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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/26/16--14:00: Keetmans prepares for SELCo
  • Keetmans prepares for SELCoKeetmans prepares for SELCo The Keetmanshoop Town Council has given itself six months to prepare for eventual take-over from the Southern Electrical Company (SELCo). Disgruntled Keetmanshoop residents have over the past months, demanded the removal of SELCo as a provider of electrical services in the southern town.

    In the absence of a regional electricity distributor, its spokesperson Dawn Kruger told Namibian Sun that the municipality was steadily putting in place preparatory measures.

    “The Keetmanshoop municipal council has put in place a joint steering committee that came up with a hand-over schedule for the successful transition of electricity distribution from SELCo to the Keetmanshoop Municipality.

    “The schedule specifies various deliverables that need to be achieved before the envisaged take over date of 1 July 2017, which is the start of our new financial year. This steering committee is committed to the timeous delivery of all deliverables and will do anything in its power to achieve it,” Kruger said.

    The committee consists of Keetmanshoop municipality management and councillors as well as SELCo representatives, who will be reporting to the municipal council, SELCo, Electricity Control Board, Nampower and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development on a regular basis.

    “A successful take-over from the SELCo will depend on meeting deliverables. The municipality plans to take over all services provided by SELCo by 1 July 2017 when the financial year starts. These six months are an interim period to iron out all the technical difficulties,” Kruger said.

    SELCo has of late come under increasing pressure from the residents of Keetmanshoop. A group of residents made it clear on Thursday last week that they were against a proposed six-month contract between the municipality and the SELCo.

    “What have you been doing all this time? We have elected you to solve our problems, but you continue to allow our economic suffering under this foreign company,” one resident said in frustration.

    Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Krohne told the crowd the council had yet to sign the contract and the only solution at the moment points to an extension of the municipality and SELCo's relationship for six months to prepare properly and take over the technical service. “We also do not want SELCo but we have no choice now,” she said.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Youth investment: The lynchpin of a nation's successYouth investment: The lynchpin of a nation's success The success of any nation depends on how it treats its young people. Giving young people the skills and knowledge to overcome lifelong challenges, opening of vocational training centres, making education affordable for every willing person to enter, that's what makes nations successful. If a nation wishes to equip its people with the skills required to succeed, it has to set aside its differences with those who openly criticise its governance.

    Engaging in trade deals with other nations, opening the doors of opportunity to everyone with no recognisable surname to enter, letting fairness prevail at the most critical of times. That's the path that should be taken by every nation willing to take its citizens to greater heights.

    Familiarising young people to important vices that make the economy grow helps a country succeed. Offering technological skills can help a country move closer to prosperity, that little gesture, if fully nurtured in the youth can go a long way putting a country back on its own two feet unlike always leaning on the West and Far East for help.

    A nation can attain great strides in technology because education opens the eyes of the youth and makes them reason in diverse angles for the betterment of lives. Technological advancement must be taught to students in schools where they go and learn great technical skills. Computers, electrical appliances and other products of technology are made possible in the life of today because of education. Educational standards improve from day-to-day and the more they improve, the more growth we have in technology. Technological growth started in Africa since the advent of education. Students are taught how to reason critically in schools.

    However, no country can reach its full potential if it does not invest in the education of its youth. It meaningless for a country to keep on preaching about young people being the leaders of tomorrow if those youths are not well equipped with an education. Once the young people are educated, they will have to face many difficulties and learn more about every field of their lives. That education should begin at a tender age and governments must always step in and make education affordable to all. If universities increase their tuition fees every year, there will be a very slim chance of people coming from improvised backgrounds to still dream of an education.

    If the youth are given the education they need, crime is likely to be low. This is because the youth will separate themselves from crime because they were taught the consequences of any committed crime while in school. These punishments of any offense make many to detach from anything that will lead them to crime. Again, with education, young people can learn to be disciplined and say no to any kind of crime. Thus, an education would not just empower the youth, it would provide employment for the masses. No normal person who is employed and paid well will have time to start thinking of which crime he will commit or the other to make money. Based on observations, countries that are more educated have less crime rates when compared with undereducated ones.

    Equipping young people with an education may also lead to a country becoming industrialised. This can only happen through the good work of the teaching given to youths from various parts of a country. Therefore, the industrial sector would not achieve great results without the learning of its youth. Many nations make good profits from the goods produced by their industrial sector and use them in their nation building. People are able to work in these industries because they are educated on how to operate industrial machines. It is through the training given to these people that make them to operate the machines effectively and have huge yields in return.

    Encouraging young people to take part in the agriculture sector can also assist a nation to grow and improve the living standards of its people. However, agricultural improvement is only attainable with education. Education creates great improvements in the yield of agricultural products. It is through education that crossbreeding was introduced to enhance the yield and varieties of agricultural products. It is of no doubt that crossbreeding of crops has made many types of harvests available to the masses. It is in institutions of learning that students are taught how to crossbreed. Again, it was through educational research on plants that crossbreeding came to existence. Today, people make a choice on the kind of crossbreed crops they want to eat in order to promote their health. Nations have varieties of plants at their reach and feed the masses with crops which are products of crossbreeding. The kind of farming tools that were used long time ago for farming is entirely different. Education makes people to reason beyond and start manufacturing machines for farming instead of making use of crude materials or human labour. With the help of newly produced machines, people can practice farming with less stress.

    Youth investment can only be achieved if improvements are focused on important sectors of a country such as education, health, agriculture and technological skills. If that happens, then the youth can truly be the future leaders of tomorrow unlike we have been made to believe in today's modern world.

    *Joseph Kalimbwe is fourth-year student studying towards a degree in Public Management (Honours) at the University of Namibia.

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    The youth – The architects of Namibia's tomorrowThe youth – The architects of Namibia's tomorrow Namibia is now captivated by a political scandal which has polarised society. It involves the dismissal of the deputy minister of land reform, Bernadus 'Clinton' Swartbooi. While there is a general, wide-ranging debate on the content of the position and content of the deputy minister, there is seems to be a clear generational conflict between the young and the old. The old, the liberating generation, has been in power for the past 26 years. Those on a collision path with the firebrand have been in power since day one. While it is often not stated, the younger generation, constituting 60% of the population is surely growing tired of these leaders who have converted themselves into permanent furniture of our political leadership. If there is one thing that is in the hearts of many young Namibians and often never expressed in public it is this: Time's up oldies – you have been generally corrupt and greedy. We respect and love you but we are tired!

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    The winds of change are loomingThe winds of change are looming In today's age, the decisions of the majority always win. The decisions made by the minority are not always protected. Following the masses seems to be the norm, even if they may be absolutely wrong in their ideas. The ideology that if you do not follow the voices that “bear some truth” then you, in your own capacity do not know what you are talking about. A case in point is the teacher's strike that was taking place in Namibia.

    I feel teachers deserved the 8% increment they were demanding for. After all, teachers are the backbone of the future leaders of Namibia. It's not surprising that the majority of the youth in Namibia supported the teachers as well. But I do not believe that the government should meet their demands at this current point, considering the financial implications for the economy of the country. The problem in this day and age is that Namibia is ridden with the concept of “survival of the fittest”. What this means is that people generally seek to fill their own pockets, and sometimes at the expense of others. The teachers chose to strike at an unprecedented time, considering that students were in the midst of their end of year examinations. However, in as much as this was an unprecedented time, the government should at no point have used propaganda to halt the strike. The thought of our leaders pointing out that if teachers manage to obtain this 8% increment then the nurses and other public servants will come out and propose their own demands is astounding.

    We are all aware that the financial crisis did not start with President Hage Geingob, in fact, Namibia was already in financial turmoil when President Hage Geingob came into office. But being the president, its best to assume that he knew about this long before he stepped foot into the State House. How else can one take up the duties and office without knowing all the facts and status quo that are both made known to any leader that takes office. The problem we are faced with is that the citizens are left to take all these facts into consideration, and try their utmost best to understand why the government is not at the capacity to meet their demands. Yet, the ministers are awarded with salary increments on top of already substantive high salaries. The one point that I fail to understand, something that irks me, is the appointment of two deputy ministers with elusive job descriptions. However, that is another topic on its own.

    The point that I am trying to bring across is that the people that are in positions of power and even fellow youths that have the capacity to create change should learn how to use their voice for the good, the bad, and the transmission of correct, propaganda-free information. The youth of today are more curious and ask more questions about issues that are affecting the country and their communities. We as leaders should understand that teachers need the money and also understand that the same teachers that are striking now, are part of the civil servants that received a 5% increment a couple of years ago, and if these same teachers receive this 8% increment then the government will have to pay them back pay from about April this year which is about plus/minus N$600 million. People may doubt what the significance of N$600 million is to a government that wanted to spend that on an even more costly parliament to accommodate a handful of people.

    One thing that troubles one is that with the youth of Namibia, there is a handful that truly out there wants to create change and be that change, whereas a significant number of the youth simply want the government to provide for them. We should move away from the principle of handouts and try our utmost best to build ourselves and grow each other. Call out the government when they do wrong or when they simply are not doing anything but do not make everything an issue without obtaining the necessary facts and information first. Challenge the leaders, but do it in a respectful manner. Let us move away from the concept of ridiculing people because they do not support your statements, or do not conform to the same ideology as yours. We all passionate about something, so let that speak true. Create an image of your own instead of creating an idealistic image out of someone else.

    As for the government, uphold a standard of accountability and transparency. Do not try and bypass the system because the youth are watching, and will continue to ask questions. Do not foster a system of threats and tarnishing the good name of your citizens. The people are awake, they can see what they could not see before and they need their voices not to fall on deaf ears.

    *Lineekela Hamutumwa is fourth-year student studying towards a Bachelor's degree in Media and Political studies at the University of Namibia.

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    Four rhinos butchered at GobabisFour rhinos butchered at Gobabis Pregnant cow entered labour when shot Four rhinos, including a prized bull, were shot on private land near Gobabis, however, the poachers only got away with the horns of two. Last week, four rhinos were shot by poachers in the Omaheke Region of which two of them were killed.

    According to police the incident occurred on the farm Kainas about 26 km west from Gobabis.

    Apparently, when the rhinos were fed on 21 December everything was still fine.

    The following day at about 15:00 when employees went to feed the rhinos again, they saw that some of the animals were missing and came across one rhino that was shot and killed and its horns removed.

    The police was immediately phoned and upon further investigation another rhino cow that was also pregnant was found shot and killed. The horns of this animal were also removed.

    When investigations continued it was found that two more rhinos were wounded, but not killed.

    According to the owner of the farm Walter Kinnear, they suspect the incident occurred on either 21 or 22 December.

    “They killed our bull Romeo. He was about eight and was the patriarch of the group. They killed a cow that went into labour when they shot her. Then they also wounded two young rhinos.”

    According to him one of the two wounded rhino will survive, however, a young cow which is also suspected to be pregnant has a 50/50 chance at survival.

    Kinnear says that all of the rhinos were shot more than once, while according to him indications are that it might have been an inside job.

    Kinnear said that he has also called in the help of private investigators and expects that arrests will follow soon.

    Police told Namibian Sun that it is believed that the suspects entered the farm on foot and left a vehicle parked outside the property.

    It is also suspected that the poaching incident took place during the day and that the suspects used a silencer.

    According to police what made investigations more difficult was the fact that it rained in the area and this washed away tracks. On Friday police and ministry of environment and tourism officials as well as forensic teams were still busy on the farm with investigations.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 12/26/16--14:00: Windhoek running dry
  • Windhoek running dryWindhoek running dry The City of Windhoek will remain reliant on the use of borehole water until the three dams supplying the city have received inflows. Water rationing is also expected to stay in place in the interim period.

    The Von Bach and Swakoppoort dams are both at critically low levels and both are expected to stop delivering water any day now.

    Von Bach's water becomes unusable due to sludge when the dam is at 4.3% while Swakoppoort become unusable at 2.3%. The dams currently hold 5%.

    According to a source in the City of Windhoek who chose to remain anonymous, drilling activities are progressing well but it was emphasised that security of water supply could only be achieved if Windhoek residents kept to the outlined water savings targets.

    “We are going to receive less water, emergency water. We do not have any water resources anymore.”

    He indicated that drilling activities carried out had progressed well.

    “A lot of work has been done, not all boreholes have been drilled but at least 50% of the new boreholes have been drilled. There can however easily be a fault but we are satisfied with what we have achieved.”

    He indicated that water rationing would be the new norm.

    “We need to really need to achieve our savings.” He noted that the City would close all illegal carwashes in 2017 as well as to introduce two additional measures to help support government's Save Water Campaign. We have hope.”

    Another source within the City of Windhoek told Namibian Sun that water supply was guaranteed for at least two years. This was achievable because drilling activities had been largely successful and the southern aquifer had bolstered supply efforts.

    “We have drawn a few boreholes and currently extract a lot of water from the aquifer. The majority of the water is drawn from boreholes and the aquifer.” What it meant for future supply he could not say, only indicating that based on modelling, Windhoek would possibly have water for roughly two years. “We cannot say with certainty. We can draw up to two years then we will have to recharge the sources naturally.”

    The source could not deny or confirm whether Windhoek was securing water from the Von Bach Dam or the Kartsveld basin. According to him, NamWater held the responsibility for the supply of those water sources. He could not also verify whether the Von Bach Dam was supplying any water at this time.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 12/26/16--14:00: Livestock wasting away
  • Livestock wasting awayLivestock wasting away Five-year drought takes devastating toll Hundreds of thousands of livestock have perished due to the drought and thousands of people grow hungrier every day. More than 182 000 cattle and 30 000 sheep have over the past few years died due the drought conditions in Namibia.

    This is according to an in-depth assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organisation that has for the first time revealed the full scope of the devastating toll that the prolonged drought has had on some communities in Namibia.

    The assessment indicates that between 2011 and 2015 more than 142 000 cattle perished due to drought conditions in Namibia, while more than 16 500 sheep died.

    It is further estimated that a total of 40 880 cattle, 13 895 sheep, 235 goats, 18 donkeys and 63 horses have died due to the drought between October last year and May this year.

    The report says that livestock mortality over the last five years due to drought has far outweighed mortality due to any other cause. The veterinary department reports that total number of cattle lost due to drought between 2011 and 2015 for example is 142 901 as compared with just 13 962 lost to disease within the same period.

    The assessment focussed on the Kunene, Omusati and Erongo regions and how drought impacted these communities.





    According to the assessment, at least 97% of communities in Omusati are reliant on crop production, followed by Kunene where 20% of communities rely on crop production while in Erongo 96% of households rely on livestock farming and 72% in Kunene.

    At household level, Erongo had the highest proportion of goats and sheep lost due to the effect of the drought whereas Omusati had the highest losses for cattle.

    At the time of conducting the survey, some of the households had migrated with their herds in search of grazing and water.

    Farmers reported poor reproductive performance within their herds, citing problems such as spontaneous abortions, low birth weights, dystocia, calf mortalities and longer calving intervals due to the poor body condition of their animals.

    They also reported a decline in frequency of clutching and clutch size for the indigenous poultry, highlighting that the number of eggs was gradually declining over time. This often happens as a result of extremely high temperatures.

    In Kunene and Erongo especially, the rangeland is mostly bare, with very little ground cover, says the report.

    According to the assessment farmers are concerned at the rate at which perennial grass species are being replaced by poisonous plants and invader bushes that are not beneficial to livestock farming. This has led to animals accessing inadequate grazing of poor quality and low nutritive value, resulting in poor livestock condition, with many farmers reporting livestock deaths.

    About 60% of the households in Omusati, 29% in Erongo and 20% in Kunene regions are currently unable to meet their food needs as most households are reported to have depleted their last season's harvest and are now dependent mainly on the market and the government's Drought Relief Food Programme for food access. However, according to households interviewed the supply of drought relief food is inadequate when compared to the number of food insecure people, says the report.

    “Households noted that, the drought relief food distribution takes too long to come to the household's rescue and is only targeting certain households that are regarded as most vulnerable. Household owners are therefore requesting the government to improve the supply of the drought relief food, ensure timely delivery of the food and cover all the households affected by the drought condition.”

    The assessment also indicated that up to 77% of the households in Omusati have inadequate supplies of water for human use as compared to 45.9% of the households in Kunene and 34.1% in Erongo.

    According to the report the drought adversely affected crop production with most farmers in the assessment area reporting total crop failure. The average crop losses for maize were 94.7% and 72.6% in Omusati and Kunene regions respectively.

    Crop losses for mahangu in Omusati was 75.8%. Other significantly high losses were 100% for other cereals and orchards, 92.6% for sorghum, and 90% for vegetables in Omusati.

    According to the report to assess the impact of drought on irrigation, farmers were asked to estimate the percentage reduction in irrigation capacity. Almost 32% of the irrigation systems were negatively affected. This was partly due to a variety of factors, ranging from dried up water sources due to a low water table as a result of poor rains, damaged canals, broken-down irrigation pipes and damage to infrastructure as wild animals such as elephants were moving into communities in search of food and water in Kunene. This consequently leads to a significant drop in the contribution of irrigated crops to household food security.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Accidents, murders mar ChristmasAccidents, murders mar Christmas The Christmas period was

    blighted by a spate of crimes ranging from murder, drowning to fatal car accidents.

    Chief Inspector Erastus Ikuyu of the Erongo police said they are investigating three murders reported just before Christmas Day.

    Aletha Swartbooi, 27, died after she was stabbed once in the chest with a sharp object in Omaruru at approximately 23:00 on 23 December.

    “We arrested a suspect. He handed himself over at the Okahandja police station and will appear in Omaruru Magistrate's Court. The deceased and her boyfriend, Rodney Seibeb, had travelled to Omaruru from Okahandja for Christmas and were staying at a family residence in Ozondje. While enjoying themselves with family members, an argument erupted between the victim and the suspect allegedly stabbed her,” said Ikuyu.

    The body of Prince Gowaseb, 18, was discovered in a pool of blood on 22 December at around 03:30 by passers-by, near the Arandis post office. A suspect, 36, has been arrested.

    It is alleged that the suspect and Gowaseb had visited a number of bars and were seen drinking together the last time Gowaseb was seen alive. They apparently departed to the residence of the suspect, which is not far from the post office where the stabbing took place and where the body was discovered.

    “The deceased was a learner at Kolin Foundation Secondary School. He was stabbed four times. It is not yet clear what caused the suspect to stab the deceased. The next of kin of the deceased person are informed and the investigation continues.”

    Brendon Keramin, 27, was shot and killed at on 20 December at house no 2947 in Tulinawa, Mondesa at about 16:20.

    Keramin was visiting his cousin and watching television when his cousin's roommate David Oubaas Goa-Eiseb, 30, arrived. Goa-Eiseb, who works as a security guard was on duty and arrived home accompanied by a colleague in his service vehicle.





    “Goa-Eiseb allegedly entered their room holding a service revolver in his hand and shortly thereafter the gun went off. Keramin was hit below the right armpit and died at the scene. He was disarmed by his colleague and arrested shortly thereafter. It is not yet clear why the suspect shot the victim as the two never argued.”

    Goa-Eiseb appeared in the Swakopmund court on 22 December and the investigation continues.



    Fatal accidents

    Meanwhile, four people died in two separate road accidents outside Okahandja on Friday evening.

    Inspector Athanasius Mogotsi said three people died in an accident between Okahandja and Karibib on Friday after a truck and their sedan collided head-on.

    “This accident occurred some 20 kilometres west of Okahandja at approximately 20:15.”

    Mogosti said the truck was travelling from the direction of Karibib and towards Okahandja, while the sedan headed the opposite direction.

    He said the sedan had four occupants including its 37-year-old driver.

    Two passengers from the sedan (ages unknown) and the driver died on the spot. The fourth occupant, a 25-year-old male passenger in the sedan sustained injuries, while the 59-year-old truck driver survived the accident.

    The two injured persons were taken to the Katutura hospital where they received medical attention.

    In a separate road accident on Okahandja-Erindi gravel road on Friday evening, a Nissan NP200 overturned after its 47-year-old driver, Richard Ngaringombe, allegedly lost control over it.

    Three other passengers sustained injuries in the accident that occurred around 20:00.

    “They were taken to the Okahandja State Hospital the same evening,” said Mogosti.



    Two drown

    Two drowning incidents also took place at the weekend, with one reported in Rehoboth and another at the coast.

    The police confirmed the death of Doree Ueriuka Semba, 18, who drowned at Baber Beach near Mile 4 on Christmas Day.

    “Semba died at approximately 16:15 when she tried to rescue Hillary Keingos, 16, who went for a swim. The deceased rushed to assist Keingos who was caught by a big wave, pulled into the ocean and started struggling to reach the shore. She also started having trouble while battling against the rough sea. A male relative entered the water and managed to save Keingos while Semba was swept deeper into the ocean and she eventually drowned,” said Ikuyu.

    Keingos was rushed to a private hospital in Swakopmund and is in a stable condition.

    At Rehoboth, a six-year-old Lizandro Beukes drowned while trying to rescue his friend who allegedly fell into the water pond at Reho Spa in Rehoboth on Saturday afternoon.

    According to Warrant Officer Lydia Hochtritt, it is alleged that the deceased and a friend were at Reho Spa where they were checking for small fish in the water.

    The friend fell into the pond and the deceased attempted to rescue him, but unfortunately slipped and drowned. The friend, whose age was not known, survived the incident.

    -Additional reporting by Nampa



    OTIS FINCK

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    Cops accused of dragging feetCops accused of dragging feetWitness statements missing after car crash A man whose car was smashed in Windhoek says the City Police and Namibian Police seem to have misplaced the witness statements. Namibian Police (Nampol) and Windhoek City Police officers are accused of not only dragging their feet with regard to a car accident that involved Johan Kruger, but also of handling the matter negligently.

    Kruger was involved in a crash on 25 November and the witness statements made on the night of the accident appear to have gone missing.

    A City Police traffic officer who took the witness statements on the night of the accident declined to comment to Namibian Sun and referred the newspaper to Nampol's spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi. He refused to identify himself and would neither deny nor confirm whether he was responsible for taking the witness statements.

    “We are not allowed to give information to the media, you have to consult our seniors,” said the traffic officer.

    He continued, “If we were allowed I could have given you more information about what I heard and I know, but for now I have nothing to say.”

    The accident took place at the Auas Road intersection near the Grove Mall.

    Kruger told Namibian Sun that he was idling at the traffic light while the lights were red.

    When they turned green for him he proceeded and at that moment, another car drove into his vehicle.

    The Nampol investigating officer who is handling Kruger's accident case said he didn't have any records regarding the case when he was contacted for comment. “I don't have such records, call me after lunch,” said the officer.

    When contacted later he said he did not know anything about the case.

    The officer said although he was at the scene on the night of the accident he did not receive any witness statements from the City Police traffic officer and the only thing he did was to give Kruger the accident report number.

    The officer said he did not know anything about the accident because he was not the one who had opened the case.

    “I don't know the nature of the case and secondly I never received any statements from the traffic officer,” he said.

    Kruger, who suffered concussion, expressed dismay about the way the authorities were handling the matter.

    “They don't really care at all and they were not interested at all in the case,” said Kruger.

    “They are reluctant to help me and the person who broke the law and drove into me is walking around without any consequences.

    I do not even know if they tested his blood alcohol level.”

    One avenue that may assist Kruger in determining liability is the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund's claims process.

    MVA Fund spokesperson Mona-Liza Garises says when the Fund is notified of an accident through its accident response number, it dispatches an emergency response provider and the police to an accident scene. MVA case managers visit hospitals and offer road accident victims claim forms to be submitted to the MVA Fund.

    The fund then assesses the claim and determines liability. Kruger has already been through the MVA Fund claims process and says they've been very helpful.

    Legal expert Professor Nico Horn says while witness statements in such a case are important, they are not necessarily essential if a prosecution or civil relief is sought.

    “A witness statement is an important part of the docket to make a final decision but you don't need that,” said Horn.

    Accident scenes are relatively straightforward to piece together.

    “But what if the other driver was drunk?” Kruger asked.

    “It looks like the police are protecting him.”

    Senior Superintendent Adam Eiseb, deputy head of the City Police, advised Kruger to lay an official complaint against the traffic officer.



    SHONA NGAVA

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    24 arrested for blocking camp entrance24 arrested for blocking camp entrance Twenty-four people armed with knives and pangas were arrested last week for blocking the entrance to the Epupa Camp in the Kunene Region.

    According to the police the incident occurred on 23 December at the Epupa Falls in the Epupa Constituency.

    The 24 suspects were arrested after blocking the access road to the Epupa camp with rocks and tree branches.

    According to the police they are members of the Epupa Conservancy and were demanding their salaries from the camp owner, who allegedly had not paid them for the past six months.

    The camp owner could apparently not pay the group their salaries because a letter from the Kapika Traditional Authority had instructed that the payment should not be deposited into the conservancy account until further notice.

    The suspects were apparently carrying pangas, knives and sharp sticks.

    In another incident on Friday, three suspects were arrested for dealing in prohibited wildlife products during an undercover police operation in Windhoek.

    According to the police, the three Namibian men tried to sell a pangolin skin to police officers at the Western Bypass Bridge on Friday at 19:15.

    One of the suspects apparently tried to run away and was shot in the leg.

    The suspects are Johannes Reinhold, Hamunyela Reinhold and Petrus Iileka.

    Also on Friday, at about 10:00, thieves stole items worth N$90 000 at the farm Kitchberg, about 35km outside Gobabis. According to the police the suspects broke into a storeroom at the farm and also took a white Nissan, electronic appliances and two rifles. A suspect was arrested.

    At another farm in the Omaheke Region, Farm Snyder, suspects broke open a garage door and stole goods worth N$31 310.

    The stolen goods were recovered and Erwin Nowaseb and Jan Rooi, both 28, were arrested.

    The Windhoek City Police reported a number of housebreakings over the weekend. They said all these houses were left unguarded when the occupants went on holiday.

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  • 12/27/16--14:00: Nets raise alarm
  • Nets raise alarmNets raise alarmKiller vessel could poach with impunity Amid official silence about a Chinese application to catch marine animals in Namibian waters, the trawler Ryazanovka's crew has been seen preparing industrial-sized nets. Public suspicion about the Chinese-owned trawler Ryazanovka's intentions is growing following recent evidence that its crew have been mending and readying large fishing nets.

    The Ryazanovka, allegedly owned by two Chinese companies with strong links to local Chinese businessmen, has been moving along the Namibian coast for at least ten months. It has been confirmed that the vessel is equipped to capture marine wildlife off the coast of Namibia, and is linked to an application submitted by Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research and Beijing Rare Animal Breeding and Promotion to the Namibian government in March 2016.

    To date, the Namibian fisheries ministry has failed to publicly approve or deny a permit for the capture of several endangered marine species. A recent statement by the Ryazanovka's captain claimed that the application had been withdrawn because of severe international and local criticism against the application. Namibian authorities however responded that they had not been informed of the application's withdrawal.

    Suspicious activities

    Last week, Walvis Bay port authorities and fisheries inspectors were informed by concerned members of the public that the Ryazanovka had been seen changing its anchorage position over a number of days, despite strict a protocol of vessel movements within the bay.

    Moreover, crew members were seen hauling out and working on large-scale industrial fishing gear called purse seine nets. These nets allow small and large vessels to chase, encircle and trap large groups of marine animals with devastating precision. The nets are designed to hold substantial weights.

    “The equipment they have on that vessel is very dangerous and is designed to specifically catch fish and other marine species. Dolphins can easily be caught with those nets,” a Walvis Bay fisheries expert, who preferred to speak off the record, told Namibian Sun yesterday.

    The fishing expert was commenting after he had scrutinised a number of photos showing purse seine nets and related equipment on the Ryazanovka's deck.





    He said although it was impossible to say exactly how large the purse seine nets aboard the Ryzanovka were, photos indicated they were industrial size, which could mean kilometres of netting.

    “We don't know what they plan to do with those nets, of course. Nobody knows. But with a net like that on board, you can work anywhere … if you want to poach, then you can poach. If that is what they want to do, then they will and they can.”

    Purse seines can reach more than two kilometres in length and 200 metres deep, according to fisheries sources.



    “The size of the vessel determines the size of the net. The Ryzanovka is a trawler, a large vessel, and if it turns, [to place the circular net in place] you would require a massive net,” the source explained.



    There is concern about the absence of standard tracking equipment on the vessel. According to international maritime regulations, ships of certain sizes must be equipped with an automatic identification system (AIS). However, the 448 gross tonnage Ryazanovka trawler is not equipped with an AIS, as a quick overview of the AIS tracking site reveals, making it impossible to monitor its movements.



    “The question is, are they being monitored?” a source said, adding that once the vessel departs Walvis Bay, monitoring its movements would be close to impossible.



    According to the United States national fisheries department, one of the primary risks of the purse seine fishing method is that once the net has been set, encircled marine mammals, even those not intended to be caught, cannot escape and “can become entangled, injured or stressed. Even with quick retrieval, marine mammals' sensitive bodies and internal organs cannot usually withstand the weight of the catch or the impact of being placed on the vessel.”



    The department states that the most common species captured as by-catch are bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales.



    According to experts, when tuna or dolphins are targeted, fishermen often use boats to herd them into tight groups, so that the purse seine net can be set around them. These stressful chases can last for hours before the animals are caught and the nets tightened around them.



    Officials of the fisheries ministry and NamPort could not be reached for comment yesterday. Also, no feedback has been provided to members of the anti-plunder group which has played a pivotal role in raising awareness of the issue.



    A recent statement by the ship's master, representing the Chinese companies that had applied to catch dolphins, whales, penguins and other marine species off Namibia's coast for translocation to Chinese zoos, alleged that the application was withdrawn because of a local and international outcry.



    At the time of the statement, fisheries authorities claimed they had not been notified of any withdrawal.



    Doubts remain, with some speculating that the statement was a ruse to dampen the growing resistance against the bid.

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    Kidnapped toddler found unharmedKidnapped toddler found unharmed The Swakopmund toddler who was kidnapped last week Wednesday has been found unharmed in northern Namibia. The police have also managed to arrest a 20-year-old woman and her boyfriend who were allegedly involved in the kidnap. The 23 months old Miguel Ndakula Hinaunye Aluvilu will be reunited with her mother tomorrow, while the suspects are expected to appear in a Swakopmund court by Friday morning. According to chief inspector Erastus Iikuyu of the Erongo police, the suspect, fetched Miguel at around 11:00 last Wednesday morning at his mother, Ndahafa Namweya’s (25) house in Mondesa, promising to return him soon.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Nakale Athletics treats childrenNakale Athletics treats children The Nakale athletics club on Monday celebrated Family Day with about 30 children from the Okuryangava informal settlement.

    Tangeni Nakale, a former long-distance athlete, initiated the Nakale Athletics Kids Fun Run in March 2015 with the aim to encourage young people in the Okuryangava and Okahandja Park informal settlements to participate in sport.

    Nakale trains young athletes between eight and 15 years at an open space along Kadafi Street in Okuryangava.

    Nakale told Nampa that he envisions making it much bigger even in future.

    “I want us to have more kids celebrating Family Day with one another, as some of these kids are not privileged enough to spend time with their families.”

    He said there was great potential among the youngsters but he needs more funding for the club's sports development programme.

    The club held fun runs on 5 March and 20 August this year.

    NAMPA

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  • 12/28/16--14:00: No team for Youth Games yet
  • No team for Youth Games yetNo team for Youth Games yetSix months to prepare for Commonwealth showpiece With only six months left before the Commonwealth Youth Games, the NNOC has not yet announced the Namibian team for the competition. The Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC) has only six months left before the Commonwealth Youth Games but no team has been selected yet.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun on Tuesday, NNOC president Abner Xoagub said despite communications made to federations last year about the upcoming games, they still have no list.

    “We communicated this to the federations last year already that these games are coming up, and that includes the school sport union, but we still don't have a team,” he said.

    He said the federations might have to look to the athletes who took part in the Zone Five games in Angola early this month.

    “We need to prepare but if we start in January we will have six months so how do you prepare athletes in six months?

    “Because six months is not going to help anything if these children go to these games and do not perform well we will blame them again but we are late,” he said.

    Xoagub said the qualification criteria had been set and would be shared with the federations.

    “We will share the criteria with the federations in January so that the athletes can start qualifying as it is no more like in the past were everybody could go as there are now criteria, because we were supposed to submit the names of the children in January but I don't know how we will deal with it,” he said.

    He said they need to have representatives in athletics, swimming, rugby sevens, cycling, boxing, tennis, soccer and beach volleyball.

    There is also need to start putting together a team for the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia, from 4 to 15 April 2018.

    “We also need a team for the Commonwealth Games because we also do not have much time for them as you have 15 months to prepare them but if you did not even identify them then you have limited time to prepare,” he said.

    The other major events in the Olympics calendar are the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October 2018 and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, from 24 July to 9 August 2020.

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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  • 12/28/16--14:00: Swansea sack Bradley
  • Swansea sack BradleySwansea sack BradleyRyan Giggs among favourites The second-bottom club Swansea City has terminated the service of American manager Bod Bradley, and former Manchester United Ryan Giggs is one of the favourites to take over. Swansea City sacked manager Bob Bradley on Tuesday, less than three months after the American took charge, with the January transfer window looming and the Premier League's second-bottom club desperate to get out of relegation trouble.

    Swansea were thrashed 4-1 at home by West Ham United on Monday and stand level on 12 points with basement side Hull City after 18 games, four points adrift of the safety zone.

    “We are sorry to lose Bob after such a short period of time,” said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins.

    “Unfortunately things haven't worked out as planned and we felt we had to make the change with half the Premier League season remaining.

    “With the club going through such a tough time, we have to try and find the answers to get ourselves out of trouble.”

    Bradley, 58, saw his Swansea side pick up just two wins and two draws in his 11 games in charge, during which they conceded 29 goals, after he replaced Francesco Guidolin on Oct. 3.

    “I knew exactly what I was getting into when I came to Swansea and realised the hardest part was always going to be getting points in the short run,” Bradley was quoted as saying on the Twitter feed of Sky Sports presenter Jim White.

    “But I believe in myself and I believe in going for it.

    “That's what I've always told my players. Football can be cruel and to have a chance, you have to be strong.

    “I wish Swansea the best and look forward to my next challenge.”

    Former Manchester United and Wales winger Ryan Giggs is the early favourite for the job among the bookmakers, followed by Wales manager Chris Coleman, who used to play for Swansea.

    Swansea's first team coaches Paul Williams and Alan Curtis will take charge while the club start looking for a replacement just days before the opening of the January transfer window.

    NAMPA / REUTERS

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  • 12/28/16--14:00: Bitcoin surges in value
  • Bitcoin surges in valueBitcoin surges in value Bitcoin headed for its biggest weekly jump since June as rising geopolitical risks boosted demand for alternative assets.

    Bitcoin is extending a rally that's beaten every major currency, stock index and commodity contract in 2016.

    Buyers sought alternative assets this week amid the killing of Russia's envoy to Turkey and a separate attack that left 12 people dead in Berlin. Weakening pressure on the yuan, which intensified this month as the US projected a faster pace of tightening next year following Donald Trump's election win, is also increasing demand for bitcoin in China, where the majority of trading occurs.

    “Terrorist attacks in Europe boosted haven demand in capital markets, and gold has been falling since Trump was elected,” said Le Xiaotian, an analyst at Huobi, a Chinese exchange. “Global instability has to a large extent directed funds to the bitcoin market.”

    Bitcoin, which trades in cyberspace and is mined by code-cracking computers, is gaining popularity among some investors as an alternative safe haven because it's deemed to be less influenced by government regulations and changes to monetary policy. Gold, which tends to trade in tandem with bitcoin when haven demand is strong, has fallen this quarter as US rates rise, narrowing its premium over bitcoin to the least in three years.

    “The Fed's rate hike announcement has probably spooked a lot of emerging market investors, particularly those in China, who are now flocking to bitcoin as a refuge from weak fiat currency assets,” said Thomas Glucksmann, head of marketing at Gatecoin in Hong Kong. “As we've passed the US$800 bitcoin price, a strong resistance point in the past, and move closer towards the psychological US$1 000 stratosphere, anything seems possible.”

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  • 12/28/16--14:00: China woos Sao Tome
  • China woos Sao TomeChina woos Sao TomeRelations revived between the two nations Taiwan is being sidelined as Sao Tome shifts its allegiance to China. China has re-established diplomatic ties with Sao Tome and Principe, cementing the small West African island nation's shift in allegiance from Taiwan.

    The two countries signed a communique Monday at a ceremony in Beijing attended by foreign minister Wang Yi.

    The switch highlights Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's growing risk of isolation amid tensions with China. It cuts to 21 the number of nations that recognise the government in Taipei, rather than Beijing.

    China has shown a willingness to use its economic and military might to pressure Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party, which swept the more Beijing-friendly Kuomintang from power in January. The Communist Party considers the self-governed island a province and has criticised Tsai's refusal to accept that both sides belong to 'One China', its precondition for ties. China accounts for around 40 percent of Taiwan's exports. Wang told reporters in Beijing that China welcomed Sao Tome and Principe's decision, saying it was made under the One China principle.

    “This relationship could bring solid results to both nations,” Wang said. “The two sides will start cooperation in all areas based on the principle of mutual trust. China is willing to provide support to the economic and social development of Sao Tome and Principe within its capacity.”

    Sao Tome and Principe, with a population of about 197,500, consists of two archipelagos that lie within 320 kilometres off the north-western coast of Gabon. It established ties with China in 1975 only to switch to Taiwan in 1997.

    “We hope more and more Chinese interests will invest in Sao Tome and Africa,” Urbino Botelho, director of external politics of Sao Tome and Principe, said at the Beijing briefing. “We hope more Chinese tourists will come visit.”

    Sao Tome and Principe had sought more than US$100 million from the government in Taipei, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported last week, citing an unidentified foreign ministry official.

    Sao Tome and Principe prime minister Patrice Trovoada said on Thursday that breaking relations with Taiwan “was the most correct decision” because “we have a commitment to the people to improve their living conditions,” according to Taiwan's United Daily News. Trovoada also denied that he had approached Taiwan for money.

    In March, Beijing formally re-established relations with Gambia -- another former Taiwanese partner in West Africa, and has stepped up communications with others, such as Panama and the Vatican. China had refrained from actively wooing away any of Taiwan's diplomatic partners during the eight-year tenure of Tsai's predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, who advocated increased ties with the world's second-largest economy.

    Tsai visited Panama and Paraguay two months after taking office and plans a similar Central American tour next month, including Guatemala and Honduras. That could provide an opportunity for a transit stop in the US, where the incoming president, Donald Trump, has expressed a willingness to reconsider long-standing US policy toward China.

    Trump's recent protocol-breaking phone call with Tsai and his attacks on China on Twitter, have sparked friction between the world's two biggest economies before he takes office. After the call, China flew a bomber around Taiwan in what it called a normal flight operation.

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  • 12/28/16--14:00: Kusile unit connects to grid
  • Kusile unit connects to gridKusile unit connects to grid South Africa's power utility Eskom said on Tuesday the first unit of its Kusile coal-fired power plant had been connected to the grid, as it raises capacity to overcome electricity shortages in Africa's most industrialised country.

    Unit one of the Kusile plant will add 800 megawatts (MW) of power capacity. When fully completed, the plant will have total output of 4 800 MW, making it one of the largest coal-fired plants in the world, Eskom said.

    Eskom has been in talks with Anglo American about supplying coal to the plant.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 12/28/16--14:00: Oil prices climb
  • Oil prices climb Oil prices climb NAMPA/REUTERS

    Oil prices climbed higher on Tuesday as the market anticipates that output cuts from oil producers will help ease the global supply glut.

    Oil prices were lingering around the highest level since mid-2015, bolstered by a deal made between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-Opec members to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day from 1 January 2017.

    However, analysts said oil prices may struggle to rally much further before evidence is available of Opec’s compliance with the cuts.

    The West Texas Intermediate for February Delivery increased US$0.88 to settle at US$53.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery added 0.93 dollars to close at US$56.09 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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    Tesla, Panasonic to manufacture PV cellsTesla, Panasonic to manufacture PV cellsNext generation photovoltaic being created Electric car maker Tesla is joining hands with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic to manufacture solar panels in the United States. NAMPA/XINHUA



    Tesla Motors, an American carmaker and energy storage company, has finalised an agreement with Panasonic Corporation, a Japanese electronics manufacturer, to begin the manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at a US factory.

    Known for making passenger vehicles powered by batteries for years and acquiring SolarCity, the largest solar energy services provider in the United States, earlier in the year, Tesla said high-efficiency PV cells and modules from the factory in Buffalo, New York State, will be used to produce solar panels in the non-solar roof products.

    "When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate Panasonic's cells into the many kinds of solar glass tile roofs that Tesla will be manufacturing," said the company co-founded by Elon Musk and headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

    "All of these solar products will work seamlessly with Tesla's energy storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack. Production of the first PV modules will begin in summer 2017, and will ramp to 1 Gigawatt of module production by 2019," it added in a statement.

    By reaffirming commitment by SolarCity, headquartered in San Mateo, California, to create over 1 400 jobs in Buffalo, including more than 500 manufacturing jobs, Tesla promised that when it works with Panasonic to begin production, Buffalo, an industrial capital in the early 20th century, "will continue to expand Tesla's American manufacturing base and create thousands of new jobs in the coming years."

    As part of the agreement, Panasonic will cover required capital costs in Buffalo and Tesla is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic.

    And, Panasonic, with its technological and manufacturing expertise in PV production, will also work with Tesla on developing PV next generation technology at SolarCity's facility in Fremont, California.

    Tesla said the collaboration extends its established relationship with Panasonic, which includes the production of electric vehicle and grid storage battery cells at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada.

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