Articles on this Page
- 12/29/16--14:00: _NTA shines bright
- 12/29/16--14:00: _4G for Viettel subs...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Emirates takes deli...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Rand climbs to two-...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Avoid illegal build...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _China braces for ba...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _What an eventful 2016
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Fireworks remain il...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Erindi co-founder d...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Pangolin suspects g...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Arrest warrants for...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Blossom is musicall...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Kidnapping couple a...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _'My health is not w...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Money-laundering ca...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Corruption exposed ...
- 12/29/16--14:00: _No mercy for poachers
- 12/29/16--14:00: _Mom allegedly kills...
- 12/30/16--23:43: _2017 a year of rede...
- 01/02/17--14:00: _Davies joins Worces...
- 12/29/16--14:00: NTA shines bright
- 12/29/16--14:00: 4G for Viettel subscribers
- 12/29/16--14:00: Emirates takes delivery of A380
- 12/29/16--14:00: Rand climbs to two-week high
- 12/29/16--14:00: Avoid illegal buildings
- 12/29/16--14:00: China braces for baby boom
- 12/29/16--14:00: What an eventful 2016
- 12/29/16--14:00: Fireworks remain illegal
- 12/29/16--14:00: Erindi co-founder dies in SA
- 12/29/16--14:00: Pangolin suspects granted bail
- 12/29/16--14:00: Arrest warrants for 250 drivers
- 12/29/16--14:00: Blossom is musically engaged
- 12/29/16--14:00: Kidnapping couple appear in court
- 12/29/16--14:00: 'My health is not worth N$10k'
- 12/29/16--14:00: Money-laundering case postponed
- 12/29/16--14:00: Corruption exposed at finance ministry
- 12/29/16--14:00: No mercy for poachers
- 12/29/16--14:00: Mom allegedly kills, buries newborn
- 12/30/16--23:43: 2017 a year of rededication – Geingob
- 01/02/17--14:00: Davies joins Worcester
According to NTA league coordinator Robert Riethmueller a record number of 22 teams consisting of 130 to 150 players competed for club championship points this year.
“For the first time the tennis league comprised three divisions for men and two for women, unlike the previous years were there were only two divisions for men and a single one for women.
“The league was divided into more divisions to encourage more players and teams of different playing levels to compete in club tennis.
“The club league was played in a home-and-away mode, as matches took place each second or third Saturday between the end of May and the end of November,' he said.
The registered teams represented on one side the traditional tennis clubs of Nampol, SKW, DTS and the Central Tennis Club (CTC), while on the other side newcomers such as the City of Windhoek and the Patrick Iyambo Police College fielded teams as well. The Central Tennis Club entered the most teams, among them the Central Tennis Club-associated NUST University team and Team OTB Sport.
Another notable team that participated in the league in the 2016 season was Unam, which returned to club tennis after a year's absence.
After months of competitive tennis the Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) turned out to be the most successful club, dominating the men's First Division and the Women's First Division.
In the highly competitive Men's Second Division traditional frontrunners CTC 2A were the most successful team, outplaying the rest of the pack with an impressive overall average match-point tally of 16 out of 20 possible points per match.
The runners-up, OTB Sport, managed to win only 13 average match points. In the men's third division the City of Windhoek team beat the NUST men's team.
In the Women's First Division the SKW women led by veteran player Amanda van Wyk were too strong for the competitors. The women's second division saw a tight race between DTS and OTB Sport. In the end DTS collected most winning points overall.
From 1 January 2017 to 1 March 2017, customers are offered with free swapping of their current SIMs for 4G SIMs.
Its infrastructure is in place for the launch of 4G services, which will allow users to watch HD videos, do video streaming as well as download and upload quickly. The 4G service will be compatible with all types of mobile phones in the market, Viettel said on Thursday.
In capital Hanoi, southern Ho Chi Minh City and other key cities, customers will be able to enjoy the 4G service as soon as Viettel completes installing its base transceiver stations.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has licensed some local telecoms giants to provide 4G telecommunications services including Viettel, VinaPhone and MobiFone, while considering to license the fourth company, GTel, in the coming time.
By early September, Vietnam had signed up over 128.3 million mobile subscribers, including nearly 63.6 million subscribers of Viettel, over 34.6 million subscribers of MobiFone, more than 20.5 million subscribers of VinaPhone, nearly 5.9 million subscribers of GTel, and over 3.7 million subscribers of Vietnamobile, according to statistics from the ministry.
“The first A380 with a Rolls Royce engine has been delivered to Emirates Airline,” a spokesman for the aerospace giant said.
In April 2015, Airbus selected Rolls Royce for the lucrative deal to provide the engines for 50 of its A380s that was worth a record at the time of $9.2 billion (8.8 billion euros).
The first delivery came a day after Airbus said it was postponing for a year the planned delivery of 12 A380 jets.
The delay was linked to the airline's wish to purchase the finest Rolls Royce engines, an informed source said.
“We continue to work closely with Airbus and Emirates Airline to satisfy their requests,” a Rolls Royce spokesman told AFP on Wednesday.
Emirates, the biggest client for superjumbos, took delivery of its A380 in November and has ordered 142 in total.
A380s with the Rolls Royce motor are already being operated by other airlines such as Qantas and Singapore Airlines.
Kenya's shilling was steady on Wednesday but could come under pressure this week due to increased importer dollar demand, traders said, while the Ugandan shilling was weaker on Wednesday, undercut by a surge in demand by commercial banks moving to cover short dollar positions as the year moves to a close.
Rwanda's central bank on Wednesday lowered its repo rate to 6.25% from 6.5% to help stimulate credit growth, governor John Rwangombwa said.
Ghana's gross domestic product growth in the third quarter of 2016 GDP rose to 4% year-on-year, up from 3.6% a year ago due to increased oil production, the statistics office said on Wednesday.
Angola will achieve its inflation and exchange rate targets in 2017, the southern African nation's central bank governor said this week.
Ivory Coast announced plans to build two 350 megawatt charcoal power stations in the western cocoa town of San Pedro by 2021 to address growing national demand for electricity, the government said on Wednesday.
The town's new mayor, Angelus Iiyambo, said this at the handover of 141 houses to beneficiaries at the town's Ekuku residential area on Wednesday.
Urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa handed over the houses and at the same time officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of 600 low-cost houses in the same area.
Iiyambo appealed to the private sector to help the council deliver serviced plots. He said limited resources were hampering land delivery.
The mayor said the council wanted to curb illegal construction, especially in flood-prone areas, because it did not want people to live in appalling conditions.
Shaningwa said the Oshakati council was the leading local authority in terms of delivery of serviced urban land and the provision of affordable housing.
She said the importance of housing could never be over-emphasised.
“Access to land and housing is central for the attainment of sustainable development, social harmony and economic prosperity in our country,” the minister said.
She said Namibia has a housing backlog of 300 000 units, which the government needs to address through her ministry, local authorities and the public-private-partnership (PPP) initiative.
Their efforts bore fruit with another boy - one of a million extra births this year.
“The traditional Chinese thinking is that more children bring more blessings,” Zheng said, recovering from the birth at a luxury convalescent home in Beijing.
For years the couple dreamed of a second child to keep them company in their twilight years.
“Neither me nor my husband is the only child in our families. We grew up in the company of our siblings,” she said.
“Before the change, we questioned why we couldn't have a second child, why they had to limit everyone's desire to have children.”
Since the late 1970s, strict measures in the world's most populous country restricted most couples to only a single child, with fines for violators and even forced abortions.
Zheng and her husband were employees of state-owned enterprises and faced losing their jobs if they violated the ban.
Officials say it was a key contributor to China's economic boom.
But concerns over an ageing population, gender imbalances and a shrinking workforce pushed authorities to end the restriction and allow all couples a second child from January 1.
Now China is undergoing a minor baby boom, with almost one million more newborns expected this year, National Health and Family Planning Commission deputy director Wang Pei'an said according to official media reports.
More than 17.5 million births were expected in 2016, he told a conference in November - which would reverse a decline last year and be the highest figure since 2000.
But while the end of the one-child policy swayed Zheng and her husband, it is unclear how much it contributed to this year's baby boom.
Previous statistics show the increase was concentrated in the first half of the year, before the new policy could have an effect. And 2016 is the lunar year of the monkey - considered a particularly auspicious zodiac sign to be born under.
In pyjamas and slippers, Zheng was recovering at the gated Xiyuege Centre, or “Lucky Month Home”, in Beijing, where Porsche and Lexus cars line the parking lot.
It is a modern take on the 2 000-year-old practice of postpartum confinement or “zuoyezi” - literally “sitting the month” - in which new mothers stay in bed, keep warm and avoid certain foods.
Traditionally they do not exercise, expose themselves to draughts of any kind, or bathe.
There is no evidence for traditional claims that the practice will prevent diseases such as arthritis later in life.
But the 75-room Xiyuege Centre offers what nurses, managers and promotional materials all describe as “scientific” accompaniments to confinement: spa facilities where women can lie on a heated bed of jade, consume six specially calibrated meals a day to boost breast milk production while shedding pounds, and enjoy round-the-clock specialist care.
Such institutions in recent years have turned the custom into a lucrative industry, now set to boom even further.
There were more than 760 such centres across the country generating revenues of approximately 4.2 billion yuan (US$605 million) two years ago, according to website China Industry Information. It projected that sector turnover would more than double to 11 billion yuan by 2019.
The Xiyuege Centre has seen clients recovering from their second pregnancies more than double this year, estimated Zheng Hui, the nurse managing infant care for VIP mothers, who pay more than US$1 000 a day for their stays.
The oldest woman she had cared for was a 44-year-old, whose first child was already an undergraduate at college.
“It's very clear that this year demand has gone up drastically. Customers are booking further and further in advance,” said Hou Yanran, marketing manager of Xiyuege which plans to open a third branch in the capital.
Women were calling to reserve spots a mere month into their pregnancies, she said.
The long-term impact of the new family planning rules remains unclear.
Officials predicted a surge in births after a 2013 change that allowed couples a second child as long as one parent was without siblings. But it did not materialise.
The Global Times newspaper this month cited family planning policy expert Yuan Xin as attributing the current uptick to the 2013 relaxation, with an increase from the two-child policy only coming in the next few years. But around 53% of one-child families have no desire for a second, according to a survey of 10 000 families with kids under 15 by the All-China Women's Federation.
Zheng is 38 and said many of her friends had been extremely curious about her pregnancy, asking endless questions to decide if it was worth the risk of having another child at their age.
“Due to financial reasons, most people don't want to have a lot of kids anyway,” she said.
“They're all very hesitant. From the perspective of an ordinary citizen, I think it would have been better to end this policy earlier.”
There are many who can't wait to see the back of it and are already looking forward to 2017.
From the political front, the past year, was a controversial one, with government coming in for intense and relentless criticism on a number of issues.
The missing Kora awards millions that the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) donated to Ernest Andjovi hogged the headlines for quite for the better part of the year, while the controversial phosphate mining debacle also stole the show towards the end of the year.
From an economic point of view, the country's finance minister Calle Schlettwein was forced to cut down on spending in the face of a liquidity crisis on the local capital market.
This also saw Namibia slipping into a 'technical recession” due to low economic growth.
The liquidity crisis has not only hit hard the big players in the construction industry, but everyone, from the executive sitting in Windhoek to the granny in the village.
Everyone is feeling the pressure and there is no guarantee that 2017 would be any better.
In a nutshell the year 2016 was an eventful one for our currency, which was obviously shaped by many other events, especially the drama that has been unfolding in neighbouring South Africa.
The sport fraternity also endured a torrid 2016 and the lack of funds has seen sport teams unable to honour international commitments.
Football particularly is still unfortunately stuck in the doldrums, with no confirmed date as to when the new soccer season will kick off.
As we say bid 2016 farewell, it is our sincere hope that 2017 will bring more success and less disappointment.
Happy new year.
Despite repeated reminders over the years that city and national laws forbid the use of fireworks, unless a permit has been issued by the NamPol Explosives Unit or relevant city authorities, many Namibians continue to buy and set off fireworks during the festive season.
The ban on fireworks has been in place for a number of years, and includes any types of fireworks, whether big or small, that can be bought at shops. The law requires sellers as well as buyers of fireworks to apply for permits separately, a law many are unaware of or ignore.
A NamPol Explosives Unit spokesperson yesterday confirmed that in line with the Namibian Explosives Act any person intending to use fireworks needs to register with the Explosives Unit.
“You have to register, you cannot use fireworks unless you have registered it with us,” the officer emphasised.
Windhoek City Police spokesperson Edmund Khoaseb warned that the use of fireworks in the Windhoek municipal area is strictly forbidden.
“If we catch you using fireworks we will issue a fine as well as confiscate any fireworks still in your possession,” he said.
He said any members of the public who are aware of illegal fireworks should immediately contact the City Police.
Because fireworks can cause animals to sustain serious injuries when they try to escape the noise, animal welfare organisations countrywide are preparing for the likely consequences of widespread and often illegal use of fireworks on Saturday night.
The Walvis Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has distributed thousands of flyers warning residents about the dangers to their pets and other animals.
A fireworks emergency group consisting of volunteers has been set up to help catch any animals running away in a blind panic.
Fireworks cause severe anxiety, fear and confusion in animals such as dogs, cats and wildlife, which have much more sensitive ears than humans.
Animals have been known to crash through glass doors and barbed-wire fences in their panic. The loud bangs can also damage an animal's ears.
Sylvia Breitenstein of the Windhoek SPCA says it is safest to keep pets indoors and stay with them to calm them down on New Year's Eve.
She says over the past decade she has witnessed pets trying to escape the sounds, smells and other effects of fireworks by escaping through burglar bars and jumping over high razor-wire fences, sustaining severe injuries in the process.
She says it is important that pet owners ensure the safety of their pets and make arrangements for their care if they won't be at home on New Year's Eve.
His brother and owner of Erindi, Gert Joubert, said Chris apparently died last week Thursday. His body was found on Friday in his house in Durbanville.
His wife, Sonja, was at their holiday home at Kleinbaai.
Although Joubert died of natural causes his family has asked for a post-mortem to determine the exact cause of his death.
Gert and Chris Joubert have been involved in business activities for many years. In the 1990s they developed Shelly Point at St Helenabaai. After that they started Erindi, which is today Namibia's biggest private game reserve Gert later bought his brother's shares in Erindi and Chris moved to the Cape where he bought the farm Koppies in the Overberg area About 15 years ago Chris started to scale down on his business activities.
“He told me recently that he wanted to embark on a project again,” said Gert.
“He was the smartest person that I knew.
He loved reading, especially the newspapers, and we spoke about the country and the world on a daily basis.”
Chris visited more than 80 countries and loved to travel.
After a visit to London, Chris last week went for his annual medical check-up in Cape Town.
“The tests went well. That is why his death is such a shock to us. Everyone is devastated. He was a loved person, with his faults and all. He will be missed.”
Chris is survived by his wife and four children. His son Paul is a shareholder in Erindi and manages the lodge there.
Three Namibian men who were arrested last week for trying to sell a pangolin skin to undercover police officers have been granted bail of N$1 000 each.
The three suspects were arrested in Windhoek during an undercover police operation.
The acting spokesperson to the Namibian Police, Inspector Tashiya Kadhila, told Namibian Sun this week that the three men tried to sell the pangolin skin to police officers who were working undercover at the Western Bypass Bridge on Friday at about 19:15.
The suspects, Johannes Reinhold, Petrus Iikela and Amunyela Reinhold, allegedly tried to sell the pangolin skin for N$10 000 to passers-by who were, in fact, police officers on duty.
One of the suspects apparently tried to run away and was shot in his right leg.
The suspects yesterday appeared before Magistrate Peingeondjabi Shipoh yesterday at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court, while prosecutor Allen Shipena represented the State.
The suspects were granted bail of N$1 000 each and were ordered to return to court on 22 March 2017.
The traffic chief for the Otjiwarongo district, Inspector Nafthalie !Aibeb, expressed concern about the high number of unpaid fines.
!Aibeb said the issued fines amount to N$2.3 million.
“We are looking for these offenders at police roadblocks with the warrants of arrest issued against them by the Otjiwarongo Magistrate's Court for these unpaid fines,” he said.
!Aibeb said his office would not rest until the traffic offenders were arrested and charged.
He said most fines were for speeding on the B1 road, driving without valid driving licences, operating unroadworthy vehicles, and failing to comply with road signs.
Senior government officials, politicians and chief executive officers of state-owned enterprises are on the list of wanted traffic offenders.
!Aibeb urged Otjiwarongo drivers who know they have outstanding traffic fines to contact his office without delay.
He said drivers who make arrangements with his office would not be arrested, but there would be no negotiations with those caught at police roadblocks.
!Aibeb also requested family members of deceased persons who had been issued traffic fines to make contact with his office.
He said traffic fines can be paid by means of postal orders addressed to the clerk of the magistrate's court in the district where the fine was issued.
!Aibeb urged those who pay fines by postal order to keep copies of their receipts for future reference.
Namibian Komuthima Gwomeya songstress Blossom has found love and will be moving to China to be with her partner and fellow artist Oliver Saasa, also known as Aio.
The couple are visiting China on their first holiday together.
Blossom says she and her partner have known each other for about a year.
“It’s so great to have a best friend who is in the same industry, as you can relate to so many things and bring the best out of each other, and have each other's back. I’m so excited about the future,” she says.
The couple say wedding bells won’t be heard anytime soon as they are still bonding and getting to know each other but musically their careers are taking off.
“We are currently busy with our upcoming music and video collaborations to air locally and in Shanghai too. We click so well, Aio is an amazing rap and hip-hop artist. We have started filming a reality TV show abroad as we have so many upcoming activities and trips together,” says Blossom.
Blossom wants to promote African talent in China, as she believes the Chinese are very curious and ready to be entertained.
“We hope to perform our new songs live at the annual Namibian Music Awards 2017 to showcase an international touch,” she said.
Elina Nangula Jonas (27) and Eita Titus (27) appeared before Magistrate Walter Mikiti on a charge of kidnapping.
Jonas and Titus were not asked to plead and the case was postponed to 16 January 2017. The case will be heard in the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court.
The two were arrested on Wednesday after Titus's father, Abrosius Nakale, took them to the Outapi police station.
Nakale said he became suspicious when he heard that the police were looking for a couple with an abducted child, just days after his son had brought a baby boy to his homestead at Oshikuluwala in Ombandja in Angola and said it was his son.
According to sources Jonas had told Titus she was pregnant with his child and that she had given birth to a baby boy. She then allegedly kidnapped the child of her friend, Ndahafa Namweya (25) and presented it to Titus as his child.
Namweya last saw her son on Wednesday last week when she gave Jonas permission to take him out for pizza. When they didn't return, she called the police.
Jonas and Titus were escorted to Swakopmund yesterday where they will be kept in police custody until their next court appearance.
The boy is expected to be reunited with his mother today.
Rusia Amunyela was on duty last week Wednesday at the TransNamib gate in the Southern Industrial Area in Windhoek when she was run over by a car driven by Chinese businessman Zhao Che.
Amunyela, who has since opened a case against Zhao, claims she never demanded N$10 000 as reported by a newspaper last week and was never given a chance to state her side of the story.
Amunyela, who is a security guard, said Zhao refused to comply with procedures at the TransNamib depot, where every car that enters the premises must be registered and searched.
“I don't know why he did not want to stop, maybe he had illegal items which he wanted to hide but I was just doing my job,” said Amunyela.
Upon Zhao's return to the entrance gate, Amunyela said he drove very slowly, but sped towards Amunyela and drove over her foot twice.
She limped away in pain and tried to call the police on her cellphone.
At the same time, Zhao allegedly telephoned a senior police officer, Commissioner Abed Kashihakumwa, who arrived at the scene within moments in the company of two men.
“Commissioner Kashihakumwa approached me and repeatedly told me that if I called the police to the accident scene to arrest the Chinese I would lose the case and that I should rather negotiate with the Chinese and settle for the N$5 000 he was willing to offer me,” she said.
Amunyela said Kashihakumwa convinced her to get into Zhao's car to be taken to the Katutura hospital.
En route to the hospital Amunyela allegedly learned that Kashihakumwa and Zhao were close friends.
The following day she collected her medical report and presented it to Zhao.
“I met the Chinese man with two witnesses. When he saw my X-ray report he claimed that it looked too old and demanded that we go to the private hospital or I take the N$5 000. I refused to accept the money because I feared the worst, that my foot could be permanently damaged, which money can't fix. I have five mouths to feed at home. My salary is OK. I don't need his money and I did not ask for N$10 000,” she said. With no accident report issued by the police at the accident scene, Amunyela cannot seek financial assistance from the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund.
“I hope that Commissioner Kashihakumwa is investigated for misconduct, conflict of interest and for conspiring with a negligent driver in order to conceal the truth. He failed to report the accident to the relevant authorities,” said Amunyela.
Approached for comment, Kashihakumwa refused to say anything on the matter on the basis that the matter was under investigation.
Zhao refused to comment without the help of an interpreter.
A multi-billion-dollar fraud case involving three Chinese nationals and a Namibian customs official from Walvis Bay continued in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
They face charges of fraud and money laundering involving the staggering sum of N$3.5 billion.
Two of the Chinese nationals and the Namibian made a brief court appearance in Windhoek.
Tao Huizhong, Jinrong Huang and Julius Laurentius were all remanded in custody until 3 January when they will bring a formal bail application.
Tao and Jinrong were brought from the north and were only added to the charge sheet yesterday.
State prosecutor Rowan van Wyk said the two Chinese were the main accused in the case.
Another accused, Zhu Honggang, had been granted N$500 000 bail by the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court. When he made another appearance in Windhoek earlier this week his bail was extended and the case was postponed until 16 February.
The details of the case remain sketchy. Zhu is the owner of Glory Building Material Supply in Ondangwa and is said to be a Namibian national.
He was arrested on charges of fraud and for contravening section 6 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which deals with the acquisition, possession or use of the proceeds of crime.
The police arrested Laurentius, who is a customs official at Walvis Bay, during a raid on his office in which computers and documents were seized.
Lawyer Sisa Namandje, who is defending the three Chinese men, this week asked the court to provide him with more information regarding the charges against his clients.
The court then instructed the State to furnish the defence with details of the charges.
Louis Botes, who is defending Laurentius, said his client was unhappy with the treatment he had received. He pointed out that Zhu was granted bail, but Laurentius was denied bail and must bring a formal bail application.
“We intend ... to challenge the validity of the warrants of arrest as well as the search warrants that were issued,” said Botes.
The Bank of Namibia has declined to comment on the alleged N$3.5 billion fraud. It said the currency in circulation in Namibia on 31 October 2016 amounted to N$2.96 billion.
Nicolaidis postponed the case against Morne Feris (21), Henry Visagie (36), Jaqueline Imbili (44), Willemina Visagie (36), Quinton Mathews (42) and Marlon Prins (25) to 10 January 2017.
It is alleged that the accused, four of whom are employees of the Inland Revenue Department in the Ministry of Finance in Walvis Bay, defrauded the institution with N$2 220 781 between 1 April 2013 and November 2016.
The six were arrested on 27 and 28 December. They were charged with fraud and contravening the Anti-Corruption Act.
Prosecutor Tuihaleni Hilikuete opposed bail, saying that the accused could interfere with witnesses and jeopardise the arrest of other suspects.
Nicolaidis denied bail due to the serious nature of the offence.
Relatives of the accused who turned up at court expressed shock while others were seen crying in the corridors.
According to Chief Inspector Erastus Ikuyu the suspects allegedly created fake Pay As You Earn (PAYE5) certificates using the names of 21 accomplices (friends and relatives) and processed them.
“This resulted in numerous undeserved tax refunds which were detected by the ministry's Security and Risk Management team. Forensic experts conducted an internal investigation and then handed the case over to the police.
“We arrested a taxation officer at the ministry, a cleaner and four accomplices in Walvis Bay. The main suspect, who is a senior taxation officer, is still on the run but it is only a matter of time before we locate her. More arrests are expected,” Ikuyu said.
Two more poachers were killed in the north-eastern Bwabwata National Park on Tuesday in a shootout with anti-poaching units, mere weeks after Namibia’s environment minister warned that anti-poaching operations would no longer be “business as usual”.
A third poacher was critically wounded and a fourth arrested. The unit confiscated weapons and ammunition following the shootout.
Less than two weeks ago an anti-poaching unit in the same park shot and killed another poacher who had just gunned down an elephant and fired at the police officers.
Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta yesterday made it clear that new orders had been given to anti-poaching units two weeks ago, and poachers should know that the police would shoot back if attacked.
“Our units are more than ready to deal with them without mercy. No more business as usual,” he posted on a social media account this week.
He said during this week’s shootout the poachers had started firing at the unit and “our forces responded with decisive firepower.”
Shifeta told Namibian Sun yesterday that the latest incident took place in a forested area of the Bwabwata National Park. The anti-poaching patrol came across the poachers, who immediately started firing at them.
Shifeta said patrols were increased in all national parks and other wilderness areas after a zero-tolerance directive was issued on 15 December.
“We don’t want to hear of any more poaching in our parks or anywhere in the country,” he told Namibian Sun yesterday.
He added on social media that that the new measures were also directed at “foreign nationals who deal in wildlife products or are in possession of contraband wildlife products or who handle local people and entice them to commit poaching.”
Anti-poaching units have been reinforced by experienced soldiers and the frequency of ground and aerial patrols has been increased in areas targeted by poachers.
Shifeta said poaching groups were usually armed with one hunting rifle to shoot at wildlife while the rest of the group were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, “which means they are ready for battle”.
“That is why we have to bring in the special units from the defence force. Because police officers are a peace force … and we have learned that the poachers are geared for battle, so that now we have combined units that can defend themselves.”
He warned that any poacher who “attempts to fire at law enforcement officers who are protecting our wildlife resources will regret it.”
Shifeta said new measures did not mean the anti-poaching units were trigger happy, “but if our law enforcement personnel’s lives come under immediate threat the instruction is loud and clear, they have to invoke the Criminal Procedure Act for self-defence.”
Besides the order to return fire if shot at, anti-poaching units have been instructed to do everything in their power to ensure that firearms in possession of poachers are confiscated.
He pointed out that the AK-47 is an assault rifle used in combat. They are usually acquired illegally and smuggled into Namibia and can be used for crimes other than poaching.
“So that means that they have to disable those poachers … we do not want the poachers to run away armed with dangerous weapons. That is something we will no longer tolerate.”
He warned poachers that there should be no doubt that “our units are well trained with special skills”.
Shifeta emphasised that in addition to intensifying anti-poaching measures on the ground, the police have been given clear instructions to conduct thorough searches at roadblocks. Business or residential properties occupied by Asians will also be searched, with the necessary warrants.
“We are not discriminating as they are alleging … But the statistics show that those in possession of contraband products are mostly Asians and therefore we are basing this on what the statistics show, and applying ourselves according to that.”
The incident happened at Omupanda village in the Omuntele area at the home of Benjamin Shipanga, where the suspect, Evelina Nangula Naanda, and her boyfriend worked as domestic workers.
According to Chief Inspector Edna Nawa, Naanda appeared before the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court yesterday.
She said Naanda gave birth to a baby girl on December 12. The baby's father went to inform his parents about the birth, but upon his return a week later the baby was nowhere to be seen.
When he asked about the baby Naanda said the baby had died and she had buried it. She allegedly did not want to show him where the baby was buried.
That prompted him to open a case with the police early this week.
Before the police arrived at the house on Tuesday, Naanda fled and hid in the veld, where she was arrested later.
She then showed the police where she had buried the baby in a mahangu field.
She allegedly told the police that the baby had died because she did not have enough milk.
A post-mortem will determine the cause of the baby's death.
In another incident in the Oshikoto Region, Elia Imbondi (37) died at Iipanda village in the Onyuulaye area on Wednesday night.
According to the police, Imbondi went to the Okathiya cuca shop at around 13:00 and upon his return home that afternoon he complained of not feeling well.
He collapsed when he tried to walk from his bedroom to the toilet. Imbondi is from Okambogo village in the Onyaanya area and his next of kin has been informed.
A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
“Our single-minded resolution as government is to rededicate ourselves to the full implementation of our goals and objectives, during 2017. This is therefore, The Year of Rededication,” said Geingob.
He further noted that challenges experienced in 2016 will persist in the new year.
However, a resilient and innovative approach will be required to mitigate the severity of those challenges.
“The tough economic outlook will require us to draw on the experiences and lessons learned during 2016 and to engage in difficult debates over limited resources and competing priorities,” he said. According to Geingob, government has prioritised a number of initiatives for the year 2017 such as increasing old age grants to N$1 200 by June as well as providing subsidised ploughing services, fertilisers and seeds to communal farmers in rural areas.
A second land conference will also be held by September 2017, while government has promised to service land for residential purposes with 6 000 plots and 5 000 housing units planned for the new year. According to Geingob, the Public Procurement Act will become operational in February 2017 and this will enable a first ever computerised procurement system that will enhance transparency. The president also has a message for sport lovers.
“The state of affairs in the sports sector remains a concern to all sport loving Namibians. To this end the line ministry will conclude its review of the Sports Act and policy, aiming to define and prioritise the national sport codes, which will guide funding and development,” he said.
“As I draw to a close, I commend those Namibians who have excelled in boxing and athletics, in particular the paralympians. The uniformed personnel who continue to serve selflessly. Similarly, I thank all Namibians for what we have achieved together throughout 2016. We would not have been able to achieve the milestones we are celebrating, without your personal dedicated involvement. Neither can we realise our 2017 goals, without our rededication to the cause.”
Namibia’s senior rugby team coach, Phil Davies, has joined Aviva Premiership strugglers Worcester Warriors on a “short-term secondment”.
The 53-year-old Welsh coach has been brought on board by Warriors head coach Carl Hogg.
Davies, who was the Warriors’ forwards coach between 2010 and 2012, watched on as Worcester suffered a dismal 28-20 defeat at fellow strugglers Bristol on Boxing Day.
It is the first time the Warriors have brought in a coaching consultant since Jim McKay was involved in the build-up to the Championship playoffs in the 2014/15 season.
McKay, a former Australia attack coach, was introduced by then Six Ways director of rugby Dean Ryan.
Hogg said: “Phil has come on board as a coaching consultant and we did something similar a couple of years ago with Jim McKay.
“Phil is somebody I have known for a long time and worked with.
“He is somebody I trust implicitly and he gives me some support and an independent view. He’s on a short-term secondment,” he said.
Davies, a former Cardiff Blues and Scarlets coach, was also in the stands as the Warriors slipped to a 22-7 defeat at Newport Gwent Dragons in the European Challenge Cup earlier this month.
Hogg added that he will use experienced Davies as a “sounding board”.
Hogg also mentioned that Davis would help point out what the Warriors are “missing” and “need to focus on” in training.
“Phil is someone I worked with at Leeds a long time ago and we took a young group through the Premiership and got up to fifth or sixth,” said Hogg, whose side are two points off bottom club Bristol after losing 28-20 at their relegation rivals on Boxing Day.
“He has run the course before and will be a very good sounding board for me.
“He knows the surroundings here, the people and has got 25 years of experience as a coach in the Premiership.
“Essentially he will look at our training and our content so is there anything specifically we are missing and anything we need to focus on?
“Sometimes when you are operating week in week out it is good to have an external point of view.
“Phil is here for the next month or so and then we will review it off the back of that.”