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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 293 | 294 | (Page 295) | 296 | 297 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Avid accused pleads ignoranceAvid accused pleads ignoranceNamangol chief says he did not Avid Investments Fiery cross-examination of Nico Josea is underway in the Windhoek High Court in the Avid saga of the missing N$30 million. One of the alleged kingpins in the missing N$30 million invested inti Avid Investments by the Social Security Commission (SSC) denied any knowledge of the company, saying he knows nothing of Avid.

    Nico Josea yesterday testified that he only came to know about the existence of Avid when he was arrested on 26 July 2005 and that he was all dealing directly with the late Lazarus Kandara regarding the N$30 million investment.

    During cross-examination, when he was pressed by Sisa Namandje appearing on behalf of former Swapo parliamentarian Paulus Kapia, he maintained that he only came to know about Avid Investments in court.

    “If I knew Avid Investments since 2004 I would have known all the accused charged along with me,” he testified.

    Kapia, Inez /Gâses, Otniel Podewiltz, Sharon Blaauw, Ralph Blaauw, Matias Shiweda and Josea are all co-accused.

    Some of them are charged with fraud, alternatively theft, in connection with the alleged embezzlement of the N$30 million that the SSC invested with Avid.

    Kapia, /Gâses, Podewiltz and Sharon Blaauw were all directors of Avid at some stage, while Ralph Blaauw and Shiweda are alleged to have associated themselves with the company.

    Josea however conceded that he was given the company’s address through a text message from Kandara.

    Namandje further, to prove the contradictions in Josea’s evidence, also showed him a letter dated 29 January 2005 written by him to Kandara wherein he notified him about N$500 000 deposited into Avid’s bank account.

    During both the bail application and liquidation hearing it was testified that after the SSC had transferred N$30million into Avid’s bank account in January, Kandara, who was Avid's CEO, on 28 January 2005 on behalf of the company transferred N$29.5 million to a bank account of Namangol Investments which is Josea's asset management company.

    Josea yesterday testified that he paid the money into the trust account of Namangol.

    He then transferred the Avid money to a Johannesburg financial trader, Alan Rosenberg, for further investment.

    From the earlier proceedings it emerged that he sued Rosenberg in the South African high court for breach of contract as he was allegedly not provided by Rosenberg with a written investment agreement or guarantees for the investment.

    They reached a settlement agreement wherein Rosenberg agreed to pay, and has paid, N$15 million back to Josea with a further N$15 million that was to follow.

    Josea told the court that late Lazarus Kandara did not have a bank account and always requested him to give payment in cash.

    Kandara allegedly committed suicide on 24 August 2005 shortly after his arrest in connection with the embezzlement of SSC N$30 million.

    Josea, when pressed by Namandje, acknowledged though he had an interest in what happened to the N$30 million, that Kapia was not involved in his dealings with the money.

    Josea did not agree with the allusion that he was working with the Avid money behind the scenes.

    The court, due to lack of evidence to show misrepresentation to anyone which is essential in proving fraudulent conduct, withdrew the fraud charges against Josea and he is now facing theft charges.

    The cross-examination of Josea continues before Judge Christie Liebenberg.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    MET opens law enforcement training centreMET opens law enforcement training centre The escalating elephant and rhino poaching over the past few years, has prompted the establishment of a Law Enforcement Training Centre which will be opened officially at Waterberg on Saturday to curb the scourge of the illegal use and killing of wildlife in Namibia.

    According to the Ministry of Environment, the centre was built at a cost of about N$6 million and it will ensure that Namibia has the capacity to deal with wildlife crime.

    According to the ministry, the centre was necessitated by the need to enhance the law enforcement capacity for the ministry's law enforcement officials as well as other law enforcement agencies such as the Namibian police, and the defence and justice ministries, to respond to increasing wildlife crime.

    The Law Enforcement Centre will therefore, be used to train both new and old law enforcement officers not only from the environment ministry but also law enforcement and prosecution agencies.

    Through this centre, a wide scope of basic and advanced training programmes on law enforcement will be offered and training will be concluded by professional trainers and instructors with valuable experience and expertise to provide realistic and up-to-date training courses. A diverse and tailor-made training curriculum will be developed to cater for the needs of both new and old recruits.

    The training centre comprises 20 double-room units for the trainees and two double-room units for the caterers, a lecture hall, a kitchen and one house with four flats for trainers and instructors.

    The centre is co-financed by the ministry and the Protected Areas System Strengthening (PASS) Project. The Game Products Trust Fund also made funds available for the furniture and equipment required at the training centre and are engaged in on-going discussions with the Nampark project to provide additional funding.

    Figures released recently by the ministry indicate that one rhino was poached in 2017, 63 last year and 91 rhinos were killed in 2015.

    One elephant was also poached this year and in 2016 there were 101 elephants killed while in 2015, 49 elephants were lost to poaching.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 03/23/17--15:00: Nudo steps up
  • Nudo steps upNudo steps up Following its national council meeting, Nudo has taken big steps to involve itself in the issues prominent in the country, including the matter of land and the ongoing genocide talks.

    The party has resolved that it will hold its own land conference which it said will be attended by party leaders, traditional leaders and invited government officials from the Ministry of Land Reform. These delegates are expected to provide the conference with information on the implementation of the 1991 National Land Conference resolutions and the challenges experienced in the implementation process.

    The party has also decided to consult different stakeholders on the genocide and reparation issue.

    “We believe that our visit to the State House had some influence on the part of the government and let to its U-turn because they used to talk about projects but now they are talking about reparations in American dollars,” said Nudo secretary-general Meundju Jahanika.

    According to him the party also resolved to appoint Jonathan Katjimune as the head of international relations and cooperation and tasked him to deal with the genocide and reparations issue - both inside and outside the country.

    The party will also tighten its control structures. It has resolved at its latest national council meeting to investigate members of its women’s league following complaints from party members.

    In a statement issued yesterday by Jahanika, the new committee was given three months to complete the investigation and report to the national council.

    The committee members are Jonathan Katjimune who serves as chairperson, Benestus Kazongominja, Kotjikete Mbasuva, Ussiel Mumbango and Israel Hukura.

    The party has also on the recommendation of the national executive committee resolved to establish a national disciplinary committee (NDC) that will attend to all disciplinary cases referred to it.

    The national executive committee of the party further recommended that some parts of the party’s constitution need to be amended to bring it in line with the current political trends. They therefore resolved to appoint a committee that will deal with these amendments.

    The committee will be responsible to consolidate all proposed amendments into a draft Nudo amended constitution for submission to the executive committee for discussions and debate.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 03/23/17--15:00: Getting it right
  • Getting it rightGetting it rightAt one Namibian hospital, shorter lines, healthier clients In remote northern Namibia, Onandjokwe hospital is becoming a national model for bringing health care to people where they live. Today the waiting room at Onandjokwe’s Shanamutango HIV clinic isn’t crowded. Wait times have dropped drastically since the hospital hired additional staff and began making services available beyond the central hospital location.

    Just a few years ago, if you’d visited northern Namibia’s Onandjokwe hospital to, say, get a refill on your HIV meds, you’d have had to sit in line for an average of eight or nine hours.

    “You had to wait for your name to be called at reception, then to have your BMI measured, then to have blood drawn, then HIV counseling, and then wait up to five hours at the pharmacy,” says nurse Ruusa Shipena, the ART (antiretroviral therapies) supervisor at Onandjokwe’s Shanamutango HIV clinic. People would turn up at the clinic the night before and sleep on the sidewalks just to be at the front of the line the next morning.

    “Every day when you go home, your hands, your fingers, you have to -” nurse Shipena winces and makes a pained stretching motion. She and her colleagues were seeing up to 80 clients per day -each.

    Just a few years ago, the waiting room at Shanamutango was permanently packed. Staff were stressed out and exhausted. The clinic had just one doctor and five nurses to care for over 10 000 clients per month.

    But today that number has dropped to around 40. The waiting room isn’t crowded. Things are running smoothly. And the few people who sit waiting in the reception area are called up within a few minutes of taking their seats, their entire visit now taking about an hour. The nurses are busy but calm as they talk with clients and smile at the visiting babies.

    What changed at Onandjokwe?

    Two major reasons for Onandjokwe’s former overcrowding were firstly, it was the only place to get HIV-related services for over 81 000 people in a region that suffers high rates of HIV infection (reaching 22.6% in Onandjokwe district); and secondly, it was severely short on staff.

    Onandjokwe Hospital serves as the primary health care center for the Onandjokwe District of the Oshikoto Region, which spans about 25 000 kilometres.

    But IntraHealth International is helping Onandjokwe solve its staff shortage by recruiting additional nurses, health assistants, administrative staff, and drivers. In all, IntraHealth’s USAid HIV Clinical Services Technical Assistance Project has helped add 42 new health workers to the region through its rapid hiring approach.

    “We now have more time to spend with our clients,” Shipena says. “They are very happy with that.”

    And the additional resources and hands on deck have allowed Onandjokwe to staff satellite facilities and establish points of care within the communities. Supported by USAid through Pepfar, IntraHealth has now helped it decentralise ART services to eight clinics throughout the district.

    The result: Onandjokwe is now number one in the country for decentralisation - that is, making services available beyond the central hospital location. It’s become a model for providing high-quality care to remote populations that are spread out over vast geographic areas. And best of all, people who live far from the hospital no longer have to walk for days or spend precious money on transport to get the care they need.

    “Now the mothers who used to come get their services here, they have started going to clinics that are closer to where they live,” Shipena says. “That’s why you can see it’s so empty in the waiting room.”

    IntraHealth also set up ART services at 20 of the hospital’s 45 community outreach points, which provide general care to communities in the district. Before the newly hired drivers and donated cars were available, Shipena and her staff could only provide outreach services when the opportunity struck.

    Nurse Ruusa Shipena has more time to spend with her clients, including Katrina Kambunde, 42. Katrina is HIV-positive, but thanks to the services at Shanamutango HIV clinic, her baby was born HIV-negative. “We were short on the ground, especially when it came to nurses and admin staff,” Shipena says. “Then IntraHealth came in and gave us more staff. Now some can draw blood, while some can do counseling, while some do pediatrics. To us, it’s our rescue.”

    “If there’s no car, and the community’s waiting on you to deliver the services,” Shipena shrugs. “Sometimes you end up suspending some of the services. But now we can do a lot. We can go on our own time, we can plan our community outreach.” She and her staff visit each of the 20 sites every month, providing not only ART services but also immunisations and HIV testing.

    “Yesterday we went to the farthest outreach point, 133 kilometres from Onandjokwe,” she says. “Patients were telling us that in the past, they had to wake up at two in the morning to walk through the bush, just to get their HIV meds. Now, they’re happy.”

    IntraHealth is working with the government of Namibia to increase the number of health workers providing HIV services and provide the support and training they need to reach the country’s goal of an AIDS-free generation. IntraHealth’s USAid HIV Clinical Services Technical Assistance Project in Namibia is funded by the US Agency for International Development through the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Response (Pepfar). – Huffington Post

    Margarite Nathe

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  • 03/23/17--15:00: Builder's death investigated
  • Builder's death investigatedBuilder's death investigated A Windhoek construction worker died on Wednesday afternoon when a wall of a flat he was building collapsed and bricks fell on his head.

    Police spokesperson Edwin Kanguatjivi said the accident happened at Ghoti Court flats in the Otjomuise residential area of Windhoek.

    The deceased has been identified as Onesmus Shapona (26).

    According to Kanguatjivi four other workers sustained serious injuries and were admitted to the Katutura State Hospital.

    Kanguatjivi said it was unclear who was in charge of the construction.

    The Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) secretary-general, Justine Jonas, said it appeared as if the work was commissioned by a private homeowner who hired individual workers instead of a registered construction company.

    “We have sent out a team to do research but no one is really coming out to say something. We suspect the homeowner just contracted someone to do the work,” said Jonas.

    The chief industrial inspector in the labour ministry, Sebastian Kapek, could not shed light on the incident either. He said a team had been sent out to investigate the incident.



    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 03/23/17--15:00: Kazenambo pleads not guilty
  • Kazenambo pleads not guiltyKazenambo pleads not guiltyAllegedly threatened a police officer Former cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo has denied threatening, insulting and assaulting a police officer at a veterinary checkpoint last year. The trial of outspoken politician and former cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo started yesterday in the Gobabis Regional Court, where he pleaded not guilty to several charges.

    He faces charges of crimen injuria, assaulting a member of the police, resisting a member of the police, and preventing a police officer from performing his duties.

    The charges stem from events that happened on 7 May last year at the Gam veterinary checkpoint in the Otjinene Region. Kazenambo allegedly threatened, cursed and assaulted a police officer who tried to inspect his car.

    The complainant, Constable Eneas Kunasha, finished testifying yesterday after a lengthy cross-examination by defence counsel Partick Kauta.

    According to the charge sheet, Kazenambo unlawfully and intentionally insulted and impaired Kunasha's dignity when he said to him: “Fuck you M'wambo,” and: “You are a poor M'wambo.”

    Kazenambo is further accused of assaulting Kunasha in the performance of his duties by pushing him and grabbing him by the collar.

    He is also accused of unlawfully resisting and obstructing Kunasha in performing his duties.

    Kazenambo is also accused of threatening violence against the police officer when he tried to inspect Kazenambo's vehicle or write down his vehicle's details.

    According to Kazenambo he will testify that when he arrived at the Gam checkpoint he was provoked by Kunasha, who told him: “Kazenambo, you will not pass here today without filling in the forms.”

    Kunasha then allegedly asked Kazenambo why he used to talk nonsense about “Owambos” when he was a member of parliament and continued to do so in the newspapers after losing his seat in the National Assembly.

    According to Kazenambo he ignored these questions, whereupon Kunasha became angry and demanded that he disembark from the vehicle and accompany him to a nearby police tent.

    Kazenambo claims he ignored Kanusha and was then grabbed by his shirt while he was sitting in his car.

    Kazenambo said at one point he drove through the gate, but then returned and told Kanusha that he respected the police uniform and fought for it during the liberation struggle.

    He then allegedly challenged Kanusha to remove the uniform if he wanted to fight. When Kanusha refused, Kazenambo drove away.

    Kazenambo denies having assaulted, insulted or obstructed the officer in any way.

    The case was postponed to 21 and 22 June when the State is expected to continue with the evidence of the remaining five witnesses. Regional Court Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi presided and prosecutor Salomon Kanyemba appeared for the State.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Down memory lane with our beautiesDown memory lane with our beauties27 years of Miss Namibia: Where are they now? After celebrating 27 years of independence, tjil sat down with some of the previous winners of the Miss Namibia title and found out how winning the crown changed them and what their most memorable moments were. Since its establishment in 1980 by Nic Kruger, Miss Namibia has been one of the most prestigious events in the country. Every year, a young woman is chosen to be the brand ambassador of beauty in Namibia and after their reign, the beauty queens disappear with only a handful seen around.

    The current national director of the pageant since 1999, Conny Maritz said that over the years, Miss Namibia has grown from a small pageant to one of the most glamorous events in Namibia. “The whole drive of the pageant has a charity input. We are driving beautiful charities and that is one of the main tasks of the winner during her reign.” Although the response from the public over the years has increased, Maritz mentioned that more women should enter. She believes that there is a lot of potential around the country, but some women tend to shun taking advantage of the opportunity to take a chance and participate. Asked about the challenges she faces when organising the event, finance came up as one of the main problems saying franchise fees to send the winner to take part in international events like Miss World are extremely high.

    Asked to comment about complaints from the public in connection with hiring South African-based companies to help with the production of the show and recruiting designers from other countries, she fired back and said Namibians are only willing to be recruited for payment. “The public is complaining without any proper research and reasoning. All the lighting and other elements for the events come from Namibia,” she said. “I am giving them a wonderful platform of a professional production to showcase their garments, but they want to be paid and I do not have that budget. I will have to outsource other designers, because the event must go on,” Maritz added.

    She however said the invitation is open for Namibian designers to approach her and would be keen to showcase their work on ramp. Maritz also added that the same principle used at international fashion weeks is the same one the Miss Namibia pageant stands by. “If someone is running a fashion week for example, designers are invited to participate in the fashion week. Do the fashion week organisers buy them fabric? Pay them to make the outfits? Pay them to showcase their work? No. It is an international standard.”

    Dealer principal of Pupkewitz Toyota, Anton Westraadt was proud to mention that Pupkewitz Toyota has been sponsoring Miss Namibia since its inception under the leadership of the late Harold Pupkewitz. “We see the Miss Namibia event as a quality event and platform and it is a production that Namibia can be proud. Before we sponsor any events, we look out for synergies between the two brands,” Westraadt said.

    He also said everyone has a joint responsibility when it comes to contributing towards putting Namibia out there as an international destination. “Through her participation in international events like Miss Universe, it lands us an opportunity to put Namibia on the map. I do not think there is enough cooperation and support from our country, because events like Miss Namibia help with the promotion of the country,” he said.

    Miss Namibia 1990, Ronel Liebenberg:

    Crowned after independence, Ronel Liebenberg said her journey was a life-changing event. She was exposed to many different areas of life and described the entire experience as fun. Asked if she would enter again, if granted the opportunity, she said she would refuse as “today’s Miss Namibia is more like a business and it is not from the heart.” During her era, she described her reign as an outreach to the community and winners did not charge anything when their presence was requested for certain events.

    A flight attendant for the head of state, Liebenberg confessed that she did not plan to enter the pageant and she believes it was meant to be. Although she said during her reign she was extremely busy and she did not have an assigned team to help her to manage the events, she enjoyed herself regardless. “People would contact you directly and invite you to their events and you had to do your own diary. It was much better that way as it kept you closer to your own people. It was so personal and there was no one in between.”

    She believes that the continuous stigma towards the pageant is contributed to the image Miss Namibia portrays. Liebenberg believes that it is a person’s choice to paint what image they want to pay for. “Do not use plastic dolls as a reference, but use the self as a reference. You can bring change wherever you feel necessary,” she said.

    Many women are discouraged by the strict criteria of the pageant and Liebenberg said it should not only be the main focus. “Yes, it is a bonus if you can model and capture stage presence, but you are rarely asked to walk the ramp during your reign, but how many times are you required to be with children, old people and be part of the community?”

    Miss Namibia 1991, Michelle McLean-Bailey:

    Twenty-six years after her reign, Michelle McLean-Bailey is one of the most memorable Miss Namibia winners and one of the few that still plays an active role to uplift the image of the country. After being crowned Miss Universe in 1992 in Bangkok, she had the opportunity to travel to over 40 countries around the world, meeting celebrities and heads of state and contributed to the raising of millions of dollars globally for charities as a UN Ambassador.

    She then founded the Michelle McLean Children Trust that over the years has initiated and run hundreds of projects, to fundraise over N$50 million for underprivileged children in Namibia, all thanks to the platform that Miss Namibia gave her.

    “The positive aspect about being a celebrity is that I have been able to raise awareness on a global platform for children’s issues, and the opportunity to raise millions of funds for children’s projects in Namibia,” she said.

    Now based in the USA, her modelling career began at the age of 13 through a course she did with Conny Maritz. She still looks forward to be in front of the camera today. “I still model today, doing endorsements for various companies, and more recently I’m the spokesperson for an anti-aging cream here in the USA called Celeb Cream.”

    Due to the small population, McLean-Bailey says she has not seen much of a difference with the modelling industry over the years, but social media has created a demand for more models worldwide.

    Miss Namibia 1995, Patricia Hoeksema:

    Group manager of corporate relations at Ohlthaver & List Group, then Patricia Burt, she was very reserved and soft-spoken before winning the crown. “Miss Namibia taught me to step up in terms of playing a role and living up to expectations,” she said.

    After winning Miss Unam in 1994, her friends encouraged her to enter Miss Namibia and she said she did not take it very seriously, because she thought of it as a fun experience and less of a competition. “It went quite easy for me because I was not nervous and I did not raise any high expectations of myself. I thought of it as an opportunity to learn, meet, greet people and enjoy myself,” Hoeksema said.

    She jokingly added that she wished they had access to emails that time as it was quite difficult to communicate with event organisers. “Cell phones came out in 1995 and I remember when I received my phone as a gift from Nokia at that stage, there was still no MTC network and I had this little phone in a box just waiting so I could use it. The network came only a few months later and I was one of the first people to have a phone and that was great, because it contributed to organising events during my reign,” she said.

    At 20 years of age, she had to play hostess for 82 different women from all the over the world for the Miss Universe pageant in 1995 when it was held in Windhoek at the Windhoek Country Club resort. “It was one of my most memorable moments during my reign, because I was a proud ambassador of my country and you could experience the beauty and diverse history of Namibia with them,” Hoeksema said.

    In 1995, there was still a terrible stigma of HIV and Aids and people were not well-educated about the disease and had limited access to anti-retroviral treatment. Hoeksema got involved with the Aids-Care Trust with then patron Nickey Iyambo and helped with raising awareness as Miss Namibia. “I also supported different initiatives like documentaries that NBC was producing. We would go into households and inform the people that sticking to their medication and changing the lifestyle would help them to fight the disease,” she added.

    Miss Namibia 1996, Faghma Coetzee:

    After completing her BCom degree at Unam, Faghma Coetzee left for South Africa in 1999. She met her previous partner in 2000 and they left for the UK at the end of 2001. A divorcee with two daughters and currently pursuing a change in career, Coetzee was crowned Miss Namibia in 1996 and is still recognised by the Namibian people after 21 years.

    Currently based in the UK, she lives a street away from Sheya Shipanga who is Miss Namibia 1997. After leaving Namibia, she took part in less modelling gigs and did more acting. She did small acting roles for television programmes, advertisements, appeared in music videos and movies while doing her fulltime job. “I did this in South Africa and the first couple of years in the UK. After giving birth to my children, I did a few magazine and modelling shoots and appeared in a few documentaries and films,” she said.

    Thanking Facebook as her medium to see the movers and shakers in the industry, she feels that local talent is ignored and lack of clear legal practices in place for those in the industry, makes them more open to exploitation.

    Miss Namibia 2000, Mia de Klerk:

    After completing law degree shortly after being crowned, Mia de Klerk continued with modelling work both locally and internationally. She hosted TV shows in Namibia and in South Africa, got married and lived in Dubai for almost five years and completed her Master’s degree in Marketing Communications to focus on developing and building luxury brands. She and her husband recently moved back to Namibia, and are glad to be “home sweet home”.

    “I was crowned Miss Namibia 17 years ago and am surprised that some people still recognise me. I often get a funny “don’t I know you from somewhere” look from strangers, and become quite shy when they ask whether I was a former Miss Namibia,” De Klerk said.

    “Being the mother of a three-year-old is a full time job. I have so much respect for mothers. You only realise what it is all about when you have your own little toddler to look after. But it is truly such a blessing!” she said.

    De Klerk who established a marketing communications company in 2008 prefers to work with large organisations and attends to their individual strategic marketing and communications needs. She is also very passionate about design and has a few projects running in the background.

    Through her travels, interactions, participation and exchanges, she has come to know who the people of this country really are, what they are made of, their vulnerabilities, their needs and wants. “Being able to see the real person, relate to them and connect opens many doors. Relationships are what the world is made of,” she added.

    Asked what her advice is, for the next queen, De Klerk said Miss Namibia is an amazing opportunity to grow as an individual, but warns that the title comes with a huge responsibility. “Our next queen should be both a local and an international ambassador for our country, but she should also be a strong role model for young ladies. Her attitude, work ethic and character, should be an example others want to follow.”

    Miss Namibia 2007, Marichen Luiperdt:

    It was nine years ago when the 22-year-old Marichen Luiperdt was crowned. Grateful for the opportunity, Luiperdt is very happy with her life and gives grace to God.

    “It has been such a long time ago and so much has changed in terms of using that platform to grow and maximise your potential while reigning,” she added. Luiperdt however feels that if a professional and qualified mentor was assigned to women that are crowned yearly, they would excel in the industry and make use of that platform to contribute to the uplifting of the country.

    Luiperdt also feels that people's views and interest in the pageant have also changed whereby some lack the support to render assistance for the purpose. In the same breath, she applauded different private organisations and companies as sponsorship over the years has increased.

    “As the title holder, it only makes sense that you give back or work towards making a difference in the lives of others and there is a purpose for being an ambassador of Namibia for that year that you are reigning,” Luiperdt said.

    Currently employed at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and furthering her studies, the aspiring business woman encourages and supports women who want to take up modelling, but warns that it is very difficult to grow in Namibia. “I realised that it only makes sense to go abroad if you really want to make it as a model hence my desire for modelling has unfortunately changed as I am trying to grow in other sectors of life.”

    Asked what can be done to uplift the modelling industry, Luiperdt said money needs to be availed to people who need sufficient mentoring and training. “Local institutions to support our own so that they reach international platforms which is the only way to earn a living and set Namibia among those that can compete at that level,” she added.

    Miss Namibia 2008, Marelize Robberts:

    Commending Conny Maritz and other partners of the pageant, Marelize Robberts has nothing but gratitude to express for her experience as Miss Namibia 2008 and wishes the next winner success. She is glad for the networking opportunities, exposure and different people she was presented with during her reign.

    “Looking at the past five Miss Namibia winners, they have done exceptionally well in international pageants and is all because of the whole support structure behind it. This proves that Miss Namibia has really grown,” Robberts said.

    Looking back and commenting on what has changed, she said social media now plays a big role around the pageant and it can be used as an effective medium to create the buzz before and after the crowning of the winner.

    After handing over her crown, Robberts still has an emotional attachment to the charities she has worked with during her reign and she stresses that even after reigning, the winner should use her contacts to go back and see what her work has contributed to a certain community. A public relations officer at ErongoMed, Robberts is still part of caring for the community as her work allows her to work very closely with different organisations like Champions for Life that support people living with HIV and Aids.

    “Modelling is something that will always stay connected with my heart and I still do beauty pageants, assist with modelling agencies and help young girls achieve the right modelling etiquette,” she said. Starting ballet and gymnastics at a young age, Robberts said her extra mural activities as a young girl contributed to building her confidence.

    Going as far as making it to the top 10 for Top Model at Miss World, Robberts stressed that the media should cover Miss Namibia events and show the country what they are actually doing. She also added that socially, people can get more involved and these should include more local designers and entrepreneurs. “If you take yourself and broaden your horizons and see what you can bring to the table, everybody will be able to benefit from it.”

    Miss Namibia 2010, Odile Müller:

    Currently enrolled at the African Leadership Institute which revolves around teambuilding and mentorship, Odile Müller is a force to be reckoned with and one can say she is a jack of all trades. The actress, dancer and model is also one of the most memorable winners and says it is all because she loves what she does and believes that every winner brought their own unique element to the pageant and every beauty queen should be celebrated.

    She confessed that her journey was quite challenging and fame could easily distract you from the main goal which is making a difference. She also added that she would not change her experience for anything saying it allowed her to grow in areas she thought she could never thrive in. “The person you become after this whole journey is really worth the effort, because it forces you to become a servant for your country,” Müller said.

    She said that the reason why women shy away from entering Miss Namibia is because they see it in a negative light. She stresses that the pageant is about empowering women and allows them to become an ambassador of their country. Due to these negative thoughts, it resulted in the swimsuit category being stripped away from the pageant. “Although we need money to make this pageant phenomenal and amazing, we as citizens of our country need to renew our minds and change it back to what Miss Namibia was, and which was a celebration of young beauties,” she said.

    One of the cast members of the successful ‘Katutura’ movie, Müller has seen a lot of change within the pageant and loves what she has seen over the years. She urges the public to more interest and to contribute in whatever way they can. “Perhaps we could have a panel whereby the public airs the views and opinions and create solutions together to improve the pageant.”

    Miss Namibia 2012; Tsakana Nkandih:

    Currently busy with studies for a Master’s in Business Administration and is an officer in the training and development department, Tsakana Nkandih says her parents were very supportive of her decision to enter the pageant. “In society, modelling in general is a career that is frowned upon and most families would not be very excited if their daughter said she would like to model,” she said.

    She said money is one of the reasons why the winners cannot make a huge impact during the reign and she wishes she could have done more. Her work with SOS Children’s Home is one of the assignments that she cherishes most. According to Nkandih, it was an experience very dear to her. “Hopefully, one day in future, I could go back and see what can still be done,” Nkandih said.

    She also said public interest is decreasing due to the fact that the winner is not doing enough to be noticed and considered relevant within her community and wishes that area improves. The support from the country could go a long way and help with lifting her morale when she has to participate for international competitions.

    “We need to come up with more projects that will have a lasting impression and will also have a long-term effect on the public and maybe then the public with start to take the winners more seriously." Nkandih also warned against the agencies that take advantage of their models and do not pay them or overwork them. She said it discourages young women who have the potential to make it far, but due to their circumstances; they are forced to give up.

    Miss Namibia 2014, Brumhilda Ochs:

    “My reign as Miss Namibia marked a shift in my life. It allowed me to discover and live my greatest passion which is to uplift motivate and inspire those that hurt silently,” Brumhilda Ochs said. A member of Christian Revival Church team and now a married woman, she has realised that not all seeds sown have the same harvest season. She added that it is our own responsibility as individuals passionate about pageantry, modelling and fashion to live to our fullest potential and says we should stop blaming the country for the slow pace of moving modelling industry.

    “I have seen one of the most beautiful sites at Miss World and the Miss Namibia pageant, where women of various skin colours come together as one,” she said. Modelling over the years has changed and it is no longer a ‘just for white women” pageant. Ochs also thanked Conny Maritz and ladies like Miss Namibia 2015 that won Miss World Sports Award for putting Namibia on the map. Currently training a few ladies to enter the Miss Namibia 2017 pageant, Ochs is grateful for everything she has learned during her reign and urges the next winner to maximise the opportunity to reach their full potential.

    TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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    Lawyers dispute evidence in rhino caseLawyers dispute evidence in rhino case‘Not a clear-cut case of possession’ Lawyers defending two Chinese men arrested in Windhoek in January say the police botched the arrest. JANA-MARI SMITH



    The lawyers of two Chinese nationals arrested for possession of rhino horns in January say their clients should be granted bail because the case against them is deeply flawed and would likely not lead to a conviction.

    Defence lawyer Mbushandje Ntinda yesterday argued that the conduct of the police on the day they arrested his client, Yonghui Lu (41), and co-accused Nan Chen (29) was “just unbelievable”. He said he would argue that all evidence collected by the police should be ruled inadmissible.

    Kadhila Amoomo, representing Chen, also argued that the State’s case was based on a questionable arrest and insufficient evidence linking his client to the two rhino horns found in a flat at Berghoff Court, Eros, in January.

    He argued that Lu had invited Chen for dinner and that the police arrested him before he could enter the flat. Chen testified earlier that he had met Lu at Avani Hotel and had no further ties to him.

    Both Ntinda and Amoomo argued that the police could not prove that their clients were in possession of the rhino horns stashed in the flat. According to them several people, including the landlord and a friend of Lu’s, who was in Angola, had access to the flat.

    Moreover, both were arrested outside the flat.

    “This is not a clear-cut case of possession,” Ntinda said.

    Amoomo added that the investigating officer had testified that he did not yet have evidence proving that the accused had possession of the rhino horns. “He stated that it will only be later that he will have such evidence.”

    Another issue raised by the defence counsel yesterday was that the arrests were made after the owner of the flat allegedly had called the police to help resolve a rent dispute with Lu.

    Ntinda said the conduct of the police, who had obtained a search warrant on the grounds of a rent dispute, was unusual and raised serious questions about the arrest. Ntinda said he would argue that the evidence gathered that day was inadmissible in court.

    Amoomo argued that his client Chen was arrested just because he was in the car with Lu that night, after he had accepted a dinner invitation.

    Anyone else who was in that car on that evening would have been arrested, he stated. “It can’t work like that,” Amoomo said.

    Ntinda told the court that Lu is a Chinese national who is in possession of a valid visa for Namibia.

    Lu testified during the bail hearing that he had been living in Namibia for 17 years and was married. His son, who was born in Namibia, and his wife are both in China at the moment.

    Lu told the court that he owned assets worth more than N$7 million in Namibia, including equipment at his construction business and money that was owed to him.

    Chen testified that he had an engineering degree and specialised in furniture design. According to him he was on his second visit to the country, on a work visa, when he was arrested. He has no family ties in the country, nor any immovable property.

    Both Chen and Lu proposed that their bail be set at N$200 000, which their lawyers said was “ten times more than the maximum prescribed penalty” for illegal possession of controlled wildlife products.

    Chen said he was willing to surrender his passport and not apply for another one until the finalisation of his trial. He also offered to report three times a day to the police’s Protected Resources Unit.

    The court was informed that the two rhino horns found in the flat weigh 5.5kg and are worth N$404 000.

    Public prosecutor Rowan van Wyk will make final submissions for the State next week and said the State would oppose bail.

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  • 03/23/17--15:00: OTA moves to halt dissent
  • OTA moves to halt dissentOTA moves to halt dissent FRED GOEIEMAN

    The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA) has approached the High Court to put a halt to the actions of certain individuals who allegedly proclaim villages and then declare themselves the headmen. The authority says this is happening in the area of its jurisdiction.

    The OTA asked the court to interdict Thomas Haihambo and the first seven respondents in the application from allocating villages.

    In the papers, OTA says the eight individuals are leaders of respondent 22, the Council of Traditional Leaders. There are 13 other respondents, who include the chairperson of the Namibia Traditional Councillors Association and the minister of urban and rural development.

    The first eight are listed as Haihambo, Ndadi Marti, Wilbard Nambahu, Ndemudina Ndove, Ndapwa Hamukwaya, Moses Ndilenge, George Hikumwa and Festus Wangushu.

    The applicant wants the court to interdict Haihambo and the 21 other respondents from further instigating the Kwanyama people to disobey or defy the authority’s lawful orders.

    The authority also asked the court to interdict the respondents from issuing any verbal or written notices or communications that are the sole responsibility and prerogative of the OTA as the only recognised traditional authority in the jurisdiction.

    OTA’s lawyer, Silas Kishi Shakumu, told Namibian Sun that the application stemmed from a ruling that Queen Martha Nelumbu’s removal of a traditional leader and two senior traditional councillors of her traditional authority was beyond her powers and unlawful.

    The Windhoek High Court set aside the queen’s decision to dismiss George Hikumwah, Sipora Weyulu Dan and Vatilifa Hangula.

    She had removed Hikumwah as a member of the Ohangwena Communal Land Board. However, the court ruled that the removal of a member of the Communal Land Board in accordance with the Communal Land Reform Act can only be done by the minister on specific grounds and after giving the affected board member a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

    “Chiefs or traditional authorities are not assigned any powers in this regard by the Act. Nelumbu’s dismissal of Hikumwah from the board was beyond her powers and is accordingly unlawful,” the court had emphasised in the ruling.

    According to Kishi Shakumu, this is being misinterpreted as meaning that any prominent member of the OTA has the power to allocate land and declare himself headman.

    Teofilus George Nelulu, vice-chairperson of the Oukwanyama Traditional Council, explained in his sworn statement that the area under the jurisdiction of the OTA is divided into districts which are constituted of villages. Traditional councillors are appointed by the OTA while junior traditional councillors are appointed by the senior traditional councillors.

    “This practice has been in existence for decades and the status quo in the entire Oukwanyama kingdom remains the same,” Nelulu said.

    Around April 2013 the OTA decided to subdivide some of the districts for better coordination and management, as some districts had many villages and had become hard to manage.

    Ohakafiya district, which had 78 villages, and Ohaingu district, which had 174 villages, were subdivided.

    “The subdivision was not fully welcomed by certain members of the community. It is this resentment that manifested in factionalism and disobedience,” he explained.

    The application will be heard on 3 April.

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    Determined fishermen fight onDetermined fishermen fight on OTIS FINCK

    More than 300 fishermen staged another peaceful protest in Walvis Bay yesterday.

    The fishermen, who had been dismissed after an illegal strike, marched to the offices of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation and handed over a petition demanding a response from Minister Erkki Nghimtina.

    Gertrude Usiku, the office’s head of administration and chief arbitrator, received the petition and faxed it to the office of the minister.

    The petition demanded that dismissed fishermen be reinstated and that their overtime backdated to 2008 be paid in full.

    “We are very much appreciative of the amendment of sections 17 and 19 of the Labour Act in October 2016, which states that workers may not work more than nine hours per day, no more than five hours of overtime per day, and night allowance must start from 20:00 until 07:00. We want to know when this amendment came into force, however,” said Mathew Lungameni, a member of a committee established to represent the fishermen.

    Usiku said her office had already exhausted all possible avenues to assist the fishermen and there was no way they could be further assisted.

    She produced a copy of a notice of dismissal in the matter between the Metal, Mining, Maritime and Construction Union (MMMC) and Namcrab Fishing issued on 19 July 2016 following the illegal strike of October 2015

    She pointed out that the case brought by the strikers was dismissed because of defective documents that were submitted by the union which did not comply with Rule 5 and Section 129 of the Labour Act.

    “The applicant (union) acknowledged the above and also admitted that it did not comply with requirements related to Rule 14 of the Labour Act, which deals with the referral of dispute to arbitration, and Rule 17 of the Act, which deals with the referral of class disputes to arbitration. The case was subsequently dismissed,” Usiku said.

    She said the striking fishermen were provided with another opportunity to present their case to deputy director Phillip Mwandingi in 2016 and he dismissed it on the same grounds.

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    Religious sect buries pantiesReligious sect buries pantiesOmaheke police baffled by ritual Forensics officers and detectives were dispatched from Gobabis yesterday to dig up a fresh grave on a farm near Omitara– and found a bundle of underwear. ELLANIE SMIT



    A bizarre religious ritual is keeping the Omaheke police on their toes.

    The owners of the farm Rooikraal in the Omitara area were shocked when they discovered what appeared to be a fresh grave next to their farm’s perimeter fence yesterday morning.

    The grave was discovered by a work crew checking and fixing the fence.

    On top of the grave were three burnt red candles.

    The police were immediately called and dug up the grave. One metre under the surface they found underwear.

    “The maintenance team was patrolling fences this morning when they came across what looked like a fresh grave with three burnt red candles on it. When called out to take a look I decided to go the Omitara police station to ask the officers on duty to investigate. They agreed that it seemed to be a fresh grave,” said Marina Lamprecht.

    She said forensics experts and a doctor were summoned from Gobabis. “When the site was dug up a number of pairs of panties were uncovered about one metre deep. Thankfully not a body.”

    Deputy Commissioner Chris Kalimbula said the police sent out the Serious Crime Unit to investigate, as they suspected that someone had been killed and buried there.

    But all they found were pieces of underwear, a vest and a nightgown. “And the three candles on top of the grave.”

    Kalimbula said it was not the first discovery of its kind and it was believed to form part of religious rituals performed by certain churches.

    “They wash themselves and go to bury their clothes in these graves. They are just letting us run around to investigate each time, thinking it is a body that is buried, which is a serious waste of resources.”

    Lamprecht expressed her dismay at the activity but was relieved that no body had been discovered.

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    GIPF acquires stake in CapricornGIPF acquires stake in Capricorn

    The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has announced the acquisition of a 15% stake in Capricorn Investment Holdings (CIH), owners of Bank Windhoek. The transaction will set the pension fund back N$2 billion, Capricorn announced in a statement this morning.

    Commenting on the deal, Capricorn Group Holdings managing director Thinus Prinsloo said: “We are extremely proud that GIPF has selected Capricorn Group for such a substantial investment and believe that it bears testimony to their confidence in the group to continue to deliver attractive, yet sustainable returns and growth to investors. Having GIPF as a shareholder of reference will further enhance this value proposition of Capricorn Group to investors.”

    “CIH decided to facilitate the transaction through the reduction of its shareholding because it fully realised the benefits to the group of having GIPF as a substantial shareholder. GIPF showed their commitment to fulfil the role of shareholder of reference by offering immediate long-term senior debt funding of N$1.3 billion to the group as part of the transaction. CIH similarly will also be making long-term funding of N$900 million available to the group,” outgoing Capricorn group chairman Koos Brandt said.

    STAFF REPORTER



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    FNB Namibia acquires Ebank, PointbreakFNB Namibia acquires Ebank, Pointbreak
    At the end of March, FNB Namibia Holdings will take control of EBank and Pointbreak.
    This follows the approval of the transaction by Namfisa, die Bank of Namibia (BoN), the Namibian Competition Commission and the South African Reserve Bank for 100% control of the two entities.
    Pointbreak has a majority share in Stimulus Investments Limited that owns 100% of Namibia Media Holdings (NMH). NMH is the holding company of, amongst others Namibian Sun, Republikein, Allgemeine Zeitung and Newsprint Namibia.
    The approved transaction means that FNB Namibia owns 39% of NMH.
    Jo-Maré Duddy

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    Water is Namibia's Achilles heelWater is Namibia's Achilles heel Water security in Namibia is not only being threatened by increased demand for water, which in some areas has outstripped supply, but it is further threatened by climate change and water used inefficiently.

    The agriculture minister John Mutorwa said although good rains were received in most parts of the country this year, the nature of climatic conditions leaves Namibia vulnerable and this will continue to be so.

    “The past few years have been challenging in respect to water provision. The country underwent a succession of dry years, which not only threatened our livelihoods but the country's economy, specifically the central areas, central coastal areas and southern parts of Namibia, where we were facing challenges to supply adequate potable water for drinking and economic activities.”

    Mutorwa was speaking at the commemoration of the World Wetlands Day and World Water Day.

    He said in an attempt to keep the taps running, non-conventional sources of water such as the artificial recharge of ground water; desalination of sea water, and reclamation and re-use of waste water for suitable purposes, have been explored and implemented in some parts of the country. Other options such as drawing water from the Kavango River are still being considered, as well.

    He said in order to put public institutions in charge of their water affairs, Cabinet approved the appointment of water marshalls who have been trained in leak identification, water meter readings and water consumption determination to reduce water wastage and save government money.

    Mutorwa further said that it is important to highlight the inter-dependence between freshwater and wastewater, in the quest for sustainable development and security of supply. “For centuries, wastewater has been regarded as yuck or nothing; was seen as a threat to freshwater resources and wastewater treatment facilities and perceived as unhygienic and a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes.”

    He said that efficient and scientific innovative wastewater treatment and management can transform this untapped resource to augment rapidly depleting freshwater resources. Namibia is one of the few countries around the globe and Windhoek is so far, the only city on the African continent, that treats its wastewater effluent to potable quality, said the minister. “Wastewater re-use, recycle and reclamation should be promoted.” Meanwhile in a report launched by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) to mark World Water Day, it said that by 2040 almost 600 million children will live in areas with extremely limited water resources. That is around one in four children worldwide. According to the report a major factor in water stress will be a global increase in demand for water, driven largely by industrialisation, population growth, demographic shifts, food production and increased consumption.

    “Taking longer showers, cleaning cars, watering gardens and eating more meat – all take their toll.”

    Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in history.

    Droughts can have multiple effects on poor families and communities - crops fail, livestock dies and income drops, leading to food insecurity for the poor as well as rising food prices. Such loss of livelihood can push families further into poverty and force them to migrate in search of water and food.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 03/26/17--15:00: Unhappy Namibia
  • Unhappy NamibiaUnhappy NamibiaGap between leaders and youth blamed A new report shows that Namibia features very low on the happiness rankings in the world The much anticipated Word Happiness Report is out, and Namibia is rated among the countries with the saddest populations in the world.

    The report places Namibia at position 111 out of the 155 countries ranked in the United Nation's global happiness index.

    This is however a slight improvement from the previous year when Namibia was ranked at 113 globally.

    Namibia has also been ranked as the 12th happiest country in Africa in the world's global happiness rankings.

    Some of the countries that outrank Namibia in Africa are Algeria, Mauritius, Morocco, Somalia, Nigeria and South Africa.

    The World Happiness Report published since 2012 found that happiness is less evident in Africa than in other regions of the world.

    It says that Africa stands out as the unhappiest continent and the report further analysed the causes of this phenomenon.

    Some of the reasons being put forward as why most African countries, including Namibia, are performing poorly in the global happiness report is the current tough economic times that have seen the price of basic commodities skyrocket in these countries.

    The report also says that a problem for Africans who yearn for change and better life opportunities is that there is a dramatic disconnect between Africa's longest serving leaders and the continent's youth, with an age difference between leaders and the youth that is striking. While the average age of Africa's presidents is estimated at 70, some 70% of African citizens are younger than 30 years.

    “Most of Africa's leaders will have been born before the age of television and mobile phones and before the end of the colonial era,” according to the report.

    Given this generation gap, there is likely to be a mismatch between youth expectations of democracy, and the reality that confronts them.

    The report says that droughts may well spark further uprisings. Africa has a long history of extreme weather patterns, which is likely to be aggravated by climate change in the 21st century.

    In 2016, countries in east and southern Africa, including Namibia, experienced severe drought conditions that negatively affected food production and increased food prices.

    “It was anticipated that the drought would be followed by severe flooding in the region,” according to the report.

    Since middle February Namibia has already experienced heavy flooding in the northern parts of the country.

    According to the report, given the development challenges that Africa currently faces, it may take a while before people in Africa join the happiest people in the world.

    Norway was ranked as happiest country in the world while the worst ranked countries in the world were all in Africa, with Rwanda, Tanzania and the Central African Republic making up the bottom of the pile.

    The research is published by the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network and aims to show that “well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation's economic and social development and should be a key aim of policy”.

    It looks at factors including economic strength (measured in GDP per capita), social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity and perceived corruption by business and government.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 03/26/17--15:00: Chaos over card fees
  • Chaos over card feesChaos over card feesStudents claim NAM-MIC overcharges them Inconsistencies and high charges have prompted a Nust SRC probe into the NAM-MIC student cards at the university. The Namibia Science and Technology (Nust) Student Representative Council (SRC) is accusing the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) through its partnership Namibia Financial Solutions (NFS) NAM-MIC card of exorbitant withdrawal fees and inconsistent charges after students made complaints to the SRC at the university.

    Using a sample of 13 students’ NAM-MIC bank statements to investigate bank withdrawal charges the SRC discovered that there were inconsistencies in the charges on the card.

    Nust SRC President Oscar Mwandingi says they have discovered that NAM-MIC bank charges towards students are erratic. “We discovered that the withdrawal fees for ATMS are not consistent and students are charged different amounts for the same withdrawals,” said Mwandingi. Citing a spreadsheet document sent to Namfisa, the SRC learned that NAM-MIC was charging students very high fees. A NAM-MIC booklet which explains bank charges for withdrawals shows that it charges 1.5% of the amount with a minimum of N$4.60 and maximum of N$27 at Bank Windhoek ATMs. The booklet further shows that NAM-MIC charges 75 cents with a minimum of N$2.50 and a maximum of N$25 at participating NAM-MIC merchants.

    Mwandingi also claimed that a student’s account was used without her knowledge to buy airtime while the said student’s account had reached its monthly withdrawal limit.

    Two students who withdrew N$3 000 were charged two different fees for the same withdrawal; one student was charged N$27 while another was charged N$29. A student who withdrew N$1 900 was charged N$29 while two students who each withdrew N$2 000 were both charged N$27 and N$29 respectively. The inquiry conducted by the SRC also shows that two students who each withdrew N$100 were charged N$4 and N$5.

    However changes to the fees were published in the booklet and NAM-MIC increased their withdrawal fees on 1 July 2016, valid until 30 June this year. Withdrawals at participating NAM-MIC merchants are now 0.9% of the amount with a minimum cost of N$2.75 and a maximum of N$25. For withdrawals at Bank Windhoek ATMs the cost is 1.8% of the amount with a minimum fee of N$5.50 and a maximum N$ 29.50.

    Mwandingi says that students were told. “Students were not made aware of those prices, how can they just increase prices without telling students?” he said. The interim operations manager of NAM-MIC, Joseph Nitzborn says that students were made aware of the fee increase through promotions conducted by NAM-MIC at Nust and on social media. “Every year when we do promotions at the university we give them brochures and we also advertise on our Facebook page and it says fees are subject to change in our booklets,” said Nitzborn. Mwandingi said that although charges are up, it does not explain the other inconsistencies.

    “That is still valid, their charges are still inconsistent. I think the reason why they told you about the changes in the booklet is because they have exceeded the maximum charge which is N$27,” said Mwandingi.

    Mwandingi says the SRC decided to launch an investigation after many students started complaining about ‘unfair’ bank charges.

    Mwandingi says they will give Namfisa and NSFAF two weeks to look into the issue of the bank charges and if they do not respond they will return or “burn” the NAM-MIC cards. “We don’t think we are going to wait for them to finish their investigations. We give them two weeks for the investigation and if by the beginning of next month they don’t get back to us we are going to return the cards,” said Mwandingi.

    Nitzborn has denied that NAM-MIC overcharges students stating that they cannot verify claims made by the SRC president. “We take note of the analysis provided, but with no dates provided we cannot be sure if the charges mentioned is in the same year and if it may differ due to increases in fees, that came into effect on 1 July 2016. It is also difficult to use the analysis provided as it is not linked to specific NAM-MIC account statements and can therefore not be verified.”

    Nitzborn also denied that NAM-MIC withdrew money from a card holder’s account. “We would like to emphasise that student accounts are very safe and a secure way of banking. It is not possible for anyone to transact on another person’s account,” said Nitzborn.

    Nitzborn said that it is impossible for them to access a card holders account because students use their own PIN to access their accounts making it hard for anyone to use their account. “Cards and mobile channels are PIN based, with only the account holder knowing what his or her PIN is and no PINs are store or can be looked up later. A student can however request a new PIN via an access change request form. PINs are only reset for walk-in customers with positive identification. NAM-MIC can confidently assure our customers that no one can transact on their accounts without their consent,” said Nitzborn

    Shona Ngava

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    People HIV receive garden at OtjiwarongoPeople HIV receive garden at Otjiwarongo More than 30 people living with HIV at Otjiwarongo have received a vegetable garden fitted with a drip irrigation system.

    Otjiwarongo Constituency councillor, Julius Neumbo officially handed over the garden situated behind the Orwetoveni Municipality office.

    The garden has vegetables such as cabbages, onions, tomatoes and carrots.

    It was started by Otjiwarongo Constituency Aids Coordinating Committee, under the Otjozondjupa Regional Council to supplement people living with HIV/Aids with nutritious food.

    “The regional council took a decision to rollout this micro-drip irrigation system, under its food security and nutrition programme for rural development in the region,” said Neumbo.

    The councillor said this is to enable the more than 30 beneficiaries to plant and cultivate vegetables for own consumption.

    “The programme has an objective to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition amongst people living with HIV/Aids in the country,” he said.

    Otjozondjupa Regional HIV/Aids Coordinator, Esther Fillemon who was present at the handing over confirmed the project is essential in providing nutritious food to people living with HIV/Aids.

    “The drugs they take in daily, needs a lot of food supplement to effectively work in their bodies,” Fillemon said.

    Speaking on behalf of beneficiaries, Otjiwarongo Constituency Aids Coordinator, Wilhelmina Kazondana-Goagoses said the garden will be taken care of by the members and her office.

    “We will make sure we all work hard and produce more food for ourselves, and sell the surplus around town,” she said.

    NAMPA

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    Rhino carcass found at GrootbergRhino carcass found at Grootberg The carcass of another black rhino has been found in the Kunene Region, making it the third rhino poaching incident in Namibia this year.

    According to the spokesperson of the Namibian Police, Edwin Kanguatjivi, the carcass of a black rhino calf was discovered on 15 March at Kliprivier in the Grootberg area.

    "The horns of the rhino were hacked off with a sharp unknown object,” said Kanguatjivi.

    According to him, rhino rangers from the ?Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy who were patrolling the area found the carcass about two kilometres from their camp.

    "Investigation at the scene indicates that the rhino was shot and a bullet was found in the carcass. A spent casing was also found at the scene close to the carcass.”

    According to Kanguatjivi, the type of firearm is not yet known. Ballistic evidence found at the scene will be sent to the National Forensic Science Institute for analysis.

    It is not known when the calf was shot.

    According to Kanguatjivi, no arrests have been made.

    Namibia lost two white rhinos earlier this year. One was poached at a farm belonging to businessman Frans Indongo. The other was wounded on a farm near Gobabis in December last year and died weeks later.

    A total of 59 rhinos were poached last year, 95 rhinos in 2015, 56 in 2014 and nine in 2013.

    Meanwhile, police are still looking for information related to 20 pieces of ivory found at Oshigweda village in the Ohangwena Region last week.

    Deputy Commissioner Andreas Haingura said the ivory was discovered by children on their way to school on 17 March.

    They became suspicious when they saw a wrapped parcel in the water under a bridge and called the police.

    According to Haingura, the ivory weighs 63.1kg.

    Nearly a week after the discovery the police are still following up leads but no arrest has been made. The police are requesting anyone with information about the ivory to contact them.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Pointbreak, EBank now under FNB stablePointbreak, EBank now under FNB stable Namibia's first and only branchless commercial bank, EBank, has now been acquired by FNB Namibia Holdings, following an announcement by FNB.

    Commenting on the transaction, FNB Holdings group CEO Sarel van Wyk said: “We are extremely pleased that the market sees the potential of this acquisition as beneficial to Namibia. Our customers are the reason for our existence, and the expansion of our ability to better meet their needs whether at grass roots level or at high end investment level, as well as within our current wide range of expertise, will enable us to continue to deliver sustainable benefits to our staff, customers and shareholders enabling greater reach in assisting the development and growth of Namibia as a whole.”

    The head of private equity firm Stimulus Josephat Mwatotele said following the close of transaction: “There are many synergies between Pointbreak, EBank, FNB and Ashburton Investments and we look forward to unlocking these synergies for the benefit of our long-standing Namibian client base. We are confident that the transaction will allow us to broaden our wealth and investment management offering even further, and excited about the many opportunities presented by the large footprint and infrastructure provided by the FNB Namibia group for our whole team.”

    As part of the transaction, the insurance book of Namsure Insurance Brokers, a subsidiary of Pointbreak, will be acquired by FNB Insurance Brokers.

    Pointbreak has a majority share in Stimulus Investments Limited that owns 100% of Namibia Media Holdings (NMH). NMH is the holding company of, amongst others Namibian Sun, Republikein, Allgemeine Zeitung and Newsprint Namibia. The approved transaction means that FNB Namibia owns 39% of NMH.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Shortage of drugs sent patients homeShortage of drugs sent patients home Patients at state medical facilities St Mary's Hospital at Rehoboth and Okombahe clinic claim to have been sent home without medicine or only supplied half of their prescriptions because of an 'unexplainable' shortage.

    According to Lourencia /Hoebes of the Okombahe settlement in the Erongo Region, nurses at the settlement's state clinic told her mother, who is on hypertension medication, that the state no longer provides chronic medication for conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

    “They [patients] must now hand in their health passport with an additional N$70 so the nurses can get the medication from the private pharmacy in Omaruru. Those of us who do not have the money will just have to die,” complained

    /Hoebes.

    While she questions the price of the pills, /Hoebes also lamented this arrangement because the ambulance driver often forgets to pick up the parcels, which further puts the lives of patients at risk. There are also times when the pharmacy runs out of stock leaving patients to wait for weeks before they finally get their prescriptions, she told Namibian Sun.

    “I do not know why they ask N$70, we understand the pills cost only about N$10 for a packet of 30. This basically means if you are a diabetic on hypertension treatment you must give N$140 or more of your state pension every month,” she said. According to an Omaruru-based pharmacy the most common hypertension pills bought by state patients is the amiloretic pill which costs about N$20 for 30 pills. The amiloretic tablet is a medicine used to treat fluid retention, blood pressure, hypertension, heart failure, edoema, low blood potassium levels and other conditions.

    Meanwhile, a Rehoboth-based woman whose child was admitted with pneumonia at the St Mary's State Hospital last weekend was told to buy cough medicine from a private pharmacy, because the hospital does not have any in stock.

    The nurses on duty could, however, not prescribe a specific medicine and told her to “look for something appropriate for the child's age”.

    When she approached nursing staff for fever medication she was further told that “we cannot help you because the situation here is so chaotic”. The primary medical officer (PMO) of the hospital Dr Daylight Manyare declined to comment on the situation and referred questions to the health ministry's public relations department. While pointing out that the Okombahe clinic has sufficient medication in stock, health ministry spokesperson Ester Paulus told Namibian Sun that a tender issued to a private company for hypertension drugs, Amiloride was withdrawn.

    “This particular medication is scarce and difficult to acquire from manufacturers. Alternative hypertension drugs are currently being provided,” she said.

    She further added that the ministry needed to identify the patient at the Rehoboth St Mary's hospital to determine whether there is a shortage.

    “Rehoboth state hospital does have all the necessary medication in stock. As requested earlier, please provide the name of the patient to allow us to provide you with accurate information on the treatment of the particular patient,” said Paulus.



    JEMIMA BEUKES

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