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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Shimbulu replaced at OshakatiShimbulu replaced at Oshakati Oshakati town councillors have agreed upon the demotion of mayor Katrina Shimbulu to an ordinary council member.

    This is according to the Swapo regional coordinator, Erastus Kapolo, who told Namibian Sun that Shimbulu''s fellow councillors had presented a letter to his office on Monday indicating that they want a new mayor.

    Kapolo said the council members agreed upon Angelus Iiyambo as Shimbulu''s successor.

    Ahead of Thursday re-election and swearing in of the Oshakati town council''s office bearers, Shimbulu''s replacement is the only change in the cards, unless the Swapo Party head office in Windhoek intervenes in the matter.

    The party has until tomorrow to look into the matter because by Friday all local authorities in Namibia should have completed the process of re-electing and swearing in office bearers.

    Shimbulu is the current president of the Association for Local Authorities in Namibia.

    Last week, Kapolo told Namibian Sun that he had informed the three Oshana Region town councils, Ongwediva, Ondangwa and Oshakati, to inform him whether they want to make changes.

    “We received a letter from the office of the secretary-general asking us whether there would be changes at the town councils. I therefore informed the different town councils and they reported back to my office and I took their decisions to the Regional Executive Committee and we endorsed the decisions by the councils,” Kapolo said.

    He said only Oshakati decided to make a change.

    Kapolo said Shimbulu is the only councillor whose signature was not on the letter he had received from Oshakati.

    “She did not sign while all other councillors signed agreeing with the letter,” Kapolo said.

    Asked whether Shimbulu can challenge the decision, Kapolo said it''s her legal right to do so.

    A well-placed source within the council told Namibian Sun that the move came as no surprise, since there had been rumours that fellow councillors were plotting against Shimbulu.

    Shimbulu could not be reached for comment by the time of going to press.


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    Drought takes toll on auctionsDrought takes toll on auctionsAgra happy with financial results despite setbacks The price per head of cattle has continued to decline since 2011,while the number of cattle marketed has also decreased. The intensity of the drought that has gripped the country since 2013 has increased exponentially, as can be seen in the decline of livestock marketed at auctions held by Agra.

    Despite this, the company has performed exceptionally well this financial year - most likely due to its diversification of activities.

    Despite the unfavourable economic climate, Agra was able to achieve a net profit before tax of N$47.751 million. The net profit before tax for the Group amounted to N$56.581 million for the year under review.

    Arnold Klein, the company CEO, says severe drought conditions continued this year, causing water restrictions to have a major impact on various sectors of the Namibian economy.

    “The agricultural sector, being highly dependent on rainfall, was the sector most affected by the prolonged drought. New export restrictions for livestock on the hoof to South Africa were implemented, causing large stock sales to South Africa to come to a standstill. Having battled all the challenges we were faced with, we are proud and grateful to have achieved excellent financial results,” he said.

    Klein said the average price realised per head of cattle declined, but remained fairly consistent for goats and sheep.

    However, he added it is of concern that the price per head of cattle has continued to decline since 2011/12 in real terms. The price per head realised in 2015/16 was lower than the prices achieved in 2011/12 which, apart from the severe drought and South African import restrictions, further contributed to the financial pressure on farmers.

    He said the increase in headcount of cattle did not mitigate the negative effect of the reduced head price on sales. With cattle sales being the main contributor to Agra Auctions'' income, a decline in total auction turnover was experienced.

    According to the report, during the 2015/16 financial year 128 150 head of cattle were marketed. This shows a decrease from previous years. In 2011, 151 037 cattle were marketed.

    The price per head of cattle this financial year stood at N$4 294, which also indicates a drop from the previous years. In 2012, a head of cattle sold for N$4 947 and last year the figure stood at

    N$4 611.

    There was also a huge drop in the marketing of sheep over the past few years. In 2011 a total of 193 328 sheep were marketed and this financial year only 140 468 were put on the market.

    The price per head of sheep was N$710 in 2012, increasing slightly last year to N$793 and growing further this year to N$814.

    In 2011 a total of 92 611 goats were auctioned while this year there were only 52 477 goats marketed. The price per goat in 2012 was N$711. It then dropped slightly until it rebounded to N$733 last year and this year it stood at N$814.

    According to Agra''s board chairman, Ryno van der Merwe, farmers have had to take emergency measures to decrease their herds and crop plantings regardless of prices.

    He said the negative impact of the drought, weaker prices and increasing input costs are reflected in the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) results. The overall target for growth in agriculture was set at 4% and the eventual outcome was -0.6%.

    Taking into account the two main agricultural subdivisions in the country, the target for growth in the livestock sector was set at 4.1% and the outcome was -2.3%, while the target for growth in crop farming was set at 3.9% and the outcome was 2.4%.

    The contribution of livestock farming to the GDP declined from 3% to 1.9% over the same period, while crop farming''s contribution declined from 1.9% to 1.3%.

    These trends should be a national cause for concern, Agra says. The real GDP for the second quarter of 2016 recorded a decline of 1.2% compared to a 7% growth registered in the corresponding quarter of 2015. In general, the Namibian economy has slowed down and shows signs of stress.


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    Accused pangolin smugglers in courtAccused pangolin smugglers in court Magistrate Vicky Nicolaidis has postponed a case of possession of endangered game against Yuefei Shen and Stanislaus Limwaya to 20 February 2017 for further investigation.

    The two accused had three live pangolins in their possession when they were arrested in Walvis Bay in October.

    According to a reliable source, one of the accused was hired to transport the animals from Gobabis on behalf of two other men.

    The accused made their first appearance before Magistrate John Sindano on 2 November. Prosecutor Faith Nyaungwa did not oppose bail and informed the court that the accused could be fined between N$150 and N$250 if found guilty.

    Sindano set bail at N$3 000 for each of the accused and postponed the case to 29 November. The accused paid and were released on bail.

    Pangolins are listed as a protected species in Namibia under the Nature Conservation Ordinance of 1975 and as such, it is illegal to catch, kill or possess pangolins or their scales. The animals are believed to be the most trafficked species in the world.

    They are hunted and eaten in many parts of Africa and are regarded by healers as a source of traditional medicine. The animals are also in great demand in China and Vietnam because their meat is considered a delicacy. It is also believed that pangolin scales have medicinal qualities.

    Of the eight species of pangolin, four are listed as vulnerable, two are listed as endangered, and two species are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.


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    High-level link to dolphin exportsHigh-level link to dolphin exportsChinese tycoon’s address on letterhead Contact details provided on an application for exports of live marine animals to China have led to millionaire Jack Huang’s Sun Investment Group in Windhoek. JANA-MARI SMITH

    Telephone calls to a number listed for a Chinese company that has offered the government millions in return for hundreds of endangered marine animals revealed a possible link to a prominent Chinese businessman in Namibia.

    A letterhead for Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research, the company that applied for permission from the fisheries ministry to export penguins, dolphins, killer whales and seals, lists the same business address and telephone number as those of millionaire Jack Huang’s Sun Investment Group in Windhoek.

    The landline number and the business address for Sun Investment Group, as listed in the telephone directory, match the details provided on a letterhead, in possession of Namibian Sun, of Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research.

    When the number listed on the letterhead was called this week, an unidentified person at the reception desk confirmed that the number was the correct one for both Welwitschia and Sun Investment Group.

    Moreover, the person said the contact person for Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Service Research is a certain Jeff Huang, allegedly related to Chinese business tycoon Jack Huang.

    The person furthermore stated that Welwitschia “falls under the same umbrella” as Sun Investment Group.

    Last week, officials at the Registrar of Companies said Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research was not a locally registered company and there was no pending registration either.

    Both Jack Huang and ‘Jeff’ yesterday denied any knowledge of Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Services, during brief conversations with Namibian Sun, after they were reached on their cellphone numbers.

    Both denied any knowledge of the application to export marine animals, or of the specially modified Russian vessel Ryazanovka, anchored at Walvis Bay harbour since May. Reports indicate the vessel is equipped to transport large marine mammals, including whales.

    From what could be gleaned regarding the vessel, its manager and owner is Vasiliyev OA, based in Petropavlovsk, Russia, which is also listed as its home port.

    Jack Huang yesterday said he had no knowledge of either the ship or the application with the ministry, and did not have any information on the owners of Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research, or of the company itself.

    Jeff Huang denied being related to Jack Huang and said he has “no idea” about the marine mammal issue or the Welwitschia company itself.

    Ministry of fisheries permanent secretary Moses Maurihungirire yesterday confirmed that the ministry had not yet reached a decision on the application.

    The application, which was handed to the ministry at least seven months ago, was heavily criticised, not only for countless inaccurate scientific claims, unrealistic demands in terms of the numbers of species in Namibian waters, but also in light of increased global objections to trading and keeping wildlife in captivity.

    Moreover, local tourism enterprises warned that granting the application could damage the country’s reputation as conservation stalwart and harm marine tourism.

    The ‘Project Concept Note’, as handed in by Welwitschia, in partnership with a company calling itself Beijing Ruier Animal Breeding and Promoting, claims that they will invest an initial N$30 million in equipment and vessels to start the operation.

    The proposal is based on the assumption, false according to numerous experts, that the Chinese will “harvest excessive marine mammals and other sea based fish type”, including bottlenose dolphins, African penguins, orcas and seals.

    The document, allegedly compiled by marine biologists, falsely states that Namibian waters are stocked with “abundant marine lives include fur seals, penguins and cetacean species, such as Killer Whale, Fin Whale, Pygmy sperm whale, Rough-toothed dolphin and Heaviside’s dolphin (sic).”

    While many of the species do not exist in Namibian waters, or only pass through rarely, the other species listed are endangered and rare. Despite this, the proposal requests permission to capture large numbers of these animals - more than the actual numbers in Namibian waters.

    Moreover, the project is “premised on the general assumption that Namibia does not have a marine mammal monitoring strategy in place,” another claim that was ticked off as false by environmental experts.

    The fact that the fisheries ministry has dragged its feet on the issue, although many say the decision is simple as it should not be considered at all, has caused rising levels of frustration countrywide.

    Concerned citizens, many of whom have worked in environmental circles for years, say the secrecy around the application raises suspicion that the application might be a done deal, having been approved in secret.

    They have urged that in the interest of responsible resource management, Namibia’s wildlife and the country, the application be denied.

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    Air Namibia passengers angry about luggageAir Namibia passengers angry about luggage ELLANIE SMIT

    Air Namibia passengers were fuming on Friday when they arrived in Harare only to discover that their luggage had been left behind in Windhoek.

    According to a passenger on board the flight that left Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday evening the plane was fully booked and when they arrived in Harare they found out that no luggage had been loaded.

    “Passengers were fuming,” said Dr Chris de Chavonnes Vrugt.

    According to him the passengers were only told about the problem after they had been sent to the Lost and Found to find their missing luggage.

    He said some passengers received their luggage on Saturday while others only got their bags on Sunday.

    On the Sunday return flight to Windhoek luggage again had to be left behind, as the plane was overweight.

    Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa told Namibian Sun that the Embraer ER 135 jet used on the route was carrying too much weight on the flight to Harare, as it was full to capacity with 37 passengers.

    According to Nakawa a decision was made to leave all luggage behind at Hosea Kutako.

    “It is the industry standard practice to leave baggage whenever an aircraft is full, because it is a safety issue. Every airline does that, it is like cancelling or delaying flights when circumstances dictate so. This was the case with regard to this specific flight, as safety is our number one value,” Nakawa said.

    However, industry experts disagree. They say at this time of the year an aircraft has to carry extra fuel in case it needs to divert to another airport because of severe thunderstorms over Harare. The extra fuel makes the aircraft heavier.

    Experts told Namibian Sun that no aircraft can fly with a full fuel load as well as the maximum number of passengers and their luggage.

    Well-placed sources say the ER 135 is too small for the Harare route, but if Air Namibia has no other aircraft available it should limit seat bookings to 33 to accommodate luggage.

    “That is the professional thing to do,” industry sources said.

    Namibian Sun was informed that Air Namibia experiences the same problem on its Johannesburg to Windhoek route during the winter months due to strong headwinds.

    Nakawa admitted that Air Namibia was wrong not to inform its passengers before they embarked about the decision to leave luggage behind.

    He said in some instances this information is communicated by the captain in command of the flight.

    He confirmed that the luggage was sent to passengers via Johannesburg on Saturday and all passengers received their luggage.

    Air Namibia apologised for the inconvenience promised to improve its communication with passengers in order to avoid disappointments.

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  • 11/30/16--02:49: Haseb quits commission
  • Haseb quits commissionHaseb quits commission
    The head of finance at the Namibia Sports Commission Walter Haseb has resigned.
    The acting chief administrator in the commission Peter Wilson confirmed that Haseb tendered his resignation on Monday and his last day of work will be 28 December.
    One week ago he was removed from his position as acting chief administrator and moved back to his first position at the commission, which was head of finance.
    Well-placed sources told Namibian Sun that he has resigned due to the regular upheavals at the commission. There are also indications that Haseb has sought legal advice, however, Haseb could not be reached for comment to confirm or deny.

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  • 11/30/16--16:00: NAFPU suspension kept secret
  • NAFPU suspension kept secretNAFPU suspension kept secretFIFPro suspension lifted The Namibia Players'' Union failed to reveal to the football fraternity that it had been suspended by the World Players'' Union for almost seven months. Namibia Football Players'' Union secretary-general Olsen Kahiriri has rubbished allegations that his union is still suspended by the World Players'' Union (FIFPro).

    An inside source had revealed to Namibian Sun that the union has been suspended by the international body since June.

    The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that NAFPU was suspended because of a lack of proper financial records and enough members.

    “NAFPU is busy attacking other organisations, but has not told the people that things have not been going well for them at times.

    “It is strange how the media did not pick this up that the union has been serving a suspension from FIFPro all along.

    “This is what led to the resignation of two of its prominent members, Ronald Ketjijere and Mammie Kasaona, early last month,” the source said.

    In an interview yesterday Kahiriri said: “Yes, it is true that we were suspended, but we could not disclose that since we knew that we were going to fix the problem as soon as possible.

    “I can confirm with you that our suspension was lifted effective from 1 November after meeting the requirements.

    “FIFPro is a very big organisation and that is why many countries in Africa do not even meet the requirements to be members of it.

    “We are however on the right track with everything and confident that the players'' union will continue to grow.

    “We did not keep the suspension secret because all our members were aware of the decision taken by FIFPro.”

    Kahiriri provided a letter FIFPro secretary-general Theo van Seggelen as proof that the suspension had been lifted.

    “Dear Olsen, in their meeting on 31 May to 31 June, the FIFPro board discussed the internal problems of NAFPU. It was agreed and requested that if NAFPU will not send the necessary requirements within 10 days, NAFPU will be suspended until at least the board meeting in September.

    “I would like to inform you that your suspension has been lifted as of 1 November and you are entitled for the coming period for 16 November to 1 July 2016 to receive a total amount of $29 833 which will be paid in four instalments of ($7 458),” the letter reads.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: Haseb calls it a day
  • Haseb calls it a dayHaseb calls it a day A long-serving administrator at the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), Walter Haseb, will leave the commission by next month.

    Haseb, who has been at the commission for close to ten years, tendered his resignation on Monday.

    He wanted to quit immediately, but acting chief administrator Peter Wilson said in terms of his employment contract he has to give 30 days'' notice.

    The two parties agreed that his last working day will be 28 December.

    Haseb was removed from the acting chief administrator position a week ago and returned to his position as head of finance and administration.

    The chairman of the commission, Joel Matheus, said Haseb had to attend to the commission''s finances.

    Wilson said Haseb was working on a report that he would hand over to Wilson and was also sorting out financial and administrative issues.

    Asked about the reasons Haseb gave for his resignation, Wilson said he had cited personal reasons.

    He could however not point out the reasons that Haseb cited in his resignation letter, but indicated that Haseb said it was because of personal reasons.

    Matheus said the resignation came as a surprise to him.

    “He has tendered his resignation and I must say I was surprised as he did not give any reason as to why he is resigning,” he said.

    Namibian Sun was reliably informed that Haseb does not want to be in the commission''s structures anymore because of disagreements between him and the commissioners.

    Recent media reports indicated that Haseb wanted the newly appointed commissioners recalled by the sport minister.

    “I understand his resignation was because of the disagreements that he had with the commissioners so he decided to leave,” said a source who asked to remain anonymous.

    Haseb could not be reached for comment.


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    Uushona promises to 'punish' JackiewiczUushona promises to 'punish' JackiewiczSalute invites fans to their year-end bonanza The redemption of Bethuel ''Tyson'' Uushona has arrived and the Namibian is eager to be in the ring and so is his Polish opponent. Bethuel ''Tyson'' Uushona says his opponent, Rafal Jackiewicz, has come at the “wrong” time and will not receive any mercy.

    The confident Uushona will be facing Jackiewicz for the WBF welterweight world title on Saturday at the Ramatex hall in Windhoek. The event is organised by the Salute Boxing Academy.

    “We have been working hard for this fight and come Saturday somebody has to feel the pain, and I tell you that I am going to punish you,” Uushona said.

    Uushona said he has gone through a lot in his boxing career, and it is now his time to shine.

    “I have chosen him because I have also seen his record and because of what I have gone through in my career it is not my fault that he came at the wrong time,” he said.

    He urged all the Namibian fighters to bring their talent to the table on the night.

    “We must all go and put up an unforgettable show as this is the first Salute event in Windhoek so let us all bring the talent to the table,” he said.

    Jackiewicz also showed confidence when the two boxers met at a media briefing, stating that he had prepared well for the fight.

    “I had two months to prepare for this fight but usually I only prepare for two to three weeks, so it is a positive that I had so much time to get ready for this fight,” he said.

    Although it is his first fight in Africa, Jackiewicz said he was not going to disappoint and that the hot weather would not have an impact on him on that night.

    “I did not come here for a holiday excursion but to show off my boxing skills,” he said.

    The 12-round bout will be the main event of the night, which will see Uushona entering the ring with a record of 40 fights, 34 wins, five losses and one draw while Jackiewicz has a record of 65 fights, 48 wins, 12 losses and two draws.

    In the supporting bout, Lukas ''The Demolisher'' Ndafoluma will face Walter Dlamini of South Africa.

    Ndafoluma and Dlamini were due to compete for the IBO All-Africa middleweight title but according to Salute Boxing Academy''s spokesperson Fredrich Nghiyolwa the fight will go on but not for the IBO title.

    Ngiyolwa explained that the academy has been in communication with the IBO office in America as they do not have an African representative but because the IBO officers were on holiday they could not process the claim. IBO has indicated to the academy that it is too late to appoint officials for the fight.

    “We have already paid the sanction fees so the title fight is not called off but postponed to our next event,” he said.

    The IBO office communicated to Salute that they received the sanction fees on 23 November.

    Boxers such as Albinus Felisiano and Joseph ''Smokey'' Hilongwa will also feature on the card.

    Tickets for the fight are being sold countrywide, and at all Airtime kiosks in Windhoek. General tickets cost N$100, VIP N$500 and table for ten N$20 000.


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    Mannetti aims for better FIFA rankingMannetti aims for better FIFA ranking Namibia''s new top-100 International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) ranking shows that the team is doing something right, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has said.

    Namibia moved from 118th position to 98th in the world ranking and from 45th place to 25th on the African ranking released by Fifa on Thursday.

    Namibia''s all-time highest ranking was 68th in 1998.

    The team has not been ranked in the top 100 since 2001. The closest it came was in July 2009 when it was ranked 101.

    Speaking to Nampa recently, Mannetti said they were still chasing the record, which is 67th, and would get there slowly but surely.

    “Sometimes people don''t understand the pace we are working at, but credit should be given to the players, Brave Warriors technical staff and the football association.”

    Mannetti said improving the ranking was a great thing for Namibian football as a whole; huge for the development project they were working on and immense for the Namibia Football Association.

    Namibia''s new ranking comes even after the team was inactive for the past two months.

    The Brave Warriors'' last game was in September when they were defeated 0-2 by Senegal in the African Nations Cup qualifiers.

    According to the Fifa website, any team that does well in world football wins points which enable it to climb the ranking. A team''s total number of points over a four-year period is determined by adding the average number of points gained from matches during the past 12 months.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: Woodburn makes history
  • Woodburn makes historyWoodburn makes historyLiverpool move into League Cup semis Youngest Liverpool player Ben Woodburn made history on Tuesday when he sent his team into the League semi-finals. Liverpool starlet Ben Woodburn made history as the teenage striker became the club''s youngest ever goal scorer in Tuesday''s 2-0 win over Leeds in the League Cup quarter-finals.

    Aged 17 years and 45 days, Woodburn enjoyed a moment to remember forever in the 81st minute at Anfield when he fired home in front of the famous Kop End to eclipse the previous record set by Michael Owen, who was 17 years and 143 days old when he scored against Wimbledon in May 1997.

    “Another record taken from me! Congratulations BenWoodburn on becoming the youngest ever scorer for LFC at 17yrs and 45 days. #KopEnd,” Owen tweeted.

    Woodburn only made his senior debut for Liverpool on Saturday as a late substitute in a Premier League win over Sunderland - an appearance that made him the club''s third youngest ever first-team player.

    Cheshire-born Woodburn, who recently signed a long-term contract with Liverpool, is a Wales Under-19 international, but he still remains eligible to play for England at senior level.

    While it''s far too early to say a star was born on Tuesday, Woodburn''s impressive pedigree at youth level and his fairytale first goal for the Reds suggest he is one to watch.

    “Ben, we know how young he is. It''s a nice story and all the boys are really happy for him,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.

    “Everyone is smiling in the dressing room. It''s a good moment for him and a good moment for us.”

    Klopp''s side are through to the League Cup semi-finals for the third successive year thanks to Woodburn and Divock Origi

    Klopp has now won seven of his nine League Cup games with Liverpool, who hope to lift the trophy for the ninth time after losing to Manchester City in the final last term.

    Before kick-off, Liverpool''s Brazilian captain Lucas and his team-mates, all wearing black armbands, stood for a minutes'' silence following the plane crash that killed 71 people, including members of the Brazilian Chapecoense team.

    With Philippe Coutinho sidelined for five weeks with ankle ligament damage, Klopp gave starts to teenagers Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria as the Reds boss selected a team featuring eight changes.

    Second tier Leeds, whose last League Cup semi-final appearance was in 1996, should have been ahead early on when Hadi Sacko broke the offside trap and saw his shot saved by Simon Mignolet. Liverpool gradually took charge and Sadio Mane''s pass slipped Georginio Wijnaldum into the penalty area, but the Dutchman''s shot struck the far post.

    Then, in the 76th minute, Alexander-Arnold whipped in a cross from the right and Belgian striker Origi stretched to guide the ball home at the near post for his fourth goal of the season and third in the League Cup.

    Woodburn came on in the 67th minute and his dream came to true when he smashed into the net following a flowing move involving Origi, Mane and Wijnaldum.

    “He is a brilliant young player. He did very well. A goal will give him confidence to keep learning,” Lucas added of Woodburn.

    In the day''s other quarter-final, Premier League strugglers Hull beat second tier Newcastle 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to reach the last four for the first time.

    Both sides made a host of changes and a drab game didn''t come to life until the 89th minute when Hull''s Dieumerci Mbokani was sent off after lunging forward with his head at Jamaal Lascelles.

    Newcastle took the lead eight minutes into extra-time when former Hull midfielder Mohamed Diame stabbed in, but Robert Snodgrass equalised 60 seconds later.

    In the shoot-out, Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic saved from Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle hit the crossbar before Jakupovic turned away Yoan Gouffran''s kick to clinch the win.

    On Wednesday, Manchester United host West Ham and Arsenal face Southampton in the remaining last eight ties.


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    Davis Cup winners return to heroes' welcomeDavis Cup winners return to heroes' welcome Argentina''s Davis Cup champions returned to a heroes'' welcome in Buenos Aires on Tuesday after clinching their maiden title with a stunning 3-2 win over Croatia over the weekend.

    Injury-prone 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro led a spectacular final day comeback against the hosts that delighted the massed ranks of Argentine fans, including soccer legend Diego Maradona, who witnessed the final at Arena Zagreb.

    “I have achieved things throughout my career that have filled me with pride and my dreams came true but with this beautiful cup, I will sleep well,” Del Potro told a news conference in the Argentine capital.

    Del Potro, whose career has been blighted by a number of wrist injuries, won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics in August and played through the pain barrier as he rallied from two sets down with a broken finger to level the tie in Zagreb on Sunday.

    Federico Delbonis then went on to complete an emotional victory with a straight-sets triumph over Ivo Karlovic in the final rubber.

    Argentine fans cheered the team captained by Daniel Orsanic as they made their way through the streets of Buenos Aires on an open-top bus.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: Platinum mine for Zim
  • Platinum mine for ZimPlatinum mine for ZimImplats makes multimillion-dollar investment The US$264 million Mupani Mine will start operating in January 2021. South Africa''s Impala Platinum Holdings Limited and Zimplats'' board have approved the development of the US$264 million Mupani Mine, which will increase the Zimbabwe unit''s mineral reserves, the company said on Wednesday.

    Implats said in a statement that the mine has a design capacity of 2.2 million tons per year by 2025 and will increase Zimplats'' mineral reserves by 3 million ounces to 9 million ounces of platinum.

    The first mining teams will be deployed in January 2021.

    The mine will employ 1 000 full-time employees at full production and will be financed through Zimplats'' internal resources.

    Zimplats Chief Executive Alex Mhembere said the mine will ensure that the Zimbabwe unit maintains production of 26000 ounces of platinum per year.

    “This investment is an important development for Zimbabwe and will provide much needed support to the local economy at an extremely difficult time, reinforcing our commitment to sustain and grow our investments in the country,” Mhembere said.

    Platinum mines are under pressure from President Robert Mugabe''s government to refine the metal locally as the southern African nation seeks to derive more value from its minerals.

    Zimplats ships its platinum for further processing at refineries in South Africa.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: Geingob showcases Namibia
  • Geingob showcases NamibiaGeingob showcases NamibiaTime to do business, urges Geingob President Hage Geingob recently visited France where he sought to strengthen relations between Namibia and France. President Hage Geingob jetted off to France early this week on a state visit to his counterpart, French president François Hollande.

    Geingob used the same occasion to try and woo the French business community in an effort to get more foreign direct investment.

    Said Geingob: “We are delighted to see that a number of French companies are already doing business in Namibia.

    Their investments have created jobs and transferred technology and expertise.

    These include, for example, the development of the 4.5 megawatt Omburu solar plant in Omaruru by InnoSun which was completed in April 2015.

    A second solar plant is being developed in Okahandja with a capacity of 4.5 megawatt by the same company while the company is also planning to set up a 150 megawatt wind farm in one of our national parks.”

    Geingob said other investments by the French companies had been made in the tourism, mining, services and retail sectors.

    Said Geingob: “As you have successfully done in France, we want to develop our manufacturing capabilities to become the backbone of our economy.

    We are, therefore, eager to learn from you about the development of labour-intensive industries.

    “Our main focus is on value addition.

    We believe that by adding value to our natural resources, Namibia will be able to increase its industrial output and thereby increase its exports of finished and high-quality goods to regional and international markets.

    “For this purpose, we have developed the Growth at Home Strategy, which aims to place emphasis on commodity-based industrialisation through the strengthening of local and national value chains.”

    Putting potential investors at ease, Geingob said: “We understand that foreign direct investment will not come into the country without a globally competitive business environment.

    “We have made significant efforts to address a number of bottlenecks in the business environment, including removing the red tape and simplifying the business registration process.

    “Most importantly, we have enacted the Investment Promotion Act that provides for, among others, investor incentives and protection, as well as provisions of dispute resolution mechanisms in the event of a dispute over an investment.”

    Concluded Geingob: “We aim to achieve this through partnerships with the business community of France, through the establishment of win-win partnerships.”


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    Zuma rejects money-laundering billZuma rejects money-laundering bill South African President Jacob Zuma sent an anti-money-laundering bill that would have increased scrutiny of the bank accounts of “prominent individuals”, including himself, back to parliament on Tuesday, saying it might not be constitutional.

    In a statement, Zuma''s office said the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) bill was “very important and pressing” but it was concerned about some of its aspects, particularly those relating to “warrant-less searches”.

    The bill, which is meant to bolster the fight against global financial crime by making it easier to identify ultimate owners of companies and accounts, including those of “domestic prominent influential persons”, was passed by parliament in May.

    That left Zuma''s signature as the final hurdle to it being signed into law. In its definition of “influential person”, the FICA bill specified the president and deputy president, ministers, provincial premiers, judges and generals.

    At a meeting with Zuma in September, the Black Business Council (BBC), a lobby group trying to boost black ownership of the economy, urged him not to sign the bill.

    Its reasons were not made clear at the time although South African media speculated that its stance might be related to a fight between the treasury, which sponsored the legislation, and the Guptas, a family of controversial businessmen close to Zuma.

    South Africa''s leading four banks have severed their ties with the Guptas over the last year. They have refused to make public their reasons but analysts say their action was probably prompted by concerns about reputational risk.


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    Kwafela welcomed in the NorthKwafela welcomed in the North Various stakeholders in Oshakati and Ongwediva have welcomed Namibia Media Holdings'' (NMH) Kwafela initiative, which is aimed at giving businesses the necessary exposure to grow through advertising.

    Kwafela, which is an Oshiwambo word meaning ''Help'', was launched today with the objective of seeking to promote and highlight the need for greater recognition of home-grown small and medium enterprises (SMEs), considering the role they play in the Namibian economy.

    Through Kwafela SMEs from all 14 regions of Namibia will be able to advertise their businesses, products and services in Namibian Sun''s classifieds section.

    One of those who welcomed the initiative was the owner of Luuk Electric and Construction, Lukas Nghinyengwa, who said SMEs do not get much exposure because of the cost of advertising in newspapers.

    Nghinyengwa said SMEs face a number of challenges such as competition, the state of the economy and funding of their business operations.

    He said he hoped Kwafela whould help SMEs to grow, as exposure is vital for businesses to thrive.

    “Although we haven''t seen the impact of Kwafela yet, I hope that it will help SMEs to grow,” he said.

    Asked whether local authorities are doing much to promote SMEs, Nghinyengwa said there have been efforts made by them although not much has been done to uplift small businesses.

    The Oshakati town council''s Fidelis Kambozu said they welcomed Kwafela because it would help SMEs operating in Oshakati to grow.

    Kambozu said the council did not have a funding programme for SMEs but it did provide them with the fitness certificates allowing them to do business in Oshakati.

    “If Kwafela is giving SMEs the platform to get exposure, we welcome the initiative and if there is any assistance needed from our side our doors are always open,” Kambozu said.

    The Ongwediva town council''s Salome Shidute said the council had made a number of positive strides to help SMEs.

    These included the construction of the Oshiko opeAn market that would soon be operational, awarding tenders to SMEs and providing training to entrepreneurs.

    Shidute said although she understood and welcomed the objectives of Kwafela, the initiative needed to be publicises in order for the SMEs to know that an opportunity like that exists for them.

    “The idea should be marketed well and it''s up to how much effort has been put into it that the public will know and make use of Kwafela,” she said.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: NamibRe reports good profits
  • NamibRe reports good profitsNamibRe reports good profitsNamibRe delivers on dividend promise NamibRe this week paid N$3.5 million in dividends to the government. The Namibia Reinsurance Corporation, NamibRe, this week handed over a cheque of N$3.5 million, making good on its promise to increase its dividends to the Ministry of Finance. This was revealed by its board vice-chairperson, Libertha Kapere.

    Kapere expressed satisfaction at the reinsurer''s good run.

    “I recall last year that we handed over a cheque to the honourable minister. You might recall that last year when we handed over the dividend cheque, the corporation made a public commitment to continue to work hard to ensure that we meet our financial obligations to our shareholder.

    “I am delighted to inform the ministry and public at large that our hard work has paid off once again as the corporation had a profitable year and is once again able to declare a dividend to the shareholder,” said Kapere.

    NamibRe''s dividend increased by N$1.5 million while the corporation reported net profit after tax of N$17.5 million for the financial year ended 31 March 2016.

    Said Kapere: “I am giving you the assurance that NamibRe will continue to work hard to enhance the performance of the corporation and declare dividends annually. This commitment is made with the full knowledge of the current economic situation of the country which has adversely affected public finances. Against this background, it is only befitting that state-owned enterprises fulfil our obligation and support the government by declaring dividends and paying taxes, which are key government revenue sources required to fund national projects.”

    Receiving the cheque on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, deputy minister Natangwe Iithete applauded NamibRe, saying, “I would like to express our sincere gratitude to NamibRe for once again paying a dividend to treasury. As we are all aware, it is a tough year for the global and regional markets, especially the financial markets where the insurance and re-insurance is operating and derives its returns.

    “Despite such challenges, the corporation was still able to optimise returns.

    “The corporation continues to be exemplary among state-owned entities and more importantly, in delivering on its key mandate and ensuring that the reinsurance industry remains sound in terms of risk coverage and capital retention.”

    Iithete said NamibRe had added N$61 million to state coffers via tax payments in addition to paying dividends of approximately N$12.6 million since its establishment in 2002.

    “I hope this becomes an example to other state-owned enterprises to follow,” Ithete said.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: Tamil Tiger tussle
  • Tamil Tiger tussleTamil Tiger tussle Sri Lanka wants Trump to help Sri Lanka has called on Donald Trump to help the country’s troops facing war crime allegations after a protracted civil war. Sri Lanka''s leader is seeking the support of US president-elect Donald Trump to free Sri Lankan troops from war crime allegations from the country''s decades-long civil war.

    President Maithripala Sirisena said he has already sent a message to Trump, seeking his support.

    The statement signals a retraction by Sirisena''s government of its promise to the UN Human Rights Council to investigate allegations of war crimes against government troops and the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in the civil war, which ended in 2009.

    The UN high commissioner for human rights had called last year for the appointment of a hybrid court comprising local and international judges. But Sri Lanka, in a resolution co-sponsored with the US at the council, had agreed to investigate allegations through its own judicial system with international technical support.

    Sirisena told a party meeting over the weekend that he would discuss the Human Rights Council''s resolution with Trump and send "special representatives to request [Trump] to free our country from this situation and help us to build a society where we could live freely".

    Sirisena said he would also make a similar appeal to incoming UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

    His statement comes in the wake of rising pressure by hard-line groups from the ethnic majority Sinhalese that accuse Sirisena''s government of betraying the military at the behest of Western nations.

    Sirisena''s predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who led the military campaign to crush the rebels and rejected calls for investigations during his tenure, has been trying to woo the public back to him on the issue.

    A UN report says there are strong indications that both government soldiers and Tamil rebels committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 25-year separatist war.

    The UN initially estimated that at least 80 000 people were killed throughout the conflict, but a UN experts panel reported later that about 40 000 Tamils may have been killed in just the last few months of the fighting.

    Sri Lankan soldiers are accused of deliberately targeting civilians and hospitals, blocking food and medicine for civilians trapped in the war zone. The rebels were accused of recruiting child soldiers, endangering civilians by holding them as human shields and killing those trying to flee their control.

    From the time the war ended, the US has been at the forefront in demanding investigations of allegations, and ties between the two countries were strained over Rajapaksa''s reluctance to probe the rights abuses. Relations with the US have improved since Sirisena took office last year.


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    Cleric buries wife inside churchCleric buries wife inside church A well-known Zimbabwean retired Anglican cleric, Reverend Lazarus Muyami reportedly shocked the Gokwe community when he buried his late wife inside the chapel of a school.

    The man of the cloth buried his deceased wife on Saturday, causing a stir in the community.

    Pictures of the burial, with a coffin inscribed "mum", were being circulated. The coffin was placed near the grave dug inside a church.

    According to New Zimbabwe, Muyami had also refused to hand the school over to the church, saying that he was the reason the school was built.

    "Although it (school) was built by donations from the UK, he has insisted that he sourced the funds and the church has failed to reclaim the facility from him," a church insider was quoted as saying.

    The source further claimed that Muyambi was widely feared in the church, as many believed he was an inyanga (traditional healer).

    Many felt the incident would bring a bad omen to the community, a News Day report said.

    "The church is a place of worship and even Jesus Christ was not buried in the church, this will bring a bad omen to Gokwe," Joseph Muganda, one of the church members was quoted as saying.

    However, the deceased''s son, Izwi Muyambi, defended the move saying that there was nothing wrong with the burial place as it was a norm in the Anglican and Roman churches.

    "There is nothing wrong with burying someone in the church, as it is the norm in the Anglican Church system and my mother’s family were also comfortable with her being buried there," he reportedly said.


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  • 11/30/16--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day A GIFT FOR THE POPE: Faithful give Pope Francis a puppet of a pope as he arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican yesterday. During the winter months the general audience is held indoors instead of in St. Peter''s Square. Photo: NAMPA/AP

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