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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Family loses everything in shack fireFamily loses everything in shack fire A lack of running water in the informal settlement of Sonder Water close to the Shandumbala area in Katutura led to a home burning to the ground, leaving its occupants with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

    The shack, belonging to Betuel Moses and Vistoline Kgobetsi, burned to the ground when their son, 7, accidentally tripped over a candle at bedtime. According to Kgobetsi, her son tried to blow out the candle when it fell and in a panic he and his brother, 13, attempted to put the fire out secretly.

    “We were in the other room and when we smelled smoke we realised that our home was on fire. But by that time, it was too late.

    “We all rushed out in panic and my 13-year-old son went back for his baby brother, who is one,” said the devastated Moses.

    Residents of Sonder Water have no access to running water and the Moses family helplessly watched their home burn to the ground.

    “We lost everything. Our documents, furniture and the children's school uniforms, all our clothes, handbag, wallets… everything,” said Moses.

    Sadly, no one knew how to contact the fire brigade and by the time they arrived all was lost.

    The firefighters filled the residents' buckets with water and left.

    Percy Openshaw from Crisis Response said they only go to a scene and assist victims after the fire brigade has arrived. He advised shack dwellers to stop using candles.

    “Candles are the biggest cause of shack fires. We have done demonstrations on alternative lighting methods such as torches but unfortunately candles are cheaper and people continue using them.

    “We are in the process with City of Windhoek and fire brigade for them to donate the old fire trucks to us to provide a fire service as well,” said Openshaw.

    He added that many people call the City Police (061 302 302), who then have to call the fire brigade, hence the delay in arrival.

    “The City of Windhoek is in the process of getting a toll-free number with Telecom specifically for fire and rescue,” said Openshaw.

    Requests for comment from the City of Windhoek on the status of the Sonder Water water supply remained unanswered by the time of going to press yesterday.

    Questions on procedures and responses for the coming winter season and the subsequent increase in shack fires too were not responded to by the City.

    Openshaw advised residents in informal settlements to always maintain eye contact with burning candles and to rather place them in a sand- or water-filled tray.

    On Monday, Nampa reported that a seven-month-old baby boy had burned to death at Okahandja after a shack he had been sleeping in burned to the ground.

    It is alleged that his 24-year-old mother had gone to visit her neighbours at the time of incident. She allegedly left the baby and his two-year-old brother alone in the house.

    The cause of fire is still unknown and an inquest docket has been opened by the Okahandja police.


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  • 04/04/17--16:00: Living off trash
  • Living off trashLiving off trash19 years at the dump One of the hardest jobs in Namibia belongs to those who pick up bottles and tins at the dump for recycling. A lack of jobs has forced men and women at Oshakati to make a living from collecting recyclable materials at the town's dump.

    Some of them have lived like this for 19 years.

    Namibian Sun yesterday spent the morning at the dump on the outskirts of Oshakati, talking to the determined and desperate men and women trying to earn a living there.

    They spend most of their weekdays at the dump, collecting recyclable items such as glass, plastic, tins and other metal objects. They sort them and bag them for collection by a buyer who pays them at the end of the month.

    They say they are paid N$100 for a tonne of semi-crushed bottles, N$45 for a bag of aluminium tins and N$20 for non-aluminium tins.

    According to them it takes them three to five days to fill a bag with crushed bottles, depending on availability.

    Sigriti Bernard (49), Hendrina Nangolo (47) and Kapuka Jeremia (49) have been at the dumpsite for 19 years.

    They say unemployment and poverty cannot be defeated by sitting at home but only by the will to do something that can earn an income.

    Recalling how they started, Bernard says she remembers when she used to buy a carry bag for N$1 at a local supermarket and go to the dump to collect recyclable materials that she sold at scrap yards.

    Bernard says although the income she made was never enough, she managed to buy corrugated-iron sheets to build a shack and furnish it.

    “Apart from the corrugated-iron sheets we bought, there are a number of assets we managed to buy with the money.

    I also used the money to raise my kids, to pay their school fees and buy food for my family,” she says.

    Nangolo says poverty at home and the fact that she did not want to become an alcoholic drove her to exploit any possible opportunity to make a living. Collecting recyclable items was the only option for her.

    “It was a difficult time. We could not find jobs and still can't seem to find them and with hunger and not wanting to be at shebeens drinking from sunrise until sunset like other unemployed do, we opted to come to the dumpsite to make a living here,” Nangolo says.

    Lahia David (36) says they would like to be paid more for their hard work collecting, sorting and crushing bottles.

    The group work under the blazing sun and they say it would make a big difference if they had some shade.

    Few of them wear any protective clothing. Some were spotted wearing school shoes while others had boots on.

    Another challenge they face is that others sometimes steal the materials they have gathered and sorted. They say people with cars get access to the dump at night or on weekends, load the materials and drive off.

    They say they learned a lot at a workshop that the Oshakati town council held last week.

    “We did not know that it was old-fashioned to crush bottles by hand as there are machines to do that. We hope that someday someone will bring those machines to us, which will make our work easier and more fun,” says Jeremia.

    The group also shared how they feel when they come across bottles lying around in the town.

    “When I see a bottle it reminds me of my work and if I am not carrying anything at the time, I will pick it up and bring it to the dumpsite and crush it,” Paulina Thomas says.

    All of them say there is never a discarded bottle or tin lying around at their homes, as they do not like seeing litter. They urge fellow Namibians to keep their environment clean.


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    Skini Cup donations exceed expectationsSkini Cup donations exceed expectations The annual Councillor Michael Skini Charity Cup for football received pledges of N$220 000 at a fundraising dinner at Henties Bay on Friday.

    This far exceeded the organisers' target of collecting N$20 000.

    Businessman Eliphas !Owos-aob pledged one of the highest amounts of N$25 000.

    On top of that, the event received five computers from New Pointe Solutions to be given to the Okamwandi Primary School at the town.

    Other donations included a printer for Okamwandi and a sheep carcass from Mayor Herman Hosabe Honeb.

    The football tournament was introduced in 2015 to help the physically challenged and elderly people at the town.

    Welcoming the donations, Skini, who is a town councillor, said part of the money would be used for hosting the tournament later this month.

    The rest would be used to renovate or even expand houses for the elderly, and for buying food or school uniforms for children living with disabilities.

    He said although they had not done much in the past two years, the event managed to pay for a uniform and school fees of a grade nine girl living with disability.

    “We decided to put more effort into collecting money from this year onward so that we can make visible change,” Skini said.

    He said the food hampers they had been giving to elderly people did not make any significant difference in their lives.

    “We give them food today, then tomorrow they are hungry again; that does not help so we said, let us see where they sleep so that we can improve their accommodation.” Also speaking at the dinner was tournament patron Abner Xoagub, president of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC).

    Xoagub said the tournament's contribution was not just to support elders and children with disabilities.

    “This event also contributes to the economic upliftment of the town through bringing in more people who support businesses,” he said.

    The theme of the dinner was 'Culture' and dignitaries showed up in traditional attire and were entertained by cultural groups.

    The deputy minister for public enterprises, Engel Nawatiseb, was in attendance.

    The event will take place on 29 and 30 April at the Omdel Sport Stadium.

    The winners will receive N$12 000 cash and a floating trophy, the runners-up N$ 6 000 and silver medals. Semi-final losers will receive N$1 000 each.

    Registration costs N$1 000 per team.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Khomas honours boxers
  • Khomas honours boxersKhomas honours boxersFemale fighters on the rise Many young boxers have something to brag about after great performances at Rundu last month. The Khomas Boxing Federation yesterday awarded several of its amateur boxers with medals and trophies in Windhoek.

    The boxers represented the region at the national boxing championship held at Rundu last month.

    The federation emphasised the need to reward the victors and improved performers in order to boost their confidence and desire to fight.

    The federation also thanked the coaches who had accompanied the team to Rundu.

    Theodor Nujoma was awarded a trophy for the best boxer at senior level, while Fillipus Shaanika was honoured for most improved performance.

    The only female boxer in the Khomas group, Mariam Nghilonga, was also given a trophy for her heroics in Rundu. Fred Nangolo took home the best youth boxer trophy.

    Martin Muhungu impressed the Khomas team with his improvement in the youth category and was also awarded a trophy. Eight boxers received medals as a token of appreciation from the federation. Senior coach Josef Titus and youth coach Samuel Kwedhi were given trophies for mentoring the boxers. The federation's chairman, Jason Naule, said: “We are here to give recognition to guys who did the Khomas Region proud.

    “We felt the need to reward them given that they did not receive anything when they were in Rundu.

    “They showed that they are very good boxers and the future of Namibian boxing.”

    Naule further thanked the Readi Bites butchery for supporting the federation at several events.

    He urged other companies to come on board and support the boxing federation.

    The winner of the trophy for the best senior boxer, Theodor Nujoma, could not hide his excitement at the event. “Boxing is my life and I love it so much. Winning this trophy means that I can be one of the best in the country,” Nujoma said.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Hockey league on fire
  • Hockey league on fireHockey league on fireBank Windhoek hockey thrills The young Saints hockey team had a surprise in store at the weekend. A top-of-the-log encounter between Windhoek Old Boys A (WOBS A) and Saints kicked off last weekend's matches.

    WOBS A had a comfortable 5-1 lead with 15 minutes to go, but the young Saints team had a surprise in store for everyone when they fought their way back to a 5-5 draw.

    DTS played a never-say-die NUST team and lost 13-0.

    On Saturday, WOBS A returned to face Unam.

    The Unam team inflicted the first-ever defeat on WOBS A as the game ended 63.

    Saints defeated BDO Wanderers by a convincing score line of 8-2.

    WOBS B picked up their third win of the season by beating NUST 10-0.

    The day ended with a clash between Unam and BDO Wanderers.

    Unam won the game 4 - 3.


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    Hamilton faces resurgent VettelHamilton faces resurgent Vettel Lewis Hamilton has raised his game but whether the Mercedes driver can deny Ferrari a second successive win of the season in China this weekend remains to be seen.

    On paper, the triple world champion is still the man to beat - the most successful driver by far in Shanghai with four wins to date.

    “Lewis is the best Lewis that I've seen in the last four years, both on and off the track,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff after the Briton started on pole and finished second to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the Australian season-opener.

    “He has become a pillar of this team and he proved that in Melbourne.”

    But Vettel is leading the championship, the first time a non-Mercedes driver has done that since he took his fourth title with Red Bull in 2013, and once-dominant Mercedes have a fight on their hands.

    Mercedes, who have taken both the drivers' and constructors' titles for the last three years, have won four of the last five races in China.

    As Melbourne showed, however, past form may count for little in a season of sweeping rule change.

    “If you think you are going to cruise to victory in the future, based on a track record of success, you'll be proven wrong very quickly,” said Wolff.

    “Australia was a weekend full of lessons, now we go to China ready and excited for another battle.”

    Ferrari have not started a season with consecutive wins since 2004 at the peak of the Michael Schumacher era, the Italian team taking 15 victories from 18 races that season.

    Vettel's win in Australia ended a victory drought for Ferrari stretching back to September 2015, and drew rare praise from company chairman Sergio Marchionne, but they must now prove they can be genuine contenders.

    “You really have to go step by step,” said Vettel.

    “It's good to know that we have a great car but it's just the beginning: new regulations, new generations of cars so there will be a lot of progress.”

    The cars this year are longer and wider, sporting fatter tyres and more swept-back bodywork as part of a rules shake-up aimed at making them faster, more spectacular to watch and harder to drive.

    But overtaking has also become more difficult, with Australia raising concern about the lack of real moves.

    The long straights and wide sweeps of the Shanghai circuit saw 128 passes last year, more than at any other track, and should provide a more definitive verdict.

    Once-great McLaren can expect to be on the receiving end, with engine partners Honda under intense pressure after a slow start to the season.

    “The characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit are very different from Melbourne, and its long, fast straights will likely expose the weaknesses in our package more than Albert Park did,” said McLaren racing director Eric Boullier.

    Italian rookie Antonio Giovinazzi makes his second start for Sauber as a replacement for Pascal Wehrlein, with the Swiss team concerned the German still needs time to get race fit.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Leicester grow in confidence
  • Leicester grow in confidenceLeicester grow in confidenceFifth consecutive win The Foxes have bounced back from a terrible start to the 2016/17 premier league season. Leicester City were not at their best against Sunderland in Tuesday's Premier League match but manager Craig Shakespeare says it is a sign of the confidence coursing through the side that they were still capable of delivering a 2-0 win.

    Goals from Jamie Vardy and Islam Slimani inflicted a 20th league defeat of the season on bottom-placed Sunderland, while Leicester registered their fifth consecutive league win since Shakespeare stepped in after the departure of Claudio Ranieri.

    “I thought in the first half the game had no rhythm to it, a lot of stop-starts, corners, free-kicks ... but the most important thing is the win and the three points,” Shakespeare told reporters.

    “It's a sign of confidence in the team, but we know we have to play better than that.”

    Shakespeare said substitutes Slimani and Marc Albrighton made a big impact.

    “We knew that he was good in the air, Marc put in a great cross and 'Slim' has scored one or two of them this season,” he added.

    Leicester, who are currently 10th in the league, visit seventh-placed Everton on Sunday.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Safe as houses
  • Safe as housesSafe as housesHyundai is far more than a pretty face Hyundai, as a brand, has slotted itself nicely in the top echelons with super gorgeous and very safe vehicles. Hyundai has long been a trusted brand for motorists looking for quality affordable vehicles.

    In recent years, they've experienced phenomenal market share growth on the back on a wildly successful model range they introduced from around 2010.

    With sharp, sophisticated styling, high levels of standard spec and safety features, Hyundai staked their claim as a major contender against their German counterparts and what it lacked in Bavarian finesse, it made up in Korean consideration and unbeatable value.

    Tersius Annandale, dealer principal for Hyundai in Windhoek says safety is central to the automakers philoshophy.

    “Customers want a vehicle they can depend on. Not only mechanically day to day, but especially in emergencies,” he said.

    “Hyundai spends vast amounts of resources on vehicle safety testing and the development of both active and passive safety systems and we see this investment bearing fruit, as we are not only retaining customers, but gaining many new ones, because of the quality of the vehicles,” he added.

    Currently, their Santa Fe, Tucson, i30 and Veloster models all boast full five-star Euro NCAP ratings and given the vastly different nature of each of these vehicles, this clearly indicates that safety comes standard with every Hyundai.

    “Besides the safety systems that are built into every Hyundai, we as a company have safety at the very front of our minds and we take our clients' safety very seriously. To the extent that we make sure no client's vehicle leaves our workshop or premises, in a condition we do not deem completely mechanically safe,” he added.

    While the manufacturer is responsible for the passive safety systems, and the salesperson for familiarising the customer with the vehicles active safety systems. The onus remains on the driver to make sure they know features their car has and most importantly, that they use them.

    “For instance, the use of cell phones while driving is a major threat to road safety these days, but while more and more vehicles are equipped with bluetooth, we're still seeing people on their cell phones while driving which should not be the case,” he explained.

    “A lot of the trouble we're seeing on our roads involving driver behaviour, speeding and alcohol. So at the end of the day, road safety depends on us, the drivers,” he says.

    Hyundai will be among the marques exhibiting the finest and freshest models at this year's Namibia Tourism Expo and Annandale says there may be some suprises in store for attendees.

    “We'll be having our latest models such as the new Creta and the Grand i10 on display alongside some of the other fan favourites like the Veloster and Tucson.”

    “We're also hoping to have the new Elantra on display there if it arrives in time, because that is another of our vehicles that offers an excellent package and superior safety systems with our unbeatable seven-year/200 000-km warranty that ensures Hyundai owners have peace of mind as their vehicles are maintained at the highest level, for longer,” he says with a smile.

    Yochanaan Coetzee

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    Uule woomvula 19 taya hupu metoto lyiiyagayaUule woomvula 19 taya hupu metoto lyiiyagaya Taya kondjitha oluhepo Ompumbwe yiilonga oya thiminike aalumentu naakiintu mOshakati ya kale taya ilikolele omboloto mokukonga iinima mbyoka hayi vulu okulongululwa okuza komatoto giiyagaya.

    Yamwe oya kala nokulonga iilonga mbyoka uule woomvula 19.

    Oshifokundaneki shoNamibian Sun osha kala ongula yEtiyali petoto lyiiyagaya ndyoka tali adhika pondje yondoolopa yaShakati, nokuya moonkundatana naakwashigwana aalumentu naakiintu mboka taya kongo uuhupilo mokukonga iinima mbyoka hayi vulu okulongululwa okuza metoto ndyoka. Ohaya uhala omasiku gawo goshiwike ketoto ndyoka taya gongele iinima mbyoka nokuyitula mooshako nokuyigandja kaalandi yawo mboka haye ya futu kehulilo lyomwedhi. Oya popi kutya ohaya futwa oshimaliwa shooN$100 motona yimwe yomakende ga tatulwa oshowo N$45 moshako yimwe yoondooha dho aluminium oshowo N$20 moshako yoondooha dhoka kadhi shi o aluminium.

    Oya popi kutya ohashi ya kutha omasiku gatatu nenge gatano okuudha oshako yimwe yomaheke ngoka ga tatuka. Sigriti Bernard (49), Hendrina Nangolo (47) naKapuka Jeremia (49) oya popi kutya mbyoka oya kala iilonga yawo uule woomvula 19 monena. Oya popi kutya oluhepo nokwaahena iilonga itaku kondjithwa kwaamboka yeli omutumba momagumbo, ihe okwaamboka taya kondjo.

    Sho a hokolola nkene a tameke, Bernard okwa popi kutya ota dhimbuluka sho a li ha landa oshako ndjoka onene koostola kondando yooN$1 na oha yi nayo a ka toole iinima ketoto.

    Bernard okwa popi kutya nonando iiyemo mbyoka ha ningi kayi shi oyindji, okwe shi pondola okulanda iipeleki ye nokudhengela ombashu ye. “Kakele kiipeleki mbyoka twa landa niimaliwa mbyoka, ope na omaliko gamwe ngoka twa landa niimaliwa oyo tuu mbika. Onda longitha iimaliwa mbyoka mokutuma aanona yandje kooskola oshowo okuya landa iikulya pamwe naanegumbo lyandje.” Nangolo okwati, oluhepo lwaandjawo oshowo onkalo kutya ina hala okuninga owala omunwi gwomalovu, osho shemuthiminike a kale ta longo iilonga mbyoka, yokugongela iinima mbyoka hayi vulu okulongululwa.

    Lahia David (36) okwa popi kutya oya hala ya kale haya futwa iimaliwa oyindji omolwa okulonga kwawo nuudhiginini, sho taya gongele iinima mbyoka nokutatula omakende. Mboka oya popi kutya ohaya longele momutenya na otashi kala oshiwanawa uuna taya longele momuzile.

    Oya popi kutya omukundu ya taalela, aantu mboka haya yakapo iinima yawo. Oya ti, momahuliloshiwike aantu ye na oohauto oha yayi metoto moka nokulondekapo iinima yawo mbyoka ya gongela.

    Oya tsikile kutya oya nongele oshindji pethimbo lyoshigongi iilonga shoka sha ningwa kelelo lyondoolopa yaShakati.

    “Inatu kala tu shi shi ngele omukalo ngoka hatu longitha ogwa za mopula, sho hatu tatula omakende noonyala nani ope na omashina ngoka haga longo iilonga mbyoka. Otu na einekelo kutya limwe lyomomasiku otatu ka pewa eshina ndyoka nokukala tatu longo iilonga yetu nenyanyu,”Jeremia ta ti

    Ongundu ndjoka oya popi woo nkene haya kala yuuvite uuna yiitsu mekende mondoolopa.

    “Ngele onda mono ekende nena ohashi dhimbulukithandje iilonga yandje, ngele inandi humbata sha nena ohandi li toolapo nokulifaalela ketoto, opo ndi ke li tatulepo,”Paulina Thomas ta ti.

    Ayehe oya popi kutya kaye na omakende nenge oondooha dhili popepi nomagumbo gawo molwaashoka otadhi nyateke na oya pula Aanamibia ayehe ya kaleke omidhingoloko dha yela.


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    Meet the N$100-million-dollar ladyMeet the N$100-million-dollar ladyWomen in tourism thrive Under Katriena Hoeses's leadership, NWR's Okaukuejo Camp brought in N$100 million in the last financial year. Katriena Hoeses is Okaukuejo's resort manager, and her love for the Etosha National Park is what makes her stand out from the crowd.

    Having started her career as a resort officer at Namutoni at the inception of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), one can see why Kate, as her colleagues call her, has a soft spot for the Etosha National Park. Her hard work and efforts did not go unnoticed, and her manager offered her a three-year bursary to study at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), then known as the Polytechnic of Namibia.

    What has kept her in love with the tourism industry is the joy she derives from being of service to others.

    “I love my job because I am one of those people who want to help and please my guests or anyone in need of assistance. When I see a guest or a visitor around the resort in need of assistance, I always go out of my way to put a smile on their face because to me that is the primary purpose of my job. Waving goodbye to a guest leaving the resort satisfied and assuring a repeat of business has always been the highlight of my job,” she says.

    As it is with every job, Hoeses does face challenges.

    “Visitors can sometimes require a lot from you, but having been in the industry for so long, I have picked up different skills and strategies to calm any situation and turn dissatisfied guests into happy guests.”

    She has learned that to be successful in the service industry, one needs a strong sense of professionalism and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide excellent service. The support of her team makes it easy to do what she loves.

    Two events stand out as milestones in her career. The first one was in May 2015, when Okaukuejo was awarded a floating trophy for the resort with the best financial performance.

    The cherry on the cake was the 2015/16 financial year, when Okaukuejo generated N$100 million in revenue for the first time in its history. She feels that it was a financial milestone reached for the whole organisation and that's why she dedicated this achievement to the entire NWR team.

    “I have a lot of stories to tell and want to inspire everyone out there,” Hoeses says. She adds that she owes a great deal of gratitude to the current and past leadership of NWR that has played a role in her success.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Oil hits one-month high
  • Oil hits one-month highOil hits one-month highCrude closes at US$55 Although an output cut by OPEC members has seen oil prices rise somewhat, shale oil producers remain undeterred. Oil hit a one-month high near US$55 a barrel yesterday as a drop in US crude inventories raised hopes that OPEC-led supply restraint is clearing a glut, while an outage at a UK North Sea oilfield lent support.

    US crude inventories fell by a more-than-expected 1.8 million barrels last week, American Petroleum Institute data showed on Tuesday. The focus is now on whether the government's supply report on Wednesday confirms the decline.

    “Should it confirm that US crude stocks did indeed fall for what would only be the second time this year, it will mark the start of a sustained tightening in US crude supplies,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

    Oil also gained after an outage at the 180 000-barrels-per-day Buzzard field in the North Sea. Buzzard is the largest field contributing to the Forties stream, the most important of the four crudes that underpin Brent.

    An output cut from 1 January led by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has helped Brent recover from a 12-year low near $27 reached last year, although rising US output and stubbornly high stocks have limited the rally.

    OPEC and non-members including Russia that joined the deal to cut supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months until June are considering whether to extend the agreement.

    The inventory surplus is likely to be eroded, even without a prolonged supply cut, analysts at JBC Energy said.

    “In the event of OPEC/non-OPEC not extending the cuts into the second half, the world would still continue to draw stocks at a mild pace of about 200 000 bpd until September, thereby lending support to prices one way or another,” JBC said.

    Still, a rise in output in the United States - prompted in part by higher prices resulting from the OPEC-led cut – is likely to provide headwind for prices, analysts said.

    US drillers added oil rigs for an 11th week in a row, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday, as energy companies boost spending on new production.


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    7% increase for GIPF pensioners7% increase for GIPF pensioners STAFF REPORTER

    The Government Institutions Pension Fund of Namibia (GIPF) this week announced a 7% increase for its 35 194registered annuitants.

    As a result, the fund will pay out close to N$3 billion in benefits to its members this year, of which N$1.2 billion will be pensions.

    According to the GIPF, its board of trustees usually aims for inflation-linked pension increases and this year’s increase is no different.

    “The average annual returns of 15% over the past five years indicate that the fund has been receiving above-inflation returns, therefore the 7% increase is well within the fund’s affordability margin and will not have adverse financial implications for the institution.

    “The GIPF remains in a sound financial position to afford such a benefit to its pensioners and this is also in line with the fund’s strategy to protect pensioners’ income from the erosion of the purchasing power of their income,” it said.

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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Kavango tests improved seeds
  • Kavango tests improved seedsKavango tests improved seedsFarmers select best irradiated mutants Farmers in the two Kavango regions are participating in a project supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Food and Agricultural Organisation. NAMPA

    Farmers in the Kavango East and West regions had the opportunity on Tuesday to select the most promising induced mutant seeds that could be adopted as national varieties.

    The seeds under evaluation were cowpea, pearl millet and sorghum, said the director of agricultural research and development, Johanna Andowa.

    Andowa was speaking at a farmers’ information and field day held to evaluate and select improved varieties of cowpea, pearl millet and sorghum at the Bagani Research Station in the Kavango East Region.

    “The first experiments on induced mutation in Namibia were planted in 2009. Since then promising crop lines were identified and were closely observed in order to make distinct selection among them,” she said.

    The objective of the project is to release early-maturing mutant varieties with high yield stability, enhanced nutritional composition and tolerance to drought conditions.

    Mutation breeding, sometimes referred to as variation breeding, is the process of exposing seeds to chemicals or radiation in order to generate mutants with desirable traits to be bred with other cultivars.

    Andowa said seeds were collected from the lines with the most desirable traits for further evaluation and breeding.

    The selection consisted of 24 cowpea, 18 pearl millet and 14 sorghum lines.

    The participating farmers will choose the best three, which will be multiplied to become registered as national varieties.

    The project is supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency together with the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the Namibian government.

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    Stanlib expects economic growthStanlib expects economic growth STAFF REPORTER

    Stanlib Namibia recently held its annual investment road show and invited its economists to share their insights on what was to be expected this year.

    Opening the floor, Hendrik van der Merwe, business development manager at Stanlib Namibia, said: “We hold this road show every year and speakers from Stanlib South Africa give their views about the current economic climate globally as well as locally in the SADC and African region.”

    Stanlib Namibia was established in 1993 as a joint venture between Standard Bank Namibia and Stanlib South Africa to provide investment management services to Namibian institutional, corporate and retail clients.

    At this year’s road show three experts from SA - chief economist Kevin Lings, emerging markets economist Kganja Kgare, and senior client fund manager Brendon Howie - shared their thoughts on a variety of economic issues and investment trends.

    Kevin Lings focused on the USA, highlighting some of the key developments since Donald Trump was elected president. “On the one hand, parts of the US economy are doing very well, while another part is in recession,” he said.

    He said the US economy had grown by a mere 1.6 % last year, while Trump is aiming for a 3% or even 4% growth rate.

    “The household sector is performing well, as confidence among US consumers is at its highest in decades. House prices are recovering, up 40% since the financial crisis, and are currently growing by 5% every year.

    “The US consumers are the wealthiest they have been and their wealth is up by $35 trillion since the financial crisis ended. In addition, they have created 15.8 million jobs since the end of the financial crisis at a rate of 200 000 jobs per month.

    “We will have to wait and see how the US progresses in the year ahead given some of the more irrational initiatives by Trump, such as the immigration crisis, possible trade wars, irrational military action as well as neglect of the environment.”

    On the subject of Namibia, Kganja Kgare said they were a bit worried about the amount of money the government spent on wages.

    “We are, however, optimistic about the lower debt this year and hopefully next year, which rating agencies would see as positive. Technically Namibia is in a recession as some sectors have been disappointing, such as construction which has been influenced by cancelled government projects as well as the water crisis.

    “Secondly, BoN hiked rates last year, which put pressure on the consumer, and mining and quarrying has also not quite delivered to expectations. Currently Namibia’s inflation rate is up at 7.8%, while the target is 6%. Rates are likely to remain relatively high, but we are expecting growth to improve.”

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  • 04/05/17--16:00: SA to answer for Bashir
  • SA to answer for BashirSA to answer for BashirICC will decide on whether to report the country The International Criminal Court is expected to hear South Africa’s side of the story in the release of Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir n 2015, this Friday. War crimes judges will hear on Friday why South Africa failed to arrest Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir during a 2015 visit, as they mull whether to report the country to the United Nations for possible action.

    South Africa's lawyers will defend the decision not to detain Bashir - wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - at a hearing scheduled to start at 07:30 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

    At the heart of the matter is South Africa's refusal to arrest Bashir when he attended an African Union summit in Johannesburg in mid-June 2015, insisting he had "head of state immunity" and allowing him instead to slip out of the country under shadowy circumstances.

    Judges at the tribunal based in The Hague will decide after the day-long hearing whether the country violated its obligations by not arresting Bashir and handing him over.

    South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute which underpins the world's only permanent war crimes court.

    In 2005, the UN Security Council asked the ICC to probe crimes in the western Sudan region of Darfur, where according to UN figures, some 330 000 people have been killed in a conflict between Khartoum and mostly black African insurgents.

    The tribunal issued arrest warrants in 2009 and 2010 for Bashir for alleged crimes related to the conflict. He has steadfastly denied the charges.

    Diplomatic immunity

    But in its submission to the court, the government argued that "the circumstances within which South Africa found itself and the applicable law were not as clear cut as the Chamber is inclined to believe".

    It insists that even if Bashir is wanted by the court it is "for the national authorities of the requested state to carry out the arrest - and it is this act of arrest in the domestic jurisdiction of that state that is prohibited by head of state immunity."

    The ICC's prosecutors have hit back, pointing out that in the past South Africa told Bashir he would be arrested if he set foot in the country.

    "South Africa remained under an obligation to immediately arrest... Bashir if he entered South African territory," ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a document to the court.

    "Give the circumstances, it is appropriate for the Chamber to refer South Africa" to the UN Security Council for possible further action, Bensouda said.

    'Disgraceful conduct'

    The ICC does not have a police force to arrest wanted suspects and is dependent on member states to carry out such tasks.

    The Supreme Court of Appeal has accused President Jacob Zuma's government of "disgraceful conduct" over Bashir's visit and ruled the failure to arrest him was unlawful.

    Even though the UN Security Council has the power to impose sanctions, experts say an eventual referral will amount to little more than a slap on the wrist for South Africa.

    "It's not the first time a state party country has failed to arrest Bashir and been reported," said Goran Sluiter, an international law professor at the University of Amsterdam.

    "Unfortunately, I have to note that none of these countries ever felt any real repercussions," he told AFP.

    Last year alone the ICC referred Chad, Djibouti and Uganda after they all hosted Bashir and failed to arrest him.

    "The Council has yet to act to give effect to these decisions," Bensouda said in her latest report to the UNSC in December.

    Bashir last week also attended an Arab League summit in Jordan, despite calls from rights groups that he should be arrested by the Hashemite kingdom.

    In February, another court ordered the government to withdraw its "unconstitutional" bid last year to pull out of the ICC in protest over the Bashir incident.

    Set up in 2002 to prosecute the world's worst crimes, the ICC has run foul of several African countries which accuse it of racism and a post-colonial bias against the continent.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day NOT KEEPING ME AWAY: Afghan students from the American University of Afghanistan wait for the start of classes at the beginning of a new term in Kabul. Hundreds of students returned at the end of March to the elite American University in Kabul, seven months after militants stormed the campus - including those wounded in the bloody assault that killed 16 people. Security has been increased at the campus in the Afghan capital after the attack in August 2016, in which students trapped during the nearly 10-hour raid sent anguished pleas for help on social media. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Mass Housing mess
  • Mass Housing messMass Housing mess The provision of affordable housing must remain a priority. Just like access to education and quality public healthcare, the housing sector needs to be given serious consideration.

    Everyone wants to have a place he or she can call home amid the high property prices experienced countrywide, and it requires government to come up with housing policies for the urban as well as the rural poor.

    The middle class too, is heavily affected by the housing crisis, with property prices having risen to record high levels over the last ten years.

    The failure to prioritise housing for the poor has unfortunately remained consistent and this is the sad part, considering that government is only giving N$166 million this year for the Mass Housing. Programmes initiated by government, such as the Build Together and Mass Housing have been spectacular failures in the sense that they have been poorly coordinated and badly implemented.

    Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba haphazardly launched the Mass Housing programme at the very end of his final term in office with a promise to build 185 000 homes by 2030 and 10 000 in the first year.

    There is no doubt that the Mass Housing programme is an ambitious one and a test for the legacy of the former president who initiated the project, even though there was no budget for it.

    As we speak now this project is no longer in the hands of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), who are mandated to provide housing solutions to the needy.

    The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is now the custodian of this very same project and heaven only knows whether they have the capacity to pull it off.

    The fact that a ministry, without a bonding system and qualified personnel, is directly running a project of this magnitude not only defies logic, but is also a slap in the face of the NHE who should be supported by central government with sufficient resources.

    How is it possible that government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in bailing out TransNamib and Air Namibia, but opts to overlook the critical housing sector?

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    Domestic wage review completeDomestic wage review complete The Wages Commission for Domestic Workers yesterday handed over a final report containing eight recommendations, including a new minimum wage, to the labour minister Erkki Nghimtina.

    Although details of the report were not made public, the commission, chaired by Libertina Amathila, shared the headings of the eight recommendations, which first need Cabinet approval before they can be implemented later this year.

    This marks the first review of the domestic workers wage order, which stipulates the minimum wages and basic conditions of employment for domestic workers. The first wage order was gazetted in December 2014 and implemented in April 2015. Yesterday Nghimtina explained that going forward, the process should ensure that the second wage order still pending is implemented during 2017.

    The second wages commission, which was appointed in December 2016, was tasked to review the current wage order and make recommendations for its improvement.

    The minister and commissioners said the recommendations could not be made public until they had been finalised and approved by Cabinet.

    However, the eight recommendations will include the strengthening of the application of the wage order in order to ensure all domestic workers, including foreign nationals, are treated equally. The second recommendation recaps working hours and clarifies overtime and normal working hours.

    The third recommendation proposes amendments to the current minimum wage, while the fourth deals with accommodation for live-in domestic workers. The fifth recommendation regards induction training while the sixth addresses fixed term employment contracts.

    The seventh recommendation deals with the review period of the wage order and the last recommendation addresses the need for research into the effect of the current wage order.


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  • 04/05/17--16:00: Protest forces Unam to act
  • Protest forces Unam to actProtest forces Unam to actStudents gain feedback on their concerns The students at Unam's main campus in Windhoek received feedback on their protest action while they were protesting. University of Namibia student leaders hosted a peaceful demonstration at the main campus on Tuesday after numerous concerns about the institution's poor facilities and service delivery “fell on deaf ears”.

    Leading the troop SRC president Joseph Kalimbwe said students have been affected by several challenges for months and their concerns have been taken lightly for too long.

    “We have no choice but to act and gather our fellow students to raise our concerns,” he said.

    One of the issues include the closed 'Grub' food outlet, which forces students to buy food from outside and expensive stores, the poor maintenance of facilities and the unopened old gate that hostel residents mostly use.

    “It has become extremely difficult for students to walk with groceries as taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds,” explained Kalimbwe. At the time of the protest, management for the first time opened the old gate and it has since, remained open.

    The students that were present at the protest gathered in front of the administration building and handed over their petition to the pro-vice chancellor of academic affairs Frednard Gideon.

    Regarding the maintenance of facilities, students approached for comment told Namibian Sun that three students have collapsed in the library over the past four weeks due to the lack of air conditioners in the building.

    Namibian Sun was also informed that some hostel blocks do not have access to running water, which in turn forces students to go to other blocks to bath even though they have paid the full hostel fees of N$10 770.

    “We have engaged the office of the dean of students and the Unam Foundation on these issues and we sent proposals on 24 March but, to date, we have not yet received any response,” Kalimbwe explained in his petition.

    Upon receiving the petition, Gideon assured the students that management will look into the issues and told them the response will be received through the right channels. Around 16:00 on Tuesday, the students received written notification that the 'Grub' will be opened on 14 April 2017.

    Regarding the maintenance of the facilities, management said the issue is to be discussed with the dean of students soonest. Kalimbwe said that the students are satisfied with the results of the protest as they have managed “to get a written reply as management tends to go against their word when matters are discussed verbally.”


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    28 years for killer who said sorry with cattle28 years for killer who said sorry with cattle Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute sentenced a first offender who also contributed to funeral costs of his victim and paid cattle as compensation for his death, to 28 years imprisonment for murder with direct intent.

    Recently, Josua Hituamata asked the court for leniency as he had contributed to the funeral costs of Nathanael Mushihange Showa, 28, having paid compensation in the form of 12 head of cattle as a token of his remorse. He also apologised to Showa's family and the traditional authority.

    Hituamata was sentenced for having shot Showa on 12 July 2013 in Windhoek's Okuryangava residential area. He killed him following an argument over jackpot winnings of N$164.

    He claimed ownership of a portion (N$100), while Showa felt the entire amount belonged to him.

    Hituamata has been in custody since his arrest four years ago, awaiting trial.

    During the sentencing, Shivute said the term would deter the offender and the would-be offenders from committing such crimes in order to protect society.

    “Under the circumstance it is my considered view that the sentence of 28 years for murder with direct intent is appropriate,” she said.

    She further ordered that the firearm used in the commission of the crime be forfeited to the State and that it is deemed that the murderer is unfit to possess a firearm for 20 years, counted from the date that he completes his sentence.

    The judge in sentencing reasons said the fact that the murderer first shot Showa in the arm, and then in the head when he fell to the ground makes the degree of his culpability very high.

    According to the judge, Showa was self-employed and assisted his parents and siblings.

    “His death left a gap that cannot be filled,” Shivute added.


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