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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 263 | 264 | (Page 265) | 266 | 267 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    'I'm a clean athlete' insists Mo Farah'I'm a clean athlete' insists Mo Farah Britain's four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah on Sunday insisted he was “a clean athlete” after a leaked United States Anti-Doping Agency report suggested that his coach had “almost certainly” broken anti-doping rules.

    “I am a clean athlete who has never broken the rules in regards to substances, methods or dosages and it is upsetting that some parts of the media, despite the clear facts, continue to try to associate me with allegations of drug misuse,” Farah said in a statement.

    “As I've said many times before we all should do everything we can to have a clean sport and it is entirely right that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished.”

    The USADA on Saturday confirmed it had compiled a dossier on controversial coach Alberto Salazar following a report accusing the athletics guru of dangerously using drugs to boost the performance of his athletes.

    Britain's Sunday Times said a USADA report – obtained by the Fancy Bears hacking group – had found Salazar abused prescription drugs and experimented with infusions of a research supplement based on the amino acid L-carnitine at his Oregon base.

    The newspaper said it had seen documents showing Salazar gave intravenous drip infusions to Farah and to half a dozen top US runners and that USADA had concluded the treatments of the Americans “almost certainly” broke anti-doping rules.

    Farah said it was “unclear as to the Sunday Times's motivations towards me” and that it was “entirely unfair to make assertions when it is clear from their own statements that I have done nothing wrong.”

    “If USADA or any other Anti-Doping Body has evidence of wrongdoing they should publish it and take action rather than allow the media to be judge and jury,” added the athlete, who won both the 5,000m and 10,000m in the London and Rio games.

    USADA said Saturday that no conclusion had been reached.

    “USADA can confirm that it has prepared a report in response to a subpoena from a state medical licensing body regarding care given by a physician to athletes associated with the Nike Oregon Project,” USADA said in a statement.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Scotland plot England shock
  • Scotland plot England shockScotland plot England shock Scotland believe they can stun England at Twickenham in their next Six Nations outing and even the Welsh won't rule out a major shock.

    Scotland beat Wales for the first time in a decade at Murrayfield on Saturday and Wales interim coach Rob Howley said Scotland had “every chance” of defying England on March 11.

    “They've certainly got ingredients that can make them hugely competitive in the last couple of games,” he said.

    Scotland scored 20 unanswered points against the Welsh after the break as a 13-9 interval deficit was transformed into a 29-13 victory, their first against Wales since 2007.

    “We're on a roll,” acknowledged coach Vern Cotter, whose team achieved Scotland's first opening-round victory in 11 years with a 27-22 home success against Ireland, before suffering a 22-16 loss to France in Paris.

    “We know how hard Twickenham is,” he said. “It may be the record game for England. There'll be a lot of things to play for, I think.”

    Second-half tries by wings Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser, plus five penalties and two conversions by stand-off Finn Russell, mean the Scots on March 11 have the chance to complete a first Triple Crown since their Grand Slam in 1990.

    Victory over England would also leave Scotland with a shot at a first Six Nations title since 1999 heading into the final weekend of the tournament. Should England beat Italy at home on Sunday, they would go into the Calcutta Cup contest with a chance of equalling New Zealand's world record of 18 consecutive wins.

    “We believe we can beat England if we play like we did in the second-half,” said flanker John Barclay, stand-in captain in place of the injured Greig Laidlaw.

    “It's been a while since we've been here talking about a win over Wales, so hats off to the players,” said Cotter, whose side finish the Championship with a home game against Italy on March 18.

    “We weren't particularly well-positioned at half-time, but the players adjusted well in the second half.

    “The boys did really well. They realised they were watching Wales play rather than playing themselves.”

    Wales were 16-13 down early in the second half when captain Alun Wyn Jones opted against a kickable penalty that might have tied the scores only for the lock himself to infringe at the ensuing line-out.

    Afterwards Jones made the extraordinary admission that he had been over-ruled by his own goal-kickers.

    “The kickers didn't want to, so we just went for the corner,” said Jones.

    “And I got done for blocking at the back of the lift then, but, yeah, I would have liked to have gone for the three (points),” added the veteran second row after an incident that must place a question mark against his chances of captaining the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand later this year. Having failed to build on their opening round win away to Italy, Wales – who subsequently suffered a last-gasp loss to England in Cardiff – have nothing but pride to play for in their final two games, at home to Ireland and away to France.

    “We just weren't accurate enough,” lamented Howley, in charge while Warren Gatland is seconded to the Lions.

    “We made it easier for Scotland in the second half. We turned the ball over too many times and probably weren't clinical when we needed to be,” the former Wales scrum-half added.

    “The players are obviously hugely disappointed. It's how you respond, and we welcome Ireland in two weeks' time.”



    NAMPA / AFP

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Wilder stops Washington
  • Wilder stops WashingtonWilder stops WashingtonBoxer remains unbeaten The American boxer made an incredible return to the league since recovering from a torn biceps muscle last year. Undefeated Deontay Wilder stopped Gerald Washington in the fifth round on Saturday to retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight world title.

    The 31-year-old champion started poorly in front of hometown fans in Birmingham, Alabama, and was trailing on the scorecards when he sprang to life in the fifth round, knocking Washington down with a right-left combination.

    “I said I wasn't going nowhere. I am still here. We are going to keep the fights coming,” Wilder said.

    It was the first fight for Wilder since he broke his right hand and suffered a torn right bicep muscle in an eighth-round stoppage of US veteran Chris Arreola in July.

    Wilder, who won the title in 2015 with a unanimous 12-round decision over Canadian Bermane Stiverne, improved to 38-0 with 37 knockouts.

    Despite being a fill-in opponent for Wilder, Washington gave the champ trouble in the first few rounds. Washington, who dropped to 18-1 with 12 knockouts, got the call after Wilder's planned opponent, Poland's Andrzej Wawrzyk, tested positive for a banned substance.

    Wilder barely broke a sweat in the opening rounds as he threw just a handful of punches, mostly jabs.

    He let Washington bring the fight to him, but in the fifth he landed a solid right to the temple of Washington and quickly followed it up with a left to the head that Washington tried unsuccessfully to block.

    The victory sets the stage for Wilder to try and unify the heavyweight titles against rival champions.

    Britain's unbeaten Anthony Joshua and Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko meet April 29 in London for the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titles while unbeaten World Boxing Organisation champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand is set to face Britain's undefeated Hughie Fury on April 1 in Auckland.

    “I am ready for Joseph Parker. Are they ready for me?” Wilder said. On the undercard, Jarrett Hurd stopped Tony Harrison in the ninth round to win the vacant International Boxing Federation 154-pound title.

    “It is a feeling like I have never felt before,” said Hurd of the victory. “You got a new champion at 154 in Jarrett Hurd.”

    “We just wanted to wear him down, and in later rounds take him out.”



    NAMPA / AFP

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    Gobabis to host FNB Global United Climate KickGobabis to host FNB Global United Climate Kick Gobabis will play host to the First National Bank (FNB) Global United football team in March this year.

    The event which attracts famous former football players from various nations will start on 15 and end on 18 March.

    Gobabis Mayor Lea Iipinge said that the event will benefit the town as it will make it cleaner and healthier.

    “At the end of the event, Gobabis will become the town of choice and will be a cleaner and a more attractive town, creating a harmonious living environment for all its residents and visitors while attracting more investors,” Ipinge said.

    Revonia Kahivere, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at FNB said the bank's strategy is based on four Ps of which one is the planet, including the development and protection of the environment.

    “Through the wonderful game of football, we wish to convey a positive environmental message while at the same time enjoying the skills that the international legends and our own local football players bring to us.” She said.

    The Global United Football Club Namibia started in 2010.

    The 2010 event was used as a forerunner to the Football World Cup hosted in South Africa that year. In April 2011, the objective shifted to bringing about positive environmental change in communities, while at the same time creating awareness of climate change.

    SPORT REPORTER

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    NFA to welcome more football academiesNFA to welcome more football academiesGrowth of football hinged on the youth NFA Secretary-General Barry Rukoro says the growth of the game of football lies in nurturing potential talent in the youth. Youth football academies are the backbone of any football association, in providing players for both the country's league of national teams and Rukoro says there is a need to strengthen these academies.

    In an interview with Sport Wrap Rukoro said they welcome all academies promoting football for both boys and girls in the country.

    “The development of young players is the most important need for the growth of football in any football association and country and without that, you are just gasping,” he said.

    He maintained that so many national associations in Africa are struggling to sustain the performance of their senior national teams and this is because they are not supported by sustainable and continued development of young players, “so it is therefore important for any football association to have individual clubs who will take up the responsibility of developing young players in accordance with association football.”

    He said their business is development to influence the end product of the association and if many Namibians can take up that responsibility, “we will of course improve the performances of our league teams and of our national teams and that is really the making of a football association, because when you can successfully develop, you can also sustainably perform.”

    Rukoro thanked people and clubs that have taken up the responsibility to engage young footballers in productive educative football activities.

    “What we have embarked on now is the registration of those academies that want to operate under the football association and we give them a certificate of registration every year for a year's period. Given the availability of resources, the idea is to start making available education opportunities to people working in those academies so that they give the right education to these young people.

    “These are football educational platforms and for those who are managing and coaching, our opinion is teaching them how to play football and to teach correctly. That is the next step we are taking and to start educating coaches who are working with these young people so that they impart the right knowledge to be able to compete at the highest level.”

    He added that the association welcomes and is waiting for people who would like to join the football development arena.

    “We will welcome everybody who wants to come and develop football because we will develop ethos of good development in football. We have already gone through registration while in some parts of the country we have developed structures of leagues for young people to play football, but we are only scratching the surface of what we want to achieve.

    “We are saying to the coaches, we want to give you education so that we can take that product a step up in order for the boys to start qualifying for major competitions,” Rukoro said.

    He added that the association is busy developing a data base of football members of football adding that in the future when a young player comes for trials, they will be able to go to the database to see if the player is a member.



    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    We will increase mass participation – RukoroWe will increase mass participation – RukoroOhangwena awaits development Football in Ohangwena Region is expected to reach new heights in the next few years. The deal between Namibia, GIZ and FIFA to rehabilitate football facilities in Ohangwena Region has been sealed.

    In an interview with Sport Wrap NFA's Secretary-General Barry Rukoro said that project is now a reality, as the tender has already been advertised in local newspapers.

    The deal was signed last week Wednesday and according to Rukoro, the number of aspiring footballers that will benefit from the facilities excites him.

    “We have overcome the challenge that was there, and I am very grateful, because for us to increase mass participation and discover elite players, we needed to create the environment in a vastly populated area in our country,” he said, adding that it will soon become a reality.

    “Many children in that region will now have an opportunity to access good facilities, to receive good education and the potential to dream to one day play for a premier league club, turn professional and play for the national team and that will become bigger.

    So, this is in our best interest to really make this project work because there are needy areas in the country that need the same facilities,” he said.

    He mentioned that the project can only go forward if Ohangwena is a success and it is not just about creating facilities but bringing life in those facilities because once they we are done with those facilities, coaching trainings will continue.

    “We want to replicate everything that we are doing at the technical centre in all the 16 facilities that we are putting up there,” he said.

    Rukoro said the programme is rare in Africa and “we are going in a totally new space that has never been happening anywhere in Africa.”

    The German Football Association (DFB), NFA and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (a global service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), alongside FIFA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to show their commitment to the project.

    The far-reaching project will seek to enrich the lives of a vast number of Namibian children by benefitting 23 schools and one vocational training centre in the country, while also aiding the NFA with the expansion of youth football at grassroots level by introducing football and other sporting competitions in schools.

    FIFA and the NFA will renovate existing football pitches at selected schools and institutions working with young people, with FIFA and the DFB helping to provide football equipment and educate instructors in coaching, refereeing and league management.

    The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will build 44 new sport fields for football, basketball, volleyball and netball at the selected schools.

    The MoU is in line with FIFA 2.0: The vision for the future, under one of the three key objectives: to 'Grow the Game'.

    It also builds on the positive work carried out in Namibia last year. In July 2016, FIFA, the DFB and the NFA organised a grassroots coaching course for local instructors in Eenhana, the capital of the Ohangwena region and there was a further coaching and life-skill course for school teachers in November, organised by NFA and GIZ, supported by FIFA and the DFB.

    - Additional reporting FIFA

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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    Chess bags sponsorship for Women's ChallengeChess bags sponsorship for Women's Challenge The Namibia Chess Federation (NCF) has secured sponsorship from Angermund Transport for its first-ever Women's Challenge set for 12 August in Windhoek.

    In a media release made available Wednesday, the transport company committed to sponsor the event that aims to increase women's participation in chess.

    Pieter Angermund, the owner of the company, said he wanted to get involved with the NCF's initiative because he realised the importance of having more women play chess.

    “I think it is good to give women a platform to share ideas while competing and honing their chess playing abilities,” said Angermund.

    He is confident that through this initiative, more girls can join the fray in what many people still think is only a men's game.

    NCF President, Otto Nakapunda applauded Angermund for getting involved in chess development.

    “This is a sign that the business community has confidence in the leadership and direction that chess is taking,” Nakapunda said.

    The Women's Chess Challenge is part of the NCF's drive to develop the sports holistically.

    Currently, there are six women World Chess Federation Masters and five men in Namibia.

    The NCF this year also introduced the Zonal Schools Individual Chess Championships, with the central and far-north regions having held their competitions already.

    The winners of those competitions are due to compete in the Namibian Schools' Individual Chess Championships scheduled for 08 April 2017.

    NAMPA

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Bringing pizzazz to the ring
  • Bringing pizzazz to the ringBringing pizzazz to the ringYoung, lithe and ready to rumble Upcoming professional boxer Vakufilapo ‘Cowboy’ Willem has bigger dreams in his boxing career and wants to emulate Namibia’s undefeated Harry Simon’s skills. In a rise of events, young and vibrant Vakufilapo ‘Cowboy’ Willem returned to boxing after being grounded by other commitments and in a year, he already has two knockouts under his name.

    ‘Cowboy’ as he is well known in boxing circles, only returned to boxing in 2015, with a plan to make it to the 2016 Olympic Games but his plan never saw the light of the day and he decided to go professional.

    Speaking to Sport Wrap recently, Willem said he started boxing at the tender age of nine and started to compete the age of 10. But, because the love for the game runs through his veins, he could not stay away from it and continued competing. However, in 2007 he took a break to go and further his studies.

    Willem, an electrical engineer by profession came back home from South Africa where he was studying to look for a job and due to his busy work schedule he was unable to continue with boxing again.

    “When I came back I had to work, but later I decided to start my own company and because I always had boxing at heart, I decided to come back because I had more time than before.

    “In 2015 is when I came back but was not so active and got some amateur fights and only last year, I was targeting the Olympics but when we wanted to try, the qualifying games where over so that did not materialise. I then got an idea of turning professional and had my first fight in September and won in the second round, so was my second fight in December and I won both by knockouts,” he said.

    He said when he came back, most of his mates had surpassed his level but after winning the two professional fights, he is confident that the future looks bright for him.

    “I know there is so much potential in me and I have a talent and believe there is nobody better than me. I feel that I am the best and hope I will be Namibia’s next champion,” he said confidently.

    The upcoming professional boxer who has a contract with the Salute Boxing Academy said he has been in contact with his promoter and hopes more boxing opportunities will be presented to him this year.

    “I want to have as many fights as I can and I have been in touch with my promoter. So, hopefully by April I will have my third fight, because my training sessions have already kicked off and I hope to win all my fights this year,” he said.

    Willem is a junior middleweight professional boxer, with an unbeaten record throughout his boxing career.

    He holds an impressive record of 21 junior fights, 42 amateur fights, and two professional bouts.

    He is inspired by Harry Simon and the former world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather, and dreams to be Namibia's next champion.

    “I would want to be rated the best pound for pound in the near future, and I would like to also win world titles like the likes of Harry Simon, Julius Indongo, Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Moses, Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, and Tyson Uushona.

    “I believe in my God given talent and sees myself as the most potential and promising boxer Namibia has,” he said.

    KAINO NGHITONGO

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: SA tax base bleeding
  • SA tax base bleedingSA tax base bleedingTapped the maximum they can from the public South African households are in for a tough time with the measures that Pravin Gordhan introduced in his budget. South African Finance minister Pravin Gordhan's Budget Speech lacked a plan for growth and austerity, said Gwen Ngwenya, chief operations officer at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).

    The IRR released a report on the National Budget, which was delivered by Gordhan in parliament on Wednesday of last week.

    It highlighted that government expenditure will continue to exceed revenue by a high margin, adding more pressure on an already burdened tax base.

    “The Treasury's plan is an exercise in extracting blood from a stone by squeezing an already over-bled tax base,” said Ngwenya.

    She said that the state has been taking a greater portion of the wealth generated in the economy. “Government expenditure as a proportion of gross domestic product has increased from 26.4% in 1994/95 to a projected 33% in 2017/18. By international standards this is a very high level,” she explained. Ngwenya also referred to increasing debt levels, up from 26% of GDP in 2008/09 to the current level of 50.7% of GDP. “As debt levels have increased, so too has the government's interest bill. The state's debt cost amounted to 8.8% of total expenditure in 2013/14, but is forecast to increase to 11% in 2019/20,” she added.

    The state debt burden is currently at 10% and servicing this debt could be spent on health, housing and community development. It is equivalent to half the education budget, according to the report. “Debt is therefore starting to crowd out other areas of expenditure,” said Ngwenya.

    With the tax-to-GDP rate already high, and no “sustainable options” to raise revenue in future, said Ngwenya. Only significantly higher levels of growth will free the state from a tax-to-GDP trap, according to the report.



    Burdened households

    Household debt is 50% higher than in the 2000s, and the tax on sugary drinks coming in later this year and the fuel levy of 30 cents per litre will further “gouge” household incomes, she explained.

    Personal income tax is the largest single contributor to tax revenue at 38.1%, compared to corporate income tax contributing 17.3% and VAT which contributes 24.7%. Relying on the middle class and individual taxpayers to help reduce the budget deficit is not a sustainable policy avenue, according to the report.

    “The government has very little room to manoeuvre.

    “If current growth and revenue collection targets are not met, the government may find itself in a considerable degree of fiscal, and therefore political, difficulty,” said Ngwenya.

    Reducing the budget deficit requires austerity, as economic growth is far too low, explained the report.

    However, austerity measures would be accompanied by political difficulty for the government, and to avoid austerity, growth is required. But there is no clear growth strategy laid out, according to the report.

    National and provincial administrations share the bulk of the responsibility for spend which is wasted through “corruption”, “inflated tenders” and empowerment contracts, said the report. “Cutting wastage and corruption would reduce the deficit pressure on the government.”

    The report found that increasing corporate tax above the current 28% would do more harm than good as South Africa's economic competitiveness is already reduced.

    Further, increasing the VAT rate would lead to political consequences. Spending less money on social protection, which accounts for 60% of expenditure and personnel expenditure, which accounts for 35%, would give government breathing room. But this also carries political consequences.

    “Our view is that the government has come close to maxing out the revenue it can extract from the economy, but has no workable plan to create new revenue,” said Ngwenya.



    News24

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    China's football revolution should benefit Namibian footballersChina's football revolution should benefit Namibian footballers China is Namibia's best friend. Since gaining power in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made the reformation of Chinese football one of his top priorities. In fact we have seen world class footballers moving to China in recent months a sign of the rising power of Chinese football. The bigger plan is to make China one of the world's top football nations by 2050. The Chinese government is even encouraging more state and private investment with the aim to double the size of the Chinese sporting economy by 2025 unlike us here in Namibia, we want to reverse sports growth. However, Chinese leaders have always been strategists from Sun Tzu to Chairman Mao and now Xi Jinping. Every previous and current Chinese leader had/have a clear vision of objectives for their own people when they take charge.

    Coming back to China and Namibia's healthy and steady relationship, which can be confirmed by the establishment of diplomatic relations on 22 March 1990, just one day after Namibia gained its independence, surely the majority of Namibians are yet to enjoy maximum benefits from this friendship, apart from the few selected children of top government officials who got Chinese bursaries to study in China a few years ago. Maybe now, that our beef has finally found its way onto the Chinese retail shelves. But still, we have given the Chinese every dollar we had in our kitty. Our procurement system has over the past 26 years given almost every tender to the Chinese.

    Awarding of tenders came to a halt last year and now some of our Chinese friends have turned to our wildlife. Now we mainly see our friends from the East on TV and newspapers almost every month when they appear in our courts on wildlife related and other criminal cases.

    However, this author read in the media recently that our president His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob is a big fan of football. It is hence this author and other Namibians dream that with the facilitation of our new ambassador to China Dr Elia Kaiyamo, to have as many Namibian footballers as possible playing soccer in the Chinese Super League and joining big stars like; Carlos Teves, Oscar, Ramirez, Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel and the recent 2017 AFCON best player, Cameroon's winger Christian Bassogog. Namibians would surely want to see Benyamin Nenkavu, Deon Hotto, Absalom Iimbondi, Petrus Shitembi, Oswaldo Xamseb and many others playing football and earning big money in Beijing so that Namibia gets some sort of refund for our billions of dollars that went to China through tenders awarded to the Chinese. This author even suggests that for every tender our tender board from now on awards to a Chinese firm, 10 Namibian footballers must jet off to Beijing. And for every wildlife or tax evasion criminal case reported involving a Chinese national, let 20 Namibian footballers fly to China. Let the aim be to have 100 players playing football in the Chinese Super League by 2020. And if the memories of Namibians serve them right, former Namibian soccer star Eliphas 'Safile' Shivute was the first and probably the last son of the soil to have landed a lucrative deal with Shengzen Football Club in the Chinese premier league in the late 90s. So this author believes that it is in every Namibian's interest to have Namibia and China continue to enjoy a good and healthy bilateral relationship. Indeed, a genuine bilateral relationship and having the same number of Namibians in China as we have Chinese in Namibia is very possible in our lifetime, but even more possible in the Harambee era. So dear advisors in the Namibian Presidency who are reading this opinion piece, please do the right thing and pass this on to our president and also to the Namibian ambassador to China.



    INDILENI SET SAM IIPINGE

    Ipinge is a Swapo Party Youth League Central Committee member, but writes this opinion piece in his own capacity as a Namibian youth activist. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree in International Business from NUST.

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Vorster and Drobisch shine
  • Vorster and Drobisch shineVorster and Drobisch shineRaces delights Nedbank Namibia The Nedbank Cycle Challenge produced emphatic races in Windhoek over the weekend. Michelle Vorster and Till Drobisch were crowned winners of the women and men 100 km Nedbank Cycle Challenge races that took place in Windhoek on Sunday.

    Drobisch clocked 24:34:53, while Vorster continued to her formidable form after winning her category in a time of 2:41:01.

    Drikus Coetzee also had the race of his life when he managed to come in at second place with a time of 2:36:02 in the men's category.

    Xavier Papo also proved to be a cycling sensation when he narrowly missed second place after finishing in third with a time of 2:37:35 over a 100 km distance.

    In the women's category Michelle Doman produced an incredible race after finishing second with a time of 2:50:43.

    Irene Steyn's efforts earned her third spot when she finished in 2:54:32.

    In the 60 km men's race, Diego Izaaks enjoyed a thrilling finish with a time of 1:36:30.

    Izaaks was followed by Alfred Israel who managed to complete the race in a time of 1:37:03.

    Melki Hamukoto also showed his mettle when he came third in the 60 km race, clocking 1:37:47.

    The event attracted hundreds of young and old cyclists from across the country.

    The awards ceremony of the 32 edition of the event was held at the Zoo Park in Windhoek yesterday afternoon.

    Namibia Media Holdings, NHP, Indongo Toyota and Coca Cola all sponsored the competition.

    Nedbank Namibia's Managing Director Lionel Mathews expressed joy over the event.

    “I promise you that Nedbank Namibia will do everything in its powers to continue with events of this nature for a long time.

    “The other thing is that we will not be retrenching employees at our company despite the difficult financial times,” he said.

    Cyclist Beu Kauta also said that he had a wonderful experience even if he failed to win a medal at the event.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Mugabe parties on mass grave
  • Mugabe parties on mass graveMugabe parties on mass graveLavish celebrations held under sharp criticism President Robert Mugabe's birthday celebrations this weekend were not only criticised for opulence, but also for the fact that they were held on the site where dissidents were buried in the 1980s. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 93rd birthday with a lavish party on Saturday, addressing his own mortality in a speech, but showing no signs of stepping down.

    Wearing a black cowboy hat, Mugabe, who is increasingly frail, paused for lengthy periods and mumbled at times as he spoke for more than an hour.

    “It's not always easy to predict that, although you are alive this year, you will be alive next year,” he said.

    “It does not matter how healthy you might feel. The decision that you continue to live and enjoy life is that of one personality we call the Almighty God.

    “We should thank the Almighty God that I was able to live from 92 years last year to 93, but much more than that I was able to live from childhood to this day - that's a long, long journey.”

    The birthday party, held in a large marquee outside Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo, was attended by thousands of officials and Zanu-PF party supporters.

    Mugabe has held power since 1980 during a reign marked by repression of dissent, vote-rigging and the country's sharp economic decline.

    Now the world's oldest national leader, his actual birthday on Tuesday has been honoured in a week-long extravaganza with state media filled with tributes and praise.



    Local criticism

    Saturday's party included a feast and several vast birthday cakes, angering some Zimbabweans as the country endures severe food shortages.

    One of the cakes was shaped like Mugabe's official Mercedes-Benz limousine.

    Holding the event at a school in Matobo has also riled locals as it is close to where many victims of Mugabe's crackdown on dissidents in the early 1980s are thought to be buried.

    At least 20 000 people are believed to have been killed in the massacres by North Korean-trained Zimbabwean troops, according to rights groups.

    “This should not be a place for celebration,” Mbuso Fuzwayo, spokesperson for the Bulawayo-based campaign group Ibhetshu Likazulu, told AFP.

    “The whole area is a crime scene where the bones of victims of the massacres are buried.”

    The state-owned Herald newspaper on Tuesday published a 24-page supplement of gushing congratulatory messages from government departments and regime loyalists.

    “It's written on earth and in heaven that our leader is RG Mugabe,” Zanu-PF national youth leader Kudzai Chipanga told the president in his speech.

    “We find it hard and impossible to talk about any other leader except yourself.”

    Zanu-PF has endorsed Mugabe as its candidate for general elections next year, and he remains widely respected as a liberation hero by other African leaders.



    'Mugabe must go'

    Party guests - many dressed in clothing printed with Mugabe's image - chanted “Long live the African icon”.

    “Some in their little groups are saying 'Mugabe must go' and I ask 'where must I go?'” Mugabe said, wearing dark glasses and a colourful jacket with a picture of himself on it.

    “If Zanu-PF says 'you should step down', I will step down,”

    He has avoided naming a successor, but his wife, Grace, 51, is seen as a possible candidate along with vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

    A coalition of opposition activist groups said the event was “a mockery and a direct insult to the concerns of the citizens”, alleging that poor farmers were forced to donate cattle to feed guests.

    Mugabe cut the cakes with the help of Grace as the crowd sang Happy Birthday.

    Born on February 21, 1924, Mugabe trained as a teacher and taught in what was then Rhodesia and Ghana before returning home to join the guerrilla war against white-minority rule.

    He became prime minister on Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980 and then president in 1987.

    All schools around Bulawayo were closed on Thursday and Friday to prepare for the celebration, which was attended by some ambassadors and foreign dignitaries.

    “Our children were told their classrooms have been turned into boarding facilities, and they (were) frogmarched to join the birthday party,” local poet and opposition activist Desire Moyo told AFP.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: shot of the day
  • shot of the dayshot of the day THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE: A picture taken of a rainbow appearing over Gaza City belies the conditions the residents live in. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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    Crisis of colossal proportionsCrisis of colossal proportions Namibia is in troubled waters and difficult times lie ahead. We are all aware of the economic crisis and the government's cash crunch. Much has been written on the lack of cash that will flow down to the average Joe with a drop in construction and tenders. However, what we do not realise is that while we know our civil service is bloated for the size of the country, we can guesstimate that around 70% of our people are employed there.

    Thus, when we hear rumours that some ministries have had to dip into Social Security Commission funds to pay salaries, we worry. We do not know whether these rumours are true, but where there is smoke, there is always a fire somewhere.

    We have seen the budget cuts announced by many ministries – we are still waiting for budget cut announcements from the highest office … or are those not necessary?

    On the other side of the coin, our people are suffering.

    We are, after 26 years of freedom, in a position where school dropouts are linked to lack of school feeding schemes. Can we really be in a place where our children need a plate of pap to go to school?

    We recall a small child, raped in Otjiwarongo some time ago. The alleged rapist apparently lured her to his home with the promise of a slice of bread. Not the slice in his hand, but the promise of that slice.

    We have seen the elderly San living in makeshift shelters in abhorrent conditions. Conditions which have no place in this country when we see how our highest officials live and eat.

    But that is Namibia today. This people, is where we are.

    And if government has no money to spend on its basic operations, and with poverty at the levels that it is in Namibia, with healthcare and education suffering budget cuts, where are our social safety nets going to be next year this time?

    It is a humanitarian crisis of colossal proportions and with the state of the economy as it is, we doubt whether the political will is there for the true spirit of Harambee – where we all, and we mean ALL of us, take a cut to help our countrymen.

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: 'Dagga is from God'
  • 'Dagga is from God''Dagga is from God' The Namibian police arrested a man last week who grew cannabis near the B1 road in the vicinity of Windhoek's Cimbebasia residential area.

    The 42-year-old man, whom the police said is a squatter, started cultivating the small cannabis plantation some two months ago.

    The man has been living in makeshift structures in the bushes near the road for the past two months with two friends.

    He admitted that the cannabis belongs to him, saying he smokes and sells the cannabis and uses the income to take care of himself and his friends.

    “It's mine, God gave it to me... Cannabis was created on the third day of creation,” the man said when questioned by the police.

    Khomas regional crime investigation coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa confirmed the incident.

    He said the suspect appeared in court on Friday.

    Nghishidimbwa also said according to the Local Authority Act, the men are squatting, which is illegal. He said the police would remove them.

    The suspect said he has been living in a nearby riverbed for eight years, but recently moved to this new location.

    His friend added that they feel safe in the bushes and don't go begging for food.

    “We don't steal or grab. Maybe smoking dagga is wrong to you but not to us it's not. It calms me,” he said.

    NAMPA

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Tourism sector booming
  • Tourism sector boomingTourism sector boomingBest performing year in a decade While Namibia is experiencing an economic downturn, the tourism sector remains strong and is performing very well. The Namibian tourism industry last year experienced one the best years in over a decade, with tourism establishments recording nearly 60% occupancy across the country, while figures indicate that the sector may perform even better this year.

    However CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (Han) Gitta Paetzold has warned that alarming reports of rising crime levels and in particular brutal armed robberies in Namibia may destroy the country's reputation.

    According to Han last year will go down in history as one of the most successful and positive tourism years for Namibia.

    At the moment, 2017 promises to be equally positive for tourism, if not better, with a high demand for tourism services currently experienced by tourism operators, said Paetzold.

    The results of January 2017 already shows a further increase on the previous year, with an average occupancy of over 45% in January, a month, that is usually seen as the start of Namibia's low season in tourism.

    Paetzold said that this trend is of particular importance for Namibia at a time, when other economic sectors, be it fishing, agriculture or mining has to some extent experienced difficulties. “The Namibian tourism industry is fully geared to meet the demands and growing interest of the international travel market in the southern African region and is looking forward to equal or even better results in the coming year.”

    She said the tourism sector is however fully aware that outside influences may easily affect its performance.Paetzold said the alarming reports of increasing crime levels and in particular the brutal armed robberies at guesthouses and sites frequented by tourists at the coast may destroy Namibia's opportunity to become the most desirable tourism destination in Africa by the end of this year.

    This target has been set in the Tourism Growth Strategy and the National Development Plan 4 and 5 for tourism. However Paetzold said risks to safety and security of travellers and Namibians alike may ruin Namibia's chances of becoming the most popular tourism destination in Africa. She said that Han therefore strongly believes that now is the time to stand together to halt the serious threat that rising crime poses to tourism prosperity.

    With regard to the 2016 figures lodges, tented lodges and guest houses seem to be the most popular accommodation facilities throughout Namibia, but hotels faired almost equally well, both in Windhoek and along the Coast.

    The coastal region exceeded the overall average and fared the best of all regions, with accommodation on average over 62% filled in 2016. This is particularly interesting, as Swakopmund experienced a remarkable growth in available accommodation in 2015 with hundreds of additional beds added to the already ample offer of tourism accommodation at the coast.

    According to Paetzold Han is able to base these figures on the submissions made by its members, who provide their monthly occupancy figures.

    While the submissions are not inclusive of all businesses and properties available in the country, the processed report is a very good indicator of tourism performance experienced in Namibia, and compares well with individual experiences of other operators. Paetzold further stressed that safety and security are key to prosperity and urged the Namibian Police, the Namibia Tourism Board, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and all relevant government authorities to ensure that Namibia's environment, both in terms of nature and safety, remains conducive to tourism growth and prosperity.

    “Only then will Namibia be able to reach its target, namely to become the most sought-after travel destination in Africa.”



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 02/26/17--14:00: Nothing to complain about
  • Nothing to complain aboutNothing to complain about Hostel students at the University of Science and Technology (Nust) are disgruntled about the food offered at the university's hostel.

    A third-year Bachelor of English student who only identified herself as Sara said she was not happy about the quantity of food that she was being offered. “The food at this place is not good, and it is way too little we've been complaining and complaining, but nothing is being done, I'm sure even prisoners eat better food than this,” said Sara. Another student at the hostel said that some of the hostel students who were not happy about the food have to suck it up and just understand their situation. “These people need to understand that the hostel is not a five-star restaurant we all can't get our demands met here, eat what you have to and go for your classes or move out of the hostel and rent somewhere,” said the student. Namibian Sun while speaking to some students also learned that most of them do not eat the quality or the kind of food they get at the Nust hostel when they are home. Many of the hostel learners Namibian Sun spoke to admitted that they get better food at the hostel then at their homes. “Obviously sometimes the food here is better because you have a balanced diet, at home we hardly get this, but the food here is too little and expensive,” admitted one student.

    The director of communications and marketing at Nust, Kaitira Kandji said that students usually complain about the portion of the food because they share their food with other students. “Students want bigger portions to share the food with their friends,” responded Kandjii.

    Some students were also not happy that they are not allowed to take food to their rooms when they want to. Kandjii explained that if students were allowed to take food back to their rooms they wash food down the basin creating an environment for cockroaches to breed and also blockages. “Food is being washed down the wash basin and results in blockages. Cockroaches breed in the hostel due to this,” said Kandjii.

    The hostels students are provided with three meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The students pay N$25 for breakfast per day, N$55 for lunch per day and N$43 for dinner. Nust students pay N$15 000 per year for a full meal package and N$7000 for half a package, with the option of deciding which of the packages they prefer. Prices may vary due to holiday and booking options by students for their meals.



    SHONA NGAVA

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    Possible malaria outbreak in OhangwenaPossible malaria outbreak in Ohangwena The ministry of health and social services has confirmed a possible malaria outbreak in the Ohangwena Region and said that powerful anti-malaria medication has been introduced.

    The ministry's permanent secretary Dr Andreas Mwoombola announced this in a statement to Namibian Sun following enquiries. Clinics that border Angola have reported a high number of malaria cases in particular pregnant women who are waiting to deliver.

    Mwoombola could not provide statistics on the cases reported, but he indicated that the most affected age group is from 15 years and upward. “Places with most the malaria cases are the clinics alongside the Angolan border while the age group most affected is age 15 upwards. Several efforts are being made by the ministry to reduce malaria incidences,” Mwoombola said.

    At the end of February last year Ohangwena regional health director, John Hango announced a malaria outbreak in his region. Extremely high cases of 427 were recorded in the regional district hospitals. During February last year, Eenhana District Hospital recorded 177 cases, followed by Engela Hospital with 175, while Okongo reported 75 cases. In 2015 a total of 129 cases were reported for the entire region.

    “The ministry has introduced new anti-malaria medication in Ohangwena that are powerful and available at all the clinics. Case tracing of infected people is being conducted to test people in the surrounding areas and those found to be malaria positive are referred for treatment right away. Community education has been intensified through radios by community leaders such as politicians, traditional leaders and church leaders. Information is also being provided to schools,” Mwoombola added.

    Last year Hango said that a DDT spraying campaign was conducted in the whole region, but the number of cases were still very high. At the time, Namibian Sun was informed that the numbers of malaria cases in Ohangwena were increasing due to expecting women camping at district hospitals and health centres.

    However, Mwoombola said so far only one pregnant woman was admitted with malaria this year and additional spraying to include less prone malaria areas will be done. Larvacides are being sprayed on standing water to kill the mosquito larvae is also being done.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Crashes and fires mark Erongo weekendCrashes and fires mark Erongo weekend Police in Erongo Region are investing a case of cupable homocide after a white Toyota Hilux pick-up carrying 11 occupants oveturned on the B2 road on Friday.

    “Raymond Risen, 34, died at the scene. His next of kin are informed. The vehicle was en route from Arandis to Usakos and apparently experienced a right rear tyre burst 45 km before Usakos. The driver lost control and the vehicle overturned. The driver and other passengers sustained moderate to minor injuries and were admitted to Usakos State Hospital,” said Chief Inspector Erastus Ikuyu.

    Martinus Sevelinus is being investigated for culpable homicide, drunken driving, reckless and negligent driving and driving without a licence after an accident which claimed the life of one person in the vicinity of Omatjete on Friday.

    “The accused (Sevelinus) was arrested after he lost conrol of a white Nissan NP300, pick-up belonging to Nexus Construction. The vehicle overturned and Matheus Martselinus, 31, died instantly. His next of kin are informed. Two other passengers, Immanuel Johannes, 57, and Kumbazu Jamuene, 35, sustained moderate to serious injuries and were taken to Omaruru State Hospital. The suspect does not have a drivers licence. He will appear in Omaruru Magistrate's Court today,” said Ikuyu.

    The body of Marina Ikela, 42, was discovered hanging by a rope by her cousin at house number 26, Orion Street on in Kuisebmond on Thursday.

    Ikuyu said the deceased stayed with her cousin who discovered the body.

    “No suicide note was left. The relatives allege that the deceased experienced family problems and was treated for depression. The next of kin are informed and the investigations continue.”

    A shack fire claimed the life of wheel chair bound Eddy Plaatjies, 25, in Mondesa on Wednesday.

    Ikuyu said the fire might have been started by a candle that was left burning.

    “The owner of the shack, Cheron Plaaitjies together with her two-month-old baby and her mother escaped unhurt. Cheron woke up at around 01:10 and realised that the shack was on fire. She and her mother tried to rescue Eddy but failed because the flames were too intense. The shack was totally destroyed.

    Edna Etheka, 26, lost her life in another fire-related incident that took place at house number 2390 Mandume Ndemufayo Street in Mondesa on Tuesday.

    According to Ikuyu, Edna and her mother had an argument because the mother suspected that Edna was using drugs.

    “Edna apparently behaved violently over a number of days and her mother decided to overnight elsewhere due to her behaviour. The mother visited the house at 13:25 and took her two-year-old grandson while Enla locked herself in. A few minutes later she was called by the neighbours who informed her of smoke coming from inside her house. The house door was broken open. Edna was rescued and rushed to Swakopmund State Hospital where she died from suspected smoke inhalation. She did not sustain any injuries. The cause of the fire is not yet known,” Ikuyu said.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Seven killed in animal attacksSeven killed in animal attacksElephant declared problem animal, destroyed As desert elephants migrate southwards for grazing, they are creating conflict with the residents of Omatjete. The elephant which killed a man in the Erongo Region recently, was declared a problem animal and shot and killed by the environmental ministry.

    The recent elephant attack in the Erongo Region during which Lourens Hindjou was killed has brought the instances of people killed by animals since the start of this year to seven.

    According to the environmental ministry it is aware of the incident in which Hindjou was killed.

    Hindjou was killed on 12 February at Omungambu village near Omatjete in Daures Constituency, Erongo Region.

    The ministry said that officials of the ministry tracked down the elephant and declared it a problem animal. It was shot and killed in the late afternoon of 23 February. The meat will be donated to family of Hindjou and as per the National Policy on Human Wildlife Conflict the family will be assisted with N$5 000 towards the burial and funeral arrangements.

    “Sadly, the incidents of human wildlife conflict are on the increase in areas where elephants are prevalent especially in the Erongo Region where desert-adapted elephants leave their habitats mainly in the Ugab area in search of food and water,” the ministry said.

    According to the ministry these elephants from time to time wander into villages and then conflict tends to occur.

    According to the ministry staff members have been deployed into the area of Omatjete since reports of elephant aggression surfaced to monitor the movement of elephants in order to prevent more damage to property. They are also busy conducting public education sessions on how to live and handle elephants.

    However, it cautioned the public, especially those that reside in conservancy areas and communities where there are elephants or any dangerous predators to always be vigilant and avoid walking at night in the bush.

    “It has also been observed that some people resort to screaming, shouting, beating drums, burning fires and chasing elephants amongst other things when they are spotted passing by villagers.”

    The ministry urged people to stop making such gestures as they might aggravate the elephants to retaliate and as result cause damages to property or in some instances lead to a loss of human life.

    The ministry also appealed to tourists to refrain from using drones and taking pictures at very close range to the elephants.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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