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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 05/02/17--16:00: Highways may reduce crashes
  • Highways may reduce crashesHighways may reduce crashes The extension of the dual carriageway road towards Otjiwarongo is a long way from implementation and will need further studies, the Road Fund Administration CEO Ali Ipinge said this week.

    The idea of extending the dual carriageway was recently mooted following the successful completion of phase three of the Windhoek-Okahandja dual carriageway which is currently under construction.

    Sharing his thoughts on the issue, Ipinge said: “The idea of extending the dual carriageway to Otjiwarongo was recently mentioned by our colleagues. The extension of the A1 highway should be seen in the context of the Master Plan on Transport. There is a need to upgrade the section.

    Ipinge also questioned the affordability of extending the dual carriageway all the way to Otjiwarongo. “Can we afford to implement this project?” he asked, adding that it would require a detailed study.

    “From where I stand, it needs more detail. We are quite a long way from implementing that project. It is still a long way down the line,” he added.

    The stretch of between Otjiwarongo and Okahandja has come under scrutiny because of the occurrence of deadly road accidents.

    Roads Authority CEO Conrad Lutombi recently said that the construction of dual carriageways could lead to a reduction in the number of accidents witnessed on the country's national roads.

    “The dual carriageway will decrease road traffic and minimise the number of road accidents. Namibia is a small country but we have the most accidents. The time has come to change that through the construction of roads,” he said.

    Lutombi said the route from Okahandja to Otjiwarongo and Otavi records the most accidents, and that extending the dual carriageway beyond Okahandja could bring down the number of these crashes.

    A study undertaken by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) recently rated the routes to the north and the coast as the most dangerous.

    According to the NRSC, the most hazardous sections are the stretches between Tsumeb and Oshivelo and the road between Swakopmund and Usakos. In both 2013 and 2015 the most severe accidents occurred along the Arandis and Swakopmund roads, as well as the stretch from Tsumeb to Ondangwa.

    The NRSC had also found that between 2013 and 2015, a staggering 40 000 road accidents took place.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Church fails in high court bidChurch fails in high court bidSought to be excluded from social security payments The Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses of Namibia failed to appeal a decision by the Social Security Commission to not deregister them as an employer. The Windhoek High Court dismissed the appeal of the Jehova Witnesses Namibia against the refusal of the Social Security Commission (SSC) to deregister it as an employer at the close of last week.

    Acting High Court judge Petrus Unengu ruled that the Christian Congregation of Jehova Witnesses of Namibia is a registered Section 21 Company (an association not for gain) and is accordingly incorporated under the laws of Namibia.

    “The Jehova Witnesses of Namibia should not be afforded a 'get-out-of-jail- free card' just because it is doing the work of God,” Unengu emphasised.

    The church had filed an appeal in terms of the Social Security Act against the decision of the commission 26 March last year not to deregister it as an employer.

    They wanted the court to set aside the decision and grant an order against the SSC to deregister them. The church also wanted an order to deregister the members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehova Witnesses performing religious work for them.

    Unengu said that the court, after a survey of different Namibian statutes dealing with employment relationships in Namibia and the looking at the law, ruled that the Social Security Act does not provide for deregistration of employers once registered as such.

    “Nor does the Act exempt entities from liabilities provided in the Act,” he added and dismissed the appeal.

    The grounds of the appeal were that the SSC failed to take into account the decision from the Employment Equity Commission that the appellant is not an employer for purposes of Affirmative Action (Employment) Act which contains a definition of an employer virtually identical to the one of the Social Security Act and the Labour Act, as amended.

    “The decision of the SSC to reject the church's request to be deregistered as an employer was correct and unassailable, considering the definition of 'an employer' in the provisions of both the Social Security Act and the Labour Act,” Unengu said.

    He added that the decision of the Equity Commission is not applicable and thus not relevant to the decision of the SSC.

    Unengu further said church group is seeking to avoid and evade the provisions of the Social Security Act.

    According to him such attempt will have an effect of depriving the employees of the church of benefits in terms of and under the Social Security Act, including the maternity leave, sick leave and death benefits and future benefits such as the medical and pension benefits to be established in terms of the Act, as well as employees' compensation for injuries at work.

    “The employees are entitled to the mentioned benefits and future benefits by the operations of the Social Security Act,” he emphasised.

    He added that should the church evade the registration of its employees, it will also evade the prescribed contributions towards various funds established under the Social Security Act and the Employees' Compensation Fund.

    The judge said the SSC is not empowered by the Social Security Act nor any other legislation to exempt or waive the requirements of the Act from any employer.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Support climate change effortsSupport climate change efforts At the launch of the 'Changing Climate, Changing Namibia' exhibition, environmental commissioner Theofilus Nghiltia urged locals to become ambassadors towards the struggle of combating climate change as Namibia is on the receiving end of its detrimental effects.

    The Museums Association of Namibia (MAN) launched the educational exhibition funded by the Finnish embassy, with the aim of raising public awareness through the use of easy-to-understand terms to explain the work.

    As guest speaker, Nghitila read a speech on behalf of the environment minister Pohamba Shifeta and said the initiative is in line with Namibia's climate change strategy and action plan. “The plan calls for different role players to engage in public awareness as Namibia is on the frontline of the countries facing the impact of climate change. The central message of the exhibition is for everyone to be smart, prepared and innovative. Also, the exhibition answers important questions and speaks on what action can be taken to help Namibia cope with the impact of climate change,” Nghitila said.

    Nghitila also said that the weight of scientific evidence shows clearly that the Namibian climate is changing and will change further. “Namibia is going to get hotter and we are going to experience more extreme weather with both droughts and floods taking place more frequently. However, the lesson that is conveyed in this exhibition is that we should not be alarmed, we should be smart, we should be prepared and we should be innovative to cope with this change.”

    The fact that the exhibition was aimed at young people pleased him, as they are the generation who will face the consequences if the world fails to act on climate change. He expressed his hope is that the exhibition will be mounted at parliament as it really helps to explain the impact of climate change on Namibia.

    Dr Jeremy Silvester, MAN's project development manager, who worked on the exhibition with his team, said that museums should play an important educational role in communities and that exhibitions can be mobile museums that can reach places that do not yet have their own museums.

    The mobile exhibition will travel to all 14 regions and Dr Martha Akawa, the vice-chairperson of MAN said that she hoped that some of the environmental studies present at the exhibition will act as guides when the exhibition travels to schools and other venues. She also said that it will make her happy if all those who visited the exhibition would leave as environmental activists.

    Limba Mupetami

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    NDP5 to be launched this monthNDP5 to be launched this month The fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) is expected to be launched this month, according to National Planning Commission spokesperson Fillemon Nangonya.

    The plan will be officially launched by President Hage Geingob on a date yet to be announced by the commission, Nangonya indicated this week.

    “We have the pleasure of announcing that NDP5 will be launched by President Hage Geingob in May 2017. The date of the launch will be communicated accordingly,” said Nangonya.

    The National Planning Commission visited all 14 regions in an effort to gauge the public's interest on development issues, Nangonya explained.

    “The formulation process took on an integrated approach with extensive consultations carried out with a wide variety of stakeholders, both within the government and outside the government. Regional consultations were also held in all 14 regions.

    “In addition, the draft policy document was subject to public commentary. Public commentary was sought to ensure that the voices of fellow citizens were heard and that their contributions were fully and properly considered in the achievement of our development goals,” said Nangonya.

    Meanwhile, planning advisor Johannes Ashipala said that NDP4 failed to create sufficient jobs. He made the comment in a review of the NDP4, which lapses with the introduction of NDP5.

    Speaking to press agency Nampa in December 2016, he said that NDP4 had only created 712 000 jobs against the target of 900 000 set.

    He said the agricultural sector had performed well for the past five years by employing over 35 760 more people, while logistics employed an additional 1 894 and manufacturing 194 more people in 2014.

    “We did not make any improvement in the manufacturing sector, however we still believe that manufacturing can contribute to value addition and create more jobs in the future.”

    NDP5 is expected to have four objectives: inclusive and sustainable economic growth, job creation, poverty eradication and income equality. It will run until March 2022.





    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 05/02/17--16:00: Beef on a steady recovery
  • Beef on a steady recoveryBeef on a steady recovery The cattle industry seems to be slowly recovering from the prolonged drought that the country faced over the past years, with slaughtering numbers and producer prices that are increasing while the quality and weight of the animals are both also picking up.

    According to Meatco, last year was a relatively difficult year, with a sharp decrease in the availability of slaughter cattle and the quality of the carcasses due to the drought.

    “The losses of the Zeranol issue had a huge financial impact as it added to costs at the feedlot and consequently affected throughput and efficiency for throughput at the factory,” the company said.

    The Directorate of Veterinary Services closed down the Okapuka feedlot on 2 September last year after detecting Zeranol, a growth hormone, in samples taken from cattle for the second time in 12 months.

    According to Meatco its only operating factory in Windhoek is however currently keeping up with its operations, since it decided to turn its Okahandja factory into an international export cold-storage facility.

    Meatco says that it saw the lowest volumes of cattle slaughtered in January due to the closure of the Windhoek factory from 16 December last year to 16 January 2017.

    The decision to slaughter only one week in January 2017 was necessitated by the low numbers of cattle booked for slaughter.

    However, for February and March, there has been an increase in cattle numbers and according to Meatco, the factory had to slaughter four to five days per week respectively, each month.

    During February, a total 5 448 cattle were slaughtered and in March, 7 021 cattle were slaughtered.

    The factory during this period operated within the acceptable plant availability, says Meatco.

    “Downtime was caused by the recent ammonia leakage that resulted in three days of no production.”

    The average carcass weight delivered during February and March also showed an increase and this can be attributed to the good rains received this year which resulted in better grazing for cattle.

    During February the average carcass weight was 22.85kg while in March the average carcass weight was 23.67kg.

    Furthermore the company says that producer's average prices have increased by N$2.09 per kilogramme year-on-year.

    Meatco however says that producers should be aware that the producer price is affected by the exchange rate, cattle volumes and market prices. However, other factors that have an influence include sales movement, production volumes, product quality, production seasonality, timing markets and distribution costs associated with getting the product to the market.

    “Because of these factors, producers need to view the average producer price holistically and not just in terms of fluctuations in the exchange rate.

    Meatco added that its performance last year was affected by many factors including the exchange rate, cattle volumes and the Zeranol issue when the Okapuka was closed for several weeks, while the European Union and United Kingdom markets remained stable.”

    Meatco added that it continues to do its level best to keep producer prices stable and competitive.

    “It is important that we try our level best to accommodate booked deliveries in the coming peak season as we strive to maximise our throughput. In addition, producers are urged to avoid short notice cancellations as this can have a negative influence on the daily and monthly planning of the abattoir's operations,” said Meatco

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    More than 100 000 public servantsMore than 100 000 public servantsOnly 534 expatriates in civil service Namibia currently has 67 835 civil servants, excluding uniformed personnel and political office bearers, the prime minister has disclosed. The total number of staff members in the public service, excluding political office bearers and uniformed personnel, currently stands at 67 835 individuals, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recently revealed.

    Taking into consideration the police and army, the total number of civil servants shoots up to an unconfirmed figure of about 100 000.

    Of the total, only 534 are expatriates, the prime minister said in a recently tabled report to the National Assembly.

    “The total number of staff in the public service was 67 835. There was a slight increase in the turnover of from 4 038 to 6 487 staff members in the public service. The turnover was mainly attributed to end of contracts, resignations, transfers, early retirements and retirement at age 60,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

    There have been recent attempts to bring the wage bill which currently stands at 49% of total government expenditure under control, including suggestions to reduce the voluntary early retirement age to 50 from 55.

    A formal decision is still to be made while the matter remains under investigation.

    Office of the Prime Minister spokesperson Saima Shaanika recently told Namibian Sun, “No decision has been taken to reduce the retirement age. Cabinet rather decided to investigate the feasibility of the option. Once the investigation is concluded, Cabinet will then take a decision on this issue and will consider stakeholders' inputs in arriving at the decision.”

    She also said that an action plan for the implementation of the wage bill recommendation had been approved by Cabinet.

    “The plan outlines the actions to be undertaken and the timeline thereof, aimed at giving effect to the recommendations. The outcome of the investigation will determine whether this proposal will be implemented or not,” she said recently.

    President Hage Geingob recently said that the civil service was bloated because of inherited organisational structures. “It is true that the structure of the public service is bloated. This is mainly due to the historical reality that we inherited civil servants from the structures which existed during the apartheid era in the interest of reconciliation,” Geingob told his office staff during a welcoming address at State House.

    “If we were to downsize now, we would end up sending many people into the streets and add to the already high number of unemployed people.”

    The bloated public service has caused government expenditure to rise yearly and the annual wage bill is over N$22 billion, Nampa reported recently.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Inaccurate wildlife conflict reports cost ministryInaccurate wildlife conflict reports cost ministryAgricultural projects ignore migration routes The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has been inundated with inaccurate reports of human-wildlife conflict. The minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, says inaccurate reports of human-wildlife conflicts are unnecessarily diverting the ministry's already limited resources.

    Shifeta said the ministry viewed human-wildlife conflict in a very serious light and with the limited resources at its disposal it had been trying its best to respond to these cases as fast as possible.

    He added, however, that the ministry had been inundated with inaccurate reports of conflicts but also some agricultural developments which have been done despite local knowledge about wildlife routes and movements and in the absence of environmental impact assessments.

    “We now have a situation that where such a development has taken place without any mitigation of wildlife conflicts, as required by the Environmental Management Act, Act 7 of 2007, the expectation is placed on the ministry to respond to each and every conflict, a situation that could have been avoided in the first place.”

    Shifeta said this when he responded to a report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources – Motion on Human Wildlife Conflict (23 April – 14 May 2016).

    One of the recommendations in the report was that the ministry should respond promptly to human-wildlife conflict.

    Shifeta said the ministry was facing major challenges of poaching and inadequate personnel.

    “The new structure of the ministry has been approved and recruitment is under way where the budget allows.”

    According to Shifeta the ministry has been experiencing budgetary constraints and its budget for this financial year has been cut significantly.

    “Consequently, the ministry will not be able to fill all its vacancies and no new vehicles will be purchased. We will however try our level best to address this issue as resources allow.”

    Meanwhile Shifeta said that he has issued a directive that at least 30% of the total revenue generated by conservancies in Namibia must be spent on member benefits rather than just operating costs.

    He has further directed that a survey should be done of all social development projects within conservancies and when this information is available further directive to conservancies may follow.

    Shifeta said that the ministry did not make any lofty promises to the communities during the implementation of the Community Based Natural Resources Management programme.

    According to Shifeta some of the findings of the parliamentary report were factually incorrect and consequently the recommendations that have been arrived at have been based on information that is not accurate.

    He said the committee in its report indicated that there is an overly positive narrative about the CBNRM programme as reflected in the 2014/15 conservancy report.

    The committee requesting the ministry to conduct a genuine review of the community–based natural resources programme and its “lofty promises” to conservancies.

    Shifeta however said that the state of community conservation report is based on factual information and the figures reflected in that are accurate.

    “Conservancies are at various levels of development. While some conservancies are doing very well in terms of income generation, others are struggling either due to suitability of an area to implement conservancy activities or there is lack of champions to carry the work forward or both.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Psemas probe costs doctor N$22mPsemas probe costs doctor N$22mUgandan doctor owes N$38 million in tax An investigation into the government medical aid scheme has revealed alleged tax evasion by a foreign doctor practising in Namibia. Dr Livingstone Mugimu, a Ugandan national practising medicine in Namibia, on Friday last week launched an urgent application in the Windhoek High Court to prohibit the finance minister and the commissioner of inland revenue to proceed with the appointment of Bank Windhoek as the agent for his bank accounts.

    According to an affidavit by the commissioner, Justus Mwafongwe, Mugimu owes the receiver of revenue N$17.7 million in taxes, another N$17.7 million in fines and N$2.5 million in interest. Mugima's application follows a transfer of almost N$22 million by Bank Windhoek from his account to the receiver of revenue.

    According to Mwafonge, Mugimu owes N$37 972 687.14 for the financial years 2014, 2015 and 2016. In a notice from the ministry, the doctor was given 90 days to object to this but, instead, he turned to the court for relief, Mwafonge said.

    Mugimu asked the court to order that the money be repaid to him but also requested that the decision taken on 15 March that Bank Windhoek act as his agent, as well as the amount of N$37 972 687.14 the receiver says is owed, be set aside.





    In his founding affidavit, Mugimu, who has been practising in Namibia since 1991, said that over the years he had saved more than N$23 million to buy a CT scanner for his practice. He transferred this amount from an investment account in February this year for the purpose of buying the machine but could not because Bank Windhoek transferred N$22 million to the receiver of revenue.

    He told the court that his Oshakati practice primarily dealt with HIV-positive patients and that he provided very expensive but life-saving medicines to those patients. Since the bank had taken over his accounts, he could no longer operate his practice efficiently and it was collapsing. At the moment, any money deposited into his account is transferred to the finance ministry until the amount of N$37 972 687.14 is settled.

    Mugimu added that his taxes were in order and that he had a certificate of good standing from the ministry.

    He described the assessment by the ministry and its instruction to transfer money directly from his account to the receiver as draconian, unreasonable and unfair.

    However, Mwafongwe told the court that Dr Mugimu had under-declared his annual income for tax purposes and added that there was a distinct possibility that Mugimu would continue to evade tax and might even leave the country with the money he owed the state.

    Mwafongwe added that the drastic step to appoint Bank Windhoek was necessary because the doctor had begun to transfer money out of his account. By 17 March, he had transferred N$28 million from his account. That was done after he had been notified of his tax obligations, Mwafongwe said.

    Further to this, he said once the audit on Mugimu's practice was completed, the doctor might in fact owe more than the stated amount.

    “It is also impossible for Mugimu to have saved more than N$21 million as his tax returns indicate that he only earned N$6 023 897.77 from 2006 to 2017.”

    Mathias Kashindi, counsel for the State, said since Mugimu had not met the requirements for furnishing further particulars to the receiver, in accordance with article 64(1) of the Income Tax Act, his application should be scrapped from the court roll.

    He also told the court that information from the Psemas government medical aid probe had led to further investigations. Kashindi told the court that large differences were found between the figures Psemas had paid to the doctor and the income he had declared to the receiver.

    “The applicant earned N$21 481 707 in 2017 but only paid taxes on 3% of this, investing the rest for his own gain. That investment belongs to the state,” Kashindi said.

    Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula reserved judgement until 19 May after hearing arguments from Kashindi and Sisa Namandje, counsel for the applicant.



    JACQUELINE LOUW

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    Vessel arrested at Walvis BayVessel arrested at Walvis Bay JANA-MARI SMITH

    The 32-year-old fishing vessel Sheriff anchored in the port of Walvis Bay has been seized as security while the matter of the vessel’s outstanding debt is settled, either in court or through negotiations.

    The matter dates back to mid-February, when a Namibian company, Brandberg Namibian Investment Company, ended a charter contract with the Peruvian owners of the vessel, J. Wilundi & Asociados Consultores En Pesca S.A.C.

    According to reliable sources, the Sheriff was leased by South Pacific Shipping Agency Limited, a company linked to Brandberg Namibian Investment, until 15 February.

    Documents seen by Namibian Sun show that J. Wiludi is a Peruvian subsidiary of the China Fishing Group, a company that was embroiled in a bankruptcy case in a US court last year.

    After the charter agreement ended, court-appointed legal representatives in the bankruptcy case reached out to local agents to request assistance in matters related to the Sheriff.

    Details surrounding the end of the charter remain unclear.

    Nevertheless, reliable sources last week claimed that since February, the vessel had been without a local ship’s agency representative, a situation described as unusual and against regulations.

    Reliable sources confirmed that steps taken by Atlantic Pacific Management in Walvis Bay, the company that manages Brandberg Namibian Investment Company, were in response to “a few million” in outstanding debt owed by the ship owners since February.

    While details remained scarce, a reliable source said that Atlantic Pacific Management was intent on recouping the losses they have accrued due to “certain expenses” they had incurred since February, related to the Sheriff.

    As such, the Sheriff was seized as it is the only security available to the company during negotiations.

    The source said the company hoped the issue could be finalised through negotiations and that further legal steps would not be necessary.

    Udo Burger, managing director at Atlantic Pacific Management in Walvis Bay, the company that manages Brandberg Namibian Investment Company, on Friday said: “We are working towards a solution to solve matters regarding the MV Sheriff.

    “We have been looking after all needs by the crew in terms of food, water and safety up to now and trust their situation will also be solved soonest. We trust everything will be resolved for the benefit of all parties concerned.”

    Burger did not respond to the arrest of the vessel directly, nor to the outstanding money or the reason for the charter agreement ending earlier this year. In a previous response to Namibian Sun he briefly stated: “We no longer charter the vessel and as a result, are no longer responsible for it.”

    A brief statement from Namport said: “This matter is still in its preliminary stages and as such, Namport is currently unable to divulge further information. We however confirm that there is indeed a vessel, Sheriff in anchorage.”

    Namport confirmed that port captain Lukas Kufuna, together with immigration officials and Water Police & Intelligence visited the vessel last week in order to “to determine its condition, but we would like to accord the relevant bodies time to finalise the investigation regarding this vessel before we divulge further information”.

    Reliable sources told Namibian Sun last week that Namport was keen to finalise the matter as soon as possible.

    Forgotten crew

    Namibian Sun reported more than a week ago that 22 crew members, 13 Russian as well as Chinese crew, had been stuck aboard the Sheriff without pay since mid-February.

    The Russian embassy briefly stated in April that “the owner is avoiding any contacts with the local companies and the crew of the vessel.” The embassy said that in effect, the vessel was abandoned and became effectively ownerless.

    In a press report, the crew had also allegedly made complaints regarding challenges on access to fresh food and water, a report that was however denied by several stakeholders, including the Russian embassy in Windhoek who stated that the embassy had been in touch with the crew and were not informed “about any complaints from the crew.”

    A reliable source, who preferred not to be attributed for the story, indicated that the owners of the vessel had a “moral obligation” to ensure crew aboard the vessel are taken care of, but that Brandberg had stepped in to assist the crew while the matter was being resolved.

    Since then, the more than 120 crew aboard the vessel, including at least 70 Namibian citizens, had been repatriated, with only 22 crew remaining on board.

    The Russian embassy said they continued to assist Russian crew aboard the vessel and would comment further once the issue was finalised.

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  • 05/02/17--16:00: Crash kills Costa Seibeb
  • Crash kills Costa Seibeb Crash kills Costa Seibeb LIMBA MUPETAMI & SHONA NGAVA

    The sporting fraternity has been shocked by the death of elite cyclist Raul Costa Seibeb on Monday evening.

    Seibeb died in a Windhoek hospital after a car accident on Monday evening about 40 kilometres outside Aus on the main road to Lüderitz in the //Karas Region.

    He was in the south taking part in the three-day Klein Aus MTB Challenge and was leading the race on day one and at the end of day two when the accident happened.

    Originally from Windhoek, Seibeb was one of the country’s top track cyclists.

    Seibeb had accumulated numerous accolades and awards over the years. His raw talent made him a force to be reckoned with in both road cycling and mountain biking. He has represented Namibia on numerous occasions. His many cycling achievements include being crowned Namibia's Road Race Champion in 2014, Namibia's XCO National Champion in 2015, and winner of the 2016 Otjiwa Eagle Ride MTB Challenge. He was the reigning National Cross Country Marathon Champion, which he won in February this year.

    “The Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF), and the cycling fraternity in Namibia as a whole are devastated at the terrible news that cyclist Raul Costa Seibeb tragically passed away.

    “We were shocked to learn about this tragic event earlier today,” said Rolf Adrian, vice-president of the NCF.

    “This is a tremendous loss for the cycling community, as Costa's tenacity and perseverance to succeed made him an idol for many young aspiring athletes. We extend our sincere condolences from the entire Namibian cycling community to the family and friends of Seibeb,” he added.

    Nedbank’s head of marketing and communications, Gernot de Klerk, said the main sponsor of the Nedbank Cycle Challenge had identified a lot of potential in Seibeb.

    “There was a good relationship between the bank and Seibeb, and Nedbank saw initiative and talent development in him,” De Klerk said.

    Before recently receiving training assistance from a South African coach, Seibeb trained on his own.

    “He was a humble athlete who knew what he wanted and worked for it,” said De Klerk.

    Police reports have it that Seibeb was alone in the vehicle. The police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after an initial investigation of reckless or negligent driving; use of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent; and driving a vehicle without a driver’s licence.

    By all accounts it was a bloody weekend, with more than 30 people dying unnatural deaths.

    According to a police report a man was killed by his horse in the Otjimbingwe area of the Erongo Region.

    The body of Thomas Haimbodi (29) was found on Wednesday, under a tree about 400 metres from the local police station. He had been kicked several times by his horse while trying to ride back home.

    Haimbodi, a cattle herder, and a co-worker had been seen drinking together at different bars in Otjimbingwe before the incident.

    In another unnatural death case reported on Friday at Okaku village, Awene Anna (41) was found stuck on a fence. She had apparently tried to climb over the fence and fell on a sharp pole, impaling her right thigh.

    Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi said Anna died after she was removed from the fence.

    “She bled profusely and when she was rescued from the fence and placed to the ground, she succumbed,” said Shikwambi.

    The body of a 58-year-old man was found in a tent at Katima Mulilo’s New Cowboy location on Monday. It is suspected that he died of gas asphyxiation, as he was cooking on a gas stove inside his tent.

    “The food he was cooking was found burnt and the gas cylinder was empty. His next of kin is not yet informed,” said Shikwambi.

    Shikwambi said the police had recorded 28 deaths in car accidents over the long weekend.

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  • 05/03/17--16:00: Our wealth is our health
  • Our wealth is our healthOur wealth is our health We applaud the finance ministry for its on-going investigations into alleged under-declaration of income by some medical doctors to evade tax and other fraudulent practices at PSEMAS. The financial crisis at PSEMAS is a serious contravention of members’ rights to the service they earned and their right to medical treatment. The finance minister, Calle Schlettwein promised to get to the bottom of the fraudulent claims by doctors, promising due prosecution. The blatantly fraudulent practices by foreign and local medical practitioners, hell-bent on milking the government medical aid, must be stopped, and those found guilty must face the full wrath of the rule of law. It boggles the mind how a medical doctor’s declared income to the receiver of revenue amounts to only a small fraction of the actual amount (allegedly as low as three percent). It is blatantly apparent, considering the graft that some private medical practitioners are guilty of, that many have no conscience whatsoever when it comes to cashing in from PSEMAS, at the expense of the health benefits of their patients. This is completely outrageous and they should be named, shamed and jailed, because they are putting their greed before the well-being of their patients. And we also want to know who they are so that their patients can disappear into thin air and look for alternative service providers. They must furthermore be scraped from the medical roll, because they do not deserve to be allowed to practice, they are not worth the paper their qualifications are printed on, because they simply have no feelings for their patients, only for the money they can provide for the luxuries that they mistakenly believe they deserve. These unethical practitioners will impede government’s efforts in attaining its national goals of prosperity for all, because they are stealing a very precious national resource, valuable to the thousands of people and families that are supposed to benefit from it. It is high time to stop them in their tracks, ensure that they are punished and to set a precedent in law. We need to send a strong message to any unscrupulous medical doctor that seeks to pilfer our government medical aid, that these kinds of practices will never again be tolerated under any circumstances.

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    Welwitschias aim for four triesWelwitschias aim for four tries Windhoek Draught Welwitschias coach Lyn Jones says he wants his team to work hard to score four tries and more instead of giving away points.

    The Welwitschias went down 50 – 25 against the Vodacom Blue Bulls last weekend and face a much stronger team on the log, Golden Lions, in Pretoria this Saturday.

    Jones said his team's performance had been inconsistent due to match unfitness. He emphasised that fitness comes with more practice but that they have not been practising as much as the professional clubs.

    “However, I am delighted by the fighting spirit shown by the players. As long as we continue working hard, victory will come.

    “It's not easy but we have a group of determined players and a team of coaches who are learning and working hard to improve the team.

    “Facing the Lions will be a tough test but the team has been working on speed and defence in preparation for the game,” he said.

    He added that with practice confidence builds and that allows players to apply pressure on their opponents.

    The coach said he had watched footage of their rivals and was aware of how organised and well -coached they are. “They are a good team, but we are not going out with an attitude to win it all. We want to go out there and play better.”

    He stressed that that there was no magic formula but that they had a future plan which they were focusing on and that the Rugby Challenge was the best platform to groom players.

    The coach has introduced Obed Nortjie, a 20-year-old, in the squad saying that he is an outstanding athlete who has had a successful start with his club, Unam. “We want to get him ready for bigger and better things.”

    The captain of the team, Eugene Jantjies, who was hard at training when Namibian Sun caught up with him, said they would stick to what they have been practising.

    “We are training hard on keeping the ball more and defending better. We have a team full of local players who don't have international experience unlike the other teams, but even the strongest team can be weakened. Rugby is not what it was back then, so all the critics should be patient and give us time to show them what we can do,” he said.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 05/04/17--16:00: NAFPU wants NFA out
  • NAFPU wants NFA outNAFPU wants NFA outCalls for FIFA suspension The local players' union insists that serious decisions must be taken against Namibian football leaders. Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU) secretary-general Olsen Kahiriri has called on FIFA to suspend Namibian football until the NFA has its structures in place.

    The outspoken Kahiriri has insisted that there is a need for transformation in the leadership of the Namibia Football Association (NFA).

    “Given the current chaos, suspending Namibia from FIFA and to put our football house in order should now be an option.

    “As a matter of urgency we call on prioritisation of the review of the Sport Act, revisit the recommendations of the national sports conference and review the statutes/constitutions of all national sports codes.

    “As football players' union, we've appealed to President Hage Geingob since November 2016.

    “We also [pleaded with] the ministry of sports as well as the Namibian Sports Commission since April 2016 to intervene and redeem our nation from the humiliation,” Kahiriri said.

    “The prophets of doom are free to label us any name for standing up against the painful destruction of football, especially the suffering of players.

    “They will definitely question why NAFPU opted to walk out of NFA a year ago,” he said.

    According to Kahiriri the “chaos and confusion” that have been dragging on for years in Namibian football are unacceptable and humiliating to the nation.

    He emphasised the consequences, warning that Namibia might not be allowed to take part or be involved in any international football competitions since there had been no professional football played for a year.

    “Even if it takes us two years, we can still play a sanctioned league competition while we establish sustainable professional structures and standards of administration, a case of Botswana which took that route and today everyone can see the difference.

    “Let us unite and save our football and the future of our youth. Sport creates jobs besides entertaining.”

    The secretary-general further urged football fans to unite and shy away from personal egos which he believes have jeopardised the future of football in Namibia.

    “We can't speak of revolutionising the game without removing their puppets who are still suffering the hangover of their mafia masters being out in the cold. We should not be co-authors of these people still being in office.

    “They should face rebellion in all forms of platforms, including but not limited to media be it social media and newspapers. If a push comes to shove we should mobilise and take it to the street or even physically lock them out of their comfort zones in the name of offices.

    “The writing is in bold on the walls: We don't want puppets and toys of mafias running public offices. We must be honest and courageous enough to tell the secretary-general his weak leadership is impotent.”

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 05/04/17--16:00: Bank supports Africa Cup
  • Bank supports Africa CupBank supports Africa CupHockey comes alive Participants are eager to compete in the Africa Inline Hockey tournament. Bank Windhoek has announced its sponsorship of the African Inline Hockey tournament.

    The tournament is set to take place at the Dome in Swakopmund from 22 to 25 May.

    Players from South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Spain, USA, Canada, Eritrea, India, Brazil and Great Britain are all making the trip to play against Namibia.

    There will be eight teams competing in the men's division as they attempt to claim the title.

    The sponsors also announced that a youth hockey camp and referee clinic will take place during the days of the Africa Cup.

    Team Namibia's captain Marco Debortoli expressed joy over his participation in the competition.

    “It is always an honour to represent your country and test your skills against the world's best.

    “To be able to do this in my home country, in my home town and on my own rink will be the most incredible opportunity and experience any athlete could dream of,” he said.

    Bank Windhoek's Jacquiline Pack also shared her views on the tournament.

    “Bank Windhoek is aware that in-line hockey has taken huge strides in Namibia and that it is a fast growing sport.

    “It is a sport that is enjoyed by young kids and by adults alike and it is a very well managed sport.

    “These are qualities that make Bank Windhoek proud to be associated with this tournament,” Pack said.

    “We welcome all the regional and international visitors and teams to our beautiful country, and specifically to the picturesque town of Swakopmund.

    “Bank Windhoek congratulates The Dome for winning the bid to host the Africa Cup in their world-class facilities,” she said.

    Dave Hammond captain of team Canada, who has three world championships under his belt, believes that the Africa Cup will offer inline hockey at its best for this part of the world.

    It will be the first time since 2009 that the Canadian team will be able to participate in a world-class event.

    For him, the tournament will serve as preparation for the world championship.

    “You can get as fit as you like but there is no substitution for competition,” Hammond said.

    SPORT REPORTER

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  • 05/04/17--16:00: Simeone bullish after defeat
  • Simeone bullish after defeatSimeone bullish after defeatAtletico still believes The Madrid side is hopeful that they can complete one of the greatest comebacks in their club history when they clash with their rivals. Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone refused to accept defeat following the 3-0 Champions League semi-final first leg defeat away to Real Madrid which left his side's chances of reaching a second successive final in tatters.

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to give Real Madrid a foot in the final and to leave Atletico with a seemingly impossible task as they look to overturn the deficit in front of their fans next week.

    However, despite the size of the task and the fact his side failed to muster a shot on target on Tuesday night, Simeone was in a bullish mood.

    “We call ourselves Atletico Madrid and we are able to do it,” he said in declarations reproduced in the Spanish press on Wednesday morning.

    “I have a feeling of calmness, more than ever I am calm and now we are going to try and do something impossible,” he said, preparing the ground for what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere for Real as the Vicente Calderon Stadium hosts the last European game in its history next Wednesday night.

    Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane also insisted there was still work to do in the return leg.

    “We had a great performance and we scored three goals as well as keeping a clean sheet, so we can be happy because the side played really well and I am proud of them all,” he said, before sounding a word of caution.

    “There is still the return leg to play and until the referee blows the final whistle anything can happen,” said the Real Madrid boss.

    NAMPA/XINHUA

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  • 05/04/17--16:00: McDonald's to be probed
  • McDonald's to be probedMcDonald's to be probedLabour union says investigation into deception needed On the heels of May Day, a labour union in the United States has said the fast-food franchise McDonald's should be investigated for franchise fees charged. McDonald's should be investigated for gouging franchisees on rents and deceiving them about how the amounts are calculated, a labour union said in letters to two state attorneys general.

    US franchisees paid the world's biggest fast-food chain more than US$3 billion in rents last year, a rate of return on McDonald's real-estate investments that's as much as triple the industry average, the Service Employees International Union said on Tuesday in a statement.

    The high cost allegedly makes it harder for franchisees to pay living wages.

    The “windfall” rents are calculated in a secretive process that violates state laws in California and Illinois, said the union, known as SEIU.

    “We are confident in the legality and appropriateness of our financial relations with our franchisees and our disclosures of those relationships,” McDonald's said in a statement.

    “Our business model helps our franchisees secure prime real estate locations and reflects a significant level of company investment in the restaurant premises.”

    The labour group asked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, both Democrats, to subpoena McDonald's for information about how it calculates rents, as well as any documents about undisclosed or hidden franchisee costs.

    The US is unlikely to act, the SEIU said, noting that the Federal Trade Commission hasn't brought an enforcement action under franchise regulations in 20 years.

    'Industry norms'

    “McDonald's is luring potential franchisees into paying rents that far exceed industry norms, all while reassuring them that everything is appropriate,” SEIU said in the complaint.

    McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, requires franchisees to lease their restaurants from the company, with rent eating up an average of about 10.7% of sales, according to the letters. SEIU contends the chain's rate of return on its real estate ranges from 10.5% to 19.3% - between double and triple the industry average of 5.9%. McDonald's returns compared to its competitors' cast doubt “on the company's claims that its base rent generates merely an appropriate return on real estate investments,” the union said.

    SEIU, which has clashed with McDonald's over increases to the minimum wage, said its findings are based on an analysis of publicly available franchising documents and a survey that the union conducted of 267 current and former McDonald's franchisees.

    The hamburger chain's disclosures to franchisees about their rent costs are inaccurate and misleading because they don't disclose the rent formula, the union said.

    McDonald's first chief executive officer, Harry Sonneborn, famously told investment analysts that the company “was in the real estate business, not the hamburger business,” SEIU said.

    “McDonald's real estate system is similar today to what Sonneborn devised 50 years ago,” the group added.

    BLOOMBERG

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  • 05/04/17--16:00: The year of the newbies
  • The year of the newbiesThe year of the newbiesThe good, the bad and the oh-so-ugly From the MCs to the performances, fashion and the award winners - if you missed the awards show, here is a recap of what happened. Former entertainment journalist Gordon Joseph won the very first Best Entrainment Journalist at the NAMAs in 2015 and since then has kept a relatively low profile, delving into other lines of news, but tjil caught up with him to get his take on this year's NAMA event.

    In his own, sometimes acerbic and sometimes hilarious tone, Joseph tells all.



    On the entire event itself…

    “I think the NAMAs have grown in leaps and bounds from those blunder year at Ramatex. The Saturday-night stage was world-class, the prize money rewards people who work so hard and spend hours in the studio to perfect their craft. So much hard work and dedication goes into staging an event of that magnitude and as someone who has served on the steering committee, I know how daunting a task it can be. If it were up to me, I'd however scrap the Friday night awards show - it has always seemed like a bit of a rehearsal for the Saturday show and this year was no different.”



    On the presenters…

    “Uejaa reminded us why she's considered Namibia's classiest and most gracious MC. She really held her own next to the iconic Bonang Matheba. Mappz has a charisma to him that's just rare. He is just comfortable and authentic on stage while Paul on the other hand is a boss… his experience and skill showed and the new presenter Joe, well, I foresee great things for him, as too the girl who presented with him on Friday evening. As for all the other presenters, well my mama did tell me to rather keep quiet if I have nothing nice to say.”



    On the fashion…

    Best: “Fashionista Leah Masikia was a goddess. She had just the right amount of sexy and just the right among of attitude with her dress, and she easily upstaged everyone. Poet Miss Anne turned heads, and while others didn't like her outfit, I thought it was daring and I am in awe of her confidence. She was sassy. Oteya was gorgeous in what looked like a simple pink jumpsuit. Radio presenter Belinda was blue-carpet ready and Suzy kept her signature composed and polished look.”

    Worst: Well, the worst list is endless… selecting a few might be an impossible task. I think it's a tie between oh-so-amazing Female Donkey who stunned in white complete with a crown thing on her head. Then there was also musician Om'nenenhu Ndawana with his Aladdin-inspired look that just seemed like a heavy load to carry… you know those thick and expensive Home Choice curtains, yeah that's what comes to mind. Bonang looked amazing in the Roberto dress but uhm… hasn't it been over-worn? Florence was on her way to a matric farewell on Friday, and Priscilla Dessert Queen's on stage outfit on Friday night was the direct opposite of her amazing vocals.”



    Performances…

    Best: “Well the event and the production itself has grown in leaps and bounds, but that growth isn't complemented by our artists' ability to perform live. It's kinda sad, very few owned the stage. I think rapper Effy's performance was touching, and the vocals of the girl he sings with, well, she was so much more compelling than some of the seasoned female performers. Gazza reminded us why he is Namibia's most celebrated musician, Sally and Adora were a breath of fresh air on stage and although nervous and a little shaky, I actually loved Florence's Friday night performance. Doris has such amazing vocal abilities, but her performance became awkward when the other female artists joined her on stage, we are still trying figure out whether they ended up there by accident. Oh, and seeing Elemotho on stage, I think that was a treat, a very special treat.”

    Worst: “I think worst was as a result of commitment. It is time we are honest and establish that only two Namibian artists can sing and dance at the same time, Sally and Freeda. Everyone else should stop trying. We all know singer Priscilla can sing, she is a vocal powerhouse, but she was out of breath for the most part of the performance and I think the message about self-love by having fuller figured back-up dancer was powerful, but the dancers just didn't commit. They really did let her down. Sean K on the other hand, had some impressive vocal moments, but the choreography was a hot, hot, hot mess (still don't know what those dancers were doing there or what was happening behind him on stage). I've always maintained that Jaleel was one to watch, but with this performance he wasn't really there, he might as well have not been there. I was also excited about the Maranatha and Rebecca performance, but for me it became really overly dramatic and theatrical and I didn't like it. But the worst is definitely the group that closed the Friday night show, the Harry Simon song. It's an absolutely horrible song, and stage was filled with a bunch of singers who were just screaming things and they were all over the place. What a shameful tribute to a man of Harry Simon's calibre.”



    On the winners

    Best: “In most of the categories went as expected. Gazza works so hard and to see him at the top of his game after so many tears, that's inspiring. Maranatha is really coming into her own and I expected her win. Song of the Year was between Young T and Sally from the start, and Sally bagged two awards I think and she so deserves them. But I think I was the happiest to see Jericho win, I don't know but I just don't think he gets the respect he deserves.”

    Worst: “Well, I will admit, I've been M.I.A. for a little while, but even I heard the girl who won Best Female Artist for the first time and judging from social media, many others don't know her either. It's complicated… popularity don't always mean quality music, but equally, I think if you are going to Best Best Female Artist, other aspects should be considered too. It's like last year, when Ann Singer won Best Album or something but Namibians learned of her the first time. There are too many artists who appear during the NAMAs for the first time and then disappear into thin air. Worst also is the confetti for the Best Male Artist and none for Best Female. The “woke and call it out” activist in me wants to call it sexist at best, but let's pretend it was a technical glitch, okay.”



    Biggest winner…

    “Uejaa, so many of others concluded that she will disappear into the background once Bonang appears on stage, but nope, she done held her own, and impressively so. Perhaps next year we should have Ueeja host the whole show, from the blue carpet to main event, she's clearly more than capable.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 05/04/17--16:00: Subconscious out now
  • Subconscious out nowSubconscious out now The name Bhuqaid Shervanna is one that isn’t new in the music industry. It is that of a strong and determined musician who aims at changing the world with his sound, and making everyone feel good about themselves. The multi-talented artist recently released his second album and he shares his story with tjil.

    Bhuquaid said his first album didn’t do well because of where he was based in north. Being the breadwinner and a passionate musician he made the decision to relocate to the city for the sake of his music. “It is like that all over the world. People move to Hollywood because that’s where the access to the media is. Yes, your fans may be all over the county but one doesn’t need to be close to the fans but rather to the CBD to reach their fans easily,” said Bhuqaid.

    The Khumbaya singer said his album also suffered because he didn’t have much self-belief, but today he says, a lot has changed - he is more mature and the key to success is confidence. “One should have faith in themselves because that is the only way the next person can relate,” he said. The second album is an educational project as the title suggests. He says we have two minds; a conscious one and a subconscious one which people tend to undermine, and on the album he speaks about positivity and belief on the subconscious mind. “This album is super-powerful and reflects maturity, I am positive that it will make a dent in the music game. It is time to do something epic, to fully serve all the way. I am the God-given entertainer and this time I am ready to inspire,” he said.

    The album has 18 tracks including Love me for me, Zanele and Subconscious. It is available at Antonio’s Art, Guava City and other music retailers for N$120. Fans can also request deliveries by contacting Bhuqaid on his social media platforms.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Miss Namibia back with elegance Miss Namibia back with elegance Crowning to take place in July Since 1980 the Miss Namibia pageant has been celebrating local beauty by crowning a worthy young lady to carry the title of Miss Namibia. The Miss Namibia organisers have announced that the annual crowning extravaganza of Miss Namibia 2017 will take place on 1 July at the home of Miss Namibia pageant, the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino.

    The organisers have confirmed that this year’s finalists will be dressed by three local designers. Designers Janine Nikanor of My Republik, Macbright and Donald Diergaardt, who are all known for their lavish and outstanding designs, will grace the runway with their marvelous work. “I want to thank the designers for their commitment. We highly appreciate your support in making the event and night one-of-a-kind,” said Conny Maritz.

    The organisers have an exciting line-up prepared for the contestants such as fundraising events which will lead to the last day of the main event. “On 3 June, the pageant together with the 30 semi finalists will host a fundraising winter ball, here at the Windhoek Country Club. The young lady that has raised the most funds for the production of our grand crowning event will receive the title of “Miss Debutant” and be an automatic finalist in the competition,” said Maritz. During this evening the other top 11 finalists will be announced, who have been selected by a panel of judges. Other events leading to the main event include the announcement of the finalists on 3 June and a fashion show at the Khomas Grove Mall on 10 June.

    Maritz also announced that the One Africa Television will not be broadcasting the pageant this year. She further said staging the pageant in a manner doing justice to the importance of the occasion and to justify the national interest in the event is a costly affair. “I am however in high-level discussions with the leading broadcaster,” she said.

    The competition is open to young Namibian girls who are between the ages 18 and 24 with a valid local ID or passport. The closing date for entries is 12 May. Tickets for the crowning event will be for sale as from Monday 12 June at Lana Dry Cleaners in Wernhil Park and Maerua Mall and at Biosculpture Namibia. Ticket will cost N$ 400 per person.

    June Shimuoshili

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    ‘One for all’ to launch this weekend‘One for all’ to launch this weekend The wait is finally over for the 10-track album by local female artists. The feisty ladies have one goal in common - striving for unity in the music industry.

    The long-awaited My Ongoma album launch, titled ‘One for All’ is finally here and set to have audiences on their feet at the Warehouse Theatre. Live performances by Doris Eiman, Oteya, Avo, Priscilla, Lioness, Namaros, Promise, Florence and Monique English will be the highlight of the night, as well as a special performance by ‘My Ongoma’.

    The aim of this album is not only to unify female artists but to empower, educate and at the same time entertain the public through music as well as cover social issues such as violence against women and children. The album boasts 10 tracks and includes singers Lize Ehlers, Big Mama, Doris, Namaros, Promise, Priscilla, Karabo, Lady May, Frieda, Ann Singer and Florence to mention a few. The album will be on sale at the event so do bring an extra N$100.

    My Ongoma Media CC, who is behind this project, is a merger of strong-minded and multi-talented personalities who share the same vision for the music and entertainment industry in Namibia. My Ongoma Media boasts of an experienced, award-winning management team with strong affiliations in the music industry, being Dragon Djokic aka Antonio, Arafath Muhuure and Solani Glo Zulu. The My Ongoma Project is sponsored by Tafel Lager, Multichoice Namibia and Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Vigo, Base FM, Tripple Seven, Glo Productions and Antonio’s Art. Tickets for this great event are N$50 and available at Events Today or at the door this Saturday. The show will start at 20:00.

    Staff Reporter

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