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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 03/07/17--14:00: Rain is double-edged sword
  • Rain is double-edged swordRain is double-edged sword While people rejoice for the good rainfall the country is receiving after such a protracted drought, many poor families in especially informal settlements have been left destitute following the recent heavy showers that destroyed many of their belongings.

    Boame Melesano, a father of ten who lives in Okuryangava in Katutura, is counting his losses not his blessings, after rain flooded his home damaging his furniture including his children's beds during a recent heavy downpour. Melesano said it was the first time his house was flooded. “We just sat like that helplessly and had to wait until it stopped raining,” said Melesano, adding that they could only start salvaging the destroyed house furniture after the rain stopped.

    Melesano, a taxi driver by profession, told Namibian Sun thus far he has spent more than N$300 to build a blockade around his shack to prevent flooding in future. “I spent about N$300 on sand alone so that I can build something around my shack to avoid being flooded again,” Melesano said.

    Despite having lost property due to the rainfall and the inconvenience caused by being drenched, Melesano said the rain is still a blessing for Melesano and his family.

    “We also want it to rain. It is still a blessing. There is a water crisis in our city and we need the rain to survive,” said Melesano.

    He added that despite the rains being destructive in some cases, rain is an essential part of our lives.

    Another family also suffered heavy losses from the recent downpours. Fifty-two-year-old Festus Matheus's house leaks each time during heavy rains. “My structure is old and I am unemployed so I do not have money to fix my house. My wife and I just sit helplessly when it rains,” Matheus said.

    “It always happens because my house is built next to a riverbed,” said Matheus who added that if he had the means, he would relocate to higher ground.

    Like Melesano, Matheus looks for the silver lining in the proverbial rain cloud. Although he stays awake all night when it rains due to the leaks, he also said the rains are good for the wellness of the people. “The rain is a blessing, it is just unfortunate that my shack leaks, but we need the rain to grow crops,” said Matheus.


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  • 03/07/17--14:00: Barley project grows
  • Barley project growsBarley project growsSustainable barley industry to be created Following extensive trials, Namibia Breweries says their barley project is developing well and things are on track for a healthy industry in future. A total of 377 hectares of barley have been planted last year, with 1 426 tons of barley harvested and of this 1 250 tons were of good quality.

    Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) has during 2016 alone, invested N$6.5 million in the barley project, following extensive trials which commenced in 2010.

    This is according to the 2016 barley harvest report which was presented at an information session by NBL regarding the background, trials and successes of the barley project to date.

    The home-grown barley project was brought to life by NBL – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and government's Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev) six years ago.

    “Through this project, we are striving to create jobs and support government's Harambee Prosperity Plan, Growth at Home Strategy and Vision 2030. Apart from creating more value locally, NBL also aims to establish a sustainable barley industry ten years from now. Achieving these goals means that we have impacted on people's lives in a very meaningful way,” said NBL managing director, Wessie van der Westhuizen.

    He said that unemployment is a national issue that affects every Namibian and it is only in a unified spirit of camaraderie and working together that it could potentially reverse the challenge of poverty.

    Van der Westhuizen further added that NBL is well on its way to making history, leading the way in breakthrough thinking, and that ultimately the goal is to secure NBL's source of supply, and reduce reliance on importing raw materials from elsewhere in the world.

    “We would like to establish a sustainable barley industry by further implementing the barley industry development plan over the next ten years. When viable we will install a malting plant, which means we could use the home-grown barley for our other beer brands as well and thereby increase local value-addition.”

    He said that barley is a high-in-demand raw material that is not only used in beer but many other products as well.

    He added that NBL is committed to creating value locally that would lead to more jobs and also a sustainable home-grown barley industry.

    Van der Westhuizen said following the successful trials which established that barley can be grown locally, further research and development ensued to develop a brand to take up the un-malted barley, as Namibia does not have malting facilities, and all existing NBL brands make use of malted barley. This saw the birth of King Lager in November 2015, described by consumers as “crispy, refreshing and easy to drink”.

    Agriculture minister John Mutorwa emphasised the importance of public-private partnership (PPPs), and stressed that the home-grown barley project is a perfect example of what can come from PPPs.

    “Today's event is a concrete and visible demonstration of PPPs.”

    He said partnership is recognised as a major pre-requisite for the achievement of dynamic, efficient and sustainable development in the country.

    “Namibia's future will also depend largely on the people themselves – much will depend on our ability and willingness to respond with innovation and commitment to the new challenges.”


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    UN expert to assess pensioners' rightsUN expert to assess pensioners' rights United Nations (UN) independent expert on human rights, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, is in Namibia to assess the situation of older persons in the country.

    The diplomat arrived Thursday for a weeklong visit to identify the best practices and gaps in the implementation of laws related to the promotion and protection of older person's rights. The UN Human Rights Council Office in Namibia made the visit public on Monday through a media statement.

    “I am particularly interested in learning more about Namibia's extensive social protection system, including the universal non-contributory pension which helped to significantly reduce poverty levels in the country,” Kornfeld-Matte said.

    She emphasised that her observation on the technology used to manage the payment system is crucial in a country with a low population density, as such experiences may have a lot of potential for other countries in similar situations.

    “I would also like to learn more about Namibia's policies and strategies of relevance to older persons such as the government's prosperity plan,” she added. Kornfeld-Matte is visiting the country on government's invitation and will also travel to the two Kavango regions, where she will hold discussions with government representatives and non-governmental organisations working on the issue of older persons.

    The expert, originally from Chile in South America, was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2014 and tasked with monitoring, reporting and advising on the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons around the world.

    She will on 13 March hold a media conference in Windhoek to share the preliminary findings of her visit.


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  • 03/07/17--14:00: Nudo seeks Geingob help
  • Nudo seeks Geingob helpNudo seeks Geingob help President Hage Geingob has been urged to step in and ensure OvaHerero and Nama leaders are given a seat at the table during the bilateral talks between the Namibian and German governments on the 1904-1908 genocide.

    Meundju Jahanika, secretary-general of Nudo, said a delegation met with Geingob to advocate for the inclusion of the chiefs, Vekuii Rukoro and David Frederick.

    The party claimed that during the recent meeting, the president “in our opinion, was very sincere and concerned and has realised that without the involvement of those two leaders … the current negotiation, which is in its infancy, might not be welcome at all.”

    Nudo proposed that the president engage with the affected groups that “feel left out” and to negotiate “common ground” with them on how best to approach the negotiations.

    Jahanika claimed that Geingob had informed that the “real negotiations haven't started, as the teams are still busy with paperwork, and thus there is time.”

    The party stated that thus far the two chiefs had been “deliberately excluded from the negotiation process, only because they demand to speak for themselves in their own identity, and not as part of the government negotiation structures.”

    The party referred to widespread criticism against the current deliberations, which many claim does not adequately allow for the input of the impacted communities.

    Jahanika added that the party had also met with the German ambassador to Namibia.

    “The German ambassador left us with the impression that his government will have no objection with whom the Namibian government will bring to the negotiating table,” he said.

    Jahanika said that he party hoped their impression was correct, because the German government had previously stated that they would “not negotiate with individual groups but only with the Namibian government.”

    The party added that they respected the appointment of former ambassador Zed Ngavirure as the special envoy to lead the Namibian deliberations.

    Nudo said that the lack of direct representatives is the reason behind the recent filing of a lawsuit in the USA against the German government. The lawsuit seeks reparations and the right to representation during talks.

    Rukoro and Frederick are listed as the primary complainants.

    Nudo said the court case might further “complicate” the negotiations.


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    Analysts share budget expectationsAnalysts share budget expectationsBalancing act required in national budget Economists expect the finance minister to broaden the country's tax base and improve tax collection, while making further budget cuts. It remains to be seen how much fat finance minister Calle Schlettwein can trim when he tables what is perhaps one of the most highly anticipated budgets ever today.

    Schlettwein followed a consolidation path when he tabled his mid-year budget review, resulting in spending cuts of approximately N$4.5 billion.

    Sharing his insights, Namibia Equity Broker analyst Ngoni Bopoto said he expected Schlettwein to broaden the tax base and improve revenue collection.

    Schlettwein had announced that the Revenue Agency Bill would be tabled in parliament.

    “We expect a very fine balancing act characterised by revenue constraints and the need to propel economic growth. Tax will certainly be a key focus area with continued emphasis on broadening the base, improved collection and the regular sin taxes while Southern African Customs Union (SACU) receipts are expected to reflect some recovery. The expenditure side will remain contractionary, which can be expected to have a dampening impact on the economy,” Bopoto said.

    He added: “Fiscal consolidation remains a key theme for ratings agencies and we are keen to see how the minister will fund the fiscus while curbing growth in public debt to appease investor and ratings agency concerns. In this regards, we hope to see innovative revenue-generating proposals.”

    Economic Association of Namibia director Klaus Schade suggested in an earlier interview with Namibian Sun that several ministries should be merged as a cost-cutting measure and to avoid the duplication of functions.

    “We could think outside the box in order to address the current fiscal situation: streamline government structures and merge ministries. For instance, social grants and social welfare services are shared between four ministries. They could be consolidated within one ministry,” Schade said.

    Capricorn Asset Management's economic analyst Claudia Boamah said a fine balancing act was needed to ensure economic growth while making the necessary budget cuts.

    “There is no question that policymakers have more control over expenditure reduction than they do over revenue generation in the interest of reducing the budget deficit.

    “However, budget cuts will have to be strategically executed, otherwise much-needed economic growth will be delayed and that will in turn impede revenue generation and further increase the deficit. In order to achieve this, the usual upward adjustments will be made with respect to sin taxes and fuel levies,” she said.

    Other proposals she expects to receive attention this year are a 'solidarity' tax, the probable introduction of capital gains tax and presumptive tax.

    Added Boamah: “Value-added tax might be another avenue for revenue generation; however, it has implications for low-income households that might be counterproductive to the national aim of poverty reduction. Between widening the tax base, increasing certain taxes and instituting better tax collection mechanisms, the 2017/18 revenue collected might put a dent in the deficit.”

    SACU executive secretary Pauline Elago said during a recent visit to President Hage Geingob at State House that Namibia's share of the customs union's receipts would be “satisfactory” this year.

    “It is safe to expect a modest increase in revenue; the South African budget has given cause for optimism regarding Namibia's SACU revenue allocation. The performance of uranium and diamond exports might have a counteractive effect on the international tax,” Boamah said.

    “Expenditure will have to be strictly implemented and monitored. The operational budget should be given special attention and should not be allowed to exceed the threshold,” she added.

    In its economic outlook for the year 2017, the Bank of Namibia expected positive growth.

    “Real Gross Domestic Product growth is estimated at 1% in 2016 and projected to increase to 2.9% and 3.8% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Over the medium term, growth will mainly be supported by anticipated recovery in both agriculture and diamond mining, as well as improved growth in uranium mining and the transport and communication sectors.”


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    Security gate kills policewomanSecurity gate kills policewoman Questions surround the grisly death of a female police officer who was based at the former Woman and Child Protection Unit at the Katutura hospital.

    The woman, who was found dead on Monday at about 20:00, is suspected to have climbed over a security gate at the Gender-based Violence Investigation Unit where she worked.

    Detective Sergeant Johanna Ligoleni Angombe (43) was apparently locked in the office and tried to climb over the security gate, which has sharp iron barbs. She allegedly became stuck, suffered extensive injuries and bled to death.

    The police yesterday described her death as a “tragic incident” and said that she was found “hanging or hooked” on the iron barbs of the entrance gate.

    “The circumstances of her death are not yet clear, but it is suspected that she climbed over the security gate, got stuck and sustained serious 'stab' wounds by the sharp irons. She bled profusely and succumbed to her injuries.”

    Her body was discovered by a passer-by who called the police.

    Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi told Namibian Sun that it was suspected that Angombe had been locked in the office and did not have keys for the security gate.

    There were rumours that Angombe was unable to make a telephone call to get help, but Kanguatjivi confirmed that there are telephones in the office and that they were in a working condition.

    He said further investigation was needed to establish what exactly had happened.


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    Effective 10-year prison term for accountantEffective 10-year prison term for accountant Peter Tyran Kohler (45), a former accountant at two building supply dealers who confessed to defrauding his employers of N$5.8 million, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

    High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg conditionally suspended five years of the sentence.

    Kohler was convicted after having pleaded guilty to 218 counts of fraud totalling to N$5.8 million.

    He worked as accountant and store manager for the Pennypinchers Timbercity branches in Windhoek and Ongwediva and by way of manipulating the company's financial system, credited his own bank account with funds appropriated from the company's bank account.

    “In some instances creditors of the accused were paid directly with company funds,” Judge Liebenberg said.

    “The accused admitted that the crimes were not borne out by need but were driven by greed.”

    Liebenberg said Kohler had abused a position of trust and was unable to make full restitution given the large amount involved. The enormity of the fraudulent transactions over a period of five years was another aggravating circumstance.

    “Kohler's guilty plea, coupled with a genuine show of remorse, is a mitigating factor weighing heavily with the court which should lead to a significant reduction in sentence,” the judge stated.

    He said white-collar crime had become more prevalent and the court was entitled to take judicial notice thereof and impose deterrent sentences.

    Kohler is a first offender and is married with three children aged 13, eight and four. He sent his family to South Africa shortly after his arrest on 10 September 2015.

    The judge stated that having listened to Kohler's honest submission in mitigation of sentence, there was no doubt he would probably live with constant guilt for the hardship he had caused those near and dear to him.


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    Oshakati flood victims relocatedOshakati flood victims relocatedNot enough tents at evacuation site About 250 people have been moved from Oshakati's flooded informal settlements, where they had built illegally. The Oshakati town council has relocated about 250 people displaced by recent heavy rains in the north.

    The 51 families were moved from several informal settlements and are now camping at a University of Namibia plot in the Ekuku area.

    The Oshana Regional Council has provided 20 tents to accommodate them.

    Oshakati town council CEO Werner Iita is, however, concerned that the number of tents may not be enough.

    The central government has not declared a flood disaster and the local authorities are trying by all means to assist those affected from their small budgets.

    Iita said the council understood the flood victims' outcry, but he was quick to point out that the situation was mostly self-inflicted since residents had been warned not to build in flood-prone areas.

    The town council has been struggling to contain the mushrooming of illegal shacks in areas such as Oshoopala for many years.

    “We have been telling the people not to grab land and they ignored us. Most of the people who have been relocated from those areas were there deliberately just to be relocated and given free food,” Iita said.


    Some affected residents are relieved to have been relocated to higher ground, but they are dissatisfied with the council's efforts to assist them. They say they feel they have been “dumped” and left to suffer at the relocation site.

    They complain that there are minimal toilet facilities at the site, with only a single tap to provide water.

    They describe this as unacceptable.

    “We are a lot here, there are those that have to go to work, children have to go to school and how do you think the situation is in the morning? Our children are getting to school late because they have to make way for the elderly,” says 53-year-old Maria Johannes from Oshoopala.

    Johannes claims that the council did not provide them with transport when they moved to the camp.

    “I am in debt of N$100 as the transporter charged me N$300, which I could not pay in full,” Johannes says.

    The town council has urged good Samaritans to assist if they have shelter or food to share.


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    Ondonga princess loses N$19m tenderOndonga princess loses N$19m tender The Offshore Development Company (ODC) has revoked a construction tender awarded in 2015 to Katrina Enterprises, a company owned by Katrina Elifas, the daughter of Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.

    Elifas and her Chinese partners were awarded the N$19 million tender for the construction of an SME business park at the Omahenene border post in the Omusati Region.

    The tender has now been awarded to another company, Omusati Construction.

    The ODC alleged that Katrina Enterprises had violated the contractual agreement by halting construction work and abandoning the project for more than two years.

    Elifas went into a joint venture with Chinese construction company Zhen Jiang Construction and Engineering, but they abandoned the project in 2014.

    The project was supposed to be completed by May 2015 but the contractor abandoned the site, having completed only 65% of the work.

    ODC CEO Phillip Namundjebo told Namibian Sun that Katrina Enterprises' tender was terminated for breach of contract.

    He said the contract stipulated that ODC would terminate the tender if the contractor failed to complete the project.

    “As you may recall, the contractor stopped working on site in December 2014 and subsequently abandoned the project, violating the contract.

    “The contract stipulates that in the event of such a default, another contractor would be engaged to finish the work,” Namundjebo said.

    “On completion of the project, the final account will be worked out as per the contract. The difference between the original sum and the amount reflected in the final account will be deemed as debt payable to the ODC by Katrina Enterprises and partners as per the contract.”

    According to Elifas, before they abandoned the site in 2014, the project engineers, Burmeister and Partners, approached the ODC complaining that the steel Katrina Enterprises was using for the roof was of poor quality.

    A letter seen by Namibian Sun, dated November 2015 and addressed to Burmeister and Partners by Elifas, demanded an explanation on the quality of steel


    “We would like to request if you can stipulate to us in an official letter which test you would require on site to verify the strength of our steel. If there is any laboratory which deals in those tests, you can help us with contact details so that we can fast-track the process to prevent any further delays,” the letter reads.

    In 2015 Katrina Enterprises registered a dispute alleging unfair project management by the ODC. Katrina Enterprises claimed that the ODC had appointed the project architect, who in turn allegedly caused conflict at the construction site that led to the contractor abandoning the site.

    After a year of no activity at the site, the ODC appointed the Namibian Council for Architects and Quantity Surveyors (NCAQS) to adjudicate in the matter.

    In 2015 NCAQS appointed Mwanakatwe Studio Architecture Inc to act as adjudicator.

    On 23 February 2016, in a letter seen by Namibian Sun, Mwanakatwe Studio Architecture Inc ruled in favour of Katrina Enterprises, but neither the ODC nor Burmeister and Partners was happy with the decision.

    “How come they went ahead to appoint a new contractor while the adjudicator decision is still pending? They must pay our money for the 65% work we have done and they must also return our retention. Otherwise we will fight them in court. They are saying that our steel is of poor quality, but they are continuing using it,” Elifas said.

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  • 03/07/17--14:00: Swapo mum on blacklist
  • Swapo mum on blacklistSwapo mum on blacklistTargeted members hit back The Politburo of the ruling party says it is concerned over “mushrooming of movements by bona fide members”. A special Swapo Politburo meeting on Monday decided to take disciplinary steps against some party members, who it said “continued to violate the [party] constitution with impunity and yet continue to regard themselves as Swapo members”.

    At a press conference yesterday, party secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba would not divulge any names before written notices of the disciplinary procedures were issued to those involved. He also would not say how many would be disciplined.

    Mbumba said the alleged errant members would be charged in due course. The party's secretary for information, Helmut Angula, added that disciplinary measures would be instituted against those who were “deliberately” using their party membership to “insult” party leaders and members.

    The 26-member Politburo further expressed concern “over mushrooming formation of movements by bona fide members of the party and the subsequent blatant and continued disrespect towards the leadership of the party and of the country”.

    Monday's meeting resolved to enforce provisions, rules and procedures of the party's constitution and code of conduct, “so that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that whoever makes himself or herself guilty of such misconduct” is dealt with.

    The disciplinary committee will consist of six or seven members and will be chaired by the former secretary-general, Ngarikutuke Tjiriange.

    Although no names were given, it seems clear that steps are to be taken against those associated with the Landless People's Movement (LPM), such as ousted deputy minister of land reform Bernadus Swartbooi, Henny Seibeb, and Member of Parliament Ida Hoffmann.

    Elsewhere it was also suggested that disciplinary steps might be taken against former MP Kazenambo Kazenambo, as well as Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leader Job Amupanda and former youth league secretary Elijah Ngurare.

    Seibeb yesterday said he knew nothing about disciplinary action.

    Kazenambo, who is a member of the Politburo, said he had never been charged with a crime and couldn't be labelled as a rebel because he had never participated in a rebellion inside or outside the country.

    Amupanda said the impending disciplinary process was an attempt to side-line those who had indicated that they had leadership aspirations.

    Amupanda recently indicated that he was willing to stand as a candidate for the position of secretary-general at the party congress in November.

    Mbumba said it was “outrageous” to suggest that members of the Politburo misused their power to institute some kind of witch-hunt.

    He said the Politburo had spent hours deliberating on issues in the interest of the party, its members and the nation at large.

    He also took exception to a question which suggested that the top four in Swapo – President Hage Geingob, Mbumba, Laura McLeod-Katjirua and former president Hifikepunye Pohamba – were applying double standards since they had been found to have non-procedurally suspended three AR leaders.


    The Politburo also discussed the country's economic downturn and resolved to implore the government to prepare mitigating measures to overcome its effects and to intensify job creation to fight unemployment among the youth.

    It urged the government to increase support to small-scale farmers to enable them to increase their production and thereby increase job opportunities and food security.


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  • 03/08/17--01:32: Ammonia leak at Meatco
  • Ammonia leak at MeatcoAmmonia leak at Meatco Chaos ensued at Meatco’s Windhoek factory in the northern industrial area after an ammonia pipe burst this morning at around 10:30. The ammonia is used in gas form for the factory’s coolers. Hundreds of staff members were evacuated in a bid to prevent inhalation of the gas which can be very dangerous. One member of staff was taken to Lady Pohamba private hospital and his condition at this stage is unknown. According Rosa Thobias, spokesperson for Meatco, it not known at this stage is any other staff will be hospitalised and the company is working hard to contain the leak.

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     Calle tables N$62.5 billion budget Calle tables N$62.5 billion budget
    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein today tabled a N$62.5 billion national budget for the 2017/18 financial year, down from the N$66 billion tabled in the last financial year.
    Presenting the budget in the National Assembly, Schlettwein said the appropriation bill is being tabled against the backdrop of a challenging fiscal and economic environment. He added that there was more to this budget than just tightening the fiscal purse. He said better fiscal results are now being realised following government’s consolidation programme adopted after the mid-year budget review during 2016/17.
    “These gains came about because of principled, albeit painful actions. These early gains must be sustained and, as a nation, we should resolve to nurture these emerging gains and keep spending pressures under control,” he said.
    Schlettwein spoke candidly about the Namibian economy, which he says needed to be transformed. “We need to transform the economy so that wealth is distributed downward without destroying our hard-won economic and political stability.
    “As we struggle for a prosperous Namibia we have to contend with some challenging trade-offs,” he said. Schlettwein announced that old-age pension will go up by N$100 to N$1 200 senior citizens, while increases are also expected when it comes to grants for the vulnerable.
    The ministry of education will once again receive the biggest chunk of the budget cake with N$11.98 billion going to basic education, while higher education has been allocated N$3.07 billion, including N$926 million for Unam and N$533 for the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
    The ministry of health will receive an allocation of N$6.51 billion, while the defence budget has been slightly cut to N$5.68 billion from N$5.95 billion. The minister said given the difficult economic situation, he doesn’t intend to propose general tax rate increase or introduce new taxes at this stage.


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    Tobias lines up Namibian greatsTobias lines up Namibian greatsHitman to headline Independence Bonanza Nestor Tobias promises a flamboyant display from his boxers at their next boxing event. Boxing fans are in for a mouth-watering treat next month, as the MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy has its finest boxers lined up for an Independence boxing bonanza.

    The exciting fights will take place on 1 April at the Ramatex Complex in Windhoek.

    The academy is going for broke for the sake of entertainment and the pride of the nation by staging several title fights on one night.

    One of Namibia's most decorated boxers, Paulus 'Hitman' Moses, will be in action in the main bout of the night to defend his WBO Africa lightweight title against a boxer still to be confirmed.

    The former world champion is waiting for WBO sanctioning of the fight against either Tanzania's Mfaume Mfaume or Mzonge Fana.

    Undefeated boxer Sakaria 'Desert Storm' Lukas will also be looking to extend his unbeaten run when he defends his WBO Africa featherweight title against Oscar Chauke of South Africa.

    Fans will be expecting a knockout from specialist Walter 'Executioner' Kautondokwa. The hard-hitting boxer will trade leather with either South African Christopher Buthelezi or Uganda's Med Sebyala in his WBO Africa middleweight title defence.

    The disciplined fighter Immanuel 'Prince' Naidjala has been itching to deliver his trademark jabs since late last year.

    The boxer now finally has a chance to fight for the WBO International bantamweight title against a strong South African opponent, Sibiniso Ngonya.

    “Come 1 April, we are going to have a post-Independence celebration because of the date the fights are taking place.

    “We will have all our WBO champions in action defending their titles to maintain their standards and to also improve on their world ratings.

    “We are celebrating in order to honour our heroes and to entertain our fans,” promoter Nestor Tobias said.

    Tobias added that it was difficult for him to get quality boxers to fight his talented stars because they are feared all over the world.

    He believes it is important that his boxers stay committed, given the harsh financial times that have hit Namibia.

    The academy promises to do whatever it takes to secure more fights for its boxers with the financial assistance of its main sponsor, MTC.

    “I would like to thank our main sponsor, MTC, and also the boxing control board and the government for the support they have given us. We are committed to promote boxing in the country and our programme is effective,” Tobias said.

    Other fighters on the night will include Mike Shonena, Benedistus Mendu Kaangundue, Immanuel Mungandjela, Andreas Amupolo and Timoteus Shuulula.

    Promising talent Jeremiah 'No Respect' Nakathila will make a comeback in the super bantamweight division over eight rounds.

    MTC spokesperson Tim Ekandjo expressed his excitement over the anticipated electric night at Ramatex.

    “We are very excited about this fight since the theme of the event is 'Defending Namibia's Pride'.

    “It is not an April Fool's joke because it is happening on 1 April, but we will have world-class boxing since we invested N$1.6 million in the event,” Ekandjo said.

    General tickets are selling for N$50, while VIP tickets will cost N$300. The academy said it slashed the prices by half in the spirit of Independence Day.


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    Team Namibia is ready for AustriaTeam Namibia is ready for Austria Special Olympics Namibia has announced that it will have its team ready for the World Winter Games slated for 14 to 25 March in Austria.

    Interim board member Peter Wilson will be the head of delegation.

    He said despite the current economic slump, preparations were going well and all the athletes would be in top form for the Games.

    Wilson said Team Namibia would participate in one discipline, namely floorball, with a male floorball team and a mixed floorball team.

    He was confident that the chosen 20 athletes would do Namibia proud.

    Previously, Special Olympics Namibia participated in the 2015 Winter World Games in Los Angeles, in 2011 in Athens, in 2007 in Shanghai, in 2003 in Ireland and in 1999 in North Carolina.

    “During those events, Special Olympics Namibia enhanced its reputation as a nation of champions by bringing home medals, including gold,” Wilson said.

    Every two years, thousands of Special Olympics athletes worldwide come together to demonstrate their athletic skills and their unique ability at the World Games.

    The slogan for the 2017 World Winter Games is 'Heartbeat for the World', which underscores the social impact and many talents and courage of people with intellectual disabilities.

    The World Games put the hearts and gifts of these athletes on display for all to see, change perceptions and break down barriers that exclude them from mainstream athletics.


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    Kavarure wins PTA Tennis SeriesKavarure wins PTA Tennis Series Bronwyn Kavarure topped the podium against a strong field of women in last weekend's Pro Tennis Academy tournament.

    Hendrina Appollus joined her on the podium in second position, with Faith Kahuure in third place in the intermediate women's category.

    Last year's champion, Cleet Farmer, reclaimed top spot in the advanced category ranking after tournament two of nine tournaments in the series.

    In the first tournament Farmer was defeated by Godwin Husselmann, who had to settle for second place this time, with Dudley Minnie joining them on the podium.

    Young, talented Arnaud Marais also moved to the top of the ranking in the Green Dot category after defeating the last tournament's winner, Samuel Mayinoti, and third-placed Jonathan Lewis.

    The PTA Tennis Series will continue on 31 March and 1 April, with the third tournament in the series.

    Full Results:


    1. Cleet Farmer

    2. Godwin Husselmann

    3. Dudley Minnie

    Intermediate Women:

    1. Bronwyn Kavarure

    2. Hendrina Appollus

    3. Faith Kahuure

    Green Dot:

    1. Arnaud Marais

    2. Samuel Mayinoti

    3. Jonathan Lewis


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    Enduro riders expect tough weekendEnduro riders expect tough weekendLichtenstein track not for the faint-hearted The Namibia Enduro Championship moves to the challenging terrain of Farm Lichtenstein this weekend. SPORT REPORTER

    The second round of the Bank Windhoek Namibia Enduro Championship is taking place at Farm Lichtenstein this weekend.

    Enduro riders are facing one of the toughest races of the national championship on Lichtenstein’s challenging track.

    Unlike the first event at Omakwara, the event on Farm Lichtenstein has one of the most technical race courses, as the riders will be greeted with single tracks, rocky and difficult mountain passes as well as river sections which will challenge their concentration, fitness and skills.

    In particular the senior motorbike riders, as well as the juniors, will have to show strong endurance on the track.

    The Bank Windhoek Namibian Enduro Championship got off to a flying start on Farm Omakwara last month, with more than 70 competitors.

    Henner Rusch and Marcel Henlé (Open Class) battled for victory for more than three hours on the 150km track, only to be separated by seconds in the end. Henlé then secured his first victory of the season ahead of Rusch, who will fight back on his home turf.

    The Namibian Enduro Club expects a large number of quads and motorbikes to enter in 11 classes.

    Junior riders, 10 years and older, will be on the track as well as a number of Clubman’s Class riders.

    Saturday's racing will start at 07:00 with documentation and technical control. The first bike is expected to be off the line at 09:00.

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    Kinda’s money was used for rent – MwandingiKinda’s money was used for rent – Mwandingi NAMPA

    The Namibian Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) has promised to pay the appearance fees it owes boxers.

    Board member Philip Mwandingi told Nampa on Tuesday that the board was waiting for its monthly grant from the Ministry of Sport.

    Promoter Kinda Nangolo had accused the control board of failing to pay his boxers’ fees after an event in Windhoek.

    Mwandingi said because the ministry had not paid the board yet, it had to use the money transferred by Nangolo to pay its rent and other administrative expenses.

    Michael Kambungu, Valde Ndayambekwa and Dominikus Weyulu are some of the unpaid boxers who competed at last weekend’s Kinda Promotions boxing event held at the Windhoek Country Club.

    Anthony Jaarmann successfully defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan-African junior middleweight title against George Mdluli from South Africa on Saturday night.

    Mwandingi told Nampa that the boxing board had not received its government grant for the last two months.

    “We are expecting our line ministry through the Sports Commission to transfer us N$250 000 and we will then write a cheque to Kinda so he can settle those boxers’ fees.”

    He said the boxing control body had no idea when they would receive the money.

    On Monday, Nangolo said he had given the control board N$101 500 last year for the boxers’ fees to be settled right after the fight.

    “You would recall that the control board on various occasions failed to sanction my fight despite the fact that I paid them the required N$101 500 in cash,” he said.

    Nangolo said the control board was supposed to deduct its cut from that money and then pay the boxers’ participation fees right after the fight.

    Nangolo said the control board required promoters to hand over all boxers’ purses to the board, which would then pay the boxers, but that was obviously not happening.

    “As things stand, none of the boxers have been paid, which is a breach of contract between myself and my boxers,” he said.

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    Bayern leaves Wenger with nowhere to hideBayern leaves Wenger with nowhere to hideWenger 'revolted' by referee as Arsenal crash out Arsenal’s huge upset by Bayern Munich on Tuesday night has left a bitter taste in the mouth of manager Arsene Wenger and fans. NAMPA/AFP

    Bayern Munich condemned Arsene Wenger to more humiliation as 10-man Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League with a crushing 5-1 defeat amid furious protests against the beleaguered Gunners boss on Tuesday.

    Aiming to stage an incredible recovery from a 5-1 first-leg deficit, Wenger's side briefly looked capable of a famous escape act when Theo Walcott opened the scoring in the first half at the Emirates Stadium.

    But any hopes Wenger's recent problems would be erased in historic fashion were brutally dashed by Robert Lewandowski's second-half penalty and Laurent Koscielny's dismissal for conceding that spot-kick.

    Wenger cut a forlorn figure as Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa netted before Arturo Vidal's double fired Bayern into the quarter-finals with a 10-2 aggregate victory.

    It was the first time Arsenal had conceded five at the Emirates and by the closing stages, there was a funereal atmosphere on an evening that started with Arsenal fans staging a protest march calling for Wenger to quit and ended with a chorus of boos and banners held up proclaiming: "Enough is enough - Wenger out".

    It was yet another chastening experience in the Champions League for Wenger, who has now seen Arsenal eliminated in the last 16 for seven successive seasons.

    With their Premier League title hopes in tatters and even a top-four finish far from guaranteed, Wenger's 184th Champions League match as Arsenal boss may well prove to be his last as speculation grows that he will terminate his 21-year reign at the end of a wretched season.

    Blaming Greek referee Tasos Sidiropoulos for Arsenal's demise, Wenger ranted: "The penalty and red card are absolutely unexplainable and scandalous.

    "It's irresponsible from the referee. It leaves me very angry and very frustrated."

    Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti added: "It was a strange game, honestly the result doesn't reflect what happened on the pitch.

    "The penalty took all the pressure out for us."

    Arsenal would have to make history to go through as no team in the Champions League era had overturned a four-goal deficit and many Gunners fans gave them no chance judging by the swathes of empty red seats around the Emirates.

    Even the stay-aways wouldn't have predicted such an embarrassing loss when Walcott struck in the 20th minute.

    Taking possession wide on the right flank, Walcott advanced unchecked by the ponderous Bayern defence and, from an acute angle, he unloaded a powerful strike that flashed over Manuel Neuer's unconvincing attempted save and into the roof of the net.

    Walcott had a penalty appeal turned down after Xabi Alonso caught the winger and he was close to a second goal when he surged onto Shkodran Mustafi's pass before firing into the side-netting.

    But Giroud, unmarked eight yards out, wastefully headed over from Aaron Ramsey's cross early in the second half, and that would prove Arsenal's final chance.

    When Lewandowski got behind Koscielny in the 55th minute, the Arsenal defender's panicked response was to trip the Pole, conceding a penalty and earning himself a red card.

    Lewandowski picked himself up to send David Ospina the wrong way with a clinical spot-kick and the Emirates immediately fell into anarchy.

    Faced with an inevitable exit, Wenger retreated to the dugout as insults rained down on him from frustrated fans, and his players waved the white flag as well.

    Bayern's second goal in the 68th minute came about after Alexis Sanchez was caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area, with Robben gleefully picking the Chilean's pocket before slotting past Ospina.

    That opened the floodgates and Costa curled home in the 78th minute before Vidal punished woeful defending to make it four two minutes later.

    With Arsenal's players just waiting to be put out of their misery, Vidal waltzed through to make it five in the 85th minute and Wenger's agony was complete.

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    Injured Serena out of Indian WellsInjured Serena out of Indian Wells NAMPA/AFP

    World number one Serena Williams has pulled out of upcoming WTA tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami because of a knee injury, organisers said on Tuesday.

    A statement issued by BNP Paribas Open organisers in California quoted Williams as saying she was withdrawing because of a problem with her left knee.

    "Sadly, I have to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open," Williams said.

    "I have not been able to train due to my knees and am disappointed I cannot be there. I will keep moving forward and continue to be positive. I look forward to being back as soon as I can."

    Organisers of this week's event in Indian Wells, which gets under way on Friday, said a revised draw would be issued later.

    Williams's withdrawal means Germany's world number two Angelique Kerber will take over the world number one ranking at the conclusion of the BNP Paribas Open, which ends on March 19.

    Williams, 35, has not played since defeating sister Venus in the final of the Australian Open in January to clinch a record 23rd Grand Slam singles title.

    The American star finished runner-up in the Indian Wells final last year, a tournament she only started playing again in 2015 after a 13-year boycott.

    Williams has long been a staple at the Miami Open, winning the tournament a record eight times with her most recent victory coming in 2015.

    This year's tournament runs from 21 March to 2 April.

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    Aussie skipper Smith slammed in 'cheating' rowAussie skipper Smith slammed in 'cheating' row NAMPA/AFP

    Australia captain Steve Smith faces calls for disciplinary action after a row over alleged cheating overshadowed the second Test against India, with his predecessor Michael Clarke accusing him of "unacceptable" behaviour.

    India's dramatic, 75-run victory on Tuesday in Bangalore, after Australia crashed to 112 all out, has left the four-match series between the world's top two sides tantalisingly poised at 1-1.

    But yesterday's headlines were dominated by Indian skipper Virat Kohli's accusation that Smith had abused the decision review system (DRS), after he was seen looking to the Australian dressing-room while considering appealing against his dismissal for LBW.

    The game's rules forbid players to consult with anyone off the pitch about whether to seek a review from the umpires, particularly as support staff have access to television replays in the dressing-room.

    At the post-match press conference, Smith - who was quickly waved off the field by the umpire - admitted he had been at fault, but put it down to a one-off "brain fade".

    But an angry Kohli said it wasn't an isolated incident and "that it's been happening for the last three days, and it has to stop".

    Although Kohli stopped short of accusing Smith of being a cheat, Indian newspapers were less diplomatic. ‘Smith Caught Cheating’, an Indian Express headline said.

    Smith's explanation was met with widespread scepticism with even Clarke doubting whether it was a one-off, given the non-striker Peter Handscomb seemed to suggest he consult the dressing-room.

    "If what Virat Kohli is saying is true and Australia are using their support staff to help them decide on a DRS decision then that's not on, that's unacceptable," Clarke told the India Today network.

    "I think Steve Smith respects the game and will always uphold the integrity of the game and if it is just a one-off then it is a brain fade and he's made a mistake.

    "My concern, my worry is, that when you look at the footage at what happened, Peter Handscomb... actually suggests to Steve Smith to turn around and have a look to the support staff.

    "Now if it was only a one-off, I don't think that would have happened."

    Although no formal complaint has been lodged with the International Cricket Council (ICC), a source in the Indian board told AFP that the team would press for charges.

    The record-breaking Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar said the ICC should punish Smith for a "quite blatant" breach of the rules.

    Another Indian batting great, VVS Laxman, tweeted that the Australian's actions were "totally against the spirit of the game".

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