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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Drones agitate Omatjete elliesDrones agitate Omatjete ellies Tourists visiting the Omatjete area of the Erongo Region have been cautioned to stop filming elephants with drones because the instruments agitate the animals and have them destroy villagers' houses.

    Tourists have also been warned to refrain from feeding the elephants with oranges and pumpkins as these tempt them to go around in search of such food.

    Director of Wildlife and National Parks in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Colgar Sikopo sent out the warning to tourists through Nampa this weekend.

    Sikopo explained that a drone sounds like a swarm of bees to elephants and this terrifies them, adding that when such fear is prolonged, these giants become aggressive towards humans.

    Last week, elephants at Otjitakaneno village in the Otjohorongo Reserve destroyed eight houses.

    Fabianus Hivirikee Uaseuapuani, a senior councillor in the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, which rules Omatjete community, told Nampa that the community feared for their lives. He confirmed that three more houses were damaged Friday evening by elephants at Omisema village in Otjiuapeke area.

    The authority and the community are calling for immediate action from the MET on the situation.

    He said there is a specific bull that destroyed most houses and he wanted it put down before it killed someone.

    The traditional leader said he called Sikopo and informed him about their fears and hoped the Ministry would act soon.

    “A woman and her child escaped death at the tip of the trunk on Friday night when the elephant invaded their house,” he said.

    Sikopo acknowledged the complaints and said a team of rangers was dispatched to the area to investigate the situation and report back to him for a final decision.

    He said if it is found that the said bull is a problem it will be put down immediately.

    He added that more rangers, some from Swakopmund, were sent to the area to control the elephants by driving them away from the villages.

    “For now we are not sure the bull is the main problem. We need to be sure of that and only then can we put it down,” Sikopo told Nampa.

    He said apart from tourists' disturbances, elephants come to the villages in search of water and food because Omatjete, which is about 60 km west of Omaruru in the Daures constituency, is dry due to drought.


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    Budget cuts won't affect grantsBudget cuts won't affect grantsMinistry will add more children in this financial year With budget cuts across the government, there has been concern for social safety nets so desperately needed by so many but the vulnerable children will be cared for. More than 242 000 children benefit from various social welfare grants in Namibia as of December 2016 and the gender and child welfare ministry plans to add another 20 000 new children for the upcoming financial year.

    Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Doreen Sioka told staff at a new year's address on Friday that the 242 101 children benefitting from a N$250 monthly child welfare grant will not be affected by budget cuts.

    “The mandate is to promote and protect the well-being of all children in Namibia in order for them to become responsible citizens who will contribute to the social and economic development of the country,” Sioka told staff members.

    Referring to a recurring problem of caretakers or guardians misusing funds meant for children will face a suspension until responsible guardians are identified.

    “People who spend on themselves instead of spending the money on the children should be reported to our offices and we will deal with them,” she said.

    In other efforts to support Namibian children, Sioka said that 72 000 children are currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Development Centres throughout the country, compared to 37 000 enrolled in 2015.

    The Directorate of Community Empowerment trained 47 women and five men in 2016 in food preparation and serving, basket and jam making, business and project management as well as tailoring. The training was conducted in coordination with COSDEC groups and was conducted community empowerment centres in Rundu and Outapi.

    The ministry noted that while the Directorate of Child Welfare faced challenges, specifically in regard to inadequate staff to cover the needs of the population in the regions, progress is taking place and goals are attained.

    With staff empowerment and capacity development high on the agenda for the ministry, Sioka said 31 staff members are currently studying at different tertiary institutions, with the assistance of financial grants provided by the ministry.

    The staff welcoming focused on achievements and not on challenges, “because those are the stumbling blocks which can be turned into stepping stones,” Sioka said on Friday.

    One of the goals for the upcoming year, in terms of achieving goals under Gender Equality and Research, is to consider rotating the launch of the '16 days of activism against gender-based violence' campaign.

    Moreover, the ministry wants to finalise the GBV baseline study in quarter four of 2017 and is considering conducting a study on child marriage in the country. The ministry also aims to launch more community awareness programmes on GBV prevention and response.

    The chairperson of the Men Support Group has been instructed to conduct radio talks in order to alert the community to its existence.

    – Additional reporting by Nampa


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  • 02/06/17--14:00: Eluwa was omitted
  • Eluwa was omitted Eluwa was omitted Special school not part of monitoring group Much to the surprise of many, the Eluwa Special School will not be monitored as a member of the ‘schools of concern’ group even though it has dismal Grade 10 showings. Exclusion of Eluwa Special School from the worst-performing schools in Oshana Region has raised eyebrows among education stakeholders in the region.

    Despite a public outcry on the dismal Grade 10 performance by Eluwa Special School, and the revelation that no teaching was taking place at this school for visually- and hearing-impaired children, the Oshana education directorate did not place Eluwa among the schools for concern in the region.

    During a seminar for school managers and key education stakeholders held by the directorate in Ondangwa last month, regional education director Hileni Amukana announced a list of 13 worst-performing schools that will be supervised and monitoring under her office.

    Eluwa Special School that failed 32 learners out of 33 candidates for the Grade 10 Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examinations last year is not among the schools to be monitored. Last year, 20 learners from Eluwa obtained no points at all.

    “People are not serious with Eluwa’s education and that is why you see that they do not place it among the worst-performing schools. It is a pity that parents have no other special school to take their visually- and hearing-impaired children, but Eluwa is not taken seriouly at all,” concerned stakeholder said.

    During the seminar, Amukana announced that there are 58 schools with Grade 10 that performed above the 50% benchmark and only 13 are below the average.

    “These 13 schools whose achievement is not satisfactory have to been placed under administration and are scheduled to report for a performance dialogue with the director starting from 7 February. In addition, there is a call for senior secondary schools to position themselves among the best JSC schools considering the privileges at their disposal,” Amukana announced.

    Amukana said that the decision to place least performing schools under her office for unsatisfactory performance is not to embarrass them, but to support them.

    When Namibian Sun reviewed Eluwa Special School’s 2016 JSC performance, teachers at the school who preferred to remain anonymous blamed the weak performance on teachers and education officers who are not doing their jobs.

    They alleged that there was no teaching taking place at Eluwa and say teachers are spending most of their working hours doing other things outside school.

    The sources also claimed that school inspectors and subject advisors in the Ompundja education circuit do not visit Eluwa to monitor teaching and to spend time with teachers and learners.


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    Fall armyworm 'threatens African farmers' livelihoods'Fall armyworm 'threatens African farmers' livelihoods' Scientists are calling for urgent action to halt the spread of a pest that is destroying maize crops and spreading rapidly across Africa.

    The fall armyworm poses a major threat to food security and agricultural trade, warns the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi).

    It says farmers' livelihoods are at risk as the non-native larvae threatens to reach Asia and the Mediterranean.

    The Food and Agriculture Organisation plans emergency talks on the issue.

    The armyworm, so called because it eats its way through most of the vegetation in its way as it marches through crops, is native to North and South America but was identified for the first time in Africa last year.

    Cabi chief scientist Dr Matthew Cock said: "This invasive species is now a serious pest spreading quickly in tropical Africa and with the potential to spread to Asia.

    "Urgent action will be needed to prevent devastating losses to crops and farmers' livelihoods."

    Scientists think the caterpillar or its eggs may have reached the continent through imported produce.

    Once established in an area, the adult moths can fly large distances and spread rapidly.

    Dr Jayne Crozier, of Cabi, said the armyworm's presence had now been confirmed in west Africa and was thought to be present in the south and east of the continent, many parts of which rely on maize for their staple diet.

    "It's possibly been there for some time and it's causing a lot of damage now," she told BBC News.

    "The recent discovery of fall armyworm in Africa will be a huge threat to food security and also to trade in the region."

    The FAO is to hold an emergency meeting in Harare between 14 and 16 February to decide emergency responses to the armyworm threat.

    Zambia has used army planes to spray affected areas with pesticides.


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    SPYL frowns at Morocco's AU returnSPYL frowns at Morocco's AU returnGovt should lobby for resumption of talks The Swapo youth wing has called on the ruling party and government to vigorously lobby for the independence of Western Sahara. The Swapo Party Youth League has called on the ruling party and government to vigorously lobby for the independence of Western Sahara following the readmission of Morocco as a member of the African Union last week.

    Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, was occupied by Morocco in 1975. That sparked a long-running territorial conflict between Morocco and the indigenous Saharawi people.

    In 1984 Morocco then left the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Union (OAU), after it had recognised the independence of Western Sahara.

    SPYL spokesperson Neville Itope said it regarded Morocco's readmission as a setback and betrayal of the international process set up to support Saharawi independence.

    “No nation has a right to make decisions for another nation, nor people for another people,” said Itope.

    He urged the government to push for a resumption of the stalled United Nations process for Western Saharan independence.

    “The Western Sahara and the two-state solution in relation to the question of Palestine remain the core international solidarity issues of Namibian diplomacy.

    In this regard we insist that no policy shift in relation to Western Sahara or Palestine should be made,” Itope said in a statement on Sunday.

    Namibia has been very vocal about its position on the fight for self-determination of the Saharawi people.

    At the weekend's Mandume Ya Ndemufayo centenary commemoration held at Omhedi in Ohangwena Region, President Hage Geingob touched on the issue of Morocco being readmitted into the AU, as well as Namibia's intention not to extend its northern borders into Angola.

    Geingob said some heads of state were disappointed by the readmission of Morocco after a 33-year absence but they were reassured that Morocco would allow the people of Saharawi to govern themselves.

    He said the matter was discussed at length and it was reiterated that the AU respected the frontiers of all member states as they were at the time of their independence.

    “At the recent AU assembly, Morocco was readmitted, some of us were disappointed but we were reassured and given reasons….they should not try to undermine the fact that we inherited land and it should be respected,” Geingob said.

    Last year at the United Nations General Assembly, Geingob pledged Namibia's full support for the rights of the people of Palestine and Western Sahara to self-determination and national independence.


    Meanwhile, local commentator Nico Horn has described Morocco's readmission to the AU as “ridiculous” and a very inconsistent decision.

    Horn also expressed concern about the AU having two sets of leaders representing one area in the continental body, adding that this would create conflict within the AU.

    “I understand they want to include all the most prosperous nations but the AU has put its head in a bee's nest,” he said.


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    Complaints halt hospital constructionComplaints halt hospital construction The Ministry of Health and Social Services has halted the fencing of an area earmarked for a mental hospital after it was accused of grabbing land at Nankudu village in the Kavango West Region.

    The area had included a number of homesteads.

    The plans for a hospital for mental patients, which was to be built on the same premises at the Nankudu District Hospital, were not welcomed by the community.

    Residents expressed anger with the health ministry after it gave the green light to a contractor to start building the hospital without their approval. Part of the work included fencing off the Nankudu District Hospital, which led to some homesteads being enclosed.

    The residents were angry because they hadn't been told whether the owners of the homesteads enclosed by the fence would be compensated.

    The community members said they were not opposed to the construction of the mental hospital but they were against the construction happening without their consent, which made them feel excluded.

    They argued that the region needed a referral hospital and suggested that the Nankudu District Hospital should be upgraded instead of building a mental hospital.

    “We are not against the construction of the mental hospital but the ministry must know that ever since the Kavango Region was split, we don't have a referral hospital. Why don't they just upgrade Nankudu District Hospital?” a community member asked.

    The last time the community was consulted on the construction of the mental hospital was on 7 May 2015 at a meeting where the environmental management plan was discussed.

    At that meeting the affected community strongly opposed the proposal. The ministry was supposed to look into their objections and give feedback, but they say that did not happen. Instead the community learned that a tender had been advertised in the newspapers.

    Namibian Sun was informed that the tender was awarded to Mafanikio Investment.

    The community of Nankudu wanted to stage a protest on Saturday but they cancelled it after receiving a letter informing them that the process had been halted.

    The 30 January letter to Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku was signed by health minister Bernhard Haufiku and said the fencing process was on hold pending further consultations with all stakeholders.

    The permanent secretary in the ministry, Andreas Mwoombola, will lead a delegation to Kavango West soon to talk to the community through their elected and traditional leaders.

    “The date of the visit will be communicated to you by the permanent secretary during the course of the week,” the letter concluded.

    In an open letter to Ausiku dated 2 February, the community claimed that the tender process did not follow procedure. They further claimed that the environmental impact assessment report was not shared for comment with the affected residents.

    They also blamed the regional council and the governor of failing to protect the rights of Nankudu residents.


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  • 02/06/17--14:00: Avid trial drags on
  • Avid trial drags onAvid trial drags on The Avid corruption trial, dealing with the alleged embezzlement of N$30 million from the Social Security Commission in 2005, continues in the Windhoek High Court.

    Inez /Gâses, the former chairperson of the liquidated asset management company Avid Investment Corporation, is still being cross-examined about her involvement.

    /Gâses, together with Paulus Kapia, a former Swapo parliamentarian, were both directors of Avid when the company obtained N$30 million from the Social Security Commission in January 2005 to invest. The company was liquidated after it was unable to repay the N$30 million and the promised interest of N$1.4 million to the SSC after the investment period had lapsed. That resulted in the prosecution of Kapia,

    /Gâses and five co-accused - Otniel Podewiltz, Sharon Blaauw, Ralph Blaauw, retired Brigadier Mathias Shiweda and Nico Josea. Kapia, /Gâses, the Blaauw couple and Podewiltz are facing charges of fraud and reckless or fraudulent conduct of business. Josea, who is alleged to have misappropriated close to N$15 million of the SSC's money, is facing charges of theft and reckless or fraudulent conduct of business, while Shiweda faces a count of reckless or fraudulent conduct of business. /Gâses yesterday, when questioned by her lawyer Petrie Theron on the appointment of Paulus Kapia as Avid board chairperson, said she was not present and could not tell when he was approached. She said she was also not aware how Kapia was approached. “I do not know who approached him,” she said but added that the assumption was that he must have been approached and he must have known about such appointment. In her case she said she was approached by her late cousin Lazarus Kandara to serve on Avid's board of directors. She further testified that Kandara requested her to accompany her co-accused Shiwedha to a meeting on 19 January to clarify certain issues. According to her Kandara drafted the letter which instructed First National Bank to transfer the N$30 million into the account where it was to be invested. She added that she did not physically see the letter for the transfer. The money was allegedly transferred into the bank account of Namangol Investments and thereafter allegedly transferred to investor Allan Rosenberg.

    /Gâses testified that Rosenberg confirmed receipt of the N$30 million and added that she had no knowledge of him ever denying receipt of the money. “The monies transferred from the SSC were further transferred to the investors,” she emphasised. She added that the SSC transaction was the company's first after a N$10 million investment by the Navachab Gold Mine and that the money was in Kandara's account. She testified that in 2005 Kandara was appointed as the CEO of Avid Investment and that they had a meeting in Kapia's office but that no one questioned his presence or the role he played in the company. The case continues before Judge Christie Liebenberg.


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  • 02/06/17--14:00: Swartbooi rejects party idea
  • Swartbooi rejects party ideaSwartbooi rejects party idea‘Land goes beyond political affiliation’ Bernadus Swartbooi has scoffed at suggestions that his Landless People’s Movement has the makings of a new political party. CATHERINE SASMAN

    Former deputy minister of land reform and Swapo backbencher Bernadus Swartbooi has dismissed suggestions that the Landless People’s Movement could morph into a new political party.

    He was responding to a suggestion made in jest by Festus Muundjua of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority (OTA) at a mass rally at Keetmanshoop on Saturday.

    Swartbooi said the aim of the Landless People’s Movement was to unify people beyond political affiliation and regionalism.

    “It is not a political party but I know how the narrow-minded myopic mind works. They will now go and say ‘you see, he was introducing the executive of a new political party’,” he said after having introduced a committee of the movement at the rally.

    He added: “Our problems are not to be addressed through political parties and if you disagree here you go and form another one. What we are saying is that while some of us are members of Swapo, others are members of other political parties. On the land issue what we want is a common purpose.”

    The firebrand politician made some derogatory remarks against what he described as greedy and unconscionable political leaders, commenting: “If you enter politics for self-enrichment, judgement will be upon you.”

    He said he would not give up on his position on the land question because he was “not interested in the job of a deputy minister or a black Mercedes” and would not apologise for comments he had made.

    “Politics by design, purpose and execution is the terrain where leaders fight on the basis of the mandate of their communities, for what these communities want and need. You do not apologise for what the communities need. You do not join politics to beg and bow,” he said.

    He also took aim at some politicians who are reportedly silently supporting the landless movement’s objectives, saying their silence could only mean that they wanted their bread buttered on both sides.


    Swartbooi suggested that a new approach to the land question be adopted because the current model did not address poverty alleviation.

    He reiterated that the current resettlement programme should “be shut down because it is a useless programme”.

    One of the reasons for this harsh assessment is because the resettlement programme’s target is 5 million hectares to be bought and distributed by 2020 while, he added, more than 50 million hectares were dispossessed through colonialism and apartheid.

    He also criticised the omission of land dispossession as a qualifying criterion for resettlement and commented that veteran status should not be one of these qualifications.

    Swartbooi went on to say that restorative justice for the dispossessed formed the basis of the demand for ancestral land rights.

    He said a second conference for the landless should precede the intended second national land conference, adding that if the latter did not deliver on the demands of the landless, the battle would be taken to the courts and the international community like the UN, AU and SADC.

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  • 02/06/17--14:00: Kobi says he was terrified
  • Kobi says he was terrifiedKobi says he was terrifiedAlexander pleads for lenience in US Kobi Alexander will be sentenced by an American court this month for backdating stock options in his former company, Comverse Technology. American-Israeli businessman Kobi Alexander has insisted that he fled to Namibia because he was terrified after learning that he was the second most-wanted man by the US after Osama bin Laden.

    This is contained in a letter in which Alexander is pleading for leniency before he will be sentenced later this month in the United States.

    Alexander, who fled the US and spent a decade in Namibia just as he was about to be charged for masterminding a multimillion-dollar stock option fraud, has begged the court for leniency.

    Alexander, 64, returned to New York from Namibia in August last year after fleeing in 2006.

    Alexander had faced 35 criminal counts in 2006. But upon his return to the US he pleaded guilty to a single offence of backdating stock options.

    He will be sentenced on 23 February and could face up to 10 years in prison.

    However Alexander, his lawyer and even some former colleagues are now appealing for leniency.

    According to Bloomberg, Alexander said in a 19-page letter to US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis that it was hard for him to fully explain why he went to Namibia and it was even more difficult to explain why he stayed away so long.

    “I could only tell you that after I got there, I was even more terrified when I learned that my name was next to Osama bin Laden as the second worst fugitive wanted by the United States,” Alexander wrote in his letter.

    He said although he was consumed by the case for over 10 years he did not have a good explanation for what he did.

    “I am not a rich, big shot who was greedy in business and then arrogantly ran away rather than face my punishment.”

    Alexander's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, also wrote a 20-page letter to the judge on Alexander's behalf, reports Bloomberg.

    “In almost 40 years of practice, I do not believe I have ever been involved in a case in which the defendant has been so publicly vilified when, in truth, he is one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met.”

    Brafman urged the judge to impose a term of between 18 and 24 months in prison and said his client had already paid the US Securities and Exchange Commission a US$6 million civil penalty.

    Alexander separately paid US$60 million to settle a civil suit.

    When Alexander appeared in court last year and entered a guilty plea Garaufis blasted Alexander for only showing up after federal prosecutors agreed to drop dozens of other charges against him.

    “After 10 years of waiting for him to show up, he did come back but not with empty hands,” the judge said. “He came back with a deal.”

    The judge denied him bail.

    Alexander, the former CEO of Comverse Technology, was indicted on 35 counts for allegedly engineering a 15-year scheme manipulating millions of dollars' worth of Comverse stock options before fleeing to Namibia.

    Alexander was arrested in Namibia in September 2006 and was out on bail the following month.


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    Shifeta wants a wildlife courtShifeta wants a wildlife court ELLANIE SMIT

    Foreigners who are found guilty of wildlife crimes should serve out their sentences, be deported and should not be allowed back in Namibia.

    This is the view of environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, who says the Nature Conservation Ordinance Act is outdated and far too lenient in its sentencing of poachers.

    According to Shifeta, the ministry is in the process of amending the Act and proposed fines for poaching will range from N$100 000 to N$25 million.

    Currently the maximum fine is N$200 000.

    Shifeta says poachers easily pay the fine and then simply commit the crime again.

    He referred to the case of former football medic Gerson Kandji, who is now implicated in at least three separate cases. Kandji was out on bail in previous cases of rhino poaching and murder when he was arrested on charges of poaching rhinos on a farm near Gobabis in December.

    Shifeta said foreigners convicted of wildlife crimes should be deported immediately after serving their sentence. They should not be allowed back into the country to commit more crimes.

    “The problem is that they just pay fines and continue their business. To them it is peanuts what they pay. For them it is business as usual - as if nothing happened.”

    Shifeta said the business of poaching was like drug addiction. “It is very difficult to rehabilitate someone. A person involved in these activities will continue even after they were arrested because the payment is so high.”

    He elaborated on the workings of poaching syndicates and said five known syndicates were currently operating in Namibia.

    “These have tentacles and that is where we need to break them, by giving heavy sentences and fines. We need to harm them so that they find it difficult to start again.”

    According to him the kingpins of these syndicates are from abroad and they recruit Namibian middlemen and footsoldiers to commit the poaching.

    “A person leading the syndicate does not get their hands dirty, because he is not here - he has got absolutely nothing to do with it. Therefore it is hard to get somebody who is the leader because they just instruct.”

    The minister said when a poacher gets caught it is very difficult to get information from them because they fear for their lives. They report to the middlemen and to the kingpins and would rather take the blame and spend time in jail before informing on these syndicates.

    “They conceal the identities of these people because they fear the handler. It is therefore that we have to target the middlemen and the chain of foreigners.”

    Shifeta also elaborated on accusations that government officials were implicated in these syndicates and said there was no evidence that people employed in the environment ministry or security forces were involved in poaching.

    “However, we have cases of former employees arrested,” he admitted.

    He said there were also cases of other civil servants arrested for illegal hunting.

    He said the ministry took wildlife crime very seriously and therefore all possible avenues would be exploited to bring those involved to book.

    Shifeta said the investigating officers and prosecutors must work together and remain in contact with each other. When that does not happen, it could lead to cases being withdrawn or suspects being acquitted.

    He said prosecutors and the police had hundreds of cases to investigate and the legal process was cumbersome.

    “It is a problem if they are loaded with cases.”

    According to Shifeta it would be better to have a separate court just for wildlife cases.

    He said prosecutors should be trained in the prosecution of wildlife crimes and magistrates should be made aware of the importance of such cases.

    Shifeta referred to a recent case in which four Chinese nationals were sentenced to 14 years in prison after being caught with 14 rhino horns in 2014. The prosecution in this case had proposed six-year sentences. Shifeta said luckily the presiding officer recognised the importance of the crimes and handed down stiffer sentences.

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  • 02/07/17--14:00: Tobias targets Ghanaians
  • Tobias targets GhanaiansTobias targets Ghanaians The MTC Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy has its sights set on challenging boxers from Ghana.

    Promoter Nestor Tobias feels that this will be one of the ways Namibian boxing can grow further given the quality and titles boxers from Ghana have.

    Tobias also feels having constant fights in Europe will bring success to the academy in 2017.

    In a press release issued yesterday Tobias said: “We will be changing our strategy slightly in 2017 to go for gold and target world-rated opponents.

    “A win against a world-rated opponent could ensure you a top-five rating, and that is exactly where we want to be.

    “We have world-rated boxers from Ghana in the Middleweight, Super Featherweight, Super Bantamweight and Bantamweight divisions.

    “The other option is of course looking at world-rated boxers in the UK, Russia or South Africa.

    “This will therefore be a defining year for our boxers in the world ratings.

    “We are confident about the future because they are super committed to making things happen for themselves.”

    Tobias further expressed joy that most of his boxers have maintained their world ratings despite fierce competition in the boxing world.

    The top promoter said boxers like Julius Indongo who is the current IBF and IBO Jnr Welterweight champion has impressed by maintaining his position as a champion.

    Indongo will defend his titles with the hope of adding another world title to his name when he clashes with the WBA world champion Ricky Burns on 15 April in Scotland.

    “Jafet Uutoni moved from three to one in the Jnr Flyweight division and is due to fight Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico on the 11 February in Puerto Rico for the WBO Jnr Flyweight world title eliminator.

    “A win against Acosta assures him a fight against current world champion Kosei Takana who will attend the fight to study Uutoni.”

    According to Tobias, Paulus “The Rock” Ambunda maintained his WBO rating while slightly improving in WBA to 10th and 13th in WBC.

    This makes the former world champion the only Namibian to be rated in three of the top four sanctioning bodies.

    “Former WBA world champion Paulus “Hitman” Moses maintains his position at ninth and is looking for another world title shot before the end of the year.

    “The hard-hitting and undefeated Walter Kautondokwa slightly improved his rating from ninth to eighth in a fiercely contested division.

    “He will be looking for a big fight that defines his status as Africa's best this year,” Tobias said.

    Immanuel “Prince” Naidjala remains at sixth with his Inter-Continental title and will be looking to make a name for him in 2017.

    His promoter has faith in him given that Naidjala has previously fought a world champion.

    The academy also has high hopes for Sakaria “Desert Storm” Lukas who is currently rated ninth in the world.

    Lukas remains an exciting fighter and has held continental titles in both IBF and WBA previously.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Jonas' legal team petitions judgeJonas' legal team petitions judgeNew charges against Namibian boxer Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas is yet to take a step forward in his rape case after minor changes were made to his charges. The legal team representing Namibian boxer Jonas Junias Jonas were due to petition the judge on Monday, following minor changes to the rape case, amongst others, that he grabbed the victim from behind and kissed her neck.

    A statement by the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) indicated that Jonas is still being charged with rape but with minor changes in accordance with testimony from the victim's hearing.

    “In front of the judge, the victim and her witness said Jonas grabbed her from behind and kissed her neck and that is what Jonas is being accused of right now,” read the statement that was issued by the NNOC president Abner Xoagub.

    Xoagub mentioned that the Jonas legal team has now petitioned the judge to answer the new charges. “The judge then should react on it, which can then give direction on the next steps we need to take.”

    By the time of going to print, NNOC had not heard anything from the team in Brazil about the petition and the way forward.

    Jonas is being accused of sexual harassment against a house cleaner employed at the Olympic village and it was reported last year that she also said he offered her money in exchange for sex.

    As per the Brazilian Legal Act of 1992 the terms and definitions of “Attempted Rape or Rape” and “Sexual Harassment” are categorised as one and the same crime and should one be found guilty, he or she could face between six and ten years in jail.


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    Teams bring it all out at 7-A-SideTeams bring it all out at 7-A-Side The annual Top Score 7-A-Side football tournament matches kicked off on Friday with spectators filling the Ramblers field to capacity.

    More than 70 business teams have entered for the tournament.

    Namib Mills spokesperson Ashante Mannetti said the first day of the tournament was exciting as the teams were all ready to showcase their talent.

    “We had an energy-filled kickoff as teams were dressed in their gear and brought their A-game to the field,” she said.

    She said winning their first match boosts a team's morale, which leads to some “awesome football”.

    “Teams usually become more competitive after the first matches because they go back to the drawing board to re-strategise, evaluate their competitors' strengths, weaknesses and identify opportunities to win each match,” she said.

    Mannetti said the organisers expect more spectators to attend this year's tournament.

    “Namibians love their soccer and with the league not happening at the moment, we foresee more soccer-hungry fans coming to the Top Score 7-A-Side soccer tournament,” she said.

    This weekend games will be played on Friday as well as Saturday.


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    Russia banned from World Champs – IAAFRussia banned from World Champs – IAAFAbout 31 apply to compete as neutral athletes Trouble continues to hunt the Russian sports fraternity as they have also received news of being banned from the World Championships later this year. Russia will miss August's World Athletics Championships in London after their doping ban was extended on Monday, world governing body president Sebastien Coe said.

    Coe said Russia, whose 15-month ban from athletics was prolonged at the IAAF's Council meeting in Cap d'Ail near Monaco, could not be reintegrated into the sport before November.

    Double Olympic 1 500-metre champion Coe was speaking after the IAAF Council approved the taskforce's recommendation that Russia was “not ready for reinstatement”.

    Russia has been barred from international competition since November 2015 following a damaging report alleging that state-sponsored doping was rife in the country.

    The ban had already been extended in March and then June 2016, preventing Russia's athletes from competing at the Rio Olympics.

    The taskforce, which was set up to oversees Russia's reintegration into international athletics, produced recommendations detailing a roadmap to reinstatement.

    But while “acknowledging several positive developments” at recent meetings in Moscow with RusAF, the Russian Athletics Federation, and new Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov, the Taskforce also “pointed to some negative developments” including “unhelpful public comments recently made by some Russian sporting officials”.

    It said that RusAF “continues to face practical and legal difficulties in enforcing provisional doping bans and there continues to be very limited testing of Russian track and field athletes at the national level as well as troubling incidents at what testing is taking place”.

    The roadmap to reinstatement specifies that “testing of Russian athletes must take place without further incidents or difficulties” and that RusAF takes “demonstrable objective and practical steps to cultivate the clean sport movement”.

    Coe meanwhile reiterated the IAAF's commitment to giving clean Russian athletes the possibility to compete as neutrals, providing they are not tainted by the Russian doping system.

    “Our priority is to return clean athletes to competition but we must all have confidence in the process,” said Coe at the IAAF's Council meeting in Cap d'Ail, France.

    “Clean Russian athletes have been badly let down by their national system. We must ensure they are protected and that those safeguards give confidence to the rest of the world that there is a level playing field of competition when Russians return.”

    So far in 2017, 35 Russian athletes have applied to compete as neutral athletes in international competition, the statement added.

    Last week, RusAF revealed the names of 31 of its athletes to have made applications, including both world and Olympic champions.

    Ivan Ukhov, Olympic high jump champion in 2012, 2015 world 110m hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov, 2015 world high jump champion Maria Kuchina, and 2014 world indoor triple jump champions Lukman Adams and Yekaterina Koneva, were all named on the list.

    More than 60 Russian athletes have been added to the IAAF's international testing pool which, although not guaranteeing those athletes reinstatement, Coe said it does mean the world governing body has a greater “guarantee they have undergone a long term recognised, independent and fully WADA Code-compliant drug-testing programme.”

    Upon the taskforce's recommendation, the Council also approved the participation of Russian under-15 athletes to compete in international competition, including at July's European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary.


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    Leicester fairy tale turns into nightmareLeicester fairy tale turns into nightmareNot so well for reigning champs Pressure is mounting on the defending champions Leicester City as they now have to fight harder to avoid relegation. The urgent tone in Kasper Schmeichel's voice said everything about the fate that has befallen Leicester City, fairy-tale Premier League champions become shock relegation candidates.

    “We're the reigning champions and quite frankly it's been terrible. It's been embarrassing,” the Danish goalkeeper told a television reporter after Leicester's 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

    “It's time for every single one of us, right from the top to the bottom of this club, to stand up and be counted because if we don't, we're going to end up getting relegated.”

    A year on from a stunning 3-1 win at Manchester City that sent them five points clear at the league summit, the loss to United left Claudio Ranieri's men a solitary point above the relegation zone.

    Just nine months after the dizzy climax to their 5 000-1 title triumph, Leicester face the prospect of becoming England's first defending champions to be relegated since Manchester City in 1938.

    Beaten only three times last season, they have lost 13 times already this term - losing their last four league games without scoring a goal - and are still to win a single game away from home.

    “Last season was a freak, so this is what you'd expect from Leicester - fighting relegation,” said former Liverpool defender turned Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.

    “They have got to do something before the end of the season because one of the great sporting stories of all-time could become a story for all the wrong reasons.”

    Leicester's woes are embodied by the dismal form of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, the rough-cut attacking stars whose goals and assists catapulted the Foxes to the title last May.

    Leicester's top scorer in 2015-16 with 24 goals, Vardy has found the net only five times since the start of the campaign.

    Mahrez won a glut of individual awards after scoring 17 goals and supplying 11 assists last term, but the Algeria winger has scored only three times and created just two goals since the start of the season.

    One-man midfield N'Golo Kante, Leicester's other stand-out player last season, was the only departure during the close season and the club have failed to plug the hole created by his move to current leaders Chelsea.

    “(Robert) Huth and (Wes) Morgan without Kante in front of them are like Huth and Morgan,” Leicester old boy Gary Lineker tweeted sardonically as United's forwards gave Leicester's centre-backs the run around on Sunday.

    Injury has hampered Nampalys Mendy since he signed from Nice and with Daniel Amartey an unconvincing stop-gap, Leicester splashed out £15 million (US$18.7 million) to sign Wilfred Ndidi last month.

    Leicester lost head of recruitment Steve Walsh to Everton after last season's triumph and their transfer activity since has been patchy.

    Islam Slimani, a club-record £30 million acquisition from Sporting Lisbon, has been a useful addition, his six goals to date including winners against Porto and West Ham United.

    But Ahmed Musa has not convinced, Mendy has barely played, Ron-Robert Zieler has looked a less than capable deputy for Schmeichel and Luis Hernandez lasted just half a season before being sold to Malaga.

    Ranieri's tactical tinkering has also come under the spotlight.

    Leicester stuck with a tried and tested 4-4-2 system throughout last season, but the Italian's attempts to broaden his players' horizons this term have produced some confused performances.

    Reports emerged last week that Ranieri is facing squad unrest over his tactics and selection decisions and he is now the British bookmakers' favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job.

    Leicester face a potentially defining run of fixtures, with Wednesday's FA Cup replay at home to east Midlands rivals Derby County followed by a trip to fellow strugglers Swansea City.

    They will then visit Sevilla for the club's first ever Champions League knockout game, a reminder of glories past that are rapidly retreating into memory.


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    Wallabies, All Blacks hail van der WesthuizenWallabies, All Blacks hail van der Westhuizen Australia and New Zealand Tuesday saluted “extraordinary” South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen, hailing his skill and leadership as an inspiration.

    The former scrum-half, a Springboks captain who won the 1995 World Cup, died on Monday aged 45 after a five-year battle with motor neuron disease which left him frail and in a wheelchair.

    “Rugby world lost another great person and player,” former Wallabies back David Campese tweeted. “Joost ... will be remembered for the great fight he had to fight. RIP my friend.”

    Fellow Wallaby Tim Horan added: “Loved playing against and with you Joost. The most competitive player I ever played against. You are an inspiration to all. #RIPJoost.”

    Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said in a statement he died too early.

    “Joost was a truly extraordinary rugby player and having read about his efforts with the J9 Foundation he sounds like an equally extraordinary human being. At 45, his great life has ended too early,” he said.

    Former New Zealand scrum-half Justin Marshall said that at his peak, Van der Westhuizen was the best player in the world.

    “He just had an ability, on the flip of a coin, to change a game ... a player like that was someone you could never underestimate, was always dangerous,” he told New Zealand radio.

    “Players like that don't come along very often.”

    Marshall said his great on-field rivalry with van der Westhuizen developed into a close friendship off the pitch and he admired the tenacity with which he battled the disease. All Black great Dan Carter also paid tribute.

    “He was one of the few non All Black players I adored. Such sad news!” he tweeted, while New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said he inspired many around the world.

    “Joost had an incredible playing career and over the course of it, established strong friendships with a lot of New Zealand players,” Tew said in a statement.

    “We know they'll be taking this news hard. He was an inspiration to a lot of people in South Africa and around the world both for his skill and leadership on the field and the courage with which he faced this illness.”

    Van der Westhuizen, who was at the time of his retirement in 2003 the most capped Springbok, playing 89 Tests, was instrumental in South Africa's victory over New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final in Johannesburg which made him a national sporting hero.


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  • 02/07/17--14:00: Hinda appointed to FNB board
  • Hinda appointed to FNB boardHinda appointed to FNB board FNB Namibia Holdings Limited's board of directors recently welcomed Advocate Gerson Hinda as its new independent non-executive director. He also serves on the SABMiller Namibia board.

    Hinda was enthusiastic about his appointment, saying: “I look forward to serving on the boards of FNB Namibia Holdings and First National Bank of Namibia. The board plays a vital role acting as the focal point for and custodian of corporate governance. Although the board's paramount responsibility is the positive performance of the company in creating value, in doing so the board has a responsibility to appropriately consider the legitimate interests and expectations of all its stakeholders. I look forward to joining my fellow board members in exercising leadership, enterprise, integrity and judgement in ensuring the business of the company continues to thrive, while monitoring the relationship between the company and its stakeholders.”

    Hinda, born in Fransfontein in the Kunene Region, is a practicing advocate of the Society of Advocates in Namibia, whose extensive experience and skill make him an ideal appointment to the respective boards.


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    Pilchards supply to remain steadyPilchards supply to remain steadyReduced pilchard TAC Etosha Fishing is one of the companies with fishing rights for pilchards. The supply of pilchard in the local market will remain steady, even though catches reduced over the past two years.

    Confirming the sustainability to Nampa on Friday, MD of Etosha Fishing Corporation at Walvis Bay, Pieter Greeff said the fish biomass is not enough to allow a bigger quota.

    Etosha Fishing is one of the companies with fishing rights for pilchards.

    Greeff was responding to queries that there might be a shortage of pilchards in Walvis Bay due to the reduction of their fishing quota and closure of their fish shop last year.

    He said the business took a difficult turn since 2015 when they only caught 23 000 metric tonnes (MT) of the 25 000MT quota for that year.

    It got even worse last year when their quota was reduced from 25 000MT to 14 000MT, of which they only caught 3 400MT.

    Greeff said apart from fish going deeper into the ocean, bad weather conditions such as wind experienced particularly in deeper water also made it difficult to bring the fish to factory.

    He said because of the low supply, the fish shop was closed and 23 employees were retrenched last year.

    To keep 150 other people employed and sustain the business, the company resorted to importing extra frozen pilchard from Morocco for processing at their factory.

    On Monday, he clarified that the import is done by their South African brand, Lucky Star, because Namibia does not have any dealings with Morocco.

    “With the 14 000MT quota and the import from Morocco, we will be able to have enough pilchards for consumers.”

    An investigation by Nampa in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund found stock in all visited grocers.

    Greeff is not sure of their quota this year, saying that will be based on whether the pilchard biomass has increased or decreased.

    “We are doing everything to keep our head above water. If we close this factory it might not be rebuilt again, and imagine what that would mean to our economy.”

    United's General Manager Richard Ahrens last year said they decided to have their catch processed at Etosha to save the business and the jobs of 122 permanent employees. The companies complement each other by sharing vessels and workforce.

    He noted that Etosha is able to catch fish in areas United cannot reach, so they gave their vessels to Etosha to catch and process the fish for them. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Moses Maurihungirire on Monday confirmed the cutting of quotas due to small fish stocks. He said this is done to allow the fish to multiply.

    Maurihungirire stated that the quota for Etosha Fishing this year will remain 14 000MT.


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  • 02/07/17--14:00: Namibia and Turkey partner
  • Namibia and Turkey partnerNamibia and Turkey partnerTo Istanbul and beyond for travellers The new codeshare agreement is bound to broaden the commercial partnership between two airlines. Air Namibia (SW) and Turkish Airlines (TK) signed a codeshare agreement this week. The agreement that will be effective as from 1 March this year covers routes between Turkey and Namibia, and set to expand the travel opportunities for the passengers of two airlines.

    The signing ceremony took place at Turkish Airlines' headquarters in Istanbul. Namibia's deputy works minister James Sankwasa and Turkish Airlines deputy chairman and CEO, Bilal Eksi signed the deal on behalf of the two airlines.

    The new codeshare agreement is bound to broaden the commercial partnership between two companies and their respective countries. At the same time, passengers of both airlines will be given more travel options between Namibia and Turkey.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Air Namibia and Turkish Airlines are planning to place codes on unilateral flights of SW on the Windhoek – Johannesburg route, the Windhoek – Frankfurt routes as well as unilateral flights of TK on Istanbul – Johannesburg and Istanbul-Frankfurt flights.

    It has also been considered that, when SW introduces the Windhoek – Istanbul flights in future, this codeshare agreement will be expanded by placing the code to include beyond Istanbul flights.

    Sankwasa expressed his satisfaction with this commercial partnership with a well-established and rapidly growing carrier like Turkish Airlines, which enjoys a broad route network.

    He also expressed that he is happy for Air Namibia to conduct this codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines and also added that the deal is a crucial experience for the national airline.

    He further stated that he is confident about this cooperation which will be fruitful for both sides and will be enlarged very soon.

    “Air Namibia is a small airline and in order to improve its competitiveness in this high competitive industry, it is important to have a strategic partner, as Turkish Airlines who placed on the top to become a partner with.

    “We believe that this will be just one of the many areas of cooperation between Turkish Airlines and Air Namibia,” Sankwasa said.

    “We are pleased to sign this codeshare agreement with Air Namibia and aim to improve our partnership to maximize the travel opportunities offered our passengers through our flight networks. Air Namibia continues its expansion successfully, and we believe that this partnership between Turkish Airlines and Air Namibia will bring benefit to both carriers, not only from a commercial perspective, but also in cultural interactions between Turkey and Namibia while promoting business travel between two countries,” said Eksi, as commenting on the agreement.


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    Nuclear fuels moratorium liftedNuclear fuels moratorium lifted The Ministry of Mines and Energy recently lifted a moratorium on new application licenses in respect of nuclear fuel minerals.

    According to the mines ministry, nuclear fuels are defined as uranium, expressed as uranium oxide of more than 0.006%, and thorium, expressed as thorium oxide of more than 0.5%, of which the mass is more than half a kilogramme.

    In addition, the act defines nuclear fuels as any mineral specified in the nuclear minerals group as a controlled mineral spokesperson Ten Hasheela explained.

    The Ministry of Mines and Energy recently announced the withdrawal of reservation of any area in Namibia from any prospecting operations and mining operations in respect of nuclear fuel minerals in, on or under such area, in other words “the lifting and termination of the moratorium on new applications for explorations licenses in respect of nuclear fuel mineral.”

    During March 2016, the Minister of Mines and Energy made a submission to Cabinet requesting it to consider and approve the termination and removal of the moratorium on the application of new exploration licences for Nuclear Fuel Minerals.

    “The moratorium was necessitated by the overwhelming applications for exclusive prospecting licences for uranium from 2004 to 2006, due to a sudden rise in the commodity price, resulted from high demand in the world market. Many of those applications were highly speculative and could put in disrepute the mining sector, specifically the uranium industry,” Hasheela said.

    “After some consultations, the government then made a decision for a moratorium to be put in place, in the interest of national mineral development as well as to provide an opportunity for future exploration and exploitation of uranium resources,” she explained.

    Cabinet approved the request and after due process, notice no. 41, Gazette No. 3803 of 15 March 2007 has accordingly been withdrawn by Government Gazette No. 6197 of 15 December 2016, Notice number 299.

    There are currently five companies actively prospecting for uranium and include Australian miners Bannerman, Deep Yellow, Marenica and Forsys Metals as well as Chinese outfit Zhonge Resources.


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