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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 369 | 370 | (Page 371) | 372 | 373 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Disabled training dismal
  • Disabled training dismalDisabled training dismalFewer than 1% of disabled Namibians have benefited During 2015 and 2016, a mere 0.3% of disabled employees in Namibia were trained. Fewer than 1% of people living with disabilities out of a total of 72 865 employees were trained across all industrial sectors, an annual report by the Employment Equity Commission for the 2015/16 financial year says.

    The 17th annual report tabled in the National Assembly by the minister of labour, industrial relations and employment creation, Erkki Nghimtina, in April covers the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

    The report says only 191 persons living with disabilities received training, which represents 0.3% of the entire group of 72 865 employees. Of the disabled persons trained, 125 were men while 66 were women. The training focused on skilled and semi-skilled occupations. The numbers of trainees in executive and senior management positions were relatively low.

    Only one woman living with a disability was trained in the occupational category of executive director, and only three as senior managers.

    No men were trained for executive managerial positions while only 12 men were trained as senior managers. The figures show that of the 72 865 employees trained in all sectors, 67 162 were black Namibians; while 4 493 were white Namibians; 1 019 foreigners and 191 people living with disabilities.

    The sectors include agriculture; construction; education; training and development practices; fishing; health and welfare; manufacturing; mining; private security; legal and correctional services; tourism and hospitality; and wholesale and retail. The Employment Equity Commission is responsible for the oversight of the implementation of affirmative action at workplaces. It guides employers to eliminate unfair discrimination and to implement affirmative action measures.

    NAMPA

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Clover to feel the pinch
  • Clover to feel the pinchClover to feel the pinch The prolonged drought and rand volatility, which resulted in above-inflation input costs that could not be recovered through revenue increases, owing to subdued consumer sentiment and aggressive competitive pricing in the first half of the financial year, will be largely disruptive to branded foods company Clover's full-year results, the company said on Monday.

    Price increases implemented by Clover and a comparatively wetter and cooler summer also negatively impacted on sales volumes.

    “As expected, several of these challenges continued to impact the business during the second half of the financial year, it said, adding that while many factors were beyond its control, certain tough strategic decisions needed to be made at the expense of this year's results, but in aid of longer-term sustainability.

    The drought resulted in high farm gate milk prices to ensure sustainability of supply, and fruit pulp prices also remained inflated as a result thereof. “We increased selling prices to recover these higher input costs; however, pressure on volumes and market shares was experienced as consumer sentiment remained subdued.

    “Strategically, it was the correct action to take, as the Clover brand is heavily reliant on the continued supply of quality milk and fruit pulp, it added.

    Meanwhile, the producer noted that to protect its market shares, Clover started dealing in promotions during March and April, and the regaining of market shares and increased volumes is already evident. “We deliberately maintained our rejuvenated high-volume infrastructure, as it was unclear if volumes would return; however, it was concluded that the muted environment will be extended for some time and structural changes in Clover's infrastructure have, therefore, been introduced to balance our supply and demand expectations in future, which will lead to significant cost savings on our current cost base,” it added.

    Following Easter, which is traditionally a high-trading period, Clover now believes that, for the year ending June 30, its headline earnings a share will be between 50% and 65% lower than that reported last year, at between 66.12 c and 94.42 c a piece.

    Earnings a share are also expected to be between 40% and 55% lower than the prior year's 185.9 c apiece.

    “While these results are not desirable, we remain optimistic about the company's future,” it stated, noting that the end of the drought in certain parts of the country, an anticipated recovery of milk production volumes and normalised fruit production volumes, and the stabilisation of the rand, which hopefully curbed rising input cost inflation, would bolster its future results.

    Clover expects to release its annual financial results on 12 September.

    ENGINEERING NEWS

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: More than just smoke
  • More than just smokeMore than just smokeBig tobacco leaves huge ecological footprint The farming of tobacco has come under the spotlight after a report by the World Health Organisation of its harmful impacts. Tobacco growing is causing “massive harm” to the environment through the extensive use of chemicals, energy and water, and pollution from manufacturing and distribution, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

    The United Nations agency called for the tobacco industry to compensate for its products that contribute to greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, but gave no estimate of damage. The ecological footprint goes far beyond the effects of cigarette smoke, the WHO said in its first report on tobacco's impact on the environment. “From start to finish, the tobacco life cycle is an overwhelmingly polluting and damaging process.”

    “Tobacco growing, the manufacture of tobacco products and their delivery to retailers all have severe environmental consequences, including deforestation, the use of fossil fuels and the dumping or leaking of waste products into the natural environment,” Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General, said in the report to mark World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday.

    Tobacco use kills seven million people a year, according to WHO.

    It clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 179 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and taxes to discourage use.

    Tobacco plants require large quantities of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and fumigants to control pest or disease outbreaks.

    “Many of these chemicals are so harmful to both the environment and farmers' health that they are banned in some countries,” the report said.

    Vast quantities of wood are burned to cure tobacco leaves, contributing to deforestation. Some big growers like China and Zimbabwe are also using coal, which emits carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, the WHO said.

    Millions of kilogrammes of non-biodegradable cigarette butts are discarded every year, it said.

    Tobacco waste contains over 7 000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens, it added.

    Japan Tobacco Inc, Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco report on their use of environmental resources and waste streams, but the self-reported data is “limited and opaque”, the report noted.

    It also criticised the China National Tobacco Company, which produces roughly 44% of cigarettes consumed globally, for not publishing comprehensive environmental data.

    The WHO said it should be mandatory for tobacco companies to supply information on environmental damage.

    “All producers should be required to compensate for the environmental harms caused by deforestation, water use, waste, etc., through offsets in order to ultimately reduce the long-term ecological harm their business causes,” it said.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Jet-lagged Mugabe
  • Jet-lagged MugabeJet-lagged Mugabe This is why he's known as Zimbabwe's 'visiting president': So far this year Robert Mugabe has spent more days outside the country he's ruled for 37 years than he's spent at home, it's been reported.

    Until May 27, when Mugabe got back from a week-long jaunt to Mexico, the president had spent 77 days outside the country, reports the Standard.

    Only 69 days had been spent at home.

    Mugabe, 93, recently had to charter a luxury Boeing as the Air Zimbabwe plane he usually uses is grounded for servicing.

    The paper said Mugabe began his 2017 travels on January 17, while still on official leave in Dubai, with a trip to China.

    Since then, the paper estimates he's covered 145 000km, and clocked a staggering 250 hours in the air.

    Countries he has so far visited on three continents include China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritius, Singapore (twice), South Africa, Swaziland and Mexico.

    The Zimbabwe Independent, a respected business weekly, estimates that this month alone the president spent US$3.5 million chartering a plane for trips to Singapore and Cancun in Mexico.

    The paper identified the plane as a Comlux Aviation Boeing 767.

    “It costs one million US dollars to hire the plane for four days so Mugabe paid that when he went to Singapore,” an unnamed aviation source told the paper.

    “The plane also attracted close to half a million dollars in charges when it was parked for six days, from May 13 to May 18 while the cabin crew was at a local hotel. Mugabe paid close to two million US dollars for the nine days the plane took him to Mexico.”

    But transport minister Joram Gumbo, while declining to disclose the amount spent on the Mexico trip, suggested that chartering a plane is no more expensive than flying Air Zimbabwe.

    “Air Zimbabwe is used at cost and the rates are the same. Every last penny is paid for by the president's office,” he told the paper.

    Mugabe invariably travels with a large entourage, including state media journalists who get paid daily expenses in scarce foreign currency. Critics say the country gains nothing from these expensive trips.

    NEWS24

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day HARD TIMES: An exhausted young rural woman waits for the road to be clear before rolling a 200 litre drum of water about 15 kilometres from Sangwali in Zambezi Region yesterday. Potable water is hard to find in some parts of the region, forcing countless women and girls to walk long distances to find it. Photo: MOSES MAGADZA

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    Where is our moral conscience?Where is our moral conscience? Crime reports continue to be dominated by rape cases and it is heart-breaking that incidences of children being raped and sexually abused are soaring – experts have confirmed this sad situation. What is disturbing is the fact that this dire situation is a common phenomenon throughout the entire Namibia. That these heinous acts are perpetrated against vulnerable and defenceless children, toddlers in some cases, and calls upon all citizens of this country to question their moral consciences. A lasting solution to the anarchy should be given national priority. Police reports indicate a worrisome upward trend in the number of sexual assaults on minors, taking a look at the prevailing circumstances where the assaults take place, the crisis is thwarted by lack of political and social responsibility. Both the biological and political guardians and parents of these child victims are fanning the sexual assaults. If everyone were playing their roles effectively, this would not be the case. We have repeatedly castigated the laissez-faire attitude of the government to expedite the implementation of deterrent laws to prompt perpetrators to think twice before committing sexual assault. It boggles the mind – where we are heading to as a nation – if we allow our young children to be exposed to criminals. The girl child is the goose that lays the golden egg. How will the population grow if she is killed emotionally and physically? The government as the parent of citizens is guilty of failing to provide adequate manpower to deal with the reported sexual and gender violence, especially in rural and remote areas. The acute shortage of social workers and inadequate justice for the victims of sexual violence, where cases take years to be concluded, inflict more pain and suffering than anything else. Vital evidence is forgotten, lost or disappears, along with the perpetrators freed as a result. Government must also take tough measures to criminalise harmful cultural norms and values that allow child marriages. Parents, who remain silent about sexual abuse of children, in order to maintain family relations, must also face the full force of the law. All collaborative systems that expose these innocent victims to such dastardly deeds must be overhauled in the name of our moral consciences.

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Youth debate Marriage Act
  • Youth debate Marriage ActYouth debate Marriage Act Members of the first Junior National Council passed a motion seeking the removal of a clause in the Marriages Act which allows children under the age of 18 to marry if the minister responsible approves such a move.

    The Chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah-Williams on Friday said the National Council would adopt the report of the junior session, including all the motions passed which will procedurally pass through the established structures.

    Section 26, sub-section 1 of the Act, states that it is illegal for boys and girls under the age of 18 to marry, but, it makes an exception which gives the line minister the power to authorise a marriage involving a boy or girl underage if it is 'desirable'. The young MPs learned about this law last week while listening to a statement by the Chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission, Yvonne Dausab on child marriages in Namibia.

    A total of 42 Grade 10 and 12 learners from all 14 regions of the country gathered in Windhoek last week for the first session of the Junior National Council in the National Council Chamber. The session was held under the theme 'Parliament engages youth perspectives on the Sustainable Development Goals'.

    Mensah-Williams said: “The chosen theme aligns with that of parliament for this financial year, which is working towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals.

    “We believe that this makes sense because the youth constitute the majority of Namibia's population. Therefore, hearing their views, concerns and proposals in this regard gives parliament, among other institutions of the State, the thrust it needs to ensure that Namibia successfully realises the SDGs.”



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Oponganda main cemetery full
  • Oponganda main cemetery fullOponganda main cemetery full Oponganda's main cemetery has reached its capacity for burials and all new burials are now accommodated at Oponganda Extension B.

    City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said burials are already taking place at the new extension.

    Oponganda's main cemetery and Oponganda Extension B are situated opposite each other in Katutura along Otjomuise Road.

    “The new extension has a size of 18 hectares which could be used for approximately five to seven years,” Amutenya noted.

    She explained that the City of Windhoek is opting for eight-foot graves to accommodate second internments, depending on families; however, there are procedures to be followed in this regard.

    “This means two people from the same family, if requested through the City of Windhoek's laid down procedures, can be buried in the same grave.”

    Amutenya also said the Old Location Cemetery in Hochland Pack is nearing its capacity and that a new cemetery is being developed around the Rocky Crest suburb.

    She further mentioned that a new furnace has been installed as part of an extension of the existing crematorium at the Pioniers Park Cemetery which will be operational soon.

    Amutenya added that cremations should be encouraged as it is less costly than conventional burials.

    “It has always been the City of Windhoek's desire to promote cremations as another option, but due to cultural beliefs it is a struggle at this time irrespective of the education thereof. We will however not give up awareness creation in this regard,” she added.

    Cremation remains also take up less space than graves.



    NAMPA

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    Tourism Expo ready to kick offTourism Expo ready to kick offEvent of the year is back and better than ever The much-awaited Namibia Tourism Expo opens for the public tomorrow and an explosive three days are on the menu. All stakeholders in the tourism industry will flock to the Windhoek showgrounds this week as the biggest tourism event in Namibia kicks off.

    The Namibia Tourism Expo or NTE, which is now in its 19th year of existence, will officially open today and end on Saturday.

    The expo takes place this year under the theme of 'Safe Travel' and brings together tourism stakeholders from Namibia and neighbouring countries. It will be opened by the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, today at 16:00.

    The theme of the Expo emphasises safety for all travellers, be it by road, air or sea.

    “The Namibia Tourism Expo has seen sustained growth in the number of exhibitors and visitors since its inception. About 24 000 people visited the expo last year and it has also experienced an increase in the number of foreign exhibitors, especially from neighbouring countries. As organisers, the success of the expo is measured by the quality of the exhibitors and consequently the number of visitors that enter the showgrounds each year,” says Maggy Mbako, public relations executive of Namibia Media Holdings.

    According to her tourism is vital for the country and at the heart of forging friendships, creating a better understanding between each other and it connects people with each other.

    “Tourism is also a key economic development strategy and a catalyst for the country's growth, a significant contributor to job creation and provides an opportunity to work with people in local communities.”

    The managing director of Old Mutual Namibia, Kosmos Egumbo, says that Namibia currently ranks as the country with the highest road fatality rate in the world. “This can be changed when our roads become safer and many tourists will continue to visit Namibia as a destination of choice. As Namibians, we need to change our attitude to promote and ensure safe travel. This is why Old Mutual, as a responsible business, supports the 2017 Namibia Tourism Expo, which has Safe Travel as its theme.”

    According to Nedbank Namibia managing director Lionel Matthews, this year the expo serves as a platform at which Nedbank Namibia will display its new brand in a vivid manner. “These are exciting times for us and the expo will give visitors a glimpse of what is to come in the next few months.

    “Our teams have been quietly churning away in the background and putting in endless hours to lay the foundation for a banking experience unlike any other. We are more ready than ever before to showcase to Namibia just why our bank has consistently been rated as the best customer service bank in our country.”

    Albe Botha, CEO of Namibia Media Holdings, said that Namibians are at a crossroads. “We need to change our attitude on road safety or start locking people away for longer periods in jail. Fines without action are not making any difference and we cannot continue on the same road and think that death will not visit us more often as nation. Let us be brave and comply with the country's traffic regulations.”

    Namibia Media Holdings continues to embrace a sound and solid relationship with its sponsors of expo – Old Mutual and Nedbank Namibia. Their contribution and commitment towards the expo is outstanding and highly valued.

    The gates to the expo will open for the public from Thursday until Saturday from 14:00 until 20:00.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Not a new whale
  • Not a new whaleNot a new whaleHumpback washed up further ashore The whale carcass currently seen between Mile 4 and Mile 8 is not a new stranding but an earlier one and the animal has been pushed up by the tide. The Humpback whale which previously washed up near Paaltjies was moved by the large winter swell to the vicinity of Swakopmund between Mile 4 and Mile 8.

    This was confirmed by the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP) who said Annalie van Greunen reported the new location of the decomposing whale and also provided photos. The beached animal was first sighted and reported by local Walvis Bay tour guides operating in the Paaltjies area.

    “After a short period of high stranding rates of Humpback whales along the Namibian coastline (five in total), a lot of questions still need to be answered. We commend members of the public, tourism operators, different branches of the Namibian government, and researchers pulling together to make a difference and help us understand this situation. Please do not hesitate to contact the NDP with any sighting of whales and dolphins,” said Dr Simon Elwen, NDP director.

    People who come across a live stranded whale or dolphin are advised not to touch them but cover the animal's body with a towel or blanket to prevent sunburn and keep the blowhole (1 or 2 holes on the top of the head and the animal's 'nostrils') uncovered.

    Fresh or saltwater can be used to keep the animal moist. Noise should be kept to a minimum and crowds must be kept away from the animal.

    Anyone who comes across dead stranded whales, dolphins and turtles should contact the Strandings Network and they should take note the location of the carcass, the length and in what condition it is in (fresh, slightly decomposed, very decomposed or skeleton only). Pictures from several angles and close-ups of the head, fins and tail can be taken and emailed to the NDP at nam.dolphin.project@gmail.com or submitted via Facebook.



    Otis Finck

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    Jobless demonstrate at OtjiwarongoJobless demonstrate at Otjiwarongo Nearly 200 unemployed people staged a peaceful demonstration in Otjiwarongo yesterday to demand jobs at a cement plant under construction outside town.

    The construction of the Whale Rock Cement factory trading under Cheetah Cement started in March this year, approximately 6 km north of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.

    The mostly men and five women marched to the site where they handed over a petition, saying they can do some of the easier manual labour such as pushing wheelbarrows and mixing concrete – jobs which are allegedly being done by Chinese nationals at the site.

    “We need work and a fair recruitment system,” the petition said.

    The concerned residents also complained that the locals who are employed at the site as general labourers, are paid too little as they allegedly only get N$80 per day and also do not have safety gear.

    They gave the company seven working days from yesterday to respond to their concerns.

    Receiving the petition, Whale Rock Cement's employee relations officer, Willem /Nanub said about 80 Chinese nationals and between 10 to 20 Namibians are employed at the site to construct the administration block of the factory as the first phase.

    “I have received your petition and I will work on it and try to respond to your concerns in writing before Friday this week,” he said.

    /Nanub said the company will need more skilled and semi-skilled Namibians during the second phase of the project when actual construction of the plant starts in August this year.

    About 400 job opportunities will be created during the second phase.

    NAMPA

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    State patients not turned away for non-paymentState patients not turned away for non-payment Patients who fail to pay the required N$4 for clinic visits are never turned away despite allegations to the contrary, the //Karas Health Directorate's control administration officer David Lamberth has said.

    Lamberth rejected the suggestion during a meeting with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs in Keetmanshoop on Monday.

    The committee met with management of the directorate to get a view on a number of social issues in the region such as teenage pregnancies and health services.

    Committee member Elma Dienda said complaints have been noted from the region about patients not being assisted if they fail to pay the required fee.

    Lamberth responded that there is no truth in the allegation and patients are never refused health assistance as that is not the policy of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

    “I would say that some people come with a misguided attitude to health facilities and refuse to pay the minimal fee,” he added.

    Lamberth said that in fact, a lot of money remains uncollected for services and issuing of health passports.

    He said people lose their passports or leave it at home and come to health facilities expecting a new one for free.

    “We have a fee requirement of N$10 for loss of a passport while we replace it for free once it becomes full,” he said.

    Chief Medical Officer of the Keetmanshoop State Hospital, Refanus Kooper said the “attitude issue” perhaps needs to be addressed with public education regarding the payment of fees.

    “What is N$4 for health care, access to medical equipment, specialised services, surgery and medication? If people pay, we could use those funds for repairs at health facilities for public benefit.”

    Patients pay N$2 for chronic medication and N$8 if they bypass clinics and visit hospitals directly.

    They pay N$20 for after-hour visits at hospitals and N$20 for hospitalisation.

    NAMPA

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Unam expels SRC president
  • Unam expels SRC presidentUnam expels SRC presidentStudent leader claims 'witch-hunt' on campus The University of Namibia's Windhoek campus was tense yesterday after the SRC president was ordered to pack his bags and leave. The expulsion of the Unam Student Representative Council (SRC) president, Joseph Kalimbwe, along with two other students is turning ugly with allegations levelled left, right and centre.

    Kalimbwe alleges that the Unam management has been trying to silence students who are vocal about injustices on campus.

    He says there is a 'witch-hunt' against students who speak out against management and that is the reason why he and two other students were suspended from the university.

    “When you are vocal and you speak about things that are happening, it becomes a problem. This whole thing is just a witch-hunt,” says Kalimbwe.

    Kalimbwe was served with a letter from Unam vice-chancellor Lazarus Hangula yesterday, informing him that he was not registered as a Unam student and that he must remove all his belongings from the campus.

    “You are requested with immediate effect to remove all your belongings from Unam,” read the statement.

    He was ordered to return his room keys and all Unam documents in his possession.

    Kalimbwe vehemently denied that he had not registered, saying that management had in fact “deregistered” him.

    “I have been a registered student at Unam since 2013,” he said.

    Unam has also laid criminal charges of malicious damage to property after the students had attempted to break into the cafeteria.

    Kalimbwe told Namibian Sun that they tried to break into the cafeteria known as The Grub due to a lack of study areas at the Unam main campus.

    He added that they only wanted the cafeteria to be open during the examination period to allow students to study.

    The secretary-general of the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, also joined the fray yesterday, threatening the university with legal action if they didn't reverse the decision to suspend the students.

    “Nanso's lawyers have engaged the affected student leaders and have since responded to the illegal actions of the university. The affected leaders reserve their rights to approach a court of competent jurisdiction if the actions of the university are not retracted,” said Nauyoma.

    Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho said the three students had until yesterday to give reasons why they should not be barred or suspended from the university.

    “The said students have been accorded an opportunity to provide reasons by Tuesday, 30 May 2017, why they should not be barred from Unam campuses and be suspended from the students' council, pending the finalisation of the investigation into the allegations and any disciplinary actions that may be taken against them,” he said.

    Namesho also told Namibian Sun that Kalimbwe was not a registered student.

    SHONA NGAVA

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    Details emerge about Engen attackDetails emerge about Engen attack A video of an assault at the Engen Service Station in Hochland Park that went viral on social media does not reflect the series of events that led to the use of force by security guards.

    This is according to the managing director of Dog Force Security Services, Kuume Uutaapama, who condemned the force used by his guards and said they had been suspended pending an internal investigation.

    However, he explained that the incident, which has led to calls for a boycott of the service station, was actually instigated by two brothers who had provoked a fight with the security guards.

    According to him the two men, who were intoxicated, arrived at the service station between 04:00 and 05:00.

    He said one of the men's hands were cut and bleeding. “He was touching food parcels and bleeding on the floor.”

    Uutaapama said one of the security guards reprimanded him and asked him to wait outside for his brother. The man went outside but came back in and started hurling racial slurs at the guard.

    Apparently another guard then tried to intervene and even after the man's brother told him that they should leave, things only got worse.

    Uutaapama said one of the men started throwing food around and started fighting with one of the guards, who then had to use pepper spray.

    Uutaapama told Namibian Sun that he felt very bad that people were judging the guards because they only saw what had happened outside the shop.

    A video went viral on Monday, showing how the guards assaulted the two brothers with what appeared to be a wooden object outside the service station.

    Uutaapama said the panic button was pressed three times but backup from G4S only showed up about 20 minutes after the fight ended.

    “People are now calling for the service station to shut down, but they do not know the entire story.”

    The owner of the service station says he has been in the business for 18 years and there have been only two violent incidents.

    He says people are now calling for a boycott of his business and threatening to burn it down, but the fight was between the security guards and the two men.

    He says he does not condone violence but it happens regularly that intoxicated people provoke the guards.

    Meanwhile, the police have also dismissed claims that they are doing nothing to investigate the incident.

    According to Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi the police have been proactive from the start.

    Upon first learning about the incident they searched for the two men at hospitals and found them at the Roman Catholic Hospital, where they took witness statements.

    According to him a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm is being investigated. Nobody has been arrested.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    TransNamib mum on suspensionsTransNamib mum on suspensions TransNamib has offered no explanation for the sudden suspension of two executive directors, Hippy Tjivikua and Struggle Ihuhua, only reiterating that it was necessary to ensure an unhindered investigation into alleged misconduct by the two.

    The board of directors informed staff of the suspension of Tjivikua (executive: strategic and stakeholder management) and Ihuhua (executive: properties) in an internal memorandum on Monday.

    It notified staff that until the investigations were finalised no one should share any company information with the two unless authorised in writing by the board.

    It further prohibited the two from entering the premises of TransNamib without written permission by the board.

    All employees were instructed to strictly comply with these orders.

    The secretariat of the TransNamib board yesterday said the positions of the suspended executives would remain vacant until the investigations were completed. It is expected that this process will take no longer than two months.

    Neither Tjivikua nor Ihuhua was available for comment.

    Rumours yesterday were that Ihuhua's house had gone up in flames and that a company laptop was damaged in the fire. That could not be confirmed but photos of the burnt house did circulate on social media.

    In the meantime, the acting or interim CEO, Michael Feldmann, has resigned from his acting position to take up the position of acting executive: commercial and marketing. He was previously the executive: operations.

    Feldmann had taken over the helm in late April from Tjivikua, who had been acting in that position since the suspension of the previous CEO, Saara Naanda.

    The board announced that the top post at the parastatal would be rotated among the executives every month, pending the appointment of a CEO.

    It said the appointment of a CEO was 80% completed and ought to be finalised in the next coming weeks.

    “In the meantime the board has to govern the business with the minimum resources available to it to ensure its survival,” the board stated.

    It said the company would focus on “rightsizing” to streamline the operations in line with its strategic business plan.

    This rightsizing exercise is to be done through voluntary early “exits” and early retirement as the first two options.

    “While retrenchment of employees cannot be ruled out, such retrenchment shall be undertaken as a last resort and in compliance with the law. There is thus no truth in the allegation that employees will be retrenched,” the board said.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Oshakati rape trial begins
  • Oshakati rape trial beginsOshakati rape trial beginsBusinessman accused of raping his cousin Businessman Sindano Hango's lawyer is alleging that the woman who accused him of rape did so out of jealousy. The Oshakati Regional Court this week began the trial of a businessman accused of raping his cousin at their grandmother's house at Uuvudhiya in the Oshana Region on 10 October 2014.

    The defence team is alleging that the accused and complainant were in a sexual relationship and the complainant only fabricated the rape story after the accused failed to give her money.

    They further allege that she was jealous that the accused was about to get married.

    Sindano Hango, 37, was arrested on 28 October 2014 and Magistrate Mikka Namweya released him on bail of N$6 000 on 12 November that same year.

    His trial started on Monday and several witnesses are expected to testify throughout the week.

    Magistrate Leopold Hangalo is presiding and Hango is represented by Frieda Kishi.

    On Monday, the court heard the testimony of the complainant.

    She told the court that between 10:00 and 11:00 on the morning of 10 October, Hango came into their grandmother's house at Uuvudhiya and found her in the bathroom.

    “While I was in the toilet I saw Hango standing at the door of the toilet. I did not close it since I was alone in the house at that time. When I saw him, I closed the door. After I finished, I went to the sitting room where I was cleaning.

    “He followed me and grabbed my hands forcing them to my back and pushed me onto the couch with his elbow. He jumped on me and removed both my trousers and underwear,” the woman said.

    She said she fell to the ground and ran away naked.

    She said Hango followed her but she manage to flee and ran into one of the rooms with the intention of locking herself in, but unfortunately there was no key. It was in that room he raped her, she testified.

    However, the defence counsel challenged her version of the events, telling the court that when Hango came into the house he told her that he had a hangover from his mother's birthday party the previous night.

    The complainant warmed up some meat and gave it to him to eat.

    “While he was eating you took his cellphone and took photos of him eating and sent them to one of your housemates. But you never said that in your police statement,” Kishi said.

    The complainant agreed that it had in fact happened that way but added that she did not mention it in her police statement because of the state she was in after the incident.

    However, she said that she had testified to the fact in court.

    “You came up with this story for two reasons. Firstly, you were due to travel to the south and you asked for money from the accused which he did not give you. Secondly, the accused was due to get married and since you two had a sexual relationship you were not happy with him getting married. This is why you came up with this rape story and you made it colourful,” Kishi put it to the complainant.

    Kishi said there was evidence of that in a text message conversation between Hango and the complainant on 9 October.

    She said further proof of their relationship would be submitted to the court.

    The complainant denied these claims.

    She told the court that after the incident, Hango's parents tried to force her to drop the charge in exchange for money.

    “They came to me saying that I must drop the charge because I was bringing shame to them. They said they are public figures and the case will spoil their reputation.

    “His mother is my aunt and is the one who used to take care of me and my siblings after our mother died and she asked me to remember all that. They forced me to send a text message to the investigator that I am dropping the charges, which I did,” she said.

    The complainant also told the court that she had sent a text message that Hango must give her money and then she would drop the charges because she wanted to trap him so that he would be arrested.

    She said the family now hated her and she was living with her boyfriend's family. The matter will continue on 2 October.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 05/30/17--16:00: Kashuupulwa hits back
  • Kashuupulwa hits backKashuupulwa hits backI was provoked, says governor The Oshana governor has accused a regional councillor in his region of driving a tribal agenda. Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa has launched a scathing attack on Ondangwa Urban Councillor Elia Irmary, accusing him of promoting “tribal politics” following the government's refusal to establish a referral hospital at the northern town.

    The governor opened up on the Oshana Regional Council's WhatsApp group where he expressed dismay on allegations reportedly made against by the councillor, including claims that he was against Ondangwa's development.

    The health ministry had earlier indicated that Ondangwa was an ideal location for the construction of a district hospital. However, these plans have been shelved and a state-of-the-art referral hospital will now likely be constructed in Ongwediva.

    This has irked many Ondangwa residents who last week marched to the governor's office to hand in a petition decrying the move.

    In a long WhatsApp text, a furious Kashuupulwa labelled Irmary “new and not aware” of government policies.

    “Hon Regional Councillors I am provoked by the statements made by Hon Irimary repeating the Uukwangula Sport stadium and education snubbed from Ondangwa to Oshakati town to justify the new hospital to be constructed in Ondangwa Town. Please let it be clear that I have no problem with that project to be constructed there as the leadership of Ondangwa accusing me that it is me who do not want the project to be constructed there,” Kashuupulwa said.

    “What is the reason to tell the public lies of something that I did not do? I do not have that power. In the council decisions are collectively taken not by the governor or the chairperson. Now tell me who said the police head office should be constructed in Oshakati. May be you people are still accusing me about that.”

    Yesterday Kashuupulwa confirmed that he was author of the WhatsApp message seen by Namibian Sun.

    He added he was simply responding to serious allegations made against him.

    “Yes it is true that I wrote that on the WhatsApp group, but I did not attack anybody. I was only responding to what has been labelled against me for a very long time and clears serious allegations made against me,” he said.

    Kashuupulwa told Namibian Sun that the idea of the Uukwangula Sport Stadium was a project he had proposed when he was the councillor for Okatana Constituency.

    He said it was discussed in council meetings and approved before a submission was made to the relevant ministry for funding.

    “I proposed that about 12 years ago when it was announced that FIFA World Cup was coming to South Africa.

    It was proposed that Namibian might host some of the friendly games. It was against that background that I made the proposal so that we could be ready by the time the games kick off,” he said.

    Irimary confirmed that he had seen the text message from the governor.





    He was not in a position to provide a detailed response as he was apparently busy with the regional budget discussions.

    He, however, claimed that he did not organise any meeting at Ondangwa as suggested by Kashuupulwa.

    Kashuupulwa further said the councillor labelled him a “tribal governor”.

    “You only have propaganda that is directed to me from Ondangwa leadership. The truth is there and I can explain together with honourable councillors who were there at the time. I am aware of meetings you are holding in Ondangwa accusing me taking government offices to Uukwambi .That tribal tendencies is practiced by yourself and not by me. This is just to alert you to stop accusing me of snubbing government offices to Oshakati. You are talking about things that you do not know at all. Let us talk about the truth and not propaganda that torn apart the region (sic).”



    Education directorate

    The governor also explained that the Oshana education directorate relocated to Oshakati through the guidance of the decentralisation policy.

    He said it was government policy to have regional head offices of ministries constructed in the capital town of the region.

    “It is not me who brought it there. You want to tell me that Oshikoto Regional head offices were snubbed from Tsumeb by the governor of that region to Omuthiya? Please mind your tribal politic. Understand also the policy of the government and not confused that with your tribal agenda (sic),” the governor said.



    Kashuupulwa said he too supported the idea to have a district hospital constructed in Ondangwa, but he needed to follow resolutions passed in a meeting with health minister Bernhard Haufiku.



    “Just as other regional governor suggested the hospital to be built in Ondangwa, I am also supporting the hospital to be built in Ondangwa, but we must follow the resolution. It is also not advisable to discuss the issue that is receiving the attention of the president and the two relevant ministries trough the petition that was sent there. I have to respond to serious allegations first made against.”







    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Conflicting autopsy reports in murder caseConflicting autopsy reports in murder case Two post-mortem reports issued ten months apart on the cause of death of the late Andreas Ukandanga (41) during a fatal shooting on a farm outside Okahandja in January 2016 contained two significantly different medical findings in regard to the location of the wounds and the cause of death.

    This was put to Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt yesterday by lawyer Jan Wessels, acting on behalf of the accused, Kai Rust (44) whose murder trial began at the Windhoek Regional Court in Katutura yesterday.

    Rust has been charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder, to which Rust has pleaded not guilty.

    During the conclusion of the cross-examination of the first State witness yesterday afternoon, Wessels told the court that the first post-mortem report, issued shortly after Ukandanga's death, supported Rust's version of an accidental shooting where the deceased died from a ricochet bullet.

    Wessels underlined that the first post-mortem was viewed and the results confirmed by NamPol chief pathologist Dr Paul Ludik, head of the Forensic Institute of Namibia.

    According to Wessels, who quoted from the first post mortem, Ludik's report found that the wound patterns found on the left shoulder of Ukandanga indicated they were likely a result of a fragment of a ricochet bullet that after it was fired had initially hit a hard object, “probably a rock” and then struck Ukandanga, killing him.

    Wessels said the first post mortem, which supported Rust's version of the accidental shooting, was never presented to the magistrate during Rust's first bail application last year, crucial information that could have helped support his client's version of events that fatal day.







    Wessels said the first post mortem report confirmed his client's defence that “this was a tragic shooting accident.”







    Questionable investigation



    Wessels also informed the court that the defence had suspected there were issues around the handling of the case and the possible introduction of “false and new evidence” to support the case against Rust.



    He said this suspicion was boosted when the defence later discovered the existence of “a second post-mortem report” which was issued 10 months after Ukandanga died, which contained vastly different post-mortem results and does not appear to have been signed by Ludik.



    Wessels argued that this second and new report showed “the way in which this case was investigated. The entry wound became the exit wound.”



    The second post mortem, according to Wessels indicated that the deceased was wounded on the right side behind the neck, and not on the left shoulder as in the first report.



    He said these issues will be dealt with in more depth later during the trial.



    Wessels underlined however that “my client denies that he ever fired a shot at any person with the intention to kill, to injure, to hurt. He denies that.”







    Shots heard, not seen



    Wessels also argued that the three counts of attempted murder were supported by witness statements from the three poachers who had been with Ukandanga on the day of the shooting, but were only made more than seven months after the incident.



    “Statements to that effect were obtained only long after the bail application, between seven and nine months after the bail application,” he said.



    Yesterday, the first state witness at the trial, Ndara Ndjamba, who later pleaded guilty to poaching on Rust's farm that day, admitted that he and his friends had been invited to the farm by a farm worker and family friend, Frans Ndjamba, who still works at the farm.



    During cross examination by the defence of Ndjamba, he told the court that he could not say if Rust was aiming directly “at my friend or the dog. I just saw him fall.”



    He told prosecutor Filemon Nyau earlier in the day that he and his friends had been working on the Kudu carcass when they heard a gunshot and Ukandanga suddenly fell.



    All three men jumped up and ran two in one direction and Ndjamba in another to flee the shooter.



    Ndjamba told the court during his chief testimony that when he fled he “saw bullets bouncing in the sand as he fired at us.”



    Wessels informed the court that in the first police statement, obtained shortly after the incident, Ndjamba and the others did not make this allegation.



    Quoting from the original statement, Ndjamba had told the police initially that “as I was running I heard shots being fired behind me.”



    In the second witness statement he signed, nine months later, Ndjamba told police “later shots were also fired after us as we were running.”



    Wessels argued that Ndjamba was lying, and that in fact, as per Frans Ndjamba's witness statement, Rust had initially not known there were people behind a rock skinning the Kudu and had aimed at a spot close to a hunting dog, wanting to scare the animal away. That was the bullet that accidentally killed Ukandanga, Wessels argued yesterday.



    He said the next two bullets were warning shots Rust fired into the air, as per the statement by Frans Ndjamba, after he suddenly saw the three poachers jump up and flee the scene. He and Frans Ndjamba had not seen them at first, as they were obscured by a rock and bushes and trees, Wessels said yesterday.



    The last bullet was aimed again at the dog, and hit its target.



    The state is not disputing that only four shots were fired that day.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Chinese nabbed for attempted rapeChinese nabbed for attempted rape A Chinese construction worker briefly appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday on charges of attempting to rape a woman in Bahnhof Street, Windhoek.

    The state is alleging that the 53-year-old Chunglei Gao made sexual advances to the complainant against her will on Sunday by touching her breasts and genitals.

    The construction worker, who spoke through an interpreter in the proceedings, emphatically denied the allegation.

    Though the court explained to him the option of where he can obtain a private lawyer or state-funded lawyer, Gao chose to defend himself.

    The court, on the recommendation of the control Sate prosecutor Hans Tourob, granted Gao N$10 000 bail on condition that he will not leave the district of Windhoek without the permission of the investigating officer in the case.

    He was also ordered to hand in his passport and other travelling documents to the investigating officer and must report twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, at the Windhoek Central Police Station.

    Magistrate Jo-Rina Jagger postponed the matter to 6 June for further investigations. Gao was remanded in custody pending the payment of his bail.

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    Omutondi ina sholola – Nujoma Omutondi ina sholola – Nujoma Omukokoli presidende Sam Nujoma okwa popi kutya omutondi ngoka a yi moshipala emanguluko lyaNamibia okwa kanitha owala olugodhi lwopapolotika ihe ota kondjo natango opo a topole oshigwana.

    “Nonando omutondi okwa dhengwamo molugodhi lwopapolotika, ina teka omukumo. Onga AaNamibia oshowo AaFrika otwa pumbwa okukala twa angala aluhe na otwa tonata omolwa omutondi ngoka a hala okutu topolwa,” Nujoma a popi.

    Nujoma okwa popi ngaaka pethimbo lyoshituthi shegwanitho lyoomvula 57 dhongundu yoSwapo, shoka sha ningilwa mOkahao mOmusati mOsoondaha.

    Nujoma okwa pula iilyo yongundu opo kayi topoke yo tayi kalekepo onkalo yuukumwe ndjoka ya longithwa mekondjolomanguluko lyoshilongo.

    Oshituthi shoka osha kaliwa kaayambidhidhi yoSwapo omathele naaleli yopolotika mboka ya tyapula pamwe omaimbilo goNdilimani Cultural Troupe.

    Nujoma okwa pula woo aanyasha ya kale taya kutha ombinga meyambulepo lyeliko lyoshilongo opo oshilongo shi vule okuhuma komeho nokukondjitha oluhepo.



    Nujoma okwa popi kutya nonando aanyasha oyo aaleli yokomongula, inaya pumbwa okukwatwa kombepo yokwiihola yoyene nokutula komeho uuwanawa wawo pehala lyaamboka wongundu noshilongo.

    KENYAKAMBOWE

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