Suidwes-Afrika—South West Africa
  • John Paxton
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Britain annexed Walvis Bay in 1878, and incorporated it in the Cape of Good Hope in 1884. In 1884 South West Africa was declared a German protectorate. In 1915 the Union of South Africa occupied German South West Africa at the request of the Allied powers. On 17 Dec. 1920 the League of Nations entrusted South West Africa as a Mandate to the Union of South Africa, to be administered under the laws of the mandatory power. After World War II South Africa refused to place the territory under the UN Trusteeship system, and formally applied for its annexation to the Union. On 18 July 1966 the International Court of Justice decided that Ethiopia and Liberia had no legal right in applying for a decision on the international status of South West Africa, but in Oct. 1966 the General Assembly of the UN terminated South Africa’s mandate, and established a UN Council for South West Africa in May 1967. However, South Africa continued to administer the territory, in defiance of various UN resolutions. It speeded up the implementation of the Odendaal Plan (1964), which required massive development aid and the formation of enlarged homelands for the various ethnic groups. In June 1968 the UN changed the name of the territory to Namibia. In 1971 the International Court of Justice ruled in an advisory opinion that South Africa’s presence in Namibia was illegal. In Dec. 1973 the UN appointed a UN Commissioner for Namibia.


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Further Reading

  1. Namibia Information Services, Namibia: The Economy. Windhoek, 1987Google Scholar
  2. Human Rights and Namibia. London. 1986Google Scholar
  3. Rolberg, R. I., Namibia: Political and Economic Prospects. Lexington, 1983Google Scholar
  4. Schoeman, E. R. and H. S., Namibia. [Bibliography] Oxford and Santa Barbara, 1984Google Scholar
  5. Soggot, D., Namibia: The Violent Heritage. New York, 1986Google Scholar
  6. Thomas, W. H., Economic Development in Namibia. Munich, 1978Google Scholar
  7. van der Merwe, J. H., National Atlas of South West Africa. Windhoek, 1983Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Paxton

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