By Allan D. Cooper
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Extra info for Allies in Apartheid: Western Capitalism in Occupied Namibia
143. In a letter written shortly before the first attack, Maharero tried to inform Witbooi about these intentions. This message, sent to the kaptein of the Rehoboth Basters (a group of mixed descent that settled some 50 miles south of Windhoek after moving from South African into Namibia by the mid-19th Century), was instead handed over to the Germans. Maherero's words - a quotation of it served as the title for the English issue of Drechsler's book demonstrates the desperate situation of the African population and at the same time supports the argument of inter-tribal contact, reducing the ethnic pattern to one of several factors: All our obedience and patience with the Germans is of little avail, for each day they shoot someone dead for no reason at all.
And although they did not yet participate in the established colonial network of capitalist trade, they dominated the market structures by sales of cattle. Their economic dominance was only destroyed by a cattle epidemic in 1897. This robbed the Herero of the great majority of their cattle and for the first time endangered their basis of production, thereby decisively weakening 26 Colonialist-Capitalist Relations in Namibia their economic and social position. Two examples demonstrate the devastating result of the rinderpest.
32 Facing this situation, the German government by the end of the 1880s decided to increase its colonial engagement in Namibia and, finally in 1890, formally took over the colonial administration with full responsibility for and control over the further development of the territory. The official German administration established itself in 1893. Only from that time on did a colonial power structure and administrative apparatus come into being, which in its aims and effects was soon to threaten the existence of certain Namibian groups.