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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Netball Namibia ready for 2017Netball Namibia ready for 2017 Netball Namibia (NN) is planning to host the Senior Regional Netball Championship from 3 to 5 February at Otavi in the Otjozondjupa Region.

    The championship will be used to select national players who will represent Namibia at the African Championship in Uganda in May.

    Speaking to Nampa last week, NN spokesperson Rebecca Goagoses-Nekundi said the best players from all 14 regions of Namibia would feature in the championship. “We have informed all our regional structures to prepare for this championship because we want to select a good team that can represent the country with the best that Africa has to offer.” Goagoses-Nekundi said during the national championships, a number of activities would take place as they wanted to empower other members of NN. “It is important and imperative for the national team to participate in championships such as the African Championship for ranking purposes.”

    On the sidelines of the championship, there will be the NN annual general meeting, bench official training, an umpire refresher workshop and a workshop for coaches.

    She said regional structures would select their 10 best players, one coach, one bench official and one umpire to attend these courses.



    NAMPA

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    QSB training camp on this monthQSB training camp on this month The penultimate Quinton-Steele Botes (QSB) athletics training camp will take place early this month.

    The 24th annual camp is slated for 4 to 7 January at the Independence Stadium in the capital.

    More than 7 000 athletes, coaches, teachers and parents have benefited from the camp over the past 23 years. The camp was started by the late Quinton-Steele Botes to promote and improve sport, especially athletics in Namibia. He died on 23 June 2014 after a long fight with cancer. He was a local sport consultant, sport administrator and former technical manager for the Namibia National Olympic Committee.

    Botes's dream was to keep the programme in operation for 25 years.

    Local coach Leoni van Rensburg took it upon herself to see that dream through. Van Rensburg, who is the caretaker of the QSB training camp, told Nampa on Thursday that she would like to make the 25th annual training camp the biggest of its kind yet. In a media statement issued the same day, she said the focus of the camp is for athletes and track-and-field officials to get access to new information and techniques and exercises that help improve their performances, while teachers and parents are informed of how they could assist athletes throughout the year. Marathon Sugar, Coca-Cola, Bank Windhoek, Wimpy, Arebbusch Lodge, Olympia Liquor Shop, Avis Rent-a-Car, Dunlop 2000, Tren Tyre, Hyundai, Food Lovers Market and Remax Welwitschia made it possible for athletes and coaches from across Namibia to participate in the 24th QSB training camp. The athletes will be trained in track-and-field events such as sprints, middle- and long-distance running, relay, hurdles, long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw.

    NAMPA

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    Feghouli among notable Africa Cup absenteesFeghouli among notable Africa Cup absenteesZim hopes to reach knockout stage As Africa's top football tournament draws closer, countries have started announcing their squads for the 2017 Afcon tournament. Midfielders Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria and Hakim Ziyech of Morocco and striker Basem Morsy of Egypt are among notable absentees from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations squads.

    All failed to find favour as coaches put the final touches to squads for the tournament, which starts on 14 January with a match between hosts Gabon an debutants Guinea-Bissau.



    AFP Sport reports on the 16 contenders as the Ivory Coast prepare to defend a title they won in Equatorial Guinea two years ago by edging Ghana in a penalty shootout.



    GROUP A

    Gabon

    The host nation were first to name a final, 23-man squad, which will be captained by reigning African Footballer of the Year and prolific Borussia Dortmund scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.



    Burkina Faso

    Veteran midfielder Charles Kabore skippers a country that has called up the Traore brothers - older Alain plays in Turkey and fellow midfielder Bertrand in the Netherlands for former European champions Ajax Amsterdam.



    Cameroon

    Liverpool defender Joel Matip is among six players in the 35-man provisional squad who want to skip the Cup of Nations and concentrate on their club careers. Another inclusion, Maxime Poundje, hopes to represent his country of birth rather than the homeland of his parents.



    Guinea-Bissau

    Portugal-based striker Cicero Semedo will miss the tournament after undergoing surgery on a leg stress fracture. The 30-year-old scored the late goal that gave the minnows a crucial qualifying victory in Kenya.



    GROUP B

    Algeria

    Sofiane Feghouli of West Ham United was a shock omission from a final squad that includes fellow winger Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City, the favourite to be named 2016 African Footballer of the Year Thursday in Abuja.



    Senegal

    Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate and Liverpool striker Sadio Mane form the 'spine' of a team seeking to bring the most prized African football trophy to Dakar for the first time.



    Tunisia

    Qatar-based midfielder Youssef Msakni staked a strong claim to be retained when coach Henryk Kasperczak names his final squad by scoring a hat-trick in a 3-3 warm-up draw against Catalonia in Spain.



    Zimbabwe

    Belgium-based Knowledge Musona and fellow attacker Khama Billiat, who plays for African champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa are among those carrying the hopes of a country seeking to reach the knockout stage for the first time.



    GROUP C

    Democratic Republic of Congo

    Coach Florent Ibenge has suffered several blows with a knee injury ruling out Everon winger Yannick Bolasie and local stars side-lined because the government has postponed the start of the new season, fearing political tensions could spill over into stadiums.

    Ivory Coast

    The defending champions have had mixed luck ahead of the title defence. An injury has sidelined veteran attacker Gervinho, but Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha opted for his country of birth after two friendly outings with England.



    Morocco

    Midfielder Younes Belhanda from French league leaders Nice may make it to Gabon after being ruled out of consideration several weeks ago due to a broken toe. A surprise exclusion from the 26-man preliminary squad was Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Hakim Ziyech.



    Togo

    Clubless former African Footballer of the Year Emmanuel Adebayor will captain a team he has often shunned in the past due to disputes with coaches and officials. Another Togolese without a club is goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.



    GROUP D

    Egypt

    Striker Basem Morsy, whose goals helped Zamalek reach the 2016 CAF Champions League final, was a notable absentee from a preliminary squad that includes 43-year-old goalkeeper and Captain Essam El Hadary.



    Ghana

    Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah has reportedly asked under-pressure Ghana coach Avram Grant to leave him out of the Gabon-bound squad so that he can fully recover from a serious knee injury.



    Mali

    Spain-born Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore has turned down a chance to play for the country of his parents. Brothers Sambou and Moustapha Yatabare have been picked, as has Bakary Sako despite playing only 87 minutes for Crystal Palace this season.



    Uganda

    Goalkeeper Denis Onyango, one of three finalists for the 2016 Africa-based Footballer of the Year award at a ceremony in Abuja Thursday, is the star of a squad that includes Ugandans playing in Iceland, the United States, Lebanon and Vietnam.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Demystifying Trump's consequential termDemystifying Trump's consequential term President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in the White House.

    There's only one problem - it's not true anymore. China, the world's second-biggest economy behind the United States, hasn't been pushing down its currency to benefit Chinese exporters in years. And even if it were, the law targeting manipulators requires the US spend a year negotiating a solution before it can retaliate. Trump spent much of the campaign blaming China's for America's economic woes. And it's true that the US-China trade relationship is lopsided. China sells a lot more to the United States than it buys. The resulting trade deficit in goods amounted to a staggering US$289 billion through the first 10 months of 2016. But in fact, for the past couple of years China has been intervening in markets to prop up its currency, the yuan, not push it lower. What does the currency have to do with the trade gap? When China's yuan falls against the US dollar, Chinese products become cheaper in the US market and American products become more costly in China.

    So the US Treasury Department monitors China for signs it is manipulating the yuan lower. Treasury has guidelines for putting countries on its currency blacklist. They must, for example, have spent the equivalent of 2% of their economic output over a year buying foreign currencies in an attempt to drive those currencies up and their own currencies down.

    Treasury hasn't declared China a currency manipulator since 1994. What would happen if the US declared China a currency manipulator? Probably not much, at least initially. If Treasury designates China a currency manipulator under a 2015 law, it is supposed to spend a year trying to resolve the problem through negotiations.

    Should those talks fail, the US can take a number of small steps in retaliation, including stopping the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a government development agency, from financing any programmes in China. Trouble is, the United States already suspended OPIC operations in China years ago — to punish Beijing in the aftermath of the bloody 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square.

    So naming China a currency manipulator is mostly “just a jaw-boning exercise,” said Amanda DeBusk, chair of the international trade department at the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed and a former Commerce Department official. “There's no immediate consequence.”

    Is China guilty of using currency to help its exporters? For years, China pretty clearly manipulated its currency to gain an advantage over global competitors. It bought foreign currencies, the US dollar in particular, to push them higher against the yuan. As it did, it accumulated vast foreign currency reserves — nearly US$4trn worth by mid-2014. But now the Chinese economy is slowing, and Chinese companies and individuals have begun to invest more heavily outside the country. As their money leaves China, it puts downward pressure on the yuan. The yuan has dropped nearly 7% against the dollar so far this year. The Chinese government has responded by draining its foreign exchange reserves to buy yuan, hoping to slow the currency's fall. China's reserves have dropped by US$279billion this year to US$3 trillion. If Beijing stepped back and let market forces determine the yuan's level, it likely would fall even faster, giving Chinese exporters even more of a competitive edge.

    So Beijing is doing the opposite of what Trump says it's doing. Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad earlier this month called Trump's plans to name China a currency manipulator “unmoored from reality.”

    “The whole discussion is ironic,” said David Dollar, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former official at the World Bank and US Treasury Department. “It's out of date.” Gary Hufbauer, an expert on trade law at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, notes that as president, Trump could nonetheless escalate any dispute over the currency on his own. Over the years, Congress has ceded the president broad authority to impose trade sanctions. Trump has threatened to slap a 45 % tax, or tariff, on Chinese imports to punish it for unfair trade practices, including alleged currency manipulation.

    Brookings' Dollar said China likely would bring a case to the World Trade Organisation “against any protectionist measures that are a violation of US commitments to the WTO,” which oversees the rules of global commerce and rules on trade disputes. Some trade analysts wonder if Trump is using the tariff threat as a negotiating tool to win concessions from China. Whatever the US motive, China has a consistent record of retaliating against trade sanctions. When the Obama administration slapped tariffs on Chinese tire imports in 2009, for instance, China lashed back by imposing a tax on US chicken parts.

    China's Global Times newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, has already speculated that “China will take a tit-for-tat approach” if Trump's tariffs are enacted. The paper suggested that Beijing might limit sales of Apple iPhones and Boeing jetliners in China. “The Chinese are predictable and reliable,” DeBusk said. “If they get punched, they punch back.

    FIN24

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: Huawei goes back to basics
  • Huawei goes back to basicsHuawei goes back to basicsRise in revenue expected Huawei is re-tooling its management approach as it enters 2017. Huawei has pledged to overhaul its culture and re-think the way it conducts business, expecting global uncertainty to mount in 2017 after sales growth slowed.

    China's largest telecommunications equipment maker expects a 32% rise in revenue to $75bn in 2016, rotating chief executive officer Eric Xu said.

    That's down from the 37% growth it posted in 2015. The company now needs to re-tool its management approach to zero in on customers' needs, while staunching costs and avoiding “blind optimism and rhetoric.”

    Huawei, which debuted its first Android device in 2009 and is now the largest smartphone maker after Apple. and Samsung Electronics, has made significant inroads into markets from the US to Europe.

    But Chinese rivals from Oppo to Vivo have taken the lead back home and its business of selling networking gear to wireless carriers is vulnerable to political swings.

    “The year 2016 has seen a flock of black swans - both political and economic - sweep across the globe,” Xu said in a memo to staff that was posted on the company website.

    “In 2017, we will face even greater global political and economic uncertainties.”

    Those include a rise in costs that outpaced revenue and gross margin growth in 2016.

    Xu outlined a laundry list of time- and money-wasting activities to root out, including “empty talks in offices that are far removed from actual business” and “fancy” internal promotional videos and sides.

    He wants more independent thinking and visits to key operations from base stations to stores.

    More fundamentally, Xu - one of several executives that rotate in and out of the top position - urged a shift in attitude and mindset from merely responding to customers to actively evolving into a technology leader.

    He wants to build research and innovation centres around the world. And he warned of internal disruption as employees are trained and re-assigned to the field.

    “Our human resource policy should help reduce entropy in our workforce,” he said.

    Founded in 1987 by former army engineer Ren Zhengfei, Huawei is one of several Chinese companies trying to compete in the global technology market.

    It remains a global leader in carrier equipment and its latest smartphones - the P9 and P9 Plus - have proven popular in higher-end markets.

    It posted a 37% jump in overall 2015 revenue to 395bn yuan, and shipped roughly 100 million smartphones globally.

    However, smartphone sales are expected to grow a single-digit percentage in 2016 for the first time, according to IT researcher Gartner.

    Xu said Huawei must continue to evolve into a true premium brand and adapt to a rapidly shifting market.

    “To cure an illness, you have to treat the root cause,” he said. “Past success is not a reliable indicator of the future, and a long list of accomplishments might end up nothing more than an epitaph.”

    FIN24

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    NAC facilitates investments of N$400 million NAC facilitates investments of N$400 million NAMPA

    The Namibia Investment Centre (NIC) facilitated new investments worth N$409 million during the 2015/2016 financial year.

    The NIC is a directorate in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development that was established in 1990 under the then Ministry of Trade and Industry to promote foreign direct investment.

    According to the ministry’s report for the 2015/2016 financial year made public in November, the NIC facilitated new investments in the area of services worth N$130 million from Angola; in tourism and hospitality worth N$250 million from Democratic Republic of Congo and Germany; and over N$5 million from the South African, German, British and Angolan manufacturing sectors.

    The report noted that over 260 jobs were created in the areas of manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, services, construction, wholesale/trading, farming and agriculture.

    The NIC also provides aftercare services to existing investors by facilitating work permits and visa applications.

    The report noted that about 22 new work permits and 27 permanent residence permits were issued to new investors during the year under review.

    The directorate had received a budget allocation of about N$68 million for the 2015/2016 financial year.

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    Biltong farming to become a thingBiltong farming to become a thingVenison identified as a niche market Producers of game biltong are encouraged to increase their marketing, branding and promotion efforts. NAMPA



    Namibia hopes to promote venison exports to regional and international markets by 2020 after game farming was identified as a niche market with potential to grow.

    The acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Calicious Tutalife, told Nampa that the intervention would be done through the ministry’s execution strategies for industrialisation. This focuses on game harvesting and processing as well as the development of a value chain for game products.

    According to the ministry’s ‘Growth Strategy for Namibia’s Game Meat Industry and Associated Value Chains’, South African meat products are increasingly marketed in Namibia at the expense of local products.

    Local biltong producers, in particular, are thus encouraged to increase their marketing, branding and promotion efforts.

    Major game species for meat production in Namibia are gemsbok, springbok, kudu, Hartmann’s zebra and red hartebeest.

    Tutalife said venison was a niche market could be developed because wild animals were not prone to diseases that affect domestic animals.

    He said there had been fluctuations in the domestic production of venison.

    “Overall, we can see some growth but there has been a bit of fluctuation, hence the need to see if we can maintain the level of performance because fluctuations are not good; they create uncertainties in the industry,” Tutalife said.

    He said venturing into game farming depended on various factors, including profitability and the policy environment being conducive enough.

    Namibia has a mixed track record of mostly small-scale attempts to commercially export venison to international markets.

    Namibia exported over 1 000 tons of venison worth more than N$50 million to South Africa, and 456 tons of venison products valued at N$11 million, in 2013.

    Exports have largely been confined to small amounts of processed products such as biltong and droëwors.

    In 2014, export volumes of venison and venison products dropped to 86 tons (N$2.1 million), and in 2015 to 38 tons (N$931 000).

    Tutalife said commercial banks were reluctant to award loans for large investments in the venison value chain. Besides charging higher interest rates than development banks, they required high collateral.

    He added that fresh venison was not readily available in local shops.

    Besides meat, game farming produces hides that are processed into leather.

    “Wild animals are also a tourism attraction and popular for trophy hunting, which are aspects that are not comparable to beef that does not attract tourism or trophy hunting.”

    The ministry launched its strategy for the game industry in November 2016. It’s target is to increase the overall value of venison sales from less than N$200 million in 2015 to N$300 million by 2020.

    Interventions include improving the industry’s contribution to sustainable wildlife by creating an enabling environment for professional game farming and harvesting, increased output of high-quality meat by supporting new investments in game meat, and repositioning Namibian game meat production in local, regional and international markets.

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: IS claims nightclub carnage
  • IS claims nightclub carnageIS claims nightclub carnageAs Turkey hunts attacker The shooting spree at the waterside Reina nightclub was unleashed when 2017 in Turkey was just 75 minutes old. The Islamic State jihadist group yesterday claimed the shooting rampage inside a glamorous Istanbul nightclub on New Year's night that killed 39 people, as police hunted the attacker who remains on the run.

    With foreigners making up the majority of those killed in Sunday's attack, families were due to reclaim the bodies of more than two dozen non-Turkish and mainly Arab victims.

    The shooting, which unleashed scenes of carnage and panic among party-goers at one of Istanbul's swankiest venues, took place just 75 minutes into 2017 after a bloody year in Turkey in which hundreds of people were killed in violence blamed on both IS jihadists and Kurdish militants.

    In a statement circulated on social media, the jihadist group said one of the “soldiers of the caliphate” had carried out the attack on the Reina nightclub.

    It accused Turkey, a majority-Muslim country, of being a servant of Christians, in a possible reference to Ankara's alliance with the international coalition fighting IS in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

    The statement said the assault was in response to Turkey's military intervention against IS in war-ravaged Syria.

    Turkish troops are pressing on with a four-month incursion in Syria to oust IS jihadists and Kurdish militants from the border area.

    In the last few weeks, the forces have encountered fierce opposition from the jihadists around the town of Al-Bab. The army said Turkish war planes launched new air strikes around Al Bab.

    Arriving by taxi at the plush Reina nightclub on the shores of the Bosphorus, the gunman produced a weapon, reportedly a Kalashnikov, and shot dead a policeman and civilian at the entrance.

    According to the Hurriyet daily, the gunman then fired off four magazines containing a total of 120 bullets around the club, as terrified guests flung themselves into the freezing waters of the Bosphorus in panic.

    But after changing clothes, the gunman left the nightclub in the ensuing chaos and has managed to evade security forces. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Sunday that intense efforts were under way to find the gunman, and expressed hope that he would be captured soon.

    Late on Sunday, police rushed to Istanbul's Kurucesme district after a tip-off but the operation did not produce any arrest.

    “The danger continues,” wrote columnist Abdulkadir Selvi in Hurriyet.

    “So long as this terrorist is not seized we do not know when and where a massacre could take place.”

    Hurriyet said investigators believe the attacker may be from the Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan.

    Investigators also consider it possible that the attacker is linked to the same cell that in June carried out a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport blamed on IS that left 47 people dead, the paper added.

    Turkey also received intelligence from the United States on December 30 warning of the risk of attacks by IS in Istanbul and Ankara on New Year's night, the paper said,

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said the nightclub bloodbath sought to sow “chaos”, was on Monday due to chair a meeting of the Turkish cabinet.

    Prime Minister Binali Yildirim meanwhile denied reports the attacker had worn a Santa Claus costume.

    Soylu said the assailant had arrived with a gun concealed under an overcoat but subsequently exited the venue wearing a different garment.

    NTV television said that the bodies of 25 foreigners killed in the attack were to be handed back to their families on Monday following identification.

    According to Turkish press reports, the latest figures show 11 Turks were killed in the attack alongside 27 foreigners, including one Belgian-Turkish dual national. One victim is still unidentified.

    Sixty-five people were wounded.

    The foreigners who died - most of them from Arab countries - had come to the club to celebrate a special night in style.

    They included three Lebanese nationals, two Jordanians and three Iraqis, officials in their respective countries said.

    A Canadian woman, a Russian woman and a teenage Arab Israeli woman were also among dead. Turkish press reports said at least seven Saudi nationals died but this has yet to be confirmed by Riyadh.

    The attack evoked memories of the November 2015 carnage in Paris when IS jihadists unleashed a gun and bombing rampage on nightspots in the French capital, killing 130 people including 90 at the Bataclan concert hall.

    World leaders rushed to condemn the nightclub shooting, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying it was “hard to imagine a crime more cynical than the killing of civilians during a New Year's celebration”.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: 2016 can't be forgotten
  • 2016 can't be forgotten2016 can't be forgotten On Saturday at midnight we parted ways with the year 2016 and entered into a brand new 2017. Many have made new year's resolutions just like they did at the start of the year 2016. Because it's a personal matter, only you would know whether you achieved them all or not.

    Just like the son of a king inherits the crown when his father passes on, although 2017 is filled with opportunities let us not forget the challenges and unsolved issues from 2016 that tagged along. The future of Namibia will be determined by the year 2017.

    In 2016 the government adopted a new slogan, “There is no money”, which was complemented by budget cuts that were not well explained. We keep our fingers crossed hoping that the word “no” will be removed from the statement and everything will turn out well (which is doubtful).

    The ruling Swapo Party is expected to hold its elective congress later in the year and looking at the tribal and unfair remarks that emerged from the party's women's council's congress in 2016, anything can be expected.

    Let us not forget the biggest disappointment in the history of Namibian football that happened in 2016 when MTC divorced the NPL leaving them in the cold looking for a new N$24 million sponsorship. February is just around the corner and we hope big fat cheques will be unveiled.

    In 2016 the minister of environment had to make tough decisions that will either save or cost our country dearly. We are talking about the marine phosphate mining saga and the intensified fight against poachers.

    In 2017 we will also wait and see whether the police will recover the N$3.5 billion from the Chinese nationals whose businesses are being raided by Ndeitunga's men.

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day NATURE IS FREE: When nature offers you a good view while travelling from Oshakati’s Ekuku area towards town. PHOTO: KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: Taking to the sky in style
  • Taking to the sky in styleTaking to the sky in styleScenic flights at Langstrand a hit Bateleur Helicopters from Swakopmund made many people's dreams of flying come true this festive season. Flying in a helicopter or plane is prohibitively expensive for most Namibians, but the dream of flying lives in the hearts of many.

    For children, flying for the first time can be the experience of a lifetime - something that parents who are able to, such as Andre Augustyn, treat their children to.

    “It was amazing, I want to do it again,” seven-year-old Lehan Augustyn said as he, his younger brother Vian and their dad stepped out of a helicopter at Langstrand on Wednesday. Scenic flights along Long Beach (Langstrand) and the surrounding dunes are offered by Bateleur Helicopters from Swakopmund. A 20-minute trip for three people costs N$880 per person.

    Four-year-old Vian said, “I was a bit scared but then it got interesting as we flew higher.”

    The Augustyn family live in Swakopmund and Andre decided to treat his sons this holiday season.

    He said it is important that children are exposed to a variety of things so that they can choose careers or just hobbies.

    “I want my sons to experience flying while young so that they do not have a fear of heights.

    It is also good for Lehan, who aspires to be a pilot,” Andre said.

    Andre said some parents are reluctant to expose children to some things in life, but as long as they are safe, he won't hesitate to introduce them to things out of the ordinary.

    “I am the kind of father who chooses to expose my kids to anything that is to their benefit.”

    He acknowledged that flying in a helicopter could be risky, but decided to do it with the boys because “life itself is risky”.

    The trio flew 500 feet high at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.

    Swakopmund resident Yolande Weber, 32, flew for the first time at Langstrand on Wednesday.

    “I do not fear flying; I just never made time for flying. I was a little anxious at first, but it passed and I enjoyed the trip,” she said.

    Helicopter owner Gunter Heimstadt said he enjoys seeing the smiles on his customers' faces as they return to earth.

    “It is good to see Namibians and tourists enjoying the flights,” he said.

    According to Heimstadt, a helicopter such as his costs between N$6 and N$8 million.

    “A business like this can have a running cost of N$5 000 an hour,” he told Nampa.

    -Nampa



    PAULUS SHIKU

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    Woman's body found under bridge in KhomasdalWoman's body found under bridge in Khomasdal The body of a woman was found under a bridge along Florence Nightingale Street in Khomasdal on Sunday morning.

    City Police spokesperson Fabian Amukwelele said the semi-naked body was discovered by passers-by at about 11:30. Women's clothing was found scattered at the scene, where a mattress and blankets were also found. The deceased, in her 30s, has been identified but her identity is being withheld because her next of kin have not yet been informed. Police suspect that she could have been raped before she was murdered. “Even though the cause of death is not yet known, we are suspecting foul play,” Amukwelele said. The time of death has not been established yet.

    Relatives and friends of the deceased said they last saw her on Friday morning. Amukwelele cautioned the public to be more careful when walking in riverbeds and other unsafe places.

    “Members of the public should be mindful and avoid using shortcuts where they are likely to be vulnerable,” he warned.

    He appealed to anyone with information on the incident to contact the police.

    NAMPA

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    Kenya seeks Namibia's support for AU top seatKenya seeks Namibia's support for AU top seat The Kenyan candidate vying for the position of African Union (AU) Commission chairperson, Amina Mohamed, called on President Hage Geingob last week to seek support.

    Mohamed is her country's cabinet secretary for foreign affairs.

    She met Geingob at the Swakopmund State House on Thursday in the company of the Rwandan minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, who is on holiday in Namibia. After a closed-door meeting with the head of state, Mohamed told Nampa that Namibia's support in this election would mean a lot to her and Kenya. “In fact, we want all African countries to give support,” she said. Candidates in the race need 34 votes or more from the 54 African countries to win the seat. The first election for the position took place at the AU Summit in Rwanda in July this year. None of the three candidates managed to garner the required number of votes to win.

    They are Equatorial Guinea's Agapito Mba Mokuy; Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe from Uganda; and Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi from Botswana. The election was then postponed to January 2017 and new candidates, including Mohamed, were added to the list. The others are former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who also visited Geingob this month to talk about improving African education; the United Nations (UN) secretary-general's special representative to Central Africa, Professor Abdoulaye Bathily from Senegal; Algeria's foreign minister and former AU peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra; former president of the African Development Bank in Rwanda Donald Kaberuka; and Carlos Lopes, the head of the UN Economic Commission for Africa from Guinea Bissau. Mushikiwabo said her family loved Namibia and would be here for the next three or four days. She said she chose Namibia for a holiday because she loves the peace and hospitality. South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the outgoing AU Commission chairperson. She has been at the helm since 2012 and did not seek re-election.

    NAMPA

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    Burglars on the rampage in WindhoekBurglars on the rampage in Windhoek A total of 56 cases of housebreaking have been reported in Windhoek in December, according to City Police spokesman Edmund Khoaseb.

    “Housebreakings have been on the rise throughout the city. It is not only limited to specific residential areas but observable throughout the city. It is mainly because residents leave their homes unattended,” Khoaseb said.

    He encouraged residents to join neighbourhood watch groups as a means to help the City Police. “It is very difficult to patrol these houses,” he said.

    Commenting on traffic in the city, he said there had been no road fatalities during the festive season.

    “What we can say is that traffic observable on the roads has been very low. So low in fact those incidents of drunk driving are not even worth mentioning.”

    Shebeen owners complied with a request by the municipality to close for Christmas and Family Day. “We did not experience any problems in this regard.”

    Regarding the use of fireworks, he said: “The law did not change. The municipal by-laws do not give permission for the use of fireworks. We will be issuing fines to residents who use fireworks throughout the festive season.”

    He said the City Police would be patrolling the streets of Windhoek.

    Khoaseb reported that a man was stabbed to death on Tuesday, 27 December by two male suspects who were both arrested. The victim was declared dead at the scene at Kasch Street in the Central Business District.

    -Additional reporting by NAMPA

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Ngavirue denies reparation twistNgavirue denies reparation twistNegotiations far from over Special envoy Zed Ngavirue has rubbished allegations that the German government will create a trust fund to benefit the Herero and Nama communities directly. Namibia's special envoy on German reparations, Zed Ngavirue, has denied allegations that the German government has decided not to pay reparations to the Namibian government.

    Sources have alleged that the German government would instead create a trust fund to benefit the affected communities directly.

    Speculation is rife that the talks between the two governments are on life support due to the conditions set by the German government.

    However, Ngavirue has rubbished the allegations, stating that it is not logical for the Germans to come up with such a conclusion before the two governments come to an agreement.

    Speaking in an interview recently, Ngavirue said: “That is something very shocking to hear because the talks between the two governments have not even been concluded.

    “As we speak, we still await a response from Germany which will be in Berlin by January at a meeting between the two countries.

    “The only thing which is not assured at the moment is the time and date these negotiations will be concluded, given that we still do not have a final response from Germany.”

    Ngavirue said he hoped the talks would be concluded before the German elections this year, which he fears could slow down the negotiations. The chief of the Otjikatjamuaha Royal House and Maharero Traditional Authority, Tjinani Maharero, confirmed to Namibian Sun that the trust fund was a suggestion made by the affected communities.

    “Well, it was something that was suggested by the affected communities but I am not in a position to say if the allegations are true or not,” Maharero said.

    Germany ruled what was previously known as South-West Africa from 1884 to 1915, when South African government took over.

    Namibia is demanding reparations for the 1904 genocide which saw Germany issuing an extermination order against the Ovaherero and Nama people after the tribes decided to oppose the stealing of their land by the Germans.

    The Germans under General Lothar von Trotha killed around 24 000 Herero people and an estimated 10 000 Nama people.

    Attempts to get comment from the German embassy to Namibia proved impossible because all the diplomats had left on holiday.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: Rainy start for 2017
  • Rainy start for 2017Rainy start for 2017 Many Namibians celebrated the first day of 2017 by sharing happy rainfall news and photos via social media after widespread showers across the country.

    Okahandja residents confirmed that the Von Bach Dam had received water, raising the level slightly.

    “It is amazing,” one resident said, noting that some of the small islands that had been exposed by the dwindling water level were under water again.

    “This morning, the islands are covered.”

    The widespread rainfall in Namibia's interior since Saturday is expected to continue for at least two weeks, the Namibian Meteorological Service (NMS) has confirmed.

    Photos and rainfall measurements shared on social media indicate that between 20mm and 40mm fell in Windhoek on 1 January, with similar measurements reported across the country on the same day.

    A post on a popular Namibia rainfall group stated that 130 millimetres of rain had been measured at Farm Astra near Omitara in the east of the country.

    A farm in the Karas Region reportedly received 90 millimetres of rain over the course of 1 January, official rainfall figures released by the NMS show.

    Omaruru measured 39.6 millimetres of rain on 1 January, while Rundu measured more than 32 millimetres.

    At Katima Mulilo, 26.6 millimetres were measured, Groot Aub received 20.4 millimetres on Sunday, while Rehoboth residents measured more than 20 millimetres. Other areas that received rain included Tsumeb (10.5mm), Outjo (9.4mm), The Von Lindequist Gate at the Etosha National Park (9mm), Nkurenkuru (11mm), Keetmanshoop (3mm), and Aroab (6.2mm).

    Chief weather forecaster Odillo Kgobetsi explained that a low-pressure system at lower and mid-levels is enhancing further unstable weather conditions over Namibia, increasing rain prospects in many parts of the country.

    Tropical moisture from the Congo-basin will remain dominant over Namibia between 3 and 18 January, he said, which could lead to widespread thundershowers over the next two and a half weeks.

    The western, extreme north-western and south-western areas will remain dry.

    Between 2 and 10 January, moderate to heavy rainfall is expected over the Namibian interior, with widespread thundershowers expected in the central and southern regions on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Scattered showers are possible in parts of western Namibia.

    Between 11 and 18 January, moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue over the interior, with widespread thundershowers expected in the central-northern, north-eastern, central, eastern and south-eastern parts.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Two more arrested after poacher shootoutTwo more arrested after poacher shootout Two more members of an alleged poaching gang have been arrested in connection with last week's shootout with the police, in which two suspects were killed and one wounded. Two more men have been arrested in connection with a shootout between anti-poaching units and alleged poachers in the Bwabwata National Park last week during which two suspects were killed and one seriously wounded.

    Major-General James Tjivikua of the Namibian Police issued a strict warning to poachers. “We are going to dismantle you piece by piece. We have given you enough warnings,” he said in a statement.

    Kumbwa Mungunda John (34), a Namibian resident of Kamutjanga at Divundu, and Mbunda Simon (32), a resident of Mavanze village at Rundu, were both arrested last week. They were among the group of men found hunting in the park last week. They are expected to make a first court appearance this week.

    Tjivikua said the two men were implicated in the second skirmish with police in the park this month, just two weeks after another poacher had been killed after shooting an elephant in the park.

    On Wednesday last week, an anti-poaching patrol, consisting of members of NamPol and Namibia Defence Force (NDF) soldiers, came under attack in the park about 21 kilometres east of Divundu.

    The anti-poaching unit immediately returned fire. Two poachers were killed instantly, and the unit managed to arrest a third man, Matheus Murongo, who had tried to flee despite having been seriously wounded during the shoot-out.

    The two deceased, one of whom has been identified as Paulo Shimonomono, were both “possibly in their forties”, according to police. Their nationality has not yet been confirmed.

    Murongo was carrying Angolan and Namibian identity documents. He remains under guard at Rundu State Hospital.

    Following the shootout, police confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle, a homemade silencer and 25 rounds of ammunition.

    Another suspect, whose identity is known to the police, is still on the run. Last week, the minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, warned that anti-poaching patrols would return fire if attacked by poachers.

    “Poachers shooting at anti-poaching units will regret doing so if they ever survive the firepower of our well-trained special units,” the minister said.

    He said he had been visiting national parks during December to “give new instructions” to anti-poaching teams. He said the ministry had “vowed to show [poachers] that there is an authority”.

    Shifeta said an NDF special unit had been deployed in Bwabwata and similar units would be deployed in Etosha National Park in the near future.

    According to Tjivikua, two rhinos were killed by poachers in Etosha on 3 and 7 December.

    Fifteen suspects were arrested and have appeared before the Opuwo Magistrate's Court. The case was postponed until March.

    Since 15 September 2016, 24 elephants had killed by poachers in Bwabwata National Park, he added.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    2017 a year of rededication – Geingob2017 a year of rededication – Geingob‘Resilient and innovative approach required’ A tough economic outlook will necessitate difficult debates over limited resources and competing priorities, the president said in his New Year’s message. STAFF REPORTER



    President Hage Geingob, in his new year’s message, said the year 2017 should be one of rededication.

    “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 said challenges experienced in 2016 would persist in the new year and a resilient and innovative approach would 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, the government has prioritised a number of initiatives for the year 2017 such as increasing monthly pensions to N$1 200 by June as well as providing subsidised ploughing services, fertiliser and seed to communal farmers.

    A second land conference will be held by September 2017, while the 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 come into effect in February and will enable a computerised procurement system that will enhance transparency.

    The president also had a message for sports fans. “The state of affairs in the sport 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.

    “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.”

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: Man drowns at Rundu Beach
  • Man drowns at Rundu BeachMan drowns at Rundu Beach KENYA KAMBOWE

    The Kavango East police are searching for the body of 31-year-old Joseph Tjiwawa, who drowned in the Okavango River on Friday afternoon.

    According to Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton, Tjiwawa drowned at Rundu Beach after two of his friends threw him into the river. Tjiwawa was intoxicated, Bampton said.

    The two friends, who are from Sauyema, were arrested on a charge of murder and will to appear before the Rundu Magistrate’s Court today.

    On 20 December, the Rundu police recovered the body of a 44-year-old man identified as Hausiku Valentinus Mushore from the Okavango River. His body was found at the bridge between Angola and Namibia.

    Bampton said a post-mortem examination found that Mushore had drowned. No foul play is suspected.

    He said Mushore was not reported missing because his family thought he had gone to visit someone.

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    Eleventh gas explosion victim diesEleventh gas explosion victim dies JANA-MARI SMITH

    The death toll from a gas explosion on a farm near Dordabis that killed nine children and one adult has risen to eleven, after 14-year-old Jujina !Nau/gawases died the day after Christmas.

    On Monday, 26 December, !Nau/gawases, who had turned 14 a week earlier, succumbed to the severe injuries sustained in the gas explosion on Farm Garib in mid-October.

    “I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family, especially the mother and father of Jujina who were looking forward to celebrating the New Year with her,” the regional councillor for the Windhoek Rural Constituency, Penina Inga Ita, said at a press conference on Friday.

    “This tragedy has robbed us of so many young lives and the suffering by family members and the community is beyond imagination,” she said.

    A mass funeral was held in early November for the first ten victims.

    A memorial service for Jujina will be held on farm Garib on 6 January and the funeral will be conducted on the farm the next day.

    Jujina’s mother, Maria !Nau/gawases, whose six-year-old son Aliandre !Nau/gawases was one of the first victims who died shortly after the explosion, said words failed to express the pain and grief she and her family were experiencing.

    She has one surviving daughter, an 11-year-old girl, who was not present at the explosion, and who is reportedly struggling to cope in the aftermath of the loss of her siblings.

    Antolika Gawases, a family spokesperson, on Friday said the surviving daughter struggled to sleep and required regular counselling.

    A three-year-old boy, Hernandes Plaaitjies, is still being treated at the Windhoek Central Hospital. Three others, the couple Anna Geibes and Erick Jooste, who lost four children in the explosion, and a young girl, Erica Geibes, have been discharged in the meantime.

    Ita on Friday said that Plaaitjies was released from hospital for a day visit to his family on Christmas and that his condition “is encouraging and he is able to walk again”.

    The bereaved families have expressed thanks for the help and support they have received.

    Ita said the response from Namibians across the country was noteworthy, with donations streaming in consisting of food, clothing, bedding and other items, as well as financial assistance.

    A new house will be built to replace the one destroyed in the explosion, but construction will only start once it has been decided whether the family will stay on the farm or relocate

    Anyone wishing to contribute financially to assist with funeral and other costs can do so by submitting payments to: Witbeen Family funds – Smartcard account number: 343 743 633

    For further information, contact Antolika Gowases at 081 368 4678, Pauline Soroses 081 295 1391 or Uhuru Dempers at 081 217 7762.

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