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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 05/01/17--16:00: Suicide is not the answer
  • Suicide is not the answerSuicide is not the answer It saddens me when I turn on the radio station or flip through a newspaper just to find out that young people are committing suicide. I don't know the severity of issues of the many who have killed themselves and I would never want to judge them for what they've done. However, what I do know is that it is unfair and appalling that we are losing the youth due to suicide.

    According to healtyplace.com there are a lot of underlying reasons why teens commit suicide. The reasons are way too many but we need to get to the bottom of why so many of our youth are killing themselves. Hopelessness and helplessness are some of the major reasons why teens kill themselves; they believe whatever issues they are going through cannot be solved.

    Other external causes such as bullying, cyber bullying, abuse, a detrimental home life, loss of a loved one or even a severe breakup contribute to teen suicide. Suicide is also considered a mental illness. I am no health expert but I believe often the underlying issue is one of a mental illness. Most teens who attempt suicide do so because of depression, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. Mental illnesses are usually overlooked in the black community. We are raised to believe one cannot have depression issues because it is not a “black” illness, at least the parts where I come from.

    Though the consequences can be fatal, suicide is not a black or white issue. Suicidal people are often very ambivalent. They are experiencing an inner debate between a part of them that wants to live and a part that wants to die.

    The stigma and shame around mental illness in all communities is real, but especially in communities of colour. We need to identify and realise that suicide everywhere because no one is immune to it. Suicide affects every race, religion, gender, age, income and educational level, culture, nationality, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Many people are uncomfortable with the topic of suicide. Too often, victims are blamed and their families and friends are left stigmatised. As a result, people rarely communicate openly about suicide. Thus, an important public health problem is left hidden in secrecy, which hinders effective prevention.

    But the purpose of this column is to speak to the young ones who have had a suicide experience, the ones who know people who are going through mental issues but do not know what to do. Seek the necessary help, what you are going through can be sorted out and harming yourself is not going to make the problems or issues you are going through any lesser. Speak to people who can help you and not your friends. A pastor or elder and even a family member will help you or at least help you get the help that you need. It may not be easy at first opening up about your experience with other people but it is worth it.

    All of us can do our part to prevent suicide. Reaching out means first paying attention and observing when people are showing signs that they could be at risk, and second, taking the time to let people know we care.

    Teen suicide is a growing health concern. I feel like it's an area in Namibia that still needs to be tackled. In my opinion we still need to do a lot face the teenage suicide issue in our country. We need more debate and more campaigns that deal with this issue otherwise we will keep losing most of our youth to this social evil.

    Organisations such as Lifeline/Childline should be applauded for their efforts to deal with suicide in the country. Through education and counselling the organisation has been able to sensitise our communities on many issues including suicide.

    Everyone needs to get involved, even the media. There needs to be a national suicide prevention effort that focuses on school education programmes and screening programmes that seek to identify at-risk adolescents.

    We need to preserve and protect our teens who find themselves in situations that put their lives at risk. It is unacceptable and shocking that we keep losing young people due to suicide. Something needs to happen.



    Until next time. Peri nawa!!



    shona@namibiansun.com

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    White House defends Duterte invitationWhite House defends Duterte invitationThe Phillipine president has not confirmed the inviation Since he came to power last year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte often sniped at Washington, his country's long-time ally, has sought to mend relations with China and spoken of improving ties with Russia. The White House on Sunday defended President Donald Trump's decision to invite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to Washington, saying his cooperation was needed to counter North Korea, even as the administration faced human rights criticism for its overture to Manila.

    Trump issued the invitation on Saturday night in what the White House said was a “very friendly” phone conversation with Duterte, who is accused by international human rights groups of supporting a campaign of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines. There is nothing right now facing this country and facing the region that is a bigger threat than what's happening in North Korea, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told ABC This Week during a weekend in which Trump sought to firm up support in Southeast Asia to help rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

    North Korea suggested on yesterday it would continue its nuclear weapons tests, saying it will bolster its force “to the maximum” in a “consecutive and successive way at any moment” in the face of what it calls U.S. aggression and hysteria.

    Priebus insisted the outreach to Duterte “doesn't mean that human rights don't matter, but what it does mean is that the issues facing us developing out of North Korea are so serious that we need cooperation at some level with as many partners in the area as we can get to make sure we have our ducks in a row.

    Asked yesterday about his invitation from Trump, Duterte was non-committal, telling reporters: “I'm tied up.

    “I cannot make any definite promise. I am supposed to go to Russia and go to Israel,” he said, referring to already scheduled visits.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said that once a formal letter of invitation came it would be accepted.

    The invitation for Duterte to the visit White House at an unspecified date appeared to be the latest example of the affinity Trump has shown for some foreign leaders with shaky human rights or autocratic reputations.

    For instance, he expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 presidential campaign, hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House and has had warm words for Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom Trump is pressing to do more to rein in its ally and neighbour, North Korea.

    On Sunday, Trump also extended a White House invitation to

    Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former general who heads a military government that took power in a 2014 coup.

    Prayuth administration had strained relations with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.

    Celebrating a man who boasts of killing his own citizens and inviting him to the White House, while remaining silent on

    his disgusting human rights record, sends a terrifying message, said John Sifton, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

    By effectively endorsing Duterte's murderous war on drugs, Trump has made himself morally complicit in future killings, he said.

    A Trump administration official insisted, however, that the invitation was not a reward to Duterte or an endorsement of his policies but a decision that engagement with the Philippines was better than withdrawal which could intensify bad behaviour by Duterte.

    An official speaking on condition on anonymity denied a New York Times report citing administration officials saying the State Department and the National Security Council were caught off-guard by the invitation to Duterte and were expected to object internally.

    “We were not surprised. The guys who prepared for the call were unified on this,” the official said.



    'On the same page' on north Korea

    Priebus made clear that North Korea was the top priority. Whether they are good folks or bad folks, we have got to be on the same page on North Korea, Priebus said.

    But taking a swipe at Trump for his invitation to Duterte, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy tweeted: “We are watching in real time as the American human rights bully pulpit disintegrates into ash.”

    Thousands of Filipinos have been killed since Duterte unleashed his fierce anti-drugs campaign nearly 10 months ago.

    Police say they have killed only in self-defense, and the deaths of other drug dealers and users was down to vigilantes or narcotics gangs silencing potential witnesses. Human rights groups say official accounts are implausible and accuse Duterte of backing campaign of systematic extrajudicial killings by police. The government denies that.

    Duterte was infuriated by the Obama administration's expressions of concern about extrajudicial killings after he took office last year and threatened to sever the long-standing U.S. defence alliance.

    Duterte spoke positively about Trump, a fellow populist, after the U.S. presidential election in November, and the new administration has sought ways to mend the alliance.

    In a summary of Saturday's phone call between the two leaders, the White House said the two discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world. The White House statement included no criticism of Duterte's methods.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 05/01/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day UNUSUAL: This picture shows a blue lobster at Oceanopolis, a sea center in Brest, west of France. Scientists say that this specimen is extremely rare with one lobster among 2 or 3 million being of blue colour. This colour is due to a genetic anomaly that develops an excess of crustacyanine, name of this blue pigment. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Taking stock of media freedomTaking stock of media freedom As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, let us take a step back and reflect on the incredible progress this small country has made. We rose from the ashes of apartheid with newspapers to feed the democratic intellect of all our citizens regardless of race. Today, we have newspapers in English, Afrikaans, German, Oshiwambo and Silozi. But where are the Khoekhoegobab, Otjiherero, Tswana, Rukwangali and Thimbukushu newspapers? Are they necessary? Should we really celebrate our status as 24th out of 180 in terms of freedom of press worldwide? Last year, we were 17th and now we have dropped to 24th, yet why has this happened?

    The past year saw an increase in threats from government, starting at the top with calls to end advertising in newspapers that were not government owned. Threats from the president or the minister of information and technology geared towards independent newspapers have affected the overall attitude that government officials have to the media and vice versa.

    Look at the current state of the media in relation to the President of the United States, and what lessons can we learn from the landscape there. The POTUS has been combative with the media from day one in office and constantly calling media outlets fake. This undermines the credibility of the media which is what the consumers rely on for determining which media outlets to read, consume and that help to form the psyche of citizens in a democracy.

    If the leader of a nation calls the major media outlets fake, what does this do to the psyche of the citizens? They will question the validity of reports, news and every bit of information coming from the media outlets. They will stray further from independent reporting and rely on what the POTUS or government tells them. The state will start to control the information given to the public more and more. When the state controls the flow of information is when liberties are infringed on more without public outcry. Take heed Namibians and continue to support independent press which must not be afraid to shine the light on the government.

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    Namibia to emulate Zim on landNamibia to emulate Zim on landGeingob praises Mugabe as 'man of reconciliation' President Hage Geingob says he went to Zimbabwe last week to get advice on land reform. President Hage Geingob says he used his visit to Zimbabwe last week to get advice on how to tackle the land issue.

    Geingob, who was on a two-day state visit to Zimbabwe, was quoted as saying that he was tasked with the enormous task of delivering land and prosperity to the Namibian people.

    “I have to deliver the land, prosperity, it is a tall order. So, I came here to get advice because indeed I said this (President Robert Mugabe) is my mentor,” the Herald quoted Geingob as saying.

    Zimbabwe embarked on an agrarian land reform programme in 2000, with the government taking white-owned farms and reassigning them to black Zimbabweans without land.

    Although this radical approach was hailed in some quarters, it was heavily criticised, with the Zimbabwean authorities accused of chasing white farmers away. The country's devastating economic collapse has also been attributed to the failure of the land reform programme.

    “We cannot hide from this issue. We can't hide away from it. We can't hide away from the fact that some people are still left out after 27 years of independence. In my thesis a long time ago, I said in Zimbabwe my brothers there had a Cesarean section to deliver a baby. (A) Cesarean section could be very painful, but they used that and I was saying when the pain stops you will deliver a healthy baby.”

    Back home the Geingob administration is under pressure to deliver on its promises of land. A second land conference will be held in September to discuss the issue.

    Geingob had already warned during the Independence Day celebrations in Rundu this year that the government would consider expropriating land with fair compensation as outlined in the constitution.

    “This means we need to refer back to our constitution which allows for the expropriation of land with fair compensation and also look at foreign ownership of land, especially absentee land owners,” he was quoted as saying in March.

    At a state banquet dinner in Harare, Geingob praised Mugabe as “a man of reconciliation” for pardoning former Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith after independence, despite having been imprisoned for ten years.

    “He reconciled with General (Peter) Walls,” he said.

    “Ian Smith's farm was not taken. He went on his own. So, when I talk of reconciliation I put it into context, that the first reconciliatory (gesture) coming from an ugly war was Comrade Mugabe. He tolerated for ten years the Lancaster House Agreement. He was kind to wait because he knew that there were two countries under colonialism, Namibia and South Africa.”

    -Additional reporting by Herald



    STAFF REPORTER

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    Enhancing women's empowermentEnhancing women's empowerment Gender equality and women empowerment should become essential dimensions of advancing human development in Namibia.

    Namibia has a Gender Inequality Index (GI value) of 0.474, ranking it 108 out of 159 countries in the 2015 index.

    In comparison, Botswana and South Africa are ranked at 95 and 90, respectively.

    In Namibia, 37.7% of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 38.1% of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 39.0% of men.

    For every 100 000 births, 265 women die from pregnancy-related causes while the adolescent birth rate is 76.8 births per 1 000 women between the ages 15 to 19.

    Meanwhile, female participation in the labour market in Namibia is 55.7% compared to 63.3% for men.

    “It is necessary to redouble our efforts in eliminating violence against women, affording them good healthcare, and empowering them for better labour force participation,” Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said at the launch of the Global Human Development Report.

    The theme of the report is 'Human Development for Everyone'.

    According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila this year's Human Development Report serves as a reminder of some of the greatest development challenges the world is facing.

    She said Namibia had recorded progress since independence in many areas of socio-economic development.

    “However, we cannot rest as long as there is someone going to bed hungry, as long as there are children not going to school and as long as mothers are dying in childbirth.”

    She said that the country has to ensure that all Namibians, regardless of race, religion, gender or socio-economic status, can prosper.



    According to her human development for everyone cannot be achieved if half of humanity is bypassed and if gender inequality and lack of women's empowerment remain challenges to global progress across all regions and groups.

    Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said that gender disparities in human development, while narrowing slowly, continued to prevail in all regions, particularly in low and medium human development countries.

    She said according to the Gender Development Index (GDI), women consistently have a lower Human Development Index (HDI) values than men.

    Even though women work longer hours than men, they face disadvantages in both paid and unpaid work. Women globally earn on average 24% less than men, and only occupy 24% of senior business positions.

    “These statistics give us food for thought and action and they should not be used merely for academic debate and for quotes in research publications. What is important is how we use this information in our programming in the government and also within the UN. How does civil society use this information to empower communities and ensure their voice is heard?”

    According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila the optimal policy mix at the national level is deliberated to ensure people-centric inclusive and equitable human development, the critical factors must also identify that will catalyse action across a number of dimensions to unlock the country's potential.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 05/01/17--16:00: The year of the rookie
  • The year of the rookieThe year of the rookieMonique English and Gazza artists of the year From the MCs to the winners, the new faces indeed stole the show at this year's Namibian Music Awards show. The past weekend all roads led to the coastal town of Walvis Bay where the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) where held for the first time at the Nara Namib Industrial and Logistics Estate Building. Namibian music fans flocked to the cosy town where history was made at the awards show.

    The two-day event started on a high note on Friday at the industrial award show with a transforming performance by the Namibian Desert Queen, who showed that being twice in size indeed is nice.

    The event was opened by El Shaddai and Joe, who were great masters of ceremonies and engaged with the audience.

    The first nominee to be awarded for the night was newcomer Maranatha, who walked away with the best gospel award for her song 'In Your Presence'. The songstress also won the award for the best live performance.

    Another noteworthy award, that for the most disciplined artist of the year, was given to Adora. The most socially responsible artist was Liz Ehlers, who had just arrived in Walvis Bay and went on stage in her travel clothes to accept her award.

    The lifetime achievement award was given to the legendary Elemotho.

    The main event took place on Saturday and was hosted Namibia's best MC, Mappz, accompanied by South Africa's Bonang Matheba. They were later joined by Uejaa, who was partying away on a NAMA boat with some nominees.

    Electrifying collaboration performances by Rebbeca Malope and Marantha, Gazza featuring Emtee and Saudi, and the Reunion Act by Raphael and Pele had the crowd on their feet with their hands in the air.

    The main awardees of the NAMA were Gazza and Monique English, who walked away with the titles male and female artist of the year.

    “This is all from hard work and dedication. To some, music is a vbusiness but it's a passion for me. Don't play with my passion,” said Gazza.

    English thanked her family and friends for the support they have given her throughout her musical journey. The artists walked away with prize money of N$100 000.



    Here is the list of all the 2017 winners and their categories.

    Best Gospel: Maranatha – 'In Your Presence'

    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: Lukas Nambala

    Entertainment Journalist of the Year: June Shimuoshili

    Best Musical Event of the year: Doctataiment – Windhoek Spring Fiesta All White Edition

    Lifetime Achievement award: Elemotho

    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

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    Usakos marches for better leadersUsakos marches for better leadersCouncil has ‘failed the community’ Usakos residents have handed a petition listing numerous complaints against their town council to the office of the regional governor. Dozens of angry Usakos residents joined a public demonstration on Friday calling for the immediate removal of all council members and unqualified staff.

    They handed over a petition listing numerous concerns related to management of the town.

    The petition, signed by 101 people, alleged that the Usakos town council had “failed the community ever since 2009”.

    The petition, handed over by Manfred Naobeb, a self-proclaimed activist and a member of the Usakos Rise Up Group, stated that the council had failed to provide basic services and to create investment opportunities.

    It said the council had failed to appoint qualified and experienced staff, which had led to maladministration.

    The petition further alleged that infighting at the council had reached problematic levels. “It has become the norm for councillors to fight, threaten and control the incumbent chief executive officers,” it stated.

    The petition also made allegations of corruption and nepotism at the council.

    The petition included 22 separate complaints highlighting the community's concerns related to actions and inaction by the town council.

    These included a number of allegations of suspected corruption, fund mismanagement and a lack of community oversight of the inner workings of the council.

    “The councillors do not have regular meetings with the community. They just do whatever they want, without involving the community,” the petition stated.

    The petition listed concerns regarding the reliability of the fire brigade, numerous issues related to incompetent staff at the municipality, questions around the sale of erven and the implementation and finalisation of sewage systems.

    The petition said many people at the town did not have access to sanitation services.

    Moreover, the residents demanded lifestyle audits to determine how many houses and plots the councillors owned. “The Anti-Corruption Commission must come to the rescue of the community,” the petition noted. It highlighted ongoing disputes between members of the council and asked that their qualifications be re-examined.

    Another complaint was that a bar was being established along the main street, near a school.

    “The school is close by and we already have seven liquor outlets in Usakos. We do not need more bars in Usakos, we need development,” the residents stated.

    The petition was handed to Adelheid Kandjala, the special advisor of the Erongo governor, after the protestors had marched from the Hakhaseb clinic to the town council office.

    According to Naobeb, Kandjala praised the community for standing up for their rights and demanding service delivery and a corruption-free leadership.

    Naobeb acknowledged their concerns, particularly the lack of sanitation at the town. She said the residents would receive feedback within six months.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    State seeks appeal in treason trialState seeks appeal in treason trial The State alleges that the High Court judge presiding over the Caprivi treason trial erred by allowing 32 accused persons to “boycott” the court and added that this was bias on the part of Judge Elton Hoff, who heard the case.

    The State says this seriously jeopardised and damaged its case as witnesses could not identify accused persons, linking them to the crime scenes. The 32 accused persons refused to go to court during the State's presentation of their case. Deputy prosecutor-general Lourens Campher submitted these arguments before Judge Christie Liebenberg when he applied for leave to appeal against the acquittal of 25 of the 43 accused. The 25 were discharged by Hoff in February 2013, in a ruling given after the prosecution had closed its case. Hoff acquitted 16 other accused persons in September 2015.

    The State's request to be allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court is primarily based on its view that some of its evidence was incorrectly ruled out during the trial.

    This includes evidence of the record of bail hearings that took place at the Grootfontein Magistrate's Court, the record of plea proceedings during which one of the accused admitted guilt, and evidence about an alleged deployment list that showed how some of the accused had been assigned targets that they had to strike during the separatist attacks that took place in the Katima Mulilo area in the then Caprivi region on 2 August 1999.

    Campher further stated that expert evidence which had stood the test of cross-examination could possibly be admitted as it would be futile to try and challenge it again.

    “All possible evidence was tested in the main trial and obviously only evidence that stood the test of time will be presented,” he submitted.

    According to him the Supreme Court might decide to put the acquitted men on their defence to answer to the evidence against them. “If the appeal is granted and the appeal succeeds the trial has to start afresh and the accused in a fresh trial will be on warning and as such their liberty will not be affected,” he argued. Campher disputed the defence lawyers' argument that an appeal would lead to another drawn-out trial lasting more than ten years and with hundreds of witnesses. He also denied that it would be a violation of the respondents' constitutional rights. According to him the fact that the prosecution team had been involved in a serious car crash in which Miss Barnard was killed and advocates Taswald July and Herman January were seriously injured had stalled the treason trial.

    He added that a large number of accused had boycotted the trial and refused to attend. That resulted not only in witnesses being unable to identify them, but also caused a long delay when they finally accepted legal representation because their lawyers had to read the court record and prepare their defence. “The length of time it took to finalise the main trial was as much due to the defence lawyers as it was due to the State,” he argued. Campher emphasised that if the appeal succeeded the fresh trial would be a short one.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Oshikango market flooded with smuggled goodsOshikango market flooded with smuggled goods Local vendors at the border town of Oshikango are finding it hard to make ends meet because of illegal goods being smuggled into the country by their Angolan counterparts, who sell them cheaply.

    Upon visiting Oshikango's Katwitwi open market on Friday, Namibian Sun observed a police crackdown on smuggled goods at the crowded market.

    Rice, sugar and fuel are among the goods being smuggled into the country, further crippling the economy of the formerly booming border town of Oshikango.

    The situation not only affects street vendors. Supermarkets are losing business too, and the state loses out on unpaid sales tax and customs duties. Some of the vendors said they wanted the Angolan traders out – not because they were xenophobic but simply because the business competition was unfair.

    They explained that they purchased most of their stock from Angolan businesses, and their suppliers were in direct competition with them.

    “We buy two kilograms of rice for N$20 from them and for us to make a profit we have to add our mark-up but the Angolans sell the rice for N$15 at the market. “How do you think we will survive now, as all the customers are just going to them as their products are cheaper than ours. We can't lower our prices as we won't make a profit,” one vendor complained. “Even the local shops are losing out because these people sell everything here and it is cheap, that's why it's always crowded here. People like cheap things and the Angolans are here to rescue them,” another vendor said.

    While driving through the open market this reporter was approached by two people at different places selling fuel.

    When asked where they got the fuel from, they indicated that they smuggled it across the border to sell at Oshikango. A 25-litre container of fuel is sold for N$300 while a five-litre canister costs as little as N$60. Both these encounters took place while there were many police officers around.

    Approached for comment, the Ohangwena police spokesperson, Sergeant Abner Kaume Itumba, said Friday's operation was about informing the vendors, Namibian and Angolan alike, that it was illegal to sell smuggled goods.

    “That operation was just to educate the public. The Angolan and Namibian vendors, especially the Angolans, were informed that they should not sell smuggled goods to the people,” Itumba said.

    Itumba said such goods were not cleared by customs at the border.

    “They are bringing their goods here in large numbers and sell them at a low price and in the process they are killing the economy of the country,” he said. Itumba said no one was arrested.

    Asked about the fuel, Itumba said the police were doing their best to curb the smuggling.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Moral decay the cause of our challenges – ShaningwaMoral decay the cause of our challenges – Shaningwa The minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, says the numerous challenges the country is faced with are the result of moral decay among its citizens.

    Speaking at an Oshakati town council Totem Expo fundraising event at the weekend, Shaningwa said “Western habits” caused by a lack of cultural guidance had resulted in the youth not showing respect towards their elders.

    “The challenges that we are faced with in our country are clear products of moral decay, unusual social behaviours characterised by killings and other immoral acts, driven by lack of proper cultural guidance that would provide an understanding to Africans to define who they are and where they originate,” Shaningwa said.

    “Our cultures have been destroyed over the years as a result of colonial oppression, which in the process influenced our young people to adapt to Western habits,” Shaningwa added.

    Shaningwa said a nation with a strong culture was a nation with minimal crime and other immoral activities, which is why she called on the youth to learn about their cultures from the elders.

    “We have senior citizens around us whose wisdom needs to be harvested to ensure that the youth are well informed and are guided to respect their cultures before emulating cultures from elsewhere,” Shaningwa said.

    She talked about totems and the important role they played in terms of cultural identity.

    “African cultures, including totem aspects, carry our African identity and that is the reason we should uphold this very important feature of our being,” Shaningwa said.

    The minister praised the Oshakati town council for planning to host its sixth Totem Expo, saying that it aimed to close the gap between cultural values and modern practices.

    The council raised close to N$1 million in pledges at the fundraising event.

    The theme for this year's Totem Expo, which runs from 25 May until 3 June, is: 'My Culture, My Pride'.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Geingob says no to get-rich-quick schemesGeingob says no to get-rich-quick schemesPresident addresses Workers' Day rally Workers should have a share in the wealth generated through their labour, President Geingob told a May Day rally at Eenhana yesterday. President Hage Geingob says he does not support business people who become rich instantly by means of exploiting the working class.

    Geingob made the remark yesterday at the Workers' Day celebration held at Eenhana in Ohangwena Region, where he stressed that workers should have the opportunity to have a share in the wealth generated.

    “We are also not supporting get-rich-quick schemes and the proliferation of black billionaires at the expense of the majority of our working-class Namibians,” Geingob said.

    The theme for this year's celebration was 'Securing decent work for sustainable social and economic development'.

    Geingob also talked about curbing corruption. He said the government was committed to fighting the corrupt practices committed by individuals whose aim was self-enrichment at the expense of others.

    “Government is resolute in its commitment towards fighting poverty and corruption. The economy will play a crucial role in this war and so will our workers,” Geingob said.

    National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) president Ismael Kasuto concurred with Geingob, saying that Namibian workers were being exploited.

    “Some workers continue to feel the wrath of poverty as they feel unprotected and un-prioritised by the laws and systems of our government. It is high time that the custodian ministry act against this exploitation for workers' interest to be respected,” Kasuto remarked.

    Kasuto also said that workers were being exploited through third-party employment, which he said was a serious concern to the NUNW.

    “This is a serious concern to the federation as employment security threats are being used against the workers as a tool to silence them and not get themselves organised and that include displacement and disruption of the workers' stability in the society,” Kasuto said.

    Labour minister Erkki Nghimtina, who called on workers to form and join trade unions, said organised workers must be the backbone of Namibia's efforts to become a prosperous nation.

    In the same vein Nghimtina raised concern about inter-union rivalries. He reminded them to work together in the interest of the union members.

    “I am concerned that inter-union rivalries are diminishing the strength that could be achieved through the unity of workers in particular industries and workplaces,” Nghimtina said.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    AR wants cap on president's ageAR wants cap on president's age The Affirmative Repositioning movement has proposed limits on the age of future presidential candidates, a youth-focused building society, youth complexes in all of the 121 constituencies, education for political office bearers and a single-digit interest rate for first-time home buyers.

    The movement's Job Amupanda and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma recently shared 13 draft resolutions that they felt would shape Namibia going forward.

    Tied to the resolutions is a planned youth assembly which it expects at least 1 000 delegates to attend which AR said would be representative of all youth organisations.

    Motivating the need for an assembly Nauyoma said: “The national youth agenda has been involved in a horrific accident and is presently in the intensive care unit. Given this horrific accident, there is a need to formulate, adopt and popularise a new youth agenda. It is for this reason that AR will be hosting a youth assembly.”

    Digging into the first resolution which proposes an upper limit to the age of presidential candidates, Amupanda asked: “Is it good to have a minimum age requirement when running for presidency but not a maximum? After 60 will all know that brains are slowing down. Why is it that some people must retire at 60 while others start their careers at 70?” Amupanda revealed that they would propose an upper age limit of 75 ahead of the assembly.

    Taking a swipe at the educational background of some parliamentarians he said: “Why do we have free primary, secondary and perhaps soon free tertiary education but have people with no education in parliament? We have free education but you have people that still can't read or write. We could just date back to the State of the Nation address, the level of questions asked, that is why we are saying that you must be able to have a member of parliament that is articulate.”

    Nauyoma added: “Some of them have been there for three years, four years, but have not even said anything, even just to say, 'I support the motion, Speaker'. Society cannot be traumatised by illiterate people. We are constantly told that we have peace and stability. Why it that we are always compared to those countries below the poverty line, countries like Swaziland and Zimbabwe? We also want to be compared to countries that are doing well.”

    “We look at the youth as people that just kick soccer balls and dance. In our context we only see the youth as people who just run around. Complexes should have places for enterprise, sports and recreation and have a place for youth to have their meetings,” said Amupanda of the intention to have youth complexes.

    He also revealed that discussions to establish the first building society after independence had taken shape.

    “We are already in the position of establishing a building society. We have already written letters to the Bank of Namibia and they have written back to us. The outline for the establishment of a building society has been given us to by the Bank of Namibia. We are just waiting for the assembly to sort out the nitty-gritties. We do not need the permission of anyone, it is provided by the law.”

    The two also said that they would amass over 100 000 signatures in support of the planned resolutions, which it would at some stage take to the National Assembly and State House.

    “We need a clear programme of action. We are going to make sure we engage. It is a rallying point.”

    Making a call for unity, Amupanda said: “If we just continue, we will continue fragmented.”

    v

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    180 Khomasdal plots sold to youth and staff180 Khomasdal plots sold to youth and staff The City of Windhoek has approved the sale of 180 residential plots in Khomasdal, 100 of which were earmarked for young people aged 16 to 35 and 80 for staff members.

    The sale of the unimproved single residential erven was approved at a special council meeting held last Monday.

    In a statement on Friday, City spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said the municipality acknowledged the public discontent with the protracted process in concluding the sale.

    She dismissed allegations that the delay was deliberate and linked to corruption, and said the deadline for bids on the plots was extended due to enormous public demand.

    The initial deadline of 21 October 2016 had been extended to 31 October.

    The two tenders, for 100 erven for the youth and 80 for staff, attracted 4 421 offers, of which only 1 573 met the requirements and were subjected to further scrutiny.

    Amutentya said the 100 erven for the youth ranged in size from 325 to 770 square metres, with upset prices between N$84 567 and N$191 944.

    The 80 plots for staff members ranged in size from 322 to 762 square metres, with upset prices between N$83 967 and N$190 389.

    She said the successful bidders would be notified through the press.

    “It should also be noted that this approval has been granted pending other verifications such as a search at the Deeds Office that will be carried out to determine if the bidders own other properties in Windhoek, as one of the requirements of this sale was that it was strictly for first-time buyers only.”

    She said one of the positive outcomes of the sale process was the development of a property sales system that would be used in adjudicating property sales in the future.

    She said the system had proven to be “an excellent and reliable tool which is unique to the City's property sale function”.

    She explained that that the system reduced direct human handling to the minimum in order to safeguard against human error when processing the allocation of land to the successful bidder.

    “Therefore, from now on the data processing of land sales alienation will be adjudicated by means of this system.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 05/01/17--16:00: Bus crash kills 15
  • Bus crash kills 15Bus crash kills 15Deadly driver attitudes cause carnage The police chief has blamed drivers' attitudes for the high death toll on Namibian roads. In the wake of a crash that killed 15 people on Sunday, police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has urged Namibian drivers to change the deadly attitudes that are costing the country hundreds of lives annually.

    By April 16, Easter weekend, a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund report stated that close to 180 people had died in 1 067 recorded car crashes, and 1 829 people had sustained various degrees of injuries, since the start of 2017.

    The death toll to date has likely topped 200 by the start of May, with NamPol yesterday confirming that over the past long weekend 22 people died in road accidents.

    Yesterday, Lieutenant General Ndeitunga appealed to all drivers to use common sense and to be conscious of the deadly consequences their reckless attitudes and decisions could have for others.

    “I can tell you that most of the accidents that we experience are because of human error,” Ndeitunga told Namibian Sun.

    He said the high number of crashes had become a national concern. “It's even a security concern. If you look at how many lives are lost in road accidents, it has become a serious issue.”

    He appealed to people to change their attitudes and said it was up to drivers to examine their conscience when making decisions that could affect the lives of others.

    Ndeitunga said poor judgement by drivers led to deadly miscalculations, many of which could be traced back to inconsiderate driver attitudes.



    Abuse of quality roads

    He said the high standard of Namibia's road network was good for the nation, “but now you as drivers, instead of respecting the environment that was created for you to drive safely, you abuse it. And as a result you cause death. How many families are mourning today?”

    According to initial investigations into Sunday's crash, one of the vehicles had tried to overtake “without properly considering the oncoming vehicle” which led to the head-on collision, the police chief explained.

    “The road belongs to all of us. And no one should overtake a vehicle when they are not sure that it is safe. I fail to understand why people are so suicidal,” he added.



    Stand up against reckless drivers

    He said the police and other road-safety stakeholders needed the assistance of the public to monitor reckless drivers.

    “All of us have to stand together against these reckless drivers. Because you might be driving responsibly, and then an irresponsible driver comes and causes an unnecessary accident.”

    He encouraged the public to call the police when they spot a reckless driver.

    He also appealed to farmers between Otjiwarongo and Okahandja to make land available for a police station from which emergency personnel could be dispatched to crash scenes or intercept reckless drivers.

    He said although the police and other agencies could intensify their operations, ultimately a change of attitude would have the biggest impact on reducing road accidents.

    “Now, one has to ask, what should we do? We went on the radio, television; we have issued pamphlets and launched campaigns. We talk, we repeat ourselves every time, the same things are said, that drivers should be careful and consider and respect other public road users, but people are still not taking that message seriously. We can't police every inch of the road. And mostly it's the negligence of the drivers. It's an attitude problem,” he said.



    Tragedy

    Deputy Commissioner Naukalemo Andreas of the Otjozondjupa police, who was at the scene of Sunday's accident, said ten of the people travelling in the Iveco mini-bus were burned beyond recognition.

    All five occupants of the Nissan bakkie - three women and two men - died instantly from the force of the impact.

    At the time of going to print, Andreas said it was not yet possible to confirm the ages or gender of the deceased.

    The police appealed to people missing family members or friends to come forward to help identify the deceased. Forensic investigations also continue.

    Andreas emphasised that many accidents were caused by driver attitudes. “Attitudes need to change. Accidents are caused by people,” he said.



    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Namibian cyclist Seibeb dies in car crashNamibian cyclist Seibeb dies in car crash Namibian cyclist Raul Costa Seibeb died in a car crash last night. Details are still sketchy but it is believed that Seibeb was alone in the car when the accident happened. He was travelling from Luderitz to Windhoek.
    Caption
    STAFF REPORTER
    NO MORE: The late Costa Seibeb. Photo: FACEBOOK

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    DebMarine Cup reaches Last 16DebMarine Cup reaches Last 16 Young African, Outjo FC and Mighty Gunners won their games on Saturday to complete the line-up for the 2017 Debmarine Namibia Cup Round of 16.

    The final games of the Round of 32 were played at Otjiwarongo's Mokati Stadium on Saturday to fill the last three slots in the next round of the competition.

    The matches were initially scheduled for the Paresis Stadium but were moved to a better venue, the Mokati Stadium in the Orwetoveni residential area.

    In the first match, Otjiwarongo FC took on premier league club Young African and the latter convincingly beat the home side 4-0.

    The second match was Dawid vs Goliath battle as Kunene regional qualifiers Outjo FC faced United Stars. The exciting match ended in a 1-1 draw and set up the dreaded penalty shootout. The boys from Outjo held their nerve and advanced to the next round with a 5-4 win.

    The final match of the day was between premiership titans Mighty Gunners and Citizens. The thoroughly entertaining match produced five goals as Gunners edged the tie 3-2 to take their place in the draw for the 2017 Debmarine Namibia Cup.

    The clubs that have made into the last 16 are: Gunners, Outjo Academy, African, Gendev FC, Rundu Chiefs, Life Fighters, Young Beauties, Unam FC, Young Chiefs, Eleven Arrows, Touch & Go, Tura Magic, Civics, Bee Bob Brothers, Eastern Chiefs and Try Again.

    NFA

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  • 05/02/17--16:00: Politics is killing the game
  • Politics is killing the gamePolitics is killing the gamePlayers suffer because of internal wranglings Namibian footballers are not impressed with the squabbling between the football top brass. Namibian footballers are disgruntled by the political drama taking place behind the scenes at the Namibian Football Association (NFA), Namibia Premier League and the recently established Ad-hoc Committee.

    Drama ensued after six premier league clubs - Tigers, African Stars, Black Africa, Blue Waters, Orlando Pirates and Chief Santos - boycotted the Debmarine Namibia Cup in retaliation to the NFA's decision to annul the NPL interim management committee and replace it with an NFA Ad-hoc Committee.

    The NPL interim committee was put in place in February to run the affairs of the league for six months. The decision was taken at an extraordinary general meeting following the resignation of Johnny Doëseb as chairman. However, their duties have been taken over by the Ad-hoc Committee.

    The Ad-hoc Committee was established in order to oversee administrative and management responsibilities of the league and is headed by NFA executive member Roger Kambatuku, who has to take over sponsorship negotiations and ensure that the NPL kicks off on 12 May.

    However, this did not sit well with some members, who decided to pull strings to boycott the Debmarine Cup and other activities arranged by the NFA. Three players from different clubs whom Namibian Sun spoke to said they were not impressed with this action by the booted interim committee members.

    “We are tired of the power play going on between the big dogs of the football fraternity and wish for everyone to put all the drama behind them and focus on the important task at hand.

    “This is just a political thing which is causing confusion and destruction towards people who have nothing to do with their agendas. Debmarine Cup was launched in December. Clubs had enough time to prepare. But they didn't. They then turned around and decided to leave saying that they were not ready,” said one player.

    “They must just stop because the league has been inactive for almost a year. Now that things are looking good they are sabotaging it again. We want to feed our families and take care of ourselves but how can we do that if this is happening? We need the money from the league to survive,” he said.

    Another player said the NFA management and some members of the board of governors (BoG) had personal issues with each other.

    “Some of these guys just want to be in charge and now that they are not getting their way they want everyone to suffer. They should all work together for one goal.”

    Namibian Sun asked NFA president Barry Rukoro why a committee was established while there were already capable people to do that. He said it was not about capability but about legality.

    “The interim body was not legally recognised. Just because someone can drive doesn't mean they should be on the road. Everyone should follow procedures.”

    He emphasised that the media should do their job and ask certain coaches why their teams did not start preparing on time.

    “Call and ask if there is something which they know that we don't,” he said.

    MTC, which is meant to sponsor the league, is now threatening to pull out if things are not in order on time.

    Before going to print, a board of governors meeting was to be held at the NFA to decide the fate of the clubs.



    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Van Niekerk ruled out of Women's Quadrangular seriesVan Niekerk ruled out of Women's Quadrangular series Proteas women's captain Dane van Niekerk will be out of action for four to six weeks after suffering an injury to her foot.

    She has a type-one tear of the plantar capsule and is therefore ruled out of the upcoming Cricket SA (CSA) Women's Quadrangular Series in Potchefstroom starting this weekend.

    Coach Hilton Moreeng is saddened by the development but fully backs Van Niekerk to recover in time for the ICC Women's World Cup. He is also looking forward to seeing players stepping up and filling the gap she will leave behind.

    “It's not ideal to lose our captain in the last stages of our preparation for the World Cup, but this is a good opportunity for someone to step up to the plate and fulfil this key all-rounder role in the squad,” he said.

    “We wish Dane a very speedy recovery and look forward to having her back.”

    The selectors have confirmed that there will be no replacement named in Van Niekerk's place. An interim captain will be named soon.

    NAMPA / ANA

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    Joshua-Fury fight 'miles away'Joshua-Fury fight 'miles away'Fury's licence not yet reinstated Anthony Joshua, the new IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight champion, should regain strength before his next fight. A showdown between IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury is “miles away” as the former champion is yet to regain his physical form and boxing licence, promoter Eddie Hearn has said.

    Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko after 11 rounds on Saturday to win three of the four heavyweight titles that belonged to Fury, who relinquished all of his titles in 2015 after his licence was suspended pending investigation for doping and medical issues.

    The heavyweight rivals have been talking about a match-up since last week when they exchanged barbs on Twitter and Fury challenged Joshua after his victory at Wembley, saying he “can beat AJ with one arm tied behind my back”.

    Hearn, who is planning Joshua's schedule, said Fury still had a lot of hurdles to clear before a fight could be arranged.

    “We are desperate for that fight because AJ thinks he wins comfortably, it is a great fight and it is the biggest fight out there,” Hearn told talkSPORT. “But we can only concentrate on AJ's career and guiding him.

    “He (Fury) is miles away from fighting. He is in a terrible physical way at the moment. He doesn't have a licence, he needs to go back to the (British Boxing) board, and he is under investigation for (an alleged) failed (doping) test.

    “There is no one that wants to see him back more than me, but it is miles away. He is not the next fight because he won't be ready in time.”

    Joshua, who extended his unbeaten run to 19 fights, could face Klitschko in a rematch or challenge either Deontay Wilder (WBC Champion) or Joseph Parker (WBO Champion) for his next match.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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