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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 05/23/19--16:00: Geingob grills Nanso
  • Geingob grills NansoGeingob grills Nanso The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues, including that the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) is not able to assist a whopping 12 000 students that qualify for funding.

    NSFAF announced this week that out of the 15 087 students who met the minimum requirements for funding, only 2 925, which is less than 20%, will receive funds in the current academic year.

    Geingob wanted to know on Wednesday: “Are they all poor?

    “Where is the role of the parents? Are you telling me that everybody must be educated by government? Must government also pay for the rich people's children?” he asked.

    Geingob also asked whether government must pay scholarships to businesspeople's children.

    “Everything is government, government. Out of the 15 000 how many are poor?”

    He also wanted to know how many children of rich people were admitted to these tertiary institutions.

    “Some parents must pay for their children.”

    Nanso secretary-general Simon Taapopi interjected to explain that all 15 000 students who applied to NSFAF for funding were evaluated and qualified based on their academic and economic backgrounds.

    “Some of these children are children of domestic workers and security guards,” said Taapopi.

    Geingob continued questioning the economic backgrounds of the 12 000 who have been excluded from receiving NSFAF funding, despite Taapopi's explanation.

    “Are they all poor? You are giving the impression that everybody is poor. Let each give according to his ability and let government concentrate on the needy,” said Geingob.

    The student body told the president that apart from the NSFAF funding crisis there is a serious need for tertiary fees to be regulated across public and private institutions.

    The youth also raised the issue of students being blacklisted on ITC for failing to honour their loan agreements and asked that the loans be turned into grants.

    Taapopi said there is a serious need for government to look into implementing free education, as promised in the Swapo 2014 election manifesto.

    “Imagine the tuition fees for an engineering student are N$80 000 per year. By the time he is finished after five years they would have accumulated to N$500 000. Now this person is his family's only hope for an income, but instead he must pay back the student loans and cannot support his family,” Taapopi said.

    “We have resolved that the loan option should only apply to non-tuition fees and are urging government to remove interest on loans for non-tuition fees. We also call on government to ensure that no Namibian student should be blacklisted on ITC.”

    Nanso also appealed to government to include students of the College of the Arts as NSFAF beneficiaries.


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  • 05/23/19--16:00: AMTA ends Fysal agreement
  • AMTA ends Fysal agreementAMTA ends Fysal agreement60 workers to lose their jobs A controversial deal allowing a private business to trade from the government's fresh-produce hubs has been terminated. Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated.

    Fysal is the last remaining private agent to operate from AMTA's Ongwediva fresh-produce hub. The other agent vacated the premises in February after a cabinet directive.

    In February last year, AMTA entered into a public-private-partnership agreement with Fysal Fresh Produce to operate from its fresh-produce hubs nationwide, joining four other agents that were already operating at the hubs. Although Fysal was only given a one-year contract, the deal was heavily criticised in some circles. Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila visited the Ongwediva hub in September last year after receiving complaints that Fysal was sourcing produce from South Africa and trading it at the government hub..

    Critics of the deal, including the Swapo Party Youth League's regional secretary for Oshana, Twiihendeni Israel, claimed that Fysal was an established business while AMTA's hubs were established to help small-scale farmers sell their produce. Fysal Group CEO Ismael David Fysal told Namibian Sun that when they entered into the agreement in 2018, they were given a one-year contract, which could be extended depending on the performance.

    “When we were granted permission to operate from AMTA, we realised that it was an ideal place for us to do business. From AMTA we have a distribution network that supplies fruit and vegetables to all the retail shops in Ongwediva, Ondangwa and Oshikango.

    “We have 60 employees who are involved in this AMTA operation and we are going to retrench all of them at the end of this month,” said Fysal. “The business was doing very well from our AMTA operation. It was AMTA who approached us to make a joint venture to facilitate the supply of fruits and vegetables and also to assist local produce to get into the market.

    “The AMTA people said that for the past five years AMTA business was not doing well and we were assisting them to get in local produce from farmers all over Namibia, and we were also assisting them to get into the market whatever was not produced locally.” Fysal said that he did not have a problem with supplying and assisting local farmers because he has a large workforce and a well-coordinated transport system.

    “In January this year AMTA approached me to open up in Rundu as well, and we were busy preparing for the Rundu operation, but in February we were told that our agreement had come to an end and they would not renew it.

    “They gave us an extension of three months to sort out everything and retrench those people who were involved in the operation,” Fysal said. Fysal said the termination of the contract was a big loss following the closure of the group's Oshikango operation some years ago. No comment could be obtained from AMTA yesterday.

    A source privy to AMTA operation's said the decision to get rid of agents was aimed at the implementation of a cabinet decision that government agencies, offices and ministries in the regions must start procuring all their produce through AMTA.

    During the prime minister's visit last year, government departments in the regions were accused of not doing much to support AMTA.

    It was reported that government departments procured only about 5% of AMTA's produce, which was why private agents were brought in to help local farmers find a market for their produce.

    “The cabinet has issued a directive that AMTA must start supplying all the government entities in the region with fresh produce. AMTA is not allowed to engage a third party in this business and that is why they had to get rid of the agents,” the source said.

    The source said AMTA was collecting consumption information from government institutions in the region to establish a logistics and supply plan.

    As from next month, AMTA will resume full operation of the Ongwediva hub.


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  • 05/23/19--16:00: How did we get here?
  • How did we get here?How did we get here? How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as a one-off payment, ostensibly for drought-relief efforts? How did we get to a situation where we have had to go cap in hand to ask for billions in loans? How did we get to a situation where the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has now been forced to turn away 12 000 applicants who met the minimum requirements and were eligible for funding this year? How did we get to a situation where nearly half the youth are unemployed? The list of our woes is long and seemingly endless.

    The once-thriving Namibian economy, albeit still shockingly lacking value-addition to our raw materials, is now far removed from its salad days.

    It is a sad state of affairs, most importantly for Namibian families who are suffering amid one of the worst droughts in history.

    But to lay the blame at the current administration's door would be too simplistic.

    At different stages since our democracy was birthed 29 years ago, a coterie of the connected have feasted on the state largesse, as massive and often non-priority projects and initiatives ended up buying sports cars, SUVs and other luxury items for tenderpreneurs who enjoyed close proximity to political power.

    When we should have focused on industrialisation, our bones were being picked clean. When we should have invested in real job-creation, we gave tender magnates the leeway to rake in millions, without them even finishing their projects. We have allowed impunity to become our national sport, as bigwigs escape the law, while those stealing fuel are targeted by our so-called anti-corruption fighters. Our entire democracy is built on one-party domination.

    We literally believe that we can put the fox in charge of the henhouse and still find our chickens alive when we return home from our daily toils. We have been shopping at Edgars on a Pep budget for years and years.

    Our government officials have so many bodyguards and flashy cars you would think there is a sniper around every corner.

    Our state-owned enterprises have been run like there is an endless stream of gold coins being laid by a golden goose in fairy tales.

    Other countries will look at our cabinet and civil service and believe that we have 200 million people instead of 2.6 million. And while workers are now being asked to dip into their already empty pockets, our leaders clock up flying miles as if they received a memo that this will be the last year humans will be able to take to the skies.

    How did we get here? We were ferried here by those intent on vacuuming up the state's coffers, while the rest of us have been left to fend for ourselves. And now they want more of our hard-earned money. Sies man!

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    Low earners excluded from drought reliefLow earners excluded from drought relief Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants and others from the process.

    Omusati regional council chairperson Modestus Amutse said the region is still in the process of identifying and registering beneficiaries.

    Amutse said households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 do not qualify for registration.

    “We held workshops with the village headmen and drought committee on who is qualified to be registered.

    “We are not saying those that are working will not be registered, but we are saying if a household has a combined income of more than N$2 600, then such a household is able to buy a bag of maize meal, because their situation is not like those that not having an income at all,” said Amutse.

    “We need to give a chance to those that are in need, otherwise the food will not be enough and distribution will also be difficult. We are aware that there are some government officials demanding to be registered, claiming that they are also affected by the drought.”

    Oshana regional council chairperson Hanu Kapenda said those having a “high income”, must submit their applications in writing to their constituency offices.

    “There are people with a high income, but due to some circumstance, they cannot afford to feed their households, or there are some people who do not support their households. These people need to submit their applications to their councillors in writing,” Kapenda said.

    The initial due date for the identification and registrations of drought relief beneficiaries was 16 May, but only Oshikoto has finalised its process and submitted their list to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), while Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati have had to postpone their processes in order to address challenges.

    On the 10 May the OPM ordered regional council offices to facilitate the identification and registration of beneficiaries and they were given until 16 May to submit the names. Identification is being done by village headmen and drought committees established at villages.

    Ohangwena regional council chairperson Erickson Ndawanifa said when they were notified by the OPM, they were not ready to produce accurate information in one week.

    He therefore called a meeting with the regional disaster risk management committee to discuss how where they going to facilitate the identification and registration.

    “The request from the OPM was urgent and it was requesting that the identification must be done by village heads and the due date was 16 May. This is therefore a process that requires people to sit down and caucus. The communication got to us on a Friday and it got out to the people up to last Wednesday, depending on how far the constituencies are,” said Ndawanifa.

    “I realised that if we rush, as per the request, we will not be able to produce accurate data. Therefore, I first called the regional disaster risk management committee to look into the issues of how severe the region is affected by the drought and how prepared we have to be in terms of the affected people, livestock and water situation. We have to make sure that the identified people are those that are really in need and we shifted our due date to 24 May.”

    The eastern parts of the region have received a little rainfall. People grew their mahangu, but it failed to mature so it could be harvested, while in the west, people did not receive rainfall at all.

    Ndawanifa said not all households will benefit. He said some have only jobless people, while some are wealthy and others average.

    “We already have a situation where people approaching village headmen are complaining that everybody has to be registered to benefit from the drought relief, because the drought situation has affected everybody and that is why the president has declared it as a national emergency situation,” said Ndawanifa.

    Cabinet has announced that N$572.7 million is needed for a comprehensive drought relief intervention to assist drought-affected communities in communal areas.

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  • 05/23/19--16:00: 10% water hike coming
  • 10% water hike coming10% water hike comingCity pulls out all the stops Windhoek's looming water crisis has prompted a number of emergency measures by the municipality. The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July.

    The City's recently announced category D severe water scarcity demand-management plan and 15% water saving targets will come into effect at the same time.

    The proposed tariff hike, which still needs to be approved and gazetted, includes new block tariff structures that would heavily penalise households who don't comply with water saving restrictions and guidelines. Under the category D water management plan, the City aims to consume no more than 465 000 cubic metres per week, and residents play a crucial role to achieve that goal. If the proposed increases are approved, households using more than 1 000 litres per day (or more than 30 000 litres monthly) will be charged N$145.70 per thousand litres consumed. The proposed tariff's for the category D water demand management strategy was introduced by Dieter Tolke, the City of Windhoek's water demand technician on Tuesday night at a talk on the water situation in Namibia at the Scientific Society of Namibia.

    Tolke explained the 10% increase is based on the same cost increase NamWater has applied to the City. He added that the 5% “sewer tariff” is based on hidden costs related to ensuring water efficiency and cost recovery on equipment. Tolke said in line with a host of water restrictions coming into effect in July including the mandatory 15% water savings, the proposed 10% price hike represents an increase from N$21.40 to N$23.50 for household water consumption between zero to 6 000 litres per month.

    For households consuming between 6 000 and 25 000 litres per month, the tariff would increase from N$33.20 per 1 000 litres to N$36.43 per 1 000 litres.

    The current category C block tariffs charge households using between 6 000 to 25 000 litres per month, N$33.20 per 1 000 litres.

    Households using between 25 000 and 30 000 per month will be charged double, forking out N$72.85 per 1 000 litres of water consumed.

    The current category C block tariffs charge households using between 25 000 to 40 000 litres per month N$61 per 1 000 litres.

    Households consuming more than 1 001 litres per day, or more than 30 000 litres per month, will be charged N$145.70 per 1 000 litres (one cubic metre or one kilolitre equates to 1 000 litres).

    Manage demand

    Tolke told the audience at Tuesday night's talk the goal should not be to use no more than 25 kilolitres per month, but to keep consumption as low as possible.

    He urged residents to ensure they check their water consumption on a weekly basis, to ensure not only that they achieve the 15% water savings target, but to also be able to quickly spot water leakages.

    As of 1 July, the City of Windhoek will no longer provide rebates for water leaks, he underlined, as part of the category D restrictions.

    He said the City recommends each person in a household use no more than 90 litres per person per day, which would mean a household of four persons would consume around 10 800 litres per month, and a household of six persons would consume no more than 16 200 litres per month.

    Another demand management strategy the municipality is aiming to implement is to again introduce a water-marshal programme.

    Tolke explained this programme will rely on volunteer water marshals from private and public companies and institutions.

    Marshals will be tasked with taking twice-daily water consumption readings, inspect for leaks and isolate those leaks. The water marshal system will be backed by three ministries, and will empower marshals to shut off water supply under certain conditions.

    Water supply can only be reinstated with the signatures from the three ministers involved, Tolke said.

    The programme is still being developed but will be introduced in due time.

    Among the challenges faced by the City of Windhoek currently are the around 300 reported pipe bursts per month, mainly due to aging and poorly constructed pipelines, Tolke said. The City has made more than N$10 million available to replace problematic sections but he says the team managing these issues faces an uphill battle and severe challenges.

    He added that the municipality is required to deal with around 1 500 sewer blockages each month, mainly due to inappropriate behaviour from residents clogging the systems with items such as eating utensils, fat deposits, waste and other items.

    He said the aging infrastructure and poorly constructed infrastructure as well as capacity constraints remain major challenges.


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    Air Namibia abandons Lagos-Accra routeAir Namibia abandons Lagos-Accra route
    In a statement issued this morning, Air Namibia announced that it, with immediate effect, has suspended its Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route. The route, which was launched at the end of June last year, “started off very well” Air Namibia said. It added that there was a high number of passengers and revenue was good.
    “During February 2019, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia banned the issuing of visas to Namibian passport holders. In addition, there are messages circulating in Nigeria about Namibia being “anti-Nigeria”, with travellers being urged to avoid visiting Namibia, as well as avoid using Windhoek as a transit point when travelling to South Africa,” the airline said.
    According to Wimpie van Vuuren, the acting general manager of commercial services said that the ban on issuing visas to Namibians “can be linked to allegations that Nigerians are normally ill-treated by Namibian border control officials at Hosea Kutako International Airport when arriving or transiting through Windhoek.”
    The airline said that it had consulted various stakeholders to mitigate the diplomatic standoff, but all efforts proved futile.
    “The load factor performance of the route dropped from average 55% attained during June 2018 to January 2019, to between 35% and 38% during February to April 2019.”
    The airline has opted to suspend this route for an indefinite period.
    All affected passengers will be assisted by accommodating them on flights operated by partner airlines at Air Namibia’s cost, or they will be refunded if they opt not to fly anymore.”

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    Banning imports not so simpleBanning imports not so simple We laud the instruction by finance minister Calle Schlettwein that public entities may only procure locally and that this must include production north of the red line for consumers north of the red line. The announcement, although 29 years late, is good news.

    Gone, finally, will be the days of Nestle mineral water in parliament and other government institutions.

    The directive is much like capital projects where the state ploughs tax dollars back into the local economy. And yes, it will provide a much-needed injection into our stagnating economy and will certainly provide incentive to invest into businesses, especially knowing that there are lucrative orders coming from government.

    One can imagine the impact of a local order of consumables by the health or education ministries, for example.

    However, we agree with experts that unless there is support to local small businesses from government, this may backfire on us.

    Are we sure that we are able to substitute imports with local products? Are our production levels, not forgetting levels of quality, good enough to supply the demand? And probably most importantly, are our skills levels at the standard to manufacture and supply?

    Possibly not.

    And then, what of the Namibian Defence Force? Their procurement is a private matter altogether not even having to declare their chicken imports? A matter of security, we are told. And it is the ministry that receives one of the biggest budgets annually. Will they procure locally too?

    And then of course, the piece de resistance… what of construction? While Schlettwein explained that there were no local bidders for the Swapo headquarters, it is a tad ironic that on the day he bans all imports, the news breaks that the party's headquarters will be constructed by a Chinese firm.

    China has made millions, if not billions, off our construction in our little corner of the world and Namibian companies have seen very little of that. We are hoping to see this change under the new directive.

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    Desperate cattle flood OhangwenaDesperate cattle flood Ohangwena The Ohangwena Regional Council is concerned about environmental damage as large numbers of livestock enter the region from as far as Kaokoland and other areas seeking better pastures.

    Council chairperson Erickson Ndawanifa says many farmers are driving their livestock into Ohangwena in the hope of surviving the drought.

    “Every day we are getting a large number of cattle flocking in from other areas, as far as Okangwati in the Kunene Region, Oshana, Omusati and Oshikoto. The side of Okongo has become the recipient of all these livestock. We are now experiencing challenges of managing grazing and infrastructure,” Ndawanifa says.

    “Boreholes are getting damaged due to the added pressure and we also expect a high risk of environmental degradation and erosion because of exceeding the carrying capacity.”

    Ndawanifa says some people have driven their livestock into Angola and the Kavango regions, but there are still too many cattle in Ohangwena.

    The cattle are now competing for the available water and sometimes go days without drinking.

    “We have requested the government to assist us with drought-relief money to drill additional boreholes so that we can assist farmers to get through the drought. It is not that there is enough grass in the region, but only bushes and shrubs which farmers feel will help their livestock.

    “There are some boreholes that were drilled but are not used because of salty water. I think these boreholes can still be used for animals during this drought,” Ndawanifa says.

    The government has allocated N$572.7 million to drought relief in communal areas. The money is earmarked for food assistance, water tanks, livestock management incentives, livestock transport subsidies to and from grazing areas, transport of fodder, lease of grazing areas, subsidies for crop farmers, lick supplements and fodder subsidies.

    This will be done on the condition that farmers bring down their herds to 25 cows and one bull per farmer.

    Ndawanifa says the region has mandated the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) to register livestock owners for the drought assistance programme.

    The problem is that cattle flocking in from other regions are making the identification process difficult.

    The Omusati Regional Council chairperson, Modestus Amutse, says the regional government is urging farmers to sell their livestock.

    “We have an operational abattoir in the region. We are therefore advising farmers to reduce their livestock by selling some of them to the abattoir. We have already engaged with the abattoir management to fast-track the process for farmers who want to sell,” Amutse says.

    “The issue at hand is just the market that we are currently busy sorting out to ensure that the abattoir is empowered to assist farmers.”

    Amutse calls on farmers not to panic, but to do all they can to survive the drought.

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    Haikali files suit against business partnersHaikali files suit against business partnersAlleges Safland money is being siphoned off The co-owner of Safland Property Services Namibia wants the High Court to freeze the company's accounts. Businessman Ranga Haikali has brought an urgent High Court application against Safland Property Services Namibia.

    In his documents, he asks the court to instruct the deputy sheriff to attach all monies held in the company's First National Bank account until the finalisation of another matter he has against the company in the High Court.

    In that matter Haikali asks the High Court to relieve him from “oppressive and unfairly prejudicial conduct of the trustees of the Matador Trust and in the alternative, the winding up of the company”.

    The other respondents include Safland International, First National Bank Namibia, Karel van der Merwe, Jeremy Rossouw and Marinda van der Merwe. Haikali is a 50% shareholder of Safland Property Services Namibia.

    The Matador Trust holds the other 50%. Karel van der Merwe is a director at Safland Namibia and a trustee of the trust, while Rossouw and Marinda van der Merwe are trustees of the trust.

    Haikali alleges that his counterparts in the company, South African shareholders, have been siphoning off funds from the company and transferring these to Safland International.

    In his papers before the court on Friday, Haikali writes that the other matter “is directly relevant to the merits of this application”.

    Essentially, Haikali seeks the court to either attach the company account or to halt any payments made unless expressly approved by him in writing. He also asked for the attachment of N$13 134 635 held in Safland International's bank account. Safland Namibia, he says, specialises in property management and development in the country, adding that its main business involves managing the portfolio of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), holding a small share, 1%, as an investor participant in that portfolio which is worth around N$1 billion.

    Moreover, Safland is also the exclusive appointed fund manager for Frontier Property Trust (FPT).

    “Through its trustees, the FPT manages, administers and controls the fund, being the aggregate of all portfolio investments and other assets held on behalf of investor participants. GIPF and Safland are the only investor participants in FPT” to date, Haikali writes.

    At the outset in 2008, Haikali held 51% shares while Safland International held the remaining 49%. In 2010, Van der Merwe was appointed director for the Namibian company and Haikali tells the court that their business relationship was good and the company affairs were always agreed upon by mutual discussion. Haikali was chair of the board and a non-executive director.

    “The trust and confidence we had in each other, in my view at the time, made it unnecessary to formally discuss and conclude a shareholders' agreement.”

    During 2015, he says it came to his attention that various expenditures had been incurred without the board's approval. A court matter was launched and although settled, the agreement never came to fruition Haikali says because the process of the valuation of his shares was frustrated to such a degree that the auditors tasked with completing the process resigned.

    He and Van der Merwe then began to rebuild their relationship and he said he “agreed to dispose of the majority shareholding in Safland in order to establish an equal shareholding on the basis of company dealings”.

    “It was always my understanding that Van der Merwe would never use his position to commit or participate in any prejudicial, unjust or inequitable conduct aimed at me or to the detriment of the company, nor that he would take unfair advantage of the equal shareholding.”

    He says both Van der Merwe and Rossouw “unscrupulously took advantage of the situation” that he could no longer veto decisions or remove any director.

    Any suggestion he made or wish he had he says were opposed or simply outvoted and he says he was sidelined.

    Several correspondences in this regard were attached to the filed documents in the court. Haikali said he had formally asked the auditors for account information, employee costs and management fees after he had discovered payments made to unrelated entities including the Nguni Property Fund and moreover, that funds due to the company were being used to pay salaries of employees at Safland International.

    He eventually received the company's bank statements which were delivered to his counsel's offices on 9 April. It was here, he says, he discovered payments of N$13 134 635 made by Safland Namibia to Safland International.

    These amounts, he says, were “unlawfully” paid to the company.

    “It is also of significance that in as far as I could establish, both Karel and Marinda van der Merwe are shareholders and directors of Safland International.”

    Moreover, he says that Karel van der Merwe and Rossouw are signatories on the bank accounts of both Safland Namibia and Safland International.

    Following several enquiries, Haikali says he received no response and said that it has become clear to him that the “funds to the credit of Safland Namibia at Safland International may be quickly depleted by Van der Merwe and Rossouw” to the detriment of Safland Namibia and himself.

    “It is also clear to me that Van der Merwe has something to hide as such disclosure (account information) would result in the inescapable conclusion that he has been guilty of serious misappropriation of monies belonging to Safland (Namibia), as well as unauthorised transactions so perpetrated which may amount to a breach of his fiduciary duties towards the company.

    “It is also evident from the aforesaid that Van der Merwe has been treating the company's property and funds as his own and that he is doing everything within his power to deny me my rights as shareholder, both in respect of being able to know what is happening in the company as well as to be able to determine the true value of the company as such.”

    On Friday, before Judge Thomas Masuku, the parties agreed to settle the matter and in a bid to reach a settlement, the matter was postponed to Wednesday of this week.

    Maren de Klerk of De Klerk, Horn and Coetzee appears for Haikali while Stephen Vlieghe of Koep and Partners appears for the respondents.


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    Search for oil and gas resumesSearch for oil and gas resumes A British and Canadian company, Reconnaissance Oil and Gas, has applied for an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) to drill for oil and gas on state land in the communal areas of Kavango West and Kavango East.

    Written comments on this application must be submitted before 30 May to the environmental consultant on the project, Risk-Based Solutions.

    The final environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management plan (EMP) will be submitted to the ministry of environment and tourism on 31 May. Once the ECC and other permits – like freshwater and wastewater permits, explosives import permits and radiation sources permits – have been issued, drilling will start. The proposed drilling is to start in November and December.

    Two of the wells planned in Kavango West are just north of the Siyesu and the Ngcasawa areas; the one planned for Kavango East is around the Kawe area along the D3400 road.

    It the ECC is granted, test wells will be drilled to depths of between 2.5 and 3.5 kilometres. The environmental consultant on the project, Risk-Based Solutions, which has recommended that an ECC be issued to the company, said in the event of discovery of an active petroleum system, the socio-economic landscape of the two Kavango regions and Namibia as a whole will be “immensely and positively transformed for the benefit of all Namibians”.

    PEL No 73

    Reconnaissance Energy Namibia, the Namibian-registered subsidiary of Reconnaissance Oil & Gas, holds petroleum exploration licence (PEL) No 73, which covers blocks 1719, 1720, 1721, 1819, 1820, and 1821 in the Etosha Basin, which forms part of the greater Kalahari Basin.

    The two drilling areas fall within the boundaries of the Mbunza and Sambyu traditional authorities, and according to Risk-Based Solutions, these areas are situated in remote and sparsely populated areas.

    The proposed drilling is to establish the possibility of the Etosha Basin's potential for economically viable hydrocarbon (oil and gas) reserves.

    Water needed for the drilling project will be drawn from groundwater sources that are recharged by the Omatako ephemeral river channel.

    Risk-Based Solutions indicated that the drill locations are accessible and no large trees will be cut down in the process.

    Once the drilling is complete (anticipated to take between 20 and 30 days per well), the affected areas will be reclaimed to minimise surface disturbance.

    By 2016 the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) listed 43 companies holding on- and offshore petroleum exploration licences (PELs).

    According to that information (Transparencyoil.org) Reconnaissance Oil & Gas owns 90% of the licence; Namcor holds the remaining 10%.

    Offshore search

    The ministry of mines and energy and Namcor have also signed an agreement with another UK-based company, GeoPartners UK, for the acquisition of widely spaced regional mapping of the Aptian Source Kitchen (ASK) Namibia 2019 2D offshore seismic survey.

    The survey covers the Walvis Basin (in the central offshore area) and the Namibe Basin (offshore close to the Angolan border).

    Offshore seismic surveys in Namibia started as early as 1968, but Risk-Based Solutions said a lot more needs to be done to have a full understanding of the petroleum systems offshore.

    The ultimate aim is to identify potential drill-ready subsurface geological structures called reservoirs that could contain hydrocarbons.

    The Nordic Explorer will be used as the vessel from which the survey is to be conducted.


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    Caster Semenya dominates RasaCaster Semenya dominates RasaMashaya reigns supreme Athletes and journalists walked away with prizes at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 awards at the weekend. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

    South Africa's 800-metre sensation Caster Semenya was the big winner of the night as she scooped sportswoman and sportsperson of the year awards at the Regional Annual Sports Awards (RASA).

    The ceremony was held in Windhoek for the first time.

    Semenya won the sportswoman of the year award ahead of Malawi's boxing champion Anisha Basheel and athletics star Lerato.

    Semenya was also chosen as the sportsperson of the year ahead of Kubudo martial arts star Wilfred Mashaya of Zimbabwe and Anisha Basheel.

    Wilfred Mashaya won the sportsman of the year award ahead of South African swimmer Chad le Clos and Botswana athlete Isaac Makwala.

    Two Namibians, sports writer Limba Mupetami and para-athlete Ananias Shikongo, fell short of winning despite their hard work throughout 2018.

    Namibia's minister of sport, Erastus Uutoni, delivered the keynote address.

    “It has been a pleasure to host this event in our country and I would like to use this opportunity to inform you that we have come up with initiatives such as a Sports Expo which will take place in September.

    “I would also like to congratulate all the winners and nominees of these auspicious awards,” Uutoni said. African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 chairperson Vetumbuavi Veii also praised everyone that made the event possible.

    Detailed list of the nominees and winners:

    The list of final nominees was as follows:

    Coach of the year

    Gilbert Nyamutsamba: Rugby sevens (Zimbabwe) (Winner)

    Samuel Sepeng: Athletics (South Africa)

    Christina Mkwanda-Msinji: Netball (Malawi national under-20 team)

    Journalist of the year

    Tinashe Tirivavi: The Mirror (Zimbabwe) (Winner)

    Motshidisi Mohono: (South Africa)

    Limba Mupetami: Namibian Sun (Namibia)

    Junior female sportsperson of the year

    Moneyi Chingaipe: Athletics (Malawi) (Winner)

    Lorryn Ashley Bass: Rowing (Zimbabwe)

    Manqabang Tsibela: Athletics (Lesotho)

    Junior male sportsperson of the year

    Kennedy Luchembe: Athletics (Zambia) (Winner)

    Blessings Kamanga: Chess (Malawi)

    Ryan Gwidzima: Squash (Zimbabwe)

    Sports team of the year

    National relay athletics team: (Botswana)

    Banyana Banyana: (South Africa) (Winner)

    Netball (Malawi)

    Sportsman of the year

    Isaac Makwala: Athletics (Botswana)

    Wilfred Mashaya: Kubudo martial arts (Zimbabwe) (Winner)

    Chad Le Clos: Swimming (South Africa)

    Sportsman of the year with a disability

    Ndodanzi Jonathan Ntutu: Athletics T12 (South Africa) (Winner)

    Celestino Elias Antonio: Football (Angola)

    Ananias Shikongo: Athletics T11 (Namibia)

    Sportswoman of the year

    Anisha Basheel: Boxing (Malawi)

    Caster Semenya: Athletics (South Africa) (Winner)

    Lerato Sechele: Athletics (Lesotho)

    Sportswoman of the year with a disability

    Margaret Bangajena: Wheelchair racing (Zimbabwe)

    Monica Munga: Athletics (Zambia)

    Anrune Liebenberg: Athletics T47 (South Africa) (Winner)

    Sportsperson of the year

    Wilfred Mashaya: Kubudo martial arts (Zimbabwe)

    Anisha Basheel: Boxing (Malawi)

    Caster Semenya: Athletics (South Africa) (Winner)

    Region 5 country of the year


    Confederation of the year

    CANA Zone IV

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  • 05/26/19--16:00: The fall of a dynasty
  • The fall of a dynastyThe fall of a dynasty JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

    The journey of one of Namibia's biggest premier league sides, Civics FC, came to an end after being relegated from the league on Saturday.

    Civics went into their final match of the season needing a victory and hoping that the premier league clubs above them would lose.

    They did everything right by winning their last match 4-2 against Life Fighters but it was not enough, as Young Brazilians, who were above them, salvaged a vital point against Orlando Pirates.

    Civics finished 14th with 28 points, Orlando Pirates 15th with 23 points, and Young African 16th (demoted). Young Brazilians finished above Civics with 29 points.

    Okahandja United grabbed a vital point against Eleven Arrows to secure their safety in the premier league.

    Civics Football Club was founded in 1983 by a group of students who initially named the team after a local street – Bethlehem Boys.

    The club later became the Mighty Civilians before being recast again as Civics.

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

    The Civilians won the NFA Cup in 2003 and 2008 and also participated in the Caf Champions League on three occasions, in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

    It has been inevitable that the Khomasdal boys were heading south given their below-standard performances in the league for the past couple of years.

    “It is the saddest day of my life as I just watched my favourite team get relegated.

    “I have never felt this way in my life and it is indeed a sad moment that we have to be relegated in this way.

    “I do hope that we will be able to make a comeback to the league in the future,” distraught Civics fan Michael van Wyk said.

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    Swapo councillor killed in crashSwapo councillor killed in crash The ruling party has lost one of its councillors, Samson Nghilumbwa, who died this morning in a car accident in the Erongo Region. Nghilumbwa died after the car he was travelling in collided with a truck on the Arandis-Swakopmund road. The deceased is also a former chairperson of the management committee and active member of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL).

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     Councillor Kuushomwa passes on Councillor Kuushomwa passes on
    Oshakati East constituency councillor Lot Kuushomwa has passed on, Oshana governor Elia Irimari has confirmed. The Swapo councillor died in Windhoek this morning after he reportedly collapsed.

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    Geingob mourns Nghilumbwa, Kuushomwa Geingob mourns Nghilumbwa, Kuushomwa President Hage Geingob has expressed his grief and sorrow over the deaths of Walvis Bay municipal councillor Samson Nghilumbwa (35) and Oshakati East constituency councillor Lotto Kuushomwa (59). Nghilumbwa died in a car crash this morning, while Kuushomwa passed on in a local hospital today. “It is tragic for the nation to experience the passing of two dedicated community leaders in one day,” said Geingob. “As a country in mourning of a stalwart of our liberation struggle and former Vice President, Cde Nickey Iyambo, I recognise during this difficult hour the contributions of a freedom fighter, Councillor Kuushomwa and Councillor Ndishoshili Nghilumbwa in building a better Namibian house. I wish to express my sincere condolences to the wives, family, children, comrades, colleagues and friends. May their souls Rest in Peace.”

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  • 05/27/19--16:00: Nakathila calls out Herring
  • Nakathila calls out HerringNakathila calls out Herring World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa champion Jeremiah 'Low-Key' Nakathila says he is ready to dethrone Jamel Herring as WBO junior lightweight world champion.

    Herring pulled off a huge upset when he beat Masayuki Ito in ESPN's main event to capture his first world title on Saturday.

    Herring (20-2, 10 KOs) put up an impressive boxing performance, picking off Ito (25-2-1, 13 KOs) at range, and at the end of 12 rounds he claimed a unanimous decision via two scores of 118-110 and one of 116-112.

    Nakathila, who is currently rated number two by the WBO, recently defeated WBO number 15 Zoltan Kovac from Hungary with an impressive knockout victory.

    Promoter Nestor Tobias said his boxer is a serious contender because he possesses impressive speed and power.

    Tobias, who has produced many world champions out of a population of just 2.6 million Namibians, says he knows his man is ready.

    “Nakathila has a big heart and he will not only defeat Herring to become the new champion, but he also has the ability to defend his title at least three times.

    “I have produced many world champions before and I can tell you this boy is the real deal,” Tobias said.

    The promoter also noted he is well-aware of Herring's emotional story and past.

    He, however, believes it is time that the man from the United States Marine Corps faces his boxer, who is a Namibian policeman.

    “I can tell you now this is a fight that the world will forever remember. We know that Lamont Roach Jr is currently rated number one by the WBO, but Nakathila has been rated in the top five almost all year,” Tobias said.

    Nakathila's camp feels that Roach Jr is no match for their boxer, because he lacks experience.

    “At this level, it will make sense for the WBO to match Herring and Nakathila for a real exciting fight,” Tobias said.

    Nakathila serves as a dedicated member of the Namibian Police Force and boasts an impressive record of 19 fights with only one loss.

    Nakathila said he was impressed with the way underdog Herring took the title in the most unlikely fashion.

    “Let me firstly congratulate Jamel Herring for an impressive victory. He went in as a relatively unknown underdog. He was not rated in the WBO before and shocked the world by dethroning Ito.

    “He must now fight me before he can fight anybody else. I earned my right to fight the champion and I hope the WBO will order this fight,” Nakathila said.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 05/27/19--16:00: Warriors ready for Malawi
  • Warriors ready for MalawiWarriors ready for MalawiBenjamin to make one or two changes Brave Warriors Cosafa Cup coach Colin Benjamin has revealed he will make one or two changes to his side that will face Malawi in their second match this afternoon. Namibia's strength in the 2019 Cosafa Cup tournament will be tested today when they battle Malawi in their second match of the competition.

    The match will be played at the King Zwelithini Stadium at 17:30 in South Africa.

    Cosafa Cup coach Colin Benjamin has admitted that Malawi will provide Namibia with a big test, given that they are currently topping the group.

    “Malawi are top now after their three-goal win (against Seychelles) and we will plan accordingly and try our best to get a good result.

    “We have young players who need to play more and this game is very important for them to come to the party.

    “We will surely make one or two changes to give the youngsters a chance to shine,” Benjamin said.

    It is not clear who the coach is likely to drop from the first 11 that started on Sunday, but Aubrey Amseb could be one of the players making way, based on his below-par performance in the opening match.

    The 2015 Cosafa champions go into the Malawi clash oozing confidence, following their 2-1 victory over Mozambique in their opening match of the competition.

    Malawi also a team full off confidence and will probably be Namibia's toughest opponents in the group, based on their performance against Seychelles.

    The Malawians pulled off a convincing 3-0 victory to make their tournament aspirations crystal clear. Namibia and Malawi sit at the top of Group B, with Malawi having the better goal difference.

    Both Mozambique and Seychelles are on zero points.

    A win for Namibia against Malawi will all but guarantee them a place in the quarterfinals of the competition. Malawi could also cement their place if they manage to beat Namibia today.

    It is a match poised to produce some heroic performances from both sets of players.

    Namibia will be hoping that their midfield maestro Marcel Papama will be instrumental once again, as he was in their first match against Mozambique.

    Midfielder Wesley Katjiteo also showed glimpses of maturity after taking control of the midfield and the country will need him to be at his best.

    Namibia will go in the match not lacking any firepower upfront, as the likes of Absalom Iimbondi and Joslin Kamatuka, who have already registered their names on the scoresheet, are hungry for more goals. It is no secret that Namibia's defence showed signs of disorganisation at times and they will need to fix that if they want to avoid conceding a goal against the free-scoring Malawi side.

    Namibia will play their final match of the group against Seychelles on Thursday at the Princess Magogo Stadium, while Mozambique and Malawi square off on the same day.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 05/27/19--16:00: Blitzboks struggle in London
  • Blitzboks struggle in LondonBlitzboks struggle in London There was disappointment and tempered elation in the Springbok Sevens camp in London.

    The team lost both their matches but still did enough to secure automatic qualification to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, thereby ticking an important box for the 2018/19 season.

    The defeats to Australia, in the cup quarterfinal, and New Zealand, meant the Blitzboks finished the London Sevens in a disappointing joint-seventh place, but they secured the fourth spot in the 2018/19 World Rugby Sevens Series after England faltered in their home tournament.

    The top four teams in the World Series were guaranteed automatic passage to the Olympic Games in the Japanese capital in 2020, and the United States, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa have booked those slots after the weekend's action.

    Although they struggled in London, finishing in the top four was a highlight for Blitzboks coach Neil Powell, who was disappointed following the cup quarterfinal defeat by 22-29 against Australia. In their second match of the day, New Zealand won by 21-17 after the Blitzboks conceded a try after the final hooter.

    “One of our main aims at the start of the season was to make sure we qualify in the top four, in order to get that automatic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Powell.

    “We ticked that box and we are grateful and pleased with that. It does ease the disappointment of our performances here on the second day a bit. Our match against Australia was probably our worst all season, as we simply didn't play near to what we are capable of and supposed to.”

    The Australians, who later contested the cup final against Fiji, scored tries in quick succession in the first and second halves, leaving South Africa to play catch-up rugby.

    “Maybe we had it too easy on the first day,” lamented Powell.

    “The younger players need to learn that you cannot bank on good performances on day one and then not show up the next day. We were just not good enough in that match and that was very disappointing.”

    Powell was pleased with the effort against New Zealand though. “At least we showed some effort in that match and I will never fault that. The result was unfortunate, but we showed some urgency in the match.”

    The London Sevens was won by Fiji.

    Next weekend, the World Series will conclude in Paris, where the Blitzboks will be defending their title.


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  • 05/27/19--16:00: Tendulkar unfazed
  • Tendulkar unfazedTendulkar unfazedIndia thrashed before World Cup New Zealand thrashed India, one of the World Cup favourites, by six wickets at the Oval on Sunday. India must not press the panic button despite losing badly to New Zealand in their first warm-up game for the World Cup, the country's batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has said.

    India's batsmen were “blown away” on the green wicket, the Hindustan Times said, sounding the alarm for their World Cup hopes. But Tendulkar called for calm.

    “I will not judge the team after each and every game. It's a tournament and things like these will happen,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency. “The main tournament has not even started yet. I think, we need to settle down, one or two games may go here and there.

    “India should make the most of the practice matches,” added Tendulkar, the highest scorer in Test and one-day cricket.

    “They should understand what kind of surfaces they might get. I won't panic at all as of now.”

    New Zealand begin their World Cup against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on 1 June, while India face South Africa in Southampton on 5 June.

    Tendulkar also said teams use warm-up games to try different players, which was another reason not to read too much into the results. “Teams are trying different combinations,” he said. “Almost all the teams are not sure about their frontline playing 11. Several bowlers and batsmen are rested,” he said.

    “All the teams are preparing and trying different combinations in those conditions, which would work for them,” said the former opener, who played in six World Cups.


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    Man United Legends thrash BayernMan United Legends thrash Bayern Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tormented Bayern Munich once again as the Manchester United manager scored in his club's 1999 treble winners' reunion on Sunday.

    Twenty years after Solskjaer scored the last-gasp winner that helped Alex Ferguson's side beat Bayern in the Champions League final, the current United boss joined his old teammates for a charity match against the Germans at Old Trafford.

    Solskjaer again started on the bench, as he did in the Camp Nou final, but he wasted little time after coming on for Andy Cole, turning home the opener after Dwight Yorke was denied.

    With Ferguson back in the dugout as manager for the day, there was a feel-good factor in the air at Old Trafford for United's 5-0 win after a troubled season for the current generation. It was the first time Ferguson, 77, had managed a United team since his retirement in 2013. He sat with ex-England boss Steve McClaren, his assistant 20 years ago.

    The reunion match, in aid of the Manchester United Foundation, was also the first time Ferguson had been on the pitch since undergoing major surgery after suffering a brain haemorrhage last May.

    Rolling back the years, David Beckham was firing cross-field balls, Jaap Stam showed no mercy at the back and Paul Scholes bossed the midfield.

    They faced a star-studded Bayern squad that included Lothar Matthäus, Stefan Effenberg, Sammy Kuffour and Carsten Jancker from the 1999 starting line-up, as well as former Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis.

    Solskjaer went off midway through the first half and skipper Peter Schmeichel followed suit shortly after Dwight Yorke scored a superb second for United Legends. Thanks to their two late goals against Bayern, United remain the only English club to win a treble made up of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in one season.

    As the latest man charged with trying to engineer a return to those glory days he was such an integral part in, Solskjaer's efforts were greeted with enthusiasm by a crowd in excess of 60 000.

    Popular as he is, the reception for Solskjaer was eclipsed by the one afforded to Beckham.

    The former England skipper, 44, sold to Real Madrid in 2003 after a fallout with Ferguson, got a standing ovation every time he went to take a corner. Changes aplenty punctuated the second half rather than goals, with Stam, Scholes and Denis Irwin among those replaced to rapturous applause.

    Nicky Butt netted United's third of the afternoon 11 minutes from time, as he coolly stabbed home a Louis Saha cross.

    Saha, one of the handful of non-treble winners playing for United, slotted home the fourth in the 85th minute, as he turned home a Jonathan Greening cross.

    In a fitting finale, Beckham got behind the Bayern backline and showed quick feet, before firing home in front of the Stretford End, leaving Ferguson wreathed in smiles and the crowd on their feet in delight.


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