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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/10/17--14:00: Lake Oponona still dry
  • Lake Oponona still dryLake Oponona still dryWater crisis continues Farmers at Uuvudhiya in the Oshana Region say they are still without water for their livestock despite recent rain in the area. Farmers in the Uuvudhiya grazing area of the Oshana Region say they were hopeful when it started raining toward the end of last year, but became despondent when the rain stopped and Lake Oponona was still empty.

    Largely thanks to Lake Oponona the Uuvudhiya area became home to a vast number of animal posts for farmers from Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati and Oshana.

    A farmer from the Ohangwena Region, Nghipandulwa Djuulume, says grazing conditions have improved, but they still have no water for their cattle.

    Farmers are still driving their cattle long distances to places where there is water.

    He says only small ponds are filled with water but it is not enough for the large number of cattle in the area.

    “The situation remains critical, but stable. Farmers are all over the area searching for their animals that went wild in search of water. The situation became worse when Lake Oponona dried up in October and the shortage of grass intensified.

    “Farmers were spending a lot of money to bring in water and buy fodder for their livestock. When it rained, at least the grazing improved, but the water crisis remained and livestock are fleeing to places where there is water,” Djuulume says.

    According to him, he started farming at Uuvudhiya in 1998 and he has never experienced a drought like this before.

    “This is the first time I am seeing Lake Oponona without water due to poor rainfall last year. Since I started farming here, Oponona could hold water throughout the year. Grazing has been the thing challenging us, but this year we are faced with both water and grazing shortages.”

    Uuvudhiya farmers depend on lakes Oponona and Yinakulu yomadhiya for water.

    There have been calls at farmers' meetings for the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to rehabilitate these two lakes at the end of the Cuvelai delta.

    After Lake Oponona dried up last year, NamWater tried to recharge the lake, but the effort failed. NamWater pumped water from the Olushandja Dam in mid-July and used a 130km unlined canal to channel the water to Uuvudhiya. But all the water had seeped into the soil about 50km from Oponona.


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    Defence grills top cop in fraud case Defence grills top cop in fraud case Investigator insists accused are a flight risk Two Chinese men accused of money-laundering, as well as their Namibian co-accused, are equally likely to abscond if granted bail, the lead investigator argued in court yesterday. OGONE TLHAGE

    Tasked to head the investigation into a N$3.5 billion money-laundering scam, Chief Inspector John Mutongwe mumbled in court when he took to the stand to testify in the case involving businessman Laurentius Julius and his co-accused, Chinese nationals Huizhong Tau and Huang Jinrong.

    During cross-examination, Mutongwe directly accused the three accused of fraud and money-laundering when questioned by Sisa Namandje, who is defending Tau and Jinrong. Asked how he knew, Mutongwe said documentary evidence the police had on hand suggested the guilt of the three accused.

    Mutongwe admitted not knowing the location of accused number four, Chinese national Zhu Hanggang, who had been granted bail of N$500 000.

    Mutongwe informed the court that 29 other Chinese nationals were under investigation and that arrests were imminent.

    That drew the ire of Namandje, who asked Mutongwe why the 29 suspects had not yet been apprehended. Mutongwe indicated that arrests were to follow soon and said the suspects were scattered all over the country, making it difficult to arrest them.

    Mutongwe told the court that Julius had travelled abroad at least 50 times, which indicated that he was as much of a flight risk as his co-accused.

    That prompted Namandje to ask Mutongwe why his Chinese clients were a flight risk. Mutongwe said because there was no extradition treaty with China, there was no way to trace them if they absconded.

    Namandje then asked him whether he knew about the Teko trial, involving another Chinese national who was granted bail. Mutongwe insisted, however, that no bail conditions would be sufficient to keep the accused in Namibia.

    Namandje informed the court that he would challenge Mutongwe’s fitness as a witness once the trial began.

    In his submission, Advocate Louis Botes, who is representing Julius under instruction from Dirk Conradie, said his client was willing to post bail of N$1.5 million and report to the police in Walvis Bay.

    Botes informed the court that his client was also willing to stay within the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund magisterial districts.

    Namandje requested to make his argument in favour of bail for Tau and Jinrong on Tuesday because of the non-availability of Magistrate Venatius Alweendo, who presided over the hearing. The hearing was then postponed to Tuesday.

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    400 Khomas children still looking for school placement400 Khomas children still looking for school placement NAMPA

    A total of 103 first-graders and 328 grade eight learners in the Khomas Region have not yet been enrolled in schools. Government schools open today.

    Regional director of education Gerard Vries said this week that many parents had failed in their duty. Vries lashed out at parents, saying the government alone could not be held liable for children not being assigned to a school.

    “It is not the fault of government that children are not placed for their respective grades as parents were informed in September last year to register their children.”

    Due to the high demand for placement in grades one, eight and eleven, if an application for placement at a government school is unsuccessful that learner should then be registered at the regional educational directorate for consideration.

    Applications at all government primary and secondary schools are done between July and August for the following academic year.

    Vries said those registering late at his office might be assigned to a school 15 days after the start of the school year, adding that placement for the grades in high demand started on Monday.

    The Khomas Region has 54 government and private primary schools and 30 government and private secondary schools.

    Many learners attend school in the region because their parents work in the capital city or because of the better infrastructure available.

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    Kandji and Co remain behind barsKandji and Co remain behind barsBail denied in rhino poaching case Former football medic Gerson Kandjii and his two co-accused, charged with killing two tame rhinos and wounding two others, have been denied bail. JANA-MARI SMITH

    The case of three men accused of brutally killing two white rhinos and wounding two others on a farm near Gobabis in December has been postponed to 31 March.

    Gerson Uakaerera Kandjii (51), a former Brave Warriors football team medic, and his two co-accused, Domingo Justice Moma (32) and Erwin Tjiteere (37), appeared before the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court yesterday after a prison transfer from Windhoek last week.

    They are charged with hunting specially protected game.

    The three were arrested in Windhoek on 27 December following a police tip-off.

    State prosecutor Salomon Kanyemba told Magistrate Godwin Chizhande that more charges could be brought against the three as the investigation continues.

    According to the police, the four white rhinos, one of which was giving birth when she was killed, and one which survived a brutal shot through her windpipe, were valued at N$5 million.

    Kanyemba said the State “strenuously” opposed bail due to the ongoing investigation, the seriousness of the crime and in the interest of the public and justice.

    He advised the court that the search for two more suspects continued, as well as the tracing of the two horns.

    The five men stand accused of illegally entering a farm in the Gobabis district and shooting the rhino on 22 December.

    They fled with two horns that they had hacked off the two carcasses, leaving behind two wounded rhinos with their horns intact.

    In terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance, the three suspects could face a maximum jail term of 20 years, a fine of N$200 000, or both.

    Magistrate Chizhande postponed the case to 31 March as per the prosecutor’s request, and advised the accused to bring formal bail applications.

    All three accused yesterday informed the court that they would apply for legal aid.

    Kandjii, a qualified chiropractor, has two separate criminal cases pending - one related to rhino poaching in Etosha National Park in 2014 and another related to a murder and robbery at Kalkrand in 2015.

    He also was charged recently with illegal possession of ammunition after the police discovered 46 cartridges for a hunting rifle in his possession. That case was postponed to 12 April.

    At the time of the December poaching incident, Kandjii had been out on bail in the previous poaching case and the murder case.

    The 2014 poaching case will continue on 27 February at Okahao, while the Kalkrand murder case will continue on 16 March.

    Tjiteere and Moma are co-accused in the murder and robbery charges related to the killing of Reinhard Schmidt on the hunting farm Hoodia in the Kalkrand District.

    Schmidt died of suffocation after his mouth and nose were gagged with adhesive tape while the robbers stole a TV, pistol and camera.

    Reliable sources yesterday said that the two fugitives in the latest poaching case were also linked to the Schmidt murder case.

    Sources close to the case say poachers attacked the four rhinos shortly after their daily feed.

    Romeo, a tame and hand-reared white rhino bull, was shot multiple times at his feeding trough.

    The pregnant cow was also shot multiple times, and had gone into labour before she died. The calf did not survive.

    Walter Kinnear, the owner of the rhinos, yesterday told Namibian Sun that the brutal attack on the rhinos was a great shock and he hoped bail would not be granted.

    “They are like children to me,” he said, adding that he was haunted by the gruesome sight of the mutilated carcasses and wounded rhinos.

    The young bull, aged between two and three years, sustained flesh wounds. However, the young female was shot multiple times, with one bullet tearing through her throat and causing serious injury.

    Both animals continue to receive daily medical care and Kinnear said they were under 24-hour guard.

    Yesterday, every available seat in the courtroom was filled with concerned members of the public, who hoped that bail would be denied.

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    Mercy mission to waterless UisMercy mission to waterless Uis ELLANIE SMIT

    Tens of thousands of litres of water were yesterday donated to residents of Uis who had been without water for several days.

    Namibians opened their hearts to intervene in the dire situation when an urgent message was circulated on Facebook asking for any help to bail out Uis residents who had been without water for nearly nine days. Yesterday two trucks left for Uis with 35 000 litres of water.

    Since March this year, Uis has been receiving water only for a few hours in a day as most boreholes that supply the settlement have run dry. NamWater informed the residents that it was using only four of the ten boreholes in the nearby Nei-Neis aquifer, which supply the town.

    About six months later, in September, boreholes were virtually dry and residents had no water while the water from the taps was only available for a few hours and NamWater had to start supplying water to the town.

    Over the holiday period, the water situation in the town became dire and the taps ran dry.

    For more than a week residents have been struggling without running water and had to depend on an “unreliable” water tanker to deliver water.

    The water is delivered from Achimab in the Ugab River and pumped into seven tanks at the town, which residents claim stood empty this week.

    The residents also say the 10 000 litres of water delivered by the tanker was not enough to meet the needs of about 3 000 residents.

    The owner of the Brandberg Rest Camp, Basil Calitz, told Namibian Sun that for the past three months residents had been struggling with the water situation at the town.

    “There is no water and the boreholes are dry,” said Calitz.

    He said what made matters worse was the fact that the residents were not getting any feedback from the authorities on the dire situation.

    Apparently, the infrastructure at the pipeline leading to the boreholes is in shambles and it is alleged that some farmers tap water from the pipeline illegally.

    Calitz said the fact that NamWater had known about the situation for more than a year and done nothing to rectify it amounted to “pure negligence.”

    Restaurants at the town had to close because of the water shortage and only traded during peak hours.

    Calitz said a truck was delivering 20 0000 litres of donated water from Henties Bay. Another donation of 15 000 litres would be delivered from Windhoek. Bottled water was also delivered to the residents yesterday.

    According to Calitz, they will ration this water to compel residents to use it sparingly. Each resident will receive 20 litres of water per day.

    The minister of agriculture, water and forestry, John Mutorwa, said in September that the situation at Uis was dire, unacceptable and dangerous because people were going without water for a full day.

    “NamWater is currently supplying the Uis settlement with water from one water tanker which is totally inadequate and insufficient,” said Mutorwa.

    Attempts to speak to the Uis settlement office about the situation proved futile. The NamWater spokesperson, John Shigwedha, said he was waiting for “the technical person on the ground” to provide feedback before he could comment on the situation.

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    Class of 2016: 37% qualify for university admissionClass of 2016: 37% qualify for university admission The Ministry of Education this morning officially announced that 7 772 full-time candidates who sat for the Grade 12 ordinary examination in 2016 have qualified for university and other tertiary institutions' admission this year. This also translates a pass rate of 37.8%, which is a slight increase from the 30% recorded in 2015. In 2015, 6 056 learners qualified for university admission, while in 2014, 7 536 (38.9%) qualified for admission. The normal minimum requirements to universities include a D in English at ordinary level or a 4 grade in English at Higher Level with 25 points.


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    Indongo's superfight confirmedIndongo's superfight confirmed Newly crowned IBF and IBO world champion Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo will next face WBA world champion Ricky Burns from Scotland.

    This was announced by the MTC Sunshine Academy's promoter Nestor Tobias yesterday.

    According to Tobias, negotiations with Matchroom Promotions have been concluded successfully.

    “It cannot get any bigger than this in the world of boxing, where three world title belts from different sanctioning bodies will be on the line.

    “The biggest question remains, who will walk away as the IBF, WBA and IBO Junior Welterweight champion on the night,” he said.

    The superfight will take place on 15 April at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland - a 10 000-seat venue expected to be crowded with Scottish and English fans and Sky Sports will broadcast the fight across the world.

    “We are excited to have successfully negotiated this superfight, it is a fight that the world is waiting to see and Indongo is up to the task.

    “From all the offers we received, we made the right choice choosing Burns, who is also a respected champion in his own right, and unifying the title was definitely the best decision because it increases the value of the bout across the world,” said Tobias.

    Indongo stunned the boxing world when he knocked down IBF and IBO world champion Eduard Troyanovsky within 40 seconds.

    He is now not only a double world champion but also remains undefeated after 21 fights.

    His opponent, Ricky Burns, became a three-weight world champion when he won the WBA world championship belt in 2016 against Michele Di Rocco and successfully defended his title in October 2016 against Kiryl Relikh.

    In 2012, he defeated Namibian Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses to retain the WBO Lightweight title and will enter the ring with a record of 47 fights, 41 wins, five losses and one draw.

    The Namibian champion is chuffed by the opportunity, saying: “It is an absolute honour for me to fight another world champion.

    “Ricky is an accomplished champion, I respect what he has achieved so far, but I am going to Scotland with the grace of God, and all the hard work I have put in so far to take his WBA belt from him.

    “I know it won't be easy, but I have a good team with passionate Namibian fans and I intend to make them smile on 15 April,” said Indongo.

    Burns has also expressed excitement about fighting the Namibian world champion.

    “When Julius Indongo knocked out Eduard Troyanovsky he was immediately an opponent I was interested in. Indongo can clearly punch and that's an impressive way to win a world title, especially in Russia. It was some shot he hit Troyanovsky with.

    “It's a huge fight in the division and the kind of fight I need to be involved in at this stage of my career,” he said.

    Burns indicated that there were other names talked about but he wanted the toughest, most dangerous fight out there.

    “Indongo with his two belts was that man. He is a big, tall, rangy, southpaw but bring it on - I have no fear of anyone and it is only the massive fights for me now.”


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    Aubameyang tops Afcon expectationsAubameyang tops Afcon expectationsZimbabwean duo expected to shine Football fans believe the pressure will be on star players to shine at the 31st edition of the African Cup of Nations. Local football followers expect Gabon and Borussia Dortmund attacking player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to set the 2017 African of Nations Cup alight.

    The 27-year old former African Player of the Year has been firing on all cylinders for his country after having scored a total of 22 goals out of 52 matches for the national team.

    The Gabonese has been tipped as favourite even with a horde of star-studded players lined up in the competition.

    Senegal's Sadio Mane and current African player of the year Riyad Mahrez have been overlooked in the presence of Aubameyang.

    Former Ramblers FC coach Jerry Zimmer believes it is almost inevitable that the Dortmund player will shine regardless of the other stars present.

    Speaking in an interview yesterday, Zimmer said: “Aubameyang has developed into a lethal player with so much potential.

    “I have watched him play for Dortmund and I would say he has impressed me with his skills and the way he takes on defenders.

    “There is no doubt in my mind that he will outshine the rest of the stars in the competition if he is up for the challenge.”

    He warned fans not to write off Zimbabwe's goal poacher Tendai Ndoro, who has been a formidable force for his club (Orlando Pirates) and country.

    The striker has already scored 11 goals for his club in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL), while his goal on Tuesday in a friendly against Cameroon earned his country a draw.

    Zimmer added that Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Khama Billiat would play a vital part if Zimbabwe was to achieve anything remarkable at the competition.

    Citizens FC coach Christy Guruseb has his money on Aubameyang, who he believes carries the hopes of the nation.

    “I know there are so many players out there to watch, but I am almost certain that the Dortmund player will outshine the rest at this tournament.

    “He is one of the greatest players to come out of that country given the technical abilities he possesses on the field,” Guruseb said.

    Former Civics goalkeeper Edward Maova could only partly agree, stating that the pressure and expectations could deter Aubameyang.

    Maova said players facing such pressure to perform at that level often tended to disappoint.

    “Well, I know and think that Aubameyang will be a player to watch at the competition.

    “However, let us not write off the two Southern African players Tendai Ndoro and Khama Billiat.

    “They have been doing well for their clubs and country and therefore would be a force in the tournament,” Maova said.

    The 31st edition of the African Cup of Nations will see 16 teams challenging each other for Africa's greatest football trophy.

    Gabon will open the competition on Saturday with a game against Guinea-Bissau, while 2015 champions Ivory Coast begin their assignment against Togo.


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    Tougher at the top for record-seeking SerenaTougher at the top for record-seeking Serena Serena Williams has the Open-era record for Grand Slam titles within her grasp but it's getting tougher at the top as the American great seeks finally to eclipse Germany's Steffi Graf.

    Victory at this month's Australian Open and a 23rd major win would help ease the heartache of last year, when Williams slipped off the top of the rankings after 186 weeks - matching, but just failing to beat, another Graf record. Williams' drop to world number two was triggered by her shock defeat to Karolina Pliskova in the US Open semi-finals, which also denied her another chance to better Graf's 22 Grand Slam victories. Pliskova was the sixth player to beat Williams in 2016, suggesting that the women's tour is becoming increasingly challenging for the 35-year-old.

    Last year, Williams' haul of two trophies was her smallest since her injury-hit 2011. It also took her four attempts move off 21 Slam titles and equal Steffi Graf's record of 22 - slow by her standards, after she won three out of four majors in 2015.

    “It gets harder the older you get and the young ones coming up,” said US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez, after Williams' defeat to Pliskova. “I think she is going to win more and break Steffi's record. But it's going to get tougher.” Williams is already the oldest player in the top 10 and she is 19 years senior to Australia's Destanee Aiava, who next week will become the first player born this century to play in a Grand Slam.

    Williams is no slouch at the season's opening Grand Slam, which she has won six times, although only once in the last six editions.

    If she lifts the trophy on January 28, she will be one step away from Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. No other active player has more than the seven won by Williams' elder sister, Venus.

    Williams has only played two matches since her US Open defeat in September after she skipped the end of last season to recover from injury. She made a scrappy return to action this month, sending down, by one count, 88 unforced errors in a wind-affected second-round defeat to compatriot Madison Brengle, the world number 69.

    “I'm trying to think of a word that's not obscene but that's pretty much how I played,” Williams fumed. But Williams starts the season buoyed by her recent engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou is hoping the relationship will pay dividends on the court. “I think players need stability because everything is changing every day: countries, surface, opponents, conditions, everything,” he told The New York Times.

    “And if she's happy, there's no reason why it wouldn't positively affect her tennis.” And there seems little doubt that Williams' single-mindedness will ultimately yield that elusive 23rd major win, even if it doesn't happen this month in Melbourne.

    “Unfortunately I have the highest of goals and obviously that involves winning Grand Slams and that's all,” she said in Auckland.


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    Mata and Fellaini shine for Man UtdMata and Fellaini shine for Man UtdMou tells fans and players to step up Manchester United have now won nine games in succession, but with Liverpool five points above them in second place in the Premier League table, Manager Jose Mourinho wants everyone to be at their very best on Sunday. Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini struck to give Manchester United a 2-0 victory over injury-ravaged Hull City in Tuesday's League Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford.

    All eyes were on United captain Wayne Rooney, who is chasing a record 250th goal for the club, but it was Mata who broke the deadlock in the 56th minute before substitute Fellaini added a late second.

    It puts Jose Mourinho's men in the driving seat ahead of the return leg on January 26, although it was not until Fellaini headed home in the 87th minute that they finally put the game beyond Hull.

    Nevertheless, they have now won nine games in succession and look in fine fettle ahead of arch rivals Liverpool's visit in the Premier League on Sunday.

    Hull's new manager Marco Silva, taking charge of his second game, was able to name only six substitutes and lost both Markus Henriksen and Josh Tymon to injury. Liverpool, last season's beaten finalists, visit Southampton in the first leg of the second semi-final on Wednesday.

    Despite Mourinho making seven changes to the team that had outclassed Reading 4-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday, United picked up where they had left off, peppering the Hull goal with shots.

    Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic had to produce a one-handed save to thwart Mata inside two minutes and moments later Andy Robertson stopped Rooney applying the finishing touch to Marcus Rashford's shot.

    The presence of David Meyler and Tom Huddlestone in defence and the fact there were only six players on the Hull bench told the story of the visitors' injury problems and there was more to come.

    Henriksen was left clutching his right shoulder in agony after being knocked over by Paul Pogba and had to go off in the 16th minute, with Abel Hernandez taking his place.

    United, missing the ill Zlatan Ibrahimovic, continued to swarm forward, Mkhitaryan twice shooting wide, Rashford lashing over and Jakupovic shovelling a long-range Pogba effort over the crossbar. But Hull, the Premier League's bottom club, began to offer an attacking threat of their own as half-time approached in the club's first ever League Cup semi-final match.

    Adama Diomande gave United a scare when he headed against the post, only for an offside flag to then go up, and both Snodgrass and Hernandez tested David de Gea before the interval.

    Rooney's moment of history looked to have arrived in the 51st minute when Pogba's fine, flighted pass set him racing in on goal from the right, but he drilled his shot inches wide of the far post.

    Instead it was Mata who provided the breakthrough, stabbing in on the volley at the back post after Antonio Valencia's cross from the right was headed back across goal by Mkhitaryan. After Diomande had volleyed over acrobatically for Hull, Pogba came within a whisker of doubling United's lead, his curling free-kick clanging against the left-hand post and bouncing away.

    It seemed Hull would escape with only a one-goal deficit, but with three minutes remaining Fellaini met Matteo Darmian's cross with a looping header that Huddlestone could only help over the line. Silva's injury woes mounted yet further in stoppage time when 17-year-old left-back Tymon had to limp off.


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  • 01/11/17--14:00: How to create wealth
  • How to create wealthHow to create wealthBeating the Januworry blues from the get-go Consider ditching your cellphone contract, better yet, don't buy the most expensive property or car you can afford, advises Moneyweb's Inge Lamprecht. January is usually accompanied by various New Year's resolutions. And even though these promises often include a vow to start saving or stick to a budget, January typically also brings its fair share of new expenses in the form of higher school fees, medical aid contributions and insurance payments.

    Many consumers will likely also see their tax burden increase from March onwards if tax hikes are introduced as expected. Although the economic outlook has improved from a year ago, consumers are expected to remain under pressure for the foreseeable future.

    So how do you create wealth in such an environment? Particularly if you don't earn huge amounts of money and have to manage your money wisely in order to make ends meet?

    The late US economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Samuelson once said that investing should be like watching paint dry or grass grow. “If you want excitement, take US$800 and go to Las Vegas,” he advised.

    Don't buy or rent the most expensive property you can “afford”

    Often the assumption is that you should buy the most expensive property your salary would allow. Put differently, apply for the maximum loan the bank would approve.

    Is it worth staying in a complex where the levies are hugely expensive, when you can buy a property in a similar estate and pay half the amount? No doubt these sacrifices can be hard to make, but saving just a few hundred (or thousand) dollars every month and investing it, can go a long way in creating wealth over time.

    The same is true for renting. Even if your budget suggests that you can afford paying 30% of your salary towards rent, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is a sensible approach.

    A car is not an investment – it may not even be an asset

    Although many car enthusiasts still place a high premium on vehicle ownership (the percentage of people who rent a car or use vehicle sharing options are still small compared to those who buy) upgrading as soon as the trade-in can cover the outstanding loan, effectively means you never own the car in any case. Keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to buying a vehicle may be one of the easiest ways of destroying wealth over time.

    Ditch the expensive cellphone contract

    If is often possible to save a few hundred bucks every month by not getting the latest cellphone or opting for a contract suited to your specific needs. The difference should be invested every month. Ask yourself whether you really need and use the more expensive technology and if it makes financial sense.


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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Advice on debt consolidation
  • Advice on debt consolidationAdvice on debt consolidationThe myth is that debt consolidation saves interest In tough financial times people often turn to debt consolidation to find a solution to their monthly cash-flow shortage. Debt consolidation is defined as taking out a new loan to pay off a number of liabilities and consumer debts, generally unsecured ones.

    However, there is the myth the debt consolidation will be the answer to your problems - and then there is the truth.

    The myth is that debt consolidation saves interest, and you have one smaller payment. The truth is that debt consolidation is an indication of over-indebtedness and treats only the symptom.

    Bank Windhoek's executive officer: credit, Anton Smit, has this advice: “With debt consolidation you are only extending the problem, because you think you solve the debt problem, but in reality the debt remains, as do the habits and behaviour that caused it. You cannot borrow your way out of debt. You cannot get out of a hole by digging out the bottom.”

    Having debt is not the problem; it is the symptom that is at issue. Debt is the symptom of overspending and under-saving.

    More often than not, debt consolidation does not address the root problem, he explains.

    In most cases it has been proven that, after someone consolidates his credit card debt, the debt grows back.

    That is as a result of not having a plan to either pay cash or not buy at all.

    The game plan also does not include saving for unexpected expenses that will also become debt. “Debt consolidation seems appealing because there is a lower monthly payment and a better rate can be negotiated.

    However, in almost every case the lower payment exists, not because the rate is actually lower, but because the term is extended. If you consolidate short-term debt, you get a lower payment, but if you stay indebted longer, the lender receives more interest, which is why some lenders are in the debt consolidation business,” Smit advises.

    “It is normally a bad idea to pay a short-term acquisition, like clothing, over a long period.

    The clothes might already have been thrown out, but you are still paying it off.

    “The answer is not the interest rate; the answer is a total money makeover.

    The way to get out of debt is by changing bad financial habits. You need to commit to getting a written plan, sticking to it and start paying off the debt. Live on less than you make and don't spend what you can't afford.

    “Dealing with financial problems can be stressful, which is why most people need help getting through it. Speak to your bank before your cash flow is in dire straits and think twice before you consider debt consolidation,” Smit recommends.


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    Eco Atlantic seeks listing on AIMEco Atlantic seeks listing on AIM OGONE TLHAGE

    Eco Atlantic recently announced its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market in London, motivating that the decision was driven by the need for development of its prospecting licences in the Walvis Bay basin and Guyana.

    The prospective oil producer holds Cooper, Sharon, Tamar and Guy blocks and indications are that prospecting activities will resume on the back of three-dimensional and two-dimensional seismic surveys and interpretation that have been completed. Several wells in the Walvis basin are expected to be drilled by various companies in 2017 and 2018, Eco Atlantic announced in a recent press release.

    “We are delighted to announce our intention to list on AIM, probably the most attractive marketplace for us at a transformational time in Eco Atlantic’s development, as we look to progress our prospective licences in Guyana and Namibia towards discoveries and later production.

    “The same time, the Walvis Basin where we have our licences is a proven offshore petroleum system in Namibia and the number-one African investment destination according to the Global Petroleum Survey,” said its chief executive officer, Gil Holzman.

    “We believe these assets and the exposure they provide for investors to the exciting markets of Guyana and Namibia, coupled with our clear strategy of partnering with mid-tier and major oil companies and developing through to production, and a management team with extensive oil and gas experience, set Eco Atlantic apart from other exploration and development companies on the market.”

    Eco Atlantic delisted from the Namibia Stock Exchange in 2014, a decision it said was driven by price developments in the oil sector at the time. At the time of its delisting, it was the first and only oil and gas company listed on the local bourse.

    Holzman said at the time: “The NSX listing provides our shareholders and other stakeholders exposure to Namibian and South African region investments and finance. Being publicly traded provides local Namibians an opportunity to participate in new developments of the oil and gas sector in Namibia.

    “I take a special pride in that Eco Atlantic is the first international oil and gas company to be listed on the NSX. The listing will provide our current Namibian team with better visibility and attraction of the market and with the success and growth of Eco Atlantic, we will have the opportunity to attract new investors, stakeholders, and employees with these same incentives.

    “There is a huge interest within the general public in the region in the new developing oil and gas sector, and we are here, perfectly positioned, to entertain this interest.”

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Namibia welcomes City Lodges
  • Namibia welcomes City LodgesNamibia welcomes City LodgesTown Lodge Windhoek to open in July Windhoek was chosen as one of the new strategic locations for the South African hotel group’s expansion into the continent. OGONE TLHAGE

    The South African hotel group City Lodges expects to open its first Namibian hotel in Windhoek’s Kleine Kuppe area in July.

    “Having a hotel in Windhoek is part of our group’s targeted expansion strategy into selected parts of East Africa and southern Africa,” chairman Bulelani Ngcuka and chief executive officer Clifford Ross say in the group’s report for 2016.

    “We are also opening new hotels in the next year or so in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam with Maputo also on our expansion radar. Town Lodge Windhoek will be the 58th hotel in our group. We are hoping to complete the hotel by the end of May this year. It will have 150 rooms.

    “Expansion of our South African and broader African footprint took a significant step forward in 2015/2016 with the opening of two new hotels in South Africa – Road Lodge Pietermaritzburg and City Lodge Hotel Newtown, and the commencement of construction on the169-room City Lodge Hotel Two Rivers in Nairobi, Kenya, the 147-room City Lodge Hotel Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and the 151-room Town Lodge Windhoek, Namibia.

    “In Windhoek, handover of the completed basement above which our 150-room Town Lodge Windhoek is being built took place at the end of July. This hotel is expected to open in July 2017. Final approvals are still being sought for the development of the 148-room City Lodge Hotel Maputo in Mozambique. It is hoped that construction will commence in the current quarter for completion in the first quarter of 2018,” the two said.

    “Our group remains on the lookout for suitable development opportunities in South Africa, southern Africa and east Africa.”

    Information obtained from City Lodges’ website indicates that there are currently 12 hotels with a total 1 503 rooms.

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    Dylann Roof sentenced to deathDylann Roof sentenced to deathAsked for mercy but showed no remorse Dylann Roof was sentenced to death on Tuesday night for killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. A US jury on Tuesday condemned self-described white supremacist Dylann Roof to death over the massacre of nine black worshippers in a South Carolina church in June 2015 - a crime that shocked the nation.

    Roof, 22, was convicted last month of 33 federal charges - including hate crimes resulting in death - in connection with the shooting spree at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston. A Bible study group at “Mother Emanuel,” which had welcomed Roof, was just beginning its closing prayer when the self-avowed Nazi and Ku Klux Klan sympathiser opened fire, killing nine people ranging in age from 26 to 87.

    The slayings once again exposed the deep divides in America over race and access to guns.

    Roof showed little reaction to the decision, delivered just hours after the 12-member jury retired to deliberate, though he occasionally seemed to be slightly smiling. Federal judge Richard Gergel will formally deliver Roof's sentence on Wednesday morning at the Charleston courthouse. The verdict unanimously reached by the jury is binding. “I still feel like I had to do it,” Roof told jurors earlier in a semi-coherent closing argument.

    Roof represented himself in the sentencing phase of the trial, against the advice of his lawyers and the judge. He called no witnesses and offered no evidence for the jury to consider.


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  • 01/11/17--14:00: 'Yes we did'
  • 'Yes we did''Yes we did'Obama lifts up America in emotional farewell speech Barack Obama delivered an impassioned plea for unity in his moving farewell address delivered in Chicago. President Barack Obama addressed America and the world for the final time as president Tuesday, in a speech that was both a tearful goodbye and a call to arms.

    Capping his eight years in the White House, Obama returned to his adoptive hometown of Chicago to recast his “yes we can” campaign credo as “yes we did.”

    Listing landmarks of his presidency - from the Iran nuclear deal to reforming healthcare - much of the speech was dedicated to lifting up supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

    Obama called on them to pick up the torch, fight for democracy and forge a new “social compact”.

    “For all our outward differences, we are all in this together,” he said warning that partisanship, racism, and inequality all threatened democracy. “We rise or fall as one.”

    “All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.”

    The incoming Republican president has smashed conventions, vowed to efface Obama's legacy and hurled personal insults left and right, while in a virtually unprecedented move US intelligence has accused the Kremlin of seeking to tip the election in Trump's favour.

    Democrats, cast into the political wilderness with the loss of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives plus a majority of statehouses, are struggling to regroup.

    Obama painted the task ahead as a generational challenge.

    “A faith in reason, and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might” he said, had allowed the United States to “resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression, and build a post-World War II order with other democracies.”

    In comments that resonate as Americans ponder whether Russia helped to put Trump in the White House, Obama said “that order is now being challenged.”

    “First by violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam; more recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets, open democracies, and civil society itself as a threat to their power.”

    “The peril each poses to our democracy is more far-reaching than a car bomb or a missile.”

    Obama's last trip on Air Force One was a pilgrimage to his adoptive hometown, where he addressed a sell-out crowd of some 18 000 not far from where he delivered his victory speech eight years ago.

    Diehard fans - many African Americans - braved Chicago's frigid winter to collect free tickets, which were selling for upwards of US$1 000 a piece on Craigslist.

    They were joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill - whom the president described as “family” in an emotional finale to his speech.

    Wiping a tear from his eye, Obama paid poignant tribute to his own family, his daughter Malia who was present and Sasha who was not, and the first lady who he addressed as his best friend.

    “You took on a role you didn't ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour,” he said. “A new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You've made me proud. You've made the country proud.”

    With an approval rating hovering around 55%, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, Obama still carries considerable political weight.

    Some 51% of Americans polled believe that Trump is doing a bad job as president-elect.

    Trump's unorthodox politics have thrown the 55-year-old Obama's transition and post-presidency plans into flux.

    Having vowed a smooth handover of power, Obama has found himself being increasingly critical of Trump as he prepares to leave office on January 20.

    After that there will still be a holiday and an autobiography, but Obama could find himself being dragged backed into the political fray if Trump were to enact a Muslim registry or deport adults brought to the United States years ago by their parents.

    Having vowed to take a backseat in politics, Obama's second act could yet be as politically engaged as Jimmy Carter - whose post-presidency has remade his image as an elder statesman.

    Many Obama aides who had planned to take exotic holidays or launch coffer-replenishing forays into the private sector are also reassessing their future and mulling a return to the political trenches.

    Obama's foundation is already gearing up for a quasi-political role - funnelling idealistic youngsters into public life.


    THANK YOU: US First Lady Michelle Obama and US President Barack Obama greet supporters as daughter Malia looks on after the president delivered his farewell address in Chicago.

    Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Our education is in trouble
  • Our education is in troubleOur education is in trouble Today many Namibian families will be rushing to buy a newspaper and find out how their loved ones faired during the 2016 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Level examinations.

    As is customary, the ministry of education announced the general results yesterday and despite a slight increase in the pass rate, a sombre atmosphere prevailed during the announcement.

    The results continue to disappoint.

    A pass rate of a mere 37% is really not worth celebrating.

    The authorities are equally frustrated by this uninspiring performance judging by the tone of the minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.

    The 37% pass rate is way below the 45% target, which was set by the ministry of education, and judging by the recent showing, it really remains to be seen whether this target will be realised in 2017.

    For now the education system is a step away from crisis.

    It is true that our education system has been plagued by a number of challenges over the years and it is also true that the quality of teaching continues to be problematic at many government schools.

    We remember vividly when government implored teachers to upgrade their qualifications a few years ago.

    Most teachers heeded this call and took advantage of available programmes to equip themselves with the necessary skills.

    Although this might have yielded positive results, it is aggravated by the fact that the system was now flooded with a large number of unqualified teachers. The reality is that schools are now faced with the dilemma of using unqualified teachers instead of sending the pupils home because of a lack of teaching staff.

    To be honest some so-called unqualified teachers have impressed, but there is a fear that that the influx of educators without any specific professional knowledge might lead to an overall decline in educational standards.

    We must have honest discussions about the future of the Namibian child and having too many unqualified teachers in classrooms is not a blessing for our education system.

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Showers of business
  • Showers of businessShowers of business SEASONAL BUSINESS: 45-year-old Benjamin Shaanika, a resident of Oshivelo settlement says his seasonal milk business has kicked off. After the good rains received in Omangeti farming area, farmers have started producing milk. Shaanika, a father of six, told Namibian Sun that he buys milk and cream from farmers and sells it to travellers near Oshivelo check point. He said he has been doing this business for a long time and it has been a source of income that finances his family needs. PHOTO: ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/11/17--14:00: Landless draw battle lines
  • Landless draw battle linesLandless draw battle linesLand indaba only set for September Activists in the South are putting pressure on land reform minister Utoni Nujoma ahead of the tabling of the Land Bill in the National Assembly. Namibians who do not own land say unfair land distribution in the country is the main reason why they are resisting the tabling of the Land Bill by land reform minister Utoni Nujoma.

    The activists’ strategies to block the tabling of the Land Bill before the second land conference include organising a mass protest march, silent protests, community meetings and regional meetings.

    The activists’ intention to demonstrate their anger and anguish gained momentum in the wake of the dismal of Land Reform deputy minister Bernardus Swartbooi.

    They are now planning to launch a countrywide protest on 16 January when Nujoma, is expected to table the Land Bill and they have invited Swartbooi to address them about the land issue.

    “But before that, we want to have a protest march on 13 January in Keetmanshoop. No Land Bill before land conference,” Paul Thomas, leading land activists in Keetmanshoop said.

    He criticised the tabling of the Land Bill before the land conference saying it does not make sense arguing that the Land Bill must be used first as a working document for the land conference.

    Protest marches are planned to take place at the National Assembly building in Windhoek as well as regional governors and constituency councillors’ offices in the affected regions.

    Thomas also said a silent protest is planned for 19 January and the date the regional land allocation committee is scheduled to sit at Schützenhaus in Keetmanshoop. The regional land allocation committee is chaired by the regional governor.

    Towards the end of last year, the lobbying advanced by land activists and outcomes of the land consultative meetings resulted in the Swapo Parliamentary Caucus forcing Nujoma to have the Land Bill that he had tabled withdrawn. Meanwhile President Hage Geingob in his New Year’s message announced that his government plans to hold the Second Land Conference by September 2017. He said the conference is expected to review resolutions of the First Land Conference of 1991 to guide the government moving forward.

    The activists however want the conference to take place earlier than September. Thomas argued that the land issue evokes emotions and postponing the conference to September would further raise the emotions higher.

    The land activists are also planning a land conference for landless people in Namibia.

    According to Thomas, the land conference for the landless this will take place before the land conference in order for the activists to present resolutions passed at the landless people’s conference as proposals to the national land conference.

    Prior and over the festive season, landless people organised ecumenical church services to pray for fair land distribution as one people and bringing down church affiliation walls.

    “We have allowed fairness and justice to collapse in this country,” an elderly landless citizen said.

    The lobbying by the activists will continue after 16 January. Swartbooi has been invited to speak at the February 4 meeting in Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region. The following day, he will address people in Maltahöhe and according to sources meetings are expected to take place in Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions at dates yet to be determined.


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    Grade 11 placement a headacheGrade 11 placement a headache Following its overwhelming grade 10 performance in 2016, the Ohangwena Region is struggling to place all its learners in local schools for grade 11.

    Schools in the region are reported to be full, but the regional office is still squeezing pupils in.

    The Ohangwena Region came fourth in the 2016 Junior Secondary Certificate results, with about 3 000 learners being promoted to grade 11.

    The directorate of education decided to squeeze all these learners into local schools.

    One of the schools that had to make room for an unexpectedly high number of learners was Shituwa Senior Secondary School in the Endola circuit.

    Shituwa can accommodate 120 grade 11 learners, but now has to cope with 280.

    The regional office sent Shituwa 160 learners extra, but the school was not ready for that. The school yesterday sent home all 280 grade 11 learners, telling them to return on 22 January to give the school management time to make the necessary arrangements.

    Principal Hedrick Nghinyengwasha said the school was not prepared for such a high number of pupils and needed time to make space for them in its classrooms and hostel.

    He said all the pupils were sent home in the interest of fairness.

    “We have enough classrooms at the school, but we are not ready to accommodate such number of learners at the moment. Since we do not have a hostel, we were using four classrooms as a boys' hostel. We are going to make arrangements as to where to house these learners and then make classrooms available,” Nghinyengwasha said.

    He said the school had about 6 000 learners. Without a hostel building, they nevertheless tried to provide hostel accommodation to learners in grades 10, 11 and 12.

    He said the regional council provided the school with temporary hostel facilities that accommodate 80 learners, but they tried other alternatives to accommodate all learners.

    “We use the regional council facilities to accommodate some of the girls, while the four classrooms accommodate some of the boys. The remaining learners are accommodated in corrugated-iron structures. Previously we used to have tents, but we replaced them with corrugated-iron sheets for safety,” said Nghinyengwasha.

    The Ministry of Education is constructing a hostel the school.

    The regional director of education, Isack Hamatwi, said he was in a meeting and could not comment.

    Meanwhile, the Oshana Region, which came second in the national examinations, still has space for about 100 grade 11 learners.

    “We placed a total of 2 656 learners; 2448 were our full-time learners, 145 part-time learners and 63 learners are from other regions. We still have space in our schools,” said deputy director Gerhard Ndafenongo.


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