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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 05/22/19--16:00: AaNamibia ya kwatwa nuuwe
  • AaNamibia ya kwatwa nuuweAaNamibia ya kwatwa nuuwe Aakwashigwana yaali Aanamibia oya tulwa miipandeko moSouth Afrika mehuliloshiwike lya piti, sho ya adhika ye na uuwe inawu tetwa wongushu yoomiliyona 1.5.

    Oya tumbulwa komadhina kutya Mesias Amweenye (46) oshowo Demetrius Ngenokesho (53) na oya holoka mompangulilo yamangetrata gwaBellville moCape Town mOmaandaha noshipotha shawo osha undulilwa komasiku 27 gaMei.

    Aalumentu mboka yaali oya tulwa miipandeko kopolisi yaWestern Cape pethimbo lyeinda lyokuthikameka iihauto nokuhadha ndyoka lya ningwa.Palopota ya pitithwa koSouth African Police Service (Saps) iilyo yoWestern Cape Flying Squad oya li yiipyakidhila nokuthikameka iiyenditho nokuyihadha mondjila yaVoortrekker moBellville omutenya gwEtitano.

    Oya holola kutya sho ya thikameke nokupula aalumentu mboka oya monika yatila naashoka osha etitha opolisi yi ya hadhe.

    Aalumentu oya adhika nuushako uushona wuna uuwe wuli po 27.

    Omakonaakono kutya uuwe mboka owa zi peni otaga ningwa naamboka oya holola kutya otaya kalelwa po koohahende dhopaumwene.


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    Hobas opens in time for hiking seasonHobas opens in time for hiking season The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Hobas Lodge in the

    //Karas Region is set to reopen on 1 June after experiencing devastating flash floods in February this year.

    The flash floods caused severe damage to the lodge, including a broken sewerage system, damage to trees and vast piles of sand around the restaurant, swimming pool and camping grounds.

    A 22-year-old NWR staff member also drowned during the flash floods after the tent he was sleeping in was flooded at the Hobas campsite near the Fish River Canyon.

    The deceased, Ben Henry Markus, was camping with a group of seven other visitors at the Hobas Lodge.

    “Over the past few months, we worked tirelessly as a team to have the lodge ready for the hiking season, which started a few weeks ago. Knowing that the Fish River Canyon hike is one of the most popular hikes in the world, we ensured that the accommodation facilities are returned to the high standard they were in before the flash floods,” said the acting NWR managing director Dr Matthias Ngwangwama.

    He assured guests that the lodge will be ready to welcome them in the coming week.

    He said concerns have also been raised with regard to the availability of water within the Fish River Canyon. “With regards to the current condition on the ground, we have decided to be proactive by introducing measures to supply water at the 20 to 35km entrance from /Ai-/Ais and the cut off at 40km from Sulphur Springs.”

    Ngwangwama expressed their gratitude towards Namibia Breweries Limited, which has committed to assisting NWR by providing equipment such as tanks and portable water containers.


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    Former Swapo deputy minister in hot waterFormer Swapo deputy minister in hot water Former deputy land reform minister Theo Diergaardt and his co-accused Willem Cloete made a brief appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of fraud and forgery.

    Diergaardt was given bail of N$20 000, while Cloete was granted bail of N$50 000. They had by yesterday however, failed to pay their bail amounts and remained in custody. The two men are accused of allegedly defrauding a German couple out of their property. Cloete is also charged with allegedly defrauding a businessman.

    It is alleged that Cloete in 2013 wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with intent defrauded Ronald and Martha zu Bentheim as well as the deeds office, by pretending he had the authority by general power of attorney to sell the couple's home in Bismarck Street, Windhoek. Diergaardt, who is facing a charge of fraud, is accused of unlawfully and falsely forging a general power of attorney, which resulted in the German couple losing their home.

    Cloete is also accused of having defrauded businessman Horst Anton Landstatz. The charge sheet indicates that Cloete during November 2013 and January 2016 wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with intent pretended to be the owner of two apartments at Zanzibar Court in Otjomuise.

    Cloete is alleged to have sold the two Otjomuise flats to Landstatz, who paid him with 290 cattle valued at about N$1.2 million.

    The case was postponed until 8 August for further investigation.

    As part of his bail conditions, Cloete had to hand over his travel documents to the police, and upon paying bail, has to report twice a week to the commercial crime investigating officer.


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    Sand mining not traditional authority's faultSand mining not traditional authority's fault The Uukwambi Traditional Authority cannot be blamed for the illegal sand extraction at Iiheke yaNakele and Onanime, which falls in its area of jurisdiction, its chief, Herman Iipumbu has said.

    Iipumbu made the remarks during a meeting with the visiting Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources which took place at the Uukwangula settlement on Tuesday.

    He stated that instead, the environment ministry is to blame for issuing the environmental clearance certificate for sand mining at the two sites.

    The ministry in December last year issued the certificate in question to the traditional authority, which environment minister Pohamba Shifeta suspended in March this year until the traditional authority, sand miners and the affected members of the community consult each other and decide on how they will share the profits derived from sand mining.

    This followed a petition by the community members from both sites to the ministry to suspend the sand mining on the grounds that they were not properly consulted before the activities commenced.Local business people have been extracting sand at Iiheke yaNakele and Onanime for commercial purposes for more than 20 years, without any benefits going to the affected villagers.

    “The blame is not ours because we do not issue mining certificates,” Iipumbu fumed, adding that the certificate was issued by the ministry.

    The six-member Parliamentary Standing Committee, headed by Agnes Kafula, also held a meeting with the community of Iiheke yaNakele on Tuesday, where they were taken on a tour of the site to see the damage caused by the miners.

    “No further sales of sand or otherwise raw materials from Iiheke yaNakele site will be entertained,” warned the spokesperson of the Iiheke yaNakele community committee, Lukas Nantanga, while presenting a document containing their grievances to the delegation.

    Kafula said her committee will compile a report on their findings for discussion in the National Assembly.


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    Drought: Ovitoto in dire straitsDrought: Ovitoto in dire straitsCommunal farmers need water Communal farmers grazing their cattle in road reserves have asked commercial farmers to assist, at least with water. Declaring a drought state of emergency will only have the desired and effective impact if those implementing the interventions act with the requisite urgency.

    This is according to Ovitoto chief Vipuira Kapuuo of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority.

    He said farmers, the vulnerable in communities and livestock have been suffering for some time due to the drought and need urgent interventions.

    Kapuuo said the Ovitoto communal area of the Omatako constituency is one of the areas severely affected by the drought.

    He therefore specifically appealed to commercial farmers and others bordering and neighbouring the communal area of Ovitoto to assist communal farmers in the corridors.

    Most of the livestock from the Ovitoto communal area have been grazing in corridors adjacent to some commercial farmers, said Kapuuo.

    According to him, amidst the lack of pasture, water has become a chronic need for farmers that have been condemned to these corridors by the drought.

    “Hence my humble appeal to help these farmers who are in dire straits, especially with water, as well as with much-needed grazing.”

    Kapuuo said he is mindful that grazing is hard to come by these days, as hardly any part of the country has not been affected by the drought.

    He added that the drought has been persistent in most parts of the country for about four years, if not more.

    He appealed to especially transport operators for their assistance to ferry water to the livestock in these corridors.

    “Likewise a special appeal and caution goes to the general public, in particular motorists, to show the utmost patience and caution for livestock grazing in corridors and on public roads in the Ovitoto communal area and its surroundings.”

    He also appealed to the farmers grazing their cattle in the corridors to take care in ensuring that their animals do not stray onto roads, as this can be a nuisance to road users and cause accidents.

    “Farmers must also ensure that the environment stays clean,” he said.


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    Police nab eight drug suspectsPolice nab eight drug suspects Eight suspects were arrested this past weekend for allegedly being in possession of illegal narcotics, including crack cocaine.

    The majority of the arrests were made in Rehoboth.

    A 28-year-old man was arrested in Rehoboth after he attempted to destroy the drugs in his possession.

    According to the police the suspect attempted to destroy half a packet of cannabis on Sunday in Block G, while mandrax tablets were also allegedly found in his possession.

    He was allegedly found with 0.40 grams of cannabis, eight full mandrax tablets, two half mandrax tablets and two quarter mandrax tablets.

    The combined street value is estimated to be N$3 140.

    In a separate incident a 50-year-old man was arrested in Rehoboth for allegedly being in possession of drugs to the value of N$7 480.

    According to the police the man was arrested on Saturday in Block B.

    He was allegedly found with 40 packets of cannabis, 53 full mandrax tablets, nine half mandrax tablets and six quarter mandrax tablets.

    A 35-year-old man was also arrested for allegedly being in possession of 16 units of crack cocaine valued at N$1 600 on Sunday at Rehoboth in front of the Dr Lemmer High School.

    In another incident on Friday, a 26-year-old man was arrested Rehoboth's Block F after he was allegedly found in possession of seven packets of cannabis and one mandrax tablet valued at N$210.

    Also on Friday, a 23-year-old man was arrested in Rehoboth after allegedly being found in possession of two mandrax tablets valued at N$240.

    The suspect was arrested in front of Memes Inn Bar in Block B.

    Another 30-year-old man was also arrested in Rehoboth in front of the same bar for allegedly being in the possession of eight packets of cannabis (five grams) valued at N$210.

    Meanwhile, a 33-year-old man was arrested on Friday in Block E for allegedly being in possession of 48 packets of cannabis valued at N$2 400.

    In another incident, a 31-year-old man was arrested in Opuwo on Friday after he was allegedly found with a parcel of cannabis in his jacket.

    The arrest took place at Orutjandja location during a stop and search operation by the police.


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    Submit forms or face farm closuresSubmit forms or face farm closuresFarmers must file every six months Namibian farmers have been urged to urgently file their animal health declaration forms or face the consequences. The agriculture ministry has urged farmers to urgently submit their outstanding animal health declaration forms, saying a failure to submit them can result in farm closures.

    The ministry's acting chief veterinary officer Siegfried Khaiseb said all pending forms should be submitted by 31 July.

    Animal health declaration forms are an official declaration that must be completed by all livestock farmers every six months, Khaiseb said.

    The declaration period is from January to June and July to December each year.

    Khaiseb said it is compulsory that livestock farmers submit their declarations, which must reach the district state veterinary office within 30 days after the end of each reporting period.

    “Nevertheless, very few farmers have submitted these forms,” he said.

    Khaiseb stressed that the information collected through this initiative is crucial for planning, decision-making and policy formulation by the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), as well as by other institutions.

    The Meat Board of Namibia also urged produces to submit these forms.

    “Producers must submit the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) animal health declarations twice per annum,” the Meat Board said.

    According to the Meat Board, data collected through the submission of these self-declarations are used for animal disease control, the tracking of animal disease trends as well as for compulsory reporting to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

    The Meat Board said because of the poor response from producers, in terms of submitting these declarations, the DVS has decided to restrict stock brands and the establishments of producers who fail to submit the declarations on time.

    Khaiseb added that due to the poor submissions, the DVS has set a deadline for all livestock farmers to submit all pending forms before or by latest on 31 July.

    “Failure to submit will result in the closure of the establishment/farm until such a time that the required documentation is submitted.”

    Declarations can be submitted electronically on NamLITS Online. Declaration forms can be downloaded on the Meat Board website and are also available at state veterinary offices.


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  • 05/22/19--16:00: Internships back in govt
  • Internships back in govtInternships back in govt Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has directed the lifting of the internship programme ban in the public sector from 1 June.

    She instructed in a notice that the secretaries of the National Assembly and National Council, deputy auditor-general, chief electoral officer, director of the National Central Intelligence Service and chief regional officers should start accepting students seeking internships from that date.

    Kuugongelwa-Amadhila issued a media statement on Tuesday through cabinet secretary George Simataa, saying the ban that was issued in January this year citing pending investigations and review of the appointment modality, is lifted as the reviews are finalised.

    She noted that she made the decision to lift the ban based on the Public Service Commission Act No. 13 of 1995.

    “The revision of the placement modality for professional interns and trainees to be trained on the level of public service have come with new changes that will be to appoint interns on a temporary fixed-term contract with a basic fixed allowance,” the statement said.

    Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added that government will abolish the automatic transition into entry functional levels after the interns complete the training and it will also remove the basis for salary recognition for professional interns and trainees.

    “The content of this circular should be brought to the attention of all staff members, professional interns, students and graduates in different institutions,” the statement read.


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    Katrina's lawyer plays political cardKatrina's lawyer plays political card Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who stands accused of corruption, will hear on Monday, 8 July whether the court has found her guilty.

    Concluding his closing arguments in the High Court yesterday, defence lawyer Sisa Namandje said the case against his client was purely political. Hanse-Himarwa is accused of contravening the Anti-Corruption Act in 2014, when she was the Hardap governor. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) alleges that she corruptly placed her relatives on a list of housing beneficiaries at Mariental at the expense of the original beneficiaries. Namandje argued that given Namibia's apartheid history where people were unfairly convicted, it is now incumbent upon all courts hearing criminal trials to “meaningfully give content to notions of justice and fairness”.

    “This is a spoilt trial. Witnesses were corrupted,” he insisted.

    According to him it is a common trend in African politics to use trumped-up charges to bring down politicians. “Public office bearers and politicians always use the criminal justice system to bring down their enemies,” Namandje said.

    “We accordingly submit that the accused's right to a fair trial has been gravely infringed upon and that the administration of justice will come into disrepute if the court does not use its power to refuse to be used as a medium of injustice through its wide powers under Article 25 of the Namibian constitution and common law power, to refuse to return a verdict of guilty and acquit the accused because of the failure of justice.”

    Namandje also accused the ACC's main investigator in the case, Phelem Masule, of using his power as investigating officer to push personal vendettas. State advocate Ed Marondedze shot this down, however, saying Masule had not initiated the investigation or arrested Hanse-Himarwa.

    “In fact, he came into the picture when the investigation was already started,” Marondedze said.

    Marondedze also rejected Namandje's claim that his client was the victim of a political witch-hunt.

    “Politics does not find its way into this. There is no politics here. This trial is also taking place well post-apartheid. There is nothing that smacks of apartheid,” said Marondedze.


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    Government woes hit VTC graduationsGovernment woes hit VTC graduations Graduation ceremonies at government vocational training centres have been placed on hold since last year, because of ongoing economic woes.

    This is according to Rundu Vocational Training Centre (RVTC) manager Kornelius Lukas, who was responding to complaints raised by trainees who have completed their courses, and are now seeking answers about why there is no talk of a graduation ceremony taking place this year.

    Lukas explained that last year all centres received a directive from the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) that no graduation ceremonies should be hosted due to financial reasons and this was communicated to the trainees. He added the directive said trainees who have completed their courses should only receive certificates and use their skills in the market.

    “Last year we did not have a graduation ceremony for the trainees because of the directive from head office in Windhoek.

    This directive is implemented throughout the country at all the government centres, and not just at Rundu,” Lukas said.

    He said graduations were always among the list of activities for vocational training centres, but unfortunately the directive has to be implemented.

    Lukas urged the trainees to accept the situation, as the most important thing was acquiring their qualifications, and not being part of graduation ceremonies.

    “The most important thing is for the graduates to get their qualifications and enter the various industries with their skills. As long as you have the paper, you are certified,” he said.


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  • 05/22/19--16:00: Worst drought since 1930
  • Worst drought since 1930Worst drought since 1930Low rainfall breaks records The Khomas Region is experiencing its second driest year of the last century. Low rainfall in the Khomas Region has plunged the area around Windhoek into the second worst drought in a century.

    Several other regions are also in the grips of a severe drought.

    A report issued by the Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) states that the rainfall received in the Khomas Region this year was less than a third of the average seasonal rainfall.

    As a result, this is the “worst drought for the Windhoek area on record over the past century, only surpassed by the 1929/30 rainfall season,” Simon Dirkse of NMS sums up.

    Last week, the City of Windhoek scaled up its water savings target to a mandatory 15% and introduced new water restrictions.

    The NMS report underlines that low rainfall patterns were observed in most regions of the country in the past rainy season.

    Record-breaking low rainfall was received in the western parts of Zambezi, several parts of the two Kavango regions and the southern regions of Namibia.

    The bulk of the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions received less than 40% of their average seasonal rainfall, Dirkse says.

    Only small pockets and individual farms in eastern Erongo, western Omaheke and the Otjiwarongo district received 70% of the expected seasonal rainfall.

    Data for the western parts of the Zambezi Region show the area is experiencing one of its worst droughts in 59 years, comparable only to the 1964/5 and 2002/03 seasons.

    The eastern parts of the Zambezi Region received between 60% and 80% of its average rainfall between October and April.

    And, while rainfall performance in the Kavango regions initially looked promising with above-normal rainfall recorded by the end of December, the deterioration since then was marked, with “most rainfall reporting stations receiving below-normal rainfall” between January and the end of April.

    Some areas in the Kavango regions did experience overall good rainfall, including Mashare which received 513 mm (91% of its seasonal average), followed by Ruuga with 351.2 mm (65% of its seasonal average). Rundu and Ndonga-Linena received 59% and 47% respectively of their annual average rainfall.

    “The rest of the places received less than 45% of their seasonal rainfall,” the report states.

    Dirkse concludes that for the two Kavango regions it is the seventh worst rainy season since 1960/61. The 1964/65 season was the driest ever measured in the region.

    Meanwhile, the bulk of the north-central regions - Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Oshikoto - received only one-third of their average seasonal rainfall from October last year to April this year.

    The eastern part of the Ohangwena Region is the best off, having received around 80% of its seasonal rainfall.

    “The dry conditions started biting these regions from the onset of rains,” Dirkse notes, adding that the situation continued throughout the season, with below normal rainfall reported every month until the end of April.

    Most parts of the Kunene Region received less than one-third of their average seasonal rainfall.

    The southern parts of the Kunene Region received close to 50% of their seasonal rainfall but more than half of that, 55%, was recorded over a few days in October.

    The latest dam bulletin issued on Monday indicates that the total level of the three central dams supplying the capital city is currently at 18.8%, compared to 35.1% last year.

    Earlier this month, President Hage Geingob declared the drought a national emergency.


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  • 05/22/19--16:00: Students taken for a ride
  • Students taken for a rideStudents taken for a ride The plight of poor Namibian students has always been a hot topic in the media. Many have been barred from writing exams at tertiary institutions simply because they can’t afford to settle outstanding tuition fees. Their only hope or saving grace is landing a loan through the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF). But not everyone is guaranteed a loan to study at a university of their choice. This week NSFAF announced that the fund will only grant financial assistance to 19% of its new, eligible applicants during this academic year, due to a shortfall in its 2019/20 budget. In a media release the fund said it had received 24 739 applications for undergraduate financial assistance for the 2019 academic year, of which 15 087 applicants successfully met the minimum requirements and were eligible for funding. The fund will, however, only award financial assistance to 2 925 successful new applicants during this academic year, due to a shortfall of N$641 million in its budget for the 2019/20 financial year. The funding crisis effectively means that 12 000 students will not benefit from student loans in the current financial year and clearly poor planning, coupled with a pattern of spending taxpayers’ money on misplaced priorities, has brought us to this highly embarrassing situation. The status quo, which has seen government spending millions on useless projects, has created barriers to university access. Tertiary education has been turned into a privilege, much to the detriment of poor students. As Namibia continues to grapple with skills shortages and finding its way towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we can ill-afford to have unskilled youth in our country attempting to enter the job market. The lack of political will being displayed by the powers that be is a slap in the face of the youth, who are supposed to be the future of this country, and who later this year will be potentially casting their ballots in the general election.

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  • 05/22/19--16:00: Malaria cases drop
  • Malaria cases dropMalaria cases dropDrought has an upside Almost 5 000 fewer malaria cases were reported in the two Kavango regions this year. Cases of malaria have dropped significantly in the two Kavango regions, with only

    1 120 cases recorded so far this year, while over 6 000 were recorded by this time last year.

    This was revealed by acting Kavango health director Dr Abiola Adesina, who attributed the drop to last year's successful Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme and less rainfall experienced this year.

    Namibian Sun previously reported that by September last year there were 24 000 recorded cases with 32 deaths.

    “Our efforts have yielded the dividends in terms of malaria control but we still have a long way to go,” Adesina said after the official opening of the Namibia-Angola cross-border meeting which is currently underway at Rundu.

    “Perhaps this year we recorded low cases of malaria because of the little rain we received. Having said that we also had a better coverage of our vector control programme, the IRS of last year, which has impacted on the few cases of malaria that we have seen this year,” Adesina said.

    The Kavango East and Kavango West regions are among the most affected when it comes to malaria cases recorded in Namibia.

    For example, in April 2017, the two Kavango regions, reported

    4 617 cases - four times more than the second highest number of

    1 184 in the Ohangwena Region.

    Adesina said the regional directorate is currently planning this year's IRS programme and appealed to community members to respond positively to those who will be deployed to spray houses.

    Since 2016, government has been using an insecticide called K-Othrine which is a cost-effective alternative to DDT and persists for six months. DDT's soil half-life is between two and 15 years.

    Adesina said that if the IRS programme is well-implemented, malaria cases in the regions can be eliminated.

    When asked whether the IRS programme is also effective in Angola, as concerns were raised in the past over that country's challenges in terms of carrying out the programme, Adesina said this is one of the issues that is being discussed at the cross-border meeting.

    He emphasised that the issues of disease surveillance and improved treatment are among the positive results of the cross-border engagements.

    However, there have also been challenges with the use of issued mosquito nets being used to fish. In April 2017, Malaria Elimination 8 (E8) ambassador Dr Richard Kamwi, told Namibian Sun that even if the health ministry distributes mosquito nets to every Namibian, if they are not using them to protect themselves against mosquitoes, then the country and E8 will not succeed in their plan to contain malaria by 2020.


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  • 05/22/19--16:00: Mexican snaps up Erindi
  • Mexican snaps up ErindiMexican snaps up Erindi A Mexican billionaire is set to become the new owner of the 71 000-hectare Erindi Private Game Reserve, subject to the approval of the Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC).

    Alberto Baillères (87), president of the multinational consortium BAL Group, is said to be a respected Mexican business leader and philanthropist.

    A press statement issued on behalf of the buyer confirmed that a sales agreement was being finalised with the owners of Erindi. The transaction is still subject to NaCC approval and certain other conditions.

    “All other governmental and regulatory approvals have been obtained and complied with in full,” says the statement.

    Baillères intends to continue Erindi's conservation activities.

    He is said to have experience in the management of wildlife protection ranches in different parts of the world. “This will bring benefits to all Namibians and the country. The number of jobs at Erindi will be preserved and within this number, new and better-remunerated opportunities will be created in the country, directly and indirectly,” the statement reads.

    According to the statement Baillères intends to upgrade Erindi to a world-class tourist attraction, and to protect its wildlife by implementing international best practices in anti-poaching and conservation initiatives. “Baillères has stressed his commitment to preserve Erindi for the benefit of future generations of Namibians and the world. The intention is to turn Erindi into a flagship private game reserve, and any future profits generated from this social enterprise will be primarily reinvested in Erindi,” said Koos Pretorius of ENSafrica, the legal counsel for the buyer.

    According to him Baillères has visited Namibia several times and admires the beauty of the country and the spirit and warmth of the Namibian people.

    “The transaction-oriented due diligence confirmed that while Erindi would not be suitable for farming or resettlement, it holds important potential as an area for wildlife conservation. The buyer's plans for Erindi will greatly benefit the tourism sector, job creation and skills development, and of course in consequence the Namibian economy.”

    Pretorius further said that Baillères had complied with each and every regulatory approval required under Namibian law.

    “The government responded professionally, efficiently and promptly, and was scrupulous throughout the process,” said Pretorius.

    He said Baillères stressed the importance of his plans for Erindi being well received by Namibians.

    “He has made it clear from the outset that he will only complete the purchase of Erindi if all legal requirements are in place and if he and the investment he intends to make are welcomed by Namibians.”

    Baillères's net worth is estimated at US$8.3 billion according to Forbes.

    Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said the government had asked Baillères about his intentions for Erindi and he promised that it would remain a game reserve.

    “We do not want Erindi to lose its conservation and game-reserve status,” said Shifeta.

    He said Baillères was involved in several other conservation areas and that reassured the government.

    Regarding Erindi being sold to a foreigner, Shifeta said: “Erindi was not in Namibian hands before. It is going from one foreigner to another. There is little we can do about this. We do not have the money and we are focusing on other priorities. All we wish now is that it remains a game reserve and that conservation programmes continue.”

    The government and Erindi's owners have been embroiled in a legal battle over the sale for several years.

    Erindi first took legal action against the lands minister in October 2016. In the initial lawsuit, it asked the court to order the land reform minister to hand over all valuation reports the minister had relied on to make an offer to buy Erindi for N$265 million.

    The company also asked the court to declare that the minister had acted in breach of his constitutional duty to act fairly, reasonably and in compliance with the law when he made the offer to buy Erindi for N$265 million. It further wanted the court to order the minister to provide the company with a letter consenting to the sale of Erindi to a non-Namibian buyer.

    In an amended application filed last June, Erindi wanted the High Court to review and set aside the minister's offer of N$265 million.

    Erindi also applied for an order declaring that there was a written agreement in which the government bought the farm for N$1.92 billion. Alternatively, it asked the court to declare that the minister had declined the company's offer to sell to the government, and that Erindi was therefore entitled to a waiver allowing it to sell the land to a private buyer.

    It further wanted the court to declare that Erindi was entitled to market and sell itself as a going concern - also to non-Namibian potential buyers.

    An out-of-court settlement of the pending High Court case was recently negotiated. The government announced last month that it was unable to buy Erindi, and that the farms constituting the game reserve were unsuitable for resettlement purposes.


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    Namibian pleads not guilty to US sex chargesNamibian pleads not guilty to US sex charges A Namibian student studying in America has pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault charges he faces, including the exploitation of a minor.

    In a separate matter, 33-year-old Jona Shitaleni Paulus has also been charged with the third-degree sexual assault of a woman, which together with the alleged sexual exploitation of a teenage girl half his age, took place over two days.

    He has also pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman.

    Paulus, who is a graduate student at Iowa State University in the United States, appeared on Tuesday in the Story County District Court for his arraignment on charges of sexually exploiting a minor and being in possession of footage of a minor involved in a sexual act.

    He pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled to begin on 9 July.

    Paulus was being held on a US$75 000 bond (about N$1 million), but Michelle Wolf, the public defender assigned to his case, requested a bond reduction hearing on Tuesday.

    His bond was reduced to US$22 000 (about N$316 000), of which US$12 000 (about N$172 000) was set for the case involving the minor and US$10 000 (about N$144 000) for the sexual assault case.

    Paulus was charged on 30 April with the sexual exploitation of a minor and being in possession of a depiction of a minor in a sex act, Iowa Courts Online records show.

    The charges stem from an interaction between Paulus and a 16-year-old girl.

    In conversations Paulus allegedly solicited naked pictures and a video of a prohibited sexual act from the girl.

    Paulus was therefore charged with a range of felonies.

    In the conversations that took place between 1 and 5 April, the minor identified herself as a 16-year-old multiple times.

    The police interviewed the girl on 30 April and she confirmed that it was her in the pictures and video sent to Paulus.

    Last month the police also charged Paulus with third-degree sexual abuse after he allegedly committed a sex act on a woman who was in his apartment at the university village complex. A separate complaint filed by the police states that Paulus held down the woman against her will early on 6 April and sexually assaulted her.

    The police said she was eventually able to push him off of her and began recording him with her cellphone as she was leaving. In the recording, she can be heard telling Paulus “I told you no”. He then replies: “I know. I know.”

    When the police interviewed Paulus three days later, he admitted sexual interactions occurred, but told the officers they were consensual. The charging documents noted that the victim had bruising on her wrist and hands. The two met on Tinder and had been talking for a couple of weeks.

    A no-contact order prevents Paulus from interacting with the woman. He has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charge. The trial in this matter is scheduled to begin on 18 June.

    Paulus is being investigated for a third sexual crime that occurred the same day of the alleged assault.


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  • 05/22/19--16:00: Govt on zula spree
  • Govt on zula spreeGovt on zula spreeWants 2% voluntary contribution from workers The dire state of the government's coffers has been revealed by ongoing consultations about a 2% one-off contribution from people's salaries. The government will soon ask public office bearers and civil servants to pay a voluntary tax that will be used to fund drought relief and support entrepreneurial activities.

    The executive director in the Office of the Prime Minister, I-Ben Nashindi, has written a letter requesting a meeting with unionists to explain the request.

    “As you may be aware, the country is faced with a number of challenges, among them the drought situation which resulted in declaration of a state of emergency by the president, thus requiring all stakeholders to play an active role in coming up with [a] solution to this challenge,” Nashindi wrote.

    The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) and the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) were encouraged to invite their affiliate unions to discuss the proposed tax.

    “Since this proposal is affecting all Namibians, the National Union of Namibian Workers is invited to bring other affiliate unions to this meeting to discuss the proposal which has been supported by cabinet for a one-off 2% voluntary contribution from the monthly basic salaries of all Namibians, including public office bearers,” Nashindi said.

    He assured the unions that the money would be used for the intended purposes.

    “The proceeds of this initiative will be ring-fenced and directed to address the plight facing our people due to the drought, and also to fund youth skills and entrepreneurship programmes,” he said.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein was unavailable for comment yesterday.

    Office of the Prime Minister spokesperson Saima Shaanika confirmed the letter, saying that it was an internal memo sent to ministerial staff.

    “President Hage Geingob has spoken about a 2% voluntary contribution in his State of the Nation address and that should be able to give you more clarity,” she said.

    Unionist Job Muniaro said he would comment after the planned meeting.

    “I am going to listen to what the prime minister is going to say regarding the voluntary deductions. We have a meeting [scheduled] for this Friday where we will ask the minister what the new tax will contain,” he said briefly.

    Academic Dr Omo Kakujaha-Matundu said it would be better to not tax citizens at all.

    “Economics teaches us that it is better to leave the money in consumers' pockets in tough economic times. Consumers are much more efficient at spending funds in an economic downturn. The best advice is to leave the money in consumers' pockets,” he said.


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    MTC kickstarts NSX listing processMTC kickstarts NSX listing process MTC issued a statement this morning saying it “has officially started its journey towards listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange”.
    MTC will be the first state-owned enterprise (SOE) to list on the NSX.
    The company said it expects to list by July next year.

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  • 05/23/19--16:00: Window of opportunity
  • Window of opportunityWindow of opportunityClub players get their chance against the Leopards The Windhoek Draught Welwitschias go into their 2019 SuperSport Rugby Challenge match against the Leopards tomorrow after suffering four losses in a row, but will be eager to blood a host of talented club players. The Windhoek Draught Welwitschias will play their fifth match in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge against the Leopards tomorrow at the Hage Geingob Stadium.

    The match is scheduled to kick off at 16:00. Prior to the match, a curtain-raiser will take place between Nust and Grootfontein Rugby Club at 12:00.

    National head coach Phil Davies and club coaches led by Johan Diergaardt have put together a squad of talented club players who will not only play this coming Saturday, but also feature in the remaining SuperSport Rugby Challenge matches.

    The rest of the players will be travelling to the World Rugby Nations Cup, where Namibia play Argentina on 4 June, and will not be available for tomorrow's match.

    According to a statement by Namibia Rugby Limited, for the past months the playing squad and management have been working together with premier league clubs, while preparing for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.

    All premiership matches have also been played with the aim of developing closer links with club players and coaches, in order to ultimately support Namibia's 2019 Japan World Cup build-up.

    “The key outcome from this working collaboration has been to build a playing and management team in order to have a smooth transition into the final two SuperSport Challenge matches, when the national team departs for the Nations Cup on 31 May.

    “As coach, my intention has consistently been to work in collaboration with club coaches and players, in order to extend the talent pool available.

    “I firmly believe that this has been a superb partnership and my sincere thanks go out to all the respective clubs for their invaluable support and contribution. The process is a great example for all within Namibian rugby; coming together in order to support the build-up to the World Cup,” Diergaardt said.

    “We look forward to further extending our pool of talent during these said final SuperSport Challenge matches and during the upcoming Nations Cup, in order to finalise and select our preliminary World Cup squad on 20 June.

    In addition, these next few weeks are a fantastic opportunity for all the players involved to stake a claim for the 50-man World Cup training squad, said Davies.

    The entrance fee for adults tomorrow is N$50 if you buy before the match and N$70 at the gate. The entrance fee for children is N$10 and N$20 at the gate. VIP suite tickets cost N$200 per person.

    Tickets are available at www.webtickets.com.na and Pick n Pay outlets.

    The squad is as follows: Nian Berg, Simon Kanime, Roderique Victor, Gerhard Thirion, Calla Freygang, Quintin Esterhuizen, Denzil van Wyk, Enzio Kotzee, Rheinhardt Carelse, Jandre Lamprecht, Peter Diergaardt, Gilad Plaatjies, Berry Gande, Driaan Vorster, Mogamat Emamdien, Stef Botha, JC Winkler, Jay-C Olivier, Henrique Olivier, Justin Nel, Hanreco van Zyl, Camlo Martin, Milaan van Wyk, Brandon Groenewald, Jamie Joseph, Russell van Wyk, Nikin Cloete, Tuna Amutenya, Mahco Prinsloo, Lorenzo Louis and Ricardo Swartz.


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  • 05/23/19--16:00: Starke boosts Afcon squad
  • Starke boosts Afcon squadStarke boosts Afcon squadGerman-based striker makes Warriors return German third-tier division striker Manfred Starke has returned to the Brave Warriors fold for Afcon 2019. German-based Manfred Starke, who plies his trade with FC Carl Zeiss Jena, has been included in the 17-man Brave Warriors squad for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) that kicks off in Egypt next month.

    Starke was the surprise package in the squad list unveiled by coach Ricardo Mannetti yesterday.

    His performances for his club, as well as the strenuous work that lies ahead for the Warriors squad, has prompted Mannetti to call on every available player to face Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa in Group D.

    Starke last played in 2013 for the senior national side and has three caps, but has been a regular starter for his German side this season, having played 34 of their 38 matches, and finding the net seven times.

    The Namibian striker is now in talks to sign for Kaiserslautern next season.

    Starke is not the only foreign-based player that boosts the Warriors squad. Ryan Nyambe, who plies his trade with Blackburn Rovers and is visiting his family in Namibia, will also feature.

    Asked how the two will gel with the other members of the squad, who have been playing together for years, and fit into his game plan, Mannetti said the two are professional players and should be able to rise to the task.

    “We will have two friendly matches before the tournament - one against Ghana and one against another country that is still to be announced - so we will test them,” said Mannetti.

    The gaffer said he will add an additional group of 11 players to the Afcon squad from the Cosafa Cup squad.

    “I don't want to call out their names now because then they will not focus on Cosafa. Some guys will not go and make the hard tackles, reserving themselves for Afcon. I don't want that. I want them to go and play their hearts out and be selected,” explained Mannetti.

    Chairperson of the Fifa normalisation committee, Hilda Basson-Namundjebo, answered questions about the uncertainty surrounding Mannetti's contract extension, saying they are in talks with the coach but cannot reveal if his contract will be extended on not.

    “Everyone is taken care of and now we want to make sure that the players, coach and technical team are unhindered as they prepare for Afcon. The main sponsors of the Brave Warriors, Tafel Lager and Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia), remain committed to providing winning bonuses and players' appearance fees,” she said.

    Namdia promised winning bonuses for the Warriors last year as an incentive for players for do well.

    The national sponsorship and events manager for Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), Daniel Keulder, thanked Mannetti for his hard work, adding that his task is not easy.

    “We are immensely proud of you. Selecting players is never easy but we are looking forward to the tournament. Tafel Lager will be the behind the Brave Warriors,” said Keulder.

    The Brave Warriors squad is as follows: Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva, Ryan Nyambe, Chris Katjiukua, Tiberius Lombard, Riaan Hanamub, Ananias Gebhardt, Benjamin Nenkavu, Denzil Haoseb, Manfred Starke, Willy Stephanus, Petrus Shitembi, Deon Hotto, Benson Shilongo, Itamunua Keimuine, Peter Shalulile and Ronald Ketjijere.


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  • 05/23/19--16:00: NPL giants face relegation
  • NPL giants face relegationNPL giants face relegation This weekend is set to be a defining moment for two of Namibia's premier league giants, Blue Waters and Civics, who are hanging on for dear life in the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL).

    Blue Waters, who face a daunting task, have won the premier league on four occasions - in 1988, 1996, 2000 and 2004.

    Civics have also been a formidable side in the past and won the league in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    Also in the mix of things in the relegation battle are Okahandja United and Young Brazilians FC.

    Blue Waters are set to battle Okahandja United and Citizens FC in their quest to push for survival.

    All these four clubs stand a chance of survival, provided they avoid dropping points.

    Civics played one of their last two remaining matches last night against Tura Magic and were on 25 points before the clash.

    Blue Waters play one of their last two matches tonight against Okahandja United, who are also seeking valuable points to survive.

    The coastal side stands on 26 points and a win for them against Okahandja United will bring them to 29 points, which could ease the pressure and place them above Okahandja United and Young Brazilians FC.

    Young Brazilians, who are 11th on the log, need at least three points from their last match of the season in order for them to have any chance of survival, provided that Civics, Okahandja United and Blue Waters fail to secure maximum points on the last day.

    Okahandja United - on the other hand - go into their last match of the season having to beat Blue Waters.

    The garden town team were in 12th position yesterday, with 28 points from 26 matches.

    It is poised to be a weekend filled with plenty of action and drama, as clubs are eager to survive and play premier league football next season.

    Orlando Pirates FC, who could play a part in Young Brazilians fate when they meet tomorrow, have already been relegated.

    Young African have also been demoted after fielding a Zimbabwean player under a false name.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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