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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Air Namibia to release financialsAir Namibia to release financialsFinancial statements last made public in 2003 Air Namibia plans to submit its ten-year financial statement to the National Assembly next month. Air Namibia acting managing director Mandi Sampson says the airline would like to follow good corporate governance standards and will release a ten-year financial statement in due course.

    The airline has not made its financial statements public since 2003.

    “We are releasing the results to ensure full compliance with good corporate governance standards. We would like the airline to be like any other company and should be submitting our financial statements to parliament by June,” said Sampson.

    According to her, management has also completed the airline's narrative that will accompany the financial statements.

    The minister of works and transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, assured Sampson and the airline management that the government would not interfere in the operations of Air Namibia. “We have no intention to mingle in Air Namibia operations. You have my commitment on that. Stop asking for subsidies, [because] for as long as you are asking for subsidies, your government will also want to know what the funds will be used for… that is the only time we can be viewed as interfering,” said !Naruseb.

    “We know that it is not insurmountable for Air Namibia to achieve self-sufficiency. You can count on the support of government,” he added.

    Sampson said the airline would be looking at improving efficiencies to reduce costs.

    “We are reviewing our fuel-efficiency patterns in order to complement the fuel-efficient fleet in use, so that we optimise and save on fuel costs. “Air Namibia today uses in excess of 150 million litres of jet fuel per annum. If we manage to save by N$1 per litre from these initiatives, this will translate to an annual saving of N$150 million per year. We are confident that a lot will be achieved through this initiative,” she said.

    In April Air Namibia received United States Department of Transport approval to fly to and from the US via a codeshare or wet lease arrangement with an authorised US or foreign carrier, according to Sampson. “This approval will be used for revenue generation out of the USA in collaboration with our codeshare partners, and this brings to an end the days when Air Namibia could not book and issue tickets for flights to and from the USA.

    “Other areas of focus aimed at improving our financial performance include assessments to restructure our aircraft lease agreements, with the possibility of converting some into ownership, as well as re-looking at our aircraft maintenance and technical staff training costs.

    “Overall, our target is to reduce losses year-on-year in a sustainable manner, while expanding the size of our operation to reach break even by 2020,” she said of Air Namibia's ambitions. Meanwhile, University of Oxford researcher Ian Mulneirn has said that Air Namibia draws great benefit from servicing international routes.

    According to him, 480 000 of the 560 000 passengers carried in the 2015/16 financial year were all internationally bound travellers.

    He has also said that the tourism sector was reaping the benefits as an estimated 4 400 jobs were created in the sector in the same financial year.


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    T. rex could bite with the force of three carsT. rex could bite with the force of three cars Scientists have come up with one more reason to be amazed by Tyrannosaurus rex.

    When the huge carnivorous dinosaur took a bite, it did so with an awe-inspiring force equal to the weight of three small cars, enabling it to crunch bones with ease.

    Researchers on Wednesday said a computer model based on the T. rex jaw muscle anatomy and analyses of living relatives like crocodilians and birds showed its bite force measured about 3 630 kg, the strongest of any dinosaur ever estimated.

    “T. rex could pretty much bite through whatever it wanted, as long as it was made of flesh and bone,” said Florida State University paleobiologist Gregory Erickson.

    In quantifying the power of T. rex's chomp, they also calculated how it transmitted its bite force through its conical, 18-cm teeth, finding it generated 30 300 kg per square centiemtre of tooth pressure, another measure of its power, on the contact area of the teeth.

    Bite marks on fossilised bones of dinosaurs like the horned Triceratops that lived alongside Tyrannosaurus some 66 million years ago in western North America indicated T. rex was a bone-cruncher. The ability to pulverise and eat bones gave T. rex, which was about 13 metres long and weighed about seven tons, an advantage over competing predators that could not.

    “Predators with bone-crunching abilities are able to exploit a high-risk, high-reward resource: The minerals that make up bone itself and the fatty marrow that is contained inside,” said paleontologist Paul Gignac of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, lead author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

    “The risk is the potential to accrue extreme tooth damage from biting into bone, making it difficult or impossible to capture prey effectively or rupture the long bones of carcasses.”

    Previous studies have estimated Tyrannosaurus bite strength, but the researchers in the new study called their approach more sophisticated.

    Their computer modelling was developed and tested on alligators, with the researchers studying how each muscle contributed to the bite force.

    They concluded T. rex possessed the greatest tooth pressure of any creature ever studied. Its bite force far exceeded that of any living creature, but was not the greatest ever. For example, they estimated in 2012 an enormous croc called Deinosuchus, which lived a few million years before T. rex and weighed even more, had a bite strength of 10,400 kg.


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    Swedish prosecutors to update on Assange case FridaySwedish prosecutors to update on Assange case Friday Swedish prosecutors investigating a rape accusation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will hold a press conference on Friday to discuss developments in the seven-year case.

    The prosecutor's office said Wednesday that officials would “talk about the ongoing case,” without providing further details.

    The first press conference since September comes ahead of the Stockholm district court's examination of a demand by Assange's lawyers that Sweden drop his European arrest warrant.

    The prosecutor's office said it had until Friday to send the Stockholm court a request for Assange's arrest.

    Assange has been holed up inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012 trying to avoid extradition to Sweden to face the charges, which he denies and has called politically motivated.

    He fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States to face trial for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents that first gained attention in 2010.

    He has made numerous appeals to Swedish courts, including the Supreme Court, but has lost eight bids to cancel the arrest warrant.

    Swedish judges have refused to take into account the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 said Assange was “arbitrarily detained” by Sweden and Britain and called for the warrant to be annulled.


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  • 05/17/17--16:00: Letsie consults Mugabe
  • Letsie consults MugabeLetsie consults MugabeChaos in kingdom drives king to Zimbabwe King Letsie III of Lesotho will consult with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on how best to manage his polls as turmoil in the kingdom has continued since 2014. Lesotho's king Letsie III is apparently in Zimbabwe to consult President Robert Mugabe, 93, on how best his country can manage elections to end the turmoil that has continued to characterise the mountain kingdom, a report says.

    According to News Day, top government officials said that Lestie, who was on a four-day state visit to Zimbabwe, wanted to get advice from the nonagenarian on how his country could manage its polls.

    Lesotho was set to hold its general elections on 3 June.

    “This is one of those visits where Lesotho wants to appreciate how best to end the turmoil that has characterised the kingdom and has seen it being on the SADC agenda on countless times.

    The King will take time to learn how to handle polls and seek help from his elder [Mugabe],” a senior government official was quoted as saying. Lesotho plunged into a political crisis after a failed coup attempt in 2014, prompting the then prime minister Tom Thabane of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to flee to South Africa, saying he feared for his life. Thabane recently returned home with two other opposition leaders, vowing to win back power.

    In March this year, the mountain kingdom again faced a fresh crisis after parliament passed a vote of no confidence on Prime Minister Pakalithi Mosisili.

    Zimbabwean state-owned media on Monday quoted Letsie as praising Mugabe for his “wise guidance and astute leadership”.

    “Your guidance and leadership in bringing back normalcy, stability and legitimacy to the monarch and other institutions will never be forgotten by our people… For all this, we can only say thank you,” the king was quoted saying.

    Mugabe, on the other hand, said that the visit by Letsie was a “clear demonstration of the desire by Zimbabwe to maintain warm relations with Lesotho”, said a report by the state broadcaster, ZBC.

    The two countries shared a history that dated back to the days of the liberation struggle in which Lesotho played an important role towards Zimbabwe's independence, Mugabe said.


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  • 05/17/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day TOY JOY: Choosing what toys to play with and what games to play next can be tough, but Alfred Narib (11), Toini Hafeni (8), Sebastian Haingura (10) and Christine Haitimbi (5) show off big smiles as they go about the tricky task. This photo was taken in one of Otjiwarongo's informal settlements. PHOTO: JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 05/17/17--16:00: Exploitation driven by need
  • Exploitation driven by needExploitation driven by need Just the other day Namibian workers were united in celebrating Worker's Day, which is observed across the entire world. Workers put up brave faces in a rare show of unity to celebrate their achievements. The plight of workers however, is key to any country and Namibia is no exception to this rule. Without a dedicated workforce, our economy would be in ruins. “There is a saying, 'without labour nothing prospers.' As we continue down the road towards economic prosperity, it is you – the workers – whose labour will drive Namibia's prosperity,” President Hage Geingob was quoted telling the Namibian workers on May Day at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region. It should be noted that the plight of workers should not be allowed to play second fiddle to that of the employer/s. Workers should be given the respect they deserve if we indeed are serious in seeing a stable and sustainable democracy. The high levels of inequality will continue to beset our society if our economy is still dominated by low-paying service jobs. There are many companies operating in Namibia, who have made an absolute fortune through exploiting their workers, as union bosses complacently watch them wallow in misery with folded arms. It is a sad day when the business executives get the big bucks, while the ordinary workers suffer without any decent earnings to talk of. There are many other factors that tilt the playing field against workers' welfare and this is not only the disgracefully high executive pay. It becomes absolutely ridiculous when executives are allowed to take home millions in salaries, perks and share options, yet workers continue to receive shamefully low wages of less than N$2 000 per month. Is it fair that the workers are expected to rejoice about a N$200 increase in these trying times? And all the while their seniors are grinning in glee all the way to the bank with their six-digit performance bonuses neatly in place? Is it right that workers continue to be exploited because of need? When will they receive the social safety nets they deserve to remove dire “need” from the equation?

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    Treason retrial set for MondayTreason retrial set for Monday The retrial of seven men facing charges of high treason in respect of the failed August 1999 attempt to secede the Caprivi (now Zambezi) Region from the rest of Namibia, is set to kick-off in the High Court on Monday.

    The retrial was supposed to start this week Monday, 15 May, before Acting High Court Judge Petrus Unengu, but could not proceed as scheduled due to a number of unresolved issues between the prosecution and defence teams on how to deal with the case.

    As a result of these outstanding issues, the case was remanded until 22 May as per agreement reached between State Advocate Neville Wamambo and the accused's government-sponsored defence lawyers of Ilse Agenbach and George Neves in court.

    The seven suspects are Progress Kenyoka Munuma; Manuel Manepelo Makendano; Shine Samulandela Samulandela; Alex Sinjabata Mushakwa; Diamond Samunzala Salufu; Hoster Simasiku Ntombo; and John Mazila Ntambwe.

    They are all implicated in a failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia on 2 August 1999.

    The seven men suffered a legal blow on 22 August 2016 when the Supreme Court dismissed their applications in which they were appealing the dismissal of their joint application, challenging the Windhoek High Court's jurisdiction to try them on high treason charges.

    Their appeal applications were dismissed by Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb, with Chief Justice Peter Shivute, Judges of Appeals Fred Chomba and David Smuts as well as Acting Judge of Appeals Yvonne Mokgoro concurring with the ruling.

    However, an appeal application by appellant Boster Mubuyaeta Samuele was successful and he was set free that day.

    The seven men remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance on 22 May.


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    Witness disputes his 2012 statementWitness disputes his 2012 statement A witness in a murder, rape and theft case this week in the Oshakati High Court disputed a police statement he made under oath in 2012.

    Oliver Amon, 41, is one of the witnesses in the trial of Uunandapo Eliaser, 29, who stands accused of the murder of Wibartine Nambahu Ekaku, 38, who was killed on the evening of 19 March 2012 at Onghali village in the Ondangwa District in the Oshana Region.

    Ekaku's lifeless and partly unclothed body was discovered in the early morning hours of 20 March.

    Eliaser is charged with murder, robbery, rape and housebreaking.

    Meanwhile, Amon, during his cross examination by defence attorney Phineas Nsundano, could not agree with all of the contents in the police statement read out in court, saying the police officer identified as Thomas Kamati who took down his statement added things he did not say.

    According to the statement, Amon had indicated that on the day of the murder, the accused, Eliaser who was employed on his farm, went home around 16:00 and returned an hour later. Amon told the court that the accused in fact had left at around 11:00 and returned at around 16:30.

    Furthermore, Amon during his cross examination on Monday, said when asked about his mother's handbag Eliaser had brought home from the local cuca shops that night, disputed that claim saying that he did not see Eliaser that evening bringing a handbag to their house.

    He also told the court that the slippers found at the crime scene next to the body of the deceased belonged to the accused as he wore them the day he came to work in his field.

    Nsundano disputed that claim saying that his client was not wearing those slippers but in fact he went to Amon's residence wearing black leather Paulo Falcon slippers.

    The trial continues before Judge Marlene Tommasi.

    Johan Pienaar appears for the state.


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    Town councils blamed for land grabbingTown councils blamed for land grabbingInefficient land delivery and frustration leads to actions The DTA is of the view that town councils and municipalities across the country must jack up their act and deliver land timeously to avoid land-grabbing actions. DTA secretary-general Manuel Ngaringombe says town councils in Namibia are failing to recognise that their inability to deliver affordable serviced land to the residents is what is fuelling the land grabbing chaos.

    Ngaringombe said that at the root of all the land uprisings is councils' poor management, planning and administration throughout the country.

    He said the precarious situation unfolding in the Walvis Bay informal settlement is similar to what happened in Windhoek 7de Laan a few weeks ago.

    Ngaringombe, who is also a former councillor of the Walvis Bay Municipality, said residents who have been forced to settle on informal land due to lack of serviced land, are being forcefully removed from their homes.

    “Police are being deployed to forcefully remove people who have nowhere else to go. Families with young children are being forced onto the streets as the country approaches the cold winter months.”

    He added that people's property is also being destroyed in the process.

    According to Ngaringombe, the empty promises, the bureaucracy and long waiting lists have all resulted in many people in Namibia losing faith in town councils' ability to provide them with land.

    “While one must always denounce land grabbing, to do so without simultaneously recognising that it is the lack of delivery by local authorities that has created the situation where people feel that land grabbing is their only option, would be a dishonest and incomplete assessment of the situation.”

    Ngaringombe also said when the Municipality of Walvis Bay promised informal settlers that they will be resettled onto identified land and did not deliver on their promise, people lost hope in the council's ability to provide them with land.

    He added that for the council to then proceed to evict those people is unconscionable.

    According to him, it is not surprising when people who have been on waiting lists for low-cost housing for decades to believe that land grabbing is the only choice they have.

    He added that town councils need to be part of the solution by delivering on their mandate.

    “The alternative is to wait for the situation to escalate out of control. More property will be damaged and we run the risk of human lives being lost during clashes between land grabbers and law enforcement agencies,” Ngaringombe advised.


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    Ramatex legal wrangle drags onRamatex legal wrangle drags on The City of Windhoek will call for submissions of expressions of interest for the use of the Ramatex facilities once the legal dispute with the Ramatex liquidators has been resolved by the Supreme Court.

    “The expression of interest will be for the economic utilisation of Ramatex facilities,” city's spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said in a recent interview with Nampa.

    The matter is currently with the Supreme Court after a legal dispute erupted between the city and liquidators appointed to administer the affairs of Ramatex.

    The bone of contention is the abandonment of the project agreement between the city and the former Malaysian-owned Ramatex company when they unceremoniously left the country in 2008.

    The liquidators appointed to deal with the affairs are Ian Robert McLaren, David John Bruni, Simon Hercules Steyn and Ramatex Textiles Namibia (Proprietary) Limited, whilst the respondents are City of Windhoek and the ministers of trade and urban and rural development.

    In 2008, Ramatex was declared bankrupt by the High Court with debt of more than N$500 million. It closed its doors the same year.

    The factory, which was a subsidiary of a large Malaysian conglomerate, registered in Windhoek in 2001 and employed about 7 000 Namibian workers.

    The multi-million dollar textile plant operated with an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status and exported garments mainly to United States of America, but the company struggled to remain profitable, according to the court papers seen by Nampa.

    Amutenya said since 2014, interests have been shown by various parties, and seven applications were submitted to lease Ramatex; nine on a long term-term while six were interested to lease the former Rhino Garments Dining Hall and Living Quarters.


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    Efundja transformed our livesEfundja transformed our livesWomen find relief in flood waters of the north While the levels of the water may have subsided, the gift of efundja keeps on giving, for these women in particular. Six women In Omusati Region, aged between 42 and 60, make ends meet by camping along the Oshikuku-Outapi main road at Oshikulufitu village, selling fish to passers-by in order feed their combined family of 55.

    The women shared their stories telling Namibian Sun their lives have been temporarily transformed by the blessings from the seasonal flood known as efundja, which has seen them escape poverty with the income they make from sales of fish.

    They buy the fish from the boys and men who spend their days and nights in the waters and they resell the 'entangu' or small fish.

    They indicated to Namibian Sun that they have been camping at the area since 1 April when the efundja started.

    According to the women, the last time they carried out this exercise was three years ago before the drought took hold.

    Talking about transformation and escaping poverty, Agripine Sheimi said with the income they make from selling fish they are able to sustain themselves and their families.

    “We are able to improve our lives and we can buy important thing with the money we make, fencing our houses, buying food, paying people to do work in our fields while we are selling here, bringing tap water into our homes, assist with our children's school needs and also buy livestock such as goats for feasts,” Sheimi said.

    She indicated that they can make up to N$1 500 on good days such as Sundays when passers-by are traveling back to other towns. During week days they can make an income of up to N$700 to N$900 or less depending on the customers that stop and buy.

    Explaining the reasons for camping, Sheimi said it is to avoid theft of their fish by community members and because of animals such as pigs and dogs that eat their fish if unattended.

    Shiemi however indicated that they do not sleep on-site every day.

    “We don't always sleep here and we are not here all day as we give each other an opportunity to go and take care of things at home. We look after each other's things for each other,” Sheimi said.

    However as the women thank the seasonal flood and good rains for transforming their lives temporarily, they also raised concern about how they will suffer once this form of income is gone.

    “As much as we appreciate the efundja we remain concerned as we are unemployed and this only came after three years. We have been depending solely on our mahangu fields which were also not giving us much,” they women collectively said.

    This was then followed by their request to government to see whether they can be taken to training and be part of projects which will help them secure employment or become self-employed.

    They justified their request by indicating that they are still fit to do physical labour adding that they can contribute to the economy of the country.

    “If you look at us, we are still fit and there is a lot we can do. If someone or government can take us after the flood waters have disappeared to be part of projects, we will really appreciate it because we are heading our home with the challenge of making ends meet. We no longer want this life,” they said.

    Contacted for comment, the governor of Omusati Erginus Endjala said that the women should contact their respective Constituency Development Committee (CDC) in their constituency as far as unemployment is concerned which will be channelled to the Regional Development Co-ordination Committee (RDCC).

    “In every constituency we have what we call what we call CDCs. Issues of unemployment raised by them are then channelled to the RDCC which is where all the projects initiated are then prioritised,” Endjala said.

    “The advice I can give them is that if they have any business in mind which they want to conduct they can go their centre and get assistance,” Endjala said.


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    More appeal against farm allocationsMore appeal against farm allocationsGeingob dissuades petitioning on Ovitoto farms The fall-out over the allocation of the Osema and Gusende game farms is snowballing. President Hage Geingob has reportedly “begged” Chief Vipuira Kapuuo and the Ovitoto community not to stage their planned march to State House to register their objection to the allocation of the Osema and Gusende resettlement farms to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris (Pty) Ltd.

    The group had intended to march to State House last week Tuesday but were asked to refrain from this action. They were again asked not to demonstrate but to rather wait for a meeting with Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who is reportedly standing in for Geingob who is currently in Equatorial Guinea for an African Union (AU) United Nations reform meeting.

    A member of Kapuuo's group, Rirua Komeheke, this week said they agreed to meet with Kuugongelwa-Amadhila after they had a discussion at the Commando Hall in Katutura the evening before.

    “If, for any reason, the decision to allocate the farms to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris is rescinded, it would mean that the Ministry of Land Reform is not in safe hands,” commented Komeheke.

    He called the allocation of the farms to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris a “provocation”, accusing Minister Utoni Nujoma of “not taking care of the natural expectations of the people”.

    More appeal allocations

    Another company that applied for the Osema and Gusende resettlement farms, Chobezi Game Farming and Safaris, has also urgently appealed to President Geingob, as well as Ombudsman John Walters, to intervene in the allocation to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris.

    It has written letters of appeal to minister of land reform Utoni Nujoma and has submitted its appeal to the chairperson of the tribunal, legal practitioner Elize Angula.

    The permanent secretary in the lands ministry, Peter Amutenya, in an advertorial said the allocation to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris was made after 31 applications had been considered.

    Amutenya said 17 of these applications fell out because they did not have business plans and two were disqualified on technical grounds.

    Chobezi said it has submitted a 125-page “well-informed technical proposal”, which included five-year income and expenditure projections.

    It said this included detailed information about its ten directors and its operational labour force, who all had extensive experience in lodge administration, eco-tourism promotion and marketing, game farming and conservation.

    In fact, one of its directors is Orlando Haraseb, a professional safari guide, is the winner of the silver award for the 2016 International Wanderlust Guide of the Year.

    He is also a former Brave Warriors player. The other directors are Magretha Links (chairperson), Estha Garoës, Andrew Admukue, Paul Thomas, Lentina Baardt, Vanessa Nowotes, Anna Swartbooi, George Eiseb and Ricardo Eiseb.

    Chobezi's directors wrote to Geingob and Walters that they had been intentionally and “unfairly deprived of the opportunity to apply their acquired technical skills” by not having been allocated the resettlement game farms Osema and Gusende near Okahandja, and that they had been “hugely discriminated” against as a result. They asked for a re-examination of the evaluation process through which the N$40 million farms were allocated to Ovitoto Game and Hunting Safaris.

    Chobezi further stated that the newspaper advertisement calling for expressions of interest in the resettlement farms only indicated that the farmland should be used for farming while no mention was made of submissions with detailed technical business proposals and financial projections.

    It said the lands ministry did not even have functional and approved resettlement criteria before the closing date of the applications (on 16 October 2016) on how to regulate game farms allotted to successful bidders.

    Therefore, Chobezi wanted to know what evaluation criteria were used by the technical committee of the Land Reform Advisory Committee in the absence of the said resettlement criteria.

    The Chobezi directors further claimed that Nujoma had only endorsed the resettlement criteria on 7 November 2016.

    In fact, the secretary of the evaluation committee for game farms in the lands ministry, Peter Ndeilenga, had admitted in an email to the Chobezi directors that that the resettlement criteria “were approved after the closing of the advertisement” and were “not applicable” to the applicants. Chobezi also wanted to know what the scoring by the committee was and whether Nujoma has discretionary powers to select resettlement beneficiaries.

    Plagiarism claimed

    The consultant who assisted with the preparation of Chobezi's application for the games farms, Tartisius Gaoseb, claimed that the lands ministry had plagiarised a description of a game farm from Chobezi's application. The lands ministry issued resettlement criteria for game farming on 19 September 2016 and its description of game farms was practically identical to the description Chobezi had included in its application.

    AG cannot interfere

    Attorney-general Sacky Shanghala wrote to the Chobezi directors on 8 May that their request for Geingob's intervention in this matter was “premature and unprocedural”.

    Shanghala said he was not in a position to advise the directors any further because he was not mandated to do so.


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    Airport ground staff caught stealingAirport ground staff caught stealing Two Air Namibia employees and a South African Express Airways worker were arrested at the weekend for allegedly stealing two bottles of whisky, a bottle of wine, a jacket and pair of shoes from the luggage of a Chinese national en route to China at the Walvis Bay Airport.

    The combined value of the items is N$4 620.

    Air Namibia employees Leevi Petrus, 58, Castro Sanagi Sanagi, 29, as well as Abed Tangeni Shatilwe, 36, of SA Express appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court yesterday on charges of theft.

    “The incident was recorded on CCTV camera. The complainant only noticed that the items were missing when he arrived in China. He informed a friend in Namibia who reported the matter to the police. A bottle of whisky and the jacket were recovered,” said Erongo Deputy Police Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu.

    The accused appeared before Magistrate Rhivermo Williams. She postponed the matter to 29 June for legal aid and further investigation.

    Williams set bail at N$2 000 each, stating that the seriousness of the offence warranted this after prosecutor Tuhaleni Hilikuete initially proposed an amount of N$3 000 bail for each accused. Sanagi pleaded not guilty and indicated that he would conduct his own defence.

    Petrus and Shatilwe said they would apply for Legal Aid.

    A Walvis Bay Airport employee who requested anonymity welcomed the arrest and said rumours of a syndicate stealing valuables from the luggage of unsuspecting passengers had been circulating for quite some time.


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    Windhoek's brown water is safeWindhoek's brown water is safe The City of Windhoek has issued a statement with regard to recent complaints about the quality and safety of the water supplied to residents of the capital.

    There have been several complaints on social media platforms with photographs of grossly discoloured water in various suburbs of the city.

    According to Lydia Amuntenya, the City's public relations officer, the periodic discolouration of the water is due to elevated levels of iron and manganese in borehole water which discolour the water and items it may come in contact with.

    Abstraction from the aquifer has now been reduced to a minimum and NamWater is again supplying the city with water from the three central dams, Amutenya said.

    “Although water production has reduced, the reservoirs and the water reticulation network are already saturated with elevated levels of these constituents and it may take some time before the system may be flushed clean.

    “NamWater also experienced increased iron and manganese levels in water as a result of recent inflow into the dams. This has resulted in a batch of high turbidity water being received from Von Bach in the terminal reservoir in Windhoek.”

    The problem, however, appears to be solved and the City expects water quality to return to normal.

    “The water is safe to drink even though it may be aesthetically unpleasant. The City will continue to test the water from the aquifer even though the abstraction has gone into maintenance mode,” Amutenya said.

    “It was originally anticipated to use the increased production from the Windhoek aquifer as a data-gathering process in order to gain knowledge on the performance of the aquifer.

    “As normal abstraction from the Windhoek aquifer has now gone into maintenance mode the City is forced to continue with its testing process where certain compartments of the aquifer are tested in order to obtain this vital information. As such water is still being abstracted from certain compartments and this will continue until October this year.”


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    Air Namibia apologises to wheelchair userAir Namibia apologises to wheelchair user Air Namibia has apologised for the way it treated a teenage passenger who had been refused a seat on one of their flights because she is in a wheelchair.

    The Namibian yesterday reported that Anastasia Helao, whose daughter Victoria Martin has been living with a disability for two years after a life-changing car accident in 2015, said she had booked a flight from Walvis Bay to Windhoek last week, where they were scheduled for a routine appointment with a specialist. The two could not board the flight and had to drive instead.

    She said she paid around N$5 000 for two air tickets last Wednesday, only to be turned away at the check-in point on Thursday morning when they were about to board the plane. According to her the airport manager said they did not allow people in wheelchairs to get onto planes.

    She said the manager told her that they had made a mistake in allowing her to book for the flight in the first place.

    Yesterday the airline issued a statement on its Facebook page saying that the airline operates four ERJ 35 Embraer aircraft for domestic routes, four Airbus A319-100 aircraft for some regional routes and two Airbus A330-100 aircraft for long-haul flights.

    It said the domestic routes are serviced by the ERJ Embraer with a limited capacity of 37 passengers and that this specific aircraft does not make provision for wheelchair-bound passengers, due to its narrow size, design and weight restrictions.

    “The aircraft's staircase strictly allows for one passenger to board at any given time. Hence the requirement that every passenger boarding on this aircraft is required to climb the staircase on their own, without any aid or assistance,” said the airline.

    It added that the machinery used to lift passengers onto the aircraft is only compatible with the larger aircraft used on regional and international routes.

    “Due to the size of the aircraft, it is only operated by one safety officer on board.

    In case of emergencies all passengers are required to be able to aid themselves, in case the safety officer is rendered incapacitated.

    “It is our future aspiration to operate bigger aircraft on our domestic routes which can accommodate passengers on wheelchairs.

    Unfortunately, these aircraft cannot operate at some of our airports, due to limited equipment and infrastructure. We fully comply with the countries law and safety is key in our operations,” said Air Namibia.


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    Genocide Day consultation a no-showGenocide Day consultation a no-show'Worrisome' apathy in the northern regions A parliamentary standing committee had to call off planned public meetings in three northern regions because nobody showed up. The chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Sebastiaan Karupu, has expressed disappointment at the public's no-show at a consultative meeting on Genocide Remembrance Day in the Kunene, Omusati and Oshana regions.

    Not a single person turned up for the regional meetings set up to deliberate the setting aside of a public holiday in remembrance of the 1904 to 1908 Herero and Nama genocide. Karupu said the apathy demonstrated was worrisome and described is as “not a good thing”. “For parliament to pass a bill it needs the inputs and views of the people across the country. It is very disappointing that we are likely to only get inputs and views from certain parts of the country,” Karupu said. The consultation meeting for Kunene was supposed to take place on Saturday, 13 May, while for Omusati and Oshana the meetings were supposed to take place on Monday. In an interview with Namibian Sun, Karupu said the no-show, which forced the cancellation and postponement of the meeting, was a waste of government resources.

    “With the economic situation of our country, it is not advisable for us to come back here for the same business. It is a costly exercise that uses the taxpayers' money, but we will have no other alternative,” said Karupu. Despite hosting successful public consultative meetings in the southern regions, the committee was forced to postpone the meeting for the Kunene, Omusati and Oshana regions.

    On 26 April last year, Swanu's Member of Parliament, Usutuaije Maamberua, tabled a motion in the National Assembly proposing a public holiday in remembrance of the genocide on 28 May, the day when all concentration camps were ordered to close.

    The committee started the public consultation meetings in the south at the beginning of May.

    They were well attended, but in the north the response has been one of apathy. Karupu said the southern regions meetings started on 7 May and the turnout was satisfactory in //Karas, Hardap, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa and Erongo, but in Kunene, Omusati and Oshana people did not show up. He added that in the southern and central regions most community leaders and elders also made submissions in writing. Oshana's chief regional officer, Martin Elago, blamed the no-show on the “short notice” given by the standing committee. He said because of the short notice, there was insufficient time to invite the people to attend the meeting. However, his claim was dismissed by the clerk of the committee, Johan Frederick, who said the notification was sent to them on 8 May, giving them ample time to send out invitations.

    The committee, consisting of Karupu, deputy chairperson Emilia Nuyoma Amupewa, Nauyoma Mandala, Margret Mahoto and Lucia Nghaamwa, proceeded to Oshikoto and Ohangwena before they will visit the two Kavango and Zambezi regions. The Khomas Region will be the last to hold the consultative meeting.


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  • 05/17/17--16:00: 6-month-old baby 'stolen'
  • 6-month-old baby 'stolen'6-month-old baby 'stolen' A six-month-old baby girl was stolen while sleeping outside their Epupa house on Saturday in the Kunene Region in what police suspected to be a child trafficking racket.

    A police officer, who refused to be named, told Namibian Sun there is a strong possibility that the infant has been trafficked outside the country. Three people have so far been arrested and appeared in the Opuwo Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

    The suspects, Dirk Ronovita (39), Ngombe Tjambiru (27) and Tjiposa Tjikundi (age unknown), appeared on charges of theft and human trafficking and were denied bail by Magistrate Leena Iiyambo. She postponed the case to 27 June for further investigation.

    Prosecutor Oberth Masendeke objected bail for fear that the accused may interfere with the ongoing investigations. Kunene crime investigations coordinator Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Kanyetu confirmed the baby was stolen while sleeping outdoors with her mother.

    “The mother only realised that the baby was not there when she woke up in the middle of the night to breastfeed her. She informed the Epupa mobile police and an investigation was launched that led to the arrest of the three,” Kanyetu said.

    Another police source told this newspaper that human trafficking was rife in the region.

    “There is evidence from people who saw a tourist car fleeing the area in the direction of Opuwo. Only that these people failed to share this information with the police on time. A lot of exploitation by tourists is happening in that area, but the community and its leaders are not willing to speak up because they benefit from these activities,” the source said.

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  • 05/17/17--16:00: Hai//Om claim Etosha
  • Hai//Om claim EtoshaHai//Om claim EtoshaAncestral land claim filed in High Court The San community is laying claim parts of Etosha National Park and 11 farms in the Mangetti area as their ancestral land. FRED GOEIEMAN

    The ancestral land claims debate has just heated up as preparations for the second land conference for September are under way.

    Members of the Hai//Om San community filed papers in the High Court in Windhoek where they laid claim to parts of Etosha National Park and 11 farms in the Mangetti area as their ancestral land.

    They are represented by Andrew Corbett (SC) and Natasha Bassingsthwaite on instruction from the Legal Assistance Centre.

    The estimated market value of the Etosha land amounts to more than N$3.8 billion while the Mangetti area is estimated at N$95 million.

    The land forms part of the Hai//Om ancestral land which was also depicted in a map of 1884. The family life, culture, religion, health, economic wellbeing and dignity of the group are said to be inextricably linked to their ancestral land since time immemorial.

    They had long continued to exercise rights of ownership, alternatively, exclusive beneficial occupation and use, over their ancestral lands, including the land mentioned in the documents.

    The claims of the individual plaintiffs, Jan Tsumib, Mannetjie Gabiseb, Bandu Komos, Dawid Willem, Anna Ais, EliasIaokoeon Guxab, Alexander Araeb and Nikodemus Habue Hawaseb, were made on behalf of the entire Hai//Om people and in the papers the applicants say it is “typical and representative of the claims of the members of the Hai//Om”.

    The 15 respondents include the Namibian government, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Hai//Om Traditional Authority, Namibia Development Corporation, Ehirovipuka Conservancy, Sheya Shuusona Conservancy and King Nehale Conservancy.

    In their particulars of claim the applicants say that the Hai//Om are the largest San group in Namibia and that they have since time immemorial occupied ancestral land in northern and central Namibia.

    It is argued in the papers the Hai//Om, who share a common historical tradition, language and cultural identity, constitute an indigenous people and are entitled to the rights and protections conferred on indigenous peoples under the international law.

    They occupied the land in question, used it and enjoyed fruits of their ancestral land in accordance with their traditional semi-nomadic way.

    They say that the maintenance of their traditional lifestyle was restricted by the settlement of white farmers and other tribes on their ancestral land, the decimation of wildlife by colonialists armed with firearms, stationery and administrative measures which limited their access to their traditional food sources. In 1907 a ban was imposed on the hunting of giraffe, buffalo, eland and kudu cows.

    Under the South African colonial rule Hai//Om apart from few families working and living in the game reserve, were deprived of access to the Etosha lands.

    The group argued the 1964 Odendaal Commission report established ‘homelands’ for black Namibians in terms of the apartheid policy. However no ‘homeland’ was established for Hai//Om.

    They allege the apartheid administration encouraged Aawambo farmers to settle on the Hai//Om land north of the Mangetti lands and recruited members of the San group in the area as labourers.

    The applicants maintain they are entitled to reparations and fair and equitable compensation for the dispossession of their rights in the subject land in the form of the restitution of their rights in land, award of land of equal extension and quality to the subject land, and financial compensation in the amount of more than N$3.9 billion.

    They further claim their right to natural resources on their ancestral land, including the animals, plants and water which are essential to their traditional way of life.

    They also want to share in the revenues and profits generated by the government and the NWR and their predecessors from the development of Etosha National Park. In this respect they want the court to direct the two respondents to render within six months a true and proper statement of account of the revenues and profits generated by the Etosha lands since the establishment of the game park in 1958.

    Judge Hosea Angula postponed the matter to 21 June for a continuation of the status hearing. Advocate Ramon Maasdorp appeared for the respondents.

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    Mutorwa backs Rukoro suspensionMutorwa backs Rukoro suspension ELLANIE SMIT

    Agriculture minister John Mutorwa says the suspension of the Meatco CEO Vekuii Rukoro was not a political witch-hunt, claiming the Meatco board was right in taking action last week.

    Rukoro was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

    Rukoro has claimed there were no grounds for suspending him.

    His lawyer, Jefta Tjitemisa, wrote to the Meatco board this week demanding his reinstatement.

    He threatened to file an urgent court application in the High Court if Rukoro was not reinstated by Tuesday.

    Mutorwa, in his capacity as line minister, confirmed receiving a letter from Rukoro’s lawyer.

    The letter was also addressed to public enterprises minister Leon Jooste.

    In his response, Mutorwa advised the board to fairly and promptly conduct the investigation into the allegations of misconduct against the Meatco CEO.

    He said when the investigation was concluded the board would be in a better and more credible position to take an appropriate decision for implementation and corrective remedial action if required.

    Mutorwa also told Rukoro’s lawyer that he was not privy to a directive by Jooste, instructing that the public enterprises minister should first be informed of any suspensions at parastatals.

    “I have not yet been given a copy of the said ministerial directive if at all the intention was to give me one. As such the portfolio minister cannot and may not reasonably be expected to implement the directive,” he said.

    Mutorwa further stated that the Meatco board had regularly briefed and kept him updated about various issues, including the recent problems that had led to Rukoro’s suspension.

    He said the board was empowered by the Meatco Act and did not require prior approval from the portfolio minister to take decisions in the best interest of the company and the country’s livestock producers.

    Tjitemisa was on Tuesday still adamant that if the Meatco board did not respond to them by 10:00 yesterday an urgent court application would be filed.

    He told Namibian Sun that a board meeting was supposed to take place on Tuesday and depending on the outcome of the meeting a decision was to be taken on the court application.

    “The laws were not followed. It appears to be personal. The fact is that Jooste should have been consulted,” he said.

    Jooste last week told Namibian Sun that he had heard about Rukoro’s suspension, but had not received written confirmation.

    Mutorwa said he was not aware of any meeting that was being held.

    When contacted for comment, board chairperson Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun said the board was guided by the law and that the investigation must be completed.

    Rukoro believes his suspension stems from a recommendation to appoint a certain Ananias Katjomuise as a Meatco livestock agent.

    Rukoro claimed this issue was investigated by Ernst & Young, who submitted their final forensic report last week.

    Tjitemisa could not be reached for comment yesterday and Rukoro was also not available for comment.

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  • 05/18/17--16:00: Champ getting ready
  • Champ getting readyChamp getting readyIndongo to study challenger Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo will be ringside watching his potential next opponent live at Madison Square Garden on 20 May. Indongo added the WBA junior welterweight title to his trophy case that already housed the IBF junior welterweight title with a comfortable 12-round unanimous decision over Ricky Burns in Burns's hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, in early April.

    Now he will face the undisputed Terence Crawford, who holds the WBO and WBC titles. Crawford will face Felix Diaz, and has made it clear that he wants to fight Indongo next to unify all the titles in the division.

    The fight will take place at the world's home of boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York, and will be broadcast live exclusively on HBO.

    Crawford made it clear he is in no way looking beyond Diaz, who will challenge Crawford for his WBC and WBO super lightweight championships. Crawford acknowledged, though, that he wants to face Julius Indongo in what would be a rare full title unification match in his following fight.

    “He's a good fighter, this guy [Indongo],” Arum said.

    “That's a guy that people haven't heard of because he hasn't fought in the United States. But our matchmakers say he's a damn good fighter. And apparently, [he's] looking forward, down the line, to fight Terence. There is this kid that's coming on, that's a very, very good fighter, that I think holds two titles now at 140. That's a good possibility.”

    Crawford was particularly impressed with how Indongo beat Burns by unanimous decision last month in Burns' native country. Crawford also beat Burns by unanimous decision in Glasgow to win the WBO lightweight title in March 2014.

    “I watched the fight,” Crawford said. “He put on a great performance. He did everything he had to do to get the job done. He's tall and rangy, he can box. It'd be a good fight.

    Nestor Tobias accompanying Indongo says we will simply go and watch Crawford and also study him at the same time. He remains a possibility for Indongo's next fight at this stage with other possibilities of course, but it is important for Indongo to prepare psychologically for all options and also get a feel of Madison Square Garden. The fact that we are here does not mean we will fight Crawford; he needs to get past Diaz first, commented Tobias.


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