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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 203 | 204 | (Page 205) | 206 | 207 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 01/02/17--14:00: Killer ship could be seized
  • Killer ship could be seizedKiller ship could be seizedMarine capture needs environmental clearance The environment minister has warned the trawler Ryazanovka not to try catching any marine wildlife without permission. JANA-MARI SMITH



    Namibia’s environment minister says no permit can be issued for the harvesting of any natural resource, including marine wildlife, in Namibia without the issuing of an environmental clearance certificate.

    He praised the Namibian public for their continued monitoring of environmental issues, urging them to continue doing so and to alert the authorities if they are worried about criminal activities related to natural resources.

    “I want to thank the public for being so consistent about talking about this,” he said, referring to the widespread public concern about an application by two Chinese companies to capture rare and endangered ocean wildlife for export to Chinese aquariums.

    He said he was aware that people were worried, and they should be.

    “I want to request the public to continue monitoring this so that we are immediately given information if there is any attempt to take any natural resource, whether it is from the ocean or anywhere else.”

    He invited the public to contact the environmental commissioner with any relevant environmental concerns or suspicions.

    He said no environmental clearance certificate had been applied for in the case of the marine animal application.

    Should an application be received, the ministry’s technical officers would not permit such activities unless they are done sustainably.

    “Any utilisation or removal of natural resources can only be done after issuing an environmental clearance certificate and if we are convinced that the removal of will not threaten those species,” he said.

    He cautioned that the fisheries ministry could not issue such permit in the absence of an environmental clearance certificate, so “even if they get a permit, it will be invalid”.

    This week, members of the public discovered that crew on board the vessel Ryazanovka, a trawler that was allegedly modified to allow it to transport live marine mammals, were working on huge purse seine nets while the vessel was anchored near Walvis Bay.

    The incident prompted questions about whether the crew were preparing to go ahead with the capture although the fisheries ministry remains silent about the status of the application.

    The Marine Resources Act requires all fishing gear to remain securely stowed away at all times unless a valid licence or permit has been issued to harvest marine resources.

    Shifeta yesterday said such a permit could not have been issued yet, and even if it had been, it would be a “futile exercise as the relevant authorities cannot grant a permit with a clearance certificate”.

    He warned that the crew of the Ryazanovka, allegedly owned by the Chinese companies that applied for the permit, should not try to catch any marine wildlife without permission.

    “That is stealing and we will not tolerate it. By our laws we would then be entitled to confiscate their property,” he warned.

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    Still no sponsor for premier leagueStill no sponsor for premier leagueExtraordinary AGM to decide NPL date Desperate measures and decisions will be taken at the Namibia Premier League (NPL) extraordinary AGM later this month. The Namibia Premier League (NPL) extraordinary annual general meeting two weeks from now will possibly have the final say on when the league will start, says NPL spokesperson Cassius Moetie.

    The extraordinary AGM will be held on 15 January in Windhoek and all 16 premier league clubs are expected to attend.

    Moetie says the league still does not have enough sponsors, with just a month to go before the scheduled kickoff set at last year's AGM.

    The league has secured a N$9 million sponsorship over three years from Groot Systems but still needs N$21 million.

    Speaking in an interview yesterday Moetie said: “The year has just begun and all I can tell you at the moment is that we do not have a sponsor by now.

    “One of last year's AGM resolutions was that the Namibia Premier League must and will start in February provided that there is a sponsor on board.

    “Therefore, the extraordinary meeting will definitely review the situation and possibly pave the way forward as far as the starting date for the league is concerned.

    “All 16 clubs in the premier league will form part of the AGM and will be required to take a decision with regard to the current financial situation.”

    One of the many things on the agenda will be a discussion and possible amendment of the NPL constitution.

    The league's problems started when its former sponsor, MTC, withdrew at the end of the 2015/16 season. The reason was that the league had failed to raise the additional N$9 million that was required.

    Since then, the Namibia Premier League officials have been in search of what could possibly be the biggest deal in the history of the local game.

    Citizens FC boss David Goagoseb said he was unaware of the extraordinary AGM on 15 January since it had not been communicated to his club by the NPL officials.

    He expressed concern about the proposed starting date for the league, saying that it was a bit premature to set a date while the league had not secured the necessary funding.

    Goagoseb predicted that most of the clubs would overrule the decision taken at the last AGM, given the circumstances most clubs find themselves in.

    “I believe it was a strange and a blind move to announce that the league would start in February even though the N$21 million had not been secured.

    “The thing is that clubs have not been training and that it is why I do feel that the month of February was just going to be too soon for the league to start.

    “However, we still await communication from the NPL office to give us an official invitation to the AGM and to give us a programme for the meeting,” Goagoseb said.



    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Chippa United denies Uirab interestChippa United denies Uirab interest South African Premier League club Chippa United has rubbished rumours suggesting that it is keen on signing former Namibia Premier League Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Charles Uirab.

    The 31-year-old reportedly has been on the club's radar for over a year after having had influential seasons in the domestic league.

    Sources last year suggested that the former Pirates shot-stopper was on the verge of penning a deal with the Port Elizabeth side – a rumour that was confirmed by Uirab.

    But he added that Orlando Pirates denied him the move after refusing to issue the necessary paperwork.

    Chippa United spokesman Luthando Zibeko said he was unaware of anything concerning the Namibian keeper. “I am not aware of any of that. We have four goalies at present, but we open on 9 January and I will get a full briefing,” Zibeko said.

    Uirab had played for SKW FC before joining FNB Orlando Pirates in 2013, where he cemented his place in the first line-up for the Buccaneers on a regular basis.

    He left the club along with eight other players at the end of the 2015/16 season because of salary issues.

    Uirab has also been part of the national team from the junior teams to the senior team.

    Chippa United are currently lingering in eleventh place on the South African Premier League table.

    The Chilli Boys have so far won only four games and lost six, while dropping two points on six occasions after 14 games in the PSL.

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    Theron brothers crowned Vasbyt champs Theron brothers crowned Vasbyt champs Coast comes alight The 2016 edition of the Weskus 4x4 Vasbyt produced thrilling results at the coast, with the Theron brothers dominating the event. OTIS FINCK



    Brothers Nico (26) and Herman Theron (30) scored 490 points from a possible 600 and won the 2016 edition of the annual Weskus 4x4 Vasbyt.

    It was the first time that the driver and co-driver team, who have been partnering since 2011, won the competition. They also clinched the C Class with their Land Rover ‘Poetsie’ equipped with a 3.9 V8 Rover engine. They scored full points (60) in seven of the ten demanding stages.

    South Africans Izak and Annelie Maritz, who had won the event four times in a row, returned after a four-year absence with their crowd favourite ‘Goofy’, a 2.0-litre Cilica pipe car.

    They competed against another South African duo, Corries Hudson and Robbie Schafner, in the Super D class. The Maritz couple emerged as winners with 530 points but because it was a Namibian championship they were not in contention for the overall standings.

    Floris Smit Jnr (17) was the youngest of the 36 entrants with 19 vehicles at this year’s event, once again hosted on the outskirts of Walvis Bay behind Dune 7.

    The wind stayed away and the weather played along at the event, which was well attended by thousands of visitors, who cheered on the drivers and their vehicles.

    Sponsor representatives Anzelle Strauss (WesBank) and and Mic van Zyl (Ironman) promised that their companies would continue to support the competition.

    Eight teams competed in the A class for short-wheel-base vehicles, four teams in the B class for long-wheel-base vehicles and five teams in the C class for modified vehicles.

    It was no easy task for the drivers who had to work their way across ten very difficult obstacles while keeping their vehicles upright and within the boundaries of the tracks to build up points. The sand pit stages saw three teams taking a tumble with their vehicles.

    Some of the stages were very demanding and resulted in numerous breakdowns. No contestants were injured but none of the contestants managed to finish the mud pit this year.

    The mud run, which is a fun event contested by spectators at the end of the stages, was won by Andrew van der Linde

    Namib Desert 4x4 Club chairman Theuns van Zyl thanked motorsport fans for attending the event.

    He also commended the marshals, the drivers for providing much fun to the spectators and members of the club for their hard work to make the day successful.

    The winners were as follows (class, position, team details and points):

    A Class: 1st Floris Steenkamp & Hele Steenkamp 450, 2nd Dirk Bosman & Dries Oberholser 310, and 3rd Ben Lange & Francois Lotter 300.

    B Class: 1st Chris Bruyns & Frank Scholtz 420, 2nd Morne Oosthuisen & Niels Gartener 410, and 3rd Theuns van Zyl & Deon Louw 350.

    C Class: 1st Nico Theron (Jnr) & Herman Theron (Jnr) 490, 2nd Hanjo Horn & Kirstie Horn 440, and 3rd Johan La Cock & Renier La Cock 380.

    Overall: 1st Nico Theron (Jnr) & Herman Theron (Jnr) 490, 2nd Floris Steenkamp & Hele Steenkamp 450, and 3rd Hanjo Horn & Kirstie Horn 440.

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Jesus hails Palmeiras
  • Jesus hails Palmeiras Jesus hails Palmeiras NAMPA / XINHUA

    Manchester City-bound striker Gabriel Jesus described his time at Palmeiras as a "film with a happy ending" as he departed Brazil for his new home on Monday.

    "It's hard to say goodbye to something that was so good to me," the 19-year-old wrote in a letter to fans on Instagram.

    "It had its difficulties and there were times when I wanted to give up but I believed in my dream and it came true.

    "I confess that it's difficult to contain my emotion as I write this letter. A film is going through my head. A film with a happy ending."

    Manchester City agreed to pay 27 million British pounds for Jesus in August, beating off interest from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Mexicans up in arms
  • Mexicans up in armsMexicans up in armsStage protests over petrol price hike Protests in 10 states are the latest headache for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Mexicans angry over a steep hike in petrol prices blocked roads around the country on Monday, but the government refused to budge on the energy reform behind the increase.

    The business federation Coparmex also weighed in, calling the increase inflationary and bad for consumers.

    Police said protesters blocked roads in around 10 states and that in some cases officers clashed with demonstrators.

    President Enrique Pena Nieto's government announced last week that the price of petrol would increase by as much as 20 percent to 0.88 dollars per litre while diesel would rise by 16.5% to 0.83 dollars. The increases took effect on New Year's Day. Pena Nieto has promised that fuel prices will eventually fall thanks to a landmark 2014 energy reform he instituted, which ended a seven-decade-old monopoly held by the state-run firm Pemex.

    The government plans to end subsidies and let the market dictate prices in March. But Mexicans will feel the pinch at the pump before they start falling.

    Deputy treasury secretary Miguel Messmacher said Monday the new price increases would stay in place, saying prices were already artificially low in Mexico. He acknowledged people were angry.

    “These things always cause concern. That is understandable,” he said. “We are aware this is an unpopular measure.”

    The protests are the latest headache for Pena Nieto.

    His popularity has plummeted below 25% this year due to his government's failure to curb drug-related violence, disappointing economic growth and his unpopular decision to host Donald Trump before the anti-immigration Republican won the US presidential election.

    The fall in global oil prices in recent years has forced the government to cut its budget and slash spending at Pemex.

    And the peso has fallen to historic lows due to Trump's protectionist rhetoric against Mexico.

    The liberalisation of petrol prices was supposed to begin in 2018, but the government decided to start it now.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    China manufacturing accelerates fastest in 4 yearsChina manufacturing accelerates fastest in 4 years China's manufacturing activity expanded at its quickest pace in nearly four years in December, an independent research firm said yesterday, in a sign of improving health for the world's second-largest economy.

    The private Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), an indicator of conditions at smaller manufacturers, beat expectations with a reading of 51.9 in December, up from 50.9 the previous month.

    A PMI figure above 50 marks an expansion of activity, and below 50 a contraction.

    It was the survey's highest score since January 2013, the Chinese financial magazine said in a joint statement with data compiler IHS Markit.

    “The Chinese manufacturing economy continued to improve in December, with the majority of sub-indices looking optimistic,” Caixin analyst Zhong Zhengsheng said in the statement.

    December's reading was boosted by stronger demand and an increase in new clients for Chinese manufacturers, which pumped output growth to a 71-month high, it said.

    On Sunday, the official purchasing managers' index (PMI), which focuses on larger factories and mines, came in at 51.4 in December, down from 51.7 the previous month, which marked its fastest growth for two years.

    But stabilisation of the country's economy faces further risks ahead with Donald Trump's administration threatening to slap China with heavy tariffs.

    Analyst Zhong noted that uncertainties about the sustainability of rising consumer prices and restocking also weigh on the outlook for factories.

    China's key manufacturing sector has been struggling in the face of sagging world demand for Chinese products and excess industrial capacity left over from the country's infrastructure boom.

    But an upturn in the housing and construction markets thanks to cheap credit - following a series of monetary easing measures - has contributed to a sharp rebound in manufacturing activity.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    US Customs computer crash leaves thousands of travellers waitingUS Customs computer crash leaves thousands of travellers waiting A nationwide collapse of the US customs service computer system left thousands of passengers lined up at airports awaiting clearance to officially enter the country, the authorities and US media said on Monday.

    “Customs and Border Protection has nationwide outage. Expect delays in passenger processing until the system is restored,” Fort Lauderdale's airport, a major hub for the United States and Caribbean, said on Twitter.

    A Customs and Border Protection department spokesman told NBC News that there had been a disruption at several airports and was “taking immediate action to address the technology disruption.”

    After a few hours of trouble, the glitch was fixed.

    “All airports are back on line after a temporary outage of CPB's processing systems. No indication the disruption was malicious in nature,” Customs said on Twitter. But that was not enough for the thousands of tired and cranky passengers who arrived at US gates but then were lined up, in travel limbo, unable to clear customs. An official for Miami International Airport told NBC that passengers on “more than 30 international flights were affected” and one traveller told the same affiliate that two people fainted waiting in line.

    “People are starting to argue and get frustrated,” Cali Rez tweeted in Miami. “Get someone down here to explain things and direct the lines ASAP.” The affected airports are known to include Miami International, Atlanta Hartsfield, Boston Logan and Fort Lauderdale, officials said.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Singapore dodges recession
  • Singapore dodges recessionSingapore dodges recessionGrows 1.8% in 2016 There have been concerns among Asia's export-driven economies about rising protectionism in the West. Singapore's trade-driven economy grew 1.8% last year, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009, after dodging a technical recession in the fourth quarter, official data showed yesterday.

    Analysts warned growth in 2017 could even be more subdued if rising protectionism crimps global trade and further rises in US interest rates put more pressure on the local economy.

    “Singapore has comfortably dodged a technical recession in Q4 2016, but we expect the local economy to remain in 'slow-mo',” said Weiwen Ng, Southeast Asia economist at banking group ANZ.

    “The prospects of a more protectionist trade policy poses headwinds to Singapore's economy who is still wedded to the old export-led growth model,” Ng said in a note.

    There have been concerns among Asia's export-driven economies about rising protectionism in the West, where globalisation and free-trade deals have been blamed for sending jobs abroad and opening the floodgates to immigrants.

    Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as US president on January 20, has vowed to tear up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a major trade deal negotiated by outgoing President Barack Obama.

    Singapore is a key member of the 12-nation TPP which contains market-opening provisions that go well beyond cutting tariffs.

    Singapore's trade ministry said Tuesday that the city-state's economy expanded 9.1% quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December, reversing a 1.9% contraction the previous quarter. A technical recession refers to two straight quarters of quarter-on-quarter contractions.

    Last year's growth is below the 2.0 expansion in 2015.

    “The big picture is that Singapore's growth looks set to remain weak over the next couple of years against a backdrop of tightening domestic monetary conditions,” said Capital Economics' regional economist Krystal Tan. Recovery in exports seems “unlikely” as global growth is expected to be lacklustre in the coming years, Tan said in a research note.

    “Moreover, there remain significant downside risks to global trade, notably a turn towards protectionism in the US,” she said.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Roaring trade for car-hire companiesRoaring trade for car-hire companiesInflux of tourists drives revenue The festive season has brought a lot of business for car-hire companies. Car-hire companies in Windhoek are raking in the dollars due to the influx of local and international travellers needing cars during the festive season.

    Some car-hire businesses Nampa spoke to expressed satisfaction with their holiday business, but a few complained of a drop in profit.

    None of them were willing to disclose their profits but it is not too hard to estimate, with a sports utility vehicle costing about N$1 100 per day depending on the number of days one books a car for.

    A branch manager of Avis Car Rental, Jeanne Oswald, said business during this year's festive season is better than last year.

    Windhoek's Bidvest car-hire subsidiary echoed the same sentiment, saying that ever since they changed their name from Budget Car Rental in 2015, business has been going well for them.

    Budget is an American franchise established in the 1950s and Bidvest is a South African group of companies.

    Unfortunately, not all car-hire companies earned large profits in the holiday rush.

    Windhoek Dollar Thrifty, another American franchise, said they experienced a slump in business over the past year, most likely because of fuel price increases.

    Nadia de Koe, a rental agent at Dollar Thrifty, said the branch in Namibia had little control over rental prices, because their head office in South Africa decided on that.

    Vehicles ranging from station wagons to bakkies are available for hire in Namibia, and more local people are hiring cars for family trips.

    “People rent cars from us rather than using their own to save on maintenance costs,” said Zenia Brandt, branch manager at Bidvest Car Rental.

    NAMPA

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    Booming holiday trade at Independence BeachBooming holiday trade at Independence Beach Small fast-food stalls, especially the seasonal ones, are excited about the opportunity to do business at Independence Beach in Walvis Bay this festive season.

    The beach, which is normally empty throughout the year, turned into a business hub for vendors of food and drinks over the festive season.

    This festive season about 35 businesses have set up stalls there to serve locals and visitors, who gather in large numbers on Christmas Day and New Year's Day to party.

    Located next to the Walvis Bay Naval Base, Independence Beach is one of the most popular beaches along the coast, where dolphins and seals are sighted regularly.

    Tourists hit the beach with the hope of sighting the marine mammals and to experience local cuisine.

    Stall owners who spoke to Nampa last week indicated that they had made reasonable profits on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and were looking forward to good profits on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

    “This is the only place I am able to do business as I do not have a permanent place, so I am happy that this year I got a chance to sell here,” said Tuhape Hasonga of Hasonga Business.

    Operating at the beach for the first time last year, Hasongo sells vetkoek, a popular deep-fried dumpling, and most Namibians' favourite food: braaivleis (barbecue).

    Other first-timers, Ndinelao Simson and partner Edwih Nakale of Ndina Traditional Food, sell Owambo bread, chicken and pap.

    They are grateful to the municipality of Walvis Bay for giving them the opportunity to sell at the beach.

    “Business is good here, but more toilets are needed to accommodate all,” Simson said.

    He was there for the fourth time, and said he made close to N$8 000 profit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    “On peak days, I make enough money but it slows down on normal days to N$700 a day, or even just N$10 in a whole day.”

    The business owners said apart from a few instances where thieves grabbed money and mobile phones, the area was safe for everybody.

    Last year, a high tide flooded the beach during the peak of the festive season, and left many vendors with financial losses.

    This year, the high tide came two days before Christmas when no stalls had been erected yet.

    Business on the beach runs between 15 December and 10 January every year.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Bloody Brazil prison riot
  • Bloody Brazil prison riotBloody Brazil prison riotInmates beheaded, 56 killed A prison riot in the Brazilian Amazon has left at least 56 people dead with some bodies decapitated and burned. Rioting inmates decapitated their rivals in brutal fighting between two gangs in a Brazilian jail that left 56 dead, while 144 prisoners escaped, officials said Monday.

    The riot broke out Sunday afternoon and lasted through the night at a prison on the outskirts of Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, state public security secretary Sergio Fontes said.

    Bloodied and burned bodies were stacked in a concrete prison yard and piled in carts, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

    Fontes's department later lowered the death toll to 56 from an earlier count of 60.

    The fighting ranks among the most deadly of numerous prison riots across Latin America in the past decade.

    Fontes called it “the biggest massacre” ever committed at a prison in the state.

    Outside, heavily armed police hunted for dozens of inmates who escaped through a series of tunnels discovered at the Anisio Jobim penitentiary complex.

    Fontes's department later said that 112 prisoners escaped from that prison and another 72 from the nearby Antonio Trindade Penal Institute. Just 40 of the escapees were captured, it added.

    Police finally restored order at the prison on Monday morning, freeing 12 guards who had been taken hostage, Fontes said.

    They found a horrific scene inside.

    “Many (victims) were decapitated, and they all suffered a lot of violence,” he told a news conference.

    He said the gruesome scene appeared aimed at sending a message from the Family of the North (FDN), a powerful local gang, to rivals from the First Capital Command (PCC), one of Brazil's largest gangs.

    The PCC's base is in Sao Paulo, some 2 700km to the southeast.

    “During the negotiations (to end the riot), the prisoners had almost no demands,” Fontes told local radio network Tiradentes.



    “We think they had already done what they wanted: kill members of the rival organization.”

    It was the latest eruption of horrific violence to hit Brazil's underfunded and overcrowded prisons.

    In October, deadly riots broke out at three prisons, blamed on fighting between members of the country's two largest gangs, the PCC and the Red Command (CV).

    During that episode, rioting inmates took visitors hostage, beheaded rivals and burned others alive, killing 33 people in all, the authorities said.

    In 1992, a riot in Sao Paulo's Carandiru prison left 111 people dead.

    Brazil's prisons are often controlled by drug gangs, whose turf wars on the outside are also fought out among inmates.

    “There is a silent war of drug trafficking, and the state needs to intervene,” Fontes said.

    “What did we see in this case? One faction fighting another because each wants more money. The fight is for money and space.”

    Brazil has struggled for years against a lucrative and violent drug trade. But jailing drug traffickers has done little to solve the problem. It may even fuel it, critics say.

    Human rights groups have long complained about the conditions in Brazilian prisons.

    “The problem starts with overcrowding,” lawyer and activist Marcos Fuchs said.

    “When you put inmates from rival factions in the same prison unit, the state has no control over what happens inside.”

    Some 622 000 people were imprisoned in Brazil as of the end of 2014, most of them black males, according to a justice ministry report.

    That makes it the world's fourth-largest prison population, the report said, after the United States, China and Russia.

    Brazil's prisons need 50% more capacity to handle the current number of inmates, the justice ministry report found.

    There were 1.67 prisoners for every available space, it said. In Amazonas state, the figure was 2.59 prisoners for every space.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    Less talk, more action neededLess talk, more action needed It is only the fourth day of the new year and there is already a refreshed optimism for the next 12 months ahead. In his new year's message, President Hage Geingob boldly stated the year 2017 should be a one rededication, with a resilient and innovative approach required to weather the tough economic storm.

    And as Geingob said, the problems of 2016 will still be part of us in 2017, but as a nation there is a massive weight of expectation to do better than last year this time around.

    The reckless government spending must come to an end and elected officials should also stop with making vastly unrealistic promises that they inevitably cannot keep.

    Those in power should not just make empty promises, but should bring about improvements in education, public healthcare, job creation and the economy.

    On paper we have good policies, but we often lack a convincing plan to implement them and ultimately improve people's lives. If people have access to quality healthcare and education there is no doubt that they will be productive citizens.

    We can no longer afford to manage the economy irresponsibly. On the sport front, the president announced in his message that government was looking at concluding the review of the Sports Act and policies aimed at defining and prioritising the national sport codes.

    It is good to hear that the sad state of affairs bedevilling Namibian sport is finally being addressed. What we want to see, however, is more action than just mere talk. Sport-loving Namibians and our sportsmen and women have endured a torrid 2016 and it is high time that changes are made at the top to avoid yet another year of disappointment. Our attention should be at coming up with a proper sport programme and developing our sport systems.

    Lest we forget sport has the power to unite us and thus creating hope for our nation.

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day SUNDOWN: After heavy rains at Omaalala in the Oshana Region, the sun set on the year 2016 in spectacular fashion.

    PHOTO: KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Life at the dumpsite
  • Life at the dumpsiteLife at the dumpsiteOne man's garbage is another's treasure At municipal dumpsites around Windhoek, the poorest of the poor look for saleable items among the rubbish. While some are on holiday and enjoying the festive season, a group of Babylon informal settlement residents are sifting through garbage to trade in for recycling or sell.

    Speaking to Nampa during a recent visit to the Havana dumpsite near Fidel Castro Primary School, a resident said they scavenged from as early as 05:00.

    Twenty-seven-year old Nepemba Karupu hails from the Kavango East Region and said she came to Windhoek for a better life in the capital but things turned out differently for her.

    She said the group of about 10 to 20 women and children go to the dump in the mornings to look for clothes, bottles, tins and even food.

    “This is what we survive on. We wake up in the morning to come to the site hoping to get enough cans and any other thing such as bottles for us to sell and buy bread for our children and soap,” said the mother of two as the sun rose behind her back.

    Another resident, a 30-year-old mother of three from the Omusati Region, Nuusiku Nanyemba, said life had been tough for her since she lost her job at a security company.

    “Life has been hard ever since I lost my job which was the only source of income for me and my children,” said Nanyemba while sifting through the garbage full of empty wine bottles and rotten food. By 10:00, the sun is scorching and the smell or rotting garbage hangs over the dumpsite.

    This is not the only place where residents of informal areas go to scavenge for items they can salvage.

    A 36-year-old resident of Kilimanjaro informal settlement, Sakeus Witbooi, told Nampa that he goes to the municipal garden refuse and building rubble dump behind the B1 road to collect scrap metal for sale.

    He said the dump felt like his second home because it offered a better life than begging on the streets.

    “Collecting these copper pieces and other metals has become my life because at least when you sell these pieces you can be able to get money to buy for yourself soap and some food,” said Witbooi. “As we celebrate with our families and loved ones, let us be reminded that this is the season to reflect on how we treat strangers in our midst. There is no purpose to kindness, love or charity if it is only extended to those we know or those who speak our language or look like us,” President Hage Geingob said in his Christmas message.

    The president called on Namibians to join hands in the war on poverty.

    -Nampa

    PETRUS MURONGA

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    Ten suffer food poisoning in KuneneTen suffer food poisoning in KuneneBad chicken suspected Food poisoning in Kunene is common because of the poverty in the region. Ten people were treated for food poisoning at the Opuwo State Hospital on Christmas Day.

    Kunene regional health inspector Barbara Kahiha told Nampa that four people at Okorosave village got sick after eating fried chicken that had been kept in a plastic bag for a few days. Six others at Opuwo had become ill after eating fried chicken a day earlier.

    All of them have since been discharged from hospital.

    Okorosave is situated about 25km west of the regional capital, Opuwo.

    Kahiha said food poisoning in Kunene is common due to the high level of poverty in the region.

    Kunene is one of the poorest regions in Namibia, with about 70% of people living below the poverty line.

    It was recently reported that some people in this region have to wrestle with dogs over animal skins to eat.

    Last year six people died of food poisoning at Otjikondavirongo village in the Epupa Constituency.

    Kahiha described food poisoning as an illness caused by eating food contaminated by bacteria such as salmonella or Escherichia coli (E. coli), or a virus, such as the norovirus.

    Most people get better within a few days with or without treatment. In exceptional cases, food poising can be fatal.

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    Deceased’s lover wanted for questioningDeceased’s lover wanted for questioning NAMPA

    The police are searching for the boyfriend of the woman found dead under a bridge in Khomasdal on Sunday.

    City Police spokesperson Fabien Amukwelele said the man and the deceased, identified as Brenda ‘Lotty’ Mouton-Smith, had lived together under the bridge where her body was found.

    “He is wanted for questioning because there are strong suspicions from both friends and relatives that he might have links to the murder of his girlfriend,” Amukwelele said.

    A cousin of the suspect told Nampa that the couple lived together under the bridge, while their one-and-a-half-year-old daughter lived with the suspect's mother.

    He last saw the suspect on Saturday at around 22:00.

    “However, he is now nowhere to be found; all we heard is that he is now running around town,” the cousin said on condition of anonymity.

    He pleaded with anyone who knows his cousin’s whereabouts to help the police track down the suspect in order to figure out what exactly had happened.

    “We just find it very strange that he decided to disappear all of a sudden because if he is innocent, he should come and prove his innocence,” he said.

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    New Year starts with a crime bangNew Year starts with a crime bangSeven murders on New Year's Eve Seven murders marred the transition between 2016 and 2017, in addition to a violent rape at Aussenkehr and two armed car hijackings. A three-year-old boy died on New Year's Eve after he was forced into a water-filled container and sealed in for hours by an older cousin at Omundjalala village in the Omusati Region.

    Police arrested and charged 27-year-old Albertina Nkoshi on a murder charge and she was to appear before the Outapi Magistrate's court yesterday, Warrant Officer Immanuel Lazarus said at a crime briefing on Monday.

    Six other murders marred the transition between 2016 and 2017, a NamPol crime bulletin shows, in addition to a violent rape in the early morning hours of 1 January at Aussenkehr, and two armed car hijackings.

    An argument about who could dance better resulted in the death of 16-year-old Kenneth Kobetsi at the River Entertainment Centre in Dolam, Katutura, on 30 December.

    The suspect, 18-year-old Steve Swartbooi, was arrested on a murder charge after he allegedly stabbed Kobetsi in the neck.

    In another murder case, Elia Lisius (23) allegedly stabbed a relative, with whom he shared a room, in the head during an argument on 1 January.

    Johannes Jefta (22) died after an unknown assailant stabbed him as he was walking to a friend's house on New Year's Eve.

    A man who allegedly tried to rob Paulus Shigwedha in Katutura on New Year's Eve died after Shigwedha stabbed him in self-defence. The deceased was 17-year-old Petrus Willem.

    One man, who was allegedly part of a group of men, was scheduled to appear in court in Karasburg yesterday, charged with the rape of a 45-year-old woman.

    The attack took place on 1 January, at about 04:00 in the morning, when five suspects attacked the woman and raped her. A 12-year-old boy at Rundu sustained serious injuries on New Year's Day when the driver of a silver Mercedes-Benz drove into him while he was walking on a gravel road. The boy is in a critical condition at Rundu State Hospital.

    The suspect, Manuel Savihemba, a 33-year-old Namibian man, was arrested. He faces charges of reckless and negligent driving as well as drunk driving.

    Police are investigating two armed car hijackings, one in Windhoek and one at Ongwediva.

    The complainant at Ongwediva reported that three armed men had robbed him of his white Toyota Corolla, N$600 cash and a cellphone. The men then allegedly drove him to a secluded area, where he was tied up and later rescued by villagers.

    In another incident, reported on 1 January, four assailants allegedly stole a dark blue two-door BMW in the Olympia and Auasblick areas of Windhoek after tying up a couple at gunpoint.

    Police yesterday could not confirm whether the car had been located or anyone arrested.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Bail hearing continues in high-stakes fraud caseBail hearing continues in high-stakes fraud case STAFF REPORTER

    A money-laundering case involving a customs official and two Chinese men was again postponed to today for a bail hearing.

    The case was briefly heard yesterday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, but had to be postponed due to the non-availability of a Mandarin interpreter.

    However, the court was informed yesterday that the case would proceed with or without an interpreter. Sisa Namandje, who is representing the two Chinese nationals Tao Huizhong and Jinrong Huang, argued that his clients were yet to be informed about the exact charges against them and thus should be released from custody.

    They face charges of fraud and money laundering involving the staggering sum of N$3.5 billion.

    The third accused is a Namibian national, Julius Laurentius, who is represented by Louis Botes and Dirk Conradie. The two lawyers also argued strongly for the bail hearing to continue this morning.

    The State, represented by prosecutor Rowan van Wyk, said the case would continue even if there was no interpreter. He also informed the court that every effort was being made to find an interpreter.

    During their appearance last week, 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 last 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 of 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.

    Magistrate Venatius Alweendo is presiding.

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  • 01/03/17--14:00: Few illegal fireworks
  • Few illegal fireworksFew illegal fireworks'Mile 4 was horrendous' With the exception of the coast, illegal fireworks did not cause much trouble this New Year's Eve. Reports from around the country indicate that illegal fireworks were not a major problem, but isolated incidents were reported at the coast, Otjiwarongo and Katima Mulilo.

    In accordance with Namibian law, firework displays are banned unless a special permit has been obtained from the NamPol Explosives Unit or municipalities.

    Most of the illegal fireworks on New Year's Eve were reported in Walvis Bay, according to a report from the town's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

    Numerous phone calls were received about fireworks in residential areas, an SPCA spokesperson said.

    “We picked up 11 dogs that were running around scared in the streets, and about seven which we could not catch as they were too afraid to come close with the fireworks going off all over.”

    To date, only two of the 11 dogs have been claimed by their owners and the SPCA is unable to take in more dogs as the kennels are overfull.

    “Fireworks should be banned because no matter what we are trying and no matter how many flyers we hand out or time spent at roadblocks, people just do not care about the law and why should they then care about the safety of neighbours' children or animals,” the spokesperson said.

    Windhoek City Police spokesperson Edmund Khoaseb told Namibian Sun that very few complaints were made in the city and no arrests were made.

    In Katima Mulilo, concerned residents called the police about an announcement of a fireworks display at Zambezi River Lodge.

    NamPol's regional head of operations, Deputy Commissioner Robert Sanjahi, said he had not been informed of the display, which requires a valid permit as well as a pre-inspection by a police explosives expert.

    Sanjahi told Namibian Sun that a request would have to be submitted through his office, and he was unaware of such a request.

    No confirmation of whether the display did in fact go ahead could be obtained from a spokesperson at the Protea Hotel head office in Windhoek. Management at the hotel said they were not permitted to speak to the press.

    Namibian Sun was informed that all relevant spokespeople were still on leave and would only be available next week.

    A spokesperson for the Swakopmund SPCA told Namibian Sun that although the centre of town was quiet, “Mile 4 was horrendous, as it is every year”.

    The spokesperson said although the police and neighbourhood watch groups, in addition to security companies, “do the best they can, it is very difficult to regulate”.

    Residents in the Orwetoveni neighbourhood of Otjiwarongo told Namibian Sun that several residents set off crackers, fireworks and reportedly shot into the air on New Year's Eve.

    “My dogs and chickens were terrified. The animals and children got a terrible fright. And although the police came, these people would just hide, and only continue when the police were away again,” the concerned resident said.

    She said the shooting of guns posed a huge risk to residents.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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