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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Taxpayers incentivised to e-fileTaxpayers incentivised to e-filePenalties to be waived if they register The incentive programme, which includes the waiving of penalties charged on tax accounts, covers the period since the launch of ITAS in January, until 30 June 2020. The finance ministry will waive all outstanding taxes for taxpayers who register on the newly introduced Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), which became operational in January. This system replaced the old method of manually filling in tax returns and dropping off these documents at Inland Revenue. “The overall objective of ITAS is to improve service delivery to taxpayers. The system provides many online benefits such as 24/7 real-time access to a taxpayer tax account, a taxpayer self-service facility, online filing of tax returns, a single-view of a taxpayer's account and, accelerated processing of tax forms with real-time notification on outcomes,” the ministry said.

    The ministry's aim is to reach a target of 90% of the taxpayer population being registered as e-filers by June 2020. It would also like to see a shift from manual interaction between Inland Revenue and taxpayers to the continuous use of the online platform.

    Reaching this target was necessary because the ministry may in future require taxpayers to file all tax returns electronically, without a manual filing option.

    “Against, this background, the ministry is introducing an incentive programme in order to encourage taxpayers not only to register as e-filers, but also to continually use the online service,” the ministry said.

    Taxpayers are therefore informed that the ministry is offering an incentive in the form of waiving penalties charged on tax accounts.

    The incentive programme covers the period since the launch of ITAS until 30 June 2020.

    “Taxpayers who have already registered as e-filers since the launch of ITAS also benefit from this incentive. Penalties for those without outstanding returns will be waived automatically, while those with outstanding returns must first electronically file them in order to qualify for the penalty waiver,” it said.

    Updating tax accounts and the filing of tax returns through the ITAS portal expedites the processing of tax returns and taxpayer audits, thereby preventing delays in tax assessments and refunds. It also complements the ministry in its efforts to eliminate current and prevent future backlogs in respect of unprocessed tax returns.

    “Taxpayers are therefore invited and urged to make use of this opportunity as soon as possible and are urged to contact the nearest tax office for assistance,” the ministry added.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/03/19--14:00: Miller, Vorster impress
  • Miller, Vorster impressMiller, Vorster impressMTB Marathon Series rocks The scorching heat of Gobabis did not deter MTB competitors, who impressed during the competition. The seventh and final race of the 2019 Gravel and Dirt MTB Marathon Series took place in the blistering heat in and around Gobabis, ensuring tough riding conditions for the 120 participants.

    Familiar faces such as Michelle Vorster, Drikus Coetzee and Xavier Papo were all contending for the grand title of series winners in their respective categories.

    It was evident from the start that Alex Miller, who over the last couple of months has shown incredible skill and pace, was determined to challenge the likes of Papo and Coetzee.

    Miller did more than just challenge, as he rode a phenomenal race, taking first place in the 70km elite men's category with a time of 02:18:25, a full 12 minutes ahead of his nearest rival Coetzee in second with a time of 02:30:03.

    Papo who, rode with an injury to his knee, put up a good fight and finished in third with a time of 02:30:20

    In the 70km elite women's category, Vorster showed her dominance with an amazing time of 02:30:34.

    She was followed home by Lelani Swart in second with a time of 03:01:15 and Marietjie de Chavonnes Vrugt in third place in a time of 03:53:45.

    “Over the last couple of months, we have seen some amazing performances from some incredibly talented riders.

    “From Swakopmund to Outjo, from the X-Ride to the Eagle Ride, this year's Gravel and Dirt MTB Marathon Series has risen to become one of Namibia's favourite events for local MTB riders,” organisers said.

    They also hailed sponsors Hollard, Cymot, E-Med 24, Windhoek Light, Food Lovers Market, Candor Namibia and Isuzu.

    “Events such as these cater for and ensure that Namibian MTB riders have a platform to grow their skills, enabling our riders to compete on international platforms, and for that, we are proud.”

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 11/03/19--14:00: New era for WP Rugby
  • New era for WP RugbyNew era for WP Rugby The City of Cape Town has approved a binding heads of agreement between itself, the Cape Town Stadium and Western Province Rugby, which will make the rugby union the primary anchor tenant at the stadium from 1 February 2021, in a deal that potentially spans the next 99 years.

    The parties have agreed on a mutually beneficial revenue sharing model whereby Western Province Rugby will have preferential access to play all senior professional rugby matches at the Cape Town Stadium.

    The city will retain responsibility for repairs and maintenance and the operational costs of the stadium. It will remain a multipurpose entity, with Western Province Rugby leasing it for matches.

    The parties have also agreed to the construction of additional suites at the Cape Town Stadium.

    This agreement does not affect continued guaranteed community access to the stadium and it remains a host for all sporting codes and events.

    Following an extensive due diligence process and the ratification of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) general council, the heads of agreement were approved.

    Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks said that while it is rewarding to reach this important stage, there are still many details to be worked out before 2021.

    “These heads of agreement are the culmination of three long years of hard work. There is much ahead of us before we can play at Cape Town Stadium in 2021, with the primary anchor tenant agreement still to be finalised,” he said.

    WPRFU president Zelt Marais said this is an historic moment for the union.

    “This is a watershed moment for Western Province Rugby, as we open an exciting new chapter, which will help ensure our financial sustainability and grow the game in the future,” he said.

    NAMPA/ANA

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    Village teams compete in charity gamesVillage teams compete in charity games NAMPA

    Eight village teams from four regions competed in a football tournament to raise funds for the Lifetime Difference Youth Association (LDYA) at the Khomasdal stadium last week.

    The LDYA is an entity aimed at promoting youth development programmes through motivational speeches and public lectures.

    In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, organiser Veneruru Mieze said the event saw teams from the Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Erongo and Omaheke competing in friendly games.

    Opuwo-based Okambari Kautjo defeated Western Tigers from Omatjete 5-4 on penalties after a one-all draw in the first game of the evening.

    In the second match, Pehi-Pehi from Okakarara locked horns with Okondjatu-based Nxaire and Pehi-Pehi went on to win the game 6-5 on penalties after a goalless draw.

    Two Epukiro-based giants, Renamo Bucks and Otjimanangombe, faced each other in the third game, with the latter overcoming their rivals 1-0.

    The last game of the evening saw the clash between two Otjinene-based teams, Otjinoko and Ehungiro. Otjinoko won 2-1.

    “Considering the current economic status, we thought of hosting these friendly football matches, so that we can generate money to continue motivating and promoting youth countrywide,” Mieze said.

    He added the money generated at the gate will help the association to host a business workshop scheduled for 14 November 2019 at the Xwama traditional restaurant in the capital.

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  • 11/03/19--14:00: Geingob goes BIG
  • Geingob goes BIGGeingob goes BIGPromises enhanced social safety net The Swapo presidential candidate says the party will restore the hopes of citizens by uplifting them through creating jobs, making available affordable land and improving infrastructure. President Hage Geingob says he plans to enhance the current social safety net by revisiting the possible implementation of a basic income grant (BIG), if he is elected for another five-year term.

    Speaking at a Swapo star rally at Rundu, where thousands flocked to hear what he had to say, Geingob said the party will restore the hopes of citizens by uplifting them through creating jobs, making available affordable land and improving infrastructure.

    Some were at the Rundu stadium as early as 05:00. Geingob delivered his address at around 15:00. “A total of 813 beneficiaries registered in the Kavango East Region for the food bank programme. In Kavango West, the food bank programme was launched on 24 August 2018 in Nkurenkuru, to address hunger and poverty in urban areas,” Geingob said.

    “We will continue to work towards ensuring that more needy Namibians benefit from this programme. We will also investigate other alternatives of enhancing our social grants, even revisiting the basic income grant.”

    Geingob also made reference to the prevailing drought situation, saying the Swapo-led government is committed to providing drought relief to the most affected communities in the two regions. “The two Kavango regions, just like the rest of Namibia, have been ravaged by the worst drought in recent memory.

    The Swapo government, given its commitment towards safeguarding the lives of Namibia's people, has provided drought relief for the most affected areas in Kavango East and Kavango West,” Geingob said. He made no mention of the dire need to address high unemployment rate in the two regions, which has left many surviving on social grants. Kavango East has a youth unemployment rate of 62.5 percent, while youth joblessness in Kavango West stands at 46.8%. Some of the infrastructure development projects Geingob highlighted was the construction of the Rupara Rural Development Centre, which consists of two projects - the construction of a 300-capacity conference hall that is still ongoing and the construction of the metal workshop, which is completed. At Ndiyona settlement, Geingob said the completed construction projects include an oxidation pond, a sewerage system and a water reticulation phase 1 project, which were completed at a cost N$14.5 million.

    “The Swapo government is implementing many other projects in Kavango East and Kavango West. We plan on continuing development of the two regions if you give us another mandate to govern for the next five-year period,” Geingob said. “Given our track record, we are the only party that can guarantee Namibia a continued and positive growth trajectory. We are the party that is continually reinventing itself.”

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Itula excommunicated himself - NicanorItula excommunicated himself - Nicanor Swapo secretary for information and mobilisation Hilma Nicanor says Panduleni Itula excommunicated himself from the party by standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

    Speaking at a media conference on Friday, where she read out President Hage Geingob's biography, Nicanor refused to say what Swapo's stance was on the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the country's elections.

    Opposition parties have in recent past blasted the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) for its decision to use EVMs without a paper trail.

    “Electronic voting machines are irrelevant to this occasion. No to EVMs,” said Nicanor during a question and answer session.

    “I did not come to mention EVMs today.”

    Nicanor claimed journalists wanted to dictate to her what to say.

    “You are trying to prescribe to us,” she said, claiming she was being influenced to respond on the party's stance regarding the use of EVMs.

    Despite attempts to compel Nicanor to respond, she kept to her script, saying the briefing was not called to discuss EVMs. Nicanor claimed she was being delayed from leaving for Mariental, where Swapo held a star rally over the weekend. Despite numerous attempts to compel Nicanor to answer, she would not budge. “You wanted to be very smart, no backdoor story.”

    On the issue of Itula running as an independent presidential candidate, Nicanor said the party's constitution was clear on what happens if a member stands as an independent.

    She said there was also no way the party would endorse Itula, as Geingob was Swapo's presidential candidate.

    Nicanor would also not be drawn into talking about Swapo campaign posters that had been put up without the City of Windhoek's permission.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Food insecurity a 'pressing problem'Food insecurity a 'pressing problem' Agriculture and food security are the most vulnerable and climate-sensitive sectors in Namibia, with food insecurity also remaining one of the most pressing problems facing the country.

    This is according to United Nations (UN) World Food Programme country representative BaiMankay Sankoh.

    In a speech read on his behalf at a multi-stakeholder dialogue on resilience-building in the context of a changing climate in Namibia held on Friday, Sankoh said the impacts are felt directly and indirectly across all sectors.

    Sankoh said food insecurity in the country can be explained by a set of interrelated factors, including climate change variability, climate-related disasters, food price fluctuations and market dynamics.

    He added food insecurity is one of the most pressing problems in Namibia.

    Sankoh said understanding the ways in which climate risks affect vulnerability and livelihoods is a critical step towards identifying appropriate mechanisms for intervention.

    “Currently the government and partners are spending millions of Namibian dollars to respond to drought, which results from negative climate change effects. The majority of those affected are communities that highly depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Therefore, building resilience is critical for government and for us all as a means of minimising climate change impacts,” Sankoh said.

    He said building climate resilience is therefore a highly comprehensive undertaking that involves an array of actors and agents.

    “A climate resilient Namibia is one where we need to act together to support the prosperity and well-being of Namibia and beyond, by building the resilience of communities, the economy and the environment that is responsive to a fast-changing climate.”

    Sankoh said government, businesses, partners, communities and individuals all have a role to play.

    He said individuals and businesses are generally best-placed to manage the climate risks associated with their homes and commercial assets.

    “Governments - on behalf of the community - are responsible for managing risks to public goods and assets (including the environment), government service delivery and creating the institutional, market and regulatory environment that supports and promotes resilience.”

    Sankoh said the process of resilience building will require a strong early warning system and detailed regional and national risk profiles.

    He said these will provide the basis through which the national resilience strategy will be developed, considering the specific regional differences and needs.

    The long-term objective of the dialogue session is to ensure that vulnerable populations in disaster-prone areas and biodiversity sensitive areas are resilient to shocks and climate change effects, and that they are benefitting from sustainable natural resource management practices.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 11/03/19--14:00: Chiefs sink Pirates
  • Chiefs sink PiratesChiefs sink Pirates A wonderful Saturday for South Africa, with the Springboks becoming world champions, was completed by an epic Soweto derby in which Kaizer Chiefs edged Orlando Pirates on penalties.

    Chiefs won the League Cup quarterfinal shootout 4-2 after a 2-2 draw before a capacity 50 000-strong crowd in Durban, some of whom had earlier watched South Africa outplay England in the Rugby World Cup final.

    Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was Chiefs' saviour, blocking successive spot-kicks after Pirates had converted their first two.

    Rugby is growing in popularity with six black players, including captain Siya Kolisi, in the starting line-up of a national team reserved for whites during most of the apartheid era.

    But football remains the first love for the majority of the 57 million population and the latest episode of a 49-year rivalry between Chiefs and Pirates was among the best.

    “We had to take risks after falling behind, replacing a full-back with a forward and a defensive midfielder with an offensive one,” said Chiefs coach, German Ernst Middendorp.

    “Derbies usually come down to character and we had lots of that. We did have a one-man advantage for much of the game, but Pirates made it very difficult for us.”

    Pirates caretaker coach Rhulani Mokwena summarised the pride he had in his team by saying “I thought I was Picasso admiring a beautiful painting.”

    “This was the most impressive performances by Pirates in a very long time. My boys gave everything only to end up as losers.”

    Often in the past a week of derby media hype is followed by ultra-cautious football with both teams more determined to avoid defeat than to win, resulting in sleep-inducing stalemates.

    Not this time, though, as Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch escaped with a yellow card when he should have seen red for stamping on the leg of Zimbabwe star Khama Billiat.

    Soon after, Pirates took a 34th-minute lead when close-season signing Fortune Makaringe scored with a close-range shot, his first goal for the Buccaneers in his first derby.

    Pirates were reduced to 10 men just six minutes into the second half when Mthokozisi Dube fouled Billiat and was cautioned for the second time, resulting in a red card.

    Colombian Leonardo Castro levelled for Chiefs on 62 minutes, firing a rebound past Wayne Sandilands after a Billiat shot struck the woodwork.

    The numerical advantage enjoyed by Chiefs paid off four minutes into extra time when Daniel Cardoso converted a penalty at a throbbing Moses Mabhida Stadium close to the Indian Ocean.

    It took 10-man Pirates only six minutes to draw level with Malawi forward Frank Mhango beating Akpeyi from close range after hard running and slick passing created space.

    Then came the shootout and veteran Bernard Parker netted the match-winning penalty after teammates Cardoso, Billiat and Lebogang Manyama also scored from the spot.

    The derby was moved from its usual venue the 90 000-seater Soccer City stadium in Soweto because many nearby roads were closed to facilitate the staging of a marathon yesterday.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Equestrian championship thrillsEquestrian championship thrillsHigh-quality equestrian action A number of children, juniors and adults from different areas of the country provided high-quality equestrian action during the three-day championship, sponsored by FNB. The Reiterverein Swakopmund (RVS) recently hosted the 2019 Namibian dressage, show jumping and team championship at the Swakopmund stables.

    There were over 64 classes of competition.



    The results for the different classes in dressage were as follows:

    Pony rider novice N3, 2010

    1.Rachel Frankie on Captain Jack Sparrow CCS

    Pony rider novice N4, 2010

    1.Alyssa Hopking on Tug Restaurant Pink Angel

    Pony rider elementary E3, 2012 (20x60 arena)

    1.Rachel Frankie on Captain Jack Sparrow CCS

    Pony rider elementary E4, 2012 (20x60 arena)

    1.Carmen Piepmeyer on Jason

    Junior and adult novice N4, 2019

    1.Ivonne le Roux on Seeis Constanus

    2.Holger Kleyenstüber on Rathmor Sapphire

    3.Noag Kairua on Okakambe Coster

    Junior and adult novice N5, 2019

    1.Ivonne le Roux on Seeis Constanus

    2.Noag Kairua on Okakambe Samson

    3.Holger Kleyenstüber on Rathmor Sapphire

    Junior and adult elementary E4, 2019 (20x60 arena)

    1.Mariene Reisenauer on Seeis Eymet

    Junior and adult elementary E5, 2019 (20x60 arena)

    1.Mariene Reisenauer on Seeis Eymet

    Junior and adult elementary medium EM3, 2019 20x60 arena

    1.Gesche Gilchrist on Seeis Dansuelo

    Junior and adult elementary medium EM4, 2019 (20x60 arena)

    1.Gesche Gilchrist on Seeis Dansuelo

    Junior and adult medium M4, 2019 (20x60 arena)

    1.Sumari Piepmeyer on Katiti Legalos



    The results for the different classes in show jumping were as follows:

    Competition 80cm, FEI 23B 2.2AMS

    1.Kate Alison on Arrivederci

    2.Noag Kairua on Okakambe Samson

    Speed competition 80cm, FEI 23B 2.1 Table A

    1.Anja van der Merwe on Vento

    2.Noag Kairua on Okakambe Samson]

    Competition 90cm, FEI 23B 2.2AMS

    1.Taria Britz on Mon Gold

    2.Carmen Piepmeyer on Frishgewaagt Saltano

    3.Alissa Hopking on Tug Restaurant Tommy Davis

    Speed Competition 90cm, FEI 23B 2.1 Table A

    1.Taria Britz on Manna From Heaven

    2.Emily Braune on Moritz

    3.Carmen Piepmeyer on Frishgewaagt Saltano

    Competition 1m, FEI 23B 2.2AMS

    1.Leoné Janbey on Jay's Club

    2.Emily Braune on Baron von Sphinxblick

    3.Anna-Zeta Jones on Lukzet Malachite

    Speed Competition 1m, FEI 23B 2.1 Table A

    1.Emily Braune on Baron von Sphinxblick

    2.Mariene Reisenauer on Seeis Eymet

    3.Jenna Gilchrist on Arkeb Knoffel

    Competition 1.1m, FEI 23B 2.2AMS

    1.Kerstin Garbade on Volgtkirch Avatar

    2.Jayd Bassi-Hansen on Okonjima M&A Caskari

    Speed Compe tition 1.1m, FEI 23B 2.1 Table A

    1.Kerstin Garbade on Volgtkirch Avatar

    2.Jayd Bassi-Hansen on Okonjima M&A Caskari

    Competition 1.2-1.3m, FEI 23B 2.2AMS

    1.Jessica Krainer on Great Uncle Argo

    2.Annette Künzle on Seeis Elton

    Speed Competition 1.2-1.3m, FEI 23B 2.1 Table A

    1.Jayd Bassi-Hansen on Okonjima Assagai Scandal

    2.Kate Alyson on Caliaho Eryka



    Adolf Kaure

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    Big-ups to our national teams!Big-ups to our national teams! As a sport journalist, I pen this with great delight. It is a pleasure to watch and write about what some of our sport codes have accomplished on the international stage recently.

    The past two years have been difficult for all sectors, because of the economic depression that has hit Namibia from all angles.

    Below-par results from our sport codes would thus have made sense, given that funding continues to be hard to come by.

    Strangely, and to our great delight, this adversity seems to have elevated our sporting performance, with various teams and individuals making great strides.

    The Brave Warriors qualified for both the 2018 Chan finals and Afcon 2019.

    The national senior football team also sent Madagascar packing recently to qualify for the 2020 Chan finals.

    The national rugby team has just returned from the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup, where they delivered some brave performances against tier-one nations.

    The netball national team just returned from the Six Nations Cup in Singapore, where they emerged as champions.

    Cricket Namibia is also in celebratory mood, following our national team's qualification for the T2O World Cup.

    Namibia's queen of Marathon Helalia Johannes has been breaking records and winning medals at top international events.

    The team that represented the country at the African Games finished 16th out of 55 countries.

    All these achievements would not have been possible if it was not for the hard work of the coaches and athletes.

    All the teams and individuals concerned should receive huge pats on the back for doing a great job during these difficult times.

    The sponsors should also get a special mention, as they have kept sport alive, even while other corporates continue to turn a blind eye.

    Sponsors have played a major role as far as developing athletes and teams is concerned, and they have injected money into local tournaments and leagues.

    The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and the ministry of sport have also done a good job as far as promoting and enhancing sport is concern.

    Making athletes feel at home and valued has obviously given them the drive and the will to perform harder.

    Sports minister Erastus Uutoni has been one of the outstanding individuals when it comes to making sure that athletes feel valued.

    The fact that he has been present at many of sporting events and conferences bears testimony to a man who is passionate about making things work.

    He initiated a national sport expo, which was something special and new in this beautiful country.

    We must, however, not forget that more still needs to be done and praises do not mean that we have accomplished it all.

    The country's sporting fraternity still has a long way to go before we can reach that next level of competitiveness.

    Namibia still has to nurture that winning mentality and avoid going into events for the sake of competing and not winning.

    There are is still divisions among administrators, which is holding back some sport codes.

    Just recently, the Namibia Premier League (NPL) filed an urgent application in the High Court in an attempt to be reinstated by the Namibia Football Association, which is currently being run by the Fifa normalisation committee, and to stop an NFA extraordinary congress from taking place.

    This means that football will remain at a standstill until a lasting solution is found.

    News of that nature only serves as a setback, even when the country is in a celebratory mood.

    The politics in some sport codes has just become unbearable and demoralising.

    We need solutions for all sport codes that are tainted by bad administration and egos.



    jesse@namibiansun.com

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  • 11/03/19--14:00: Total Tara Rally back
  • Total Tara Rally backTotal Tara Rally back51st edition launched in Windhoek This year’s rally will cover over 700 kilometres, starting on 21 November in Swakopmund and ending on 23 November in Windhoek. NAMPA

    The 51st edition of the Total Tara Rally was launched in Windhoek last week, with 30 cars expected to take part in the race to be contested over three days.

    Speaking during the launch, Windhoek Motor Club (WMC) chairperson Richard Slamet, who is also on the organising committee chairperson for the Tara Rally, paid tribute to Anja Lingner, who died on 20 October.

    “Anja was a great leader that easily found the balance between being stern and fair. She was set in her ways, but still managed to take advice from the rest of the committee and apply it in such a way that made it work best,” he said.

    Slamet added that Lingner, who saved as a chairperson of the Tara Rally for two years, will be greatly missed by the organising committee, the WMC and motorsport enthusiasts all over the country.

    “Her contribution towards rallying has made a great impact and will be felt for many years to come,” he said.

    Slamet said organising the rally has a lot of hurdles, but he is happy all will be in place ahead of the event.

    “I am happy to see the Tara Rally celebrating 51 years of existence, and this year we will continue to make this rally exciting, as we start competing from Swakopmund to Windhoek,” he said.

    Slamet said only 13 vehicles have been registered to compete in this year’s event so far, but they are expecting more entries locally and from South Africa.

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    Rein in campaign foot soldiersRein in campaign foot soldiers Supporters of independent candidate Panduleni Itula and President Hage Geingob had a field day over the weekend with what appears to be a mentally unstable man, known as Kahiri, whom they bullied into saying favourable stuff about their respective candidates. The principle of ethical humanism, which obviously is alien to our domestic politics, is premised around the belief that every person is worthy and should be treated with dignity. The man in question, unlike the majority of members of society, is already vulnerable because of his mental condition. And instead of getting help from those around him, he is being bullying into sloganeering for the expediency of those recording him. These acts are a soft form of oppression, which strips the victim of the little that is left of his dignity. Those who follow Namibian politics closely would be unsurprised by this behaviour. The very fabric of our body politic is infested with this conduct, which has taken on the guise of normality. The desperate hunger for political office has hit ridiculous heights, if people whose campaigns are supposedly anchored around helping people out of their trouble, are actually exploiting the vulnerability of the very people they ought to be protecting. If politicians are prepared to go this low, how can we trust them with public office, where they would be the sole custodians of our resources, and by extension, the commanders of our fate as a people?

    We know it is desperate times. But it is morality instead of immorality that will win politicians the admirers they so desperately need on November 27.

    We do not think either Geingob or Itula have commanded their foot soldiers to go and abuse Kahiri in the manner we saw over the weekend. It would be shocking if we are wrong in this regard. But if we have learned anything in the past couple of weeks, it is that foot soldiers are actually damaging the campaigns of their candidates rather than building them.

    It is time they are called in to get new, morally upright marching orders.

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    St Boniface parents on warpathSt Boniface parents on warpath Parents of St Boniface College Grade 12 learners who completed their final examinations last month are on the warpath over the school withholding testimonial letters because of the breaking of an alarm clock and the banging of plates on a dining hall table.

    They have taken issue with principal Mary Phillis Yesudasan refusing to issue the testimonial letters because pupils misbehaved. This has led to scholarship and bursary application due dates passing, with parents saying their children were unable to apply.

    While making reference to the hefty school fees they have had to pay at what has consistently been one of the best schools in the country, the parents said they see the situation as a “stab in the back” and have threatened court action against Yesudasan.

    “The applications for bursaries ended today (last Friday) and the testimonial is a requirement to be attached, and all of a sudden this is withheld by the school principal, whom we have been paying our money for the past five years. This person is putting our children through what now? We know what to do now, is it to take the person to court,” a parent said on condition of anonymity.

    The parents argue that instead of punishing the learners they are now missing out an opportunity to obtain bursaries.

    “The principal was supposed to punish the learners to clear a certain area or clean the dormitories, or give us a fine the children should pay that will be used to cover for the damage, and life goes on. I agree that you need to have rule of law at the school, but do you punish the child for the rest of their lives after grade 12? That is not okay,” another parent said.

    Yesudasan said on 17 October, which was the last day of examinations, the grade 12 learners destroyed a school alarm clock and were unruly during their last supper at the school.

    Yesudasan, who is known to be a strict educator, explained that prior to the events of 17 October, all grade 12 learners were warned about ill-discipline and asked to leave the school in a peaceful manner.

    “However on 17 October, which was the last day for them, the grade 12 boys broke an alarm clock in the dining hall, making the whole school chaotic.

    “The girls started beating their plates on the table and there was a loud sound coming from the dining hall. The hostel father went to them and asked who broke the alarm clock and they all went quiet.

    “Now if I do not create a peaceful atmosphere and discipline them, the other learners in grade 8, up to grade 11, will follow in the footsteps of the others.

    “Under these circumstances I told them that I will not give them their testimonials, because they broke the alarm clock which is defiance of the school rules,” the principal said.

    Yesudasan said she is prepared to give the learners their testimonials on condition that they return with their parents and ask for forgiveness in front of the entire school.

    “The school is ready to give them their testimonials, but we told them they should follow the rules of the school and leave the school in peace. The solution is that the learners should come with their parents and confess their crimes in front of the entire school. I am not there to punish them, but to instil discipline at the school.”



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Govt office without power for monthsGovt office without power for months The agriculture ministry's state-of-the-art N$27 million Kavango East regional headquarters at Rundu has been without electricity for the past four months, forcing government officials to use their private laptops and internet for official work.

    Officials have not been able to use the office toilets over the past two weeks due to water woes and are forced to go home when nature calls.

    Agriculture ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko confirmed last week that Nored had indeed disconnected the electricity supply due to non-payment.

    Musheko did not reveal the amount owed, but said the ministry is looking at sourcing funds to settle part of what is owed, so the power can be reconnected.

    Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that the agriculture ministry owes Nored nearly N$1 million for the head office, while several other buildings in other regions have also been without power for months.

    Ministry employees expressed their disgust over when Namibian Sun visited them at the Kavango East head office, saying their productivity has been severely affected.

    Apart from complaining about having to use their private gadgets, such as laptops, for official work, they also complained about the heat, saying the building has a poor ventilation system.

    “The electricity was cut in July and since then we have been communicating with the person who deals with procurement unit in the ministry and he is aware, because he was updated at all stages, but the situation remains the same,” an official said, who preferred anonymity.

    “Since July when there was no power, if you have a laptop you go and charge it at your house and come with it at the office and then when the battery runs out of power, you go back and charge the battery.

    “We are also now using our private internet data to do office work and when I run out of mobile data, I have to drive home so that I can use my Wi-Fi at home, where I can connect and do official work.

    “During this time when it is hot and the way the building is built, the ventilation is a problem when the air-conditioners are not working, it's terribly hot.”

    The office lawn is also dying because of a lack of water.

    “When there is no water, like now, and nature calls, you must drive to your house to access a toilet,” another official said.

    The building also has a diesel-powered generator, but there are no funds to be fuel.

    The regional office was officially inaugurated in 2015 by then agriculture minister John Mutorwa.

    The double-storey office complex accommodates all regional directorate heads.

    The services offered range from ploughing, engineering, weeding, water provision, veterinary support and forestry assistance.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Geingob courts timber harvestersGeingob courts timber harvestersTells them to sell their logs anywhere they can Farmers are demanding that President Hage Geingob's utterances on them selling their timber “anywhere” be put in writing and made available to all stakeholders, as it may simply be a ploy to attract votes. While seeking to pour cold water over the brewing anger among Kavango timber harvesters, Swapo president Hage Geingob on Saturday announced that farmers sitting on stockpiles of raw, harvested timber will be permitted to sell their logs, including via exports.

    This is contrary to a standing government order that came into effect from September this year that only timber processed to the final stage of use may be exported under export licences issued by forestry officials.





    Geingob explained that setting up of a timber factory locally would take time and therefore farmers whose logs are in the process of getting rotten on their farms are angry as they are unable to sell their logs locally.

    It is on that basis, said Geingob, that farmers should sell their already cut timber wherever they can, though urging that no new timber should be harvested.

    “I am announcing today that those timber that have been cut and is rotting must go. In the future we are going to have a proper way of having factories to produce furniture here. But it's already cut, it's on the ground, lying there rotting, sell that anywhere you can,” Geingob said during the party's star rally for the Kavango East and Kavango West regions held in Rundu.

    In April environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said the law prohibits the export of unprocessed or semi-processed Namibian timber.

    This was after the relevant ministries placed a moratorium on timber activities in order to preserve nature and stop the plundering of trees which were being sold to the Asian buyers for peanuts, therefore robbing government of millions of dollars in taxes.

    During his recent presidential town hall meeting in Rundu, angry timber harvesters asked the head of state to solve the impasse by lifting the moratorium.

    Two months later, the ban on the transportation of timber in Namibia was lifted, but with stringent conditions attached.

    These conditions include that no fresh trees should be harvested and that all logs must be loaded in the presence of officials from the agriculture and environment ministries.

    It was also agreed that officials from the two ministries may be supported by law-enforcement agencies, including the police, and that no unprocessed timber shall be exported from Namibia, while timber processed to the final stage of use may be exported under an export licence issued by forestry officials.

    Some farmers who spoke to Namibian Sun yesterday said contradictory directives from government is confusing them.

    “Why could Geingob not make the same pronouncement then? For the past five months we did not know what stood for what and now we are told to sell our timber anywhere we want. The question is: What about the conditions attached to the lifting of the moratorium? How can we be assured that all is well to export again? Will the two ministries not come at us again?” one of them wanted to know.

    The farmers are demanding that Geingob's announcement be put in writing and made available to all stakeholders, as it may simply be a ploy to attract votes.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Haitope, Tomas crowned Spar championsHaitope, Tomas crowned Spar champions Reinhold Tomas from the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) and Lavinia Haitope from the Namibian police were on Saturday crowned the overall champions of the Spar national 10km championship.

    The inaugural run started at Oshakati Spar and ended at Ongwediva Spar, and attracted over 1 000 athletes from all over Namibia. Tomas completed the race in a time of 29 minutes and 53 seconds (29:53) in the men's category, while Haitope finished the women's race in 33:42.

    As the champions, Tomas and Haitope each received top prize of N$5 000 and gold medals, while the second prize of N$3 000 each and silver medals went to Kefas Kondjashili and Alina Armas, respectively.

    Kondjashili (30:06) participated under the Nampol Club and Armas (35:38) represented the Khomas Region. The bronze medallists were Matheus Kadhingula from Khomas with a time of 30:28 and Beata Naigambo, also from Khomas, who ran 36:24.

    The race was divided into categories such as primary girls (9-13 years), primary boys (9-13), junior women (14-19), junior men (14-19), senior women (20-39), senior men (20-39), veteran women (40-49), veteran men (40-49), masters' women (50+) and masters' men (50+).

    Winners in these categories were:

    Albertina Shikongo from Oshikoto (primary girls).

    Sem Shikangala from Oshikoto (primary boys).

    Peneyambeko Titus from Ohangwena (junior women).

    Jafet Shikongo from Oshana (junior men).

    Helena Iipinge from the NDF (veteran women).

    Simon Shipingana from the NDF (veteran men).

    Emilia Nambahu from Windhoek City Run (masters' women).

    Kristof Ndunga from the NDF (masters' men).

    Race coordinator Bethold Karumendu told those present that the event will be held every year and people living with disabilities will also be accommodated from next year onwards.

    NAMPA

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  • 11/03/19--14:00: Mungandjera shines
  • Mungandjera shinesMungandjera shinesKilimanjaro boxing event a success Joseph Benhard of the MTC Kilimanjaro Boxing Club said he was pleased with how things went down of the night. Immanuel Mungandjera defeated Zimbabwe's Freeman Mabvongwa in an eight-round international welterweight fight on Saturday

    The Namibia scored enough points to beat the Zimbabwean via a unanimous decision.

    Michael Benhard also defeated Malawi's Israel Kamwamba on points in an in international lightweight bout.

    Onesmus Nekundi made easy work of Festus Matias, after beating him on points in a catchweight fight. Sebastian Nathaniel beat Johannes Katumba, also in the catchweight division.

    Jason Immanuel managed to beat Usko Rehebiam on points.

    Julius Shetheni was declared the winner against Costa Nillo in a fight over six rounds.

    Rafael Iita won his fight against Andreas Nghinaunye, while Lamek Fabian made his professional debut one to remember, after beating Shonena Paulus on points.

    Morsande Johannes outclassed Samuel Kambuta to win his first professional fight.

    Joseph Benhard of the MTC Kilimanjaro Boxing Club said he was pleased with how things went down of the night. He lauded all the winners and the fans who came in their numbers to support the fighters. “It was a great event and we are proud to have hosted a successful boxing event in the northern region.

    “Thanks to the entire boxing enthusiasts who came in their numbers to support our event.

    “It was really a special kind of feeling to host this boxing event and we wish to have many events in the future,” Bernard said.

    It was the first time Kilimanjaro Boxing Promotion hosted an international fight at Oshakati, as part of a N$1.2 million sponsorship deal with MTC.

    The club hosted its first international boxing tournament at Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region in December 2015, when Namibian professional boxer Albinus 'Danny Boy' Felesianu defeated Godfrey Nemukongwe from South Africa via a second round technical knockout.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Team Namibia arrive for IPC world champsTeam Namibia arrive for IPC world champs Thirteen Namibian athletes with disabilities, three guides and officials arrived in Dubai yesterday ahead of the 2019 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) world athletics championships.

    The team will compete in track and field during the competition that starts on Thursday and ends on 15 November. Namibia Paralympic Committee secretary general Michael Hamukwaya said he was happy to see the team arriving safely, as their main focus is for the athletes to be physically and mentally ready for the championships.

    “Our goal is to at least get five automatic qualifying spots for the 2020 Paralympic Games while competing at these games and that can only happen if our athletes finished in the top three, which will not be easy as the competition is tough, but we have prepared ourselves well,” he said.

    Hamukwaya added they have seven athletes who will be making their debut at these championships and he is confident they will get the best times to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games.

    “We have a group of young athletes who will surprise a number of people.

    As a federation, we are happy to see that there is development in the team, and come four years from now, there will still be a crop of athletes representing the nation, even when the current crop of elite athletes have retired,” Hamukwaya said. The coach said in 2017, they only had four athletes representing Namibia at the world championships.

    “We want to take a big team to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

    That is why it's important for us to get at least five spots at the end of these games and then we can try to qualify for more spots,” Hamukwaya added.

    NAMPA

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  • 11/04/19--14:00: Youth shine at tourney
  • Youth shine at tourneyYouth shine at tourneyAshikoto proud of quality boxing The dreams of many aspiring young boxers are becoming a reality, with more youth tournaments being hosted. Power-Power Development and Boxing Academy has lauded young boxers who impressed at their event on Saturday.

    Young Khomas boxers traded leather at the After School Centre in Windhoek, displaying raw talent in front of a packed audience.

    It was Power-Power Development and Boxing Academy's first-ever development boxing tournament.

    Co-founder of the academy Risto 'Pac Man' Ashikoto said he was impressed with the way the young boxers showcased their skills.

    “It was a remarkable time for us, because it all went according to plan and the boxers provided top-class entertainment.

    “I could see from the faces of everyone who was at the event that they were really impressed by the young guys.

    “For us as an academy, it was indeed a dream come true and that is why we plan on organising more events targeting the youth,” Ashikoto said.

    Ashikoto and his partner Paulus Ambunda started the academy in 2016, but it was dormant because they joined other academies to gain experience.

    The duo are now optimistic that the academy will unearth hidden talent from all parts of the country.

    Their biggest aim is to make sure that all those young boxers who do not have space in other top academies are taken care of.

    Desert Larger was the main sponsor of the event, while Hartlief, Metro and Seawork Fish Processors gave sponsorship in kind.

    “We will continue working hard towards the development of these young boxers, until we see them as world champions.

    “One of the most important things is ensuring that they remain disciplined.

    “We will also focus on making sure that they remain committed to their studies throughout their boxing careers,” Ashikoto said.

    The highlight of the tournament was bout number 18, when Petrus Salom from the After School Centre sent Kavu China from the Salute Boxing Academy down to the canvas in the second round.

    “Our special thanks go to Emma Kantema-Gaomas, executive director of the ministry of sport, and our main sponsor Desert Lager.

    “We would also like to thank co-sponsors Hartlief, Seawork Fish Processors and Metro.

    “I extend our gratitude to the After School Centre management, the Khomas Boxing Federation and Thomas Shangula,” Ashikoto added.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Learners awarded for academic excellence Learners awarded for academic excellence Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS) hosted its annual academic awards ceremony last week. Leandrea Louw



    The next awards ceremony was slated for yesterday, where all outstanding arts learners were awarded.

    Half honorary colours were awarded to Laura Damster, Ané Oberholzer and Nelrie Zwemstra (grade 8), Ané Schumacher and Laelan Willemse (grade 10) and Jamey Bruyns (grade 11).

    Full honorary colours were awarded to Chris Fourie, Karli Rudolph, Hendrik Smit and Mia van Wyk (grade 9), Corné Engelbrecht and Renaldo van der Merwe (grade 11), Shani-Lee Broodryk Zurialle de Bairos, Michelle du Plessis, John Faul, Maurice Hinterholzer, Sue-Melle Mans, Lee-Anne Shozi, Melanie Steenkamp, Dehan van der Merwe and Ethen Visagie von Solms (grade 12).

    Best improvement for the year awards were given to Monique Grobler (grade 8), Herman Krauze (grade 9), Scott Winborn (grade 10), Caleb Adams (grade 11) and Nathan Augustus (grade 12).

    The mayor’s shield for the best grade 12 learner in science was awarded to Maurice Hinterholzer.

    The learners of the year are Laura Damster (grade 8), Henrik Smit (grade 9), Ané Schumacher (grade 10), Renaldo van der Merwe (grade 11) and Maurice Hinterholzer (grade 12).

    Michelle du Plessis was the recipient of the principal’s award.

    This year’s most coveted award, the dux award, was awarded to Mia van Wyk as the junior dax and John Faul as the senior dux.

    The senior optima ludi is Maurice Hinterholzer and the junior optima ludi is Mia Van Wyk.

    The 2020 secondary phase prefects were also announced.

    The head boy is Dian Neethling and his deputy is Divan van Vreden. The head girl is Amber Coetzee and the deputy head girl is Nicole Wittmann. The rest of the prefects are Caleb-James Adams, Dominique Bouwer, Ettienne Beukes, Amelia Brits, Niël Brand, Jamey Bruyns, Corné Engelbrecht, Zoë du Plessis, Eli Engelbrecht, Shá-uri Hoffmann, Jarred Mouton, Cáleigh Jordaan, Brandon-Lee Titus, Ané Nel, Rohan van der Bank, Kara Reichert, Johann van der Merwe and Mianka Robberts.

    The primary phase prefects for 2020 are Theuns Alberts as head boy and Juané Brand as head girl. The rest of the team are Jeandré Bruwer, Daniël Fourie, Stephen Fourie, Cee-Jay Hoffmann, Stefan Lotriet, Christo Smit, Larissa Jankowitz, Simoné Nasilowski, Linka Reichert, Surika Roodman, Minki Rudolph and Cheyenne Turner.

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