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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Education spending bears fruitEducation spending bears fruitPass rate for final-year students rises to 72.5% South Africa spent N$213.7 billion on basic education in the 12 months ended March last year, or about 15% of the total budget. South Africa's national school pass rate rose for the first time in three years as the government boosted spending on education and teachers got to grips with a new curriculum.

    The proportion of successful final-year students at state schools increased to 72.5% last year from 70.7% in 2015, basic education minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday. More than 828 000 pupils wrote the examinations, the most yet.

    “The performance of South African learners is improving,” Motshekga said in a speech in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. “We have to further improve the outputs of the schooling system.”

    After climbing for four straight years, the pass rate deteriorated in 2014 and 2015 after a curriculum overhaul. Despite the improvement last year, the government still has some way to go to turn around an education system that was tailored to the needs of the white minority under apartheid rule, which ended in 1994. South Africa's primary-education system was rated 126th out of 138 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Report, while its higher-education and training system ranked 134th.

    Poor educational standards have been a constraint on growth in Africa's second-largest economy and fuelled a 27.1% jobless rate. Business executives canvassed by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum considered an inadequately skilled workforce as the third-most problematic factor for doing business in South Africa, after government bureaucracy and restrictive labour regulations.

    Equal Education, a civil-rights group, said the final-year pass rate was a superficial and misleading indicator of the quality of the public-education system and obscured the fact that more than 40% of pupils dropped out of school. The government persistently over-invested in educating pupils in their final year, while the need was greatest for those in the early grades, many of whom had to contend with overcrowded classrooms and whose teachers were given inadequate support, the group said in an e-mailed statement. The Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party questioned the integrity of last year's results after a review panel upwardly adjusted marks for 28 of the 58 subjects, a decision justified on the grounds that the examinations were more difficult than in previous years.

    “No evidence has been put forward to demonstrate that these papers were of a higher standard,” Gavin Davis, the party's education spokesman, said by e-mail. “There is reason to believe that the standardisation process may lead to an artificial inflation” of the pass rate. South Africa spent N$213.7 billion on basic education in the 12 months ended March last year, or about 15% of the total budget, and the allocation is projected to rise an average of 7.4% annually over the next three fiscal years, according to the National Treasury.

    BLOOMBERG

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    Illegal fishing catastrophic in West AfricaIllegal fishing catastrophic in West Africa Catastrophic levels of illegal fishing in West Africa are costing the region millions in lost revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs, a development think tank said on Wednesday.

    Countries such as Senegal, Sierra Leone and Mauritania are missing out on vital income because of the masses of fish taken from their waters by trawlers from as far afield as South Korea, according to research by Britain's Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

    Senegal lost $300m, or 2% of its GDP, to the practice in 2012, while Sierra Leone - one of the region's poorest nations - missed out on $29m, said the report, titled 'Western Africa's Missing Fish'.

    A lack of government transparency in the region, limited capacity to patrol the seas and legal loopholes once West Africa's fish arrives in Europe, its biggest market, were all contributing to the situation, report author Alfonso Daniels told AFP. “It's a huge problem and it's only getting worse,” he said.

    West Africa's “illegal” fish are transported in giant refrigerated containers mixed with other cargo to escape scrutiny at port, Daniels explained.

    “Four-fifths are coming through container ships and (they) are not considered at all by the anti-illegal fishing legislation of the European Union, which is the largest market for fish in the world,” Daniels said.

    Europe is the destination for 44% of all West Africa's fish exports. Despite this loophole, the EU remains a leader in sanctioning producers of illegal fish.

    Meanwhile, a series of opaque agreements between West African nations and the likes of Russia, China and South Korea mean that the scale of the region's “missing fish” could be much larger.

    “Fisheries agreements... should be public and openly available as they are with the European Union,” Daniels said.

    And if Africa fished its own waters rather than striking shady deals with other countries, more money would flow into the governments' coffers.

    The sale of fishing rights to foreign operatives netted Africa $400m in 2014, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, but could in theory generate $3.3bn if the continents own fleets caught and exported the fish.

    Another practical step towards combating the problem would be creating a blacklist of illegal vessels.

    The ODI report estimated more than 300 000 new jobs could be created if measures such as a global tracking system for fishing vessels were instituted, loopholes were closed and a blacklist created.

    “Further development benefits would derive from increased export revenue. Sustainable management of fisheries resources would also strengthen food security,” the report said. Achieving “marine environmental sustainability” would stop permanently depleting endangered stocks and would provide a long-term income, it said.

    FIN24

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    San communities receive agricultural trainingSan communities receive agricultural training Recently seven San agricultural and livestock champions from the Nyae Nyae and N‡a Jaqna conservancies visited the commercial farm Krumhuk just outside Windhoek.

    Krumhuk operates on bio-dynamic, organic and holistic management principles that the champions are introducing at their villages in the Otjozondjupa Region.

    The San agricultural and livestock champions have shown a real aptitude for livestock management and farming in their communities.

    They have been handpicked to deepen their knowledge and capacity so that they can go on to train more San people in their communities.

    The visit consisted of a mix of presentations by visiting specialists and those working at Krumhuk, as well as practical field work.

    Herding Krumhuk cattle and seeing the process from herding all the way through to the making of cheese, harvesting crops and their sale at the weekly bio-market in Klein Windhoek was all part of their training.

    The trip was part of ongoing work funded by the European Union and the Finnish embassy to increase agricultural and livestock management capacity in these two San communities, where food security is a serious and daily threat to their wellbeing.

    The activities funded by the European Union and the Finnish embassy give the communities the tools they need for empowerment and self-sufficiency.

    “The environment within these conservancies is harsh and these communities are particularly at risk from the impacts of climate change, therefore assisting these San communities to develop capacity to improve their long-term food security is the ultimate goal,” said Lara Diez of the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/05/17--14:00: Paladin in dire straits
  • Paladin in dire straitsPaladin in dire straitsOff-take partner seeks more security Analysts believe Paladin could be a bankruptcy casualty of the uranium price downturn that has ravaged the industry for several years. The owner and operator of the Langer Heinrich uranium mine, Paladin Energy, this week reaffirmed that it is not to receive any further cash from off-take partner Électricité de France (EdF), saying that contrary to certain recent erroneous media reports, it was merely updating the market on the contractual process to determine the value of EDF's security and the consequences of that process.

    Analysts believe Paladin could be a bankruptcy casualty of the uranium price downturn that has ravaged the industry for several years now. In 2016, spot prices fell 37% from US$34.70 per pound to US$18.50 per pound on November 14, according to independent market consultant UX Consulting, before turning somewhat positive again to trade at US$20.25 per pound as on January 2. This is still a far cry from the lofty all-time high of US$136 per pound hit in 2007.

    The difficult market has forced Paladin to put its Kayelekera mine, in Malawi, on care and maintenance, while forcing it find options to fund its upcoming debt repayments, which includes a US$212-million payment due at the end of April, after delays in the divestment of a 24% interest in the Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia. The stake selling, along with the sale of a 75% interest in the Manyingee project, in Australia, is expected to net some US$205-million.

    Paladin said Wednesday it might indeed be required to provide additional security and has been discussing the matter and the value of the additional security with EdF.

    Late last month, EdF notified Paladin it is of the view that the value of the additional security proposed by Paladin is less than the value required by the off-take contract. Paladin disagrees with the position.

    The matter will now proceed to independent expert valuation under the terms of the off-take contract. According to Paladin, while there are no prescribed periods for the independent expert valuation process, if the expert determines that the value of the additional security proposed by Paladin is less than the value required by the contract, the outstanding amount (being approximately US$260-million must be repaid within 30 days of that determination.

    Concurrently, as part of discussions with key stakeholders regarding potential options to address the company's balance sheet position, the company has made a proposal for EdF to share security over Paladin's assets with Paladin's bondholders. If this proposal is accepted by EdF, the independent expert's valuation would not proceed.

    MINING WEEKLY

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    No apology from Charleston church shooterNo apology from Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, the self-described white supremacist who gunned down nine black churchgoers in a Charleston church, offered no apology or motive for his actions Wednesday as a jury began considering whether to sentence him to death.

    The same federal jury that found Roof guilty last month of all 33 federal hate crime charges in connection with the June 2015 killings is now tasked with deciding whether he will face execution or life in prison.

    “There's nothing wrong with me psychologically,” insisted Roof, who has chosen to represent himself in the proceedings, rebuffing advice from his lawyers and the presiding federal judge.

    His opening statement to the court, delivered in a barely audible voice, directly contradicted claims by his lawyers that he is not mentally fit. US District Judge Richard Gergel has found the 22-year-old competent to stand trial - twice.

    Federal prosecutors launched the day with their opening statement, reading from written notes confiscated from Roof in prison in August 2015.

    “I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry,” Assistant US Attorney Nathan Williams quoted the note as saying.

    “I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.”

    Roof went on: “I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this sick country and I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower races.”

    Williams said Roof's “horrific acts justify” capital punishment.

    “He killed nine people, and for that reason this case is worse,” he said.

    “It is worse because of the reason he killed those people. He killed them because of the color of their skin, because he thought they were less than people. This case is worse because of the premeditation.”

    It took the jury just two hours to convict him of the June 17, 2015 killings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in downtown Charleston known as “Mother Emanuel.”

    Parishioners attending a Bible study group had just begun their closing prayer when the self-avowed Nazi and Ku Klux Klan sympathizer opened fire, firing 77 bullets in a horrific bloodbath that shocked the nation.

    The victims, who had welcomed Roof into the church, ranged in age from 26 to 87.

    During the first phase of the trial, Roof made no attempt to explain his crimes and exhibited no signs of remorse as survivors recounted the rampage in heart-rending detail.



    NAMPA/AFP

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    ANC's bash 'much ado about nothing'ANC's bash 'much ado about nothing'Numsa blasts January 8 celebrations The party has planned a number of events leading up to the Sunday rally at Orlando Stadium, including celebrations at Soweto's famous Vilakazi Street where former President Nelson Mandela once lived. The ANC's annual birthday celebrations, to be held this weekend, are much ado about nothing, metalworkers' union Numsa said on Wednesday.

    “Expect nothing new from the ANC's January 8 statement. The ANC has run out of ideas, and morals,” it said in a statement.

    The ANC will celebrate its 105th birthday at Orlando Stadium on Sunday. President Jacob Zuma was expected to deliver the national executive committee's statement on difficulties facing the party and priorities for the new year.

    However Numsa, which was expelled from the ANC-aligned trade union Cosatu in November 2015, said the event had lost meaning and relevance.

    It said the ANC had no concrete socialist plans to solve deepening inequality and joblessness and the over-burdening of the workers through “slave wages”.

    It blamed the ANC's economic policies for the high unemployment rate, deepening poverty, and an apartheid economic structure which it said was still intact 22 years after democracy.



    'Death throes of a once great liberation movement'

    “What we will be witnessing on Sunday are the death throes of a once great liberation movement.

    The ANC's abandonment of the Freedom Charter has destroyed the soul of the organisation.”

    Numsa said the 2016 #FeesMustFall protests were the “ANC's failure laid bare”. Its response to the crisis was reminiscent of the apartheid government. Numsa said it would be in the front line of student protests in 2017, which it said would commence in earnest in a few weeks.

    “There is nothing to suggest that there will be less confrontation and violence,” Numsa said.

    “Instead of free, decolonised and quality education, the ANC is offering the poor more debt through interest bearing loans. Dare we remind everyone that former banker and member of the elite Sizwe Nxasana is the new head of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.”

    It called Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande a “dubious socialist” and “yellow communist” for condemning the student protests.

    Numsa rejected the Fees Commission, which is investigating the feasibility of free higher education, and said a “truly revolutional organisation” would focus more on implementing this.



    NEWS24

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  • 01/05/17--14:00: Comrade Trump and the truth
  • Comrade Trump and the truthComrade Trump and the truth When US President-elect Donald Trump takes office later this month, Americans will be more divided than they have been in years.

    Never before has an American presidential inauguration been met with so many hosannas from the United States’ oldest foe, Russia, and with such nervous anguish from its closest allies.

    And never before has a US president been elected with such a popular-vote deficit: 2.8 million and counting. The leader of a government that is supposed to be of, by, and for the people has been elected by a clear minority of those people. It is fitting that only the Kremlin shares this idea of democracy.

    Of course, educated observers know that US presidential elections are not decided by popular vote, but by the Electoral College.

    The Founding Fathers created this system as a compromise between the popular vote and a vote by Congress, to balance the influence of each state. Alexander Hamilton reckoned that the Electoral College would prevent unqualified candidates with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from being elected. This rather confirms my view that the men who drafted the US Constitution had a sense of irony.

    When Trump brags that he won by a landslide, he is engaging in his characteristic “truthiness.” He won the crucial Democratic firewall states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by only 107,000 votes – 0.09% of all votes cast across the country. This election was not a landslide; it was a little sand blown into the great engine of American democracy by the promise to make Russia – sorry, America – “great again.”

    Apparently, making America great again means pledging to remove elitist crooks from government, and then stuffing your cabinet with billionaires and Goldman Sachs alumni. It means spurring economic growth, and then imposing a 35% tariff on imports. And it means, among other things, promising to restore steelworkers’ and miners’ jobs, end the cosseting of minorities, deport all undocumented migrants, cut taxes and increase infrastructure spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, repeal Obamacare, eliminate or somehow renegotiate the national debt, torture militants, and target their families.

    Come next year, everyone in Washington, DC, had better be nice to Trump, lest they be subjected to nasty tweets, hate mail, and online attacks. And woe betide anyone who suggests that Russia’s malign interference in the election has anything to do with Trump’s own warmth toward Russian President Vladimir Putin. Never mind that the CIA and FBI have concluded that Russia hacked both Democrats and Republicans, but only leaked Democrats’ emails; or that US President Barack Obama has now responded with a report detailing Russia’s involvement and sanctions against Russian intelligence agencies.

    The inquiries into these weighty matters will continue after Trump’s inauguration, and you can bet that they will multiply, as leaks flood out of Washington. Some of these may be false flags or bits of speculation, but others may be true, and possibly horrifying. Either way, they will all be divisive, and they will weaken the US and its president. Still, Trump will weather the storm, unless investigators can confirm complicity between his campaign and any Russian entity known to be connected to Putin. One can only guess what the prize would be for finding such a treacherous link.

    This will all be very messy, but we should perhaps be grateful that the shoe is not on the other foot. Imagine that Trump had won the popular vote by a wide margin, but suffered a narrow defeat in the Electoral College. Imagine if this happened alongside CIA reports that Russian intelligence agencies had hacked and leaked Trump’s campaign emails to put him at a disadvantage. And imagine that Hillary Clinton was packing her cabinet with billionaires.

    What would Trump be doing? He would likely rally his supporters, who have been led to believe that Clinton and her husband are corrupt murderers. Indeed, if the tables were turned, there would be ample cause to worry for the future of the US – a country that I love and have long admired.

    So, what can we do in the dark days ahead? For starters, we must not allow lies to crowd out the truth in public discourse and debate. If social media are full of falsehoods, counter them with facts. If co-workers are repeating fake-news headlines or ignorant, prejudiced claims, challenge them on it. If television or radio news programs are distorting the truth, pick up the phone and tell them and their advertisers what you think. And ask your pastors and other community leaders to roll up their sleeves and do the same.

    Each of us, as citizens, must campaign for truth and against prejudice and humbug, because if we lose the truth, democracy will be next. As Saint Augustine supposedly said, “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose, and it will defend itself.”

    In 2017, we must open the lion’s cage.

    *Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

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    Let good rain not infuse complacencyLet good rain not infuse complacency Namibia has had some good rain over the past week or so and the hearts of Namibians are rejoicing. It has put a smile on the faces of Namibians. It has also been a very welcome relief from the searing heat. Von Bach, our main supply dam to the central area has only had about 3% inflow however, mainly because farmers along the catchment area are diverting our most precious national resource – water. In addition, the authorities have yet to make proper contingency plans in case of our water resources running dry. This has not been done to date, or let's put it this way rather – the plans have been made, the meetings have been held, the decisions with supposedly “good intentions” have been made, but alas, as usual, the “big talk, no walk” elite are totally incapable of any meaningful implementation. And thus, as we are accustomed to, all the grand plans and schemes that our illustrious elite politicians have been selling so glibly to all and sundry, have largely come to naught! But, we are used to this sad state of affairs, because we know only too well that the only thing that would spur any of our illustrious political elite into action and/or blitzkrieg implementation, is if they, or their direct family members, or their friends (read front men or -women) stand to benefit from the said venture, be it desalination, construction or whatever. So, despite the good rains, let complacency not set in, for we have had no good inflow into our main supply dam – largely due to the negligence of our illustrious political elite and their lack of action regarding the water that is being siphoned off (illegally) by the farmers in the catchment area of Von Bach. But knowing how these things work, perhaps these farmers have become the “friends” of the political elite, perhaps they are even “renting” the rights to siphon off our water from the catchment area – who knows, people are so greedy and eager to make a fast buck – even to the detriment of others, so let us not be complacent about our good rains.

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    Gobabis fire-fighters in the firing lineGobabis fire-fighters in the firing line Some Gobabis residents have complained that the town's fire brigade does not do its job properly.

    A resident of the Epako location, who did not want to be named, said she lost almost all her belongings because of the fire brigade's slow response. “They arrived later after we called them but the damage was already done,” she said.

    On 28 December 2016 the Gobabis police station caught fire and suffered extensive damage. A police officer who did not want to be identified said if the response had been quicker the damage would have been less.

    “Many of the fires are avoidable but our fire brigade is just too slow when it comes to responding to fires,” he said.

    According to volunteer fire-fighter Sidonio Alfaiate the community should accept part of the blame.

    He says residents don't call the correct emergency number, which delays the response.

    Alfaiate denies that they took too long to arrive at the police station. He says the problem there was that there was no water at the station.

    “The police station did not have water and you have to have water to connect the water to the fire truck because the fire truck only has 3000 litres of water.”

    Alfaiate says fire-fighters face a lot of problems at Gobabis.

    “The biggest problem when we go to put out fires during the night is that the people from the community throw stones at us and they challenge us,” he says.

    He urges residents to call the fire brigade immediately when there is a fire instead of first trying to put it out themselves.

    According to Alfaiate most house fires occur in winter and most of them are started by children.

    “After people cook outside they take the fire into the house to keep them warm and when they fall asleep the house starts to burn,” he explains.

    Alfaiate says there are plans to build a fire station in the township and it might be open before the winter.

    The contact numbers for the Gobabis fire brigade are 062 566 666 and 081 244 4936.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Omusati girl thrilled with presidential visitOmusati girl thrilled with presidential visit An Omusati girl has described President Hage Geingob's visit to her family homestead as the highlight of her holiday.

    Thirteen-year-old Hilma Lenga said she had never imagined that Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos would one day visit their home, let alone getting the opportunity of conversing with the first family.

    Geingob was in Omusati this week to launch Operation Tulongeni 2017, an initiative to motivate farmers to start working their fields following good rains.

    The Tulongeni event took place at Matheus Iilonga's mahangu field at Onamundindi village in the Ogongo Constituency of the Omusati Region. The president also worked the field.

    Lenga recently completed her primary education at the International Primary School in Ongwediva.

    “This was my best holiday and my best moment at the village ever. It never crossed my mind that I could one day spend the whole day with the first family inside our home. This was an exciting opportunity for me and I will never forget it,” said Lenga, who is going to continue her secondary education this year at Canisianum Roman Catholic Secondary School at Outapi.

    The launch of the programme was attended by agriculture deputy minister Anna Shiweda, Uukwambi Traditional Authority chief Ndilimani Herman Iipumbu, Omusati governor Erginus Endjala, as well as other dignitaries.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Erongo reports drop in festive crimeErongo reports drop in festive crimeCommissioner Andreas Nelumbu attributed the decrease to increased deployment and visibility by the police. 49 people arrested for drunk driving Police at the coast had a relatively quiet festive season, the regional police commander, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu, told a media conference yesterday.

    There was a slight increase in the number of rape cases reported. Nine cases were reported compared to the seven rapes reported last year and five the previous year.

    Sixty-one cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm were reported, compared to 49 last year and 57 the year before.

    Seventeen drug-related arrests were made, compared to only five in 2015/16.

    Twelve robbery cases were reported, compared to 14 in the previous festive season.

    Fourteen cases of theft out of a motor vehicle were reported - four less than in 2015/16.

    Only one drowning was reported, with about 25 near-drownings.

    The police issued 1 035 traffic summonses, totalling N$1.1 million, during December. In the previous year 1 485 summonses were issued.

    Forty-nine people were arrested for drunk driving - seven more than the previous year.

    Fewer accidents were reported too - 221 compared to 231 in 2015/16 and 334 in 2014/15.

    Nine people were seriously injured in car crashes this festive season, compared to 11 in 2015/16 and 20 in 2014/15.

    Three people were killed in crashes, which was an improvement on last year's eight deaths and the 15 that occurred in the 2014/15 holiday season.

    “The deployment of officers in the area, and the education the public had received, meant that drivers were driving more carefully,” Nelumbu said.



    LEANDREA LOUW

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    Water crisis at the Opuwo hospitalWater crisis at the Opuwo hospitalLow pressure in water system blamed The acting chief executive officer of the Opuwo Town Council says a booster pump would be installed soon. The Opuwo State Hospital has been without water since Friday.

    The acting health director in the Kunene Region, Jason Ndahepele, said the crisis was caused by low pressure in the water system.

    Patients and frustrated staff at the hospital called Nampa on Tuesday, complaining about the situation and requesting the news agency to find out from management what the problem was.

    When Nampa called the hospital on Wednesday, the situation was still the same.

    Insiders said the theatre, the maternity ward and casualty section were the most affected.

    “The patients in other sections use hosepipes to get water for bathing and drinking and toilets are not working as there is no water to flush,” an employee said.

    In the meantime, the town council is supplying water to the hospital by tanker on a daily basis.

    Another employee said dirty linen had been taken to the Oshakati State Hospital for washing.

    The same employee said it was not the first time the hospital had been without water for days, and they did not know why management did not find a lasting solution.

    The previous water crisis happened in November last year.

    A local private practitioner, Dr Fillemon Nakanduungile, said a water crisis in a health institution could lead to loss of lives.

    “Water is a very useful commodity in the health sector as it is used to sterilise equipment when treating a patient, washing of hands after and during treatment,” the doctor said.

    He said if toilets were not flushed they could lead to a transmission of diseases from patient to patient using the same dirty toilet.

    Nakanduungile said the dirty toilets caused a bad smell in the entire hospital and forced patients to relieve themselves in the hospital yard.

    The acting chief executive officer of the Opuwo Town Council, Obet Katjoho, said a pump was needed to boost water pressure in the pipes and fill the hospital tank.

    He said the council together with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Ministry of Health and Social Services had approached NamWater in November last year. Katjoho said a booster pump would be installed soon.

    NAMPA

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    Speeding bakkie kills pedestrianSpeeding bakkie kills pedestrian A man was killed instantly when he was hit by a Toyota bakkie at Adolfi location in the Oshana Region on Wednesday afternoon.

    According to a witness, Jason Ndaningohamba Shipahu (39) had crossed the street to go and buy lunch at a mini-market. On his way back, while he was standing next to the street waiting for the cars to pass, the bakkie left the road and hit him.

    The Oshana police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Thomas Iiyambo, said the bakkie was following a car travelling from the direction of Ondangwa.

    “The sedan was turning onto the gravel road on the right while the bakkie was overtaking it. The bakkie hit the sedan before losing control and leaving the road. It hit a road sign and then Shipahu, and rolled several times. Shipahu died on the spot,” Iiyambo said.

    A case of capable homicide was opened against the bakkie driver, but no arrest was made.

    Witnesses told Namibian Sun that the bakkie was speeding in a 60km/h zone.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Local tailors prepare for schools' reopeningLocal tailors prepare for schools' reopening Tailors in Windhoek are preparing for school uniform orders as the reopening of schools for the 2017 academic year approaches.

    Government schools reopen on 11 January. Penny Hakadiva, owner of Penny Boutique at the Single Quarters market, has been in the business for 17 years but only started making school uniforms in 2012. She specialises in uniforms of primary schools all over Katutura for children between five and 12 years of age. Hakadiva, with the assistance of two employees, tailors only girls uniforms as she said most of them are hard to find and are costly at times. “Since we do not really wait for someone to order the uniforms and instead just tailor and wait for someone to come and buy, we try to sell them for a cheaper price,” she said. Hakadiva said they also specialise in adjusting shop-bought uniforms.

    She said her company only makes uniforms this time of the year.

    “January and February is usually very quiet and if we do not make uniforms, we will just be seated at home and not make ends meet,” she said.

    The prices of Hakadiva's school uniforms range from N$130 to N$200, depending on the size of the dress. Factory-made dresses range from N$220 to N$400.

    Petrina Hangada, who operates from Soweto Market, also tailors school uniforms and also accepts orders throughout the year.

    Hangada caters for both primary and secondary schools in Katutura and is assisted by her daughter, Saara Hanganda.

    “We have so far received four orders since the beginning of the year and those are the uniforms we are currently busy with,” said Saara.

    She said the uniform business has expanded over the years as the number of uniforms they make per year has increased. January and February are the busiest months for mass retailers of school uniforms as parents rush to buy before the academic year commences.



    NAMPA

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    Woman in court over baby's drowningWoman in court over baby's drowning A woman appeared before the Outapi Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, accused of murdering her three-year-old cousin on New Year's Eve at Omundjalala village in the Omusati Region.

    A police spokesperson, Sergeant Anna Kunga, said Albertina Nkoshi (27) was denied bail and the case was postponed to 23 February.

    According to Kunga, Nkoshi was arrested on 1 January at Omundjalala village in connection with the death of Angula Kahima, who drowned in a water-filled container on 31 December.

    According to the police the toddler had been forced into the container.

    Kunga said Nkoshi was placed in charge of the family's children when their parents went away for a day.

    “It is suspected that she forced the boy into this water-filled container and sealed it for hours. We are still investigating what prompted this evil act. She was remanded in police custody until her next appearance,” said Kunga.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/05/17--14:00: Regional council 'messed up'
  • Regional council 'messed up'Regional council 'messed up' The Kunene Regional Council is reportedly being haunted by the suspension of its chief regional officer George Kamseb. Kamseb was placed on forced leave in October last year pending an investigation by the council.

    It now appears that there were no reasonable grounds for suspending him.

    This was confirmed by a source privy to the affairs of the regional council.

    Kamseb was suspended with full pay and was ordered to stay away from the regional council building until further notice.

    When Kamseb was suspended on 19 October, the council did not specify why he was put on forced leave, apart from saying that the decision was the outcome of an ordinary council meeting held on 18 October.

    According to the source, the decision came after Kamseb allegedly failed to provide the council with his employment contract.

    The council reportedly realised that it had blundered in suspending its top administrator and tried to convince him to return to work, but he refused, according to the source.

    “The council is finding itself in a difficult position now. It did not consult relevant offices before taking the decision. Kamseb has refused to come back to work without being given a reason why he was forced to take leave. They are now consulting relevant authorities.”

    The chairperson of the council's management committee, Julius Kaujova, said they were consulting relevant authorities to address the “complicated situation”.

    “I cannot divulge much information at this stage. We have just asked the Public Service Commission to advise us in this regard. After they respond to our request, then we can be able to talk without any implication. Hopefully they will respond before the full council meeting in three weeks' time,” Kaujova said.

    Kamseb, who has been at the regional council since 2005, could not be reached for comment. He did not answer his cellphone and did not respond to text messages.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    13 fraud suspects behind bars13 fraud suspects behind barsThree more added to charge sheet More arrests are likely as an investigation into tax fraud at Walvis Bay continues. The number of people charged in connection with corruption at the Inland Revenue Department in Walvis Bay now stands at 13.

    More arrests are likely as the investigation continues.

    The accused allegedly defrauded the government of N$2 220 781 between 1 April 2013 and November 2016.

    Jeannette Garoes (42), Lukas Shailemo (29) and Anna Marie Mutilifa (50) were added to the charge sheet yesterday.

    Magistrate Rhivermo Wiliams denied bail due to the seriousness of the offence and postponed the case to 10 January.

    Garoes and Mutilifa, who worked at the Inland Revenue Department in Walvis Bay, informed the court that they would appoint private lawyers, while Shailemo opted to apply for legal aid.

    Garoes surrendered to the police in Walvis Bay on Tuesday while the other two accused were arrested on Wednesday.

    The other accused, who appeared before court earlier, are: Morne Ferris (21), Henry Visagie (36) - also an employee at Inland Revenue, Jacqueline Imbili (44), Willemina Visagie (36), Quinton Matthews (42), Marlon Pins (35), Roselli Leonardo (70), Michael Maclobo (40), Venancio Muller (38) and Patrick Titus (44).

    “Rosseli is an Italian national. More than N$900 000 was discovered in his bank account and it appears as if he was blackmailed to cooperate by the fraudsters,” Erongo Police Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu said.

    “The forensic investigation continues and the possibility that businesses were involved exists but I don't believe this might be the case.

    “We have not recovered any of the missing money since the accused withdrew it from the bank accounts of various collaborators as soon as it was deposited.”

    Nelumbu called on others involved in the case, and who have not yet been contacted by the police, to come forward. He warned that those who were unwilling to cooperate would eventually be arrested. The first group of accused, who were arrested on 27 and 28 December in Walvis Bay, appeared before Magistrate Vicky Nicolaidis last week. She denied them bail due to the serious nature of the offence and because they might interfere with the ongoing investigation.

    It is alleged that three of the accused, who are employed at the Inland Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance in Walvis Bay, created fake Pay As You Earn (PAYE5) certificates using the names of approximately 21 accomplices (friends and relatives). They then made tax refunds which were subsequently detected by the ministry's Security and Risk Management team.



    LEANDREA LOUW & OTIS FINCK

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    Grade 12 results out on 12 JanuaryGrade 12 results out on 12 January SHONA NGAVA

    The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture will release the results of Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSCO) Ordinary Level examinations on 12 January.

    The announcement was made by ministry spokesperson Johanna Absalom.

    “The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has made good progress with the marking and processing of the examination data and will be able to officially release the provisional grade 12 (NSSCO) Ordinary Level results for full-time and part-time candidates,” the statement read.

    According to the statement 51 120 candidates registered for the NSSCO examinations. Of them, 21 104 were full-time candidates and 30 016 were part-time students.

    The results will be available on the website of Directorate of National Examinations and Assessment at www.dnea.gov.na and the ministry’s website at www.moe.gov.na. The results will also be available via SMS service.

    Candidates are encouraged to use the SMS service to get their results. They can send a message with the examination name followed by their surname and first name to any of the following numbers: 2929, 55755 or 99099.

    The website and SMS service will be active from Thursday, 12 January after midnight.

    Candidates are advised to have their candidate numbers ready in order to access their results.

    Regional education offices will be able to assist those who phone or visit the offices.

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    Fraud accused insists he is merely a driverFraud accused insists he is merely a driverBail hearing in money-laundering case continues Huang Jinrong, charged with tax fraud and money laundering, yesterday maintained his innocence during a bail hearing in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. STAFF REPORTER



    A bail hearing in a money-laundering case involving two Chinese men and a Namibian businessman, which started on Monday, is still continuing.

    Taking to the stand yesterday, second accused Huang Jinrong maintained his innocence, claiming not to have been involved in any fraud or money-laundering.

    Arguing through his lawyer Sisa Namandje, Jinrong claimed that he knew nothing about the charges he and his co-accused were facing. He also claimed that he was only a driver and could not in that capacity become a party to money-laundering and fraud.

    According to him, his inability to speak English made it unlikely for him to conduct any business other than driving or locking up the business where he worked.

    The State charged that Jinrong was the owner of a business, Red Star CC, operating from the same business premises as that of his co-accused, Huizhong Tau.

    State prosecutor Rowan van Wyk argued that Jinrong was the sole proprietor of Red Star CC, an allegation denied by Jinrong.

    The State further argued that Jinrong was conducting business activities related to banking and customs and excise on behalf of Red Star, another allegation denied by Jinrong.

    Further to that, a fitness certificate by the Helao Nafidi Town Council was made out in Red Star in Jinrong’s name, another allegation he denied.

    Presenting documents to the court, Van Wyk argued that Jinrong had conducted banking activities on behalf of Red Star and that he was not just a driver as Jinrong had claimed.

    Jinrong insisted that he was merely a caretaker and that all business activities were conducted from China, despite the State submitting as evidence a power of attorney document that gave Jinrong permission to conduct business on behalf of Red Star.

    Speaking through an interpreter, Jinrong denied ever seeing the power of attorney. He further denied that he had ever conducted banking activity despite permission granted to him by his boss, who was not resident in Namibia. Jinrong also denied having any relation to his boss and stated that he was only executing instructions given to him when questioned by Namandje.

    Jinrong claimed that because he could not speak or write English, it would be difficult to conduct business in Namibia.

    The case was postponed to today.

    Magistrate Venatius Alweendo is presiding.

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    Farmworker mistaken for poacherFarmworker mistaken for poacherShot twice by anti-poaching unit An innocent farmworker on his way to a cattle post was shot after being mistaken for a poacher in the Outjo district on Wednesday. JANA-MARI SMITH



    A farmworker is being treated for two gunshot wounds at a Windhoek hospital after he was shot twice on Wednesday in the Outjo district by members of an anti-poaching unit who mistook him for one of three suspected rhino poachers that were being tracked.

    The police yesterday admitted that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

    Johannes Haneb (55) an employee on farm Trocadero, told Namibian Sun that he was on his way to a cattle post as instructed by his employer, when he noticed a vehicle approaching on the Outjo-Okaukuejo road.

    Haneb was carrying a panga, a tool he uses for numerous jobs on the farm.

    Haneb said he was frightened when he saw the armed men getting out of the car and fled into the veld.

    “I thought they were people who were trying to kill me. They were chasing me … I ran and I quickly jumped over a fence. That is when they started shooting,” he said in an interview at the hospital yesterday.

    He was hit in the right arm near his elbow and another bullet pierced his shoulder. “There was a lot of blood, it was spraying from the front where the bullet came out,” he said.

    Haneb said he intended pressing charges against the men who shot him.

    Hans Menzle, owner of the farm Trocadero and Haneb’s longtime employer, expressed shock at the incident.

    “The question is, how do you stop a man next to the road and without asking questions, you just start shooting? He was innocent. I am very unhappy about the entire incident,” Menzle told our sister publication Republikein yesterday.

    Haneb is in a stable condition and was described as “very lucky” that no major organs or arteries were hit.

    On Wednesday, NamPol Major-General James Tjivikua said in a press statement that a suspected poacher had been shot at a farm in the Outjo district after he tried to flee from an anti-poaching unit.

    “The team tried to stop the suspected poacher by firing warning shots but failed to do so. The suspected poacher continued running and holding on his panga. He was eventually shot and wounded,” the statement read.

    Yesterday, Tjivikua referred all questions about the incident to Deputy Commissioner Deon Marais, who works closely with anti-poaching teams.

    Marais said the anti-poaching unit, consisting of police officers and rangers of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, had been contacted on Tuesday by a farmer in the area, whose own tracking team had discovered the footprints of three men in an area where valuable rhinos were.

    It was suspected that the tracks belonged to a group of armed poachers and the farmer requested reinforcements.

    The anti-poaching unit was sent to help track the suspected poachers, who had been spotted from a distance on Tuesday.

    Warning shots were fired and the suspected poachers dropped the equipment they had with them but fled with their weapons, a farmer in the area said.

    Marais said that on Wednesday, when the tracking of the suspects resumed, one unit spotted Haneb walking along the road. Unbeknownst to them, he was an innocent farmworker on his way to inspect a cattle post.

    Marais said Haneb was shot when they tried to arrest him. After he was shot, the team realised that he was not one of the suspects.

    Haneb lives on the farm Trocadero with his wife, and is the father of five children.

    None of the suspects have been arrested to date.

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