The Equestrian Monument, more commonly known under its German original name Reiterdenkmal and the name Südwester Reiter (Rider of South-West), is a statue in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. It was inaugurated on 27 January 1912, the birthday of German emperor Wilhelm II. The monument honours the soldiers and civilians that died on the German side of the Herero and Namaqua War of 1904–1907, a situation that caused controversy about its current role in a democratic Namibia that has shed its colonial occupation and gained independence.
The Reiterdenkmal was financed privately and designed by Berlin sculptor Adolf Kürle. The equestrian statue is 4.5 metres (15 ft) tall and made from bronze. It was created in Berlin and shipped to German South-West Africa in 1911. After its arrival in Swakopmund it was transported by train to Windhoek. The plinth is 5 metres (16 ft) tall and consists of approximately 180 granite rocks from Okahandja. It has a plaque mounted on it that remembers the German soldiers and civilians that died in the Herero and Namaqua War of 1904–1907, as well as in the Kalahari Expedition in 1908. The translation of the inscription is:
Remembering and honouring the brave German warriors that died for emperor and empire to save and protect this land during the Herero and Hottentot uprisings between 1903 and 1907, and during the Kalahari Expedition in 1908. Also remembering and honouring German citizens that died from the hands of the indigenous. Fallen, missing, died from accident, succumbed to their injuries or sickness: Of the Protection Force: 100 officers, 254 non-commissioned officers, 1180 soldiers, of the marine: 7 officers, 13 non-commissioned officers, 27 seamen. Killed during the uprising: 119 men, 4 women, 1 child.
German South-West African Governor Theodor Seitz inaugurated the monument[on the 53rd birthday of German emperor Wilhelm II on 27 January 1912.
Although the monument is unusual in that it displays a corporal on horseback, Namibian historian Andreas Vogt incorrectly claims that nowhere else in the world is an ordinary soldier sculpted in that manner and that the honour of being displayed on a horse is only extended to “highest nobility like emperors, kings and princes”. German historian Joachim Zeller points out that traditionally equestrian statues symbolise imperial rule and power, and that this is how the function of the Reiterdenkmal has to be interpreted.