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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Nhoni withdraws from Onandjaba probeNhoni withdraws from Onandjaba probe The chairperson of a committee investigating alleged illegal land allocation and occupation at Onandjaba settlement in the Okalongo Constituency has withdrawn.

    Vilho Nhoni, who is also chairperson of the Okalongo Based Development Community Body (OBDCB), confirmed his withdrawal on Monday.

    “I cannot be the complainant and at the same time a member of the committee that investigates what I complain about,” said Nhoni, referring Nampa to the secretary of the OBDCB, Jordaan Thomas.

    The committee was appointed by Omusati governor Erginus Endjala in December last year following a demonstration at Outapi by Okalongo community members who alleged illegal land allocation and occupation. Nhoni withdrew after receiving his appointment letter, dated 8 February 2017, from Endjala. It indicated that the committee's operations would start on 27 February and conclude on 31 March.

    They will report directly to the governor's office and Endjala expects the final report by 3 April.

    The committee is tasked with compiling a list of names and disputed plot numbers.

    Approached for comment on Monday, Thomas said a community meeting on Sunday rejected Nhoni's appointment and recommended his withdrawal.

    Thomas said the meeting also recommended that the OBDCB should approach the Omusati Regional Council and demand the appointment of an independent investigation committee.

    He said the Okalongo community was considering a march to State House in Windhoek to present their grievances to President Hage Geingob. Endjala told Nampa that he had not received a letter informing him of Nhoni's withdrawal. “They [OBDCB] have lost legitimacy and we will not listen to them anymore, because they refuse to honour the mandate we gave them to serve on the investigation committee,” said Endjala. The governor is adamant that his committee will carry out the investigation, with or without Nhoni.


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    Independence beer for embassy staffIndependence beer for embassy staff Namibia Breweries Limited this week handed over 320 cases of Windhoek Lager to international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

    Speaking at the handover, Nambrew managing director Wessie van der Westhuizen said, “Nambrew as a proudly Namibian establishment is happy to once again share in the celebrations of Namibia's independence. We regard Windhoek Lager a befitting ambassador as it not only carries the spirit of Namibia but also the name of our beautiful capital city.”

    Receiving the gift, Nandi-Ndaitwah said: “Windhoek Lager is a big brand for Namibia and it has made Namibia's independence celebrations popular at our missions abroad.

    Found in almost all corners of the globe and appreciated by every individual that consumes this proudly Namibian product, Windhoek Lager has become a very important trademark for us.”

    The cases were sent in anticipation of the independence celebrations.


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    Judgement date set for Angolans found with millionsJudgement date set for Angolans found with millions A sentencing date for three Angolan nationals found in possession of more than N$2 million at Otjiwarongo in September 2015, was on Tuesday set for 27 February this year.

    Feliuano Abilio, 33, Francisco Sossingo, 25, and Joaquim Antonio, 35, appeared before the Otjiwarongo Regional Magistrate, Marilize du Plessis for continuation of trial.

    Abilio, Sossingo and Antonio were accused by the State of contravening Sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 29 of 2004 (POCA), which deals with money laundering and the acquisition of proceeds under unlawful activities.

    The three were also accused of contravening Section 2(1) that deals with local and foreign money exchange control regulations.

    The State in addition charged the trio with having committed fraud for failure to present themselves to a Namibian immigration official at the Oshikango border post when they entered and exited Namibia.

    The three men are remanded in custody at the Otjiwarongo police holding cells.

    They were caught at the Otjiwarongo-Otavi police roadblock carrying an amount of N$1.74 million on 22 September 2015.

    The next day, the Otjozondjupa police recovered another N$280 000 stashed in their socks and pants bringing the total amount to N$2.02 million.


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    Banker relives bomb blast horrorBanker relives bomb blast horrorHow ex-teller turned instant mom Emilia Sheetekela has relived the horrifying explosion that rocked the Oshakati Barclays Bank 29 years ago. For many Namibians, especially those from the northern parts of the country, February 1988 conjures different memories.

    For the 25-year-old Emilia Sheetekela, it was the day she became an instant mother of two.

    Sheetekela, who is today 54, is one of the survivors of the Oshakati Barclays Bank bomb blast that happened 29 years ago on a busy day in the bank.

    She recently sat down with Nampa to narrate what transpired on that fateful day.

    “We were very hard at work because the bank was full at the time. While at it, I was expecting my sister to come and pick up the keys from me, as she had to go and wait for me at my house,” Sheetekela related.

    What followed a few minutes later changed her life completely.

    She says she heard what sounded like a container of a gas being opened and released, and not a bomb going off, adding that the bank smelt of steel.

    “When we heard the sound, some of my colleagues and I decided to run to the safe room, but just as we were approaching the room, it collapsed right in front of us.”

    A “very terrified” Sheetekela and one of her colleagues, however, managed to escape with slight injuries through the back of the building, from where they were later transported to the hospital after things calmed down.

    The bomb blast was said to have been associated to the then South African Apartheid government, just a year before the implementation of the United Nations Resolution 435. About 27 people including bank staff, nurses and teachers died in the blast, while 70 were injured.

    It was while at the hospital that she received the news that her older sister, Beata, had passed away.

    “People did not want to mention that she was at the bank at the time of the incident. They tried to hide it from me. However, I knew she was there as I was expecting her.

    “I immediately thought of my nieces and nephew as I knew she was with them. I later found out the two older ones were in the car outside and unharmed.”

    But her three-month-old niece, Silia Amaambo, who was with her mother inside the bank, died the following day at the hospital.

    Regardless of the pain and anguish of losing her sister and niece, Sheetekela is grateful she is still alive.

    “Despite having lost a friend and mentor, I am grateful to have survived because I got to adopt her children as my own and [have] watched them grow into wonderful adults.”

    She believes she was spared for a great purpose, that is to look after her niece and nephew whom she has adopted. She is adamant to live up to the pledge she made many years ago and strongly believes she still has the ability to do so.

    “I am now a grandmother and I could not be any happier,” she giggled as she hurriedly walked away to show her 96-year-old mother pictures of the vice-president and herself at the day's 29th observance on Sunday.

    Sheetekela, who is from Ongenga in the Ohangwena Region, has made peace with the event and is now a proud parent of five children, including two of her late sister's children, whom she said are both married now with children of their own.

    Sheetekela is the current sales manager at the Oshakati Standard Bank Branch.


    Isabel Bento

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    Stiff fines for false whistleblowing could weaken the lawStiff fines for false whistleblowing could weaken the law A Namibian policy think tank warns that the excessive penalties for false disclosures proposed in the Whistleblower Protection Bill could backfire and severely weaken the bill's intention to encourage whistleblowing.

    Instead of encouraging reports on corruption and other wrongdoing in the public and private sectors, the threat of a N$100 000 fine or a 20-year jail term would act as a disincentive, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) comments on the recently tabled bill.

    The IPPR welcomes the tabling of the bill, stating that it indicated Namibia's commitment to the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    Nevertheless, while praising several aspects of the bill, the IPPR cautions that the risk of incurring stiff penalties could deter potential whistleblowers.

    The IPPR argues that the punishment for false reporting should not be the same as the punishment for preventing disclosure of improper conduct.

    “If lawmakers feel it has to be left in the bill then the maximum punishment should be vastly reduced,” it advises.

    The IPPR believes that the penalties for false reporting are “unnecessary and could undermine the whole purpose of the bill, which is to encourage whistleblowers to come forward rather than to frighten off genuine whistleblowers who may already be nervous about the process.”

    The IPPR emphasises that whistleblowers already face nerve-wracking hurdles before coming forward, as their information could “involve going against friends and colleagues and making powerful enemies”.

    Another major concern is the independence of the oversight bodies.

    The IPPR warns that if the agencies associated with the whistleblower protection law are perceived to be primarily arms of government lacking in-built guarantees of independence, they will not gain credibility with the public.

    One recommendation is to ensure that those appointed to the Whistleblower Protection Office are sufficiently independent from government.

    As it stands, the process by which the commissioner and the deputy commissioners will be appointed by the president and with the approval of the National Assembly does not adequately ensure the independence of the office, it says.

    This lack of sufficient independence is underlined by the fact that the commissioner is allowed to appoint investigating officers, but in the case of special administrators it has to be done with the approval of the minister of justice, the IPPR states.

    The IPPR recommends that a transparent process involving public interviews by an independent panel is necessary when appointing the commissioner.

    The IPPR further recommends that the independence of the office should be emphasised in the law, which could mean an additional clause stating that no interference in the work of the office would be tolerated.

    The bill currently favours state officials, specifically within the proposed Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.

    “The committee is heavily weighted in favour of state officials. Instead, the committee should be a more balanced body including representatives of various professional bodies,” the IPPR recommends. Representatives could be selected from the churches, civil society, and individuals such as retired judges and journalists.

    Another concern is that the bill stipulates that disclosures of improper conduct may only be protected if disclosures are made in good faith.

    The IPPR argues that as long as information exposes wrongdoing and the whistleblower believes the disclosures to be true, their motivations should not be relevant.

    The IPPR recommends that the clause be removed from the bill and emphasises that it is difficult for “any designated agency to second-guess the motives of a person making a disclosure”.

    One of the positive aspects of the bill is the comprehensive list of detrimental actions that a whistleblower should be protected from, including dismissal, redundancy, demotion, transfer or disciplinary action, discriminatory treatment and a change in working conditions.

    Also, the submission notes that the definition of improper conduct is wide-ranging and the bill offers numerous options for making disclosures.

    The bill furthermore is applicable to government officials as well as the private sector.

    The IPPR emphasises the importance of public education, saying that the Whistleblower Protection Office has the responsibility to educate the public about the provisions of the law and the necessity of exposing improper conduct.


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  • 02/22/17--14:00: Muheua back at work
  • Muheua back at workMuheua back at work The deputy minister of labour, Alpheus Muheua, has returned to work after a long illness.

    Last year, a motion to grant him leave of absence was tabled in the National Assembly after the deputy minister had suffered a stroke that impaired his speech.

    Muheua was treated at the Windhoek MediClinic private hospital during 2015 and 2016.

    His long illness raised questions as to whether the president would replace the former unionist.

    Attempts to get comment from the presidency and the ministry of labour were futile.

    Muheua was the president of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) before becoming a deputy minister.

    Namibian Sun understands that Muheua will not receive any calls or attend meetings until the end of this month. Therefore, he could not be reached for comment yesterday.

    Labour minister Erkki Nghimtina could not be reached for comment either.


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    Amta records N$63 million lossAmta records N$63 million lossIncreased operational costs blamed The Agro Marketing and Trading Agency had to increase its employees in order to collect levies on behalf of the agriculture ministry, which increased its costs. The Agro Marketing and Trading Agency (Amta) recorded a net deficit of close to N$63 million in the year 2015/16.

    This was announced by board chairperson Abraham Nehemia at the third Amta AGM held at Ongwediva yesterday.

    The loss of N$62 741 632 was N$59 563 708 more than the previous year's loss of N$3 177 924.

    According to Nehemia the deficit is attributed to the insufficient funding of the Amta budget, increases in operational costs, inflation-based salary adjustments, the appointment of border staff, staff promotions and transfers of staff from the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB).

    With a budget of close to N$200 million, the government subsidises Amta with N$20 million.

    The deficit excludes the N$61 983 490 Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) levy paid to Amta, which could not be recorded as an income but under liabilities as the money was only received after the financial period.

    Amta was appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to act as an agent that collects levies on behalf of the agriculture ministry and in that process Amta had to increase its employees, which increased its costs too.

    Amta's staff increased from 126 to 168 employees in the year under review, which saw the employment cost rise from N$33 700 168 to N$63 336 169.

    Regarding Amta's performance in terms of carrying out its mandate - which is to coordinate and manage the marketing and trading of agricultural produce in Namibia - Nehemia said they experienced a number of challenges which affected their performance in the market.

    “The challenges we experienced are the insufficient grain supply for the National Strategic Food Reserve, which was due to the drought situation and limited irrigated land; inadequate throughput from agents; a limited number of marketing agents; seasonal over-supply of certain fresh produce; lack of long-term storage facilities for fresh produce; a shortfall in market-led production as well as poor quality of some [produce] delivered to the market,” Nehemia explained.

    Because of poor rainfall last year, there was a 23% lower grain quantity of 10 551 metric tons marketed to the reserve when compared to the 12 934 tons marketed the previous year.

    The fresh-produce hubs at Ongwediva and Rundu marketed 2 926 tons of produce valued at N$23 million.

    The deputy minister of agriculture, water and forestry, Anna Shiweda, said apart from looking at the positive strides made by Amta in terms of carrying out its mandate the challenges should also be identified and transformed into achievements.

    “Apart from only looking at the progress made, we shall and must also critically identify and at the same time reflect on the challenges that are impeding the achievements of desired results,” she said.

    Also in attendance were most of Namibia's regional governors, who expressed mixed sentiments about Amta when it comes to helping farmers export their products.

    The governors expressed concern about the disappointment farmers in the regions experience when their produce rots at the hubs.

    Kunene Region governor Angelika Muharukua urged the ministry to look at ways of establishing Green Schemes in her region, saying that there is plenty of water from the Kunene River.

    Omusati Region governor Erginus Endjala said those at the regional level were not considered when decisions were made in Windhoek.

    “You don't consult those at the regional level and only come implement the decisions you have taken there and when they fail, it now comes back to the regions which is not right, include the regional stakeholders,” Endjala said.

    //Karas Region governor Lucia Basson and Hardap governor Esme Isaacks sought clarity on who is mandated to control southern farms that export grapes and dates.


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  • 02/22/17--14:00: Chaos at Katutura school
  • Chaos at Katutura schoolChaos at Katutura school JEMIMA BEUKES

    The fate of AI Steenkamp Primary School in Katutura will be known tomorrow following an investigation into allegations of malpractice at the school, including teachers’ demands for the dismissal of principal Rudolphine Kamahene.

    Teachers who boycotted classes last week have in the meantime been instructed to return to work.

    Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on Friday confirmed the “chaotic” and “disappointing” state of affairs when she paid an unannounced visit to the school.

    She said when she arrived learners were playing in classrooms while teachers were “loafing in other classrooms”.

    That prompted a meeting between the teachers and regional educational director Gerard Vries on Friday afternoon.

    “Yes, we had a meeting with them but we are still looking at some information before we know what steps will be taken,” said Vries.

    Meanwhile, school board chairperson Helster Gawanab told Namibian Sun that the teachers were “suffering” under Kamahene.

    “The teacher only does what she think is right, not what the rules are saying. She appointed six or seven unqualified relatives in various positions, even as heads of departments. She has appointed an auditing company on her own. She does not follow any procedure when it comes to money,” Gawanab claimed.

    He also alleged that Kamahene badmouthed teachers to the cleaners, which led to learners and cleaners having no respect for the teachers.

    “She has formed a clique with the cleaners and discusses teachers, and the teachers that are in favour with her simply do as they please, deciding when to teach. The ministry was informed about this… we have told them on numerous occasions,” he said.

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    Angolan traders flood border townAngolan traders flood border townProduce sells like hotcakes in Namibia Angolan grocers cross the border daily to sell their produce in Oshikango, causing logistical problems for the town council. ILENI NANDJATO

    Increasing numbers of Angolan traders selling mahangu and other agricultural produce at Oshikango have forced the Helao Nafidi town council to allocate space for their informal businesses.

    The drought in Namibia increased the demand for their products in the country, enticing the traders to relocate their business operations from Santa Clara in Angola to Oshikango.

    They said in the past, Namibians used to cross the border to buy their products in Angola and payments were made in US dollars, but since the economic downturn in 2015 when the crude oil price slumped, they were forced to cross into Namibia to earn a living.

    The Helao Nafidi town council confirmed that when the economy declined in Angola and American dollars became scarce, traders began to flock to Oshikango and started selling their produce illegally on the streets. The council later moved the traders to a temporary spot behind the Okatwitwi location.

    Traders who spoke to Namibian Sun say survival in Angola became very difficult for them because of the economic challenges related to the foreign currency shortages. Since Namibia has been always their target market, they decided to bring their products to their customers. They say they have to go through Customs and they pay import levies on for all the goods they bring in.

    “We are affected by the economic situation. The US dollar had more value than the Namibian dollar and we could survive well. For now, that trading is done in kwanza and the value of the Namibian dollar is higher than the kwanza. We have to come do business here so that we are be able to survive the crisis,” says Anita Cambida.

    “For a 150kg bag of mahangu they are charging us N$35. It is still better because as business people we have to do cost recovery. The exchange rate is pathetic. In Angola, foreign currency exchange is done in the streets and those people will not use the correct exchange rate. They just do as they wish,” she says.

    Another trader, Felish Vascos, says the traders cross into Namibia in the morning to conduct their business and return to Angola in the afternoon.

    “Due to the drought, we are getting lot of customers, especially for mahangu grains and flour, whole maize and mealie meal, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. These are the produce we cultivate in our fields but since they are about to run out as the harvests are completed, we will start buying from our neighbours because Namibians are buying our products a lot,” Vascos says.

    However, the mayor of Helao Nafidi, Eliaser Nghipangelwa, says the Angolan traders are a problem at Oshikango.

    “They are coming in legally and that is why we had to allocate them a place to conduct their business. We cannot allow them to trade on the streets. As soon as our open market is completed and we have allocated all Namibian traders, then we will consider them - if there is space,” Nghipangelwa says.

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    ICC withdrawal threats of no effectICC withdrawal threats of no effect Cabinet's affirmation of Namibia's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no effect until such time that the National Assembly endorses such a position.

    This is the opinion of human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe, who commented on a ruling by the South African High Court in Pretoria that the SA government's decision to withdraw from the ICC was unconstitutional.

    Judge Phineas Mojapelo ordered the ministers of justice and international relations to revoke the notice of withdrawal sent to the United Nations in October last year. Mojapelo argued that it was not the executive's prerogative to enter into and withdraw from treaties the country had signed.

    He said the execution of decisions by the executive must be on the basis of the expressed authority of the country's constitution and if the authority was not expressed in the constitution then the matter must be decided on by parliament.

    The same is true for Namibia. Parliament still has to debate Namibia's withdrawal, but President Hage Geingob said in an interview with Reuters in London last year that he was sure the withdrawal would go ahead. In the latest pronouncement on the matter, the deputy prime minister and minister of international relations and cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said Namibia had “nothing to lose” should it leave the ICC. She said such withdrawal would be an indication of the trust the Namibian people had in local institutions.


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    AR threatens legal steps over rent boardAR threatens legal steps over rent board Affirmative Repositioning (AR) youth activists have threatened to take legal action against the government unless it reverses a decision to put on hold the appointment of a rent control board until the tabling of a new bill.

    In a letter sent to the minister of industrialisation, trade and development this week, the AR described last week's announcement by the government as illegal and unconstitutional. The letter, which was copied to the ombudsman, the National Council and the Legal Assistance Centre, stated: “It is indeed shocking and disheartening that notwithstanding the existence of the ordinance, the government (the executive branch), has sadly and unlawfully decided that it will not implement the ordinance …”

    The AR set a deadline of 4 March for the government to reverse its decision, else “we will approach the High Court for an order in terms of which government is compelled to fulfil its duty”.

    The letter said the decision “created practical prejudice to the thousands of young people who continue to suffer economically and incur hardships in their livelihoods due to the relentless and capitalist rent lords who dictate exorbitant amounts of rent and rental conditions [sic].”

    Information and communication technology minister Tjekero Tweya last week motivated the sudden turn-around on appointing a rent control board by saying that the 1977 law had become obsolete and would “render the work of the rent board of no force or effect”.

    He announced that a new rent bill was on the cards which would replace the current legislation. Until that time, it would be impractical to implement a rent control board.

    In response, the AR argued that this decision was unconstitutional and illegal and should be promptly reversed.

    The AR argues that the constitutional task of government is to “execute and implement laws” while parliament is tasked with the creation and enactment of laws.

    “Government can therefore not stay or park a law which creates obligations on the basis that same will be repealed and a new bill will be enacted …” the letter states.

    It says the government cannot refuse to implement an existing law that has not been declared unlawful by the courts. Declaring an existing law unconstitutional or impossible to implement “amounts to an unlawful usurpation of the functions of the judiciary”, AR argues.

    Moreover, the letter states that the government cannot choose which laws or ordinances to enforce because that would be contrary to the provisions of the constitution and the principle of separation of powers.

    AR referred back to a letter dated August 2016, in which the government had requested AR to nominate people to be appointed to the rent board.

    That letter contained advice from the attorney-general in which he pointed out that the rent board should be operational while the ministry drafted a comprehensive policy on rent.


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  • 02/22/17--14:00: Sun sets on winter time
  • Sun sets on winter timeSun sets on winter timeBill seeks to repeal Namibian Time Act The authorities want the new bill to be endorsed by parliament before the first Sunday of April this year. An overwhelming majority of Namibians have elected to do away with the practice of having winter and summer time.

    This will effectively result in the repeal of the Namibian Time Act of 1994, which stated that the country shall during the summer period be two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time and one hour in advance of GMT during winter.

    Home affairs minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana yesterday in the National Assembly motivated the Namibian Time Bill, which will in all probability see the country having only one seasonal time.

    According to the minister, Cabinet has resolved to have a standard time through all seasons of the year, adding that it was imperative that this proposed law took effect before the first Sunday of April 2017.

    The home affairs ministry conducted public consultations for three months on the Namibian Time Act of 1994.

    “I think it is important to highlight some of the views received. The considerations range from safety and security, especially for school-going children and workers who commence work early, energy saving, business activities, leisure opportunity and entertainment as well as the situation in Zambezi,” the minister said yesterday.

    “No major stakeholder institutions were left out as the general public was also invited through the print media to make their views known.”

    The minister announced that during consultations, 3 096 people wanted the government to stick to summer time as the standard time, while a meagre 304 wanted both summer and winter time.

    If passed by parliament, the new law would bring about one standard time which is two hours in advance of the Greenwich Mean Time for the entire country, including the Zambezi Region that gets completely cut off when the country switches to winter time.

    One of the main concerns highlighted is the safety of schoolchildren, especially those in rural and informal settlements who walk to and from school in the dark during the winter period.

    “In light of the foregoing, a proposal was advanced that schools could start an hour later than the time they start now. On the other hand, others argued that both times should be maintained provided that winter time will be applicable for three months only (June, July and August) and that schools should have four terms instead of three terms and that May should be made a school holiday,” said Iivula-Ithana.

    She added that those against the time change expressed concern about the many people relying on public transport and others who walk to and from their workplaces in the dark, which is unsafe for women in particular.

    Business owners argued that Namibia loses four business hours daily because it operates outside “normal business hours” while its main trading partner South Africa has a different time.

    Many Namibians who make use of public transport to and from work have also said that during winter it gets dark very early, making them vulnerable to robbery and other crimes while walking home.

    Commuters also expressed concern about night driving during the winter months.

    Zambezi factor

    “The Zambezi Region does not change time. This makes it difficult to communicate and coordinate daily work with staff members in that region during time change,” the minister added.

    The original debate in the National Assembly was started by former DTA Member of Parliament Anna Frank in 1992.

    She was concerned about children having to walk to school in the dark during the winter months, making them vulnerable to robbery and assault.

    In 1993, the late Nangolo Ithete, who then served as deputy home affairs minister, said that in the past Namibia had been forced to use the same time zone as South Africa.


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  • 02/23/17--11:06: Kobi gets 30 months in US
  • Kobi gets 30 months in USKobi gets 30 months in US Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, the former CEO of Long Island software firm Comverse Technology who once fled to Namibia to avoid securities fraud charges, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison in federal court in Brooklyn.

    Alexander, 63, an Israeli who founded digital voicemail pioneer Comverse, fled to Namibia in 2006 to evade prosecution for backdating stock options and trying to bribe an underling to take the fall.

    He returned to the United States last year and pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud pursuant to a plea deal.

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  • 02/23/17--11:09: Kobi gets 30 months in US
  • Kobi gets 30 months in USKobi gets 30 months in US Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, the former CEO of Long Island software firm Comverse Technology who once fled to Namibia to avoid securities fraud charges, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison in federal court in Brooklyn.

    Alexander, 63, an Israeli who founded digital voicemail pioneer Comverse, fled to Namibia in 2006 to evade prosecution for backdating stock options and trying to bribe an underling to take the fall.

    He returned to the United States last year and pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud pursuant to a plea deal.

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  • 02/23/17--11:16: Kobi gets 30 months in US
  • Kobi gets 30 months in USKobi gets 30 months in US Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, the former CEO of Long Island software firm Comverse Technology who once fled to Namibia to avoid securities fraud charges, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison in federal court in Brooklyn.

    Alexander, 63, an Israeli who founded digital voicemail pioneer Comverse, fled to Namibia in 2006 to evade prosecution for backdating stock options and trying to bribe an underling to take the fall.

    He returned to the United States last year and pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud pursuant to a plea deal.

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    Shalulile calls for unity within HighlandsShalulile calls for unity within Highlands Highlands Park winger Peter Shalulile is urging the team to remain united as they look to stave off the threat of immediate readmission to the National First Division.

    The Lions of the North lost to in-form side Kaizer Chiefs this past weekend in Durban to make it five games without a win for Gordon Igesund's side.

    Since the former Bafana Bafana coach was appointed at the club late last year he has failed to change their fortunes as he has won only once in 13 matches.

    The 23-year-old Shalulile was a star for the club last season under Allan Freese in the NFD and scored twice in the penultimate playoff game against Mbombela United that ensured the team would be playing in the PSL for the first time.

    Having missed a large chunk of the first half of the season, Shalulile says the situation, on his return to the fold, has turned out to be a nightmare for the club but urges the team not to press panic buttons yet.

    “Now it is very tough and you can see what happened [against Chiefs]. I was out for six months with an injury and when I come back we are in the deep end and they're looking towards me to work hard to [help them] out of the relegation zone,” Shalulile tells KickOff.com.

    “So it's tough. We just have to be together and work as the club and then move on. The belief is still there [that] we're going to come out of the relegation zone very soon.”

    A clash with Supersport United at the Makhulong stadium on Saturday is next in store and although Stuart Baxter's side has not lost in the last six games, the Namibian winger has prioritised goals against Matsatsantsa.

    “It's all about team work and big guys are killings us. And the coach is telling us not to give up, all those things,” he says.

    “We need to score goals and that is what we're lacking most.”

    Igesund's side, who are second from bottom of the log, have collected just 14 points so far from 18 league matches.

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Ndaendapo goes international
  • Ndaendapo goes internationalNdaendapo goes internationalMoses ready to help African boxers Russia has become the next stop for Namibian professional boxers, with Abraham 'Energy' Ndaendapo being the latest one to travel there. Abraham 'Energy' Ndaendapo is Namibia's next professional boxer to vie for a title in Russia, as he is set to travel to Moscow next Wednesday for an international title fight.

    Ndaendapo, who is a free agent, is set to fight Russian Andreev Roman for the WBO lightweight intercontinental title next weekend.

    His opponent, who is the current tittle holder, is ranked tenth in the WBO lightweight division.

    It will be Ndaendapo's first professional fight outside Namibia and a win will give him a chance to fight for a world title.

    Boxing trainer and international matchmaker Immanuel Moses says Ndaendapo is one of many boxers who have been asking him to help them get local and international fights.

    Moses is an international matchmaker recognised by WBO and helps fighters in Africa when the opportunity comes their way.

    “I have connected so many people in Africa to get fights overseas and I believe it's a good thing to the sport of boxing. To me professional boxing is business. I don't take it for granted so I make sure the fighters get what they deserve, and I make sure their trainers watch and study the footage of the opponent before they agree to take the fight,” he says.

    He explains that his duty is solely to make the deal and present it to the boxer and his team to make sure they know what they are signing for.

    He says he only works with legitimate boxing organisations such as WBO, WBA, IBF or WBC.

    Moses will accompany Ndaendapo to Moscow along with his trainer, Albertus Tsamaseb.

    “My work in Moscow is to do the paperwork and make sure all is place for Team Abraham.

    “I will help all the boxers in Africa and for those who are contracted to promoters I will follow the procedure, which is to go through their management. At this time Abraham is a free agent. He confirmed that to me.” Moses says there are many fighting opportunities out there. “All we need to do is work together in the spirit of sportsmanship.”


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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Jarmann promises knockout
  • Jarmann promises knockoutJarmann promises knockoutBoxers itching for battle The Kinda Promotions event will see 16 fighters entertain boxing fans in Windhoek next month. WBA Pan-African junior middleweight champion Anthony Jarmann says he is confident that his next fight will not go further than the sixth round.

    The boxer will step in the ring against South Africa's George Mdluli at the Windhoek Country club on 4 March.

    “I am well prepared for this fight because I have been training hard since last year.

    “I can assure you that the title will remain in Namibia given the show I am willing to put up on that day.

    “I am ready to give him a knockout before the seventh round, but I also want to entertain my fans in the first rounds of the fight,” Jarmann said.

    Jarmann has a record of 15 professional fights of which he drew one and lost one.

    His South African opponent has a much weaker record of three losses, eight wins and one draw in 12 fights.

    The main supporting bout of the night will be a featherweight fight between Michael Kambunga and Manfeus Haimbanga.

    Another entertaining fight is expected between Onesmo Nekundi and Hifindobe Niilo for the national featherweight title.

    The fans will also get a chance to watch a female exhibition fight between Marney Tjauha and an opponent still to be confirmed.

    Promoter Kinda Nangolo hopes that his fighter will retain his title.

    “I have no doubt that the boxer has prepared well, but I also believe that the South African will come prepared.

    “I would like to thank the minister of sport, Trip Travel and King Larger for making this event possible,” Nangolo said.

    General tickets cost N$200, while ringside tickets go for N$300 and a table for 10 costs N$12 500.


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    Ahmad daring to challenge HayatouAhmad daring to challenge HayatouCAF presidency campaigns gain momentum Most countries are said to be supporting Malagasy Ahmad, who is the only candidate challenging the long-serving Issa Hayatou. Madagascar's football boss Ahmad, who is challenging the long-serving Issa Hayatou for the CAF presidency in March, wants less political interference in the African game.

    First elected in 1988, Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, is seeking an eighth consecutive term as head of the body that governs African football.

    “If people want change there is no other choice. Only I can dare (to challenge Hayatou),” Ahmad told AFP during an interview at the Madagascar Football Federation offices in Antananarivo. Ahmad, whose single name means “the glorious” in Arabic, wants to break with Hayatou's long reign, which critics consider “authoritarian”.

    “My programme is the reform of the administration of CAF to avoid the involvement of politics in the organisation,” said the father of two who was born 57 years ago in a north-western Malagasy village.

    He is confident of support from 13 of the 14 countries of COSAFA, the southern Africa umbrella football body which includes Madagascar. Doubts persist as to whether South Africa will back the outsider, as their football president Danny Jordaan is close to Hayatou.

    The Cameroonian has been challenged for the presidency only twice, with both rivals coming from southern Africa, and he inflicted humiliating defeats on Armando Machado of Angola and Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana.

    Most observers believe Ahmad poses a greater threat to Hayatou (a former international middle-distance athlete) but he remains the outsider.

    He did receive a significant boost this week, though, with West African football powerhouse Nigeria publicly backing him.

    Elected in 2003 as head of Malagasy football, the former player and coach guarantees “transparency in the management” of CAF and an end to “obsolete practices”.

    Hayatou was criticised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2011 for involvement in a corruption case connected to ISL, the former marketing arm of world football body FIFA.

    Ahmad was named by English newspaper the Sunday Times regarding allegations of corruption surrounding the award of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

    The newspaper reported that he received between $30 000 and $100 000 in exchange for influencing CAF delegates to back Qatar, but provided no proof.

    “I simply asked for financial aid to organise the elections of the Malagasy federation,” explained Ahmad. “It was not in exchange for support.”

    In January, Ahmad suffered a slap in the face when CAF stripped Madagascar of the right to host the Africa U17 Cup of Nations scheduled for April.

    While CAF said the huge Indian Ocean Island had fallen behind schedule in preparing for the eight-nation tournament, Ahmed believes it was a “political manoeuvre”.

    “We lost the organising rights just after I declared myself a candidate for the presidency,” he noted.

    In addition to transparency and change, the Malagasy wishes to draw on his local experience to govern CAF.

    “We must seek to diversify the disciplines, as we did in Madagascar with beach soccer, winning the continental title (in 2015),” he says. Under a change introduced last year, CAF presidents are restricted to three four-year terms, starting from March.


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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Malaria resistance grows
  • Malaria resistance growsMalaria resistance growsEfficient housing a good way to beat disease As drug resistance grows in the malaria parasite, the medical fraternity is challenged to find new, innovative cures while adequate housing is a good solution. For the first time in Africa, researchers announced that they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year.

    The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease.

    Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438 000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa.

    “The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment,” said lead author Arnab Pain, professor at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

    “Therefore, it is very important to regularly monitor artemisinin resistance worldwide.”

    The drug-resistant malaria parasites were detected in a Chinese patient who had travelled from Equatorial Guinea to China, said the report led by Jun Cao from the Jiangsu Institute for Parasitic Diseases in China.

    The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Combination therapy with artemisinin usually clears malaria from the blood in three days.

    In southeast Asia, strains of the malaria-causing agent, Plasmodium falciparum, have grown relatively tolerant to artemisinin, in what is known as “partial resistance.”

    Most patients can still be cured, but it takes longer. World Health Organisation experts are concerned that P. falciparum could eventually become completely resistant to artemisinin, just as it has to other antimalarial drugs, including quinine. Researchers said they found the parasite carried a new mutation in a gene called Kelch13 (K13), which is the main driver for artemisinin resistance in Asia. They then confirmed the origin of the resistance was Africa, by using “whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatics tools we had previously developed - like detectives trying to link the culprit parasite to the crime scene,” he said. Malaria becomes a risk at this time of the year with standing water after good rainfall which in turn breeds mosquitoes.

    The onset of malaria is very similar to a bad cold with profound headaches and body aches. Other symptoms to watch out for include shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe, high fever, profuse sweating, nausea and vomiting. Diarrhoea and anaemia can also occur.

    Good housing

    In the meanwhile, researchers have found a link between modern houses and a reduction in the odds of children contracting malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Oxford.

    Insecticide-treated bednets and house spraying have been effective in reducing the prevalence of malaria since the turn of the 21st century, but other approaches are needed to eliminate the mosquito-transmitted, parasitic disease. Modern houses, with metal roofs and finished walls, are thought to be a better protection against the parasite compared with the traditional thatched houses. In this study, a team led by University of Oxford researchers analysed data on malaria prevalence and housing using data collected in 29 surveys carried out in 21 African countries between 2008 and 2015. Information on malaria status was available for 139 318 children under the age of five living in 84 153 households.

    Across all surveys, modern housing was associated with a 9 to 14% reduction in the odds of malaria infection, according to the study.

    Well-built housing can block mosquitoes from entering homes and prevent them from transmitting malaria to the people who live there, explained Lucy Tusting from the University of Oxford, who is the lead author of the study.

    “This is a welcome finding at a time when we are facing increasing resistance to our most effective insecticides and drugs,” said Tusting.

    But the authors also cautioned that the effectiveness of improving housing varied depending on the location.

    The study has been published in the journal PLOS Medicine.


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