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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 425 | 426 | (Page 427) | 428 | 429 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Angry residents walk out of meetingAngry residents walk out of meeting A weekend meeting convened between the Omatando community and the Ongwediva Town Council did not end well after some residents staged a walkout.

    The meeting was called to inform residents about progress made regarding the formalisation process to change Omatando 1, 2 and 3 areas into a township.

    The meeting, however, did not bear the intended fruits after residents accused council of not dealing with the issues they presented.

    The residents demanded council provide them with a definite timeframe as to when residents can continue with building homes on their plots.

    The demand follows council's instructions to halt all construction of houses on their plots saying doing so will affect the formalisation of Omatando, which has not been finalised.

    In the past, council threatened to demolish structures built before completion of the formalisation process, but it has since changed its stance and is now pleading with the community to take ownership of the project.

    However, the residents have indicated that they are prepared to wait only if council commits itself to a definite timeline.

    “What we want to hear is that we are not allowed to construct up until this date and not just be told to wait. We are getting old and some of us just became employed and want to develop our plots,” a resident said.

    Another resident said the people have plots in Omatando but they are forced to rent elsewhere arguing that they could have used the money to build their homes on their own erven.

    Ongwediva CEO Damian Egumbo said council has taken note of the request and it will soon respond to the community.

    The frustration and anger of the residents was evident in their conversations.

    However, Ongwediva spokesperson Jackson Muma told the residents that council is trying its best to shorten the process and requested the community to work together with them to see the envisioned township become a reality one day.

    “We should not be afraid, let us work together. The plan is to formalise Omatando and bring the basic services here and we will only achieve that if we all take ownership of the plan. Let us not continue building… we urge you to wait a little longer,” Muma said.

    He added that council is busy with the verification of property and the rates and taxes issues, saying these are still far from completion.

    This drew the ire of residents who demanded council answer all their questions.

    Some plot owners said they had travelled long distances from as far as Windhoek to attend the meeting, saying it is not fair to leave questions unanswered.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Pre-paid water system at Gobabis gets mixed responsePre-paid water system at Gobabis gets mixed response The introduction of a pre-paid water system at the Gobabis informal settlement of Canaan has evoked mixed reactions from residents.

    The initiative, which was introduced by the local municipality as a means to encourage more prudent use of water, has been met with fierce resistance by some residents.

    The system has over the past two years been gradually introduced in Canaan, but residents here are yet to fully warm up to the idea.

    Amongst their concerns has been the cost associated with the exercise, which requires a fee of N$300 for the purchase of a pre-paid water card.

    Residents are then required to load units onto the card by buying water tokens from the municipality, an exercise they say makes the initiative unaffordable to them.

    Johannes Garu-Nab, 32, told Nampa he has been finding it hard to raise the N$300 needed for the purchase of the pre-paid water card.

    “I survive on a hand-to-mouth basis from selling empty bottles and doing odd jobs; it is just plain impossible for me to get such money,” he said.

    Another resident, 53-year-old Meliano Kambari, said the initiative does not help them as it is not designed to assist those at grassroots level.

    “This is just insane; imagine buying an empty card without units which I still have to load? Where is the logic in that,” she asked.

    Gobabis Municipality public relations officer, Fredrick Ueitele said the N$300 was the price the municipality paid per card, as such it is simply passing on the cost to the residents to recover such monies.

    “We cannot reduce that amount as it is influenced by the price of the supplier from which we bought the pre-paid water meter cards,” he said.

    According to Ueitele, residents had complained that the old system where people were appointed by the municipality to sell water from its communal taps was not working, hence the introduction of the new system.

    “People complained that those selling water are not always at home, as such we had to think of new ways to handle this issue after extensive consultations with the residents themselves,” said the PRO.

    Ueitele said the system will soon be fully implemented and the existing open communal taps will be done away with entirely, pending a council resolution.

    Canaan is home to about half of Gobabis's population, and is inhabited mainly by unemployed residents.

    NAMPA

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    Ohangwena CRO post 'confidential'Ohangwena CRO post 'confidential'Region struggles to find substantive top official It is now over two years and the authorities are yet to appoint a new chief regional officer for Ohangwena. A meeting held between members of the Ohangwena Regional Council and the urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa in May this year, did not resolve the issue concerning the appointment of the chief regional officer.

    The delegation that travelled to Windhoek wanted to consult Shaningwa and be advised by her on recommendations submitted by the Ohangwena Regional Council for selected candidates shortlisted for the position.

    The chairperson of council's management committee, Erikson Ndawanifa, would not provide information on what transpired during the meeting with Shaningwa, but confirmed that the delegation indeed met with the minister.

    “The meeting took place, but I can't provide you with any further information since the issue is still confidential. All I can tell you is that there are only few things that need to be ironed out before we appoint the candidate for the position,” Ndawanifa said.

    It is two years now after candidates were interviewed for the position and the council has still not appointed a chief regional officer.

    Earlier this year, Ndawanifa told Namibian Sun that in 2015, the region interviewed candidates for the position to replace Daniel Kashikola, who was elected as a member of parliament and subsequently named deputy minister of safety and security in 2015.

    It was reported that both Shaningwa and the Public Service Commission refused to endorse an appointment amid allegations that council had not followed laid-down procedures.

    It was also reported that after the interviews, the council submitted recommendations to the Public Service Commission (PSC) twice, but they were referred back to the council.

    “Yes, is true that we interviewed candidates for the position two years ago. It is now a complicated issue. We have completed the recruitment process and have already recommended our preferred candidate, but after we made our submission to the Commission they instructed us to do something else,” Ndawanifa said that time.

    “Another complication is that the Regional Council Act stipulates that recommendations for a CRO position must be made in consultation with the line minister. When we made our recommendations, we did not consult the urban and rural development minister, Sophia Shaningwa. Therefore, we cannot go ahead with the recruitment process until the minister pronounces herself.”

    Ndawanifa said that did not mean there was any disagreement between the council and the commission, they only needed to resolve a few issues and wait for minister's recommendation, saying it was necessary to do so to avoid violating the law.

    The council's retired director for general services and administration, Phillip Uusiku, and director of planning Fellep Shilongo have being acting as CROs in the meantime.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Mass Housing construction kicks off at OtjiwarongoMass Housing construction kicks off at Otjiwarongo Construction activities on government's Mass Housing programme at Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region started last Friday.

    Government in 2015 made more than N$29 million available to service Freedom Park and Heroes Park situated between the Tsaraxa-Aibes and DRC informal settlements.

    The actual construction activities of the houses in Otjiwarongo started on Friday with the digging of foundations.

    Otjiwarongo Municipality CEO Ismael /Howoseb in an interview with Nampa this week said a total of 468 affordable and quality brick houses will be built in the two areas.

    “The houses will be cheap and affordable by most of our people,” said /Howoseb.

    The CEO said nine construction companies have been tasked to construct five houses each in less than three month as trials for the Otjiwarongo Municipality to see their quality, standard and sizes.

    He said the top companies to construct houses of impressive quality will then be given the full tender to build all the houses.

    The companies involved in the construction are Danny's Building Construction; Fundamental Trading Enterprises; Oluzizi Engineering Construction; Devine Heritage; Potenza Investment; and Pena Trading Enterprises.

    Asla Construction; Tulaing Properties; and New Era Supeco Trading CC are also busy at the site since Friday.

    The site agent of Oluzizi, Abisai Shaango, said their construction equipment, tools and machinery were brought to the site on 3 July 2017.

    “We have already started with the digging of foundations for the five houses and casting of concrete will be done during this week,” he said.

    Oluzizi has a total of 24 construction workers, mostly men from Otjiwarongo and two women, on the project.

    He said his company will construct two- and three-bedroom houses, each with a lounge, kitchen and toilet.

    The houses will cost less than N$250 000, Shaango said.

    Government's Mass Housing programme was officially launched in Windhoek in November 2013 by then President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

    NAMPA

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    First responders training comingFirst responders training comingAims to reduce deaths at accident scenes In a bid to reduce further injury and death after car crashes, first responder's training will be offered in Namibia. Namibia will become the first country on the continent to introduce first responder's training as a strategy to reduce the carnage experienced on its roads.

    The announcement was made by Global Road Safety Partnership Africa coordinator, Pieter Venter, this week.

    “There will be training of first responders. This programme will be specifically aimed at the first person at the scene of a crash. The first programme will be run in Namibia and is the first on the continent,” said Venter at the launch ceremony this week.

    “This country poses specific challenges. It is a unique situation that people have to travel long distances between towns and across the country.”

    A certified first responder is an individual who has completed a specialised course to deal with accidents.

    A first responder usually received more advanced training than an individual that has completed a first-aid course, Venter explained.

    The training would be offered in partnership with the Namibia Red Cross Society Venter said.

    “This programme must be seen as a pilot and not as an experiment,” Venter pointed out. According to him, the programme will be launched in August.

    Namibia Red Cross Society country director Laimi Onesmus said her organisation saw the need to intervene owing to the high rate of accidents which she described as a humanitarian crisis.

    “The Namibia Red Cross Society regards this as a humanitarian crisis. The case in point is that when accidents happen, the majority of the people do not know what to do and they also don't know how to handle an injured person,” said Onesmus of her organisation's motivation to become more involved.

    According to deputy works and transport minister James Sankwasa, huge harm is done to the economy because of the high incidences of accidents observed.

    “Road accidents cost the economy N$1.3 billion annually. Such a figure should be a cause of concern,” said Sankwasa.

    “The figures translate into one life lost per day on our roads. The population is so small so that if you take the number of people that are born and the number of people that die, our population becomes minimal,” he added.

    According to Sankwasa, driving attitudes are a cause for concern.

    “I've seen in Namibia, just before the traffic light goes green, other cars are already hooting. We are always in a hurry in this country, where are we hurrying to I do not know. It calls that we interrogate this issue of car crashes,” said Sankwasa

    Sankwasa also took issue with the cars young people were buying, asking what guided them in their decision making. “When the young people go and buy vehicles, they are not looking for a car that is safe, they are looking for a car that is fast. They are always in a hurry, always trying to impress,” said Sankwasa.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Retired cop launches special anti-poaching unitRetired cop launches special anti-poaching unit Driven by the widespread incidences of poaching in Namibia's game parks, former Oshana police regional commander, Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa, has introduced a special investigation team to complement government's war on illegal hunting.

    Kashihakumwa said the birth of the Tobias Hainyeko Anti-Poaching Special Investigation Team was initiated to help combat the increasing number of poaching incidences reported in the country.

    “With so many animals poached, such as rhinos as reported in the media, we realised that there is a need for such a team and therefore, we approached the relevant authorities to give us the greenlight to go ahead,” Kashihakumwa said.

    He also said the team has been endorsed by the environment ministry, which has officially recommended the team to work together with other stakeholders.

    “We approached the environment and tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta, and the idea interested him. As a result, he gave us a letter recommending all bodies dealing in wildlife to work with the team,” Kashihakumwa said.

    He explained that the team will not work in isolation, saying there is a need to consistently involve the various stakeholders in the execution of anti-poaching operations.

    Asked how the team will operate, Kashihakumwa explained that the investigation team will investigate and present the findings to the relevant authorities, who will use the information to tackle the challenge of poaching.

    Kashihakumwa further said members of the community play an important role in the success of the anti-poaching initiative and he urged residents to report suspicious activities in their areas which the team will take up and investigate.

    “Once we receive a report, the team will lodge an investigation to confirm the allegation,” he said.

    Kashihakumwa said some of the funding needed to carry out the operations will be contributed by companies that have shown interest.

    “We are expecting very good sponsorship,” Kashihakumwa said.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Caprivi seven’s trial restartsCaprivi seven’s trial restarts NAMPA

    The retrial of seven men facing charges of high treason for their failed attempt to secede the Caprivi (now Zambezi) Region from the rest of Namibia will finally begin in the High Court in Windhoek in two weeks’ time.

    The retrial is scheduled to kick off on 24 July before Acting Judge Petrus Unengu at the newly refurbished High Court building located at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.

    The hearing is in respect of a special plea in which the seven accused are challenging the jurisdiction of Namibia’s High Court to try them on charges of high treason.

    The group is claiming that they are “Caprivians and not Namibians” and for this reason, Namibia’s High Court has no legal power to try them on charges of high treason.

    Senior State Advocate Neville Wamambo informed the court on Tuesday that the State was ready for the legal battle and would start calling witnesses to testify.

    The date for the hearing of this special plea was decided upon as per agreement reached between Wamambo and the accused’s state-funded lawyers, Ilse Agenbach and George Neves.

    The seven 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 implicated in a failed secession attempt on 2 August 1999.

    The seven suffered a legal blow on 22 August 2016 when the Supreme Court dismissed their applications to appeal the dismissal of their earlier joint appeal, challenging the Windhoek High Court’s jurisdiction to try them on high treason charges.

    They are again bringing a similar application before court when the matter resumes.

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

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

    The men remain in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance.

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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Nanny acquitted
  • Nanny acquittedNanny acquitted JACQUELINE LOUW

    On Monday, Windhoek Regional Court Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi acquitted Magdalena Naris, 30, who was accused of killing her charge, one-year-old Hope Uhongora.

    Last week, counsel for Naris, Max Lameck, approached the court for an acquittal under the Criminal Procedure Act, saying that the evidence against his client was not substantial enough to prove the charges against her.

    Magistrate Velikoshi agreed.

    At the start of the trial on 15 June, Naris pleaded not guilty to the charge of the murder. She was accused of killing baby Hope on 22 February 2015 in his grandmother’s house in Khomasdal.

    Naris was Hope’s nanny and took care of him and others on that fateful day.

    According to the post-mortem findings, baby Hope died from a ruptured liver. The injury was caused by blunt-force trauma, such as the child being hit, which fractured the cartilage in his ribcage.

    Hope’s mother, Emily Muundjua, testified that she found Hope at his grandmother’s house on the day he died. She told the court he was wrapped in a blanket on the floor of the lounge but his breathing was not normal.

    She said she had taken her baby to lie with her on a bed but he was crying intermittently. She further testified that she realised he was dying because his pulse was becoming weaker.

    Hope was admitted to the Katutura State Hospital and died shortly thereafter. He was 15 months old.

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    RCC has no confidence in board RCC has no confidence in board Property development planned on state land The future of the parastatal, its players and projects remain in the balance as questions stack up over ‘pie in the sky’ schemes. CATHERINE SASMAN



    Staff at the Road Construction Company (RCC) reportedly lodged a vote of no confidence in the entire board and its former CEO Tino !Hanabeb in the middle of last month.

    Insiders speaking on condition of anonymity said the vote of no confidence was registered with the minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, who was requested to open an investigation into numerous cases of alleged misconduct by !Hanabeb and the board.

    Worrying, said the insiders, are the alleged attempts at ‘underhanded deals’ and ‘pie in the sky’ projects purportedly conjured up by the board chaired by Fritz Jacobs, !Hanabeb and their alleged ‘cronies’.

    Some of these projects were mentioned in a letter !Hanabeb had written to little-known company TN Investments of Thomas Nakasole, in which he requested funding of more than a N$5.2 billion.

    The items !Hanabeb requested funding for included N$800 million for the construction of a ‘mixed-use RCC Plaza’, N$900 million for a waterfront and marina development at the Walvis Bay port and N$2 billion for road construction projects.

    Insiders, in their complaint to Jooste, reportedly also claimed victimisation, spying on the IT system of the RCC, alleged shenanigans on the Swakopmund to Henties Bay road construction project, as well as the yet-to-be-cabinet-approved construction of the Uis to Kamanjab road.

    When approached for comment Jooste would neither confirm nor deny the claim that RCC staff had adopted a vote of no confidence in the RCC board.

    It is, however, understood that the public enterprises ministry is contemplating an investigation into the affairs of the RCC.

    !Hanabeb has since been replaced by Seth Herunga, who is to act in the CEO’s position until further notice.

    Rumours in the RCC corridors are that the board will be disbanded. This, however, could not be confirmed.

    RCC PLAZA

    In the meantime, information was leaked on a ‘terms of engagement’ agreement clinched between the RCC and a company called Lithon Developers (Pty) Limited on the proposed RCC Plaza, which is to be built at the site of the RCC’s head office in Windhoek.

    According to the leaked information the RCC entered into a tender process in 2012 to come up with a concept for a ‘development approach’ for the Plaza’s master plan and property development and associated relocation of some of the RCC’s mandated activities.

    Lithon was reportedly “reappointed” on 4 November 2016 “to proceed with the development and implementation of the project as per concept developed in 2012”.

    On 4 November 2016, !Hanabeb wrote a letter to Barnabas Uugwanga, director of business development of Lithon in which he said Lithon would have to appoint a broad-based team that “reflects Namibian diversity” for the implementation of the RCC Plaza project.

    He wrote that RCC and Lithon would enter into a development agreement which stipulates the terms and conditions and scope of the project. Lithon was to develop a draft implementation plan within seven days of receipt of that letter.

    Lithon was then to prepare the project terms of reference and engagement and then enter into a development agreement for the implementation thereof.

    In the ‘terms of engagement’ the RCC indicated that there is ‘no budget’ but it stipulates that Lithon through its property development company, Lithon Developers, would take up 22.5% shares in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up for the joint venture.

    The remaining 77.5% of the shares would be owned by RCC and part would be used to raise further capital for the development by selling shares to investors.

    “RCC must retail at least 32.5% of the development by selling up to 45% through the development process lead [sic] by Lithon,” the terms of engagement reads.

    An estimation was that RCC would ‘through this exercise’ receive up to N$43.65 million in the next eight months for the sale of the 45% of the property before construction would commence, which would “improve its [RCC’s] asset value after construction by at least N$390 million through its retention of 32.5% in the overall development, at N$1.2 billion development value”.

    “Total value for RCC is N$433.65 million,” the master plan concluded.

    Another option considered was that shares be sold in the SPV by RCC after the state land had been rezoned and services installed.

    “The improvements could go as far as selling on a plot and plan option,” the master plan suggested. The total value of this second option would reportedly have generated N$475 million for the RCC.

    “However, if RCC holds their shares and develop fully without selling, the share value will be N$930 million,” the plan stated.

    Asked whether the RCC Plaza project would go ahead, minister Jooste responded: “Well, that all depends on whether the RCC goes ahead.”

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    Ancestral land: Nujoma makes U-turnAncestral land: Nujoma makes U-turnAncestral land claims to be discussed at September conference After earlier ruling out ancestral land rights claims, the minister of land reform this week indicated that such claims may be discussed at the second national land conference. Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma appears to have made a dramatic U-turn on the issue of ancestral land claims.

    The minister had earlier indicated that the government would not entertain any talk about ancestral land, arguing it would promote Bantustans and tribalism.

    Nujoma was, however, singing a different tune during a consultative workshop held in Windhoek ahead of the second land conference slated for September.

    At Monday's meeting, Nujoma welcomed a debate on ancestral land, saying it was people's right to make such claims, and that the government had an obligation to look after the interests of all Namibians.

    He said the issue of ancestral land rights had been raised from time to time and that some people claimed that the government was responsible for the loss of ancestral land.

    “The Swapo government fought for the independence of this country but decided this issue should not be discussed at that time,” Nujoma said.

    Ancestral land rights were not entertained during the first land conference held in 1991 and that is why there were no resolutions taken.

    Given the complexity of the ancestral land rights claims and possible restitution, the matter was thought to be impossible to attain. However, these rights and possible claims will be looked at during the second land conference.

    An attendee at Monday's discussions suggested that a tribunal be established in this regard and there was no objection from the panel.

    The workshop in preparation of September's land conference is an open platform where everybody is welcome.

    The workshop discussed the 24 resolutions that were taken during the 1991 conference, which at the time resolved that something practical must be done to rectify injustices done by colonial land acquisition.

    On Monday, Nujoma told attendees that his ministry would appreciate any inputs.

    Members of the public, across the country, were being engaged on the matters to be discussed in September, he said.

    The objective of the second land conference is to review progress on the implementation of the resolutions of the first conference, take stock of and address challenges encountered, discuss emerging land-related issues and come up with strategic resolutions informed by the identified challenges and future aspirations of the Namibian people.

    The minister further explained that the purpose of his ministry holding the conference was not to defend themselves, but to listen to the concerns of the people and to find ways how their problems could be solved.

    Nujoma urged the nation to be open and listen to each other and, most importantly, come out of these discussions with concrete resolutions on land reform.

    He acknowledged that the land question was a political, social and economic issue.

    According to him it is about addressing dispossession, equity and promoting productive and sustainable livelihoods through implementing programmes targeting poverty eradication.

    He stressed that his ministry found it important to once again regroup, consult and give Namibians a platform on the direction that the current land reform process should take.

    “This call is made to all stakeholders to review the progress made, challenges encountered and propose ways to expedite the land reform programme,” Nujoma said.

    He said this time they were also guided by and would make reference to their experiences as Namibians on what has worked, what has not worked, what needs to be adjusted, fine-tuned or totally discarded in terms of the land policy and legal framework.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Witvlei Meat threatens to terminate talks with AgribankWitvlei Meat threatens to terminate talks with Agribank Witvlei Meat says it intends to stop all settlement negotiations with Agribank of Namibia if the latter does not comply with a number of agreements within three days from yesterday.

    Alternatively, Witvlei Meat requests a written extension of settlement negotiations with definite dates for decisions to be reached, failing which it says it will cancel agreements reached so far and threatens with court action to recover all losses and damages incurred due to a protracted standoff between the two entities.

    Agribank has failed to restore Witvlei Meat's occupation of the abattoir at Witvlei despite a High Court order in April 2016 to that effect. Witvlei Meat has been renting the abattoir from Agribank since August 2006.

    In a statement issued yesterday Witvlei Meat said Agribank should have transferred the abattoir to it in 2010 already.

    It said Agribank “deliberately” failed to do so. As a result of this deliberate conduct, Witvlei Meat maintains that it has therefore become the rightful owner of the abattoir “by means of the doctrine of fictional fulfilment in 2010” as has been confirmed by an appeal court judgement in 2013.

    It said while Agribank thus far has failed to fulfil the transfer of ownership of the abattoir, the parties have confirmed by agreement that all legal matters between them be placed on hold since 24 August 2016.

    Both parties' lawyers were then instructed not to incur further costs pending settlement negotiations.

    Witvlei Meat stated that Agribank is well aware that its conduct has caused Witvlei Meat losses of about N$60 million.

    This figure was reportedly determined by independent actuaries whose appointment was jointly agreed between the parties since the start of the settlement negotiations and whose findings were accepted by Agribank as correct.

    In May the two parties reportedly agreed that Agribank's board would review a decision on a loan application of N$35 million turned down despite Witvlei Meat complying with all conditions specified by the bank's board on 13 April.

    An alternative suggestion was that the abattoir be transferred to Witvlei Meat at Agribank's cost.

    This cost order was awarded by the Supreme Court as well as the cost order as awarded by the High Court in full and final settlement between the two parties.

    “Witvlei Meat made a genuine attempt without prejudice to its rights to find a practical solution in the interest of all concerned, failing which Agribank were to make counter proposals to be considered by the parties in an attempt to reach full and final settlement,” the company stated.

    It said Agribank has since been given ample time to comply, but that it has “without proper reason” materially failed to do so.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Charge SME Bank directors - NafinuCharge SME Bank directors - Nafinu The Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) has demanded that the chairman of the SME Bank board, and members of the executive committee who were responsible for the mess at the embattled bank, be charged in line with the Companies Act.

    The emphatic call was made by SME Bank employees yesterday at the handover of a petition to trade permanent secretary Gabriel Sinimbo.

    Chanting slogans such as 'Down Bank of Namibia down' the emotional employees held up placards reading 'Job Muniaro Judas Iscariot' while waiting for Sinimbo to arrive to receive the petition.

    Reading the petition, Nafinu general secretary Asnath Zamuee said the SME Bank was being made to pay the ultimate price for the individuals who had run the bank into the ground.

    “We demand that action be taken against the culprits, freeze their accounts, seize their properties to government and lock them up,” Zamuee said while SME Bank employees were chanting 'We are innocent, we are innocent', 'Down Bank of Namibia down'.

    “We believe that we are the sacrificial lambs in this process that involves Zimbabwean nationals who messed up the bank and are now back in their country, leading normal lives,” said Zamuee, alleging that the Zimbabwean employees affected had already secured jobs with a minority shareholder in the SME Bank, the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe.



    The SME Bank is a joint venture between the Namibian government (65%), the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe (30%) and controversial Zimbabwean businessman Enock Kamushinda (5%).



    SME Bank's previous board was made up of cabinet secretary George Simataa as chairman, Petrina Nakale, Theofelus Mberirua, Milka Mungunda, Kamushinda and Ozias Bvute, who also served as CEO.



    Zamuee further alleged that Nafinu had brought questionable practices at the SME Bank to the attention of the Bank of Namibia in 2014 already but that its concerns had fallen on deaf ears.



    “We told them about the millions being held in the petty cash account at the bank. Our concerns were met with silence and now we are the ones to pay the price of government's inability to control foreigners.”



    She also claimed that the ministry of home affairs did not intervene when told about the large number of Zimbabweans who were working at the SME Bank without work permits.



    The union also claimed that it had approached the ministry of home affairs to ask how expatriates, particularly Zimbabwean nationals, could hold positions at the SME Bank without the necessary permits.



    “At the time we questioned why all strategic positions were occupied by Zimbabweans. We further questioned how the Zimbabwean [nationals] obtained the work permits, and we were ignored.”



    Given government bailouts extended to other state-owned enterprises, the union said it would always remember how the SME Bank was “left to die”.



    “As we are about to join the unemployed, we will be keeping a close eye on government. We will particularly follow closely if Air Namibia, TransNamib, NBC and other state-owned enterprises will be bailed out and remember how we were treated by our own government,” Zamuee said.



    The union took issue with President Hage Geingob's silence on the SME Bank saga and said there was no prosperity for all in light of the developments at the commercial bank.



    “Surely the president's campaign that no one should be left out has fallen on deaf ears. We are questioning if this is the road to what you call Harambee prosperity future,” said Zamuee.



    Asked about the way forward, Zamuee said the union would now look to negotiate severance packages for its members.



    “We expected the outcome. We are not naïve because nothing came as a surprise to us. We'll have to start the process of negotiations with the liquidators and management of the SME Bank and assess what the situation is,” Zamuee told Namibian Sun after the judgement had been delivered yesterday morning.



    Judge Hannelie Prinsloo yesterday ruled that the bank be placed under the control of the Master of the High Court for provisional liquidation.



    Ian Mclaren and David Bruni have been appointed by the Master of the High Court to manage the affairs of the SME Bank in the interim.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Gone too soon
  • Gone too soonGone too soonSad day as SME Bank shuts down The High Court has placed the SME Bank under the control of the Master of the High Court for provisional liquidation. In a landmark ruling yesterday, following an urgent application by the Bank of Namibia, the Windhoek High Court placed the SME Bank under provisional liquidation.

    Judge Hannelie Prinsloo, after hearing arguments by counsel for the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the SME Bank and its Zimbabwean shareholders, ruled that the bank be placed under the control of the Master of the High Court for provisional liquidation, adding that the respondents had until 15 September to show cause why the bank should not be liquidated.

    Advocate Andrew Corbett (SC), appearing for BoN along with Advocate Deon Obbes, told the court that the SME Bank's capital base had so eroded that by Monday of this week, it only had a liquidity of N$3.8 million available to pay out the claims of N$500 million of two large account holders at the bank.

    Corbett added that the bankruptcy of SME Bank would have serious implications for the Namibian economy.

    With total liabilities of N$1.06 billion, bank regulations require that the bank should have at least 10% of that amount – N$106 million - in liquid assets. Corbett told the court that the National Energy Fund, which had deposited N$400 million into SME Bank, and GIPF, which had deposited N$100 million, had both claimed their money.

    According to Corbett, the SME Bank is technically insolvent as its liabilities of N$1.16 billion exceed its assets of N$998 million by N$162 million.

    “There is no doubt that the bank is bankrupt,” he said, adding that it found itself in a hopeless position. He added that there was a compelling reason for the liquidation of the bank because of the misuse of public funds sourced from taxpayers' money.

    Sisa Namandje, counsel for the two Zimbabwean minority shareholders, opposed the application by BoN.

    Namandje told the court that even if the SME Bank was bankrupt, it would be neither reasonable nor fair to grant an order for provisional liquidation, adding that the creditors of the bank should bring such an application and not the BoN.

    The Bank of Namibia took control of SME Bank in March after allegations of the mismanagement of funds came to light. In his founding affidavit, the central bank governor Ipumbu Shiimi told the court that an investment of roughly N$175 million in South Africa by the SME Bank had placed it in a precarious financial position.

    Supporting financial statements by a BoN director Romeo Nel indicated that the SME Bank would become bankrupt by 27 June even if the money lost in the South African investment were recovered.

    Shiimi further added that SME Bank's majority shareholder, the government, had indicated that it would no longer invest in the bank and its minority shareholders had also not come forward with capital to save the institution.

    Ian Mclaren and David Bruni have been appointed by the Master of the High Court to manage the affairs of the SME Bank in the interim.

    JAQUELINE LOUW

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     Pohamba to step down as Unam chancellor Pohamba to step down as Unam chancellor Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba is stepping down as chancellor of the University of Namibia after his six-year term.
    Pohamba announced this to the media at State House this morning, after a closed door meeting with President Hage Geingob and members of Unam’s executive management.
    “I have come to inform the president that my term as chancellor is going to expire in November and that we need to have a new chancellor at the university,” Pohamba said.
    Pohamba was Unam’s second chancellor after he assumed the position from Founding President Sam Nujoma in 2011.
    “As from now until November we will search for a new candidate,” he noted.
    According to the university act, the chancellor shall hold office for a period of six years and shall be eligible for re-election at the expiration of his or her term of office.
    Vice-Chancellor of Unam, Lazarus Hangula, honoured the outgoing chancellor, saying Pohamba is an influential person in the country.
    “He has played a very big role in the growth of our national university,” Hangula said, adding that it won’t be difficult for the next appointed candidate to fill the shoes of Pohamba.
    “I cannot vaticinate what the future will look like but I believe that Namibia is a land of the brave. I am confident that the candidate appointed by the council will be up to the job,” he noted.
    Hangula also commented on the growth of the university saying that UNAM is relatively a young university compared to other universities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region but has become a university of choice.
    “Students of long established universities from South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have approached our university for programmes,” he stated.
    Part of the meeting was also to update the head of state on the financial situation of the university.
    Hangula said although Unam is a growing university, the current budget cuts have also affected programmes of the university.
    “They [programmes] are affected. We are not an exception [to the budget cut affect] and we briefed the head of state accordingly,” he said, adding that the budget cuts are delaying progress of the university.

    NAMPA



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    Cyclists gear for cross-country championshipCyclists gear for cross-country championshipNew trail ready for cycling Top cyclists are expected to put on a great show at the 2017 Nedbank National Cross-country MTB Championship. The IJG trails will come alive on 16 July, when some of Namibia's top cyclists take to the track in their bid to win the 2017 Nedbank National Cross-country MTB Championship.

    The event will start at 08:00 with the race for the young age groups, while the elite groups start in the fourth group at 12:00.

    Defending their titles will be Michelle Vorster and Xavier Papo, while good performances are expected from other riders such as Tristan de Lange, Herbert Peters, Marcel Holtz, Timmo Grossmann, Schalk van der Merwe and many others.

    The NCF has confirmed that a new course has been laid out for this year.

    “I'm excited to race the national championships again this year. I hope I take home the national title again. As always, it promises to be a challenging course. I'm not quite sure what competition there will be in the elite women class, but I am ready for whatever comes my way. My training has been specific for this race,” said Michelle Vorster, last year's winner in the elite women's category.

    Meanwhile, Xavier Papo, last year's elite men's category winner, says he is in good shape to defend his title again this year, although acknowledging that the competition will be tough.

    “In XCO racing, anything can happen on the day. The track was tough last year as it should be for the nationals, but I had a good race nonetheless. It is a great honour to win the National XCO jersey and defending it will be both rewarding and tough,” he said.

    Cycling as a sport has grown by leaps and bounds and the achievements of Namibian cyclists at local and international events are testament to the commitment and perseverance of our riders.

    Nedbank Namibia has sponsored N$68 000 for this year's championship. Nedbank was also the sponsor of the 2015 MTB Championships, held for the first time in Walvis Bay.

    According to Gernot de Klerk, Nedbank's head for marketing and communication, the bank's dedication and commitment to the development of the sport of cycling is just as steadfast and resolute today as it was when they introduced the first edition of the renowned Nedbank Cycle Challenge in November 1986.

    “Our support for cycling stems from our Go Green aspirations in which we promote cycling as a mode of sustainable transport and advocate for communities to lead a healthier lifestyle through exercise,” he said.

    Some of the Nedbank-sponsored cycling events this year include the Nedbank National Mountain Bike Championship, the Nedbank Cycle Challenge held in February, the Nedbank road cycling and mountain bike series which concluded recently, as well as the Nedbank National mountain-bike cross-country championship. This involvement will culminate in the popular Nedbank Desert Dash to be held in December. Spectators attending the championship this Sunday will be able to enjoy all the action at the Kleine Kuppe entrance to Farm Windhoek.

    The prize-giving will take place from 14:15 onwards and refreshments will be available.

    Anybody can take part in the race as long as they have a UCI licence to compete. The licence and registration form race can be obtained at the Namibia Cycling Federation website - www.namcf.org

    SPORTS REPORTER

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    Kuisebmond Queens reign supremeKuisebmond Queens reign supreme Kuisebmond Queens won the Erongo competition of the Dinolo Super Netball Tournament in Walvis Bay recently.

    The competition was played on a round robin basis.

    Kuisebmond Queens won all their games and topped the log with 10 points.

    The champions scored 79 goals, conceded 30 goals and pocketed N$2 000 for their efforts.

    Future Stars and Marinha finished second with 7 points each.

    Both teams won three games, drew one and lost one game.

    Future Stars had a better goal difference though.

    They scored 68 and conceded 43 goals against the 66 scored and 40 goals conceded by Marinha and were awarded second place with Marinha finishing in third place.

    Future Stars received N$1 500 and Marinha N$1 000.

    Erongo regional sports officer Mara Kandjiriomuini welcomed the initiative by African Deli under its flagship brand, Dinolo.

    She commended the company for assisting Netball Namibia with development and identifying talent by sponsoring the tournament being held in all 14 regions.

    The winner of each region will take part in the finals scheduled for Swakopmund on the 30 September 2017.

    The champions will pocket N$15 000, the runners-up N$10 000 and the third-placed team N$5 000.

    The competition kicked off in the Khomas Region the previous week and the Namibian Defence Force Composite Depot team won the inaugural event.

    Nampol won the Hardap Region competition at Mariental on 8 July.

    The tournament now moves to Nkurenkuro in the Kavango West Region on 15 July, Oshakati in the Oshana Region on 22 July, Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region on 29 July and Keetmanshoop in the Karas Region on 5 August.

    OTIS FINCK

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  • 07/12/17--16:00: Road racing returns
  • Road racing returnsRoad racing returnsTour de Windhoek makes a comeback The competitive Tour de Windhoek gets rolling in the capital on 25 August. The three-day Tour de Windhoek road race will take place in and around Windhoek and is expected to attract some of the best junior and senior riders in the country.

    The tour halted in 2006 due to lack of manpower to organise the road race but cycling lovers joined hands with Hollard and Pupkewitz Group of Companies to put together a total prize of N$143 000 to reignite the flames of road racing.

    There will be two categories for participation. The Tour de Windhoek (TDW) is a five-stage competition. The Tour De Windhoek Light is a three-stage competition.

    TDW stage one will take the Dordabis route and will cover a distance of 110km. TDWL will cover 60km.

    The team time trial (Stage two) will cover 23km (TDW) and 21km (TDWL).

    Stage three will take the route of Hollard-Bybass covering a distance of 88km (TDW) and 66km (TDWL).

    The fourth stage will be in the city centre (the distance is not finalised yet) and stage five will take the Tony Rust race track route and cover a distance of 114km (TDW) and 76km (TDWL).

    In TDW cyclists stand a chance to take part in the team competition, win a KOM and sprinter's jersey and the best rider will also be selected from this category.

    The TDWL will see women's teams compete for three minutes with a maximum of five riders. There will also be an individual competition entry.

    One of the younger cyclists who will be taking part, Tristan de Lange, said that he first took part in the race at the age of 12. He said that he has grown as a cyclist and looks forward to competing again.

    De Lange will take part in the senior men's category and said that he has prepared well but still has time to improve.

    He added that cycling is a distinct discipline, where he meets a lot of athletes who teaches him a lot about cycling. De Lange encouraged young cyclists to take the opportunity to compete with the best.

    The entry fee for TDW is N$2 300 while TDWL is N$400.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 07/12/17--16:00: Kickboxers upgrade
  • Kickboxers upgradeKickboxers upgrade Sensei Lesley !Hoaeb conducted the first grading ceremony of the Namibia Ring Contact Fighting Arts International and Kickboxing Academy in Walvis Bay on Saturday.

    Thirty-six students participated and passed their grading. The successful candidates received white, red and blue belts. A second group will be tested in two weeks' time.

    The students were submitted to rigorous training and skill tests by Sensei !Hoaeb with assistance from black belts Oliver Becker-Stauder and Andy Basson.

    !Hoaeb who recently defeated Johannes Gottwald from Germany at the Battle of Atlanta and became the light welterweight category world champion expressed his satisfaction with the performance and overall condition of the students.

    According to !Hoaeb the academy was going from strength to strength. He hailed the sport as a great stepping stone for those want to start in the martial arts and also encouraged persons who don't intend to compete at competitions, but are looking for fitness and confidence in their personal life to join.

    The kickboxing classes are open to all age groups from Monday to Thursday. The club has 90 registered members. The youngest is five and the oldest 56 years old.

    Master Joe Viljoen who became the first South African kickboxing champion in 1974 and is the president RCFAI will visit Namibia again this year to conduct seminars and training camps.

    OTIS FINCK

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    James Rodriguez joins Bayern Munich on loanJames Rodriguez joins Bayern Munich on loan Bayern Munich has signed Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez on a two-year loan deal with the option to buy.

    The 25-year-old, who signed a six-year contract at Real when he joined from Monaco for £71m in July 2014, made just 22 appearances in La Liga last season.

    He had been linked with a summer move to Premier League champions Chelsea as well as Manchester United.

    “Signing James Rodríguez was our coach Carlo Ancelotti's biggest wish,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

    “We're delighted we've been able to complete this transfer.”

    Colombia captain Rodriguez, the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, was signed by Ancelotti during the Italian's two-year spell as Real manager.

    But the playmaker found his playing time limited under Zinedine Zidane, who succeeded Rafa Benitez as boss of the Spanish giants in January 2016.

    He made 111 competitive appearances for Real, scoring 36 goals and providing 41 assists, but was left out of the 18-man squad that beat Juventus in the Champions League final last season.

    “James is a very versatile player. He's a goal scorer himself, he sets up a lot of goals and on top of that he's great from set-pieces,” continued Rummenigge.

    “There's no question that this transfer further increases the quality in our team.”

    Rodriguez has been included in the squad that will travel to China and Singapore on Sunday for a 12-day tour by Bayern, who have won the last five Bundesliga titles.

    BBC Sport

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    Steenkamp races to 4th victory in EuropeSteenkamp races to 4th victory in Europe The South African 100m hurdles champion, Rikenette Steenkamp, raced to her fourth victory in Europe last night when she won in Gothenburg.

    As has become the norm this season, the wind again was a definite factor. The Tuks/HPC-athlete ran into a headwind of 1.2 metres per second winning in 13.14s at the Folksam Grand Prix-meeting.

    Norway's Isabelle Pedersen, who is former youth and junior world champion, was second in 13.20s. Pedersen's season's best time of 12.75s ranks her 19th on the IAAF-list. Karolina Koleczek (Poland) was third in 13.32s.

    Steenkamp competed in five races in Europe, winning four of them. The only time she did not win was in Ostrava, but that was her breakthrough race. The Tuks/HPC-athlete finished second in 12.99s dipping under 13 seconds for the first time.

    Steenkamp rates last night's race as one of her best performances.

    “I am more than happy with the way my race played out. The weather conditions were cold and windy, and that does influence how you run. We have worked on a few things before the race. One of it was to be faster out of the blocks. It worked as I was off to a good start. The rest of my race was technically sound as well.

    “I honestly think I had a better race than what my time indicates but then again I was not chasing a fast time I just wanted to win. It is a confidence booster knowing I am capable of beating athletes who have run sub 13 seconds times.”

    Steenkamp will be returning to South Africa to prepare for the World Student Games in Taipei.

    At the same meeting, Sibusiso Madikizela ran a time of 8:33.32 in the 3000m.

    Anaso Jobodwana won the 200m B-race in 20.77s at the Spitzen Leichtathletik in Luzern. In the 100m he ran a time of 10.41s. Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks) ran 10.46s.

    Rynhardt van Rensburg was sixth in the 800m clocking 1:49.05; Antonio Alkana ran 13.34s in the 110m-hurdles to finish second.

    In the 400m-hurdles Constant Pretorius (Tuks) ran a time of 50.58s in his race. LJ van Zyl (Tuks/HPC) ran 49.71s in the A-race and Le Roux Hamman (Tuks) 50.25s.

    Dylan Cotter was sixth in the long jump with a best attempt of 6.90m.

    SUPERSPORT

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