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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Working towards quality educationWorking towards quality educationSustainable Development Goal 4 and Vision 2030 Education remains one of the biggest slices of the pie when it comes to the national budget, but there is still a lot that can be done, besides the financial inputs being made. Namibia has made significant progress since independence in 1990 towards achieving education for all. That is worth applauding. This does not prevent stakeholders from adding quality to our localised education system. The government is the people and the people are the government, hence it is everyone's responsibility to add more value to what we call our own society builder. Please allow me space in your newspaper to expose an educational project that has been over the years working towards achieving Goal 4 of Global Sustainable Development Goals of which Namibia falls within. I am of the opinion that this will create more awareness so that more Namibians can benefit from the nation building initiative. This information is worth publishing as we approach the August school holidays as per our Ministry of Education's calendar.

    The constitution of Namibia protects quality education in-line with Sustainable Development Goals, where the goal states “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. However, the national examination results show signs of disregard to this constitutional guarantee. It is evident that there is a need to meet government's effort halfway as we collectively work towards achieving the common goal.

    As a former part-time student, I have endured a lot of academic challenges towards achieving my university admission. It is an experience and a route I don't advise anyone to go through so I would like to use this space to advice scholars to study hard as we approach the external examinations.

    There are a few educational institutions that are also working parallel with the government One of these few is the Komo Academy, which has towards the provision of free education recently developed an e-learning platform for all Namibian scholars to learn for free. The Komo Academy is an educational project focusing on helping scholars in Namibia to excel by giving them another chance to learn, with specific focus on problematic areas experienced by the learners in the mainstream school setting.

    The project provides free education which is in line with our governments' operations. They offer programmes for both part-time and fulltime learners at their Centre in Ongwediva where at times they travel to different towns to maximise their audience. Part-time and fulltime scholars are advised to contact the institution during their free time in pursuit of reserving themselves a place at the university or next grade and reach their academic targets.

    Scholars can access learning content online by visiting the institution's online portal link: komoacademy.org to sign up and learn as per their respective academic needs. On the portal videos, audios and e-books on content there are very educative taught in government schools.

    It is every Namibian's responsibility to contribute towards the realisation of the country's set goals and targets, I am therefore advising both in and out of-school scholars to look into reinforcing learned content with Komo Academy or other relevant institutions that complements the content learned in schools to reserve their spaces at the university or the next grade.

    * Teopolina is a first-year student at University of Namibia, studying towards an honours degree in education.

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    Should learners grade teachers?Should learners grade teachers? The topic of learners grading teachers was first suggested by Richard Ferguson of Harvard University in the USA about a decade ago.

    Since then, a growing number of schools have put the idea into action by surveying learners of various grades and the results have been positive. Unfortunately the idea has not officially been practiced by all schools in Namibia, yet.

    The survey would be done at a minimum of every semester. This way from the first term alone, the education system can begin to pinpoint flaws in their output and work on them and this in turn, betters the marks of learners in the second term. At the end of the second term another survey can be done to identify whether changes have been made by the teachers or if the changes were indeed effective. This allows the education system to “polish” the changes and approach the third semester with full effectiveness. At the end of the third semester a final survey can be done to analyse the effectiveness of teachers during the year in response to changes. This creates a platform for the teachers to improve during the following year with the grading cycle continuing.

    This system benefits the school administration as they can identify the effectiveness of each teacher and thus directly engaging with them to help him/her improve. The teachers also improve as they know how effective they are. The learners benefit as they have more control over their education and learning process. The education system is notified on each educator's weak points and this allows them to monitor the situation and to take action if the problem worsens or does not improve. This method can also be seen as an alternative to learners changing schools as many learners in the modern day switch schools in the hopes of a better and more effective education which in unfortunately not guaranteed.

    However, if this method is put into action, a few issues also need to be considered. These issues include incorrect and inaccurate grading, teacher pride and teaching pressure. A learner may try to use a teacher as an excuse for his/her own unwillingness to learn. A learner might also grade a teacher as a result of personal reasons. Some teachers might not accept survey results as their pride might cause them to refuse criticism from learners. The survey might also cause teachers to work under increased pressure while those opposing it might step down from their position entirely.

    In my opinion with all considered, the pros outweigh the cons and the discussion definitely deserves consideration.

    *A 19-year-old studying architecture (first year) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, Titus enjoys designing, building models, drawing, reciting poetry, reading, playing soccer and engaging on social media

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    André Nel - graphic designer André Nel - graphic designer André Nel is a graphic designer at Intouch Interactive Marketing (Pty) Limited who strives for the best and creative designs towards meeting client’s needs. Graphic designers use visual concepts to come up with designs either by hand or software that clients want.

    During an average day, Nel says he spends most of the day being creative in his work, thinking outside of the box or doing research to help the design process for ideas. “I either get concepts from my clients or I have to create my own from scratch and try to work something out using design elements, until my clients and I are happy with the final product,” says Nel.

    He says his passion for computers and arts captivated him when he was younger, before looking into graphic design as a career. He believes that one has to have an eye for design and creating different look and feels using various elements. He admits to then trying to make the design perfect and appealing to the eye rather than throw too many elements into it. He says graphic designers need to be have communication skills to communicate with clients and understand design concepts well. A detail-driven approach to work, creative ideas and being innovative with the kind of designs they do so that their work appeals to the public.

    “When I joined Intouch, I also had the opportunity to work on animation software (Adobe After Effects). My skills are expanding rapidly and with design my skills, I can bring all the elements to life with animation, which is very exciting. What I like the most about my job now is design a concept or layout, and after the client approves it, bring everything to life by adding movement and special effects into the elements,” says Nel when he revealed the highlight of his job.

    Pull quote: “I either get concepts from my clients or I have to create my own from scratch and try to work something out using design elements, until my clients and I are happy with the final product,” says Nel.

    A graphic designer should:

    · Be able to think outside of the box to come up with new ideas.

    · Can create designs based on the clients specific requirements.

    · Have a good knowledge about the various programmes needed to create designs.

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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Jomosono Muremi - animator
  • Jomosono Muremi - animator Jomosono Muremi - animator “Animation is bringing arts to life with motion. A graphic designer creates a still design and an animator makes it move, pop and evoke emotion,” says Jomosono Muremi, an animator at Intouch Interactive Marketing. He describes his job as playing ‘creator’ by bringing still images to life and making viewers feel emotions while watching his work.

    A self-taught animator, Muremi’s day-to-day work includes creating animations for special adverts, campaigns and improving animations wherever it is needed. “I have to make sure all of my animations are consistent. By doing this, I have to make sure I understand the story and all the emotions behind it,” explains Muremi.

    Growing up, Muremi says he always used to watch a lot of cartoons and this sparked his passion in animation. “I always wondered how cartoons were created and I started off with editing videos that accompanied an element of visual effects. This connected with animation and so that is how it all began.” One of the people he looks up in the animation industry is Andrew Kramer, an American visual effects artist.

    Although, he did not study to become an animator, Muremi says animation is an art and “it should start from within”. He lists being creative and playful as one the best character traits one should have. “I like being in control of things, so animation is my playground. I get to experiment with different styles and designs so creativity is not limited in this industry,” he says. He also adds that if you are interested in animation, being a good sketcher would be beneficial. One of the highlights of being animator is being a good communicator and developing your interpersonal skills through his visual work.

    Pull quote: “Animation is bringing arts to life with motion. A graphic designer creates a still design and an animator makes it move, pop and evoke emotion,” says Jomosono Muremi, an animator

    An animator should:

    1) Be a creative storyteller

    2) Be able to sketch a conceptual artwork from a client’s idea.

    3) Have the ability to make a still design into a moving, living one that evokes emotions when seen.

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    Nadja Schnabel - web developerNadja Schnabel - web developer A web developer is a programmer who specialises in creating websites through coding and design elements. “A main project is never the same,” says Nadja Schnabel, a web developer at Intouch Interactive Marketing about her job, describing what she likes about it. In her everyday life as a web developer, she starts her day with answering emails following up with updates or changes that are requested by clients. “These vary from simple design changes to simply uploading content for clients,” explains Nadja.

    Only once she has all the client feedback and follow ups done, she can start with websites. “Developing can range from a website that only needs to be revamped or renovated from an existing client or a brand new website from a new client to be created.”

    What inspired Nadja to do this job was an introduction by the Design Academy at her high school. It sparked her interest because it had something to do with both design and technology. However, studying web developer is according to Nadja completely different to working at a company because “the real experience you can only get when you start working and start creating websites for clients” and that is how Nadja’s passion grew.

    From her perspective, helpful character traits for being a web developer are problem-solving skills, being passionate about code and design, driven, enjoy being challenged, have a logical approach to your work, be willing to learn, have an open mind, as there are always multiple ways of doing things, have patience with yourself, your work and your clients as well as have the will to never give up through all challenges.

    These constant challenges and new technologies, together with the fact that she does not do the same thing every day, are the highlights of designing websites for Nadja.

    Pull out quote: “Developing can range from a website that only needs to be revamped or renovated from an existing client or a brand new website from a new client to be created.” Nadja Schnabel, web developer

    A web developer should:

    1) Be passionate about coding and design

    2) Have a logical approach to problem solving

    3) Have a love for technology and aspects related to it.

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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Intouch overview
  • Intouch overviewIntouch overview Intouch Interactive Marketing consists of a young and dynamic team of experts delivering custom, cutting edge digital solutions in Namibia.

    Intouch is Namibia’s leading digital media agency and is based in Windhoek. Intouch has been operating in the Namibian market since 2006 and has grown to be the leader in our field, specialising in digital solutions that range from web design and the web development where we produce custom- as well template-based websites, with or without CMS (Content Management Systems) to custom software development, such as native and non-native mobile apps and tablet applications on all platforms (IOS, Android, Symbian, Windows). We also deal in custom-built touch screen based vending units.

    Our solutions are mostly custom built by our highly qualified team of designers and developers who passionately aim for the stars when conceptualising your platform, creating that ‘wow’ effect, exceeding expectations in delivering unique, professional, interactive and user friendly designs with intelligent, easy to understand and automated technology satisfying every customers’ exact needs every time.

    We also deal in digital signage solutions that allow you as our customer to communicate with your external or internal customers more effectively and efficiently via digital displays. Here we specialise in the retail, banking, telecommunications and corporate market.

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    A school with humble beginningsA school with humble beginningsEquipped with state-of-the-art facilities New, well-equipped and setting out with high standards and serious goals in sight. George Louw, principal of Chairman Mao Zedong High School sat down with The Zone and shared the history of the school and its strategies to excel academically.

    Named after the Chinese communist revolutionary, poet, political theorist and founding father of the People's Republic of China, Chairman Mao Zedong High School was donated by the government of China to the Namibian people. The school was founded in 2013 as the Jan Mohr Project School with only about 200 Grade 8 learners. “When we started we made use of the facilities of the Jan Mohr Secondary School with 10 classrooms and a small office for the principal,” said Louw. The school started with three management members, 22 teachers and two cleaners.

    Louw shared that in 2016, the Khomas Regional Office informed the school management that they would be relocated to Otjomuise where a new school was built. “We were excited when we came to view the school we brought learners with as well for the inauguration by vice-president, Dr Nickey Iyambo,” said Louw. He added that National Council chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams was instrumental in securing the plot for a new school to be built in the Khomasdal North constituency. The school occupied the facilities in the second trimester of 2016. “This is a state-of-the-art facility considering that we came from just a couple of classrooms and a small office,” he said.

    Learners at Chairman Mao Zedong High School now have access to a library, laboratory and sports facilities with a stadium and a tartan track. “Our learners have everything they need to excel not just academically, but in arts and sports as well, and we also have a music class,” said Louw. Louw also added that learners at Chairman Mao Zedong High School no longer have to stand in in an open area since the school has a multi-purpose hall. “The hall can be used for many activities besides using it as an assembly area.”

    The school has 23 classrooms and all of them are equipped with projectors as well as remote control monitors which are very useful for teachers to do PowerPoint lessons. On top of this the school has a hostel that can cater for more than 200 learners. There is also a sick bay, teacher's restroom and a resource centre.

    Chairman Mao Zedong High School offers tuition from Grade 8 to 12 with a total number of 653 learners registered for the 2017 academic year. Principal Louw says since the school is relatively young, the management of the school has put in place strategies to excel academically. “Our prime focus is to thrive academically and teachers at the school are motivated to achieve this goal,” said Louw.

    Louw also explained that the school envisions a Namibian school where learners, parents and teachers cultivate and create knowledge in order to achieve the highest standards of education and interpersonal excellence in the country. “Our vision is to be the school in Namibia that prioritises providing quality education that continuous high performance and delivers the very best,” said Louw.

    Principal Louw also shared that the mission of Chairman Mao Zedong High School is to establish a disciplined, peaceful, caring and stimulating environment. “The school also strives to develop learner's talents and broaden their perspectives to reach their full potential,” confidently said Louw.

    The core values of Chairman Mao Zedong High School are; tolerance, character, positive attitude and trust. Tolerance, to accept one another the way God created everyone. Character not to compromise what is right, positive attitude towards teaching, learning and life. “And we trust God in everything we do,” said Louw.

    In 2015 Chairman Mao Zedong High School's band took part in the Old Mutual school band competition. The band scooped the second place in 2015 and won first place in 2016. “Old Mutual also donated money to our school and the money donated was used to upgrade the music and arts room,” said Louw. Louw added that because the school is blessed with state of the art facilities, the school is thus committed to keep the infrastructure intact and protect the facilities from being vandalised.

    Louw described learners at the school as astute and well-disciplined and they understand the concept of education. “Discipline is a cornerstone in education at Chairman Mao Zedong High School because we believe education cannot take place in a chaotic environment,” said Louw.

    The Zone also spoke to Karen Lupalezwi who the principal described as one of the crème de la crème learners.

    Lupalezwi said that she believes her school is one of the best schools in Windhoek with top notch infrastructure. “I like many things about my school especially the facilities but I also love the cooperation between learners and teachers at our school,” said Lupalezwi.

    The first batch of Grade 12 learners from Chairman Mao Zedong High School will to sit for the Grade 12 national examinations this year. Lupalezwi shared her excitement of being among the first group of Grade 12 learners at the school to sit for the national examinations saying she feels honoured to be among those learners. “I feel honoured and privileged and I believe with ample preparations we are being offered by our teachers, we are going to perform well,” she said. Principal Louw also shared his excitement and expectations stating that the teachers are doing everything to prepare the Grade 12 learners at the school for the national examinations. “We have introduced study sessions, afternoon classes and holiday classes to ensure that our learners are fully prepared for the national examination,” he said.

    Louw further added that because this year the school is going to have their first ever farewell party for the Grade 12 learners at the school, the staff are also excited to organise a memorable farewell for them.


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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Fall 4 times, stand up 5
  • Fall 4 times, stand up 5Fall 4 times, stand up 5Four-time rape survivor speaks Every day, rape cases are opened at our Namibian police stations, but very few are granted the opportunity for justice to be served. Lency Ngodji, a four-time rape survivor wants to change the notion and create a safe haven for all victims like her by creating a foundation called 'I.Am.Enough.' The Namibian police investigated

    1 661 cases of rape of minors below the age of 18 over a period of four years from 2013 to 2016. Of these victims, 1 577 were girls and 84 were boys. In total, the number of police investigations of child and teenage rape allegations over a span of 13 years was 5 524, from 2003 to 2016. Ngodji is unfortunately part of these alarming statistics and she wants to change the status quo of rape survivors being 'scarred for life' and provide a solution to the consequences of being sexually violated.

    “Growing up, I never had a good relationship with either of my parents and the divorce they were going through contributed immensely to this. I was always forced to pick sides during the divorce and this did not make it any easier on me as a child,” remembers Ngodji who grew up in Okahandja. After the divorce was finalised, Ngodji lived with her mother and at the age of nine, she found out that her uncle raped her when she was two months old. “My mother always disliked me for some reason. During one of her anger outbursts, she told me I was raped when I was only two months old. She did not give me much detail as she only mentioned that I was found covered in Vaseline and blood.” At that time, the nine-year-old Ngodji did not ask any further questions as she did not understand the situation fully. “I also do not know if any legal action was taken against this uncle of mine and after hearing this news, I grew distant from him and I never asked him about it,” she said.

    During the same year, Ngodji along with her mother and her new boyfriend attended a party in their neighborhood and after a while, her mother and boyfriend decided to stay at this party. “My mother did not want me to stay there as it was getting late, so she asked our neighbour that I sleep over at their house in order for my mother to come and fetch me the next morning,” says Ngodji. “While his wife and children were sleeping, he came into the living room, held my mouth closed and told me not to scream or else he would kill me,” said a tearful Ngodji. After forcing himself on her anally, he went back to his bedroom and he “continued like everything was normal the next morning”. This was the second time she was raped. She was nine. “Only after a week, I told an 18-year-old friend that I trusted and she took me with her to open a case at the police station, but nothing was done and we were sent away,” said Ngodji. When Ngodji turned 13, she opened up to a Life Skills teacher and a case was opened against her neighbour. “As a young girl, I was put under extreme pressure by my parents. My father did not want the case to get out as he was a very well-respected man in our community,” remembers a now 27-year-old Ngodji.

    Most rape cases in Namibia that involve minors and older men in the community are often settled outside court and poor families are easily taken advantage of as the perpetrators would usually offer the victim's family a monthly allowance for “damages”. This method is very common especially in disadvantaged communities and rarely do these men face the wrath of the law. “He was never arrested and the case was given to a certain detective that used to ask me questions. I do not know what exactly happened, but the case was thrown out.”

    After moving to Windhoek to pursue her tertiary education, Ngodji was raped for the third time in her room by men known to her. “I stayed with my sister and her mother and they hosted a party at home that night. While I was in my room, two men who used to rent outside our house came inside and they both took turns to rape me that night,” recalls Ngodji. The owner of property suggested that a case should not be opened and the men should rather “pay and this would go away”. Ngodji felt conflicted at the time as she felt her opinion did not matter and the only thing that was done was suitable for everyone except her.

    Her most recent and fourth rape happened in 2015 and it was at the hands of a man she trusted. “My boyfriend of that time was very violent and he had anger issues. He never trusted me and he always questioned my whereabouts. After I threatened to leave him, he beat me and raped me afterwards. He beat me so badly, I lay there unconscious.” She never opened a case against him as she did not feel the need to. “All my life, I never had anyone that stood up for me. No one helped me during my difficult times so I did not see the need to.” A stronger and much braver Ngodji now would like to encourage other rape victims to speak up and seek help. “You are not alone. I was suicidal due to all that happened to me, but I had to be strong for myself. I would like to make sure other girls and women do not feel the way I felt. Speaking to someone about it is very important and you need to make sure the person who violates you in any way is locked up so that no other woman has to go through this,” said Ngodji.

    She is now currently seeking any assistance from different organisations to help her start her foundation called 'I.Am.Enough.' to help victims get onto the road of recovery for other rape survivors as herself and to make sure women around the country do not have to suffer at the hands of those they trusted.


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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Show some interest
  • Show some interestShow some interest We are very ignorant about things that happen in our own country.The majority of the youth are not fascinated about what is happening at home. Many of us have turned a blind eye to situations that affect us daily.

    I do not know whether I should blame the advent of globalisation or, the rise of technology as part of the reason why we are no longer patriotic. I understand that we have become global citizens and thus, have access to information on many other cultures and traditions but that should not be used as an excuse not to pay attention to what is happening within our own borders. I was engaged in a conversation with about 16 youth this weekend about what is currently taking place in our country. We were discussing everything from politics, entertainment and finance. We rounded up our conversations by talking about the closure of the SME bank and how it affected us the youth. I was really surprised by the “don't care attitude” and lack of interest showed by the youth in some of the issues that affect us. The people I spoke to did not participate in the talk and their excuse was, it was not important to them. What really shocked me was that the same people, who said they were not interested in the SME bank saga, were up to date with current affairs of other countries. They knew all about the pop culture in America and what Trump was going to do next. They knew all about the TV and radio shows in Europe but had zero to little knowledge about the local NBC content.

    I really tried to put myself in their shoes and think like they did but, I was only disappointed. The picture was clear to me; we are very ignorant and show no interest about local issues. It's not wrong to focus on global issues but it becomes worrisome when all we care about is just how the Kardashians looked or how many goals Christiano Ronaldo scored.

    It is pretty simple. Read! Show some interest in the things that will directly impact you. You do not have to do much but just read and watch the content that will keep you informed about what is happening in your own country. Buy our newspaper, or any other paper, watch our local TV channels and listen to our radio stations and you too will have something to say about your own people just like you proudly do about other nations and their citizens. Be a bit more patriotic and balance the amount of news or information you get. Make it a point to know what is happening in your countries economy, sports, finance and many other factors.

    You will only be proud when you talk to people because you will be confident about the kind of things you say. Globalisation, the increasing integration and interdependence of domestic and overseas markets, has three sides: the good side, the bad side, and the ugly side. We all need to balance the good and the bad. If you do not show interest in the things that affect you, who will? How will we preserve our own culture and traditions if we do not even know enough about it?

    That is where it all begins. Soon, we will be dressing and talking like them because we chose to be ignorant about the things that make us proud. Your ethnicity and traditions should be something you love, not hate. I've had too many encounters with people who are shy about who they are or where they come from. It's important to keep traditions and culture alive. Everyone should be proud of where they come from. We didn't drop from heaven like manna. I understand some of the effects technology has on our tradition and the way they are shaped but, still there is no justification for not being patriotic about what is Namibian or where you come from.

    Until next time. Peri nawa!


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    Hopes for HIV cure revived by SA child in remissionHopes for HIV cure revived by SA child in remission A South African child born with HIV has surprised experts by appearing to be effectively cured of the Aids virus after just a year of treatment followed by eight and a half years drug-free.

    Patients with HIV would normally need to stay on antiretroviral (ART) drugs for the rest of their lives to keep Aids at bay. But this child, still off treatment and now almost 10 years old, has no signs of the disease.

    This and other recent, isolated cases of remission have given additional hope to the 37 million people worldwide infected with the virus that causes Aids.

    Yet experts urged caution, saying the case is extremely rare does not suggest a simple path to a cure.

    “It's a case that raises more questions than it necessarilyanswers,” said Linda-Gail Bekker, president of the International Aids Society (IAS), which is holding a conference in Paris this week.

    “It does raise the interesting notion that maybe treatment isn't for life. (But) it's clearly a rare phenomenon.”

    The child, whose name and gender were not disclosed, was part of a clinical trial in which researchers were investigating the effect of treating HIV-positive babies in the first few weeks of life, and then stopping and starting the ART medicines whilst checking whether their HIV was being controlled.

    The United Nations HIV/Aids agency said last week that 19.5 million people - more than half of the 37 million patients with HIV - are now on treatment.

    The vast majority of patients with HIV suffer an increase in the amount of the virus circulating in the body if they stop treatment, but this child was different, the South African researchers said.

    “To our knowledge, this is the first case of sustained virological control from a randomized trial of ART interruption following early treatment of infants,” they said in a summary of findings presented at the IAS conference yesterday.

    The baby contracted HIV from its mother. Treatment with ART started when it was almost nine weeks old but was interrupted at 40 weeks when the virus had been suppressed, and the child was monitored regularly for any signs of relapse.

    “At age 9.5 years, the child was clinically asymptomatic,” the researchers said.

    Sharon Lewin, an HIV expert at the University of Melbourne and co-chair of the IAS's HIV Cure and Cancer forum, said the case threw up possible insights into how the human immune system can controls HIV replication when treatment is interrupted.

    Yet in terms of the scientific search for a cure for HIV and Aids, she told Reuters, it appeared only to confirm previous reports of similarly rare cases.

    “We know that very rarely, people who have had treatment and stopped it are then able to control the virus.” The HIV/Aids pandemic has killed around 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s.


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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Second Timol inquest starts
  • Second Timol inquest startsSecond Timol inquest startsFamily resists suicide theory The family of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol say he did not jump to his death from the 10th floor during a state police interrogation, they say he was killed. The second sitting of the inquest looking into anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol's death at John Vorster Square in 1971 resumed yesterday.

    Timol's death was ruled a suicide in 1972, however a private investigation launched by Timol's family uncovered new evidence which it presented to the NPA, asking for the inquest to be re-opened. The NPA agreed.

    The Roodepoort teacher's loved ones have always maintained that they did not believe Timol, the 22nd person to die in police custody, had jumped from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square while being interrogated by security police.

    Timol's brother Mohammed previously said: “For many years now, Ahmed's memory has lived on, but the official records have text that Ahmed decided to commit suicide during interrogation while in detention in 1971, on 27 October.”

    Mohammed said the initial inquest into his brother's death took place between April and June in an all-white court.

    “The magistrate was white. The prosecutor was white. The security policemen were white. The system was white. We knew that we stood no chance to get the truth.

    “The findings of the magistrate after many days of inquest hearings, which my parents and I attended every day, we could see through the farce, it was actually a farce, the inquest.”

    He said the initial inquiry found that the security police were painted as good policemen that never tortured political detainees.

    “Ahmed was not the 21st person to be killed in custody as a political detainee, he was the 22nd one. So all the policemen who were testifying about how they treated Ahmed [are not telling the truth], we knew very well that Salim Essop, who was giving testimony today [Monday] was almost killed and landed in hospital a few days after he and Ahmed were detained.”

    Timol's nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee, in the last 20-odd years has insisted that the family get to the bottom of what really happened to Ahmed.

    “We do not accept the security police's versions and the findings of that inquiry in 1972 and when the magistrate said Ahmed was treated kindly by the policemen, he was never assaulted, he was not tortured and Ahmed took his own life…

    “We cannot accept that.”


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    France to host talks with Libya's premier, military leaderFrance to host talks with Libya's premier, military leader France said it will host talks on Tuesday between Fayez al-Serraj, head of Libya's UN-backed government in Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar, a powerful military commander in the divided country's east who has so far rejected his authority.

    During the talks, President Emmanuel Macron aims to show France's support for UN-backed efforts to stabilise the country, “which would be based upon the involvement of all the different factions in Libya,” his office said in a statement.

    The oil-producing country has been mired in chaos and fighting since rebels toppled strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

    Western governments are pushing a U.N.-backed political agreement to unify the country under which Serraj's government was installed.

    But Haftar, who this month declared victory over rival armed groups in the battle for Libya's second city Benghazi, has refused to accept the government's legitimacy.

    The two men held their first talks in more than a year and a half in Abu Dhabi in May, and this week's talks outside Paris were flagged last week in several media reports.

    Diplomats say the Paris talks will focus on agreeing on key principles - that the political accord is the way forward, that no military solution exists, and that the military should be under civilian control.

    The turmoil in Libya has allowed Islamist State militants and people-traffickers to thrive: the North African country is the main point of embarcation for migrants attempting the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean to Europe.

    With no national army, brigades of former rebels who once fought together to oust Gaddafi have become powerful competing factions. Each is backed by rival political leaders in fluid alliances locked in a struggle for control.

    Serraj is loosely supported by a coalition of armed brigades in the west of the country, but even in the capital Tripoli his government has struggled to impose its authority.


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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day NO CHOICE: An Indian boy covers himself with a plastic sheet as he waits for customers at a flower stall during heavy rain in Allahabad. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Tribalism is a dangerous enemy Tribalism is a dangerous enemy The disturbing scourge of tribalism has once again reared its ugly head. This time around a governor and former deputy minister found themselves hogging the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Even though Omusati governor Erginus Endjala had to apologise yesterday for private remarks made in June, it remains to be seen whether he was indeed sincere in his apology following the hour-long audio recording that has since gone viral. Tribalism remains one of our major setbacks as a nation and is a cancer that has reached epidemic levels. It is sad that this highly disgusting issue is being propagated by those who have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia. These are leaders that many look up to. It is sad that some people are turning what should be purely political differences into ethnic differences. As the late struggle icon Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo once said, tribalism will not take us anywhere. If we are to stay true to the vision of our founding fathers, we should stop this nonsense of isolating ourselves behind our tribes while rendering others’ useless and less important. Making degrading tribal remarks about others will also not take this country anywhere. It is our duty to despise the evils of tribalism and hold those accountable who have made it their mission to spew insults, name-calling and throwing irritating tantrums. We have different rich cultures in our beautiful country and none is superior. We are all equal. And working together to build a just society requires us to embrace each other as hardworking and loving Namibians. Let’s condemn the name-calling, derogatory attacks against each other and all other evils that have blighted our society in no uncertain terms. We must engage each other in a civil manner instead of drumming up hatred all the time to advance our self-serving interests. It is also worth adding that the culprits who are found to be promoting a tribal agenda be dealt with decisively. Apologies are not good enough. The culprits must face decisive action.

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    Commuter train under discussionCommuter train under discussion Discussions to agree on strategies to be implemented for a planned commuter train service from Windhoek to neighbouring towns are under way by the transport ministry.

    This is according to the CEO of the City of Windhoek, Robert Kahimise, who said the City's public transport system needs to be revamped immediately because “it is investable”.

    According to him, the commuter train is envisaged to operate between Windhoek, Rehoboth, Okahandja, the Hosea Kutako International Airport and the central business district.

    The public have been calling for the establishment of a commuter train for some time due the sharp increase in road accidents and fatalities.

    “We need to drive this initiative,” Kahimise said. “The immediate upgrading of our transport system is what people are demanding,” he added.

    Meanwhile, the City is also planning to set aside N$8 million annually for the next five years to acquire municipal busses to improve the public transport system.

    The City will also add seven bus routes during the next five years.

    This is contained in the City's five-year strategic plan which says 90% of the Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan will be completed by 2022.

    Windhoek's population is rapidly growing at 3.1% per year, above the national growth rate of 1.4% according to the 2011 census.

    “The population is fast approaching 400 000. Transport affects Windhoek's residents' daily lives in different ways. For instance, getting to and from work or, being able to access essential services in areas of the city.

    Windhoek, including its neighbouring towns, needs a new approach to ensure efficient and coordinated sustainable urban transport.

    According to the City, even though many challenges in terms of urban transportation, such as congestion, are in initial stages, the consequences of inadequate provision of public transportation are already measurable.

    “The urban poor currently spend on average 25% of their disposable income on transportation and roughly 87% of the population is categorised as low income earners who cannot afford cars, says the City.

    Furthermore, the City is aiming to expand the non-motorised transport network over the next five years. This includes pedestrian paths, cycle ways, signage and intersection improvements that are universally accessible.


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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Bogus land sales rock Rundu
  • Bogus land sales rock RunduBogus land sales rock RunduTown council employee implicated While stating that he has no knowledge of any wrongdoing, a Rundu Town Council employee is still in hot water for alleged illegal land sales. A senior employee of the Rundu Town Council (RTC) has been handed over to the Sisa Namandje Legal Practitioner Law Firm in respect of an alleged fraudulent transaction involving the sale of land.

    The employee in question, Leevi Kakukuru is the divisional head of roads at the town council.

    Kakukuru was handed over to Namandje on 19 June 2017 after he allegedly pretended to be acting as an agent of RTC public relations officer Benjamin Makayi and on whose behalf he entered into two bogus sale agreements.

    The two plots, erven 2569 and 2570, were sold to businessman Martin Shipanga of the Marula Trust for N$120 000 per plot during December 2015.

    Makayi denied ever appointing Kakukuru to act on his behalf and distanced himself from the matter.

    In documents seen by this agency, Shipanga is demanding back the N$100 000 he paid as a deposit for the two plots.

    Kakukuru allegedly failed to refund the deposit within seven days, which constituted the civil litigation against him.

    “It was further part of the agreement that an amount will be paid, and any amount paid as deposit and prior to transfer shall be invested in an interest bearing account for the benefit of the client,” Namandje wrote in the letter addressed to Kakukuru on behalf of his client.

    Namandje said despite several requests for Kakukuru to give instructions to the transferring attorneys, he failed and alternatively refused to effect the aforesaid transfer.

    This resulted in the cancellation of the agreements.

    “We hold instructions to demand from you as we hereby do, payment in the amount of N$127 000 being the capital amount and interest since December 2015 and legal costs,” the letter further reads.

    Approached for comment, Kakurkuru told Nampa he does not know what the agency is talking about.

    “I have nothing to say to you. No comment,” he said.

    Early this month, RTC suspended the CEO Romanus Haironga, for suspected meddling in investigations into his doings and that of other municipal staff.

    The acting CEO of the RTC, Matheus Naironga told Nampa the investigation is underway and council wants to give the investigator, Linus Neumbo, time to complete the operation.

    “We want to give the investigator a chance to compile all information and only once he has exhausted this, will we avail information on the senior employee of council,” he said.

    Naironga said the RTC does not want to compromise the investigation or make conclusions just yet.

    Once investigations are concluded, he said, council will sit and deliberate the way forward.

    - Nampa

    Sawi Hausiku & Peter Muronga

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  • 07/24/17--16:00: Two men arrested for ivory
  • Two men arrested for ivoryTwo men arrested for ivory Two residents of Katutura who were on Friday found in possession of two elephant tusks briefly appeared in the Magistrate's Court in Windhoek yesterday morning.

    The two men, Tjaonga Undjee, 43, and Simson Tjatindi, 49, are facing charges of the unlawful possession of, or dealing in controlled game products, to wit, two elephant tusks, but were not asked to plea on the charge. The bail for the accused was fixed at N$5 000 each but Tjatindi pleaded for reduction to N$4 000.

    The presiding magistrate, Vanessa Stanley, refused the bail reduction plea. “The amount of N$5 000 is reasonable due to the serious nature of the offence the accused are charged with,” Stanley emphasised.

    The two were arrested on last Friday in Windhoek while in possession of the two elephant tusks.

    Stanley postponed the case to 22 August for legal aid and further investigations.


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    Locals 'ripped' off in land salesLocals 'ripped' off in land salesLimited access to Okavango River concerns chief Ignorance is driving people to sell their land on the Okavango River to investors for a pittance, says local Hompa. The chief of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority, Eugene Siwombe Kudumo, is concerned about the issue where locals sell their land along the Okavango River to investors to construct private businesses as this limits access to the river.

    Talking to Namibian Sun in Nkurenkuru, Kudumo said his people who resided along the river have now moved inland and in the process sold their land to investors.

    He said through this move, investors have set up businesses such as lodges that are fenced off.

    This has resulted in people having limited access to the river which he says affects the livelihoods of many.

    “My subjects who were residing along the river have now moved to inland and sold their land to investors for development purposes, mostly lodges,” Kudumo said.

    Kudumo said some of the land which was sold to investors was not done procedurally as the locals only received amounts between N$10 000 and N$20 000 and gave away their land without taking into consideration how it will affect them and their fellow countrymen.

    Elaborating on his concern, Kudumo said his people make a living from the fish in the river as using well as the water for drinking and doing household chores.

    “Access to the water is important as our people are using the river to fish and in our region we do not have enough boreholes. This is why people are still using the river to drink water and to wash their things. If this continues where people are selling the land to investors, access to the river will be very limited,” Kudumo said.

    He added that when the investors arrive they inform the community that there is no problem and that they will have access to the river but that is not the case.

    After some time they become strict and prohibit locals from entering their purchased area or else they will face consequences.

    “When they come, everything is fine but after they fence off the area, you will see signs stating that trespassers will be shot,” Kudumo said.

    Furthermore, Kudumo said the amount of money the locals get for selling their land is far less than the benefit the investors get out of the deal saying that for the 99-year leasehold, the next generation will benefit from the land while the locals will be without land.

    “The N$10 000 or N$20 000 the people normally get is mostly used up within a week or two while the investors who are leasing the land for 99 years will make a lot of money from it, and even if they die their children will come and take over,” he said.

    This is why Kudumo called on locals to look into partnerships with the investors where they can benefit over a longer period of time from the land and have access to the river at the same time instead of being paid a lump sum of money and left to go seek for another piece of land.

    Kudumo also pointed out that the issue of people selling land in an non-procedural manner was a result of the infighting within the Uukwangali Traditional Authority after the death of late death Hompa Sitentu Daniel Mpasi in 2014.

    He alleges that although he was sworn in this year, the pressure group which is against him is still making things difficult for him to run his affairs and serve his people.


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    Desert Rose EIA under scrutinyDesert Rose EIA under scrutiny The developers of the Desert Rose project are keen to get the project rolling, having recently submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the N$8-billion project.

    This follows public support of the project voiced by governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, recently.

    Updating Namibian Sun, developer Brynard Kotze, said that they were waiting for the environment ministry to finish its evaluation of the grandiose project which, when completed, will house the first international convention centre in the country.

    “There is not a lot to say at the moment, we have submitted an EIA to the ministry of environment and tourism,” said Kotze.

    He also said once the process is completed, Desert Rose would be in a position to look for potential suitors to partner with Sun Rose.

    Mutjavikua, recently told a media briefing that the Erongo regional leadership were optimistic about the project as it is expected to enhance and further promote tourism in the region.

    “As the regional leadership, we're still optimistic that we're doing the right thing for our region in terms of enhancing tourism impact and to establish our country as world-class brand in that new industry,” Mutjavikua told New Era early last year.

    According to Sun Rose, the project will create 5 000 job opportunities.

    Desert Rose has however been met with criticism by environmental lobby group Swakopmund Matters. According to them, it is questionable why the development will take place in a national park.

    “It is highly disturbing that the project is planned in a national park which is of global significance. All our national parks belong to the Namibian people. They have a say when it comes to matters affecting any one of these parks,” said Swakopmund Matters previously about the project.

    The group also took issue with the quality of the environmental impact assessment that had been previously submitted by Sun Rose.

    “Consequently, an environmental impact assessment is now being compiled with crucial information lacking. On that basis alone, it is flawed and not worthy of submission and consideration by the competent authorities. More appropriate will be for an environmental impact assessment to be presented once all these critical aspects have been addressed appropriately in line with the relevant laws and regulations,” Swakopmund Matters said.


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    Brother nabbed for fondling sisterBrother nabbed for fondling sister The Namibian police at Okatope in the Oshikoto Region on Sunday arrested a 27-year-old man for allegedly fondling the genitals of his biological sister.

    The crime investigating coordinator in the region, Deputy Commissioner Naomi Katjiua said in a crime report the incident occurred in the early morning hours at the Ondjokwe village.

    The man was arrested on a rape charge.

    It is alleged the suspect returned from the cuca shops, went to the victim's bedroom, undressed her and fondled with the victim's private parts.

    The 49-year-old woman then screamed and woke other housemates who rushed to her rescue.

    “She is said to be mentally challenged and reside in the same house as her brother,” said Katjiua

    The suspect is set to appear in the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court this week.

    In another matter, 52-year-old Eino Nangombe lost his life in a road accident on Saturday.

    Katjiua said Nangombe was travelling alone from Oshivelo towards Omuthiya when he lost control over the bakkie and it overturned at 06:15 near the Onashikuvu village.

    “The deceased was thrown out of the vehicle and died on the scene,” said Katjiua.

    His next of kin are informed and police investigations in both matters continue.


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