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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 02/01/17--07:18: MTC parts ways with MD
  • MTC parts ways with MD MTC parts ways with MD
    MTC has announced that the contracts of its Managing Director Miguel Geraldes and Chief Technical Officer, Carlos Malab have come to an end today.
    According to an MTC internal memo seen by Namibian Sun, Geraldes has been at the helm of the company for the past nine and a half years.
    The company has announced that its Chief Financial officer, Thinus Smit will in the interim act as managing director until a permanent appointment is announced. The Exco will also in due course announce itself on who will act as Chief Technical Officer.

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Iimbondi in Botswana
  • Iimbondi in BotswanaIimbondi in BotswanaMochudi impressed with midfielder With no premier league football taking place in Namibia, some of the league's top players have started appearing in leagues outside the country. The Namibia Premier League's 2015/16 Player of the Season, Absalom Iimbondi, is apparently training with Botswana Premier League side Mochudi Centre Chiefs Sporting Club.

    Namibian Sun obtained information on the club's official Facebook page yesterday, which suggests that the former Tigers talisman is in Botswana.

    “Our new man from Namibia, Absalom Iimbondi from Tigers Football Club and the current Namibian Player of the Season, Namibia Players' Player of the Season, brings a new dimension to our team.

    “An attacking midfielder and winger has impressed so far at training,” a post on the Facebook page reads.

    Iimbondi helped Tigers win the Namibia Premier League last season with a classic display in most parts of the season.

    Founded in 1972, Mochudi Centre Chiefs is the only village club in Botswana that has won the Botswana Premier League.

    The club has gained international recognition since 2007 after winning the premier league for the first time.

    Mochudi Centre Chiefs went on to win three premier league seasons from 2007 until the 2014/15 season.

    Tigers coach Brian Isaacs said he was unaware of the move because he had not been in communication with the players.

    He expressed joy for the player, saying the move could help him grow as a professional footballer.

    “It is a great thing for Absalom because he needed to be somewhere in order to play good football and take his career forward.

    “I do believe that Botswana will be a great gateway for the player who has been such a natural talent in Namibia.

    “I also hope that it all goes well and he will actually be able to attract other football clubs in neighbouring South Africa if he happens to get game time,” Isaacs said.

    Tigers and Mochudi bosses could not be reached for comment.


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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Top Score 7-A– Side begins
  • Top Score 7-A– Side beginsTop Score 7-A– Side begins Top Score officially kicked off the 7-A-Side Soccer Tournament at the launch held at the Ramblers grounds in Pionierspark on Tuesday.

    The football competition, which sees various companies challenge each other for prizes, is aimed at improving the lives of the community through sport.

    The tournament is a collaborative venture with Ramblers Sport Club and has been growing steadily over the past 15 years.

    This year, the Top Score sponsorship amounts to N$202 900.

    The president of Ramblers Football Club, Harald Hecht, said: “Ramblers Football Club is particularly proud of its longstanding and continued win-win relationship with Namib Mills and the Top Score brand and looks forward to welcoming all participating teams for the next few weeks. “May fair play prevail at all times and may the Top Score 7-A-Side tournament be a wonderful team-building platform for many years to come.”

    Namib Mills spokesperson Ashante Mannetti said the company was proud of the initiative.

    “We believe that sport creates well-rounded individuals and citizens in society. Namib Mills is committed to Namibia. This sport initiative aids the company in investing in the development of our country, its sports, as well as to plough back into the community,” Mannetti said.

    The company feels that expanding the tournament across the country has proven to be a great success.

    “We believe that this tournament teaches the important quality of teamwork and supporting one another; qualities you can take into life.

    “Supporting fans and family can look forward to another exciting tournament, with jumping castles for the kids and music to keep the momentum going as well as the opportunity to win the title for best supported team with N$7 000 in prize money.”

    The matches will kick off on 3 February at 18:30 and on Saturday afternoon from 13:30 at the Ramblers field in Pionierspark.

    More than 70 teams have entered.

    Prize money for the winning team will be N$13 000, while the runners-up will take home N$8 000. The third-placed team will win N$6 500 and the fourth-placed team N$2 500.


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    Bayern Munich's Ribery out of actionBayern Munich's Ribery out of action NAMPA / XINHUA

    Midfielder Franck Ribery will be sidelined for two weeks due to a thigh injury, the German Bundesliga frontrunners have announced.

    The Frenchman, who provided two goals in 13 outings in Germany's top flight so far, strained his right thigh, which forced him to stop training on Tuesday.

    The 33-year-old offensive midfielder will miss the upcoming Bundesliga games against Schalke and Ingolstadt as well as the German Cup last-16 encounter against Wolfsburg.

    Bayern Munich currently top the Bundesliga standings with a three-point advantage to runners-up Leipzig.

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    Adebayor joins Istanbul BesaksehirAdebayor joins Istanbul Besaksehir NAMPA / ANA

    Emmanuel Adebayor, one of the most controversial players in the world, has officially left English Premier League soccer and will turn out for Turkish side Besaksehir for the rest of the season.

    The Togo skipper became available following the country's early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations. Adebayor's last club game came in Crystal Palace's 4-1 Premier League defeat against Southampton on May 15 in 2016.

    Adebayor, one of the most talented strikers, had often not lived up to his potential, though he has turned out for such top clubs as Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid.

    But the attacker has been without a club since leaving Palace.

    According to reports, he has joined Basaksehir on an 18-month contract for an undisclosed fee.

    He played for Togo at AFCON earlier this month, but they failed to qualify for the knockout stages, finishing bottom of Group C.

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    Back to basics for Blitzboks in SydneyBack to basics for Blitzboks in SydneySnyman warns players against complacency The Springbok Sevens team have been tasked to perform at their best when playing in Australia this weekend. NAMPA / ANA

    Winning in Wellington for the first time since 2002 did leave smiles on the faces of the Springbok Sevens team, but the sweet feeling of victory will turn sour very quickly if the Blitzboks fail to perform at this weekend's Sydney Sevens.

    That is the message from Springbok Sevens captain Philip Snyman, with the kick-off of the Australian tournament in the Allianz Stadium in Sydney only two days away.

    "We have a saying in the team of always getting back to the middle. Whether you had a good loss or a bad win, it does not make a difference; you have to start again with a fresh mind and attitude. Your start with the basics and try and do those right.

    "It will not be easy, teams will be gunning for us and we will have a target on our backs. We played well in Wellington, but the performances were in no means perfect. We have plenty of areas to improve on and will work hard in training to make the adjustments needed,” said the Blitzboks captain.

    Snyman pointed to the fact that South Africa failed to make the final in Sydney last year and that they were keen to improve on that.

    The team defended well in Wellington, conceding only four tries in six matches, but Snyman said even that could improve.

    The South African side is always striving for zero tries conceded, so they will need to lift the intensity even higher.

    Sydney will be the last appearance in the current series for stalwarts Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla, who will join their Vodacom Super Rugby franchises when the team returns to South Africa on Monday.

    Snyman said they were great players and would be missed for now, but he knew at least they had one more tournament to play with them.

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    Mexican, US football protest Trump Mexican, US football protest Trump NAMPA / XINHUA

    Border-region Mexican and US football teams will play a tournament to protest the wall US President Donald Trump plans to build along the two countries' shared border, local media reported on Tuesday.

    Mexican sports daily Medio Tiempo said on its website that no date has yet been set for the aptly named 'The Bridge Tournament', but adds that "the invitations have already been sent out" to the participating teams.

    The event will pit three teams from each country, including Tamaulipas Autonomous University (UAT) team Correcaminos, Tampico Madero FC and Reynosa FC from Mexico, against US sides Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas and Rio Grande Valley FC Toros.

    In a tweet announcing the tournament, Mexican club Correcaminos, which is organising the event, called for "football above walls".

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    Resurgent Cameroon stand in Ghana's pathResurgent Cameroon stand in Ghana's pathBlack Stars hope to shine in semis Many people around the world will be glued to their screens as two of Africa’s football giants lock horns in a match that means everything to both nations. NAMPA / AFP

    The nearly men of African football in recent years, Ghana go into a sixth consecutive semi-final at the Cup of Nations when they face Cameroon in Franceville today.

    The Black Stars have not won the trophy since 1982, instead gaining a reputation for coming up just short all too often over the last decade.

    Avram Grant's side lost on penalties to the Ivory Coast in the final two years ago, while their current run of near misses began with a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon at home in Accra in 2008.

    But in Gabon they have seemed like a side on a mission to end their long title drought and a 2-1 quarter-final win over DR Congo in Oyem on Sunday, secured thanks to a goal each from the Ayew brothers, took them through to the last four.

    There a Cameroon side dismissed by most observers prior to the tournament awaits.

    "In the group stage they played well and against Senegal they were very impressive, so the semi-final is going to be tough," Grant told Ghanaian media.

    The Israeli will be eager to have skipper Asamoah Gyan - a survivor of the 2008 squad - back fit from the adductor injury suffered in their last group game against Egypt and that kept him out of the DR Congo win.

    Meanwhile, Razak Brimah will hope to keep his place in goal despite being fined $2,500 by the Ghanaian FA after upsetting supporters with an outburst on Facebook.

    Razak said he was responding to insults directed at his mother but nevertheless issued an official apology.

    "I accept that as an ambassador for my country Ghana and a role model for many across the globe, I should not have reacted this way," said the 29-year-old.

    The sedate town of Franceville, set amidst lush green rolling hills around the Mpassa River, was the venue for Cameroon's penalty shoot-out win over Senegal in the last round.

    So while Ghana have had to travel to the south-east of Gabon from Oyem, Cameroon were able to stay at their base in the nearby town of Moanda, one of the biggest manganese producers in the world.

    There Hugo Broos's side have been preparing contentedly in the knowledge they have already exceeded expectations in making it this far.

    "Nobody was expecting us to be here but from the first day of our preparations for this tournament we had been hoping to go as far as possible," the full-back Fai Collins told several media outlets, including AFP, on Tuesday.

    Cameroon progressed from their group at the expense of hosts Gabon and then edged out a much-fancied Senegal thanks to a Sadio Mane miss in a penalty shoot-out that followed a goalless draw.

    They have put behind them the withdrawals of key players before the competition, including Joel Matip and Eric Choupo-Moting, and are flourishing under their Belgian coach.

    "The players who didn't come have their own personal reasons why they didn't come and we are not looking back," added Collins, of Standard Liege in Belgium.

    "We are focused on those who are here. It is a group, not one player or two players."

    It is also a young squad, but Collins remembers well the win against Ghana at the same stage nine years ago when the Indomitable Lions side featured stars like Samuel Eto'o and Rigobert Song.

    "I remember I was at home, watching the game with my parents," he said.

    "It was an extraordinary feeling for us beating Ghana knowing they had a very good squad. Now I am here and I hope I can have the same feeling as I did back then."

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    Australia announces Twenty20 squad Australia announces Twenty20 squad NAMPA / XINHUA

    Australia has named its 13-man Twenty20 squad to face Sri Lanka later this month, with 36-year-old Michael Klinger and injured big hitter Chris Lynn both surprise features in the extended line-up.

    Announced by Cricket Australia on Wednesday, the squad will not include a number of big names, likely because the Test tour of India overlaps with the three-match T20 series beginning on Feb. 17.

    Lynn, who stole headlines throughout the domestic Big Bash League (BBL) tournament for his entrancing knocks, has been selected for the side but will need to face a number of fitness tests ahead of the opening match in Melbourne, while Klinger was selected after a standout year with the Perth Scorchers, according to interim Australian selector Trevor Hohns on Wednesday.

    "(Klinger) has been a very good player in this form of the game for some time now. He has a history of strong performances in T20 competitions in the UK (Britain) and in the BBL, including the match-winning innings for the Perth Scorchers to secure this year's BBL title," Hohns told Cricket.com.au.

    Overall, Hohns said the squad was a good "blend" of youth and experience, which he says will hopefully bump Australia up the international T20 rankings.

    "With Australia currently ranked number six in this format and with a number of our frontline players preparing for the India Test series, we have chosen a squad with a good blend of experience combined with several younger players in an effort to improve our performance and therefore our T20 ranking," Hohns said.

    The squad will be captained by opening batsman Aaron Finch and also features potential debutants in bowlers Billy Stanlake, Jyhe Richardson and Ashton Turner.

    "Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Billy Stanlake round off the bowlers in the squad, all maintaining a balance of excellent economy and wickets in this format, which is essential for a winning side," Hohns said.

    Meanwhile, despite playing a starring role in the Perth Scorchers' third BBL title win last week, feared Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson was not selected for the squad.

    There were rumours that Johnson, 35, who retired from international cricket in 2015, would return to the T20 side after a stellar BBL tournament, in which he took 13 wickets at an average of 15.4 and an economy rate of less than a run a ball.

    Despite the snub, Johnson said he was happy to remain retired from international competition.

    "It takes a lot of pressure off me. I was hoping I wouldn't be asked so it's worked out perfectly for me," Fairfax Media quoted Johnson as saying on Wednesday.

    "I did consider it, the thought of it.

    "In the end, I've done my dash for Australia and I think it'd be a bit of backward step if I took up the opportunity."

    "So I'm happy with the decision."

    The three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka begins in Melbourne on Feb. 17.

    The Australian squad includes captain Aaron Finch, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Michael Klinger, Chris Lynn, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

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    Namibia represented at German-African summitNamibia represented at German-African summitSummit a first for Africa The German-African Business Summit is being co-organised by the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein recently accepted an invitation to represent Namibia at the German-African Business Summit, scheduled for next week in Nairobi, Kenya.

    The conference will be held in Africa for the first time.

    From Germany, the federal ministers of economic affairs and energy as well as of international cooperation and development are expected to be in attendance.

    More than 50 business leaders, mostly from Germany, have also confirmed their participation.

    The summit offers the unique opportunity to network with senior managers of German and African companies, political decision-makers and administration from Germany and Sub-Saharan Africa.

    The German-African Business Summit is being co-organised by the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) and the delegation of German industry and commerce in Kenya.

    It is supported by the Federal Government (Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry of Finance).

    The first German-African Business Summit took place in Berlin in September 2015 and gave some 400 participants from the world of business and politics from Germany and Africa the opportunity to discuss Africa's prospects and potential and to make new contacts.


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    NWR commits to performance agreementsNWR commits to performance agreements Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) this week committed its senior managers to performance agreements.

    Prior to the start of its financial year on 1 November 2016, each senior manager underwent training at auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    The introduction of the agreements brought about a renewed sense of excitement, as set targets have become the order of the day. Senior managers have also begun rolling out the agreements within their departments.

    During the tenure of Zelna Hengari, NWR's managing director, several milestones have been reached.

    However, with the commencement of the current board, it was felt that performance agreements needed to be introduced to align what the board expected from her and the rest of the company.

    One of the challenges that most organisations face when introducing performance agreements is the buy-in from staff members, as it is often seen as a punitive measure that management introduces to get rid of them.

    Hengari emphasised that the agreements should be viewed as a tool that encourages performance.

    “I am urging those who are yet to sign theirs to see the positive in this exercise as it can only serve to benefit us all in the long run.

    I am already encouraged by the fact that those who have signed them are showing reassuring results within their respective departments,” she said.


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    Navachab awards bursaries to deserving studentsNavachab awards bursaries to deserving students Navachab Gold Mine has awarded bursaries to three students to take up studies at Namibian and South African universities. The bursaries will cover the cost of tuition, prescribed textbooks and accommodation.

    “Navachab Gold Mine Bursary Scheme not only aims to address the skills shortage in the mining sector, but also to assist talented and deserving students whose parents are unable to afford their education to realise their dreams of a tertiary education,” said Elias Kahuva, human resources manager.

    The 2017 bursary recipients are Ester Kalipi (Metallurgical Engineering, University of Namibia) Kennedy Mutota ( BTech Electrical Engineering Light Current “Control and Process Instrumentation”; University of Johannesburg), Johannes Nambahu (BTech. Electrical Engineering Light Current “Control and Process Instrumentation”; University of Johannesburg), and Martha Amwele (Metallurgical Engineering University of Science and Technology).


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    Shell training centre celebrates birthdayShell training centre celebrates birthdayOne year of skills development The Vivo Energy training centre at Shell Lafrenz has trained more than 400 oil industry professionals in the past year. One year ago, the Vivo Energy training centre at Shell Lafrenz opened its doors and has since trained over 400 oil industry professionals and members of other industries.

    The celebration of the training centre's first birthday coincided with Lafrenz Shell's 369th day in operation.

    The team from Vivo Energy, Shell's local licensee, celebrated the occasion with cake and took over the petrol attendants duties' for the morning, much to the delight of their customers.

    “Today, we can truly say we are happy to see what this retail location and training centre has achieved within its first year in operation. Not only is this location pumping huge quantities in its first year, but the training centre has allowed us to train not only Vivo Energy employees, retailers and contractors, but it has allowed us to contribute back to the country in skills development which is a tangible and much needed means of giving back,” said Anthony Ogalo, retail manager for Vivo Energy Namibia.

    Besides offering a leading retail site and the only training centre of its kind in the country, Shell Lafrenz's industry-leading Lube Centre also offers customers great value, while giving trainee mechanics valuable hands-on training.

    Under the supervision of a master mechanic, these trainees will change your oil and oil filter, for free, with you only having to pay for the oil and replacement filter.

    Being a responsible corporate entity, Shell Lafrenz also employs state of the art technology in their car washes, to not only minimise on the water used during washing cars, they also measure every litre used to ensure efficiency.

    “The concept for the training centre started in 2014 and it is wonderful to see the difference it is made only within its first year. This shows the level of commitment and dedication of the staff,” said Johan Grobbelaar, Managing Director of Vivo Energy Namibia.

    “Thousands of people work in the fuel industry, yet very little is being done to develop them. Here at this training centre, we not only provide training and skills development for our staff members and contractors, but also to outside agencies whether stakeholders from government, our competitors or entities from outside the industry,” he added.

    Vivo energy is the local licensee for Shell and operate a number of leading retail locations across the country.


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    Revenue agency bill nears parliamentRevenue agency bill nears parliamentAgency expected to become operational this year Namibia's envisaged revenue agency will be the third such institution in southern Africa following similar moves by Botswana and South Africa. The minister of finance, Calle Schlettwein, hopes to table the Revenue Agency Bill during the first session of parliament this year.

    He made the announcement when he addressed his staff in Windhoek this week.

    “The transition to the revenue agency should be finalised this year and for this, I await to table the Revenue Agency Bill in the coming month.

    “The immediate action points for the task team is to facilitate the finalisation of the bill, proposing the detailed organisational structure and budget for the agency and a coordinated roll-out of the stakeholder communication strategy,” Schlettwein said, repeating a statement he made last year.

    Schlettwein said the deputy permanent secretary and his technical advisor, Penda Ithindi, would head up a task team to steer the agency.

    The agency will be the third such institution in southern Africa following similar moves by Botswana and South Africa. The agency is widely expected to become fully operational in this calendar year, Schlettwein previously indicated.

    “It is envisaged that this bill will be operational by 2017. The transitional arrangements will make provision for how the staff members under Inland Revenue Department and Customs and Excise will be deployed to the Revenue Agency or elsewhere,” Schlettwein said at the time.

    He also reported that the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) legal framework was taking shape. The Public-Private-Partnership Directorate is the newest within the ministry headed by expatriate Surabh Suneja.

    Commenting on the PPP Directorate he said: “The PPP legal framework is nearing completion to facilitate more PPP financing arrangements. Preparation for pilot PPP projects should therefore be accelerated. Equally, we should fast-track the finalisation of the Public Procurement Regulations and the establishment of institutional bodies in the coming month.”

    Schlettwein said he was keen to fast-track the Public Finance Management Bill.

    “As we complete the major regulatory reforms in the public procurement, non-banking financial sector and the PPPs, work on the Public Management Bill should now assume with utmost priority,” he said.


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    Tourism experiences serious challengesTourism experiences serious challenges Namibia's tourism sector continues to face serious challenges because of inexperienced staff, lack of readily available capital for investment and the high cost of operations.

    This is according to the latest FNB/FENATA Travel Index, which says that a lack of planning and foresight within the industry is hindering the growth of a largely untapped Namibian market.

    Respondents indicated that planning for future investments and employing more staff had been put on hold since discussions of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) surfaced.

    “Arbitrary politics, a growing crime rate, corruption, poaching, bad water crisis management, poor service, delivery and exorbitant commodity price hikes are of huge concern,” the report points out.

    The respondents also felt that increased marketing of the southern towns was needed in order to give a more representative view of the country, and that crime around most tourist centres in urban and rural Namibia had increased.

    According to the report respondents believed that unless government officials become more approachable and residents understood the importance of customer service, the industry's growth would continue to be hindered. The report indicated that the third quarter of last year recorded real growth of 3.4% compared to the third quarter in 2015.

    “In nominal terms, however, growth rate edged to 11.5% over the same period indicating the strong inflationary impacts that can skew the index.” The growth in the index was supported mainly by a weaker domestic currency, which made travel to Namibia cheaper for European and American tourists.

    The Bed Occupancy Index edged higher to 10.4% quarter on quarter while increases in the load factor increased by 26.7% quarter on quarter as more people travelled to the country. According to the report, 58.9% of the respondents recorded an improvement in business as attested by their perception of tourist arrivals which moved up to 3.9 from 1.2 index points.

    With tourist arrivals on the increase, and a weaker domestic currency, 61.2% of the respondents noted good revenue flows, according to the report. The report said the positive increase in market activity was further corroborated by additional hires with 33% of respondents stating they had to increase their labour force - implicitly to cater for more business. That was the experience of lodge owners and tour operators.

    In terms of capital expenditure, 51.5% of respondents stated that it had increased during the third quarter to cater for repairs, replacements and new investments.

    This is often common during the third quarter as the winter season calls for additional business reinvestments based on previous third-quarter surveys.

    Looking forward, the Sentiment Index points towards a more positive fourth quarter. The index edged up to 3.5 from 1.8 a year ago mainly on the back of an expectation that tourist arrivals would increase in the final quarter of the year.


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  • 02/01/17--14:00: West Bank tensions are up
  • West Bank tensions are upWest Bank tensions are upIsrael approves 3 000 new settler homes as eviction looms Buoyed by support from the Trump administration, it seems as there will be no end to Isreali expansion in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. Israel has unveiled plans for 3,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, the fourth such announcement in the less than two weeks since US President Donald Trump took office.

    The late Tuesday announcement came as security forces were preparing to evict the hardline occupants of a wildcat settlement outpost in line with a High Court ruling that determined the homes were built on private Palestinian land.

    The planned eviction has been deeply unpopular with hardliners within the government, widely regarded as Israel's most right-wing ever, and the new building plans were widely seen as a sop to their supporters.

    Dozens of security personnel were seen approaching the Amona outpost, northeast of Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, early on Wednesday in readiness to move out its residents.

    Hundreds of hardline sympathisers, who had slipped past army roadblocks on foot, lit tyres around the outpost, an AFP correspondent reported.

    Some threw stones at the media as residents started packing their belongings.

    The former US administration of Barack Obama despaired of Israel's accelerating settlement expansion and, in a sharp break with longstanding policy, withheld its veto on a critical UN Security Council resolution in its final days.

    But since Trump took office with top aides sympathetic to the settlement enterprise, the government has announced a string of new projects that will add more than 6 000 homes for Jewish settlers.

    “Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have decided to authorise the construction of 3 000 new housing units,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

    According to the statement, 2 000 of the units are ready to be put on the market, while the rest are in various stages of planning.

    “We're in a new era where life in Judaea and Samaria (the West Bank) is returning to its natural course,” said Lieberman, who himself has long lived in a West Bank settlement.

    Since the 20 January inauguration of Trump, Israel has approved the construction of 566 housing units in three settlement neighbourhoods of annexed east Jerusalem and 5 502 more elsewhere in the West Bank.

    On Thursday last week, Israeli officials gave final approval for 153 settler homes in east Jerusalem.

    They had been frozen under pressure from the Obama administration, which had warned that settlements could derail hopes of a negotiated two-state solution.

    Far-right lawmaker Moti Yogev, whose Jewish Home party is part of Israel's governing coalition, was quite open about the trade-off between the Amona eviction and the new settler homes.

    Speaking to AFP at the outpost where he had joined residents in a show of solidarity, Yogev said that while evacuating Amona was “a bad decision” which he opposed - “We will go.”

    “Yes, Amona will be destroyed, but against Amona we are going to build 3 000 new homes.”

    Trump has pledged strong support for Israel, and Netanyahu's government has moved quickly to take advantage.

    “We are building and we will continue building,” Netanyahu said last week.

    The prime minister has said he sees the Trump presidency as offering “significant opportunities” after facing “huge pressures” from Obama.

    The accelerated settlement expansion has deeply concerned those seeking to salvage a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The international community considers all Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land as illegal and regards their construction as the biggest obstacle to a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

    But in a significant break with the Obama administration, Trump's White House has not condemned any of the four settlement expansions announced by Israel since he took office.


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  • 02/01/17--14:00: AU 'endorses' Dlamini-Zuma
  • AU 'endorses' Dlamini-ZumaAU 'endorses' Dlamini-Zuma African Union leaders bade farewell to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by giving her ringing endorsements for her battle back home.

    In her farewell speech she also hinted that she wanted to continue her work on the continent, saying she would “remain a soldier for the African cause”.

    Dlamini-Zuma's term as AU Commission chairperson ended at the AU summit that was concluded on Tuesday, with Chad Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat elected to succeed her.

    Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo extensively praised the work she did for women and on gender, and said she could become the second elected female president on the continent should South Africans vote for her.

    Incoming AU chairperson, President Alpha Conde from Guinea, also said she could become president after her return.

    This came after Dlamini-Zuma singled out outgoing Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for praise as the first elected woman president on the continent, and also as the chair of the Economic Community of West African States. Ecowas recently intervened timely following a post-election crisis in The Gambia, forcing Yayah Jammeh to step down from the presidency after he lost the elections.

    Dlamini-Zuma, however, failed to respond to a question at a press conference following the summit on how these endorsements made her feel.

    Asked whether she was confident that Mahamat would continue with the gender agenda, she said it was “not a personal agenda, it was in the AU programmes”. Just because he was a man, it did not mean he would not carry it through, “unless he doesn't carry through any of the programmes”, she said.

    In her farewell speech she urged that Africa “should never allow ourselves to be divided by anyone, or by anything”, and the continent should take common positions in world meetings about issues.

    She concluded: “For my part, wherever I shall be and in whatever capacity, I shall forever remain a soldier for the African cause.”


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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day A BEAUTIFUL GAME: Workmen in Gabon stop to watch Togo's national football team rush past during a training session on Monday during the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. Photo: BBC

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  • 02/01/17--14:00: Discrimination in education
  • Discrimination in educationDiscrimination in education This week Namibian Sun carried two depressing stories on the state of education, particularly in the Omusati Region, where learners basically attend school for fun. We also highlighted the issue of the financial problems facing many of the schools in Omusati, with teachers using their own money to pay for teaching aids and field trips, among others. We are pretty sure that this situation is not only limited to the Omusati Region and that many schools countrywide are also adversely affected by the late disbursement of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) funds by the education authorities. The director of education in Omusati, Laban Shapange, has confirmed that hundreds of pupils are only able to complete schooling up to the junior primary phase, as government has failed to extend the curriculums at their community schools, because there is no money. It is imperative that education programmes should inspire hope for a better future for our children. But this is not what is happening on the ground when it comes to these kids who now grow up with no proper education or skills. Both learners and teachers, who are already burdened by the vicious cycle of poverty, have lost hope in the education system, which is still showing appalling weaknesses. At the end of the day this appears to be the workings of a socially segregated system where the poor government schools are left to fend for themselves with little support from the state, while the schools for the elite and middle class continue to flourish. If government as the custodian of education is unable to spearhead a dramatic turnaround strategy to equalise education and the school infrastructure, then our children are doomed. What is needed is a social agenda that fights poverty and inequality, and a superior, efficient education system, which will be evidence of the caring attitude government has for Namibian people, especially the most vulnerable like our children. It is unacceptable to see children of school-going age unable to attend school at all because the system has failed them completely. If we are serious about the future of this country and hope to continue the transition to better living standards, we need drastic action, driven by all key stakeholders to improve the quality of our education. No one should be left out!

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    Katutura loses leader and pillarKatutura loses leader and pillarTributes pour in for much-loved teacher Juuso Katangolo Young and old have remembered the late Juuso Katangolo as an inspiring educator. Tributes continue to come in for one of Katutura's most beloved principals and a pillar of the community, Juuso Panduleni Katangolo. Katongolo, who served as principal at Mandume Primary School for about 23 years, died earlier this week in a Windhoek hospital.

    He was 79.

    His eldest son Martin Katangolo said his dad was a friend to all, an exceptional educator and veteran of the liberation struggle. “My father was a leader, a teacher and a unifier, who was a friend to all,” he said.

    Businesswoman Twapewa Kadhikwa, who attended Mandume Primary School in the early 1980s, said Katangolo was a true man of the community and leaves behind an immeasurable impact.

    “That was a life well lived. He came into the community and fulfilled his calling. I am sure when he passed on God said 'well done my faithful servant”.

    Tate Katangolo was a father to all of us. I only got to know his biological children in recent years. My mother was a teacher at Mandume Primary School as well and to her, Tate Katangolo was a father figure,” said an emotional Kadhikwa.

    She further described Katangolo as a disciplinarian, nurturer and most importantly a worshipper.

    “He was a pillar in the community. He was a godfather to so many children. As a spiritual father, he is named after so many people. He produced so many teachers.

    His impact in the community is immeasurable. I regret that we are only doing this now that he is dead, we could have done this long time ago when he was still alive. He made us to be proud of Katutura.”


    Kadhikwa further added that the late Katangolo leaves behind a solid legacy, which is worth emulating.

    “We thank God for his life. It was a life well lived.

    “He literally died empty and gave everything to his nation, family and community. What more can we ask for? I thank God for being born in a generation to have met this man. We must now build on his legacy and document his life and teach it to our children.

    “What is stopping Mandume Primary School from being like Windhoek Gymnasium? We must plough back in his honour.”

    Katangolo was born at Iihongo in the Onyaanya area of Oshikoto Region on 10 March 1937.

    He served as principal of Mandume Primary School between 1969 and 1992, making him the longest serving leader in the school's history.

    He attended Augustineum in Okahandja and taught at schools such as St Barnabas Missionary School and Berthold Himumuine Primary School before moving to Mandume.

    “He was a people's person and always willing to attend events of Mandume Primary School. He was always willing to give a helping hand,” said Robert Nghinaakundaama Dishena, the current principal of Mandume.

    The school has organised to have a memorial service for the late Katangolo at the school today with former teachers and learners of all invited to attend.

    The late Katangolo is survived by his wife and six children.

    He will be buried this Saturday at the Old Location cemetery in Hochland Park, while a memorial service will be held in his honour tomorrow at the ELCRN Macedonia parish in Katutura.


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