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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Invest in Nam conference pays offInvest in Nam conference pays offSA investors lead the pack Proposed projects in agriculture, energy, logistics, manufacturing, mixed property development, transport and tourism have caught the eye of South African companies. The 2016 Invest in Namibia conference has started to bear desirable results for Namibian businesses, as potential investors have shown interest in some of the products and services on offer during the conference.

    The conference took place from 8 to 9 November 2016.

    South African companies lead the pack of those who have followed up on businesses and projects displayed during the conference.

    This led to the Namibian High Commission in South Africa hosting a post-investment conference on Thursday for Namibian business project promoters to meet prospective investors in South Africa.

    A statement issued by the Namibian High Commission in South Africa said 13 Namibian business project promoters were expected to participate in a 30-minute business-to-business (B2B) meeting with South African counterparts to assist in the implementation of proposed investment projects.

    The 30 proposed projects to be interrogated further are in the areas of agriculture, energy, logistics, manufacturing, mixed property development, transport and tourism.

    “The success of this will be measured on its contribution towards the Harambee Prosperity Plan target of creating 1 000 jobs per annum,” said the statement.

    The participating companies include Diyundo Mukwe AgriTourism; Otavi Rebar Manufacturing; Kaptau Packaging; Otavi Truck Shop; Ongos Monto Christo City; Nampower; the Ministry of Works for a commuter rail for Windhoek; the Ministry of Finance for public-private partnerships as well as companies that specialise in charcoal production and processing; bitumen manufacturing and a foundry project.

    The one-day conference will take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

    On 6 October 2016, the mission successfully hosted the official launch of the Invest in Namibia conference in Johannesburg, where President Hage Geingob addressed over 4 000 business delegates.

    During this conference, private companies yielded the desired interest for them to participate in the conference held in November in Windhoek.

    “The High Commission considers the planned B2B event as an integral part of the post-conference agenda in securing foreign direct investment for Namibia,” said the statement.

    NAMPA

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    Film acting workshops from the expertsFilm acting workshops from the expertsRub more than shoulders with Dalton and Sello He has performed in the loved South African series Generations and also acted alongside Hollywood giants Samuel L. Jackson. Dalton Ashikoto and co-actor Sello Kancube also known as Archie Moroka will be conducting a two-day film acting induction. Ashikoto said he has been receiving calls from aspiring actors on how they can get their foot into the industry and he decided to host a film acting workshop in Windhoek and Swakopmund. The workshop in each town will accommodate 25 participants and both professionals and non-professionals are encouraged to apply. “All they need is passion, and the quest to learn. I will be sharing my acting journey, and we will be covering the fundamentals of acting, on these topics - acting for film techniques, monologue, voice and movement and business of acting just to mention a few,” said Ashikoto.

    The duo will also be holding auditions in search for talent mostly and people who are suitable to play a role in a short web series. “The web series is independent but we would like to give an opportunity to at least one participant per workshop to partake in the Johannesburg shoot. All expenses to Johannesburg will be fully paid for,” Ashikoto said.

    Registration fee is N$2 500 which will include training for two full days; Windhoek: 1 and 2 April 2017, 09:00 to 17:00 and Swakopmund: 29 and 30 April 2017, from 09:00 to 17:00.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: In the spirit of us
  • In the spirit of usIn the spirit of us It has been 23 years since the first Tulipamwe and the spirit of togetherness is stronger than ever. The 2017 edition of the Tulipamwe has brought together artists from 11 countries to create, learn and share with one another.

    The National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) is pleased to announce the exhibition Tulipamwe 2017, an exhibition of artworks by international and local artists which will be in the foyer and main gallery from 8 March until 15 April 2017.

    Tulipamwe means “we are together”, and this is the spirit that fills the gallery during the exhibition. The feeling of community and Ubuntu is what has kept the project running for all these years. The first Tulipamwe International Artists' Workshop was initiated by the Visual Arts Department at the University of Namibia in 1994, when ten international artists were invited to work alongside 15 local artists for a two-week period. Since then, at least 13 similar international (as well as a number of regional workshops) have been held in Namibia. The project has involved more than 300 international and Namibian artists.

    This year the workshop is based at the Etupe Cooperative in Northern Central Namibia. Etupe is nestled at the base of the Otavi Mountains, 25 km north of Otavi. The farm is home to 25 artists for two weeks as of 18 February 2017 to 4 March 2017. The geographical isolation of the venue is ideal for an artists' workshop, where artists find inspiration in the surrounding habitat with its contrasting colours, varied textures and wide open spaces, to create the works that make up this exhibition.

    Participants included renowned artists like Lukas Amakali, Sem Amuthitu, Alejandra Aviles, Isaac Chibua, and Vera Luisa Coelho Gonçalves.

    Staff reporter

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Selling yourself
  • Selling yourselfSelling yourself The second “Showbiz Workshop” took place recently in the heart of Windhoek at the Warehouse Theatre with the aim of assisting artists to adhere to business principals to become self sustainable.

    The workshop, made possible by Bank Windhoek, the Warehouse Theatre and Lize Ehlers of HEC Productions CC, touched on topics such as communication, artist etiquette and taboos in the events industry, and was hosted by event organiser Carin de Klerk of Sindana Events, Robert Mertens from Mammoth Events and Gordon Jay who represented Mindscape Events.

    Event organisers in Namibia hold a lot of influence over which artists can and should be hired for their well-paid events, based on past experiences and word-of-mouth. Jay touched on the importance of communication between artists and event organisers. “It should be noted that in each set of activities, in one way or the other, artists have a greater role or involvement owing to the success of each. Involvement includes MC work, entertainment in form of DJ or music performances, drama and theatre. For example, the road safety council uses drama and theatre to aid safe road use and the ministry of healthy uses music to spread message about HIV/Aids prevention. The relationship between artists and event organisers solely depends on proper communication channels and applications,” he said.

    The hosts shared obstacles they experienced in the past with performers. Performers and technicians can make life so much easier for them if they stick to the guidelines on what is required from them before, during and after an event. This will ensure that the relationship between them and the client run smoothly. De Klerk of Sindana events emphasised taking brands online and cautioned artists to update their information on a regular basis. “Use professional photos for your online accounts. Add a brief bio of who you are and links to your other pages,” she said.

    The workshop was meant for singers, dancers, models, actors, poets and MCs on their stages and it was poorly attended. Lizer Ehlers encouraged more artists to participate in the upcoming workshops.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: The iconic District Six
  • The iconic District SixThe iconic District SixMusical for the landless youth The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) under its Premier Project is staging 'District Six' a musical by one of South Africa's best known theatre personalities David Kramer and the late Taliep Petersen. 'District Six' is a perfect celebration of the people who lived in District Six and their music; it is vibrant and filled with song, dance, lots of laughter amazing costumes and at the same time provides the audience with evocative glimpses into a vanished world. With a star-studded Namibian cast, District Six promises to not only entertain you, but to also leave you feeling all kinds of emotions. This is a show for the whole family not to be missed.



    The history

    District Six in the 1960s was a place where all kinds of people lived. A place where different religions were practised, rich in its diversity and rich in its 19th century architecture. A place where music was important and culture and tradition were revered. That it was impoverished and dilapidated, that there was crime and overcrowding, cannot be denied. But what is important, is that it was a place where people had a sense of themselves as a community.

    In 1966 the District was declared a white group area by the apartheid government and people who were not white were forced to leave their homes. Shortly afterwards the bulldozing and destruction began and continued for 13 years until the area was razed. Only a few churches and mosques remain.



    The play

    The play marks the 50-year anniversary of forced removals from District Six. A moment in history that cannot be forgotten, the production honours the bustling creative suburb that was home to many Capetonians. David Kramer pays homage to the memories shared by legends like the late Taliep Petersen, Al Hendricks and Zayn Valentine and many others. This production sees plenty of local performers strut their stuff while revisiting the early 1960s. The musical stars Adriano Visagie as Cassiem, Patrick Sam as Nines, Severiano Willemse, Gift Uzera and Jeanne Januarie as Sexy Boys, Romulus Pieterse as Henry, Johne Louw as Hester, Bianca Heyns as Galiema, David Ndjavera as Damaka, Steven Afrikaner as Sophia, Jesaya Namalemo as Archie, Heather Dennis (Miss H) as Broertjie, Roya Diehl as Sandy, Mervin Claasen as Pang, Danielle Gilbert as Mary, Chantelle Uiras, Peo Baitsile and Michelle Namases as Delphonics, Anathi Hans as Barber, Terrence Husselmann as Policeman, Don Stevenson as Goldman and Charl Botha as Vosloo and plenty of other amazing actors who are more than ready to bring the heat to the stage.

    If you love supporting local musicians or seeing them in action prepare to be blown away. The musical will be on stage from 3 and 4 of March 2017 at 20:00 directed by veteran Namibian director, Tanya Terblanche. Tickets for the play are available at all Computicket outlets, including the NTN Box Office. Tickets are N$100 for adults, N$50 for senior citizens and students and children.

    Staff Reporter

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    Inspire, encourage and motivate through 'Nguvu'Inspire, encourage and motivate through 'Nguvu' Africanism Today in collaboration with African Naturals and various other contributions worldwide, have created e-book titled 'Nguvu' to motivate young African women all over the world.

    As part of celebrating African ancestry, 'Nguvu' (Swahili for strength) will contain 200 diverse original short stories written by African women for African women. These entries will be selected from different fields and different young women from all walks of life. Its title is a showcase of the strength black African women portray and as well as aiming to bring these same women together and give them an opportunity to tell their stories.

    Zodidi Gaseb, founder of African Naturals and the representative of the project in Namibia believes that the e-book will challenge mainstream media stories and steer direction to stories that are not followed up on and aims at celebrating and bringing African women together. “Everyone must have gone through something in life that either made them realise that they need to move forward or want to change something about themselves in order to grow,” she said. Gaseb says that this where 'Nguvu' comes in as it intends to show real-life stories of ordinary women who can motivate others and create a sense of togetherness and unity across the world.

    “With this e-book, we want to be as inclusive as possible and we therefore encourage all young women within the ages of 16 to 40 years to submit their entries,” Gaseb added. However, exceptions will be made for excellent entries not included in the age range.

    The guidelines for submission is a minimum of 300 words and maximum of 400 words narrating the challenges you as an African woman has faced and what you have done to overcome them. Accompanying your story, you should include a short bio of yourself that includes your name, age, nationality and occupation as well as a clear, good quality picture.

    In addition, once your story has been submitted, Africanism Today and various partners have the right to not only publish it for the e-book, but use it for different social media platforms as well.

    If you would like to share your story and celebrate life as a young woman in today's time, feel free to email your entry to lesheni.j@gmail.com.

    TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Enter, 2017's bumper album
  • Enter, 2017's bumper albumEnter, 2017's bumper albumExit, top graduate in the class of 2017 He's been out of the game for a while cooking up what is expected to be the album of the year. Exit talks about his latest project in anticipation of the launch in March. tjil met with local singer Exit at a restaurant for a sit-down interview and we were served by a waitress who couldn't contain her excitement of seeing the musician. When asked about waitress's enthusiasm he simply said “Without people like her I'm nothing, I give my fans the utmost respect.”

    Speaking of his fans, Exit recently came back from a tour in Canada and England and couldn't put into words how patriotic Namibians are when it comes to supporting local entertainers whether they are based in the country or overseas. “It was a fantastic experience knowing that there are actually people who have lived overseas for five years and are jamming to our music.

    “I didn't just decide to take a walk out there - it was the Namibians that have remained patriotic wherever they are and that is a blessing,” said Exit. He also said this year is busy for him as he plans on going back for a concert in New York City.

    The recently appointed ambassador of TB and gender-based violence has been on the down low for almost a full year and says he is just taking some time off while still showing face here and there. “I was travelling a lot. A musician of my calibre and creativity cannot take a break because people know my capabilities. I wasn't going to release an album with just singles like I am the key even though some of them were leaked and pirated,” he said. Exit who has been dropping and releasing albums over the past seven years says he took a break simply to analyse and reflect like other major acts do.

    He is dropping what he claims to be his biggest achievement yet in his music career and no one will be ready. “Cum laude is the biggest achievement in education and I feel like I have done a lot, I've moved pillars out there. I have set out my personal goals and even though I have not achieved all of them yet - this is my cum laude. This is for getting out of the streets and working hard, respect earned and personal growth,” he said.

    Exit said the break did him justice as he was in a better state of mind to deliver and put what he learned from overseas onto the album. “The name of the album 'Cum Laude' speaks for itself. It's going to be one of my best works because I have found myself mentally,” he said.

    Exit who describes himself as the crème dela crème of the industry says the Rockaz fans will love the album as it will be his first double album and not only that, it consists of 19 tracks on each CD.

    “People have been lazy with the double albums. They just want to release for the sake of having music out but I'm breaking the record with producing 38 tracks.

    “Since I took a break without releasing an album, it's time to show the royal Rockaz fans that we have graduated with Cum Laude for real,” said the artist. Exit says his music is diverse and everyone was considered in the making of the album. “I'm one of the very few artists that can cater for everybody with my music. It's about touching somebody's heart by tackling social issues.

    “I have a song titled Love, marriage and divorce inspired by Babyface and Toni Braxton and that sets me apart from the rest because this is where I touch the elders.

    “The question each artist should ask themselves is what it is that you are seeing outside and what you can do about it,” said Exit. He recently released a song Come over which is also on his album. Asked if he had favourite songs on the album he said no, as all his songs are made with the same affection and time. As someone who has been watching from the sidelines he says the music industry has grown and gave thanks to those who held it down. “There's still something that is missing and I have a feeling it is me to deliver it.”

    Exit said he is currently on a project with the National Statistics Agency where he will be visiting schools and giving motivational talks to students. “It's a gig close to my heart because these are the people that listen to me every day,” he said. Speaking on pressing issues and allegations that surround his name, Exit says people are entitled to their opinions. “I am only human, not a robot. Most of the actions that I take I take as a human being. I am definitely not going to kill someone - I advocate for the opposite. I come to my consciousness every day and when I make a mistake I admit it and if you can't forgive me, who then will forgive you because you are also human,” he said.

    'Cum Laude' will be available online and at local music outlets by end of March. Exit pleads with his fans not to buy copied or pirated albums.

    “Find it in your heart and soul, stand up and buy the album. It's just N$150,” he concluded.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Japanese scout forbusiness opportunitiesJapanese scout forbusiness opportunitiesNamibia impresses with safe logistics Namibia is the best gateway to inland markets for Japanese high-value cargo which requires safe and efficient logistics, a visiting trade delegation has been told. Members of a Japanese business mission consisting of representatives from eight major Japanese companies visiting Namibia appear to be enthusiastic about development projects and investment opportunities on offer in Walvis Bay.

    According to the delegates, the fact that Namibia has established itself as one of Africa's most economically and politically stable countries over the past 27 years makes the country a good candidate for foreign investment.

    The mission headed by Takashi Yao, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCIJ) in South Africa, visited Walvis Bay on 21 and 22 February.

    Yao explained that the purpose of the Japan Business Mission to Namibia was to promote and facilitate the development of Japanese business activities in the country by collecting information updates and intensifying the understanding of the country's economic policy, the development plan for infrastructure and industry, policies for mineral resources and the energy sector, the investment environment including incentives and regulations, as well as aspects of stability and political security.

    “The 64 CCIJ member organisations are looking for new opportunities to expand businesses not only in South Africa but also in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Namibia, in the wake of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held in Kenya in 2016.

    “I sincerely hope this mission will contribute to the deepening of mutual understanding and the development of economic and trade relations between Namibia and Japan,” he said.

    “Japanese companies' business interest in Africa revolves around the automotive industry, natural resource development, infrastructure-related business and consumer markets.

    “There is huge potential. The further development of the Walvis Bay port enhances its attractiveness as a gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa and will bring new economic opportunities and contribute to the continued prosperity of Namibia.”

    The mission delegates were briefed on the International Logistics Hub Masterplan, aspects of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), the Walvis Bay Export Processing Zone Management Company (WBEPZMC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) during a seminar at Protea Hotel jointly organised by CCIJ and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

    Shigeki Kawara of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) informed the delegates that the port of Walvis Bay had some huge advantages as the gateway to inland markets and invited them to try the Namibian route.

    “Namibia is the best gateway for Japanese high-value cargo which requires safe, secure and efficient logistics. The new container terminal will possibly open in September 2018 and increase the existing handling capacity significantly.

    “There are weekly container services available between Japan and Namibia. Ocean freight from Japan to Namibia is a little bit expensive but trucking costs are almost the same.

    “Concerning trade with America or Europe, the Namibian route is cost competitive. Major South African logistics companies are present in Namibia and this enables the establishment of logistics networks in cooperation with Johannesburg and Durban while already established logistics networks in South Africa can be used in Namibia.”

    He pointed out that Namibia had the lowest theft risk in Africa.

    Inland transit time is the shortest via Namibia. This means no damage and safer transportation of Japanese high-value cargo to Zambia and the DRC. Namibia can minimise the risk of cargo theft and damage when hauling.

    Levy Maduse, the national project officer for the United Nations Development Organisation (UNIDO), provided a brief overview of regional projects and investment opportunities along the Walvis Bay Corridor.

    These include Otavi Rebar Manufacturing, which consists of 18 projects worth US$140 million and involves the production of reinforced bar for construction from scrap metal and or billets.

    Lodestone Iron Ore Mine consists of 127 projects worth US$240 million. It focuses on iron ore mining.

    The Grootfontein Container Depot consists of eight projects worth US$80 million and ensures container facilitation from rail to road.

    There is also a 300MW base load power plant which consists of 48 projects worth US$1.0 billion. It will be constructed in two phases of 150MW each.

    There are also 50 poultry farm projects worth US$190 million which produce for the local (5% fresh/frozen) and foreign markets (95% fresh/frozen). Chicken manure pellets are exported to Europe, intestines to Zambia and feet to China.

    OTIS FINCK

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Label or solo?
  • Label or solo?Label or solo? As a music fan, I’ve come across different types of artists; those that are prosperous and those who are only just making it by the grace of the Almighty. There is also a trend that is noticeable which is artists starting their own record labels. Many feel that being under someone else doesn’t always work out thus they create their own alternatives. Artists have said that record companies only focus on some artists and forget the rest. Now my question lies here, should artists be signed to record labels or should they rather not and strive for themselves?

    Record labels are the companies that promote recorded music and music videos. Record labels have a wide range of functions and duties in the music industry which include finding new talent and developing it, music publishing and copyright enforcement. Advertising and marketing is one of a record label’s most important functions, as public knowledge of the brand is the way that they make their money.

    There are two kinds of record labels; independent and major. Major record labels like Sony, Universal Music Group have deals with some of the most successful artists in the world. These record labels can sign different kinds of contracts with their artists including distribution agreements, publishing, recording and or licensing and these agreements make them have profits from the artist. Independent record labels are known to have smaller distribution networks, pay very little from what the artist makes and only have a budget to promote one artist at a time.

    Being signed means a lot of money coming your way. You are guaranteed gigs due to the connections these labels have and media exposure too. The not-so-smart part about record labels is that they literally have control over the artist and his work and that is what many unfortunately fail to see. These companies will invest in an artist and the artist becomes a sensation, they usually end up upset and making a fuss when there is a contract mind you- and want to leave the label. The other thing is that artist also fails to see that many of them only have their voice and the rest is invested and resourced by the record labels.

    Today, with the help of the internet artists don’t really need record labels as they can distribute and market their music at a much lower cost and independently too. Artists have the creative freedom and can forget about contracts or not being able to own your own music. You decide when to release, what to release and how much you will earn at the end. There many artists that have successfully launched their own record labels which proves it’s possible.

    In the end, it all depends on the pace you want to arrive at your destination and how good you want to look and for how long you want to maintain the momentum. Namibian established labels have left many artists unhappy. Those that have left their labels are working twice as hard.

    June Shimuoshili

    june@namibiansun.com

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    Ann Singer signed under Mabala NoiseAnn Singer signed under Mabala Noise Not only was she the one who scooped most awards from the NAMA 2016 event, Ann Singer is making sure that she goes bigger in her career as she recently signed under Mabala Noise Entertainment, one of South Africa’s biggest record labels.

    The news was made public on the Mabala Noise Entertainment Instagram account on which all the artists under the label appeared, including Ann singer. The voice-over in the video states that Mabala Noise label is the best label in Africa. “We the game-changers, we are a university of fame and talent. We are a parliament of music. It is all about the rise of an African child. Mabala Noise, let’s rock.” The cideo caption also made known that the Mabala Noise artists will be at the Metro Music Awards this Saturday.

    Tjil contacted Ann Singer but she could however not comment. Ann Singer will be flying to South Africa this weekend but she could not say whether it is for the awards or not.

    Ann singer, a radiography student has been in the Namibian music industry featuring with artists like Mushe, Berthold and Waka just to name a few before coming into the limelight as a solo artist in 2015. She was signed with Deal Done Records owned by Djodic “Antonio” Dragan. The songstress has one album under her belt which includes hits like ‘Diminengepo’ and ‘Bulletproof’.

    Mabala Noise houses mega hit-makers like Gigi Lamayne, Ricky Rick, Khanyi Mbau and lately rapper Nasty C, a new kid on the block who has already featured with international stars like Davido on his music. It is co-owned by Dj Bongz and Reggie Nkabinde.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Tough times ahead
  • Tough times aheadTough times aheadSouth Africa's budget in a nutshell The South African finance minister has announced hard-hitting increases in personal income tax of R16.5 billion for 2017/18‚ as economic growth stutters and revenue collection falls short of expectations. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had a tough message for South Africans in Wednesday's Budget Speech in the National Assembly, with the introduction of a new tax bracket for the very rich, state debt creeping up and almost all economic indicators and fiscal numbers weaker than in last year's budget.

    While South Africa is “once again at a crossroads” and “tough choices have to be made to achieve development outcomes”, Gordhan nevertheless tried to stress the need for growth. He used the word “transformation” more than 50 times in his speech, but against this background said: “Our growth challenge is intertwined with our transformation imperative. We need to transform in order to grow, we need to grow in order to transform. Without transformation, growth will reinforce inequality; without growth, transformation will be distorted by patronage.”

    He also indicated that fiscal consolidation will continue.

    An additional R28bn will be collected in the coming financial year by means of those earning more than R1.5m per year paying 45% of that back to the taxman (the previous top rate was 41%), limited adjustment for bracket creep, a fuel levy rise of 30 cents per litre, a higher dividend withholding tax rate and the usual rise in sin taxes (excise on alcohol and tobacco). There was relief for property buyers with the first R900 000 (previously R750 000) of the value of a transaction not liable for transfer duty. Social grants were increased by about 7% on average.

    While it looks like Gordhan made an effort to appease his critics, listening to him was tinged with sadness on the impression that it was his last budget after making a comeback as finance minister just more than a year ago.



    The highlights of the budget are:

    Macro-economic outlook

    • Gross domestic product growth will gradually improve from 0.5% in 2016 to 1.3% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018, supported by improved global conditions and rising consumer and business confidence. The percentages are considerably lower than last year's estimates. The review says though that greater availability and reliability of electricity should also support stronger growth in 2018/19.

    • Exports are expected to grow by 1.9% in 2017, 4.9% in 2018 and 5% in 2019, after estimated negative growth of -1.2% last year.

    • After reaching 6.4% in 2016, consumer inflation is expected to decline to 5.7% in 2018.

    • The current account deficit, after reaching 4% in 2016, will come down to 3.7% in 2018 and 3.8% in 2019.

    • Government will continue to enable investment through regulatory reforms and partnerships with independent power producers.

    • Public sector infrastructure bottlenecks will be addressed through reform and capacity building. During 2017/18, government will establish a new financing facility for large infrastructure projects.



    Budget framework

    • The budget deficit (consolidated) crept up to 3.4% for 2016/17 from the 3.2% stated in last February's budget. This was due to less revenue collected than expected. The deficit is expected to narrow to 3.1% for 2017/18 and 2.6% in 2019/20.

    • State debt is also steadily creeping up. Debt stock as a percentage of gross domestic product is expected to stabilise at 48.2% in 2020/21 (previously 46.2% in 2017/18, and before that 43.7% in 2017/18).

    • The main budget non-interest expenditure ceiling has been lowered by R26bn over the next two years (almost the same as the R25bn planned last year).

    • An additional R28bn (R18.1bn last year) of tax revenue will be raised in 2017/18. Measures to increase revenue by a proposed R15bn in 2017/18 will be outlined in the 2018 Budget.

    • R30bn has been reprioritised through the budget process to ensure core social expenditure is protected.

    • Real growth in non-interest spending will average 1.9% over the next three years. Apart from debt-service costs, post-school education is the fastest-growing category, followed by health and social protection.

    Over the next three years, government will spend:

    • R490bn (R457bn last year) on social grants.

    • R106bn (R93.1bn) on transfers to universities, while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will spend R54.3bn (R41.2bn).

    • R751.9bn (R707.4bn) on basic education, including R48.3bn for subsidies to schools, R42.9bn for infrastructure, and R12.7bn (R14.9bn) for learner and teacher support materials.

    • R114bn (R108.3bn) for subsidised public housing.

    • R94.4bn (R102bn) on water resources and bulk infrastructure.

    • R189bn (R171.3bn) on transfers of the local government equitable share to provide basic services to poor households.

    • R142.6bn to support affordable public transport.

    • R606bn on health, with R59.5bn on the HIV/Aids conditional grant.



    Tax proposals

    • A new top marginal income tax bracket for individuals combined with partial relief for bracket creep will raise an additional R16.5bn.

    • R6.8bn will be collected through a higher dividend withholding tax rate. Increases in fuel taxes and alcohol and tobacco excise duties will together increase revenue by R5.1bn.

    • As soon as the necessary legislation is approved, government will implement a tax on sugary beverages. The rate will be 2.1c per gram for sugar content above 4g per 100 ml.

    • A revised Carbon Tax Bill will be published for public consultation and tabling in Parliament by mid-2017.

    • The first R900 000 of the value of property acquired from March 1 2017 will be taxed at zero percent. Before March 1 2017 the first R750 000 of the value of property was taxed at zero percent.

    • The general fuel levy will increase by 30c/litre on April 5 2017. This will push the general fuel levy up to R3.15/litre of petrol and to R3.00/litre of diesel. The road accident levy will increase by 9c/litre of petrol and diesel on April 5 2017.

    • Personal income tax will bring in R482bn, VAT R312bn, company tax R218bn, fuel levies R96.1bn and customs and excise duties R96bn in the coming year.



    Sin taxes rise

    Taxes on alcohol and tobacco are set to rise as follows:

    Beer 12c/340ml;

    Fortified wine 26c/750ml;

    Ciders and alcoholic fruit beverages 12c/340ml;

    Unfortified wine 23c/750ml;

    Sparkling wine 70c/750ml;

    Spirits 443c/750ml;

    Cigarettes 106c/packet of 20;

    Cigarette tobacco 119c/50g;

    Pipe tobacco 40c/25g; and

    Cigars 658c/23g.

    Social grant spending and increases

    Spending on social grants is set to rise from R164.9bn in 2016/17 to to R209.1bn by 2019/20, growing at an annual average of 8.2% over the medium term. The number of social grant beneficiaries is expected to reach 18.1 million by the end of 2019/20.



    The specific increases are:

    • State old age grant from R1 505 to R 1 600 per month;

    • State old age grant, over 75s from R1 525 to R1 620;

    • War veterans grant from R1 525 to R 1 620;

    • Disability grant from R1 505 to R 1 600;

    • Foster care grant from R890 to R920 ;

    • Care dependency grant from R1 505 to R1 600; and

    • Child support grant from R355 to R380.



    NEWS24

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Taking back Mosul
  • Taking back MosulTaking back MosulIraqi forces attack IS-held Mosul airport Backed by the United States military, Iraq is slowly gaining control back over Mosul, held by the Islamic State for months. Iraqi forces backed by jets, drones and gunships attacked Mosul airport Thursday, a key step in a renewed offensive against jihadists defending their stronghold on the city's west bank.

    Forces including federal police and the interior ministry's elite Rapid Response moved in convoys towards the disused airport, which lies on the southern approach to Mosul and is still held by the Islamic State group.

    They fired a barrage of mortar fire while attack helicopters and other aircraft cleared the way for ground troops, an AFP correspondent reported.

    The US-led coalition has played a key role in supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes and advisors on the ground, and on Thursday US forces in armoured vehicles were moving on the airport with Iraqi forces.

    “We will reach it today God willing,” Brigadier General Abbas al-Juburi of the Rapid Response force told AFP just over a kilometre (less than a mile) from the airport.

    Thousands of security personnel on Sunday launched a fresh push in their four-month-old offensive to retake Mosul, the second city and the last stronghold of the jihadists in Iraq.

    They started closing in on the airport four days ago. It is unclear how many jihadists are defending the airport but US officials said Monday that only around 2 000 remain in Mosul.

    Government forces blitzed through some of the last open areas between their lines and the city limits on the west bank of the Tigris River which runs through Mosul and elite troops are expected to enter the west of the city in the coming days.

    Iraqi forces declared the eastern half of Mosul fully liberated exactly a month ago.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Cameroon turns away refugees
  • Cameroon turns away refugeesCameroon turns away refugees Over 500 Nigerians who fled into northern Cameroon to escape Boko Haram Islamists have been forced to return to Nigeria, the UN refugee agency said on Wednesday.

    Thousands of Nigerians have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been staging deadly attacks since 2009 in pursuit of a caliphate in northern Nigeria.

    In a statement to AFP, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it was “very concerned” after 517 Nigerians were expelled, including 313 who had requested asylum.

    The agency said it planned to sign an accord with Cameroon and Nigeria on 2 Marchfor the voluntary return of 85 000 Nigerian refugees.

    But it also said it was continuing to urge the Cameroon government to offer asylum and respect international conventions against forced repatriation of asylum seekers.

    As of 17 February, more than 61 000 Nigerian refugees were at the Minawao camp in northeast Cameroon, but there are many others outside the site.

    The humanitarian crisis has strained Cameroon's government and aid agencies and Boko Haram attacks have also driven people from Cameroon villages along the border.

    On Wednesday, the Red Cross distributed food to 2 500 displaced households at a camp in Kolofata, Cameroon.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Save Our Soccer
  • Save Our SoccerSave Our Soccer The resignation of Johnny Doeseb as Namibia Premier League chairperson this week was an abrupt one, but it came as no surprise to some of us.

    The fact that JJD chose to direct a series of salvos at his detractors for the last time, by claiming that he was stabbed in the back and betrayed is testimony that we have deep-seated problems in our football fraternity.

    None of the so-called revolutionary blueprints endorsed over the years have managed to rescue the situation on the ground.

    Football has not improved much despite the many promises made to turn the corner. Had it not been for the 14-year MTC sponsorship, Namibian football would have long been buried. Ours cannot even be referred to as a semi-professional set up.

    We are far away from achieving such status considering the way we are doing things at the moment.

    A semi or professional football league is meant to be self-sustaining, with a great emphasis on sound business principles in order to maximise profits.

    Both the NPL and the Namibia Football Association (NFA) are still very reliant on sponsorship funds, government subsidies and FIFA grants. The fact that the football bosses have failed over the years to come up with a practical solution on finding lasting answers to the perennial financial problems of both the NFA and NPL already, adds to the woes at grassroots level.

    We cannot talk of changing the fortunes of football if we can’t get the basics right.

    The football authorities must admit they are not organised enough and not many have the ability to demonstrate leadership acumen to influence change. Precious time is spent on petty politicking and squabbles among officials instead of addressing the issues on the ground.

    Petty differences have been festering for years and it appears that the powers that be are not learning from past mistakes.

    Just like many other sporting bodies, football has a long way to go and perhaps it is time for retrospection.

    It is time to chart a new way forward.

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: I am a foolishly wise man
  • I am a foolishly wise manI am a foolishly wise man I have always been fascinated by the manner in which the Police in United States of America, in cities like New York, Los Angeles or San Fransisco introduce themselves on TV to their would-be-suspects. Those guys sound so professional when arriving at a crime scene, so much so that you would want to give yourself over immediately for a crime you did not commit.



    ?In a cool, but stern voice reminiscent of that moment when a lady you are courting tells you she only wants you as a friend, the NYPD - short for New York Police Department would- introduce themselves: “Good Afternoon Sir, I am Detective John Smith and this is Officer Sloin. We are with the NYPD and would like to ask you some questions with your permission, of course Sir...”



    ?I always imagined how the same would sound for our Namibian Police. “Good afternoon, I am Warrant Officer Peya Shikokola and this is Constable Piet Pietertjie Cloete. We are with the Namibian Police…”?In all honesty, our Namibian Police will not even go to such lengths.



    ?The first thing Warrant Officer Shikokola will ask when he arrives at a murder scene will probably be: “Hey you, which one of you is the suspect? Who killed this man?” You would probably be standing there not knowing whether to admit to the officer that you are indeed the culprit, or to rather point to the person standing next to you. I mean, since the officer is giving you that freedom of choice, why not take it?



    ?I must admit though - it will be hard to convince a decorated officer, who participated in various operations from Operation Desert Jewel to Operation Apocalypse, that he has the wrong man.



    ?All truth be told, I am not the smartest man alive, but there are a few survival tricks I have learnt in my life. I have learnt to listen first, before opening my mouth. Well, unless my partner rants about where I have been, in which case I pretend to be talking on the phone to evade the questions. Eish! One would swear she is the journalist! Be it as it may, I consider myself to be a progressive coward.



    ?The other day I went over to see my neighbour, Dantago, who has a very ferocious-looking dog. As I approached the door, the dog begins to bark wildly. Dantago said to me “Come on in, Charlie! Don't be afraid of my dog. You know the old proverb: A barking dog never bites.”



    ?”Yes,” I replied, “I know the proverb, and you know the proverb, but does your dog know it? Before we have an agreement on whether a dog can bite and whether it cannot, we must first make sure the dog is party to the agreement.”



    ?Yeah, that's how I roll. I never leave anything to chance. Dantago is a lucky man - blessed with two little devils for sons! No disrespect, but those kids are the most mischievous, naughty pair I have ever seen - and their parents know it. It took a man of the cloth and a whole bunch of magic touches to get the kids to behave normal again.



    ?The boy's mother once heard that a clergyman in the city had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first in the morning and 10-year-old in the afternoon to see the clergyman.



    ?The clergyman, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, Where is God? They boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed.



    ?So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, Where is God?!! Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, WHERE IS GOD?!



    ?The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dived into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, “What happened?”



    ?The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time, dude! God is missing - and they think WE did it!”



    ?Until then…



    tjatindi@gmail.com

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    The 2017 Budget should demonstrate fiscal sustainabilityThe 2017 Budget should demonstrate fiscal sustainability BY MALLY LIKUKELA



    As preparations for the 2017 National Budget gather momentum and a greater participation by various stakeholders becomes evident. The budget is a tool whereby government sets out priority programmes for economic transformation and builds shared prosperity, fiscal sustainability and remains a prerequisite for its effectiveness today and tomorrow. Fiscal refers to government spending and investing activities and how these are financed through taxes, debt and other liabilities. Sustainability means having the ability to maintain or support government programmes in the future.



    The 2017 national budget comes at a time when government is cash strapped, mounting public debt and public discontent, amongst other economic and social challenges. These developments have increased uncertainty and led to negative expectations and thus making the 2017 national budget a special case. The budget is thus expected to demonstrate practicality and clarity on how government will prevent a collapse of the economy during the next 12 months and beyond to steer the economic in the right direction far away from an economic recession and send a convincing message to rating agencies that it is in control.



    Fiscal sustainability



    Namibia's public debt grew by N$50 billion from 2010 to 2016, sparking fears among many Namibians over the sustainability of this debt without burdening future generations with high debt servicing costs.



    Fiscal rules which simply refers to statutory or constitutional restrictions that set specific limits on fiscal indicators such as budgetary balance, debt, government spending, or taxation must be adhered to at all costs. These rules are critical to demonstrate that government will honour commitments made. In the face of dwindling SACU revenues and low expected domestic tax revenue, achieving fiscal sustainability will require that government tightly matches revenue to expenditure in order to avoid defaulting on international debts. With international agencies having already raised serious concerns regarding public debts, defaulting on international debt will have a negative impact on the country's fiscal profile with far-reaching implications on the economy's ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Therefore, the budget needs to spell out debt ceilings to avoid digging new holes to fill the old ones. Achieving this requires government to make tough decisions not only on non-essential expenditures, but also on expensive vehicles, resource wastage and corruption.



    Stable economic growth



    It's clearly evident by now that 2016/17 growth will have to be revised downward and outlook remained gloomy. The 2017 budget therefore should aim to inspire sustainable economic growth that is supported by a culture of productivity and expenditure should be matched with results and/or returns and performance agreements to be enforced across the board i.e. Ministers, deputy ministers, CEOs, directors, etc. Those that fail to deliver must be held accountable.



    The budget should clearly demonstrate how growth ambitions are contained in policies such as the Harambee, Vision 2030, NDPs, NEEEF, etc and create new business that create new jobs, allowing government to collect taxes with minimum costs. The budget should set the tone for inclusive economic growth and business for all. The perennially neglected informal sector should form part of the mainstream economy and supply chain to increase the tax base. Though experiences have shown it is hard to collect taxes in informal settings, the envisaged Tax Revenue Authority should be charged with that task.



    Tax Regime



    The 2017 budget needs to provide a stable tax regime that will attract investors while driving existing and new business towards value creation and productivity. Furthermore, it's critical for the 2017 budget to create an enabling business environment for new investments that will bring new jobs, broadening the tax base rather than increasing taxes on already struggling companies.



    Responsible Investment



    The Bank of Namibia has estimated that over the next five years or so Namibia will require more than N$220 billion to finance the needed infrastructure projects. Of this amount, the highest requirement should go to rail, energy, housing and port infrastructure. Experience elsewhere has shown that investing in infrastructure makes the country an attractive investment destination. Responsible investment enhances the country's investment profile while motivating locals towards productive and sustainable economic development. The 2017 budget needs to reflect a sustainable national investment profile supported by responsible investment values.



    Sustainable private sector.



    According to the 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum, Namibia is now ranked 84th. This calls for a serious attention. As such, the budget needs to reflect ambitions to build a competitive and sustainable private sector that is driven by international best practices and values.



    Economic Diversification



    Many countries, including Namibia, are bearing the pain of depressed mineral prices, having placed too much hope on the mining sector. Economic diversification is vital to a countries' long-term economic growth, but many resource-rich countries, including Namibia remain heavily reliant on revenues generated by mining and very few sectors. A multiple sector approach to fiscal revenue embedded in the budget is crucial as it provides an avenue for different sectors' contribution to the fiscus. As already identified in the Vision 2030, it is crucial to promote priority sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and finance services in addition to mining.



    Cabinet and Legislature size



    Finally, apart from re-looking at the non-essential expenditure items, government should look also at the size of cabinet and legislature and executive composition. The number of ministries, ministers and deputy ministers as well as executives is simply too high. If a large country such as China is run successfully by a sizable number of standing committees of its political bureau, then Namibia does not need all those ministries and a whole lot of advisors to run a small population and even smaller economy. Restructuring of the Executive is, therefore essential as a matter of principle in the 2017 budget and all savings from trimming the bloated Executive and Legislature should be channelled towards more pressing needs facing the country.

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  • 02/23/17--14:00: Solar eclipse on Sunday
  • Solar eclipse on SundaySolar eclipse on Sunday Namibians can experience a partial solar eclipse on Sunday afternoon. The partial eclipse will first be seen in Windhoek and then further north.

    Dr Rhodri Evans from Cardiff University explains that the degree of the eclipse will vary depending on where people watch it from.

    “We will experience a partial eclipse in Windhoek and the percentage of the eclipse will be 69% and more than two thirds of the sun will be blocked up. If you are at the border near Angola it will be 80%,” Evans says.

    The eclipse in Windhoek will begin at 17:10 and end at 19:15.

    Evans warns people not to look at the sun directly.

    “Never look at the sun directly or through any kind of viewing device such as a camera or binoculars without the correct filtration, it can be quite dangerous.”

    The safest way to watch an eclipse is to make a pinhole in a piece of paper, point it towards the sun and then project the image onto another piece of paper.

    “An eclipse is when the moon comes between the earth and the sun, so the shadow of the moon falls on the earth and if you happen to be where that shadow is it will turn completely dark in a few minutes,” he explains.

    Windhoekers who want to watch the eclipse can visit the Roof of Africa Hotel, Restaurant & Conference Centre, where equipment will be set up for the public to view the eclipse.

    “The astronomers at the University of Namibia are going to set up a public observance and we will be setting up telescopes with the correct filtration so people can look at it safely.

    From around 16:30 we will be getting things set up for the eclipse,” Evans says.

    According to Dr Evans the next total solar eclipse will be seen in Windhoek on 25 November 2030.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Dineo storms onto bucket listDineo storms onto bucket listCaught up in the middle of tropical storm Namibian Sun journalist Jana-Mari Smith and a group of friends recently had an unexpected adventure while on holiday in Mozambique. When you plan a sunny Mozambican holiday in February, the last thing you expect is to be caught up in a cyclone. (Well, maybe we should have read up a bit more beforehand).

    Hello Dineo.

    I learnt a few things that day.

    The first - according to Google - a cyclone is a hurricane, is a typhoon.

    Just depends on where they take place.

    The second thing - when nature decides to show you who is boss - the best thing that can happen to you is to be surrounded by an incredible group of people.

    We were lucky that day.

    The six of us together showed Dineo a thing or two about strength and solidarity. And the jokes are fabulous when your innards are roiling with fear of the unknown.

    It took us a while to realise what was happening. For it to sink in that we might be facing winds of up to 200km accompanied by biblical amounts of rain that night.

    We got a peek of things to come when we visited a high rocky point overlooking the Indian Ocean early that Wednesday morning.

    The usually friendly and placid light blue sea was transformed into a dark grey, angry, agitated mess of waves crashing down from heights of up to six metres.

    This was only the beginning.

    Realisation began to dawn.

    Our family and friends - and Google - told us the eye would hit Inhambane, just a few kilometres to the south later that day.

    We were in Pomene, remote and accessible only by 4x4.

    We finally accepted (it now seems weird how long it took us but I suppose denial is a natural reaction) that the storm was really heading our way.

    It would hit, according to various (excruciatingly slow) internet sources, at 15:00, 18:00, or 21:00, or, midnight.

    Best bet was to keep a close eye on nature.

    Amazing how palm trees can bend!

    Sand can fly!

    Waves can become monsters!

    Nature told us in no uncertain terms the storm was coming closer and closer.

    I will never forget the level of noise that day. It was entrenched in everything we experienced.

    When we returned to camp, we opened a coconut each, and mixed a bit of rum with the water. Cheers! Strangely, there was a lot of laughter that day – tinged with fear and something else.

    We made terrible and very funny jokes about our situation.

    Chuck Norris was a hit.

    It helped to soothe the rising tide of fear within each of us.

    The increasing doubts.

    We didn't talk about the fear and panic.

    You don't need to.

    We all felt it.

    We decided not to contact our parents, in the hope that they hadn't read the news and in an attempt not to worry them.

    We would call the next day, and the impending sense of doom would be a wonderful story of adventure and triumph instead.

    Hopefully.

    Then we got down to business.

    A meeting was held, led by our team captain Bruce, whose family had built up the camp over 25 years.

    On the advice of his father, we selected one of the huts next to the main hut, which was relatively well sheltered amongst a stand of trees and bushes and the main camp building. The hut is built from a sturdy mixture of wooden poles and floor board planks, with reed walls and a roof of dried grass, known as jeca. Instead of trying to outrun the storm, risking fallen trees on the rutted and sandy roads to Massinga, we would sit it out in the sturdy hut. Or hope to.

    The boys got to work. They secured a large boat tarp at the front end of the hut, shielding us from the wind and rain. They lugged in about 12 mattresses. That night, when the mattresses started getting soggy from the water pooling into the hut, dripping in through the numerous openings, the second mattress was a God send.



    Bunking it up

    Blankets, pillows and a 'hurricane lamp' were put in place. The cars were parked in an open space, all suitcases and valuables and sheets were placed in cars and empty freezers and cupboards. Essentials were stored in little backpacks, and put in the 'bunker'.

    A makeshift toilet was erected - basically a bucket on a low bench, behind a screen in the hut. Later that night, it became a game to see who could toss liquids into the madly shifting winds, without it blasting back inside.

    A few things stood out for me that day. First, the fear of the water so close by. Google and numerous WhatsApp's from concerned friends and family told us we could expect 10-metre swells. In my mind, I saw the water rushing across the few metres separating the ocean from the bunker, swallowing us in the dark of the night.

    Another thing was the initial confusion of what to do.

    Should we stay or go?

    Would we end up being a newspaper headline?

    Were we overestimating or underestimating the danger?

    The barrage of messages from concerned family and friends didn't help.

    But it kept us on our toes.

    We packed the essentials: A cooler box stuffed with beers, gin and tonics, cool drinks, water. We made burgers for lunch, and a cold chicken salad and fresh Portuguese buns would be served as bunker supper.

    Chocolates were packed, cashew nuts and chips.

    Another thing: Lord Basil, the dog, usually an independent character, stuck to his 'mum' Rachel like glue. He followed her everywhere.

    He whined all throughout the day.

    He knew something was coming.

    It was eerie.

    Then, in the late afternoon, the clouds darkened moodily, dusk set in much earlier than usual, the winds picked up strength and a scary level of gusting set in.

    The main hut's floor started shifting in the wind, we moved into the bunker. Basil finally relaxed and promptly fell asleep under a blanket on the mattress.

    Clever dog!



    Fear

    The carnage the day after the storm was not limited to tarps… we saw bare trees, their leaves a thick and thorny carpet on the sand, and roofs that had been tossed aside. Dozens of terns were scattered, dead, across the beach and in camp.

    Some still alive, so tired they could barely walk.

    Many had broken wings; mercy killing the kindest option. The birds of course were a rare treat for locals living nearby, the dual character of nature exposed: cruel and generous at the same time.

    But what stood out most: The bond and strength and humour that kept the six of us going. The immense support and kindness - a hug here, a smile and a touch to the arm when, for a brief moment, you could no longer repress the fear.

    The bantering and joking and compliments - superb burger and chicken salad! That tarp was placed perfectly! You pour the best gin and tonics! You guys could open a 'how to build a bunker' business!

    I only realised afterwards how fear and panic can so quickly and relentlessly alternate with the feeling of being snug and safe. That's what I felt many times that night, despite the roar and whistling and bumping in the dark, stormy, night.

    We played scrabble and spilled red wine as we tried to navigate through the mattress 'Christmas bed'. We huddled in wonder at the windows, marvelling at the way in which trees can bend and wind can blow in a hundred directions at once. We made a play, and handed out Oscars.

    Captain Bruce took the statue this year.



    Uncertainty

    At one point, during the restless night, we woke and realised we were all covered in a thin film of beach sand. What we didn't know, and couldn't see in the dark, was that the stormy winds were remodelling the camp around us. Small dunes were pushed into the property, forever changing the landscape, dusting the grass and bushes like beige snow.

    Of course we joked about the free body scrubs.

    The next day, when the gale force winds were still blowing, but the rains had stopped, the first thing we did was search for the coffee gear in the main bunker. Amongst the toppled furniture and torn window tarps and wet floors and walls and ceiling we sat and enjoyed our steaming coffee.

    We put on dry clothes – during the night a fine mist had kept us semi-wet, the hard rain filtered into a soft spray that penetrated the reed walls, grass roof and open windows.

    Neighbours streamed through the doors all morning, we shared stories of what had been damaged and how little we had slept and how high the waves had been.

    Urban areas had been most hard hit. Here in the rural areas, apart from the fallen palms and a few roofs blown off, everyone was relatively okay.

    It was striking to me how the relatively primitive buildings, in which all of us had found shelter during the night, had withstood the gale force winds and rain. Where a roof had flown off, or a wall caved in, it was easy to reassemble as the building materials were all around us. No bricks and plaster needed to set up again.

    There is something to be said for withstanding a cyclone in the bush. Eventually a group of us ended up at a local restaurant nearby. There, we drank too many beers, ate wonderful sea food and sang Bob Dylan's 'Mozambique' over and over, the surreal experience fading like the winds.

    The sand still clung to our hair and the roar of the storm was replaced by the roar of happy survivors.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Ondonga backs Nangolo to succeed ElifasOndonga backs Nangolo to succeed Elifas The Ondonga Traditional Authority on Tuesday affirmed that Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo is the Ondonga king-in-waiting.

    The OTA said in a statement that King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas nominated Nangolo as his successor on 20 September 2002 and confirmed such nomination to government on 2 June 2012.

    The letter signed by Elifas was addressed to Jerry Ekandjo, then Minister of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

    The OTA stated that the 38-year-old Nangolo's nomination was done within the Ondonga traditional norms, and received the blessing of the elders of the royal family and advisors to the king of Ondonga.

    It said Nangolo's nomination was done with the purpose of preparing him for the throne and responsibilities as the future head of the Ondonga tribe.

    “The OTA will continue working together with him (Nangolo),” reads the statement, which followed a public outcry by some Ondonga community members who complained about a leadership crisis within Ondonga.

    The OTA's declaration of its support to Nangolo also came amidst newspaper reports recently, suggesting that neither Nangolo nor Oscar Sheehama, a member of the Ondonga royal family, qualify to be Elifas's successor because there is a generation ahead of them.

    The duo are said to be in the generation of Elifas's great-grandchildren.

    At the same time, the OTA expressed disappointment with the behaviour of Sheehama, who made threatening remarks during a community meeting held at Onethindi settlement near Ondangwa earlier this month.

    Ondonga Senior Traditional Councillor for the Ondangwa District John Walenga, with the mandate of the OTA, chaired the meeting, where several members of the royal house, including Sheehama, were accused of involvement in illegal land allocation in the area.

    Sheehama, who is said to be a nephew to King Elifas, said those accusing him of illegal land allocation are doing so to tarnish his image.

    “You will get what you are looking for!” Sheehama shouted in front of Walenga towards the end of the meeting.



    NAMPA

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    Hoff guilty of attempted murder of husbandHoff guilty of attempted murder of husbandConspiracy charge related to a hit did not stick One of the more sensational trials in Namibian legal history concluded yesterday when Susanne Hoff was acquitted of conspiracy to kill her husband, but found guilty of his attempted murder. Susanne Hoff (56) was found guilty of the attempted murder of her estranged husband, Egbert Hoff, by the Windhoek Regional Court yesterday.

    Hoff, who pleaded not guilty, was acquitted on the original charge of conspiracy to commit murder. In her ruling, Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt said the two State witnesses had pretended to play along with Hoff.

    “Conspiracy can only exist if a definite agreement exists between two people to commit a crime,” she said.

    According to the State, Hoff canvassed three men to hurt or kill her estranged husband for payment. State witnesses Wilbard Malina and Jekonia Shipepe testified that Hoff had asked them to kill her husband for N$25 000.

    In her judgment, Diergaardt said the witnesses had given three different versions of the story.

    During the trial, Egbert Hoff testified that a certain Malima had contacted him a few times during November 2011 to purchase used car tyres and on 30 November of that year, at 17:00, a deal was struck for the sale. He also told the court that on the same day, a police officer from the Nampol drug squad contacted him and informed him of a potential attempt on his life.

    Magistrate Diergaardt said Malima had testified that Susanne Hoff had asked him to find people to break her husband's back and that later changed to a request to kill him outright. Malima also said that Hoff had taken him to the couple's farm and shown him a pile of used tyres under which the body could be buried.

    Susanne Hoff's testimony was rejected by the court. In her defence, she said that she did have contact with Malima and Shipepe, but she had asked them to pretend to be interested in buying a horse. She said she suspected her estranged husband was selling horses that belonged to her and pocketing the money.

    She said their marriage had all but collapsed at that point. She further told the court that she met Malima through Fanuel Haiduwa when she was looking for someone to deal with debtors at her advertising company.

    Diergaardt said she accepted Haiduwa's testimony, as he would have had no financial gains from the discussions between Hoff and Malima.

    She added that she also believed that Malima and Shipepe were offered money to murder Egbert Hoff. Both men testified that they took the money but had no intention of murdering Egbert Hoff.

    Diergaardt found Hoff guilty of attempted murder, saying that there was an attempt by her to have the murder committed. She made payments to facilitate the deed and showed the two men where to bury the body.

    “She followed the plan through to the end,” Diergaardt said.

    Hoff's bail was extended to 3 March, when evidence in mitigation and aggravation of sentencing will be heard.

    Advocate Esi Schimming-Chase, instructed by attorney Karin Klazen, appeared for Hoff while Samantha Diergaardt prosecuted.

    JACQUELINE LOUW

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