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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/18/17--14:00: Obama pardons Manning
  • Obama pardons ManningObama pardons Manning The Obama administration on Tuesday shortened the prison sentences of 209 people and granted pardons to another 64.

    High-profile names on the list include Army leaker Chelsea Manning and the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Gen. James Cartwright. The majority of commutations focused on nonviolent drug offenders.

    Some of the notable individuals on the list:

    Chelsea manning

    Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Her sentence is now set to expire 17 May.

    She was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and she attempted suicide twice last year. Her sentence was shortened.

    Retired general james cartwright

    The former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pleaded guilty in October to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities. His plea ended a Justice Department investigation into a leak regarding a computer virus called Stuxnet that disabled equipment the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

    Cartwright, 67, falsely told investigators that he did not provide or confirm classified information contained in a news article and in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, according to charging documents unsealed by prosecutors. He was pardoned.

    Oscar lopez rivera

    The Puerto Rican nationalist was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the struggle for independence for the US island territory. Puerto Ricans have long called for Lopez's release, a move that has been opposed by a national police organisation, among others.

    Lopez belonged to the ultranationalist Armed Forces of National Liberation. The group has claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at public and commercial buildings in US cities, including New York, Chicago and Washington, during the 1970s and '80s.

    Obama commuted the sentence of the 74-year-old.

    Arboleda A. Ortiz

    In a Missouri court in 2000 he was sentenced to die for his role in a murder and in drug trafficking. He maintained that officers who questioned him never told him he had a right to an attorney or a right to remain silent. His attorneys said he never learned to read or write in any language.

    Obama commuted the death penalty punishment to life imprisonment. Anti-death penalty advocates hailed the decision, saying he was intellectually disabled and his execution would therefore have been unconstitutional. Bureau of Prisons records show Ortiz has been serving his sentence at a high-security penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    Willie mccovey

    The San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer was sentenced in June 1996 to two years of probation for evading taxes on baseball memorabilia. McCovey admitted at the time he failed to declare US$41 800 in income in 1989, when he made US$87 000, and US$69 800 in baseball memorabilia income received between 1988 and 1990. McCovey was pardoned.

    Ian schrager

    A co-owner of the New York City nightclub Studio 54, he was convicted of tax evasion. After serving time in a jail, Schrager became a well-known hotelier.

    Obama pardoned Schrager.


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  • 01/18/17--14:00: Buhari says sorry
  • Buhari says sorryBuhari says sorryBomb for Boko Haram dropped on refugees A refugee camp in northeastern Nigeria was mistakenly bombed by a fighter jet on its way to a Boko Haram target. A Nigerian air force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed a refugee camp on Tuesday, killing more than 100 refugees and aid workers and wounding 200, a government official and doctors said.

    Military commander Major General Lucky Irabor confirmed an accidental bombardment in the northeastern town of Rann, near the border with Cameroon, saying “some” civilians were killed.

    It was believed to be the first time Nigeria's military has acknowledged making such a mistake in a region where villagers have in the past reported civilian casualties in the near-daily bombings targeting the Islamic militants.

    Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari expressed deep sadness and regret at “this regrettable operational mistake.”

    A Borno state government official, who was helping to coordinate the evacuation of wounded from the remote area by helicopters, said more than 100 refugees and aid workers were among the dead. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

    Many in critical condition

    Doctors Without Borders said its team based in Rann counted at least 52 bodies and was treating 200 wounded, many in critical condition, and the death toll was expected to rise.

    “This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable,” said Dr Jean-Clément Cabrol, the aid group's director of operations. As night fell, the group's team struggled to stabilise the seriously wounded. “We hope that during the night not many more people will die,” said the group's head of emergency programmes, Hugues Robert, describing a complex evacuation because the area is insecure.

    Photographs of the carnage showed a man carrying a wounded child, his clothing stained with blood, as well as bloodied victims being treated on the ground outside a tent clinic overflowing with the wounded. Nearby, corpses lay covered by blankets and prayer mats, alongside mounds of hastily dug graves.

    After the attack, the charred remains of makeshift corrugated iron lean-tos and mud homes filled the landscape.

    Six aid workers among the dead

    The International Committee for the Red Cross said six workers with the Nigerian Red Cross were among the dead and 13 were wounded. “They were part of a team that had brought in desperately needed food for over 25 000 displaced persons,” spokesperson Jason Straziuso said in a statement from Nairobi, Kenya.

    Two soldiers were also wounded, as well as Nigerians working for Doctors Without Borders, Irabor said, without giving a precise figure.

    The general, who is the theatre commander for counterinsurgency operations in northeast Nigeria, said he ordered the mission based on information that Boko Haram insurgents were gathering in the area, along with geographic co-ordinates.

    It was too early to say if a tactical error was made, he said, adding that the bombing would be investigated.

    Doctors Without Borders spokesperson Etienne l'Hermitte in Geneva urged authorities to facilitate cross-border land and air evacuations.

    “Our medical and surgical teams in Cameroon and Chad are ready to treat wounded patients. We are in close contact with our teams, who are in shock following the event,” he said in a statement.

    Villagers have previously reported civilian casualties in airstrikes on Boko Haram positions in northeastern Nigeria.

    Some of the schoolgirls kidnapped by the insurgents in 2014 and freed last year have said three of their classmates were killed by air force bombardments, according to the freed girls' parents. Of the nearly 300 schoolgirls who were abducted, 196 remain missing.

    The bombings have helped drive Boko Haram out of many towns and villages and, according to Buhari, the insurgents' last stronghold in the Sambisa Forest last month.

    Boko Haram's seven-year-old Islamic uprising has killed more than 20 000 people and forced 2.6 million from their homes, creating the continent's worst humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations warning some 5.1 million people face starvation.


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    The insatiable lust for powerThe insatiable lust for power The political unrest unfolding in The Gambia is really unfortunate.

    Despite numerous attempts by a United Nations-sanctioned West Africa envoy to force Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh out of office following elections last year, things are not looking good in that country.

    The controversial Jammeh received praise from all and sundry when he initially conceded defeat to businessman Adama Barrow in December last year.

    For many it was a sign of maturity and democratic hope for Africa, which is often mired in controversy when it comes to elections.

    But in a dramatic U-turn, Jammeh refused to accept the results and is now challenging the outcome in that country's Supreme Court. As it stands, the situation in Gambia is tense, with Jammeh having declared a national state of emergency.

    In fact, the Nigerian and Senegalese authorities have confirmed that it was preparing soldiers to help join the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) troops that would be deployed to Gambia. Just a day before he was supposed to end his tenure as president of Gambia, parliament extended Jammeh's rule for another 90 days and condemned what it called the “unlawful and malicious interference” of the African Union and Senegal in its country's affairs. While Jammeh has demonstrated his desperate need to cling to power, the Gambians find themselves on the edge as foreign military intervention looms large. Although Senegal and Nigeria have indicated that military intervention will be a last resort, there is enough reason to believe that Gambia is headed for a disastrous political spell in the coming days and Africa can ill-afford that.

    Even if the Ecowas operation is granted approval, there is no consensus that would offer a risk-free intervention.

    Just look at Libya today following the killing of Muammar Gaddafi.

    It is still a fractured country and Libyans can attest that they were better off under Gaddafi's rule. Will military intervention restore the much-needed stability or will it exacerbate the political unrest in Gambia?

    Only time will tell.

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  • 01/18/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day FLOODED: A Thai monk stands in the doorway of a flooded Buddhist monastery near the southern Thai village of Nakorn Sri Thmmarat on January 10, 2017. Overland routes to Thailand's flood-hit south were cut on January 10 after two bridges collapsed following days of torrential rain that have killed at least 30 people, including a five-year-old girl. The heaviest January rains for three decades have lashed the country's south for more than a week, affecting 1.1 million people across twelve provinces. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Governor to address land issueGovernor to address land issueErongo top brass to meet with community activists The Erongo governor as well as the Walvis Bay municipality has granted an audience to protesting landless residents. A planned march by shack dwellers and landless residents of Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay has been set aside following the intervention of Erongo regional governor Cleophas Mutjavikua.

    The governor wrote to community activist Kenneth Ilonga and invited him to a meeting on 30 January that will also be attended by the Walvis Bay municipality leadership.

    The residents were due to march to the municipal offices, while they had also threatened to camp there until their demands are met.

    “We gathered to appoint a committee and register issues and concerns you want us to table at the upcoming meeting with the governor and municipal officials,” Ilonga told about 100 residents last weekend. “Council opposed our request that Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu grant us permission to march and cited its duty to safeguard public spaces and public property.”

    The residents present at the meeting subsequently elected 20 people to accompany Ilonga and another activist Paulus Nicodemus to the meeting with the governor and municipal officials.

    Erongo regional council chairperson Hafeni Ndemula, rural constituency councillor John Nangolo and mayor Immanuel Wilfred also received the letters signed by Bella Situde and Mutjavikua's personal assistant.

    Ilonga also received a letter from Metcalfe Legal Practitioners on 10 January informing him that they were acting on instructions of the Walvis Bay council, which requested Ilonga to provide the constitution of the group he represents, a list of its members and to explain the capacity in which he and Nicodemus act as well as provide minutes of a meeting that was allegedly held on 8 January this year.

    The letter also pointed out that Muronga Haingura, Walvis Bay municipality CEO wants Ilonga to provide proof of defamatory allegations he levelled against the mayor and councillor Paulus Kauhondamwa or any other councillor in letters dated 10 January 2017 and 13 December 2016 addressed to him.

    “The CEO specifically undertook to instigate and initiate legal action upon presentation of such proof. To date you have not provided any proof. Your demand for housing and decent shelter has been made and the municipality is attempting to speedily and legally redress the issue which is certainly not new. You proceed with flouting the law at your own peril and inciting law abiding citizens to illegally camp and or trespass on municipal property unless our clients surrender to your nebulous threats to dismiss councillors against who you have not represented factual proof. It appears as if your conduct complies with all the requisite elements of the crime of extortion as well,” the letter from Metcalfe Legal Practitioners reads.


    Ilonga remained defiant saying he would not tender any apology and that the people would hand over all evidence in their possession to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

    The police intervened and stopped an intended march during an organising session at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay two weeks ago. More than 100 persons met and discussed the envisioned march and plans to go camp at the Walvis Bay town hall and council offices in Kuisebmond the following day. The group initially wanted to march from the Community against Crime offices in Kuisebmond to the Walvis Bay town hall and council offices in Kuisebmond where they intended to set up camps.

    According to Ilonga and Nicodemus, the community is fed up with councillors, corrupt practices and are tired of renting homes.

    The minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, will visit Walvis Bay this coming week to discuss the issue of land.


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    Northern learners encouraged to take higher levelNorthern learners encouraged to take higher level The deputy minister of education, arts and culture, Anna Nghipondoka says the ministry is implementing a revised curriculum and higher level options which will improve performance and widen learners' opportunities after leaving school.

    Nghipondoka urged more learners from northern regions to aim for higher level education. Nghipondoka, who is on a four-day visit in Ohangwena Region to motivate teachers, was addressing teachers at Ponhofi Senior Secondary School yesterday.

    “In the face of the revised curriculum implementation, I should encourage more learners to take up the higher level option, so that they widen their opportunities post-secondary level phase. I should equally encourage teachers to take up the challenge of teaching higher level at their school. You will be required to instil critical thinking in children and thus need to offer quality teaching and learning activities,” Nghipondoka encouraged.

    The ministry of education is implementing the revised curriculum following 2014, Cabinet approval for the basic education curriculum review. Under the revised curriculum, learners are expected to go through four phases. There will be junior primary phase that will cover from pre-primary to Grade 3, senior primary phase from Grades 4 to 7, junior secondary phase for Grades 8 and 9 and senior secondary phase from Grade 10 to 12.

    Nghipondoka said the junior primary education phase was introduced in 2015 and will lay a solid foundation for learning throughout the formal education system. The senior primary phase was introduced in 2016 to consolidate the foundation laid at junior primary level and develops it further. At this phase, pre-vocational subjects will be taught.

    During the 2017 academic year, the ministry will implement the junior secondary phase for Grade 8, followed by Grade 9 in 2018. According to the ministry, this phase will allow learners to take more vocational and technical subject. The reviewed curriculum for senior secondary will be introduced in 2019. Nghipondoka also commended Ohangwena Region for doing well in the 2016 Grade 10 and 12 examinations. “You managed to place the region among the best four performing schools in Grade 10, something you have repeated for the past three consecutive years. Similar sentiments also goes to Grade 12 ordinary level when the region ranked among the top five regions, while for higher level your region has ranked number nine. This deserves to be applauded,” Nghipondoka said.


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    MultiChoice invests in educationMultiChoice invests in education Minister of Education Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, reflecting on the 2016 Grade 10 and 12 results, said the results are now history and appealed to learners to focus on their studies.

    She urged the learners to find a breakthrough in order to deliver measurable improvements in 2017. “I trust the MultiChoice Back-to-School campaign is setting the scene for us in education to interrogate the outcomes of the past results and set clear strategies and targets for 2017,” Hanse-Himarwa said.

    The minister also said the purpose of MultiChoice's investment is to cement the synergy call made by President Hage Geingob's Harambee Prosperity Plan which says nobody should feel left out.

    Speaking at the same event, MultiChoice Namibia chairperson Milka Mungunda said MultiChoice's purpose is to enrich lives by making great entertainment more accessible. “We recognise education as a key priority in Namibia and as such, it is also the main focus of our corporate social responsibility,” Mungunda said.

    MultiChoice Namibia's investment is primarily activated through the MultiChoice Resource Centre (MRC) which leverages the video production company's powerful digital satellite platform to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers across the continent. Mungunda further revealed that over 300 Namibian schools have benefited from this programme since its commencement in 2004.

    Last year, the company completed regional upgrades for MRC and each MRC is provided with a television, mounting bracket, personal video recorder (PVR) decoder and satellite dish.

    MultiChoice also gives these schools access to the DStv education bouquet which offers new teaching material and the resources that can be recorded on the PVR. Mungunda requested the staff of Jan Mohr Secondary School to embrace the technology and take ownership as well as take care of the equipment so that others can benefit from it in future.


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  • 01/18/17--14:00: Murder suspects allege abuse
  • Murder suspects allege abuseMurder suspects allege abuseReward offered for the capture of three still on the run At a hearing yesterday in Walvis Bay, two of the murder suspects in the killing of Hans Möller say their rights are being infringed upon. Two of the five suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Hans Möller alleged that reserve force officers responsible for their transportation from Windhoek to Walvis Bay for court appearances are ill-treating them.

    The accused appeared before Magistrate John Sindano yesterday. He postponed the case against Gotlieb Panduleni (30), David Tashiya (29), David Shekundja (35), Elly Hinaivali (29) and Malakia Shiweda (28) for further investigation to 28


    Mpokiseng Dube, who represents Tashiya and Shekundja, informed the court that his clients were not happy with the manner in which they are being transported from Windhoek to Walvis Bay.

    “The way in which the accused are transported is not conducive to their safety. Their hands are cuffed behind their backs. Tashiya fell, banged and injured his head and requested to taken to hospital so that his injuries could be assessed.”

    Panduleni told the court that he had not eaten for two days and accused the officers responsible for driving the van in which they are being transported of not doing it in a proper manner.

    “I injured my back in the process. Our hands are handcuffed behind our backs and we fall around when the van moves at high speeds. I normally stand up straight in court and when I drink my pills. I am now unable to do so due to the injury I suffered while being transported from Windhoek.”

    Sindano advised Dube to lodge a formal complaint with regard to the conduct of the officers responsible for the transportation of the accused.

    “The accused should be treated with dignity. They are innocent until proven guilty even if the police view them as being guilty, they should trust the due process. The injured accused should request that the police take him to hospital,” said Sindano.

    The accused are facing murder, housebreaking with intent to rob, robbery and attempted murder charges related to a crime committed on 17 June.

    Carol-Anne Möller (48) the wife of the deceased Hans Möller said the accused should have thought about their human rights when they committed the crime that resulted in her husband's death.

    “What about the rights of my husband who was shot in cold blood? They even tied me up and prevented me from calling an ambulance and now they are complaining about their rights being infringed.”

    A smaller crowd with placards requesting bail to be denied for murderers, attended yesterday's court proceedings.

    Prosecutor Tresia Hafeni previously opposed bail for the suspects due to the seriousness of the case and said it would not be in the interest of justice to release them on bail and that they could flee.

    Carol-Anne maintains there are eight persons involved in committing the crime which claimed the life of her husband and announced a N$50 000 reward per person (N$150 000 in total) for information that could lead to the arrest of three other suspects still on the run.

    “The gate to our premises was opened with a key and I therefore believe there was an insider involved. I positively identified four of the accused. One pressed a knife against my neck and cut me while demanding money. Another one tied me up after my husband was shot. My eldest daughter is still traumatised.”

    Tashiya and Shekundja were arrested first in connection with the case on 18 June. Gotlieb was arrested on 19 June. Hinaivali and Shiweda were arrested on 22 June.


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    New boreholes at Uis not connectedNew boreholes at Uis not connected While thousands of litres of water are being transported by road to Uis daily, boreholes that were drilled last year remain unused.

    NamWater spokesperson John Shigwedha yesterday confirmed to Namibian Sun that new boreholes were drilled about 50km from Uis last year to address the village's water crisis.

    Shigwedha said the boreholes were not connected to the Nei-Neis aquifer scheme located in the Omaruru River.

    Due to the ongoing drought, most boreholes have run dry, while the infrastructure distributing the water to the settlement is dilapidated.

    Since March last year, Uis has been receiving water for only a few hours a day because most boreholes have run dry. NamWater informed the residents that only four of the ten boreholes in the Nei-Neis aquifer were in use.

    In September, the boreholes ran dry and tap water was only available for a few hours, prompting NamWater to start delivering water to the town by road.

    According to Shigwedha, three new boreholes were drilled as a “lifeline solution” to address the water problem at Uis. The drilling was completed by 1 December last year.

    He explained that these boreholes needed to be connected to the Nei-Neis scheme where boreholes had run dry.

    “It was a question of financing and to find the money to complete the process, but it is currently ongoing.”

    According to him, the drilling of boreholes cost N$300 000 and laying pipes and connecting them to the village will cost N$10 million more.

    Shigwedha said the connection of the boreholes, which are located 13km from the Nei-Neis scheme, would take up to two months.

    He said the new boreholes would supply enough water for the settlement.

    Shigwedha said NamWater was still transporting water to residents every day.

    However, yesterday the Ugab River was in flood for the first time in four years and the NamWater truck could not cross to collect water at Sorris Sorris.

    Shigwedha further said NamWater had repeatedly advised Uis to rectify problems with its water reticulation system and to minimise water losses given the water scarcity situation in the town.

    “But it seems the management of the town are not willing to do anything to secure water for their village. Taps, basins, showers are still not repaired. Surely, when boreholes are connected to the town, the status quo will prevail,” he said.

    Meanwhile the Uis Emergency Water Project has been established with people from across Namibia donating water to the residents of Uis.

    Namibians opened their hearts to intervene in the dire situation when an urgent message was circulated on Facebook asking for help to bail out residents of Uis who had gone without water for days.

    Thousands of litres of bottled water were collected at Henties Bay, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek and transported to Uis, where residents had been without running water for nearly two weeks.

    The Uis Settlement Council has in the meantime informed residents that water can only be collected at the tanks between 16:00 and 19:00, after which they will be locked.

    “Each household is strictly permitted to collect a maximum of 100 litres (4 x 25-litre containers) per day,” reads the public notice.

    It warns that any person found stealing water and/or vandalising water tanks “will be dealt with accordingly”.


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  • 01/18/17--14:00: B1 murder victim identified
  • B1 murder victim identifiedB1 murder victim identified A woman whose body was found on the B1 road next to the Van Eck Power Station in Windhoek on Tuesday morning has been identified as Iyaloo Ndapandula Hainghumbi (25).

    According to Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi the woman's parents visited the police mortuary following media reports on the discovery of the body. “After they had read local newspapers and knowing that their daughter did not return home since she left on Monday with her friends, Mr and Mrs Hainghumbi visited the police mortuary for verification and possible identification purposes,” said Shikwambi. The police also took fingerprints to confirm the woman's identification.

    “The suspect is still at large and the police investigation continues. Anyone with information is once again requested to come forward and report to the police,” she urged.

    According to Inspector Christiana Simaho of Nampol's gender-based violence unit, it appears that Hainghumbi died of head injuries.

    “It may be possible that her skull was broken but we are not sure yet. At this point we cannot tell whether she may have been raped because she was wearing her clothes and it was intact,” she said.


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    Aviation firms deny racism claimsAviation firms deny racism claimsSafety comes first Private aviation companies say the demand for Namibian pilots is high and they invite all applicants for interviews. CATHERINE SASMAN

    Small private aviation firms have taken great exception to an allegation that they refuse to employ black Namibian pilots.

    A certain John D, purporting to be a black Namibian pilot, has responded angrily to an article which questioned Air Namibia’s recruitment of pilots, which allegedly excludes experienced white male Namibian pilots.

    John D wrote in an email that he as a black pilot had been struggling to get into the flying industry in Namibia, which he said was dominated by white-owned businesses and pilots.

    He claimed that Westair, Bay Air, Scenic Air, Wilderness Air and Desert Air, along with others, employed at least 20 pilots each, and there were only three black pilots hired in the entire country.

    Moreover, John D claimed that most of the white pilots working at these companies were South Africans with no more than 400 hours’ flying experience.

    “I find it strange they want to complain of Air Namibia when in fact they are the ones feeding this hiring practice by not hiring the low-hour black pilots, leaving us jobless for months if not years,” John D said.

    Not so, said the private flying companies.

    The chief operations officer of Westair Aviation, Henri van Schalkwyk, said the company invited every Namibian with a pilot’s licence for interviews.

    In fact, he stressed, the company had run four advertisements for pilots last year. There were 14 applications from Namibian pilots, nine of whom were black.

    All nine black pilots were invited to interviews; two of them did not show up, three were unsuccessful, two were employed and another two declined an offer made to them.

    “Our recruitment process is definitely non-racial but we employ pilots who meet the requirements; we do not compromise on safety. Any pilot that did not get the job was not on standard,” said Van Schalkwyk.

    All applicants are put through a technical test and an interview with four panellists, which means that the selection process cannot be biased, stressed Van Schalkwyk.

    Safety standards at these airlines are stringent. At Westair the required minimum flying hours for a captain is 1 500 hours; for a co-pilot it is 500 hours.

    “The bottom line in aviation is that you employ the best candidate because statistics show that things can go wrong. When that happens, you need to have the right person to make right decisions at the right time to ensure that everyone survives,” said Van Schalkwyk.

    With safety as the operative word, Westair will never employ a pilot fresh out of flying school, said Van Schalkwyk. The company does have a cadet scheme which provides an opportunity to novices to progress from a five-seater single engine plane to jet aircraft.

    The company is also audited nine times a year by various authorities to ensure that it operates at the Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS), the highest aviation standard in the world. The foundation of the audits is flight safety.

    The financial manager and acting in the human resources department of Bay Air Aviation, Kay Seifert, said the company currently employed 11 people, including four pilots.

    He said the company recruited pilots based on their qualifications and experience and did not discriminate on the basis of skin colour, ethnic group or nationality.

    Scenic Air managing director Mike Böttger said the company employed black pilots in the past, would continue to do so, and would never discriminate on the basis of race, sex or creed.

    “In fact, how things work is that if there are Namibian pilots needing jobs, they are first in line,” said Böttger.

    He added that the Namibian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) kept a database of Namibian pilots looking for jobs and would only endorse a foreign pilot’s application for a work visa if there were no Namibians available.

    “The truth of the matter is that there are very few Namibian commercial pilots, which is why there are quite a number of foreign, mainly South African, pilots working in Namibia,” Böttger said.

    “There is no place for racism or politics in aviation because we are responsible for people’s lives,” said Raymond Waldeck, the head pilot of Desert Air.

    Desert Air managing director Thys Rall said the company was in fact the first one to have employed a black Namibian commercial pilot, Grant Gariseb, who was currently flying the presidential jet.

    Rall said as soon as black pilots were employed by private companies, they were snatched up by Air Namibia. Others preferred joining the Namibian air force.

    Rall added that the private aviation industry would prefer not to employ foreign pilots because of the difficulty in securing work permits, but there was a shortage of qualified Namibians.

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  • 01/18/17--14:00: Base FM falls silent
  • Base FM falls silentBase FM falls silentAnnouncers walk off the job Radio announcers at Base FM claim that the community station is a shambles. Presenters at Katutura Community Radio, also known as Base FM, have decided to take matters into their own hands and have stopped presenting until the station's board members sit down with them.

    The presenters have unanimously agreed to go off air and the frequency currently only airs playlists.

    They say serious matters have to be settled. Some of the issues that the presenters are unhappy about include unexplained changes to the Deed of Trust by individuals, nonprocedural managerial appointments, financial matters and lack of any activity from the board.

    “The issues are not new and they have been going on for a while. It is time that the public knows what is happening behind the microphones,” said Nathan Mbatia, the presenters' spokesperson.

    They believe that the issues led to two board members and the station manager resigning, which left the institution under acting manager Patricia du Plessis, who was a cleaner, Unomengi Kauapirura and Kae Matundu, who is the chairperson.

    “The Deed of Trust stipulates that the station must be administered by not less than three trustees and not more than eight at any given time but that has not been practised,” said Mbatia. The last AGM was held in 2012 and the board has not been re-elected since.

    One of the most recent activities that caused distress was the appointment of a new station manager and how the board went about the matter. Some presenters received phone calls from somebody called Moses Karimuti, who informed them that he was the newly appointed station manager.

    “We as presenters were shocked because no one had informed us, so we called the board members on Monday to discuss the appointment and many other issues. Matundu, the board chair, responded saying he had no obligations to explain to anyone, including the staff, board decisions and that he had no time for the meeting with the station staff,” said Mbatia.

    Namibian Sun contacted the newly appointed station manager, who confirmed his appointment.

    Karimuti said he was not invited to the press conference and was disappointed with the way matters were being handled.

    “I was appointed with immediate effect on 12 January but there was no official handover done for me to start my duties. The presenters are holding the community hostage by refusing to go on air.

    I have inherited the situation as it is and I don't know the presenters' grievances, but as soon as the handover is done I will resolve matters,” Karimuti said.

    The new station manager said there was a lot of work.

    “I plan on putting it in a better financial position. There is no community-based content and I want to bring the station back to the community. Base FM is meant to give media students a platform for internship and my plan is to introduce that again,” said Karimuti.

    The presenters will engage the Communications Regulations Authority of Namibia (CRAN) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology on these issues to find lasting solutions.


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    Budget cuts affect legal aid lawyersBudget cuts affect legal aid lawyers The Ministry of Justice has informed the Law Society of Namibia that it is unable to pay all outstanding fees owed to private lawyers who performed work for the Legal Aid Directorate.

    In a letter dated 15 December the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Issaskar Ndjoze, said the ministry was only able to make partial payments until 31 March because of budget cuts and the financial position the country finds itself in. The letter was addressed to the director of the Law Society, Retha Steinmann.

    Ndjoze did not specify what the outstanding amount was.

    He said the ministry was aware that there were outstanding invoices and had consulted with the Finance Ministry to release the necessary funds.

    According to him the ministry is committed to make full payments of all outstanding invoices when funds are available. The ministry therefore requested all legal practitioners to avoid travelling for purposes other than proceeding with an actual trial or hearing in order to avoid unnecessary expenses.

    The ministry requested the Namibian Law Society to inform all legal practitioners of the financial constraints it faced.

    The ministry thanked the affected lawyers for their dedication to their clients and encouraged them to continue acting in the best interest of their clients to ensure a fair and legal trial.

    Steinmann said she would only be able to comment after a council meeting that would be held today.


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    Namcol officials held hostage  Namcol officials held hostage OTIS FINCK

    More than 50 people who wanted to enrol with Namcol for grade 10 subjects briefly held three registration officials hostage in Kuisebmond on Tuesday.

    Fistfights nearly erupted between those who queued and others who tried to jump the queue.

    The angry group eventually prevented the Namcol officials from leaving a classroom where they were enrolling students at Kuisebmond Secondary School and accused them of giving preference to certain people at the expense of others.

    “I arrived here on Monday and joined the queue at 06:00 to register. They only allocated numbers to 50 persons. I observed how persons who arrived after me were selected and enrolled.

    “The registration process is flawed and we won’t let them out of the classroom until they provide us with satisfactory answers,” said an angry student.

    Security officers eventually arrived and defused the situation.

    The head of Namcol in the Erongo Region, Clifford Block, said he was aware of what was happening and confirmed that he had received reports of people who became impatient and stormed the registration points when the registration process started on Tuesday.

    “There are rules and regulations in place to guide the registration process. How can we help people when they refuse to form a queue and become rowdy? They do not want to wait and rather opt to cause problems.

    “That’s why we have security officers stationed at registration points. Officials issue tickets to the first 50 persons in the queue every day due to the fact that there are so many people who want to register. It’s impossible to help everybody in one day,” he said.

    Block denied allegations of favouritism levelled against his officials and said security officers were posted at the four registration points at Kuisebmond Secondary, Tutaleni Primary, Duinesig and De Duine to maintain order.

    He accused some of those who wanted to enrol of being disrespectful towards his officials and the security officers.

    Block further said that Namcol did not want to send people away and therefore issued those who queued with tickets numbered from 1 to 50 every day from 14:00.

    “I am constantly in contact with my enrolment officers. I know some people arrive early to enrol and they should receive preference. People are actually supposed to start queuing to enrol at 14:00. They disrupt the school when they arrive early and the headmasters complained to me about this. I will see to it that we post more security guards to maintain order,” he said.

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    Last warning for illegal car washesLast warning for illegal car washesCity Police crackdown starts on Tuesday The Windhoek municipality has issued a final warning to illegal car washes operating in public spaces, as well as those who enable them. JANA-MARI SMITH

    A police sweep targeting illegal car-wash operations in public spaces will start in Windhoek next Tuesday.

    The City of Windhoek has warned illegal car washes to close down now rather than risk a forced shutdown, stiff fines and equipment seizures.

    A spokesperson yesterday confirmed that an estimated 300 illegal car wash businesses operate in Windhoek, and only about 20 legal operations exist.

    In a public notice issued yesterday, the City of Windhoek announced a zero-tolerance policy towards all illegal car-wash operations and unregistered fleet washing facilities. It will be enforced as from next week.

    A City of Windhoek spokesperson said the municipality hoped that the five-day notice would motivate illegal car-wash operators to close shop before the City Police sweep begins.

    The zero-tolerance campaign will be executed in two stages.

    The first step targets businesses operating illegally from open public spaces, many with the help of nearby property owners who supply water and electricity.

    In addition to the immediate closure of these operations, the City Police will issue fines of up to N$1 000 and confiscate equipment.

    Property owners who supply water and electricity to car-wash operators will be fined too.

    The water and electricity supply to such properties will be suspended immediately. The owners will have to pay reconnection fees and fines of more than N$2 000.

    The municipality warned that all business owners must ensure they operate on private property and not on public land - a misunderstanding that has reportedly landed several owners in hot water.

    Dieter Tolke, a technician in the municipality’s department for water demand management, explained that the zero-policy drive against illegal car-wash operations was based on various factors.

    These included the costly damage caused to infrastructure by uncontrolled and inefficient water run-off systems, the impact of these businesses on surrounding communities, the legitimate concerns of legal car-wash operators and water demand management in the city.

    “The goal of the City of Windhoek is to uplift the quality of life within all areas of the city,” he said.

    The social aspects of illegal operations were a primary concern, he said. Pedestrians were inconvenienced by the mushrooming of car-wash operations on pavements, while blocked and damaged sewers and storm-water drains posed significant health risks.

    The high cost of street and pavement repairs was carried by ratepayers and the pollution of riverbeds and dams had raised serious environmental concerns.

    Tolke said although negative responses could be expected from some in the community, it was hoped that overall the exercise would be seen “as more beneficial than negative”.

    The second phase of the operation is scheduled for the end of February, when every illegal and unregistered fleet washing facility will be closed down.

    Such businesses would be closed immediately if they didn’t comply with building regulations or water efficiency regulations, the municipality warned.

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    Gambian crisis gets local perspectiveGambian crisis gets local perspective One of the country's foremost diplomats, Tuliameni Kalomoh, has described the political unrest unfolding in Gambia as catastrophic, saying president Yahya Jammeh should cede power.

    Kalomoh is supporting calls made by the West African regional block Ecowas for Jammeh to step down and hand power to rival Adama Barrow, who was declared the winner of last year's presidential election.

    Having initially conceded defeat to Barrow, Jammeh made a dramatic U-turn in December, and is now challenging the election in court.

    The Gambian parliament yesterday – a day before Jammeh's mandate was due to expire - extended his rule for another 90 days.

    Kalomoh labelled the Gambian parliament's decision is a “catastrophe”. Ecowas had earlier threatened to use military force to force Jammeh to step down. According to Kalomoh, the political unrest in Gambia does not augur well for its democracy or for the rest of the continent. “It does not set a good precedent for Africa. He should have abided by the Gambian constitution and allowed for a smooth transition of power,” said Kalomoh.

    Although he is against the use of military intervention, which may lead to unnecessary loss of life, Kalomoh was quick to point out that force was the only way to deal with the matter, unless Africa wanted to allow leaders to flout their own laws.

    Former Swapo Party Youth League secretary Elijah Ngurare said he expected Jammeh to put the interest of the Gambian people above his lust for power.

    According to him, African leaders such as Jammeh must understand that there is an expiry date for power and should allow others to take over.

    “He should have stepped down and guided the new president,” he said.

    He further expressed concern over the likelihood of military intervention, which would not be good for the Gambian people.

    “The voice of the African Union should have been louder but AU is just a toothless organisation. The Ecowas threat to use military intervention will obviously make things worse but if it is done in the interest of the African people then we must respect that route,” he said.


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    AR withdraws from land servicing programme AR withdraws from land servicing programme Government and the “political elites” were today put on notice by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) group who warned that this year will be marked by practical action, and that land occupation remains central to the movement.
    Furthermore the group today announced its withdrawal from the Massive Urban Land Servicing Programme due to its slow progress, including the failure to meet targets and a lack of consequences for “those who deliberately fail the programme.”
    Job Amupanda and George Kambala told members of the press today, during an overview of the movement’s agenda this year, that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Prime Minister, were today given a month to report significant progress on the implementation of Rent Control boards, or face legal action.
    The duo described government’s input to date as “giving lip service to the matter instead of decisively implementing the provisions available in the Rent Ordinance.”
    Moreover, in an effort to by-pass the slow progress and bureaucratic stalling of government in assisting informal settlement residents, the AR announced its plan to provide assistance to the hundreds of thousands of Namibians living in informal settlements who were “literally abandoned” by government.
    Amupanda note that it is estimated that at least half a million Namibians live in informal settlements and warned that the activists are willing to “get confrontational” should anyone attempt to stop their plans.
    “We want to see, are there any people who would leave these people in the dark,” he challenged.
    The plan includes the replacement of shacks with alternative building materials “at no cost to our people.”
    Moreover, street signs with names will be erected “to make it easier for the families and friends to access each other”, and to provide a formal atmosphere to communities. Solar energy and alternative sanitation solutions are part of the plan to provide dignity to the communities, the AR explained.


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    Namibia Premier League scraps management committeeNamibia Premier League scraps management committeeConstitution eliminates Doeseb's position The Namibia Premier League (NPL) extraordinary AGM will apparently make decisions likely to oust top premier league officials. Well-placed sources in the Namibia Premier League revealed yesterday that the new draft constitution will dismantle the existing management committee.

    The constitution will be discussed and is expected to be amended at the NPL's extraordinary AGM taking place on 4 February.

    The management committee currently consists of chairman Johnny Doeseb, Cassius Moetie, Tim Isaacs, Mabos Vries and Kenneth Gaoseb.

    As from next month, the management committee will allegedly be replaced by an elected executive committee consisting of eight to nine individuals.

    “The new constitution does not make provision for the Namibia Premier League to have a management committee.

    “This was apparently a collective decision taken by the NPL's officials while drafting the new constitution.

    “The 16 clubs in the Namibia Premier League will now decide on the new executive committee members to be elected soon,” the source said.

    NPL chairman Johnny Doeseb has been at the helm of the premier league since 2008.

    The chairman's relationship with the clubs recently turned bitter after the NPL under him failed to secure a sponsor that will enable the league to start.

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

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

    It has often been alleged that various clubs have been plotting a coup against Doeseb since the problems started.

    But Doeseb survived various AGMs after clubs decided to keep the chairman at the eleventh hour.

    With the new constitution, Namibian Sun understands that the long journey of Johnny Doeseb as chairman is likely to end next month.

    NPL spokesperson Cassius Moetie would neither confirm nor deny that the NPL management committee will be replaced by an executive committee.

    Moetie did confirm that the amendment of the NPL constitution will be first on the agenda.

    “I am not aware of such plans to overthrow NPL chairman Johnny Doeseb because nothing has been communicated to me.

    “All I can confirm is that the extraordinary AGM will have a lengthy debate on the draft constitution.

    “Perhaps there will be many changes after the AGM, but that is something that I will not be able to predict at the moment.

    “I am sure that the AGM will have a vested interest and will come up with a firm conclusion,” Moetie said.

    Earlier this month, NPL officials disclosed that the league was struggling to find the N$21 million sponsorship deal it desperately needed to start the league.

    Moetie also said that sponsorship and a kick-off date for the league would be on the agenda at the AGM.


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    Norte Cycling readies for national champsNorte Cycling readies for national champs The Norte Youth Cycling club is hard at work training for the national championships slated for 2 February.

    “This is a very important event in the cycling calendar,” coach Salomo Ndeshimona told Namibian Sun.

    “At the championship we will have the chance to race against the best cyclists in Namibia, where the winners get the chance to qualify for international competitions ... however, these plans could be hampered by lack of funding,” he said.Ndeshimona said the club planned to take part in the Nedbank Desert Dash for the first time this year. “However, this plan will depend on finding a sponsor, which remains a challenge,” he said.

    He said they were excited by the return of the Tour de Windhoek, which is staged over five days in and around Windhoek.

    “It gives us a good chance to showcase our skills in time trials, hill climbing and road racing itself, which is exciting.”

    He said the club planned to expand to at least 20 members this year. It now has 12 members.

    They are finalising the establishment of their centre in Omuthiya and making it fully functional.

    “We plan to have an academy where we can train young and upcoming cyclists on issues of road safety and how to ride a bike.

    “We also have plans to get off the ground our long-awaited cycling league to be played around northern towns of Ondangwa, Omuthiya, Oshikango, Ongwediva, Oshakati and Outapi. This is pending proposals for funding that we have sent to various companies to fund this move,” he said.


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    Friendly rivals Le Roy, Renard hunt key pointsFriendly rivals Le Roy, Renard hunt key pointsMore AFCON excitement this weekend Teams will again seek good results this weekend at the Africa Cup of Nations, as they aim to reach the knockout stages. French coaches Herve Renard and Claude le Roy loom large over the key Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash between Morocco and Togo in Oyem today.

    Renard, a Cup of Nations winner with Zambia in 2012 and the Ivory Coast in 2015, was hired by Morocco last year and given a mandate to reach the semi-finals.

    Right now, a last-four place must seem a long way off for the blond, bronzed 48-year-old former Paris rubbish collector who always wears a white shirt on match days.

    Morocco could not translate possession into goals three days ago and a goalkeeping blunder by Munir Mohamedi gifted the Democratic Republic of Congo a 1-0 win.

    That loss left the Moroccans pointless and bottom of a table headed by DR Congo with three points followed by title-holders the Ivory Coast and Togo with one apiece.

    Veteran Le Roy is at the Cup of Nations a record ninth time and although he can boast of just one title - with Cameroon in 1988 - he has failed to reach the knockout phase only once.

    Cameroon, Senegal, DR Congo, Ghana and Congo Brazzaville all benefited from the 68-year-old with a fondness for dark jackets and t-shirts.

    Togo are the latest beneficiaries of wisdom gathered over three decades in Africa and they were never overawed when forcing a 0-0 draw with an Ivorian side that appeared much stronger on paper.

    When Le Roy coached 2008 hosts and bronze medallists Ghana, his assistant was then unknown Renard. It proved a fruitful relationship for the younger Frenchman.

    “He has given me so much in my life,” Renard said after the finals draw. “Not just about football, but how to evolve as a man.

    “I would need a lot of time to speak about the good things that Claude has brought to my life.”

    Le Roy was equally complimentary recently about the man he mentored and turned into the most sought-after coach in Africa with Morocco dumping ex-star Badou Zaki to hire Renard.

    “Herve knows how to lead a group and likes his players,” said Le Roy.

    “Liking your players and displaying a great sense of justice and understanding is the best way to work.”

    For Renard and Le Roy the pre-match emphasis would have been on finishing as Morocco and Togo created few chances in their opening matches.

    Morocco have failed to score in their last three competitive matches dating back to October and recently out-of-favour Youssef El Arabi might get a start.

    Veteran Emmanuel Adebayor, clubless since leaving Crystal Palace last May, remains the main Togolese threat.

    DR Congo, less favoured than the Ivory Coast and Morocco before the group kicked off, will seal a quarter-final place if they defeat the defending champions in the first match of a double-header.

    It is a repeat of a 2015 semi-final in Equatorial Guinea which the Ivorians won 3-1 before edging Ghana 9-8 on penalties after a goalless title decider to win the competition a second time.

    Both teams would have preferred to play later as the late-afternoon heat had many Ivory Coast and Togo players wearing sweat-saturated shirts. France-born Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer, who succeeded Renard, is demanding greater “intensity” from a side lacking several key 2015 winners.

    Midfielder and captain Yaya Toure has retired from international football to concentrate on his career with Manchester City and China-based winger Gervinho is injured.

    “There is no need for panic,” stressed Dussuyer after the Togo draw. “We have two matches left and two victories will assure us of a place in the knockout stage.”


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