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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    'Let's not take voters for a ride''Let's not take voters for a ride'DTA embarks on rebranding exercise The opposition party''s central committee met in Oshakati at the weekend to elect national executive committee members and discuss rebranding. DTA president McHenry Venaani who travelled to Ongwediva on Friday, urged politicians to remain in contact with the electorate at all times, and not only when campaigning.

    Disembarking from a minibus at Highway Service Station in Ongwediva, Venaani and fellow politicians who accompanied him were welcomed by senior members of his party from the regions.

    The reason for his visit to the north was to attend the party''s elective central committee meeting held in Oshakati at the weekend to elect national executive committee members.

    Regarding his travel by public transport, Venaani said it is the DTA''s quest to remain in constant contact with voters, to experience what they experience every day, instead of only campaigning when it''s election time.

    “I want to urge all of you politicians throughout this country to continue to engage our electorate out of campaign periods, let us not take voters for a ride, they must remain important now and forever because they make who were are,” Venaani said while addressing party members on Saturday.

    “We must guard against political complacency, we must guard against not working hard, we must guard against complacency of leaders not seeing the people on the ground, we must guard against complacency of people being called councillors and members of parliament and forgetting the roots, the voters that have brought us here,” he said.

    Apart from the election of the new national executive members, the meeting also discussed the party''s 2016/19 strategic objectives and the appointment of nine members of central committee to a ''Presidential Commission on Rebranding''.

    Venaani said there had been agreements and disagreements among the central committee members at meetings regarding the rebranding of the party and that''s why he appointed the committee.

    Venaani said the committee''s purpose was to oversee and facilitate the rebranding process and they would report to him.

    He said rebranding, which should not be looked at in isolation, is not about changes of names, colours or symbols but a small component of the greater transformation project being undertaken by the party.

    “Rebranding is about positioning the DTA of Namibia as a genuine alternative government. A genuine alternative government that has ideas and policies that can move Namibia forward and deliver quality education, healthcare, jobs and food security in Namibia,” he said.

    Attempts to get the election results from the party were unsuccessful.


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  • 11/06/16--14:00: NMP sends out warning
  • NMP sends out warningNMP sends out warning JANA-MARI SMITH

    Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) on Friday warned that it will take steps to protect its reputation and investment of close to N$800 million, depending on the severity of damage caused by the escalating anti-phosphate actions over the past weeks.

    In a media statement on Friday, issued by NMP’s directors and management, the company said one of the consequences of the “scurrilous unsupported allegations” made against the company and its environmental consultants had forced it to review its position and the available options.

    The company said it had a duty to “reserve its rights to seek recourse in event of any consequential damages”.

    The company added that the “divisive and factually incorrect” comments and actions taken against its proposed Sandpaper Marine Phosphate project “have culminated in an unfortunate public disagreement between three of the most prominent ministries in government”, referring to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

    Moreover, the company said fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau’s recent claim of ministerial jurisdiction over marine phosphate deposits are based on “entirely false statements that marine phosphates are derived from fish bones and from fossils”.

    The company said Esau’s claim of jurisdiction had exposed a “thinly veiled attempt by the fisheries ministry to politicise the matter”.

    Moreover, the minister’s statements were allegedly an attempt by the fisheries ministry to “usurp the authority of the Ministry of Mines and Energy in regard to mineral resources management in the country,” NMP alleged.

    According to the statement, the decision to withdraw the marine phosphate environmental clearance certificate would have long-term consequences, and besides the impact on NMP’s reputation and its shareholders, Namibia’s reputation as an investment destination was also at stake.

    NMP furthermore said that the decision by the environment ministry to set aside the environmental clearance certificate “this late in the proceedings” was not only based on the misrepresentation of facts and the politicising of issues but had also driven a wedge between the three ministries.

    “The situation is regrettable given that since 2008, at the standing invitation of government to invest in mineral projects, approximately N$780 million has been expended by the company to develop the mineral licences legally issued to it,” it said.

    The statement lists the completion of environmental impact assessments that were conducted in compliance with mining licence conditions and environmental regulations.

    According to NMP the company incurred “significant additional expenditures in 2013 and 2016 in order to verify the impact assessments and to address specific requirements from the fisheries ministry and their concerns.”

    NMP believes that a host of independent experts with knowledge of the Benguela ecosystem found that at the proposed scale, the phosphate mining project can be safely managed without impacting fishing resources.

    The company added that it supports the “principles of responsible development and management of ocean-based industries”.

    NMP is owned by Mawarid Mining LLC (85%), an Omani company, and Havana Investments (Pty) Ltd (15%), a Namibian company belonging to Knowledge Katti.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta last week ordered environmental commissioner Teofilus Nghitila to inform the ministry of fisheries, the fishing industry and all other interested parties to finalise their inputs within three months.

    He said the consultation process must be completed within six months and the order is binding on all parties unless set aside in the High Court.

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  • 11/06/16--14:00: Grief overcomes community
  • Grief overcomes communityGrief overcomes communityGas explosion victims laid to rest Ten family members who died in a gas explosion near Dordabis were buried on the farm at the weekend. OGONE TLHAGE

    Emotions ran high at a farm outside Dordabis this past weekend when a fleet of hearses snaked through the dusty settlement carrying the remains of ten people who died as a result of a gas explosion last month.

    The explosion on 14 October at Farm /Garib about 25km from Dordabis claimed the lives of nine children and one adult and injured five more while they were watching television at a family house on the farm.

    The incident occurred when a gas cylinder inside the house exploded and burnt down the house.

    It is suspected that gas may have been leaking and was ignited by a fire made outside the house.

    One of the victims, 36-year-old Veronika Plaatjies, paid the ultimate price, one willing to sacrifice life and limb to help, while the other, Bradley Jagger, was once touted to become a sporting hero by his peers.

    A community member who asked to remain anonymous said the incident shocked the entire community. “The school environment has been quiet with so many questions. After many counselling sessions we have realised the questions we have are with the Almighty Father. We have lost precious angels, especially Bradley Jagger, our sportsman.”

    Jagger was described as an all-round athlete and was said to excel particularly in the sprinting and long-jump disciplines.

    Plaatjies’s heroics ended in misery when she chose to help. Instead, she was covered in gas and later succumbed to her injuries. Her partner, Henock Kock could still be seen wearing a bandage on his left hand, a stark reminder of the burns he suffered when he carried the leaking gas cylinder away.

    Those who were buried on Saturday were Veronica Plaatjies, Nicolene Geibes, Anna Geibes, Henricho Plaatjies, Borris Geibeb, Annazet Geibes, Aliando !Nau /Gawaseb, Annalien Geibes and Bradley Jagger.

    The deputy bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, Paul Kisting, who led the service of the ten victims, could not contain his shock.

    “We said this sounded like a joke. Sickness is not good, murder is not good, but what more if people die in this fashion,” he asked the mourners.

    Deacon Hinda, who has been doing evangelical work in the Dordabis community told the Namibian Sun in passing, “Sharing was the purpose of this community. This is what we can learn as a country.”

    Working closely in the community, he noted how often the Farm Garib victims were accustomed to sharing the little they had and said that the victims were a close-knit family.

    “These victims shared everything they had with one another,” he said.

    Khomas Governor Laura McLeod Katjirua also attended the burial and offered words of comfort.

    “Your suffering is beyond imagination and we realise the trauma that this incident has caused your family,” she said.

    The Geibeb couple whose four children were buried over the weekend are still recovering in hospital and have not yet been informed of the death of their children, according to McLeod-Katjirua.

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    Man with baby passes out near roadMan with baby passes out near road JANA-MARI SMITH

    A Rundu couple made a shocking discovery late at night last week when they found a man passed out close to a busy road with his baby daughter asleep on his chest.

    The Rundu couple, who preferred to remain anonymous, said they were driving home at around 23:00 on Thursday evening when they saw a figure lying close to a busy road, near a village in the Kayengona area.

    On closer inspection, they discovered it was a man, who appeared to be passed out, with a baby, roughly 18 months old, sleeping on his chest.

    The wife told Namibian Sun they decided to address the situation because they were concerned something could happen to the baby.

    “We couldn’t let them lie there, the baby seemed to be at an age where she can crawl, and they were lying very close to a road known for speeding vehicles, especially taxis, so we were worried something terrible could happen.”

    She added that the incident was deeply troubling. “She was such a small baby, and this happened because of alcohol. Something bad could have happened.”

    The couple immediately alerted a police officer stationed at a nearby satellite station, who accompanied them to the scene.

    According to the two witnesses, the police officer was unsure of what action to take.

    “He clearly had no clue what to do. He didn’t seem trained to handle such a situation,” the husband claimed.

    The woman explained that she considered waking the child but was reluctant to frighten her, so she kept a close eye on her.

    Eventually, an employee of the couple made a phone call to an emergency police number and approximately 25 minutes later two unidentified police officials arrived at the scene.

    “We are about 20 kilometres away from Rundu, so we were very impressed with their quick response. It was very good service,” the wife said.

    The couple said that while they were waiting, the police officer from the satellite station managed to briefly wake the man. According to them, he told them that the mother of the child had refused to look after her and “that we shouldn’t worry, he would take care of her. The baby was sleeping the whole time. And then he fell asleep again.”

    After the two officers had arrived at the scene they also woke the man and questioned him again.

    The witnesses say he again explained that the mother was absent and admitted he had been at a nearby shebeen, situated no more than 50 metres away. On his way home he felt tired and passed out, he allegedly claimed.

    “The one officer took the baby, and he didn’t resist that at all.” They got into the van and drove off.

    On Friday, the regional crime coordinator at Rundu NamPol told Namibian Sun no report had been filed relating to the incident and that no information was available as to what happened to the father and daughter.

    The couple however confirmed that the vehicle in which the police officials arrived was a standard police van, and that the blue lights were on at their time of arrival. The male officer wore a standard police uniform while the female officer wore a police tracksuit.

    According to the couple the experience shocked them and once again highlighted the issue of the number of shebeens in the area, situated close to two schools, the Maria Mwengere Secondary School and the Kayengona Combined School.

    They say they decided to share the story in an effort to create awareness about alcohol abuse, the risky behaviour it promotes, and a lack of control by authorities in the area.

    Rachel Coomer from the Legal Assistance Centre on Friday said communities have to take an active role in protecting children, one of society’s most vulnerable groups.

    Moreover, she explained that there is much need for community-based support to assist in parenting and preventative actions to help support our families.

    She urged community members to look for signs that are a cry for help, from both adults and children.

    “People should not be afraid to speak up when they see signs of need for support or intervention because the consequences of leaving problems unaddressed could eventually lead to the injury or death of a child.”

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  • 11/06/16--22:08: Swakop wins it again
  •  Swakop wins it again Swakop wins it again Swakopmund has done it again.
    After 11 days of voting Swakopmund once again won the Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) Town of the Year competition for the western division. Swakopmund now joins Ondangwa, Otjiwarongo and Lüderitz for the final showdown, with the winner to be decided during the 2017 Namibia Tourism Expo in Windhoek.
    Swakopmund garnered 41% of the vote followed by Walvis Bay and Arandis who came second and third respectively.
    The other participating towns included Omaruru, Karirib, Usakos and Henties Bay.
    Swakopmund spokesperson Aili Gebhardt said she was looking forward to the final.
    “The competition was exciting and it encouraged teambuilding, networking with guests, co-workers and strangers. Yes, it was hard work but the energy was there because we are passionate. Swakopmund is not a difficult town to sell. It talks to people with its inviting weather, rich history and energetic activities,” she said.
    “We are thankful for the opportunity created by NMH for us to engage with our residents and more excited that people of Swakopmund have spoken. We look forward to the finals.”
    NMH would also like to thank all its partners for this competition.
    They are Coca-Cola, Nedbank Namibia, Waltons/Mondi Rotatrim, Vivo Energy/Shell, Pupkewitz Nissan, Channel 7 and the African Leadership Institute (ALI).


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  • 11/07/16--08:25: Time to invest in Namibia
  •  Time to invest in Namibia Time to invest in Namibia The Invest in Namibia International Investment Conference will finally kick off tomorrow in the capital with 800 delegates expected to attend the two-day event.
    Government is expected to use the conference to clarify its position on the controversial Namibia Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF).
    It will also touch down on the Investment Promotion Act, Public Private Partnership Framework (PPP) and Investment Incentives.
    A total amount of N$15 million is being spent on the conference.
    The conference is being held under the theme ‘Promoting Investment for Inclusive Growth and Industrialisation’ and, according to the presidency, it will showcase a selected number of investment projects.
    “While a total of 500 project proposals were received after requests were sent to local authorities however only 20 key projects will be profiled during the conference. These projects are primarily in the energy, agriculture, affordable housing, tourism, manufacturing as well as logistics and infrastructure development sectors,” the statement reads.
    “The delegates include visiting trade ministers, business chambers, foreign investors and local companies. Preliminary records show that delegates are coming from all over the world with Germany and Portugal slightly dominating.
    Other countries represented include Belarus, Serbia, China, the UK, Hungary, Spain, Korea, United States and Canada. Closer to home, participants will come from South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe as well as Congo Brazzaville amongst others.”


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  • 11/07/16--14:00: Selecting role models
  • Selecting role modelsSelecting role models The Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF) will host a German basketball commissioner who is visiting the country for three days to familiarise himself with how the game is run here.

    The president of the Basketball Association of Baden-Wuerttemberg (BBW), Joachim Spägele, has been assigned as a basketball commissioner to Namibia to engage NBF and other stakeholders in basketball development affairs.

    Spägele touched down in Namibia on July 25 and is expected to leave tomorrow. Among other things, he will discuss the way forward with the NBF.

    He will also be paying a courtesy visit to the Sports Commission and the Directorate of Sport to discuss cooperation to develop the game of basketball in Namibia.

    Speaking to Nampa last Thursday, NBF president Andrew Masongo said Spägele’s visit would mean a lot to Namibian basketball, as they expected to learn a lot from him during his three-day visit.

    “We had a memorandum of understanding with the German Basketball Federation (Deutscher Basketball Bund – DBB), which ended last year.

    “They have now assigned someone to come and observe on what never worked between the two organisations and how we can improve on their support in going forward,” he said.

    He added that the BBW would be engaging with the NBF from the grassroots level, which is the most important part of any sport development programme.


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    Nakathila aims to restore energyNakathila aims to restore energy Jeremiah Nakathila will be doing light exercises for the remainder of the week in order to restore some lost energy he used up while preparing for his Russian trip.

    The boxer confirmed yesterday that it was important for his body to relax in order to conserve energy for his international bout.

    The undefeated boxer has a date with Russian Evngeny ''Happy Gilmore'' Chuprakov for the WBO Intercontinental Super Featherweight title fight on 18 November.

    “I have been working so hard in the gym for the past month and I feel I am ready to take down the Russian.

    “As a boxer I am willing to slow my training pace down in order to restore energy I have lost while working out for the past couple of months. “I believe that it is going to be a good week ahead before I travel to Russia on Friday,” Nakathila said in an interview yesterday.

    ''No Respect'', as he is known locally, will travel to Russia boasting with a record of 11 wins from 11 fights, while Chaprov awaits him with an impressive record of 16 undefeated fights.

    Nakathila''s coach and trainer, Tobias Nashilongo, expressed confidence in his young boxer.

    “We have done everything we could to bring him to this level which I believe gives our team great confidence when going to Russia.

    “I do not think the weather will be that much of a problem because the coldness could help the boxer not to tire out when fighting,” Nashilongo said.

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  • 11/07/16--14:00: NPL AGM frustrates Goagoseb
  • NPL AGM frustrates GoagosebNPL AGM frustrates GoagosebFears of manipulation arise Citizens FC chairperson Dawid Goagoseb feels that some people betrayed their own feelings at the premier league AGM on Saturday. Citizens FC chairperson Dawid Goagoseb has claimed that things did not go as planned for many clubs at the Namibia Premier League annual general meeting on Saturday.

    The AGM took place at Football House and attracted leaders from several football clubs, including the board of governors (BOG).

    Goagoseb yesterday told Namibian Sun that many people were pretending to be happy with of the outcome of the meeting.

    “I can tell you that there were so many people there who had different agendas before the meeting, but they then changed their minds during the meeting.

    “Some people have all along been requesting for the current leadership, including chairperson Johnny Doeseb, to step down.

    “This was totally a different case at the meeting, which made one wonder what could have changed their minds.

    “I won''t mention names, but I can confirm to you that there was a gentleman who called me every night talking about how unhappy he was about the current leadership.

    “On the day of the meeting he was acting all happy, which for me seemed as if it was a different person I was looking at.

    “I suspect people are being manipulated by prominent officials into making decisions,” Goagoseb fumed.

    “There was an old gentleman who bravely stood up and asked the chairman when he planned on resigning.

    “You could see that this gentleman was worried about the current football state.

    “That man earned my admiration because he really showed that he was concerned about what is happening in the game,” he said.

    Goagoseb, who formerly served as the chairperson of the Khomas Regional League, made it clear that he did not have anything against the current chairperson of the premier league. The Citizens boss said, however, that many people felt before the meeting that the league must return to a N$15 million budget per season rather than the N$24 million the NPL suggested.

    After speaking to Goagoseb, Namibian Sun asked two club chairpersons how they felt about the outcome of the meeting.

    Young African FC chairperson Marley Ngarizemo had a different view about the situation.

    He said the outcome of the meeting was fair enough because it would not be logical to plan a coup against Doeseb.

    “The truth is that nobody is happy about what is happening to Namibian football at the moment.

    “That alone, however, will not make us plan anything against the current leadership because they will have to fix what is happening now.

    “The resolutions taken at the meeting are fair enough and we are all just hoping that the league gets a sponsor sooner,” Ngarizemo said.

    Black Africa chairperson Boni Paulino also said that his club was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

    Just as his Young African counterpart, Paulino said he had high hopes that the league would start in February.

    “All we can do is hope for the better because many footballers'' lives depend on the game. We just have to trust in the current leadership,” Paulino said.

    One of the many resolutions taken at the meeting was that the NPL must start in February 2017, provided that the N$21 million still needed for the next three years is secured.


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    Messi hailed as 'extra-terrestrial' after Barca victoryMessi hailed as 'extra-terrestrial' after Barca victory The day before his side hosted Barcelona, Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli joked that Lionel Messi''s supremacy necessitated two Ballon d''Or competitions, “one for Messi and one for everyone else”.

    The Argentine''s words rang true as his compatriot turned Sunday''s thrilling encounter with the high-flying Andalusians on its head, engineering a 2-1 comeback victory for his side despite a breath-taking display from Sevilla.

    Barca looked there for the taking after Vitolo''s 15th minute goal and were drowning in the home side''s unrelenting pressure, only spared by some wayward finishing.

    But as halftime approached, Messi sparked a surge forward, combining with Denis Suarez and Neymar to equalise with Barca''s first clear effort on goal.

    The 29-year-old took hold of proceedings in the second half, crafting two unfulfilled chances for himself before teeing up Luis Suarez to secure Barca the winner.

    Sevilla, for all their early confidence, had no response.

    “When a player like him takes a game seriously it''s very difficult for his opponents,” said Sampaoli, whose side''s perfect home record in La Liga and the Champions League was broken.

    “Messi is a world class player and when the game opens up there''s little you can do to stop him, nor his team mates because they can really punish you if you give them any space.”

    Barca coach Luis Enrique praised the little magician for yet another match-winning display.

    “Messi''s capacity to interpret any situation is remarkable.

    There''s no-one like him. Our aim is to look to give the ball to him as often as we can,” he said.

    Sevilla''s Vitolo added: “I''m not going to tell you anything new about Messi, for me he''s the best of all time.

    “He only appeared in the first half to score the goal but in the second he improved his whole team.

    “We were on top in the first half but Barca''s front three can score at any moment and their first goal got them back into the game.”

    Sevilla president Pepe Castro lamented his side''s inability to finish Barcelona off but was also in thrall to Messi.

    “We couldn''t take our chances in the first half. They have Messi, we do not,” he said.

    “He is an extra-terrestrial. The first time he touches the ball, it''s a goal.”

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  • 11/07/16--14:00: Naigambo calls for funding
  • Naigambo calls for fundingNaigambo calls for fundingRunner still hopes for greatness Long-distance runner Beata Naigambo believes that Namibia''s athletics can improve if more money is invested. Namibian athletes will do better in international competitions with more funding and time for preparation to bring home better results and more medals.

    Long-distance runner Beata Naigambo said this after the annual Rene Kids Centre (RKC) Hardap Championship held in Rehoboth on Saturday.

    Naigambo said athletes in Namibia are talented enough to be among the top athletes on the continent but are lagging behind due to a lack of funding in athletics.

    She said athletics is a career and should be taken seriously.

    “To be a sportsman or woman needs discipline and commitment and with those two characteristics it won''t be difficult to get someone who can invest in you,” she said.

    The three-time Olympian said Namibia has a lot of talent that needs to be nurtured and exposed, but without funding it will remain a dream.

    She applauded the organisers of the RKC Hardap Championship 10km and 21km races, saying they were well organised.

    “Since the start of the championship, I see improvement each year and other marathon organisers like Old Mutual can learn a thing or two from these people.”

    She ended second in the women''s race over 21km.

    Mynhardt Kauanivi, who took part in the Olympics in Brazil in August this year, echoed her sentiments, saying businesses should invest in athletics to make Namibia one of the powerhouses in international road running.

    “As long as there is no money in athletics the country will not improve and we will be left behind,” he said.

    He won the 10km race on Saturday.

    The winner of the 21km women''s race, Lavinia Haitope, said athletes need more time for preparation and urged the youth to stand up and be counted as sports people.

    “At least four months so we can get the necessary preparation,” Haitope said.

    She encouraged the youth not to hide their talent and to push themselves to the limit if they want a better future.

    Haitope qualified for the London World Championships 2017 during the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in September in a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 43 seconds.

    She ended fifth overall in the senior women''s category.


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  • 11/07/16--14:00: VW emission woes deepen
  • VW emission woes deepen VW emission woes deepen Emissions scandal: Board chair in trouble Volkswagen board chair Hans Dieter Poetsch has become the latest individual to be implicated in the automaker’s emissions scandal. FIN24

    Volkswagen’s troubles deepened as supervisory board chairperson Hans Dieter Poetsch was added to a German probe of the company’s emissions scandal and a newspaper reported that US testers found software to cheat air-quality tests in Audi cars this summer.

    The carmaker on Sunday said the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, near its Wolfsburg headquarters, extended its investigation for alleged market manipulation to Poetsch, who becomes the second current board member to be targeted. Poetsch and VW are supporting the inquiry, which relates to his time as chief financial officer, the company said in a statement.

    Management "fulfilled its disclosure obligation under German capital markets law," VW said. A representative of the company’s largest shareholder’ voiced support for the chairman after the company’s disclosure.

    The disclosure is the latest dose of bad news for the iconic German automaker, mired in a scandal over software designed to cheat on emissions tests by operating cars differently under inspection than while being driven. The scandal has cost former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn his job, sliced VW’s market value, and has the company staring at a $14.7bn settlement covering 2.0-litre engine cars in the US.

    Germany’s biggest carmaker admitted last year to systematically rigging environmental tests for diesel emissions, exposing it to fines and other costs that have already reached $20bn. Volkswagen has hired US law firm Jones Day to investigate the emissions affair, which has also led to the departures of Audi development chiefs Stefan Knirsch and Ulrich Hackenberg, and the company plans to comment on those findings by year-end.

    More pain for VW could come as a US remedy is sought for 3.0-litre engine cars. By secretly adjusting how its cars performed under test conditions versus on the road, Volkswagen was able to market diesel engines’ efficiency while not sacrificing driving performance.

    Poetsch was CFO of VW from 2003 to 2015 and he also sits on the supervisory boards of VW units Porsche AG and Audi. The market-manipulation investigation by Braunschweig prosecutors is also targeting Winterkorn and VW brand chief Herbert Diess over how they disclosed the scandal to investors.

    A spokesperson for the state government of Lower Saxony, where the company is based, said it won’t take a position on the latest investigation as it is a matter for the prosecutor and courts to handle.

    The Porsche and Piech families, which control 52% of VW’s voting stock, backed the chairperson. Wolfgang Porsche, the billionaire clan’s top representative on VW’s supervisory board, said in an e-mailed statement that “the Porsche and Piech families absolutely stand behind Mr Poetsch.” The families continue to share VW’s view that the company has complied with disclosure rules, he said.

    The state of Lower Saxony is the automaker’s second-largest shareholder with a 20% stake, followed by Qatar with 17%. VW’s preferred stock, its most widely traded, doesn’t carry voting rights.

    Volkswagen is also running into more potential trouble in the US. Environmental authorities in California discovered certain Audi gasoline and diesel models with automatic transmissions that included software that would burn less fuel and emit less carbon-dioxide when on the test stand than while driven, according to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper. The findings made over the summer apply to cars including the Audi A6 and A8 and its Q5 SUV, the newspaper said. Audi had stopped installing the defeat devices in new vehicles by that time, Bild said.

    Environmental authorities discovered that when the steering wheel of those vehicles was turned more than 15 degrees, as if backing out of a parking space, the emissions-limiting software disengaged, Bild reported.

    An Audi spokesperson declined to comment on the Bild report, citing ongoing negotiations with authorities.

    Sports car label Porsche is also getting mired in the scandal. A Stuttgart court in September said it’s likely to bundle nearly 150 lawsuits seeking about €900m under a special procedure for large cases, akin to US class actions. Porsche shareholders say they lost money because the company failed to disclose in a timely manner the risks Volkswagen faces from installing the test-defeating software.

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    Community housing project for KeetmansCommunity housing project for KeetmansHousing with a difference Earth House Systems plans to construct 110 homes in a new type of housing development at Keetmanshoop. Earth House Systems, a Finnish construction company, plans to construct 110 homes in Keetmanshoop''s Kronlein suburb in the next two years. If the pilot project is a success, it plans to take it to other towns too.

    Finland''s honorary consul in Namibia, Timo Palander, and Finnish health and social welfare researchers on Thursday introduced the proposed community housing project to Keetmanshoop residents.

    Earth House Systems and its Namibian partner, Lithon Project Consultants, are working in partnership with the Keetmanshoop municipality to create a socially conducive and healthy residential area for families, including elderly people and young children.

    The neighbourhood is expected to include public areas such as parks and sports facilities for its residents. The houses will be affordable as they will be built using conventional as well as environment-friendly methods relevant to the area.

    The houses are estimated to cost between N$500 000 and N$800 000 and are targeted at people who earn above N$15 000 per month.

    The Finnish representatives asked the Keetmanshoop residents what they would like to see in their ideal neighbourhood.

    The locals brought up ideas such as a swimming pool, trees, tarred roads, boundary walls and security systems.

    The researchers also wanted to determine whether the families would require health assistance and day-care facilities for the elderly and children.

    The project will simultaneously serve as a two-year research study for the University of Tampere, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Namibia University of Science and Technology to find out if a set-up like that would be beneficial for healthy human relations.

    Social welfare expert Inkeri Ruuskanen explained that this model would serve as a pilot project which, if it works, would be implemented in other parts of Namibia as well as in Finland.

    “This started some years ago when Namibia and Finland engaged in ways to create a healthy environment for elderly people. Namibian families through the age spectrum are still close although it is also changing.

    “In Finland, people are very independent and live individually. It would be great if the project could help communities in both countries to strengthen social relations,” Ruuskanen said.

    Palander suggested that the group also think of waste recycling methods and fitness activities in the future neighbourhood.

    The municipality''s local economic development manager, Jegg Christiaan, said he was excited about the proposed project.

    “It takes into consideration the aspects of a township and we are excited not only about the housing, but about the plans for social infrastructure development,” he said.

    Two model houses will be built early next year for show purposes.

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  • 11/07/16--14:00: Namfin-X court hearing nears
  • Namfin-X court hearing nearsNamfin-X court hearing nearsAngula is not giving up on his stock exchange dream Namfin-X figurehead Helmut Angula is dragging Namfisa to court later this month. Namfin-X, once touted as a competitor to the Namibia Stock Exchange, is set to lock horns with Namfisa over its refusal to grant it a licence to operate as a stock exchange.

    Responding to a query by Namibian Sun, Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority spokesperson Victoria Muranda said Namfin-X would ask the High Court to overturn Namfisa''s decision.

    “Namfisa rejected the application for a stock exchange licence in September 2014 already and they brought an application to review and set aside our decision in the High Court earlier this year. The application is before the High Court and is still pending.”

    The High Court is expected to hear the case on 17 November.

    Former Namfisa spokesperson Isack Hamata was earlier quoted as saying: “We confirm that an application was lodged with Namfisa to issue a licence for a second stock exchange to Namfin-X. Kindly, however, note that such application was not approved as it did not comply with Section 8 of the Stock Exchanges Control Act of 1985.”

    Namfin-X figurehead Helmut Angula cried foul, accusing Namfisa of favouring the Namibia Stock Exchange.

    Angula argued earlier this year: “The establishment of that stock exchange is in the public interest and will benefit local entrepreneurs in Namibia. It appears an unprecedented practice was established whereby the annual application for the renewal of the NSX stock exchange licence was a formality and it was issued automatically without having to go through the review process prescribed in terms of sections 7, 9 and 10 of the Act.”

    Angula further questioned whether Namfisa chief executive officer Kenneth Matomola understood his statutory powers as head of the financial regulator.


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    Makhura leads investment delegationMakhura leads investment delegation Gauteng Premier David Makhura is leading the Gauteng delegation of senior officials and business people to the 2016 Namibia International Investment Conference.

    The two-day conference will take place in Windhoek today and tomorrow under the theme ''Promoting Investment for Inclusive Growth and Industrialisation'', with the aim of meeting the country''s development goals through investment.

    The conference will focus on housing, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, tourism, logistics and energy. Premier Makhura was to visit industrial parks, uranium mines and water reclamation plants yesterday morning before the conference''s official programme got under way.

    He is in Namibia at the invitation of President Hage Geingob. Geingob met with Makhura in October while he was in South Africa to promote the Invest in Namibia International Conference held at Emperors Palace.

    “The bi-national agreements between our national governments create huge opportunities for business to business partnerships as well as collaboration between sister cities and regional governments,” said Makhura.

    He added that the Gauteng provincial government was ready to play its collaborative role under the guidance of the national cabinet.

    “Gauteng is open for business. Our businesses and firms have capabilities and the resources to contribute to the industrialisation of Namibia, SADC and the continent,” he said.


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  • 11/07/16--14:00: Not put down by failure
  • Not put down by failureNot put down by failureA Rundu based business man turned his weaknesses to strengths and established the first private VTC in the town School dropout owns VTC Growing up, he wanted to become a radio presenter but life had different plans for him. This week, the man who has succeeded in setting up a vocational training centre narrates how he cast his dreams of becoming a radio DJ to pursue a career in skills training with success.

    Boasting of three campuses trading as Ngato Vocational Training Centre, Fernando Kaushiwetu John is affectionately known as Ngato. He was born in Uvhungu-vungu in 1981, in the Kavango East region. Ngato is making significant contribution towards youth empowerment in Namibia with skills training. He attended primary school in his home village and later moved to Rundu were he did his secondary education. Unfortunately, he did not do well in his Grade 10 getting 22 points.

    The story is usually similar for most dropouts but for Ngato, his story turned out to be different in so many ways. After failing Grade 10, he enrolled at the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) where he sought to upgrade but this was short-lived because he had to commute daily from his village outside Rundu to attend classes in the afternoon. He then quit Namcol and got a job at Pep Stores as a sales distributor where he used to distribute flyers earning a paltry N$20 per day. “As a child I wanted to become a radio presenter on NBC, so distributing flyers and convincing people to come and buy was not difficult for me,” he remembers fondly. It only took him two weeks to get promoted and he became responsible for shoes department in the store and a position he held until 2004. In the same year, he resigned and started a cleaning services company with a group of friends who shared the same goals and visions with him. One of them was Zuzu Elias, who is also doing well and owns a construction company.

    What is also fascinating about Ngato’s story is the way he acquired his skills. He gained his skills by doing voluntary work at companies that specialised in welding and plumbing. He never really thought of it as working for free because in the end he acquired the skills that have put him where he is today. Ngato also did a short course in plumbing and electrical engineering at a college in South Africa.

    After completing the short course, he put his skills and training acquired through this course into practice by doing small construction jobs. It is during this time that he worked on some projects that he is very proud of. These include manufacturing the gate for the University of Namibia Rundu campus and the gate of Rundu Senior Secondary School, “those are my works” Ngato prided. His passion to uplift the youth is evidenced by his initiative to help to train students at the Rundu Vocational Training Centre (RVTC) and the FD Youth Centre in numerous vocational competencies. Although he was happy with his contribution, there was still a lot he could do for the youth. “On 22 October 2012, and I remember this day vividly, I started putting ideas together on how I could start my own vocational school,” he narrated his success story. He said he did not quite know how to go about doing this, and he was not sure whether he was eligible to open a vocational college. Ngato approached the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the NTA and the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) to get the requirements. In 2012, he met his business partner Shitembi Christopher who shared the same goals and vision with him. Today, Shitembi is the human resource manager of the vocational colleges. Ngato’s dream to own a vocational training centre became a reality the following year aligning the stars in his universe to his dream and Ngato Vocational Training Centre (NVTC) opened its doors on 24 February 2013 with an intake of 137 students in various trades. It became the first ever private vocational school in Rundu and the second vocational training centre in the Kavango regions. Today, he owns three campuses at Kapako in the Kavango West region, Rundu and Mupini. Ngato believes that people must not wait for the government to provide them with everything saying they must try to meet the government halfway. For all this hard work and success, Ngato never received any donations and support from any charitable organisation.

    His motivation to establish a vocational college stems from the realisation that many youth in Namibia need vocational training in numerous trades. According to Ngato, it was not easy, setting up the colleges of that magnitude but it was his passion that made it possible. “I was fortunate enough to be supported by my mom and siblings and the people who enrolled to study or who enrolled their their children at Ngato Vocational Training Centre because they trusted my initiative.” Another reason that prompted him to venture into this industry is the importance he attaches to vocational training. “I believe without vocational training life would be difficult, because we would not have portable water without plumbers, we would not have strong houses if we did not train people to become welders, so it is this realisation that drove me to start this institution,” he reminisced. With all he has achieved, Ngato still feels there is still a lot he can accomplish. He said he still has numerous projects in the pipeline. His wish is to see more youngsters enrolling in vocational schools. “It does not matter which vocational training centre they enrol because we all offer the same skills training,” Ngato maintains. Ngato is calling on Namibian youth to take their education seriously and shun becoming drop outs. In the meantime, his prime focus is to nurture his graduates and will strive to provide quality service


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  • 11/07/16--14:00: D-Day is here
  • D-Day is hereD-Day is hereTrump and Clinton fight to the finish in bitter US vote The latest polls give Clinton a narrow national lead of between three and five percentage points, but rolling averages point to a closer race, with Trump up in some swing states. White House rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were still flailing for a knockout blow Monday as a presidential race that has cast a pall over US democracy neared its end.

    With one day of campaigning left, both sides had packed schedules in the swing states that will decide whether the Democrat can convert her slim opinion poll lead into final victory.

    Trump, a populist tycoon who co-opted the Republican Party and created a raucous, nativist grassroots movement in his own image, was still campaigning at midnight Sunday.

    Branding 69-year-old Clinton the "most corrupt candidate ever to seek the office of the presidency," he urged supporters to "deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8."

    Clinton, the former secretary of state running to become America''s first female president, had events planned through midnight Monday to take her into polling day itself.

    The Democrat spent the last eight days of campaigning under a renewed FBI inquiry into whether she had exposed US secrets by using a private email server at the State Department.

    That burden was finally lifted on Sunday, when the FBI confirmed it would not seek criminal charges, but at the cost of another cycle of headlines about an issue that has hurt her.

    She tried to end Sunday''s round of rallies on a note of optimism about the United States, albeit couched as a warning that her supporters need to rise to counter the Trump threat.

    "I really want each and every one of us to think for a moment about how we would feel on November 9, if we were not successful," she said in Manchester, New Hampshire

    "When your kids and grandkids ask you what you did in 2016, when everything was on the line, I hope you''ll be able to say you voted for a better, stronger, fairer America."

    The world has looked on agog during the campaign, as Trump''s once mocked reality television shtick became a plausible vehicle for victory in a divided and suspicious country.

    World markets were rocked last month when the renewed FBI probe threated to sink Clinton''s chances, and Asian exchanges opened higher after that threat was lifted.

    But Trump came back fighting, and experts said the renewed scandal had already damaged the Democratic former first lady''s chance of succeeding President Barack Obama.

    Clinton''s lead dropped from 5.7 to 2.9 percentage points in the week since the scandal returned, according to influential data journalist Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com.

    Trump is predicting a ballot upset on a par with Britain''s shock vote this year to quit the European Union, or what on Sunday he called: "Brexit plus, plus, plus."

    Clinton has booked a star-studded roster of supporters -- headlined by President Barack Obama and rock star Bruce Springsteen -- for her final events on Monday.

    But Trump is also touring key swing states and was determined not to let Clinton off the hook over her email, a symbol for his supporters of the corruption of the Washington elite.

    "The rank and file special agents of the FBI won''t let her get away with her terrible crimes," Trump told a rally in Michigan, a state won comfortably by Obama in 2012.

    "Right now she''s being protected by a rigged system. It''s a totally rigged system. I''ve been saying it for a long time," he declared, as his supporters chanted "Lock her up!"

    Late last month, with Clinton seemingly on a glide path to victory, a renewed FBI investigation in Clinton''s email use sent shock waves through both campaigns.

    Trump, the 70-year-old property tycoon and Republican flag-bearer, seized on the opening, condemning Clinton''s "criminal scheme" and arguing that she is unfit to be president.

    He has previously threatened to reject the result of Tuesday''s vote if he loses, alleging that the race has been "rigged" by the media and the establishment elite.


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  • 11/07/16--14:00: Editorial
  • EditorialEditorial They say talk is cheap – What they didn''t say is that talking is unproductive and that only actions bring rewards.

    This seems to be especially true in Namibia where we are able to talk very well on podiums and at gatherings or in the public eye, but fall woefully short at acting on our pledges and delivering results later on.

    A wise man once said that if you want to get something done start immediately where you are and work with what you''ve got, the rest will put in its appearance later on as you go along. There seems to be a direct parallel between these words and what''s happening (or not happening) in Namibia.

    We have all this talk about NEEEF and how we are going to get money and shares from businesses, but we have around N$4 billion in outstanding and uncollected taxes, accumulated over many years. Even better than that, we have hundreds if not thousands of businesses not paying any taxes at all.

    We have talked about cutting government costs and our Finance Minister did a good job to this end when his hand was forced, but surely it should also be more about productivity and action, not just cutting costs. What happened to all the talk about regular performance appraisals and management?

    We have heard a lot about the mineral riches we as a country are sitting on, but what happens when in the current economic climate nobody buys these commodities anymore? Will we talk some more? What we are going to do? Are we going to think, diversify and act?

    A lot of talking, fact finding and feasibility studies are being done again – regarding our water problem in the central (and other) regions of the country. This is an old problem, it has been known for a long time! When the taps run dry in the next few months and all the reserves have been depleted – will we still be talking, discussing and doing nothing? Is it not time to stop talking and start doing what needs to be done?

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  • 11/07/16--14:00: Swakop wins again
  • Swakop wins againSwakop wins again After 11 days of voting, Swakopmund once again won the Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) Town of the Year competition for the western division. Swakopmund now joins Ondangwa, Otjiwarongo and Lüderitz for the final showdown, with the winner to be decided during the 2017 Namibia Tourism Expo in Windhoek.

    Swakopmund garnered 41% of the vote followed by Walvis Bay and Arandis who came second and third respectively.

    The other participating towns included Omaruru, Karirib, Usakos and Henties Bay.

    Swakopmund spokesperson Aili Gebhardt said she was looking forward to the final.

    “The competition was exciting and it encouraged teambuilding, networking with guests, co-workers and strangers. Yes, it was hard work, but the energy was there because we are passionate. Swakopmund is not a difficult town to sell. It talks to people with its inviting weather, rich history and energetic activities,” she said.

    “We are thankful for the opportunity created by NMH for us to engage with our residents and more excited that people of Swakopmund have spoken. We look forward to the finals.”

    NMH would also like to thank all its partners for this competition who are: Coca-Cola, Nedbank Namibia, Waltons/Mondi Rotatrim, Vivo Energy/Shell, Pupkewitz Nissan, Channel 7 and the African Leadership Institute (ALI).

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    Two die in accident outside OkahandjaTwo die in accident outside Okahandja Two people were killed in an accident on Sunday evening on the B1 road between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo after a government bus collided with a hatchback.

    This was just one of several accidents that occurred over the weekend in which people were killed.

    According to spokesperson of the Namibian Police, Inspector Slogan Matheus, the accident occurred about 45km north of Okahandja at approximately 20:00 on Sunday.

    He explained the accident was a head-on-collision between a government bus belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and a Toyota Conquest hatchback.

    According to Matheus, reports are that the hatchback, which was travelling in the direction of Okahandja, encroached into the lane of the bus that was travelling in the opposite direction and the two vehicles collided.

    The bus was only carrying the driver who escaped the accident without any injuries.

    The hatchback was carrying five occupants of which two died on the spot and the other three people only sustained minor injuries.

    They were treated at the Okahandja State Hospital and have already been discharged. The deceased have been identified as Louwrens Tjikuua who was the driver of the hatchback and Veritjitavi Ngangane.

    At least nine people were killed in separate accidents over the weekend on Namibia''s roads.

    This includes the accident near Kalkveld in which three people were killed late on Thursday evening and the accident on the Oshivelo-Omuthiya road in which four people were killed.


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