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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Oil gains as Libyan pipeline crashesOil gains as Libyan pipeline crashes An unexpected disruption in Libyan crude output is helping oil investors shrug off record US stockpiles that have undermined voluntary supply curbs by other Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) nations.

    Libya's output was said to fall to 560 000 barrels a day after a pipeline carrying crude from the Sharara field - its biggest - stopped operating. While clashes among rival armed groups in the nation have previously led to market disruptions, news of the latest decline is driving a 0.4% gain in New York oil futures after boosting them 1.3% on Tuesday.

    Prices are headed for two straight days of gains for the first time in more than a month.

    The production drop in Libya, which was pumping 700 000 barrels a day before the pipeline halt, is at least temporarily easing concern that rising US supply is countering the effect of curbs by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.

    US industry data on Tuesday was said to show that crude inventories had climbed, while a government report was forecast to show that stockpiles had expanded. Six Opec nations have joined with non-member Oman to voice support for prolonging their cuts past June.

    “The market has become quite accustomed to volatility when it comes to Libya and their production coming and going,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney.

    “There are a number of headwinds to oil prices, including rising US output and stockpiles.”

    West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at US$48.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 17 cents, at 13:23 in Hong Kong. Total volume traded was about 56% below the 100-day average. The contract gained 64 cents to US$48.37 on Tuesday.

    Brent for May settlement was 14 cents higher at US$51.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices climbed 58 cents, to US$51.33 on Tuesday. The global benchmark was at a premium of US$2.93 to WTI.

    Libya's state-run National Oil Corporation was said to declare force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya oil terminal and on loadings of Wafa field condensate from the Mellitah terminal.

    Force majeure is a legal status protecting a party from liability if it can't fulfil a contract for reasons beyond its control.


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: UK urgently needs Plan B
  • UK urgently needs Plan BUK urgently needs Plan BBrexit deal with EU will need 'give and take' While governments discuss give and take with regard to Brexit, there are concerns over flights between the UK and the European mainland. British finance minister Philip Hammond said yesterday that Britain would need to make concessions to the European Union in order to secure the best deal for the country to leave the bloc.

    “Every negotiation is about give and take on both sides and we have to go into this discussion understanding and accepting that we will have to do some give and take to get the best possible deal for Britain,” Hammond told broadcaster Sky News.

    Later yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May planned to formally notify the EU that Britain wants to leave, starting two years of exit talks.

    “It has to be a deal that works for Britain and for its European Union partners, that's the only way you can get a deal done. But I'm confident as we've explored over the last nine months with our EU partners that we have a sufficient meeting of minds on this issue,” Hammond said.

    Hammond said leaving the EU would ensure Britain regained control over immigration, as well as reasserting the supremacy of Britain's parliament and court.

    In the meantime, flights between Britain and the European Union risk being suspended in 2019 if Britain does not prioritise a new aviation deal in Brexit negotiations, Irish low-cost airline Ryanair warned.

    Airlines based in the EU have the right to fly to and from any country in the bloc or even within other member states thanks to the single aviation market created in the 1990s but the Brexit vote means Britain has to renegotiate that access.

    Speaking as Britain prepared to file formal Brexit divorce papers, Ryanair said it was worried the issue was not being handled with the urgency required to seal a deal in the 12-month window required to avoid major disruption in 2019.

    “It's become worrying that the UK government seems to have no plan B to maintain Britain's liberalised air links with Europe, in the absence of remaining in the Open Skies regime,” Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement.

    “There is a distinct possibility that there may be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of time after March 2019,” he said.

    A number of industries have voiced fears that Britain's two-year negotiating timetable may not be enough to renegotiate complex trading agreements.

    But Kenny said airlines were under more pressure than most as they had to finalise their 2019 summer schedules by mid-2018 and there was increasing nervousness in the industry about the rate of progress.

    Luton-based Ryanair rival easyJet is already seeking a new operating licence in another EU member state, with Ireland or Malta seen as likely choices as their official language is English.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants Britain to be free of European Court of Justice (ECJ) influence, ruling out access to the single aviation market using models employed by Norway and Switzerland.

    Those agreements include accepting the role of the ECJ as the final arbiter in disputes.

    Ryanair is already curtailing growth in Britain as a result of the Brexit vote, limiting capacity expansion to 6% this year from a planned 15%.

    “Some nine months on from the Brexit referendum, we are no closer to knowing what effect it will have on aviation,” Kenny said.


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: Kandjoze visits Dundee
  • Kandjoze visits DundeeKandjoze visits Dundee STAFF REPORTER

    The minister of mines and energy, Obed Kandjoze, recently visited Dundee Precious Metals’ Tsumeb operation.

    Kandjoze said mining directly and indirectly contributed nearly half of the country’s GDP.

    The visit was intended to acquaint Kandjoze with the production process at the Tsumeb smelter and the social projects initiated by Dundee in the Tsumeb district.

    The minister had a chance to see the converters, the waste-disposal site, slag-mill plant, crushing plant and the state-of-the-art sulphuric-acid plant that was built at a cost of N$3.9 billion. The minister expressed delight about the latter, saying: “it is extremely superb; excellent work has been done here.”

    During his visit Kandjoze also acquainted himself with the income-generating activities promoted by Dundee to benefit the local community.

    It was the second time Kandjoze had visited the smelter since taking office on 21 March 2015.

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  • 03/29/17--15:00: Women in the workplace
  • Women in the workplaceWomen in the workplaceTouching base with Standard Bank’s Naufiku Hamunime Budding economist Naufiku Hamunime joined Standard Bank through its graduate programme in 2016 and has taken to her new environment like a fish to water. STAFF REPORTER

    Q: Give us a brief background of your academic credentials and your upbringing.

    NH: I was born in Windhoek, on 24 April 1991. I grew up in Windhoek with my two siblings and parents and I absolutely loved growing up here. After I finished high school at St Paul’s College I went on to obtain my Bachelor of Science in economics at Rhodes University. I then also obtained a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in geography, also at Rhodes University. And finally, I obtained my Master of Science degree in African development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Q: How would you describe your career journey at Standard Bank?

    NH: I’ve had a unique start to my career, and I feel very fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to start my career at an organisation as versatile and unique as Standard Bank. With a national and regional footprint that literally spans across the continent, Standard Bank is a great place to be for a young professional who is eager to gain international exposure and leverage knowledge from experienced professionals.

    Q: As a leading figure at work, how do you juggle the career and family life balance?

    NH: As a young professional I feel very fortunate that at this stage of my life I have very few commitments outside of my work, with the exception of my close family and friends. And as a result of that I don’t feel that I have to juggle my work just yet, rather I feel privileged that I’m in a period of my life where I am able to fully commit to developing myself and my career.

    Q: The theme of this year’s Women’s Month is ‘Be Bold for Change’. How do you relate to it?

    NH: Being ‘Bold for Change’ speaks to me of living confidently and, very importantly, not being afraid to take risks. A phrase that I always keep in the back of my mind and one that I try to live by is that “the greatest mistakes we make are the risks we don’t take”. Bringing about the change we want to see in our lives will often require us to step outside of our comfort zones, and as women I don’t believe we should be afraid to take risks in our careers or personal lives in order to achieve our goals.

    Q: How do you define career success?

    NH: I believe that Millennials have come to define career success for themselves in a completely different way to previous generations. Whereas at one point career success may have been defined by status or wealth, I think that for more and more young people we’re beginning to define our success by the level of fulfilment and purpose we find in our careers.

    Q: How has Standard Bank promoted your career development?

    NH: I feel that working in an environment where I’ve felt encouraged and motivated to try new things has really enhanced and accelerated my ability to learn. Working as a graduate gave me so much exposure across the bank’s business units, and through that experience I was able to tap into my passion and grow as an economist and researcher. And because of that I now have a clearer understanding of where I would like to be in the future and I feel more equipped to reach my potential.

    Q: What is your work ethic and how do you achieve this?

    NH: I believe that it is really important to have a strong work ethic because in life there aren’t any shortcuts to success, and anything worth having requires commitment. I try to focus on building a strong work ethic by being cognisant of the fact that hard work has the ability to enhance our character.

    Q: How easy is it for women to climb the corporate ladder?

    NH: It really disturbs me that women still face significant obstacles in the working world, and while we have come a long way I believe that there is still much to be done in achieving gender parity in the workplace.

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    Southern farmers criticise meat industrySouthern farmers criticise meat industry Several communal farmers from southern Namibia last week criticised an apparent lack of support for farming from the government and large players in the meat industry.

    During the Southern Namibia Farmers' Union (Snafu) congress on Thursday and Friday, farmers said state-owned entities such as the Meat Board of Namibia and Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) were neglecting small-scale farmers. “Meatco especially seems to be entirely commercially driven, with no attempts to develop programmes geared specifically at including communal farmers,” farmer Mose Gariseb said. He said Meatco's absence from the Hardap and //Karas regions was evidence of its failure to represent all farming groups in the country.

    “When will the time come for us poor farmers to benefit from programmes that not only help those who already have, but also those who work their fingers to the bone to make a living every single day?” said Gariseb. Farmer Johannes Jansen said the meat industry emphasised cattle farming to the detriment of small-stock farming in the southern regions. He said goat farmers were left to scavenge for a spot in the local informal markets.

    Meatco's senior manager for stakeholder relations, Lapitomhinda Hashingola, agreed that the company's focus was on beef exports and urged the farmers to explore opportunities to join this lucrative market. “If you want to be on the pitch, you have to be a player,” he said. Meatco is an industry leader in beef exports, generating revenue of N$1.8 billion in 2016. The company exports more than 74% of its beef to foreign markets.

    Hashingola said Meatco was discussing plans to acquire a second mobile slaughtering unit for use south of the veterinary cordon fence and to establish a feedlot in the Hardap Region that could be of benefit to southern farmers.

    Meatco currently operates a mobile slaughter unit for farmers in the northern parts of the country.

    Meat Board chief marketing officer Desmond Cloete concurred that the export market for goats was small compared to sheep and cattle, but similarly urged the farmers to make use of existing and future opportunities for growth.

    “There is a slaughter market available through Brukkaros Meat Processors outside Keetmanshoop and southern farmers are closer to the South African export market,” he said. Cloete encouraged the farmers to investigate how they could benefit, possibly through feedlots at the future Neckartal Irrigation Scheme expected to become operational in the coming year.

    Snafu is affiliated to the Namibia National Farmers' Union and groups about 28 farmers' associations in the Hardap and //Karas regions.


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    Namcor tender attracts attentionNamcor tender attracts attention19 bids for fuel transportation tender The tender was re-advertised last month after it had been cancelled in December. The National Petroleum Corporation (Namcor) has received 19 bids for the transportation and distribution of its petroleum products.

    “We are still busy with the evaluating process,” Namcor spokesman Utaara Hoveka told Nampa on Tuesday.

    Hoveka said the company was consulting Ministry of Finance officials to determine whether the process was within the provisions of the new Procurement Act coming into effect on 1 April 2017.

    “We have thus far been making use of ad hoc transport service providers,” he said.

    The tender was cancelled in December last year because about 60% of the companies that had applied did not comply with the required specifications, Namcor board chairman Patrick Kauta said last month.

    Kauta told Nampa that none of the companies had drivers who could transport dangerous petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and heavy fuel to Namcor clients around the country.

    Five companies were reportedly shortlisted for the tender.

    Some of the companies that had applied claimed that the board had cancelled the tender to give Extreme Customs Clearing Services (XCCS) the opportunity to reapply.

    XCCS was previously awarded the tender for fuel transportation and distribution. The three-year contract ended in October 2016 and was extended until the end of the tender process.

    XCCS, which belongs to local businessman Laurentius Julius, also previously applied but did not qualify during the first round of evaluations because it did not meet all the tender requirements.

    Julius is one of six businesspeople arrested on charges of fraud, money laundering and tax evasion worth billions of Namibian dollars. All are out on bail.

    According to the evaluation document in Nampa's possession, Sunrise Investment, a joint venture with South African XMoore Transport (for light fuel), and A Van Der Walt Transport (for heavy fuel) were the successful bidders after the first advertisement of the tender.


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: Kathrada funeral bashes Zuma
  • Kathrada funeral bashes ZumaKathrada funeral bashes ZumaRepeated calls for president to resign to standing ovations The funeral of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada yesterday became a protest in itself with calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign amidst thunderous applause. Although he wasn't physically present, President Jacob Zuma's presence loomed large at the funeral of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

    President Jacob Zuma did not attend Ahmed Kathrada's funeral, abiding by his family's wishes for him to stay away.

    'President Zuma will not attend the funeral and memorial service in compliance with the wishes of the family,' said a statement ahead of the funeral of one of the last Rivonia trialists, and one of Zuma's fellow prisoners on Robben Island.

    Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa led the government delegation attending the funeral and Wednesday's Cabinet meeting was postponed to accommodate the ministers attending the funeral. Almost all current and former top ANC leaders including ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, attended Kathrada's send-off.

    Zuma postponed yesterday's Cabinet meeting to allow ministers to attend the funeral led by Ramaphosa.

    Amidst speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle that could see finance minister Pravin Gordhan axed, it was hard not to read into some of the comments by mourners direct and indirect criticism of Zuma's recent actions against Gordhan as they delivered tributes to the ANC struggle stalwarts.

    The biggest moment was when former president Kgalema Motlanthe quoted a letter Kathrada penned almost a year ago asking Zuma to step down, that was followed by a standing ovation and a thundering applause by mourners, including some of Zuma's ministers like Gordhan and health minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

    EFF leader Julius Malema and former Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi were also on their feet to support Kathrada's call for Zuma to resign.

    Ramaphosa and former president Thabo Mbeki did not stand.

    'Feeding frenzy'

    “It would be disingenuous to pay tribute to the life of comrade Ahmed Kathrada and pretend that he was not deeply disturbed by the current post-apartheid failures of politics,” Motlanthe said in his speech.

    Motlanthe unsuccessfully challenged Zuma for the position of ANC president at the party's 2012 national conference in Mangaung.

    Motlanthe also bemoaned the fact that Kathrada's letter went without any formal reply.

    “Comrade Kathy took exception to the current culture of feeding frenzy, moral corruption, societal depravity, political dissolution, the gross sleaze enveloping human minds that would put to shame to even some of the vilest political orders known to human history,” Motlanthe said.

    Another standing ovation came when the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's CEO Neeshan Balton acknowledged the presence of Gordhan and asked him to stand.

    “Irrespective of whether you are a minister or not in days or weeks to come, you remain true to the values and principles that Kathrada would be proud of,” Balton said to Gordhan, who was earlier seen wiping away a tear when he was introduced.

    He said when Gordhan was facing corruption charges over an early pension pay-out for a SARS employee, Kathrada was ready to stand by his side.

    “When Pravin was to go to court, Kathy said 'I want to be the first one to accompany him to court',” Balton said. Cosatu secretary-general Bheki Ntshalintshali threw in a jab about those absent at the burial of the “finest son of the soil”.

    “I believe that all of us who are here today, we never received any invitation to come here, we were invited by the work and contribution of comrade Kathy Kathrada,” Ntshalintshali said. He appealed for honesty and bravery from leaders of the movement and said the ANC does not belong to an individual.

    His message also had a solemn warning. “Comrade Kathy, leaders are not organisations. We must separate leaders from organisations. Leaders will come and go but organisations will remain… No matter how popular you may be, never for a moment think that you are bigger than the organisation,” Ntshalintshali said to applause.


    Mantashe described Kathrada as incorruptible in both his politics and personal life.

    “He belonged to a generation described by (anti-apartheid activist) Yusuf Dadoo at the funeral of comrade Moses Kotane. He was incorruptible, not only in his politics, but also in his personal life. He was a man you knew could never let you down or do something behind your back and never deceive you,” said Mantashe. He said he always knew where he stood with Kathrada.

    “Sometimes his words were harsh and hurtful, but never dishonest,” said Mantashe.

    He said he had hoped Kathrada's passing would assist those in the party to pull together.


    Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa added his voice to the fray saying the African National Congress has until December to honour the late Ahmed Kathrada's call for President Jacob Zuma to resign.

    “The ANC need to come to their senses and resolve their problems before it is too late or they will bury themselves alive,” he told News24 in a telephonic interview.

    He was speaking shortly before leaving to attend the ANC veteran's funeral at Westpark Cemetery.

    “The 17 December conference will be a trying moment for them if they do not make up their mind and honour our fallen cadre's wishes to remove Jacob Zuma,” he said, referring to the party's elective conference.

    He always seconded Kathrada's call for Zuma to resign.

    “Uncle Kathy took a stand against Zuma and was not afraid to speak the truth; I have always supported him on his call for Zuma to step down and I know that now is a better time than ever.”

    Phosa said SA had lost an unblemished soul and a man with dignity and moral standing. He represented everything that was good about ANC.

    Phosa said every ANC cadre should commit to memory Kathrada's 2016 letter to Zuma to resign.

    “A president is one that must at all times unite this country behind a vision and programme that seeks to make tomorrow a better day than today for all South Africans. It is a position that requires the respect of all South Africans, which of course must be earned at all times,” Kathrada wrote. Kathrada died in hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning and was laid to rest at the West Park cemetery in Johannesburg.

    In his absence, Zuma offered condolences for the loss of one of the nation's 'valuable and most respected freedom fighters'.

    He said: “The passing of Mr Kathrada is a monumental loss not only to his family, but to all South Africans as he was one of the fearless and dedicated architects of the free and democratic South Africa.”

    Zuma said he had sacrificed his personal freedom and persevered through hardships for the liberation of all South Africa and to create a democratic, non-racial, peaceful and prosperous South Africa.


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day SORELY MISSED: Winnie Mandela, centre, ex-wife of the late President Nelson Mandela, attends the memorial service in honour of anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada in Johannesburg, South Africa. Celebrated South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed KATHRADA, a Robben Island prisoner and one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues in the struggle against apartheid rule, died early on March 28, 2017, aged 87. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 03/29/17--15:00: A culture of kickbacks
  • A culture of kickbacks A culture of kickbacks The Supreme Court judgement, which ruled against the awarding a multimillion-dollar tender to a Chinese company to upgrade and expand the Hosea Kutako International Airport, is definitely a major victory for government given the financial situation we find ourselves in. The Supreme Court concluded that the tender procedures were seemingly flouted when the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) elected to hand Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group the tender worth about N$6.2 billion at the current exchange rate. The upgrade and expansion of the Hosea Kutako International Airport has been a contentious issue for quite some time now, with allegations that the tendering process was unfair, while it was considered by many as a skewed priority given the number of other challenges facing the nation. Proponents of the airport deal had argued that the airport deal – estimated to be three times bigger than the current one – was important for Namibia as it will bring new flight choices as well as more passengers. At the moment, Hosea Kutako International Airport only handles about 760 000 passengers annually, while the NAC had projected that the upgrades and expansion will lead to about three million air travellers making use of the spacious new terminal over a year period. We must give credit to those who never gave up pursuing this matter in a court of law. The Supreme Court ruling truly enhances integrity and curbs corruption in public procurement, which has for long been the target of greedy officials who get kickbacks from deliberately overpricing contracts. The fact that the airport upgrade tender did not receive treasury approval confirms the long-held assertion that there are those in government who are clearly abusing their positions of responsibility in both government and private sector. It is also our sincere hope that the new procurement act, which will be ready for implementation effective 1 April this year, will restore the ministry of finance’s image. The Tender Board has equally been given a chance to proof that it can award public tenders in a transparent and fair manner. Accountability must constitute a central pillar of our public procurement system. We can ill afford to be a kickback nation.

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    Shifeta breaks silence on toddler's shootingShifeta breaks silence on toddler's shooting Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta this week said security forces operating in Namibia's national parks are not brutal, but also have rules of engagement.

    In addition, the minister said all visitors to national parks must adhere to directives communicated to them in situations where there is contact with security forces.

    The minister briefed journalists about the shooting incident in Bwabwata National Park when an anti-poaching unit shot at a family of four - Harald Keil, 33, his wife Teresa, 33, and two daughters, three-year-old Alexia and two-year-old Caytlin.

    Alexia was shot in the head and had to undergo surgery, but has since been discharged from hospital.

    The family has filed a case of attempted murder against the police. Shifeta said the public need to understand and appreciate the fact that in most incidents where there is exchange of fire between security forces and poachers it is the poachers who open fire first.

    “They have dangerous weapons such as AK47s. These are war weapons that they are armed with,” he said. According to Shifeta, the soldiers can be armed with the ammunition that has been confiscated from poachers.

    Shifeta further said poachers entering parks are well trained.

    “They reverse their footprints. Or they come into the parks wearing hooves and you will think it is a zebra. It is not our wish to kill, but if poachers shoot they have the right to self-defence.”

    According to the minister, the Keil family entered the Buffalo Core Area at Bwabwata National Park on 12 March and were briefed at the reception about the rules and regulations as well as the security forces in the park. That same day they left the park.

    On 15 March, the family wanted to enter the park again and when officials wanted to brief them again, Keil said he had already been briefed before.

    Shifeta said that morning, three gun shots had been reported in the area of Pica-Picau and Nova within the Buffalo Core Area and the anti-poaching unit suspected there were elephant poachers there. Anti-poaching activities were intensified and a mobile roadblock was set up.

    “At about 15:00 the anti-poaching unit dressed in full uniform and with a government vehicle parked next to the road and stopped Keil and his family,” said Shifeta.

    They introduced themselves and asked to search the vehicle. Keil then just drove off and the team fired warning shots.

    The next shot was fired at the right back wheel causing the tyre to puncture.

    Three shots were further fired at the vehicle aiming at the wheel but the vehicle still did not stop.

    “The family drove past the tourism reception where they could have reported the shooting but did not,” Shifeta said adding that they only stopped at the Divundu checkpoint of the Namibian Police.

    He, however, pointed out that there are conflicting versions by the family and the security forces about what happened that day and that investigation will determine what exactly transpired.

    According to Shifeta, a Ministerial Committee on Wildlife Protection met on Monday to discuss the incident and ensure that nothing like this will happen in future.


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    SWA IDs valid for another yearSWA IDs valid for another year The deadline for the phasing out of the old South West African (SWA) identity cards has been extended to 31 March 2018.

    The initial deadline for replacing the cards was to lapse tomorrow.

    The campaign to replace the cards started a year ago in order to adapt to the international practice of using one legal identity card within a national territory.

    The minister of home affairs and immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, said in a ministerial statement in the National Assembly on Tuesday that some Namibians were using the old and new ID cards interchangeably.

    She said the phase-out would allow for the use of only one.

    The minister indicated that about 4 378 SWA IDs had been replaced since the launch of the campaign. Some 70 000 people are estimated to still be in possession of the old ID cards.

    Iivula-Ithana called on all Namibians still in possession of SWA IDs to apply for Namibian IDs before the new deadline of 31 March 2018.

    She further said at least 2 000 birth records had been corrected during the same time.

    The minister also announced that the cabinet had approved the waiving of fees for changing particulars on national documents.


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    Kathrada was a true patriot – GeingobKathrada was a true patriot – Geingob President Hage Geingob has described the late anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada as a true patriot who dedicated his early life to the liberation struggle of South Africa.

    Kathrada, who died on Tuesday after a short illness at the age of 87, was buried in Johannesburg yesterday.

    “In his long and illustrious political life, Comrade Kathrada acquired a stellar reputation and will always be remembered as a cadre, veteran and anti-apartheid activist who fought alongside and supported his fellow icon, President Nelson Mandela,” said Geingob.

    “Exemplifying a selfless nature, at an early age he chose to dedicate his life to the struggle for liberation of South Africa. Joining his fellow cadres in a heroic quest to end the oppression of black people in South Africa, he fought a good fight so that today, we can all truly be free.”

    Kathrada was one of iconic men who were arrested at Liliesleaf Farm and found guilty on charges including conspiracy and sabotage during the famous Rivonia Trial in Pretoria during 1963.

    He was also one of those sentenced to life in prison and hard labour at Robben Island.

    “Comrade Kathrada was a true patriot and the sad news of his passing will reverberate not only in South Africa, but also in Namibia and the world at large. South Africa has lost a true son of the soil,” said Geingob.


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: A lifetime in aviation
  • A lifetime in aviationA lifetime in aviationAir Namibia bids farewell to the beloved tate Martin Air Namibia's station controller at the Ondangwa Airport has been hailed as a humble servant with a commitment to serve. From a refueller to airport station controller, Air Namibia’s Martin Andreas is officially going on retirement, after almost 40 years working for the national airline.

    Martin Andreas has been devoted to Air Namibia for close to four decades, and leaves a stable station behind as he enters his retirement this Friday.

    From humble beginnings, Martin joined Air Namibia (Namib Air at the time) on 10 February 1978 as a refueller for aircraft at Eros Airport. He was responsible for quality control of aircraft fuel before refuelling the aircraft.

    “I had to make sure that the fuel is not mixed with water before refuelling. When fuel for aircraft has been transported, it needs to be stable for a while before refuelling to ensure that dirt and unwanted substances remain at the bottom of the container, while clean oil emerges at the top,” he explained.

    Three years later, in 1981, Martin was transferred to the workshop division, working as an engineer assistant. He was primarily responsible for the maintenance of jet engines, replacement of jet tyres and greasing of jet bearings. He served in this position for two years, before he was reassigned back to be a refueller.

    Apart from being a refueller, Martin was also responsible for training and mentoring new refueller trainees mainly on how to test the quality of avgas before refuelling. He held this position for four years, from 1983 to early 1987.

    A highlight in his career that Martin will always keep close to his heart was when he was appointed as avgas station manager for fuelling aircraft in mid-October 1987.

    Northern transfer

    This appointment meant that he had to be transferred to Oshakati.

    “I was delighted with this appointment, as I was entrusted with more responsibilities that are very critical to the daily management of the national airline. It was also a great opportunity to reunite with my family in the north,” he proudly said. It was in April 1994 when Martin was appointed as the station manager for the Ondangwa Airport, after the airline’s offices moved from Oshakati to Ondangwa. He served in this position to his retirement. His day-to-day work is to oversee the smooth running of the station, making sure that flights depart on the scheduled time and other duties, including managing staff under his wing. As Martin reflects on 39 years of his time at Air Namibia, he recalls various developments that took place at the national airline. “I have seen Air Namibia grow from small company to a bigger and better company over the years.”

    He continued: “When I started in 1978, the company was known as South West Airways, and later renamed Namib Air the very same year. Following Namibia’s independence in 1990, Namib Air was renamed Air Namibia. In the early years, Air Namibia only had four small aircraft: a five-seater, eight-seater, 22-seater and the biggest being a 55-seater aircraft. Today, Air Namibia boasts a fleet of 10 aircraft operating nationally, regionally and internationally.”

    ‘Humble leader’

    Air Namibia’s acting managing director Mandi Samson described Martin as a humble leader who served customers with a sense of humility, selflessness and commitment.

    “Martin’s attention to detail, while keeping the broader picture in mind, has been invaluable. His willingness to put in extra time and effort to complete tasks within deadlines has demonstrated commitment to achieve excellence.” During his career, he acquired valuable skills in the aviation field through countless training courses and workshops. Martin narrates, “For 39 years I worked at Air Namibia, I have gone through multiple training courses; from airport operation training to ground handling, aircraft loading and other supervisory training.”

    Joining the aviation industry at the youthful age of 21 and spending most of his life at Air Namibia, Martin said that he will always be grateful and indebted to Air Namibia for being part of his life.

    “I will miss my Air Namibia family, more especially my colleagues at Ondangwa, and the friends I have made over the years. But closer to my heart, I will miss the beautiful landing and taking off of our aircraft. As I go on retirement, I would like to wish the company all the best with its current and future plans.”


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: MP questions poverty budget
  • MP questions poverty budgetMP questions poverty budget DTA parliamentarian Elma Dienda feels the 14% budget allocation increase awarded to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare is not justified because the only unique initiative introduced by the ministry is the food bank pilot programme.

    “A year on and it appears that the only unique initiative that has been brought by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication is the Food Bank pilot programme. A programme which has already been mentioned by other speakers before me and is not without many administrative problems,” said Dienda who voiced her concerns during the budget contribution in the National Assembly.

    She said she had already expressed her concerns last year when she questioned the introduction of the ministry. She said a year later, it is still unclear why the poverty eradication ministry was created arguing that the purpose it is supposed to serve is a crosscutting function that should be performed collectively by all ministries, offices and agencies.

    According to her, an improvement in the provision of social services will not happen automatically because a new ministry has been created.

    “Instead, what is needed is to strengthen the operational capacity of those ministries who have the potential to directly impact on the livelihoods and wellbeing of our people,” Dienda said, making specific reference to the health ministry and the two education ministries.

    According to her, the payment of social grants and pension was already performed by other existing departments and therefore, it should not be seen as a new function.

    Dienda said although the ministry was intended to “boost” the fight against poverty, it has unfortunately not proven to be the case in reality.

    “All the creation of this ministry has done is further increase the public service wage bill, which the finance minister of Ffnance has already admitted is “unsustainably high”.

    Dienda said the amount budgeted towards salaries and operational costs for the poverty ministry is well over N$42 million which she said could have been better spent by existing ministries and departments to fight poverty, instead of employing more staff to perform functions that already being done by other civil servants.

    “The question one has to ask is what are these people being paid to do, considering the fact that the only new initiative from the ministry is the food bank pilot programme. Surely, spending N$42 million for people to distribute food is not the most cost effective manner in which this money could have been spent? Are we really doing “more with less”, when one looks at such strange decisions?” Dienda asked.

    She also said that food provided to selected learners in some schools by the ministry is leading to victimisation.

    “Those learners who receive food are labelled poor and told by their peers that their parents do not care about them and don't give them food. This victimisation has meant that even when a learner is genuinely in need of the food they would rather keep quiet and go hungry because they are afraid of the stigma that goes with it.”

    According to her, a better approach would be to provide meals to all primary and secondary school learners early in the morning.

    She further said other target groups of the food bank scheme should be people living with disabilities and orphans and vulnerable children.


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    No blanket immunity for ministersNo blanket immunity for ministersAG clarifies controversial bill The Executive Immunities Bill is aimed at ensuring that the members of the executive do not abuse their powers, the attorney-general says. The proposed Executive Immunities Bill of 2017 is not designed to grant blanket immunity to cabinet ministers, Attorney-General Sacky Shanghala clarified yesterday.

    “A minister will not be provided with immunity where he or she has acted negligently or acted outside the scope of their duties,” said Shanghala.

    “This is aimed at providing a balance to ensure the members of the executive do not abuse their powers and are held accountable.”

    The legislation has as its main aim the protection of members of the executive from civil liabilities when exercising their official duties.

    “When exercising executive powers the highest level of good faith and diligence is required. Acting in good faith and in pursuance of their official duties refers to the actions and decisions the member of the executive may take as indicated by law. The member is only protected from being personally liable if acting in terms of the functions prescribed to him or her in law.”

    In clarification, he says the bill does not offer immunity despite the circumstances in which a minister might have acted.

    “Ministers are mandated by the Namibian constitution and their authorising legislation to act within the course and scope of their duties. They are provided with immunity for acting within such limits,” he told Namibian Sun. Reaction to the announcement of the bill a week ago was stark. While some commentators indicated their support for the bill, lawyer Norman Tjombe said the bill “has the potential to create an apartheid-style society of upper-class and lower-class citizens.”

    He told Namibian Sun that the current form of the bill is unconstitutional and the supreme law of the country indicates that only the president has criminal and civil immunity while in office.

    “Also, Article 10 of the Namibian Constitution demands that each person be treated as equal before the law, and the Executive Immunities Bill blatantly violates this sacrosanct principle of our constitutional democracy,” said Tjombe.

    DTA leader McHenry Venaani believes accountability will be thrown out the window if the bill is passed.

    “We must be very careful about how we do things. We must avoid a situation where we cannot question it when a minister fires the head of a parastatal without due diligence,” he said.

    According to Shanghala, the concept is not new in Namibia. From 1985 to 1989, when the then administrator-general repealed the law granting immunity only to the sitting president, when a minister was cited in any action or proceeding, he or she was to be cited by the title of the position and not by name. “The bill is currently on its way to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation which will settle it before it is laid before the national assembly for to see and scrutinise,” Shanghala said.


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    New procurement board members namedNew procurement board members named Finance minister Calle Schlettwein this week announced a new Central Procurement Board following the gazetting of the Public Procurement Act on 31 December 2015.

    The new board replaces the former Tender Board and consists of nine members.

    Making the announcement in the National Assembly yesterday, Schlettwein said: “The Central Procurement Board will consist of nine members of whom the chairperson and the deputy chairperson will be employed on a full-time basis for a period of five years and as such will be entitled to a monthly salary, whereas the seven board members will be appointed on a part-time basis on a three-year contract.”

    University of Namibia accounting lecturer Patrick Swartz was appointed as the chairperson while another accountant, Lischen Ramakutla, was appointed deputy chairperson.

    The other members include former Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund boss Jerry Mwadinohamba, finance deputy permanent secretary Titus Ndove, and engineers Epaphras Pendapala, Maria Iyambo and Hendrik Cronje. Maria Nakale and Hilja Nandago-Herman, who both have a legal background, are the other members of the board.

    Explaining the selection, Schlettwein said 67 applications were received for the Central Procurement Board of which 35 were shortlisted, having met the requirements.

    “The shortlisting of the Central Procurement Board was based on the number of years of experience in procurement, the applicant's own expertise and the gender of each candidate.”

    A review board was also introduced to members of parliament.

    It consists of former Social Security Commission chief executive officer Kenandei Tjivikua (chairperson), consumer activist Michael Gawaseb (deputy chairperson), Ono-Robby Nangolo, Amon Ngavetene, Selma-Penna Utonih and Toska Sem.

    According to Schlettwein, 28 applications were received for the review panel.

    “Fifteen of the applicants did not meet the shortlisting criteria and only 13 candidates were therefore interviewed for the review panel. Realising that the recommended members did not make up the required pool of 15 members, government resolved to approach tertiary institutions for nominations. The process is at an advanced stage,” he said.

    Commenting on the issue of the dissolved Tender Board, he said: “As we all know, there was a lot of publicity on the weaknesses of the current Tender Board. We are hopeful that with the new Public Procurement Act, there will be improvements. I now take this opportunity to inform you that the Tender Board is legally dissolved with effect from 31 March 2017.”


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    High per capita income hides povertyHigh per capita income hides povertyExtreme inequality remains Donors are pulling out of Namibia because they perceive the country as doing well, says the CEO of Nanaso. The relatively high per capita income of US$5 693 (around N$70 000) in Namibia discreetly masks extreme poverty in the country.

    This was said by Namibia Network of Aids Service Organisations (Nanaso) CEO Sandie Tjaronda at the donation of food worth N$40 000 by Nanaso to vulnerable people in Kavango East and West.

    Per capita income for a country is calculated by dividing the country's national income by its population.

    “There is somebody struggling to get N$1 000, some have probably not even seen what N$1 000 looks like,” he said, adding that the per capita income hid extreme inequalities in income distribution and the standard of living in Namibia.

    Tjaronda said donors were pulling out of Namibia because they perceived the country as doing well, and it was the per capita income that led to this misconception.

    He said while the Namibian economy had been growing at a rate of 4.3%, the country's unemployment rate stood at 29.6%, poverty at 26.9% and HIV prevalence at 17.2%.

    This, according to Tjaronda, created a situation where the majority of the country's population remained vulnerable and faced poverty.

    “In real life, access to food and nutrition translates into the productivity of a citizen. When somebody is hungry they do not even have the energy to wake up to go and till their fields,” he said.

    Tjaronda said food could also be the bridge that the country needed to support treatment adherence for those on anti-retroviral drugs, while access to food meant keeping a child in school, therefore maintaining enrolment.

    “We only have ourselves as a nation to look after each other. The days of donors popping out cheques and giving us money are over, and this donation we are giving is a sign of our unwavering support to humanity,” he said.


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    Helicopter pilot 'ignored safety procedures'Helicopter pilot 'ignored safety procedures' An investigation into a helicopter crash that killed one person last year has found that the pilot lied about the number of people of board.

    The report on the accident states that it was caused by “a loss of tail rotor effectiveness”. Contributing factors were an alleged disregard for standard operating procedures, a lack of mountain flying experience and exceeding the helicopter design limits.

    On 20 April 2016 at around 06:10 pilot Abe van der Merwe and five of his employees departed from Eros Airport in a MD 500 Hughes helicopter with the registration number V5 HFZ to the Molkteblick mountain range.

    The purpose of the flight was to recover the wreckage of a helicopter that had crashed at the same position on 8 April.

    According to the report Van der Merwe gave false information to air traffic control at Eros Airport about the number of people on board the helicopter. He also allegedly lied about the number during the crash investigation.

    The pilot reported four people on board while there were actually six people on board – more than the certified number of people allowed on the helicopter.

    The helicopter had been modified and not certified by the regulator. The passenger seats had been removed and the passengers were not properly restrained.

    According to the report only the pilot and the passenger in the right front seat were properly restrained at the time of the accident. Four passengers in the aft compartment were not restrained because the pilot had removed the seats and the restraining harnesses.

    “The doors and seats of the helicopter were removed by the pilot prior to the flight,” it reads.

    The report says on approach for landing on the mountain the helicopter was hit by gusting winds.

    “The helicopter tail rotor section turned abruptly 180 degrees to the left, resulting in it spinning out of control and the pilot could not regain control of the helicopter again.”

    According to the report Van der Merwe did not make an attempt to approach the landing zone into the wind. Neither did he confirm the power for the landing available to him for that altitude and temperature.

    The helicopter hit the ground and rolled a few metres before it came to rest on a cliff.

    The helicopter was co-owned by Van der Merwe and Avelino Ferreira.

    Van der Merwe was not seriously injured in the crash. His manager, Theunis Loots, sustained a broken arm and leg. One of his workers was killed in the accident and another employee, Johannes Augustus, sustained serious head injuries.

    Van der Merwe is an electrical engineer and owns the company Professional Communications Systems.


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  • 03/29/17--15:00: Shack demolitions 'inhumane'
  • Shack demolitions 'inhumane'Shack demolitions 'inhumane'SPYL accuses City Police of unlawful actions The SPYL has joined a chorus of outrage against the removal of ten illegal shacks in Windhoek. The Swapo Party Youth League has accused the Windhoek City Council and municipality of inhumane and oppressive treatment of vulnerable residents, as well as potentially costing the ruling party votes during elections.

    “We must be mindful that the actions of certain institutions will have direct effect on the people's voting choice come election time,” said SPYL acting secretary Veikko Nekundi.

    Nekundi listed numerous recent actions by city authorities, including the “ill-advised, inhumane demolishing of shacks in the 7de Laan informal and black majority inhabited areas of the city, the deliberate closure of the car washes in Katutura and the breakdown of the Ishitiile welding business, the forceful removal of enterprising youth from their livelihoods and places where they trade their skills instead of stealing or being on the streets.”

    He claimed that the City Police had acted “outside of the law” when they ordered the dismantling of at least 10 shacks on Monday, saying it was illegal to destroy a “fixed structure without a court order.”

    Bernadine Mynhardt, a lawyer at the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), said a court order was needed before dismantling or destroying any property or before evicting any person from municipal land, whether that occupation is illegal or not.

    She explained that in a previous court case on an illegal occupation dispute, the judge had made it clear that “every person should have his day in court”.

    In Junias versus the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Windhoek, a judgement dating back to 2014, it was ruled that in order for a structure to be removed, even if it was illegal, “a court order would need to be obtained and it would not be open to the respondent to remove a structure possessed in that way in the absence of such an order”.

    In a 2013 case, the Supreme Court in Shaanika and Others versus Windhoek City Police and Others struck down “offending provisions of the Squatters Proclamation as being in conflict with the constitution”.

    In that case the court emphasised that a court order was needed before structures could be demolished or removed, in order to ensure that impartial and independent bodies determined legal disputes before any action was taken.

    It was also ruled that disputes about illegal occupation of land could “give rise to social disturbance and anger, particularly because the exercise of the power may be seen to be unfair or abusive”.

    The judgment also addressed the need for preventing land invasions as an “important and legitimate government purpose”, Mynhardt explained. However, the courts emphasised that the prevention of land invasions could be achieved in other ways that were less harmful to the rights and interests of citizens.

    The courts acknowledged that the demolition of homes could be potentially intensely harmful to the rights and interests of people, and thus a court order was necessary to ensure an impartial and independent determination “of the legal question before the harmful process of demolition and eviction takes place,” Mynhardt said.

    City Police Chief Abraham Kanime yesterday said that in the view of the police, the actions on Monday were preventive and had taken place before occupation was final.

    He explained that the illegal settlers had prepared the shacks in advance, at another location, and had dug the trenches, but had not yet put everything in place when police intervened and ordered the removal of the structures.

    He questioned the decision by the SPYL to announce their views at a press conference instead of approaching the City Police or other lawmakers with their concerns.

    “These are the people who want to become future politicians and here they are promoting anarchy. They want to see a country ungoverned. They are creating a breeding ground for lawlessness and they should refrain from inciting lawlessness,” Kanime said.

    He defended the actions of the City Police in the removal of illegal shacks as well as the closure of illegal car washes and other illegal businesses.

    “I can tell you, we are professional police officers. And we are part of the community. But we have a duty and that is to protect the laws of the country.”

    He also fired back at Nekundi and other critics, saying that instead of criticising the police for doing their work, political parties should encourage their followers to obey the law.

    Nekundi also took aim at the City of Windhoek's administrative departments, accusing them of incompetence when processing paperwork, in particular applications to register businesses, including car washes.

    He added that the City should be prepared to handle the influx of people and the need for serviced erven, an issue that had led to illegal occupation of land.

    Kanime said that the car-wash campaign was launched in mid-2016, when an awareness campaign was launched to help inform car-wash owners of the requirements to run a legal operation and to provide information on the various requirements, including water saving measures.

    He emphasised that although the police and the City of Windhoek had shown patience and provided guidance to businesses on how to operate lawfully, the law remained paramount.

    “When we do what we do, it is with a clear conscience because we need to look into all the aspects. But law and order should be respected by all of us in the land of the brave.”


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    There will be blood at RamatexThere will be blood at Ramatex The Ramatex boxing ring in Windhoek will be a bloody place on Saturday as national and international fighters trade leather in an Independence bonanza.

    The stage is set for one of the biggest boxing events in the country, with no fewer than four WBO title fights on the card.

    It is clear that the MTC Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy has a screamer lined up, with Paulus 'Hitman' Moses fighting in the main bout.

    Moses will have to be at his best when he defends the WBO Africa lightweight title against Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) Benoit Makangali Vela.

    The Congolese has been a picture of confidence since arriving in Namibia and was not shy to stare the Namibian in the eyes during the face-off.

    However, Hitman looks fit and is expected to bring his best against the man from the Congo.

    WBO Africa middleweight champion Walter 'Executioner' Kautondokwa will be in action against Uganda's Med Sebyala.

    Kautondokwa has one of the most devastating punches in boxing history.

    Sebyala promised the Namibian that he was not going to fall and would guard his body with all he has got.

    The fight is definitely likely to spill blood in the ring, given the facial appearance of the two boxers.

    Sakaria 'Desert Storm' Lukas will defend his WBO Africa featherweight title against Oscar Chauke of South Africa.

    The Namibian has a reputation of embarrassing his opponents with deadly hooks and jabs.

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

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

    “I am ready to make the nation proud again. Fighting for the super lightweight for me will be easy since I have fought in bigger divisions,” Nakathilas said.

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


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