 1990 as Namibia. 

File:1rsz 1namibia swa arms.png

Taken from: [17.09.2012]

  1. The Star, Milestones (17 September 2003).  
  2. Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 570.
  3. History of Namibia, a summary. Website:


  1. I do not know where you got your "facts" from?
    German was displaced as the official language, which prompted 4000 Germans to leave the country...nonsense, it was about 7000 Germans that had to leave SWA because of the despotism of the Administrator Sir Edmond Howard Lacam Gorges, sheer arbitrariness... By the way, those 7000 Germans were transportet in ships like animals...

  2. Hello Anon

    I took this information from the SA History website. I was trying to get more information on the 7000 you are talking about and the transportation of the people like animals, but I couldn't get any. Can you please send me the source you received this information from, so I can update it on my side?