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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 330 | 331 | (Page 332) | 333 | 334 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Tjeripo, our beloved clergyman Tjeripo, our beloved clergyman My good friend Tjeripo – a believer in always trying new things, convinced me to accompany him to a local congregation to hear the word of God.

    I willingly gave in to the invitation, appreciating the gesture from my long-standing friend. I had one or two doubts though – Tjeripo is not the best decision-maker there is!

    Tjeripo once attempted to convince me to join Namibia’s liberation struggle. I refused! He called me a coward – something I didn’t like. I mean, I seriously had a stomach-ache and couldn’t go to the battle front. Seriously, I’m sure my comrades who suffered the same fate, will back me up.

    Anyway, as we drove to church on that day, Tjeripo signaled me to stop as we drove past the sea where a baptism ceremony was taking place. My friend was thrilled, and decided to get baptised right there and then.

    The priest conducting the baptism would dunk the people’s heads under water and ask, “Have you seen Jesus?” The people would respond “Yes, I’ve seen Jesus”.

    When it was Tjeripo’s turn, the priest dunked his head into the water, pulled him out and asked him “Have you seen Jesus?” He said, No, so the priest put his head back under water for a few more seconds and again asked “Have you seen Jesus?”

    Tjeripo replied “No, comrade Pastor.”

    Running out of patience, the priest dunked his head for much time, pulled Tjeripo’s head out and asked him again; “How about now? Have you seen Jesus?”

    I bit my nails and crossed my fingers, hoping Tjeripo would not anger the Priest by repeating his reply… “Etse, my brother, the Pastor .... are you sure this is the right sea where Jesus fell into,” came Tjeripo’s reply.

    I had to get him back to the car and sped off to church. After waiting for half-an-hour for my friend to dry out, we stepped in and took one of the front rows. I figured if I sat close enough to the Pastor, I would be able to remember the sermon better and not be distracted by the glamorous designer outfits that filled the congregation hall.

    I recognised the Pastor as one of the attendees of a Religious Leaders Conference which I had covered for my newspaper earlier in the week. As he started his sermon, I gathered that he wanted to rephrase a joke that was shared by an elder Pastor at the conference during the week.

    Okay, the joke, as I remembered, went like this: The elder approached the pulpit and, gathering the congregation’s attention, he said;

    “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman that wasn’t my wife!”

    The crowd was shocked!

    He followed up by saying, “And that woman was my mother!” - the crowd burst into laughter and he delivered the rest of his talk, which went over quite well.

    Now, my over-enthusiastic Pastor from Mondesa decided he’d also give this ‘humour thing’ a try and used the same joke in his sermon.

    As he confidently approached the pulpit on that sunny Sunday, he tried to rehearse the joke in his head. It suddenly appeared a bit foggy to him.

    Getting to the microphone he said loudly, “The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman that was not my wife!”

    The congregation inhaled half the air in the room.

    After standing there for almost 10 seconds in the stunned silence, trying to recall the second half of the joke, the pastor finally blurted out, “... and I can’t remember who she was!”

    I felt the walls of Jericho coming down on my poor Pastor. Being of the calibre he is though, the rest of the sermon went quite well, although at times, I thought the Pastor was talking explicitly about me.

    You see, he would turn to my side and say “…you shall burn in hell, all of you unrighteous ones …”, then turning to the other side he would say “… peace be upon you.”

    All in all, a refreshing sermon it was indeed.

    Until then…

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  • 04/27/17--16:00: We need a valuable workforce
  • We need a valuable workforceWe need a valuable workforce Muammar Gaddafi said in his Green Book “exploitation is caused by need. Need is an intrinsic problem and conflict is initiated by the control of one's needs by another”. Such was the case prior to the independence of Namibia; this was the plight of the workers.

    The majority of the workers, based on their skin colour were exploited by the contract system and wherever they were employed, throughout the entire tragic era of the apartheid regime. At that time, the workers did not have any choice, because they were oppressed and it was “the way things were”.

    They nevertheless accepted their exploitative “fate”, with an acceptance that was driven by need.

    This situation however, led to conflict, because the control of the workers' rights, their needs and the widening gap between rich and poor became all the more unacceptable.

    To this end, the workers in Namibia prior to independence were the foot soldiers of the liberation struggle inside the country and they continued to agitate. In fact, workers' and students' organisations continued to agitate across the entire Southern African region.

    They had strong, dedicated leaders, like Anton Lubowski, treasurer of the NUNW at the time. In the end, the trade unions in Namibia and South Africa played a pivotal role in causing massive political change.

    After independence however, their leadership lost the plot and in the end, all it boiled down to, was vying for political office – the higher, the better – some are now ministers.

    The captains of these powerful organisations jumped ship for their own gain and these large vessels with their enslaved crews are rudderless and afloat in the stormy seas of economic inequality and increasing poverty.

    Bread and butter issues are no longer being attended to.

    The workers have “rights” on paper, but in fact, nothing at all, simply because the law is not properly enforced and nobody really cares.

    Former trade union bosses are now business people – and the old guard is on the street, dead or nowhere.

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    Weakened and heavily compromisedWeakened and heavily compromisedThe contested legacy of the trade unions The politicisation of trade unions in an independent Namibia may be a challenge for the execution of their mandate – that of the rights of the workers. In the first volume of Mein Kampf, published in 1925, Adolf Hitler wrote that trade unions are critical for the success of any political movement, and continued by saying that in an ideal system, trade unions would not be necessary. Throughout history and across the world, the trade unions have formed alliances with political movements in a bid to meet their objectives of upholding the rights of workers.

    The situation is no different in Namibia today, and as the country prepares to celebrate May Day on Monday it appears as though the political infiltration of the trade unions in the country is complete.

    Over the years political movements have became governments and this begs the question of the purpose of trade unions in Namibia, and arguably across the continent and the world and whether the traditional “us versus them” paradigm has shifted.

    There are no doubts that in Africa, with its history of extreme oppression by external and colonial forces, trade unions were the first and foremost mobilisers of the workers and the first to agitate for change and effectively challenge the status quo.

    It is for this reason that it became an almost natural course of action for the trade unions to align themselves with political liberation movements. Most of the trade unions in Africa were based on communist and socialist ideals and they were powerful in that they had a strong base to operate from.

    The alliance between the politics of change and the rights of workers came almost naturally as a strong symbiotic relationship existed where the numbers of the masses and ideology led the fight for equal rights.

    But Africa is “free” today and the governments are mostly capitalist and consequently, the trade unions find themselves in a somewhat difficult position to find new and innovative ways of rising to the occasion and upholding workers’ rights.

    In Namibia, it appears as though the unions only come to the fore when there are wage negotiations in a particular industry and this also only on occasion.

    For the remainder, they are quiet.

    “When the time comes, the union will ask for 12%. The employer will offer 5%. Press releases abound and strikes are threatened. They eventually, after a long bargaining process, settle of 6 or 7% and then, they disappear, until next year,” said an expert on labour affairs.

    Weakened

    Hubert René Schillinger, a former resident representative at the Frederich Ebert Stiftung in Windhoek, wrote that “trade unions in Africa are weak organisations with many internal problems. Trapped between an ongoing ‘informalisation’ of the African economies on one hand and the consequences of ‘neo-liberal globalisation’ on the other, they are quite often seen to be a relic of the past.”

    In current times, communism and socialism are all but dead ideals and many trade unions appear to have abandoned the fight for the rights of workers in favour of the political gravy train.

    This is also true in Namibia.

    In our case, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) is still affiliated to the Swapo party, and is not even ashamed to be in bed with the ruling party.

    According to Barnabas Tjizu, former secretary-general of the Metal and Allied Workers Union (MANWU), upon independence and after 1990, the political infiltration of the unions began and has continued unabated. The lines between trade unionism and party politics became blurred as the politicians endeavoured to control the powerful workers’ unions.

    This led to a high level of competition in the top echelons of union leadership structures for positions within government structures.

    “Unions now have a grey area. The ‘us and them’ has all but disappeared having bled into one another and you will find many ‘trade unionists’ with party membership cards. Our leaders carry the tag of ‘hero of the struggle’ and our unionists see them so. But if I am suffering, who cares about heroes? I come back from star rallies in the same state that I went there. The workers have not taken government to task. In terms of Swapo’s manifesto, government is not delivering and to make matters worse, we have not gone further to say, ‘what do we do if they do not deliver?’.”

    He continues saying, “It is a pity that those in thick of things have a one-dimensional look at employment, living standards and so on. Workers and leaders are vying for top positions. Workers will, however, come to a stage where they say, ‘we have had enough’ and that cannot be that far.”

    The ideals of combining a strong political ideology with workers’ movements in pre-independence Africa were noble. In 1999, Rotimi Ajayi in the UCLA Journal of African Studies wrote that in Nigeria in the late 1940s, the view was that “working class solidarity and the economic freedom of workers depended not on the parleys with employers, not on negotiating machinery for the settlement of disputes, but on the overthrow of imperialism.”

    Ripple effect

    This approach no longer works. Namibia is feeling the effects of a global slowdown in the economy and furthermore, the ripples from the tragically comical and diseased Jacob Zuma government in South Africa continue to spill over our borders.

    Corruption remains omnipresent and unemployment levels are high, at around 27%. Of this, the youth make up at least half of this figure at 49% of the youth aged 20 to 24 being unemployed.

    And all the while, workers continue to complain that they have no rights.

    Some say that the union bosses that are so aligned to Swapo and they will not take any action that could possibly harm the government. Others say cronyism at their workplaces is complete.

    One worker told Namibian Sun that at his place of employment, they can forget about bargaining.

    “My boss is more of a comrade with the ruling party than [with] my union. We are powerless here,” he said.

    “May Day was about workers addressing workers’ issues. Today, the keynote address comes from the government and they are not addressing the issues that affect me,” says Tjizu.

    Employers agree.

    Some say the political alliance of trade unions is unhealthy. Said one: “The political clout that they can wield, unbalances the rights of the worker against the employer.”

    Another added that the political bias in favour of the worker comes out time and time again. “We cannot get an audience with the head of state, but the president meets with the illegally striking fishermen!”

    Wage issues

    Tim Parkhouse, the secretary-general of the Namibia Employers Federation says that unfair wage increases are the most common complaint from his members.

    “One of the most frequent complaints I receive is that of unreasonable wage increase requests. We all know where inflation lies, but too often wage demands are way above that. This results in [many] unproductive hours of negotiation. Very infrequently are wage demands related to productivity. We need to look at productivity and increase it.”

    Appreciating workers

    Having risen from a shop steward, just prior to independence, to business owner currently, David Namalenga of Dinapama says that while the rights of workers are important and must be understood by employers, there are also responsibilities that come with these rights.

    “It is not what you demand; it is what you work for. We as employers need to appreciate our workers and their contribution to the economy, but with rights come responsibilities. If you do not sweat for what you eat, that is against the natural law,” he told Namibian Sun.

    “Unions must understand we need to manage the balance between rights and responsibilities.”

    But many workers are of the view that their unions do nothing tangible for them, save taking their fees and being emblazoned across newspaper headlines, because of infighting and financial mismanagement.

    Most say they are only doing the bidding of their political puppet masters and care zero for the plight of the workers.

    Danny Meyer of SME Compete is of the view that the trade unions have missed the opportunity to adjust their roles to cater for workers in an independent Namibia.

    Working mostly with formalising the informal sector, Meyer is of the view that unions need a new direction in Namibia.

    “Trade unions are very important for workers’ rights, but their role is also to uplift their members, including elements like education. One cannot stay in the same position for your entire life. In southern Africa, this role is largely forgotten. Unions should be helping their members with education, scholarships and so on. They should work to foster entrepreneurship in the face of retrenchments, helping the children of their members to secure vocational training opportunities and so on,” said Meyer.

    “They can form alliances with employers. They should not just negotiate for wages. The labour law is fair. Our maternity leave, workmen’s compensation and those social security elements are working, so in fact, the trade unions should ask, ‘now what?’ They must see the bigger picture and not just come out once a year when it is wage negotiation time.”

    Some believe that the trade unions, with their high levels of politicisation and the communist/socialist base they operate from, are slowly becoming redundant.

    One of the biggest threats to the unions is the growing informal sector in Africa where the employer/employee relationship no longer exists.

    Schillinger says that when there is an economic crunch or a cash crisis, the close relationship between state power and organised labour starts to crumble.

    This was evident in the 1980s in Europe.

    Further to this, the informal sector remains a major challenge.

    In Africa, he says, there are only a handful of examples where this has worked.

    These workers, he says, cannot be reached and brought together en masse, and further to this, many are a ‘one-man show’.

    In his view, “there is room for closer political cooperation between labour unions and informal sector organisations to lobby government on employment and poverty issues. Furthermore, most African economies are limited to the survival economy of the informal sector and a thorough modernisation is not forthcoming. Hence the prospects of stronger unionism are slim.”

    Job creation

    The only real option according to Schillinger for potential exploitation by trade unions in Africa is the current trends in foreign investment on the continent.

    “However, the number of jobs created may not yet be significant in relation to the unemployment problem or compared to the size of the informal economy. In view of the high capital outlay of these investments, social peace must have preference over trade union-free zones and low wages from an investor’s point of view.”

    Arandis mayor and former trade unionist Risto Kapenda disagrees saying trade unions are still very relevant with an unchanged role and that their political alliances are vital to them.

    “The strongest unions are aligned with political parties. It is unwise or even suicidal if there is no ideology. How else can the union influence the political sphere? If it is at all possible, they must try and take over. We have seen it in Zambia, the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries and even in China where the workers currently rule.”

    Some agree saying that Zimbabwe’s Morgan Tsvangirai from the Movement for Democratic Change aligned incorrectly and this is why he is not in power.

    But Kapenda agrees that there are problems.

    “There is a lot to be improved. Workers are not well organised. They need to reorganised and speak in one voice then the employer will recognise you. With all the infighting and divisions in the unions, the employers are taking advantage of this. It is up to the workers to control their unions.”

    Regarding the redundancy of the communist and socialist ideals of the trade union movement as a whole, Kapenda disagrees.

    “The union is owned by the workers and its leaders must be revolutionaries. They should not be capitalists otherwise the workers will suffer and the leaders will enjoy. This is why the majority of our workers are not impactful. They are not permanently employed. They need reorganisation.”

    Schillinger writes that trade unions remain an important political force in many countries due to their numbers, their wide reach and their potential for mobilising members.

    However, he adds that “future trade union mobilisation will play an important role in particular in situations of political transition and in the struggle against authoritarianism.”

    He adds though, that trade unions will also have to act on deteriorating living standards and the sharp increase in food prices, for example.

    The consensus appears to be clear. Trade unions have to start acting on the social conditions flowing out of unemployment. As Tjizu told Namibian Sun, “they need to separate political activity and bread and butter issues.”

    YANNA SMITH

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    Disability Council urges complianceDisability Council urges compliance The National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) has reminded all public and private entities to complete the annual disability monitoring questionnaires before the end of the week.

    The council launched the Disability Annual Monitoring Report (DAMR) in January, emphasising that participation by government and private institutions was compulsory.

    “The NDCN wishes to remind all the government offices, ministries and agencies, local and regional authorities, the private sector and all the non-governmental organisations to comply with the National Disability Council Act, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Continental Plan of Action for the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities,” it said in a statement issued this week.

    Council chairman Tobias Mwaudikange said at the launch in January that the report was part of the council's task to monitor the status of people living with disabilities in Namibia.

    He said the report hoped to shed light on the living conditions of disabled people “in all spheres of life, such as political, economic, social and cultural”.

    Mwaudikange explained that the council's primary role was to monitor the mainstreaming of disability issues by the government, a function the report would help fulfil.

    The annual monitoring report will collect a wide array of information, as per the provisions of section three of the council's enabling act.

    The reporting window for this year was from 1 to 30 April.

    The council did not reveal yesterday what the response had been so far and how many questionnaires were outstanding.

    According to the council act, the disability council must monitor the implementation of the national policy on disability by the various offices, ministries and agencies of government.

    The four-part questionnaire was launched in January and since then the NDCN has written to all permanent secretaries to inform them of their responsibility to report to the NDCN.

    The Disability Annual Monitoring Report can be downloaded from the National Disability Council's website at www.ndcn.com.na.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 04/27/17--16:00: Concern over Lotteries Bill
  • Concern over Lotteries BillConcern over Lotteries Bill A lack of detail on what would be done with the proceeds of a state lottery, and concerns about whether it would fan the growing gambling culture in the country, were raised by opposition parties this week during debate on the Lotteries Bill in the National Assembly.

    The president of the UPM, Jan van Wyk, said although national lotteries aimed to generate money for state-funded projects, he was not convinced that the Lotteries Bill in its current form would contribute effectively to funding state projects.

    Van Wyk said considering the social evils Namibia was faced with, he was afraid that a state lottery would negatively affect the vast majority of people.

    He said in developed countries statistics showed that most participants bought lottery tickets “responsibly and sporadically”.

    In Namibia, Van Wyk believed a state lottery would feed a gambling culture that would create social problems and harm the low- and middle-income groups.

    “Poor people are far more likely to buy tickets than their wealthier counterparts. They spend a larger percentage of their income on the lottery, and many studies on state lotteries have found that low-income citizens account for most of the sales and that sales are highest in the poorest areas,” he said.

    One study found that lotteries could set off a vicious cycle that not only exploited poor people's desire to escape poverty, but also directly prevented them from improving their financial situation. “Participants have an individual responsibility to play the game responsibly, and spend within their means while pursuing the dream of huge cash prizes. As long as they do so, then there is no reason why they cannot enjoy the lottery while also contributing to state-funded educational projects,” Van Wyk said.

    Nico Smit of the DTA said the idea of a national lottery had long been mooted and it was pleasing to see that the idea was starting to reach the stage before implementation.

    He said the Geingob administration must be applauded for that.

    But Smit questioned part five of the Lotteries Bill, which deals with what would be done with the proceeds of a state lottery.

    “As things stand, we are being asked to pass this bill, whose primary aim is to establish a state lottery, without having a genuine and clear idea what will be done with the proceeds or who, aside from bursaries for scholars and learners, will be the targeted beneficiaries of the State Lottery Trust Fund.”

    Smit pointed out that sections 44 to 48 provide for some of the proceeds to be held in a trust fund by the Lotteries Board, whereas some would be transferred to the State Revenue Fund to “advance any governmental objectives”.

    The Lotteries Board would be empowered to use the money from the trust fund to “issue educational grants to learners and students” or “to advance any national cause determined by the board with the concurrence of the minister”.

    He said while educational grants clearly identified a specific target group in need of assistance, the references to “any national cause” or “advance any governmental objectives” did not make it clear what would be done with the proceeds.

    “Will it be used to build houses for the poor, to buy agricultural land and to distribute to poor families, or will it be used to construct other infrastructure?”

    He said these shortcomings made it difficult to analyse any potential socio-economic benefits of the proposed state lottery.

    Smit said he supported the creation of a state lottery in principle, because it could help reduce poverty if applied properly.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 04/27/17--16:00: Changes at TransNamib
  • Changes at TransNamibChanges at TransNamibOutgoing boss denies blame for the mess TransNamib has appointed a new interim CEO, a day before its former acting chief executive said he was not to blame for the problems being experienced at the ailing parastatal. Hippy Tjivikua's reign as acting TransNamib CEO effectively ended on Wednesday, a day before he claimed that he was not responsible for the mess the rail parastatal found itself in.

    Tjivikua delivered an update on the rail sector at this week's mining expo on the same day that TransNamib confirmed Michael Feldman as the interim CEO.

    TransNamib released a statement late yesterday afternoon saying the decision had been made at a 25 April board meeting.

    At the mining expo Tjivikua insisted that he was not to blame for the problems being experienced at the ailing parastatal.

    “Please don't blame TransNamib's troubles on Hippy Tjivikua,” he said.

    TransNamib has seen its market share drop significantly over the years.

    Tjivikua said: “In the 1970s TransNamib transported close to four million tonnes of cargo and this number has dropped significantly. We are only able to load 6% of the total cargo at the port of Walvis Bay. At the moment, our payload is 44 tonnes per wagon.”

    Drawing attention to the ageing rail infrastructure, he added that “70% of our rail network is not in a good condition. This boils down to TransNamib not being able to transport goods at the required speed.”

    According to him, the current rail network does not meet Southern African Development Community standards.

    “Our rail network does not meet SADC requirements. Some sections of the rail are as old as 1928. The Walvis Bay – Tsumeb line is the most important but it is not in a good condition, the Otavi – Grootfontein line is also very old, the Outjo – Otjiwarongo line has been decommissioned, the Gobabis – Windhoek line does not meet the requirements and some sections along the Aus – Keetmanshoop line cannot be loaded to full capacity.”

    Because of the bad state of the railways, he said TransNamib's locomotives had to travel at pre-historic speeds. “Sometimes our trains go 15km/h to 20km/h. There are upgrades but we have speed restrictions.”

    He also said that if TransNamib locomotives had to travel fast, they would derail owing to the bad state of the rail lines.

    While other rail operators have adopted the use of radar systems, Tjivikua revealed that the absence of a control room sometimes meant that TransNamib did not know the exact location of its locomotives.

    “We do not have signalling but we are required to meet those standards. We do not see our trains on radar,” he said, adding that TransNamib had to rely on radio technology to track the location of its locomotives.

    He said if TransNamib was an airline, it would not have been allowed to operate. “If we were in the aviation industry, we would have been closed. Some locomotives were built to last 20 years and most [TransNamib] locomotives are beyond their lifespan.”

    Passing the buck to TransNamib executives before him, he said: “Please don't blame TransNamib's problems on Hippy Tjivikua.”

    He said at least N$18 billion would be required to fix the state of affairs, of which N$15 billion would be required to rehabilitate the rail network and N$3 billion to acquire new locomotives.

    “Funding for rail is not available at the moment. If new locomotives must be bought, the rail infrastructure must be refurbished. We have communicated our needs to government, they are aware of our needs, however resources are limited.

    “The way we do business must change fundamentally,” he said. “The current performance of rail is not good in the country.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Shaningua claims self-defenceShaningua claims self-defenceNine shots to stop a revving car The man accused of shooting a Finnish national in an apparent road-rage incident last year claims that he shot at a car with a revving engine that appeared threatening. The man accused of the murder of a Finnish national in Windhoek last year maintains that after a revving car raced towards him he shot at its wheels and the bullets struck the driver, killing him.

    Marco Kristian Uolevi Rönni (42) was shot nine times in an apparent road-rage incident after a minor accident outside a bar near the Windhoek showgrounds.

    The accused, Rodney Danne Shaningua (45), yesterday testified that he had heard a bang when something struck his stationary car.

    He further said during cross-examination by defence lawyer Slysken Makando that when he disembarked from the car he saw another car with a revving engine driving towards him. He said he pulled out his gun and fired until the magazine was empty, intending to puncture the wheels to fend off the danger.

    He said he returned to his car and saw a Land Rover Discovery passing by his car, followed by a taxi.

    Rönni died shortly thereafter. The incident took place during the night of 8 to 9 August outside Joker's Bar in Bell Street in Windhoek.

    Shaningua told the court that he had visited the bar at the invitation of his brother Chris and his friends.

    Shaningua testified about the condition of State witness Fenola Felix (23), who was with him in his car at the time of the shooting. He said she was drunk and probably drugged. The defence had earlier indicated that they would call a witness to testify to that effect.

    Shaningua said Felix had been drinking whiskey at the carwash next to Damara Location in Katutura, where he had found her with his brother and other friends.

    On Wednesday, state pathologist Dr Yuri Vasin testified about Rönni's post-mortem. He said a bullet had been fired into the victim's back, penetrating the right lung and wedging in the chest cavity.

    Vasin said the fatal shot severed a large vein and that caused extensive bleeding in Rönni's chest cavity, where 2 litres of blood accumulated. The other shot that went through his right arm also caused extensive bleeding.

    Makando, after the medical evidence was completed, tried to submit an application for a postponement.

    He informed the court that he intended to line up and lead witnesses who had not been called by the State.

    Judge Christie Liebenberg refused the application.

    Shaningua denied guilt on charges of murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so, when the trial started.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Be responsible, mining industry urgedBe responsible, mining industry urged B2Gold Namibia's managing director, Mike Dawe, has advised that the government should not become involved in mining.

    He made the comment at the just-concluded mining expo at a Business 7 event organised by Namibia Media Holdings yesterday.

    “There are instances in which Epangelo mining should be applauded but the government should not become involved in mining activities,” he said.

    According to Dawe, government investment in mining has not always yielded the desired outcomes, making reference to countries like Australia.

    He also said that B2Gold was looking to the future of its mining operation and called on the sector to be more protective of the environment.

    Suggesting that mining companies should be a lot more conscious when it came to the environment, he said: “You cannot take from the earth, we must also give back. If you finish you cannot simply leave.”

    Dawe also suggested that while not yet implemented, the New Equitable Empowerment Framework was near catastrophic. “The first draft was a catastrophe.”

    Drawing attention to export levies, Dawe said: “It is still an issue, with all the royalties the average mining company pays over 50% to government while diamond companies pay over 80% of their revenue over the government in export levies.”

    PwC Africa chief executive officer Hein Boegman expressed concern about the outlook for mining, suggesting that commodity prices would remain flat for the foreseeable future. He warned about mining companies' liquidity.

    On the social front he called for mining companies to be more responsible. “One of the challenges is the social environment; many people think that big business is bad. The mining industry will have to build up that trust.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Suspended sentence for teen who assaulted dadSuspended sentence for teen who assaulted dad ILENI NANDJATO

    An emotional scene played out at the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court as a father and son reunited in front of a magistrate following a court case involving the two.

    The 19-year-old pupil, Ismael Amupolo Samuel, was given a wholly suspended sentence after an Oshakati magistrate found him guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and domestic violence, for assaulting his father, Ekonia Samuel, 70.

    The boy’s father told the court he had already forgiven his son.

    He told the court that he did not lay the charge for his son to be locked up - all he wanted was for the justice system to discipline his son.

    He said his son was misbehaving and when he tried to discipline him, he picked up a bottle, broke it and attacked his father.

    “I am feeling very bad and I got many stitches after what happened. My own son lost respect for me and just because I wanted to enforce discipline, he ended up assaulting me. I accepted his apology and I am expecting him to come home and behave,” Ekonia said.

    On Tuesday, Magistrate Vivian Ndlovu’s sentence reunited Ismael, a grade 9 learner, with his father. Ismael apologised to his father in court.

    The assault took place on 16 April at their home at Okatha-kiingondjo village in Oshana Region.

    Ekonia arm was badly injured. Ismael was arrested the following day.

    Ndlovu sentenced the boy to six months’ imprisonment which was wholly suspended for three years.

    “You are a learner and after your arrest you missed your mid-year tests. No matter what happened, you were not supposed to assault your father on whom you depend.

    “You were supposed to run away because in his state, he would not have caught up with you. I now expect you to behave because charity starts at home. How can you respect other people if you cannot respect your own parents?” Ndlovu asked Samuel.

    She added that the conviction had tainted his reputation.

    “From today, you are a criminal and it will follow you until you finish your schooling. It is a bad record and wherever you will apply for employment, it will give a bad impression because nobody likes to employ a criminal. From today, you must remember all these things I am telling you,” Ndlovu warned.

    Ismael Samuel defended himself, while Michelle Jagger represented the State.

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    Huang gets green light for 500 housesHuang gets green light for 500 housesPPP deal 'was approved by attorney-general' Urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa says there is nothing untoward about a N$200 million property deal with money-laundering suspect Jack Huang's construction company. Businessman and money-laundering suspect Jack Huang's company has landed yet another huge deal, which will include the servicing of over 500 plots and construction of low-cost houses at the northern town of Ondangwa.

    The agreement between the Ondangwa Town Council and the Sun Investment Group, owned by Huang, was announced recently and will see the company servicing 516 plots at the town's Extension 32 and 33.

    The deal, which is a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement between the two parties, is worth about N$200 million.

    Urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa said there was nothing untoward about the land deal as it had been sanctioned by the attorney-general.

    “The resolution of the Ondangwa town council stands and they also have cleared the agreement that they have with the company you have mentioned (Sun Investment Group).

    I think it was cleared by the office of the attorney-general so I don't think there is any problem in that regard,” Shaningwa said.







    “All I want is for the houses to be built. If there are any consequences to be suffered by the person or the company, that is not my interest as it was legally cleared by the office of the attorney-general.”

    Huang, who is a friend and business partner of President Hage Geingob, was arrested on 1 February this year in connection with a N$3.5 billion tax evasion, fraud and money-laundering case before the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

    The Chinese national is currently out on bail of N$1 million. He is the fifth accused in the case in which Walvis Bay businessman Laurentius Julius and three other Chinese nationals are facing charges of fraud and money-laundering.

    Huang and Geingob, through African Sunrise Investment, have submitted a proposal to build more than 400 apartments in Windhoek.

    The Dr Hage Geingob Family Trust has a 20% in African Sunrise Investment. Ondangwa currently has a housing backlog of 4 000 units and the town council has identified housing as a priority in its five-year strategic plan.

    Council spokesperson Petrina Shitalangaho said if entering into a PPP with Sun International Group was not above board, the line ministry would not have approved the partnership.

    “Huang is just a suspect, not convicted yet, therefore I don't find it right for people to think that Ondangwa town council has entered into a PPP with a company owned by a criminal,” she argued.

    “When Huang was arrested the PPP document was with the attorney-general and line ministry's office and they are the ones that gave the clearance and consent in order for us to go ahead with the partnership.

    “If entering into a partnership with Sun International Group could put the council into disrepute they would not have given consent for the partnership to go ahead,” she added.

    According to the town council, in 2015 Huang's Sun Investment Group made a proposal to construct low-cost houses but it was not considered. Last year the company resurfaced and partnered with a local company to get land for low-cost housing.

    The two companies were then invited to make a presentation early last year, which they did. Surprisingly, the local company pulled out shortly after, which left Sun Investment Group as the sole service provider.

    The council passed a resolution and forwarded it to the line ministry for approval on 5 October last year. Approval was granted on 12 April this year.

    Recently the Ondangwa town council also announced that it had entered into a PPP deal with Conselect Engineering to service 317 plots - 304 for residential and 36 for business purposes - in Ondangwa's Extension 22 and 23 to the tune of N$70 million.

    Sun Group International general manager Zijie Ni recently told Namibian Sun that they would ensure that affordable houses were built.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 04/28/17--16:00: NAMAs kick off
  • NAMAs kick offNAMAs kick off The first evening of the Namibia Music Awards (NAMAs) took place at the coastal town of Walvis Bay last night, with Elemotho winning the Lifetime Achievement award. The glitzy event concludes tonight with more big winners to be announced. Below are last night’s winners.

    Best Gospel: Maranatha – In Your Precence
    Best Reggae: Florence – African Child ft Ras Sheehama
    Best Gospel: Maranatha – In Your Precence
    Best Reggae: Florence – African Child ft Ras Sheehama
    Best Kizomba: Bradley Anthony – Amor ft Joe-Kay
    Most Socially Responsible: Liz Ehlers
    Most Disciplined Artist of the Year: Adora
    Best Afrikaans: Bradley Anthony – Ruk Hom
    Best Shambo: Satlam & M-Jay - Odula ft D-Kandjafa
    Best Song with a Message: N.I.A – Change ft Monique English
    Radio DJ of the Year: Che Ulenga
    Entertainment Journalist of the Year: June Shimuoshili
    Best Musical event of the year: Doctataiment – Windhoek Spring Fiesta All White Edition
    Best Live performance: Maranatha – Benjamin Dube Show ft Ras Sheehama
    Best Kizomba: Bradley Anthony – Amor ft Joe-Kay
    Most Socially Responsible: Liz Ehlers
    Most Disciplined Artist of the Year: Adora
    Best Afrikaans: Bradley Anthony – Ruk Hom
    Best Shambo: Satlam & M-Jay - Odula ft D-Kandjafa
    Best Song with a Message: N.I.A – Change ft Monique English
    Radio DJ of the Year: Che Ulenga
    Entertainment Journalist of the Year: June Shimuoshili - Namibian Sun
    Best Musical event of the year: Doctataiment – Windhoek Spring Fiesta All White Edition
    Best Live performance: Maranatha – Benjamin Dube Show
    Lifetime Achievement award: Elemotho

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  • 04/29/17--08:59: Welwitchias go down fighting
  • Welwitchias go down fightingWelwitchias go down fighting The Windhoek Draught Welwitchias gave a good account of themselves but went down 50 - 25 to the visiting Blue Bulls in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge Cup qualifiers held at the Hage Geingob stadium this afternoon.

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    Gazza, Monique win big at NAMAsGazza, Monique win big at NAMAs Popular artist Gazza bagged four awards, including the coveted Best Male Artist of the Year at the 2017 Namibia Music Awards held at Walvis Bay on Saturday evening. The Female Artist of the Year award went to Monique English.
    Below are the rest of the winners.

    Best Oviritje: Diop – Guitar Boy
    Best Damara Punch: T-Bozz & Staika - //Nau !a ta g era sadu tsasiba
    Best Soukous/Kwasa: Oteya – Village Boy
    Best Traditional: Christmas - linima iiwanawa kiikala pamwe ft Kamati
    Best Kwaito: Young T – Fesha ft Voster and Wizblack
    Best Rap/Hip-Hop: Jericho – If Only
    Best R&B: Michael Pulse – When I need Her
    Best Afro Pop (inclusive of Township Disco): Doris - Boom
    Best House: Doris - Jawbreaker
    Best collaboration: Gazza - Abangani Bako ft Emtee & Saudi
    Best Group Duo: House Guru Gang – Father Bless Us
    NAMA Special Recognition Award: Gazza
    Best Music Video: Oteya
    Pan African Artist of the Year: Casper Nyovest
    Best Newcomer of the Year: Jaleel - Eversinseve
    Song of the Year: Young T - Fikulimwe
    Best Female Artist of the Year: Monique English – Since 1994
    Best Male Artist of the Year: Gazza
    Best Album of the Year: Gazza – Pumumu
    JUNE SHIMUOSHILI

    BIG WINNER: Gazza cleaned up, winning four awards at the 2017 Namibia Music Awards (NAMAs) held over the weekend. Photo: JUNE SHIMUOSHILI

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    10 die in horrific car accident10 die in horrific car accident BREAKING NEWS:
    At least ten people died in a terrible accident late this afternoon after an Iveco bus and a Nissan bakkie were involved in a sideswipe collision on the Okahandja-Otjiwarongo road. The bus caught fire following the collision. The full details of the accident are still sketchy.

    0 0
  • 05/01/17--03:55: B1 Accident death toll rises
  • B1 Accident death toll risesB1 Accident death toll rises Police are calling on family and friends missing their loved ones to come forward and help identify the deceased who died in a horror crash that claimed the lives of 15 people on Sunday afternoon.
    NamPol’s Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Naukalemo Andreas, who was at the scene of the tragic accident yesterday, confirmed that most of the bodies had burnt beyond recognition, and police were relying on family members and forensic investigations to determine the identification of the deceased.
    She confirmed that 10 of the passengers travelling in the Iveco bus had died, while all five occupants of the Nissan bakkie, three women and two men including the driver, died on the spot due to the severity of the impact.
    Bodies had burnt beyond recognition, and police were relying on family members and forensic investigations to determine the identification of the deceased.
    She confirmed that 10 of the passengers travelling in the Iveco bus had died, while all five occupants of the Nissan bakkie, three women and two men including the driver, died on the spot due to the severity of the impact.
    The accident occurred 85 km south of Otjiwarongo shortly after 16:00. On Sunday, Nampa reported that the initial investigation indicated that one of the vehicles was allegedly overtaking when the fatal accident occurred.
    Andreas explained that the bus was driving from the direction of Otjiwarongo towards Okahandja, while the pick-up was traveling to Tsumeb, from Windhoek.
    Nampa reported that 14 other passengers of the bus, aged between three and 34-years, sustained slight to serious injuries and were taken to the Otjiwarongo State Hospital shortly after the accident.
    Read tomorrow’s Namibian Sun for further updates.
    JANA-MARI SMITH

    0 0
  • 05/01/17--03:59: Accident death toll rises
  • Accident death toll risesAccident death toll rises Police are calling on family and friends missing their loved ones to come forward and help identify the deceased who died in a horror crash that claimed the lives of 15 people on Sunday afternoon.
    NamPol’s Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Naukalemo Andreas, who was at the scene of the tragic accident yesterday, confirmed that most of the bodies had burnt beyond recognition, and police were relying on family members and forensic investigations to determine the identification of the deceased.
    She confirmed that 10 of the passengers travelling in the Iveco bus had died, while all five occupants of the Nissan bakkie, three women and two men including the driver, died on the spot due to the severity of the impact.
    Bodies had burnt beyond recognition, and police were relying on family members and forensic investigations to determine the identification of the deceased.
    She confirmed that 10 of the passengers travelling in the Iveco bus had died, while all five occupants of the Nissan bakkie, three women and two men including the driver, died on the spot due to the severity of the impact.
    The accident occurred 85 km south of Otjiwarongo shortly after 16:00. On Sunday, Nampa reported that the initial investigation indicated that one of the vehicles was allegedly overtaking when the fatal accident occurred.
    Andreas explained that the bus was driving from the direction of Otjiwarongo towards Okahandja, while the pick-up was traveling to Tsumeb, from Windhoek.
    Nampa reported that 14 other passengers of the bus, aged between three and 34-years, sustained slight to serious injuries and were taken to the Otjiwarongo State Hospital shortly after the accident.
    Read tomorrow’s Namibian Sun for further updates.
    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Blue Bulls too strong for WelwitschiasBlue Bulls too strong for WelwitschiasBlue Bulls roost on Welwitschias territory Despite individual brilliance Windhoek Draught Welwitschias lost to the Vodacom Blue Bulls at the Hage Geingob Stadium. A sombre performance by the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias landed them in hot water with the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge as they were trashed 50 – 25 at the Hage Geingob Stadium on Saturday.

    The Blue Bulls lost their opening match against the Steval Pumas weeks back but came out in their second match to take revenge on the Welwitschias. The Bulls' aggression and determination on the field made it seem like they had arrived on the Welwitschias' turf to roost.

    The Pretoria team dominated the first half and it did not take long for scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl to open the score board. Van Zyl caused all kinds of trouble for the Welwitschias defence with his speed. His first try was converted by Tony Jantjies.

    In the first half Van Zyl scored twice and again in the second half of the game. However, despite the pounding that they were receiving from the physically stronger Bulls, the Welwitschias joined the party with a try by fullback David Philander and a conversion and penalty goal by flyhalf Theuns Kotze.

    Things did not look any easier for the Welwitschias in the second half as the Blue Bulls scored five tries through Van Zyl, prop Andrew Beerwinkel, Clyde Davids, loose forward Eduan Lubbe and utility back Jade Stighling.

    The captain of the Blue Bulls, Eugene Hare, said they were happy with the win. He said it was always hard to play a game away from home but he was proud of the boys for the win. “It was a very physical game because and that is because we planned to keep it tight at all cost.”

    Welwitschias captain Eugene Jantjies said despite the loss they were taking it game by game. He said the team was building momentum and would not change anything going into their third game. “We made silly mistakes which cost us points but we will work on our defence next time.”

    Lyon Jones, coach of the Welwitschias, has suffered a second defeat in a row and said one is never satisfied with a loss. “You are always not satisfied when you lose. One cannot go from zero to hero overnight but that the team will get there. There was individual brilliance during the game but the fitness of our players is not in the same league as the Bulls and that is something for the rugby union to work on.”

    Going forward he said he wanted the team to score four tries in the next match against the Golden Lions in Pretoria.



    Goal scorers

    Welwitschias - Tries:

    David Philander, Andries Rousseau, Johann Greling; Conversions: Theuns Kotze; Penalty: Kotze.

    Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries:

    Divan Rossouw, Ivan van Zyl, Andrew Beerwinkel, Clyde Davids, Eduan Lubbe, Jade Stighling; Conversations: Tony Jantjies.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 05/01/17--16:00: Queen's Baton unites all
  • Queen's Baton unites allQueen's Baton unites all The Queen's Baton arrived in Namibia on 27 April from Zambia as part of its worldwide relay tour to promote the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

    The relay, with the theme 'A Peace-Building Commonwealth' will continue for 388 days across all Commonwealth nations and territories.

    This year's baton was designed in Australia and the relay was set in motion by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

    On the Namibian leg of the relay, the deputy minister of youth and sport, Agnes Tjongarero, said Namibian children were in good hands because of the presence of Unicef in the country. “Sport is more than action; it builds bridges and promotes peace. The Queen's Baton Relay unites Commonwealth families. If there is no peace there will be no peace in sport development,” she said.

    The Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjivivi, who received the baton at the Parliament Buildings, said the Commonwealth symbolised “a rainbow family of peace and a family that should work together to see a better world, a brighter tomorrow for the current and future generations. Therefore, it is important that the Commonwealth preaches a global message of peace and inclusivity.”

    He further said that the Commonwealth Games brought together many young people with a message of peace and harmony through sport.

    “The relay is one of the Games' most effective tools to deliver a pre-games publicity programme that generates positive media coverage, community awareness and support for the Games.

    “We therefore believe that since it is uniting people from various walks of life, especially the youth, in sport, it is one of the most effective ways of marketing the nation of Namibia across the world.”

    The local leg of the relay started at United Nations House in Klein Windhoek, travelled through the Parliament Gardens to the mayor's office and formed part of the National Schools' Athletics Championships before ending its first day at the Windhoek Central Hospital.

    The baton also visited the Grove Mall and the N/aankuse San Bushmen Sanctuary the next day.

    The baton next moves on to Botswana.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

    0 0
  • 05/01/17--16:00: Reins handed over
  • Reins handed overReins handed overKambatuku to chair NPL There is a new captain at the helm of the country's troubled flagship football league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL). Roger Kambatuku will chair the NFA Ad-hoc Committee for the NPL which has been entrusted to work towards the successful commencement of the football league on 12 May.

    This was announced on Friday afternoon after an NFA emergency meeting was held between the Namibia Premier League (NPL) Interim Committee and a delegation of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) led by its president, Frans Mbidi.

    Kambatuku took over from Franco Cosmos, who will now deputise him. Cosmos was appointed to the position when Johnny 'JJD' Doeseb vacated the office earlier this year.

    Other members who will work hand in hand with Kambatuku are Nana Tjombe, Evaristus Evaristus, Ranga Haikali and Victor Amunyela. He will have a six-month tenure in which he is tasked to organise an elective congress of the league for a substantive executive committee.

    Under his leadership, the Ad-hoc Committee will not only be responsible for the kick-off of the league but will also for all administrative and management responsibilities, as well as making sure that a substantive executive committee is elected for the NPL in the shortest period possible.

    From the meeting it emerged that Mbidi signed the sponsorship agreement with MTC on behalf of NPL for the league to start. The meeting also brought to light that the legal composition of the Interim Committee cannot be constitutionally supported by any of the existing football legal documents and that the NFA lacks the constitutional backing to recognise that body as a legally and authentically constituted one.

    At the meeting it was also agreed that the statutes of the NPL were outdated and needed to be reviewed. It directed NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro, newly appointed Ad-hoc Committee chairperson Roger Kambatuku, his deputy Franco Cosmos and NPL administrator Joshua Hoebeb to start reviewing the proposed status of the NPL.

    Mbidi made his remarks on the appointment saying that it came as a result of Kamatuku being the head of the NFA competitions committee.

    “It is only befitting that he was chosen to chair the committee. That was the feeling of all, particularly not how I see it,” he said.

    He said every league had a person in charge of particular duties. “If you want information on women's football there is someone appointed for that. It will not be proper to appoint someone else to oversee women's football while there are people already in place.”

    Some NPL clubs are unhappy with the state of affairs at the NFA and want to form a breakaway league. Asked if he was aware of that, Mbidi said no. “I have not heard of any teams that want to break away. We are united,” he maintained.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

    0 0
  • 05/01/17--16:00: NFA gets hands-on
  • NFA gets hands-onNFA gets hands-onRoger Kambatuku to chair NFA Ad-hoc Committee The Namibia Football Association has flexed its muscles by appointing a committee to oversee the kick-off of the long-delayed Namibia Premier League. Roger Kambatuku will chair the NFA's Ad-hoc Committee for the NPL, which has been entrusted to work towards the successful commencement of the football league on 12 May.

    This was announced on Friday afternoon after an emergency meeting was held between the Namibia Premier League (NPL) Interim Committee and a delegation of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) led by its president, Frans Mbidi.

    Kambatuku will be deputised by Franco Cosmos. Other members who will work hand in hand with Kambatuku are Nana Tjombe, Evaristus Evaristus, Ranga Haikali and Victor Amunyela. The post is a voluntary one and Kambatuku is tasked to organise an elective congress of the league for a substantive executive committee.

    Under his leadership, the Ad-hoc Committee will ensure that the league starts as promised. It will take over all administrative and management responsibilities, as well as making sure that a substantive executive committee is elected for the NPL in the shortest period possible.

    Kambatuku emphasised, though, that the league had a secretariat that would manage the league on daily basis and that the committee would not take over anyone's job.

    From the meeting it emerged that Mbidi will sign the sponsorship agreement with MTC on behalf of NPL for the league to start. The meeting also brought to light that the legal composition of the Interim Committee cannot be constitutionally supported by any of the existing football legal documents and that the NFA lacks the constitutional backing to recognise that body as a legally and authentically constituted one.

    At the meeting it was also agreed that the statutes of the NPL were outdated and needed to be reviewed. It directed NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro, newly appointed Ad-hoc Committee chairperson Roger Kambatuku, his deputy Franco Cosmos and NPL administrator Joshua Hoebeb to start reviewing the proposed status of the NPL.

    Mbidi said the appointment came as a result of Kamatuku being the head of the NFA competitions committee.

    “It is only befitting that he was chosen to chair the committee. That was the feeling of all, particularly not how I see it,” he said.

    He said every league had a person in charge of particular duties. “If you want information on women's football there is someone appointed for that. It will not be proper to appoint someone else to oversee women's football while there are people already in place.”

    Some NPL clubs are said to be unhappy with the state of affairs at the NFA and want to form a breakaway league. Asked if he was aware of that, Mbidi said no. “I have not heard of any teams that want to break away. We are united,” he maintained.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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