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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/08/17--16:00: Rights for everyone
  • Rights for everyoneRights for everyone Chances are, if you are a child with a physical or mental disability, you will be denied your basic civil rights, including an education, in Namibia. The author Mark Haddon wrote: “For me, disability is a way of getting some extremity, some kind of very difficult situation that throws an interesting light on people.” Not only does disability shine a light on the disabled, but also on the character of their fellow community and elected government. Our failure to ensure that each child and adult who lives with a disability is afforded their equal right to a quality education, among many other things, shines a blinding light on what is in essence, our collective shame. The extent of discrimination against the disabled in Namibia was again highlighted last week when Namibia's education minister quoted 2011 statistics that show that close to 30 000 children with disabilities never attended school that year.

    The same statistics found that close to 50 000 persons with disabilities aged five or older had dropped out of school.

    The statement should have sent shockwaves around the country. It didn't.

    Not even an angry tweet or a call for justice from a Facebook armchair warrior.

    Adults who are disabled face a daily onslaught of indignities, with the majority of facilities and infrastructure staunchly anti-disabled. Most lack disable-friendly access points, room to manoeuvre, voice instructions and more that would enhance the lives of our fellow Namibians. The lack of rights, or the failure to implement the rights for the disabled, is again a sad reminder of how Namibia struggles with widespread prejudice and discrimination. This majority Christian-affiliated country seems to pounce at every turn on the opportunity to lay low those who are 'other'. We discriminate against gender, sexual and gender orientation, tribes, colours and language. We discriminate against pregnant women who didn't choose to be with child, we still pay men more than women, and we discriminate against the poor, the uneducated. It is time that we as Namibians recognise the similarities of a hard-won escape from beneath the suffocating, civil rights thieving, racist apartheid regime and understand and enact the urgent need for ensuring civil rights for all, not just the strong, but the vulnerable too.

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  • 08/08/17--16:00: shot of the day
  • shot of the dayshot of the day UNUSUAL: A humphead wrasse, transported from Japan's southern island of Okinawa, swims with other tropical saltwater fish on display in a tank for the Sony Aquarium 2017 exhibition in Tokyo on 31 July. The Sony Aquarium 2017 exhibition, featuring marine life common to the waters around Okinawa, runs until 13 August. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Stalemate in //Karas over 'Genocide Remembrance Day'Stalemate in //Karas over 'Genocide Remembrance Day' Consultations over the date for the proposed national 'Genocide Remembrance Day' ended in a deadlock after rural communities in the //Karas Region decided to wait before settling on a date.

    The affected communities said they wished to delay their resolution on a date until the conclusion of genocide negotiations between Namibia and Germany.

    This is according to chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Sebastiaan Karupu, who said his delegation accepted the stance. Speaking to Nampa after the last consultation in //Karas at Berseba village, Karupu said the communities felt they could give honour to those who died in the war only after there has been an official apology from Germany.

    “They feel if they start commemorating the sad occurrence without a conclusion to the matter, the anger and resentment will return and blot the important day.”

    The committee last week visited a number of villages and historical sites in the region following consultations with urban communities in all 14 regions of the country earlier this year.

    The parliamentary team will also hear from rural communities in Hardap, Otjozondjupa, Erongo and Omaheke on the enactment of 28 May, or another day, as 'Genocide Remembrance Day'.

    The motion for the day of remembrance was tabled by parliamentarian and Swanu of Namibia leader, Usutuaije Maamberua in April 2016. The proposed date is said to be the day in 1908 when surviving Ovaherero and Nama victims of the German war of 1904-1908 were set free or released from concentration camps.

    /Hau-/Khaua Chief, Johannes Isaack of Berseba said it would be pre-emptive to deliberate on the date, especially in a climate of conflicting views about the genocide among Namibians.

    “We should not be hasty. We should wait for a viable, peaceful time in the country to deal with the matter fairly as to avoid problems in future.”

    He also said that an engagement with Germany was necessary “for a new page to start”.

    Representatives of the Ovaherero and Nama communities early this year filed a complaint in a New York court against Germany demanding reparations and inclusion in the genocide talks.

    The parliamentary committee consists of Karupu, Emilia Nuyoma-Amupewa, Clara //Gowases, Jan van Wyk and Salmon Fleermuys.


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    Murdered for disclosing HIV statusMurdered for disclosing HIV status The state and the defence lawyers concluded arguments in the trial of Ivan Hoeseb, who in 2015 is alleged to have strangled to death his girlfriend and set her alight because she had disclosed her HIV-positive status.

    Hoeseb is facing multiple charges of murder, robbery, rape, violation of a dead body and an attempt to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

    Hoeseb in November 2015 pleaded guilty when he appeared before the Otjiwarongo Magistrate's Court. Later however, he pleaded not guilty to the other charges but admitted murdering the 26-year-old Elizabeth Ganses.

    He told the court that after strangling Ganses for about 20 minutes, he had fled the scene.

    The partly burnt body of Ganses was found at Otjiwarongo on 3 October 2015.

    The police, during earlier proceedings, told the court that the accused confessed that the couple had been drinking earlier at a bar in the DRC informal settlement at Otjiwarongo, before they had sex and Hoebes had paid Ganses N$400.

    According to Hoeseb, the couple had sex for the second time but they fought afterwards resulting in the death of Ganses due to strangulation. It is alleged that Hoeseb raped the lifeless Ganses after removing some of her clothes and afterwards burned the body.

    Henry Muhongo, the state prosecutor, said the state had established the cause of Ganses's death and it was not disputed that she died in Hoeseb's hands.

    “The only issue to be proven is the intention to kill,” he stated.

    He argued that although there was big knife found next to the body of the deceased and allegations were that the accused had used it to attack the deceased, the medical report established that Ganses died of suffocation as a result of strangulation.

    According to him, at no point was Hoebes attacked by the deceased as he alleged, and the nature of her injuries indicated Hoeseb's intention to kill her.

    The defence further argued that the lower part of the deceased's body was naked, her legs were apart and there were blood spots inside her genitals, hence, an inference could be drawn that she was raped.

    Muhongo further argued that a mobile phone was found in Hoeseb's possession at the time of his arrest at Okaepe village in Okakarara constituency and it belonged to Ganses.

    “The accused had no intention to return the phone therefore he intended to steal it,” he argued.

    He said the accused had set the body of Ganses alight to so that the deceased could not be identified.

    “He knew he killed her and tried to destroy the evidence to obstruct the course of justice,” Muhongo told the court.

    The prosecution further said the evidence given by Hoebes was not credible and according to Muhongo, Hoebes is not a satisfactory witness.

    “The accused's version that he cohabitated with the deceased as well as having a sexual relationship with her is not true,” he said emphasising the fact that the accused is not truthful.

    Hoeseb has several pending criminal cases of rape, robbery, housebreaking, theft and illegal possession of a firearm. These cases date back to 2012 and while he was on bail for one of the cases he allegedly committed in 2014, he committed the pending murder offence.

    Judge Christie Liebenberg postponed the case to 10 August for judgment. Norman Engelbrecht is defending Hoeseb.


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    Namvet seeks northern supportNamvet seeks northern support The chairperson of the Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet), Jabulani Ndeunyema, has called on the former SWATF/Koevoet members based in the northern parts of the country to come out of hiding and show their support for their counterparts camping in Windhoek.

    Ndeunyema told journalists last week that the former SWATF/Koevoet members - especially from the Aawambo - are not showing moral support or advancing financial assistance needed by their former colleagues.

    He said the situation has put him in a difficult space which requires him to lead a group of people from another tribe who are fighting for a cause which will benefit all SWATF/Koevoet members.

    “I have questions in my heart why the Oshiwambo-speaking former SWATF/Koevoet members are not part of the group camping in Windhoek? Why did they not come to march with us? They also do not give us moral or financial support,” Ndeunyema queried.

    “As most of the Namvet members camping in Windhoek are from the Ovahimba and Ovaherero tribes, I find myself being asked where my fellow Oshiwambo-speaking members are,” he further said.

    He also said thus far, they have been receiving support from non-Oshiwambo Swapo members and from a number of opposition party leaders.

    Ndeunyema hinted that some of the former SWATF/Koevoet members have been bribed or threatened if they continue supporting him.

    Late last year, President Hage Geingob and a small ministerial entourage met with the former SWATF/Koevoet members for nearly two hours in what is considered the first fruitful meeting between a properly constituted government delegation and the former soldiers.

    In that meeting with Geingob, they asked for counselling and treatment for battle-related injuries.

    They also asked for medical aid, pension pay-outs and compensation, education, training and skills development.

    The ex-soldiers said they reserved the right to enlist the services, guidance and advice of international bodies such as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice if their concerns were not tackled expeditiously.

    The alternative, they said, was to continue with their sit-in protests.

    The ex-soldiers added that the once-off demobilisation pay-out they received shortly after independence was not adequate.

    Namvet claims to be representing 3 885 “limbless, mentally troubled, blind, disabled and paralysed” former soldiers and says more than 10 000 former SWATF/Koevoet members are “rotting in poverty”.

    “You can see, ever since we had that good meeting with President Hage Geingob who welcomed us and told us that we are his children in his house and we should wait, we stopped the demonstrations because we do not want to disturb Geingob's administration,” Ndeunyema said.


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  • 08/08/17--16:00: Education needs our support
  • Education needs our supportEducation needs our supportNation invited to help sector The education minister has said that the country's education goals cannot be reached through government services alone. A landmark education initiative launched by education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa aims to appeal to the public to help the ministry address and overcome a long list of challenges faced by the education sector.

    At her state of education address, Hanse-Himarwa said the Friends of Education in Namibia Special Initiative (FENSI) is a non-bureaucratic and “red tape-free education support basket into which numerous willing and able 'friends of education' can pledge various forms of support” to help the ministry and Namibia to achieve its education goals.

    A FENSI information booklet notes that “so far our current education system is besieged by numerous challenges which government alone cannot fully address without the involvement of other stakeholders.”

    The programme is aimed at providing a vehicle to the Namibian public, the private and corporate sectors, international donors and diplomatic parties, individuals and families and others to help in whatever capacity suits them to ensure inclusive, and quality education for all.

    Moreover, the minister emphasised that FENSI is aimed at making the country and its citizens aware that education is everyone's responsibility.

    Through FENSI, willing partners can assist the ministry's team to “speedily attend to and solve the numerous challenges that our basic education is faced with, without being stalled by the administrative bottlenecks of government.”

    Hanse-Himarwa said the idea for FENSI arose following a result of a whistle-stop tour of education facilities across all 14 regions in 2015 in which observed first-hand the “deplorable” conditions that undermine the country's education goals.

    She said following the tour “I thought long and hard on how I would address this daunting and overwhelming situation.”

    During her visits, the minister said she “observed the deplorable state of teacher housing, sanitation, hostel facilities, administration blocks, lack of infrastructure and critical services such as water and electricity and the burning issue of un- and under-qualified teachers.”

    She said her tour confirmed the absence of libraries, science laboratories and information communication technology laboratories” as well as a number of “eyesores”, such as dilapidated and aging education infrastructure and furniture.

    The experience was eye-opening and “it was heart-breaking to see the long distances teachers and learners walked to schools and the environments in which they live.”

    On Friday, Hanse-Himarwa said that due to the country's current economic difficulties “I was forced to think of less costly and less bureaucratic alternatives with which to arrest the current state of our education's physical facilities and many other challenges.”

    The minister noted that previous efforts in partnering up with the private sector or others were hampered through a lack of coordination and are “often stifled by the lengthy bureaucratic administrative process of government,” the minister said last week. She said FENSI instead will seek to establish a more efficient stakeholder engagement and support mechanism that is modelled on the recently promulgated public private partnership framework.

    The ministry hopes partnerships through FENSI can help resolve or gain support for numerous issues, among them the provision of expertise in various subjects through training, knowledge transfer and relevant best practice.

    Donations are needed for relevant food commodities to schools participating in the Namibia school feeding programme, from food producers, processors, distributors and others.

    The ministry will welcome technical and financial support for various functional areas of basic education and direct funding assistance to schools in various regions.

    Cash or in-kind support for the construction or maintenance of education facilities is needed as well as the sponsorship of non-food items to various schools in the regions.

    Many more areas of need have been identified by the ministry with a plea and call to action for all Namibians to step up and help education succeed.


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    Teacher fathers child with grade 6 learnerTeacher fathers child with grade 6 learner A 35-year-old English teacher at Mbapuka Primary School in the Kavango East Region allegedly fathered a child with one of his pupils, who dropped out of school this year.

    According to a source, who preferred to remain anonymous, she complained about what had happened but the matter is not getting the attention it should since the learner dropped out.

    “Why is the teacher that impregnated a learner still at the school? Something must be done because we send our children to school to be taught and educated, not to come back home with pregnancies and be forced to drop out of school,” the source said.

    Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that the learner gave birth to a healthy baby girl a few months ago.

    When contacted for comment, school principal Ludwig Maghundu confirmed that such an incident had happened at the school.

    Maghundu said when the discovery was made the issue was reported to the Kambimba circuit inspector, Reinhilde Ndumba.

    He further said attempts to motivate the learner to return to school proved futile, as she was afraid fellow pupils would laugh at her.

    Ndumba confirmed that the matter had been reported to her office and said she relayed it to the human resources department at the regional education directorate.

    Ndumba said they were now waiting for a charge sheet to be drawn up.

    “Our office was informed about the case and that was in February. Normally at a circuit level we draw up a letter and a statement on the occurrence and send it to the human resources department at the regional office.

    “I made some enquiries and I was informed that they are busy creating a charge sheet for the teacher,” Ndumba said.

    Kavango East Region education director Fanuel Kapapero confirmed that the matter was being dealt with by the directorate.

    According to education ministry spokesperson Johanna Absalom, the ministry strongly discourages teacher-learner relationships.


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    Dungeon inquiry to start soonDungeon inquiry to start soonCollation of crucial documents a first step The first formal inquiry into alleged abuses by Swapo is to serve as a “gigantic political lesson” for all, says protagonist. The commission of inquiry into alleged human rights abuses and war crimes in exile will officially commence on 2 September, says the chairperson of the Committee of Parents, Erica Beukes.

    She has announced a final list of 13 national and international actors who have so far expressed their willingness to serve as commissioners.

    From the international community they are: retired High Court judge in Zimbabwe and acting High Court judge in South Africa Chris Greenland, South African advocates Carmen Beukes, Zinsele Khoisan, John Liebenberg, and Fuad Arnold, as well as Nick Bailey from Britain and Mirek Vodslon from Germany.

    Namibians who have indicated their participation in the inquiry are: Monica von Wietersheim, Paul Thomas, Toivo Ashipala, Hendrik Christian and John Nakuta.

    Other names previously mentioned were those of Namibian Leah Shaanika and Paul Threwela from the United Kingdom. Their participation remains unconfirmed.

    The inquiry, which is expected to run for six months, will start with the collection of documentary submissions of each period in exile, starting from 1966 to 1989, and the post-colonial period, including the Caprivi secession up to the present day.

    This process is expected to take about two months, after which the documentary submissions will be examined against oral evidence.

    The joint committee of the Committee of Parents and the Truth and Justice Committee that are spearheading the initiative said a publication covering the entirety of the inquiry would be issued on a bi-weekly basis during the investigation. This publication will be for sale in hardcopy and online.

    The commission of inquiry is to investigate killings and detention of Namibian refugees, allegations of torture, forced confessions and detainees, complaints by members of its youth league and Plan fighters against Swapo's leadership in 1976, the involvement and complicity of foreign missions and other instances, probing of the Johnny Ya Otto Commission of Inquiry and other matters.

    “This process will be a gigantic political lesson, not just for Africa but the world, on the dangers of a popular front,” commented Beukes on Monday.

    Expectations are varied, explained Beukes, saying it was hoped that the commission of inquiry would come up with comprehensive findings and recommendations based on United Nations conventions. Beukes said a crucial element would be compensation, not restricted to but including of medical and psychological interventions for the victims and their families.


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    Rural areas struggle to attract health staffRural areas struggle to attract health staff Vacant positions for nurses, pharmacists and medical officers throughout the country have not been filled for months now due to a lack of qualified health workers willing to work in remote areas.

    In statistics revealed to Namibian Sun, the USAID HIV Clinical Services Technical Assistance Project (UTAP) indicated that fewer than 200 health workers have been employed in eight districts in the Oshikoto, Kavango East and Omusati regions.

    According to Dr Johnface Mdala, a specialised family physician and advisor for IntraHealth International, Namibia experiences a lack of healthcare personnel.

    “Although our different universities produce thousands of nurses every year, it is very difficult to recruit them to work in remote areas. This creates a lack in efficient service delivery and causes a burden on the few health workers who are employed at a health facility,” he said.

    There is a shortage of around 400 doctors too.

    “We also have a gap of about 2 000 nurses nationwide and nurses are the primary healthcare workers.”

    Mdala said the high number of patients exerts pressure on staff at health facilities, which compromises the quality of the services provided. The effect of a high patient-nurse ratio has negative outcomes, including long waiting hours for the patients and overworking of the staff.

    “One always has to keep in mind that nurses are also human beings and they also need to go for their breaks, but you cannot sit down for lunch for an hour when patients are coming in seeking immediate health attention,” he explained.

    IntraHealth International, an implementing partner of USAID, last year advertised positions for 120 nurses in eight districts but fell far short of that number.

    “We learned that there are no people available and after consulting the regional directors, we learned there are not enough health workers. The employment opportunities are there, but no qualified people,” Mdala said.

    He added that IntraHealth International was left with no choice but to work together with hospitals in the different districts to request retired nurses to come on board again.

    “We had to visit some of these nurses personally to convince them to come back to work. After conducting medical check-ups, some of them decided to return to work and they are the ones steering the ship now.”

    Paulina Hango, 67, is one of the retired nurses who volunteered to return to work in her community. She retired in 2009, but says she feels fit and healthy enough to return to work.

    “I care about my nation and I can see the need for nurses. I love my job and I want to continue to serve my community,” said Hango in response to why she decided to return to work after so many years.

    The director of health for the Kavango East and West regions, Timea Ngwira, said that most young people do not want to live in rural areas.


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    ICT school integration slow but steadyICT school integration slow but steadyNot enough computers at schools Concerted efforts are being made to bridge the digital divide in Namibian schools. Namibia's education minister has acknowledged that there are serious concerns about the low integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) at Namibian schools but said numerous committed efforts were under way to change the situation.

    At the annual State of Education address last week, Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa noted that “ICT penetration, both in terms of access and use, into the school system remains low, with many schools not exposed to ICT at all. Especially schools without electricity are left behind.”

    Educators and employment experts warn that ICT skills are crucial and non-negotiable for employment and life in general in the 21st century.

    “All professions require ICT skills. Not only professions, but life in general demands knowledge of ICT tools. The ministries of home affairs and health are going digital. So there is a need for the education ministry to produce learners who will fit into society,” says Leo Svotwa, principal of Tanben College.

    Jobs Unlimited general manager Gerhard Jansen agrees that “almost every vacancy advertised requires at least a basic level of computer literacy. Even jobs in which you don't necessarily have to sit behind a computer all day require a basic understanding of MS office and other applications.”

    He says job applicants who are not computer literate struggle to find jobs.

    Jansen adds that with the fast-paced changes in the ICT sector, it is crucial to ensure that learners are not taught out-dated programmes or skills, a situation the minister on Friday said is a tricky aspect of addressing ICT challenges in schools.

    “While the ministry has developed strategies to face the sector's challenges, new ones are emerging, and this results in additional priorities,” the minister said.

    The minister emphasised that while the education budget would “never be responsible to the targets” of ICT in education programmes, the ministry had nevertheless begun with urgent revisions of ICT in education policies and related implementation plans to ensure the country's ICT education was aligned with global priorities.

    She said the ministry was fortunate that “all stakeholders' efforts that support our initiatives in the education sector have been towards facilitating efficient and effective implementation of ICT programmes in education.”

    Colette Rieckert, managing director of Windhoek Gymnasium, says that good computing skills today are “like good language skills. Whatever job you do one day, if you have good computer skills, it will always be a huge benefit.”

    Things are improving

    Hanse-Himarwa on Friday said that even schools that had ICT devices and connectivity struggled to provide learners with the necessary skills and information as “pedagogical use is low due to lack of professional development courses, pedagogical support and lack of ICT-related content.”

    The minister said one of the factors influencing the roll-out of widespread and quality ICT education was “an overall lack of adequate ICT training opportunities for teachers, and we have observed that adequate professional development courses are not made available for teachers to utilise ICT in a pedagogically meaningful way.”

    Olga Maartens, senior education officer responsible for computer studies, ICT literacy and information and communications at the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), says in most cases the problem “boils down to not enough computers at schools” or maintenance issues.

    She says through her work in training and assisting teachers countrywide, “their complaints were not inadequate skills, but rather inadequate facilities, computers specifically, at schools.”

    Nevertheless, Maartens says there are several lines of strategy being employed to resolve ICT issues at schools.

    She says often teachers can do more with little, and that they are encouraged to think outside of the box even when there are too few computers.

    According to her teachers can make use of mobile devices, which many learners and teachers already own, as a way to engage with students on the subjects.

    “Teachers can in so many ways still utilise these, even if learners are not allowed to bring their devices to school. Teachers should start thinking innovatively and implement blended teaching and learning,” she advises.

    Maartens says the ministry is also offering workshops for ICT integration to teachers on regional level, and the ministry offers round-the-clock support to teachers and schools on issues related to ICT and computer studies.


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  • 08/08/17--16:00: Zuma stays put
  • Zuma stays putZuma stays put South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has survived a motion of no confidence in his presidency, held via secret ballot in parliament.

    Following a two-hour debate and lengthy voting process, 198 MPs voted against the Democratic Alliance's bid to remove Zuma, while 177 voted for.

    About 30 ANC MPs voted for Zuma to be removed.

    A simple majority of 201 votes was required to remove Zuma as president.

    Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete announced on Monday that the vote would be held via secret ballot for the first time ever.

    Zuma had survived several previous motions of no confidence in his presidency over the last eight years, all held via open ballot.

    DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who tabled the motion, earlier asked MPs to act “courageously” and vote Zuma out. He said this vote was not about political parties, but about the people of South Africa.

    ANC leaders who spoke against the motion, including defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, accused the opposition parties of seeking “regime change” through voting Zuma out.

    The failure of the motion will strengthen Zuma's position in the party and strengthen the belief that the ANC does not have the capacity to recall Zuma, irrespective of the amounts of scandals he has been embroiled in.

    The party goes to an elective conference in December, where Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to challenge Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former AU commission chair, for the ANC presidency.

    Some of Ramaphosa's supporters have recently warned that a successful motion would have put him in an awkward position, where Zuma was still ANC president, but Ramaphosa had to run the country until December.


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  • 08/08/17--16:00: Jobless dads given reprieve
  • Jobless dads given reprieveJobless dads given reprieve The High Court has set aside the Keetmanshoop Maintenance Court's conviction and sentencing of two men for failure to pay child maintenance.

    Two fathers, both unemployed, were wrongly convicted of not paying maintenance after having entered guilty pleas, the High Court found.

    The High Court found in both cases that the maintenance court had failed in its duty in terms of the applicable regulations.

    In the case against Fritz Guibeb, Judge Nate Ndauendapo concurred with Judge Christie Liebenberg and referred the matter back to the maintenance court and ordered it to enter a plea of not guilty and bring the proceedings to their natural conclusion.

    Judge Naomi Shivute concurred with Liebenberg in the matter against Paul Gurunab and made a similar ruling and order.

    The High Court found that Guibeb was convicted on his guilty plea without enquiry into his defence or why he pleaded guilty.

    Guibeb was sentenced to a N$4 000 fine or 10 months' imprisonment, which was wholly suspended on the condition of good behaviour and making a periodical payment of N$600 per month towards the arrears.

    The maintenance court further ordered the suspension of the maintenance order until such time that the full amount of N$33 600 in arrears was paid in full.

    The court on 5 June 2009 had ordered Guibeb to pay N$400 monthly towards the maintenance of his two children. When questioned about the arrears of N$33 600 Guibeb pleaded guilty and explained that the construction company he was working for had failed to pay its employees since 2010.

    However, it came to light that he was paid between N$500 and N$600 per month during the troubled period.

    In view thereof it was agreed that he pay N$250 towards maintenance. He was unemployed and only did casual work until 2016 when he again took up employment with the same company.

    The judge stated that the court should have held an enquiry before suspending an existing maintenance order.

    “The failure to hold an enquiry in terms of the provisions of the Maintenance Act constituted a misdirection,” he ruled.

    After Guibeb fell in arrears he was told by a maintenance officer to pay a lesser amount without an enquiry being held.

    Liebenberg found that the informal arrangement was in conflict with the maintenance order and therefore invalid.

    He emphasised that the court, notwithstanding the fact that the accused gave reasons for failing to comply with the order, still convicted him.

    The judge ruled that the maintenance court must first conduct an enquiry before suspending an existing maintenance order, and where a defence of lack of means is raised, note a plea of not guilty and hear evidence to decide whether the accused satisfied the requirements of the Act.


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  • 08/08/17--16:00: Bail rules too lax
  • Bail rules too laxBail rules too laxForeign suspects abscond too easily Legal experts believe that the issue of bail in high-profile cases should be revised to keep up with a changing world. The bail conditions of suspects implicated in the massive N$3.5 billion tax evasion, fraud and money-laundering case before the Windhoek Magistrate's Court have been criticised by the ombudsman, John Walters, and a legal expert.

    This follows the disappearance of one of the suspects, as well as the reported death of one of the accused in China recently.

    The Windhoek Magistrate's Court was last week informed of the death of Zhu Honggang, one of the first suspects to be arrested in the high profile case, in China. He was out on bail of N$500 000.

    The court also issued a warrant of arrest for Jinrong Huang, who failed to attend court proceedings last week.

    As a result his N$1.5 million bail was forfeited to the state.

    He is still at large, according to the Namibian Police.

    Constitutional export Nico Horn this week argued that the Namibian judicial process is still stuck in the past and often unable to differentiate between serious and less serious offences when bail is granted.

    “I think the biggest problem is the process of bail. If you look at a N$3.5 billion count, then bail of N$1 million is nothing. I would not consider that very stringent conditions,” said Horn.

    He added that Namibia must adapt to a “new situation” with the influx of foreigners, which creates the possibility of huge fraud.

    “In the past we were extremely reluctant to grant bail in cases involving foreigners because of the possibility of absconding and if it was fraud then there were always very stringent conditions.

    They were, for instance, not allowed to withdraw money and had to report to the police station twice a day to prevent them from travelling,” Horn said.

    He also questioned Namibia's ability to monitor foreigners' travel documents such as passports, which allow them to easily abscond.

    “We must also establish whether we have an extradition agreement with China and especially countries that do not have the same judicial system as us.

    “In China, although things have improved in the last few years, they still have a very different system,” he said.

    In total six Chinese suspects are now facing charges in the case, including prominent businessman Jack Huang.

    Walvis Bay-based businessman Laurentius Julius is the only Namibian national so far arrested in the matter.

    In terms of their bail conditions, the Chinese nationals are expected to report at the Windhoek police station every Monday and Friday.

    They also had to hand in all their travel documents and may only travel outside the country with the consent of the investigating officer.


    Ombudsman Walters believes certain offences must be made 'unbailable'.

    He also questions why bail was granted to foreign suspected criminals while Namibian farmer Kai Rust's bail application has repeatedly failed.

    Rust was arrested on 27 January last year, following a shooting incident which claimed the life of an alleged poacher at his family's farm. He was only granted bail recently.

    “Why do you grant bail to a foreigner and not a Namibian whose home is here?” Walters questioned.

    Innocent until proven guilty

    Justice Minister Albert Kawana emphasised that bail should not be seen as a punishment; although he admitted that the courts must “catch up” to the changing environment.

    According to him, there are ongoing efforts to tighten laws but the granting of bail remains the prerogative of a presiding officer and depends on the strength of the prosecution.

    “Laws are not static. They are dynamic and the Namibian law must catch up, but absconding is human nature. Suspects will give their word that they will not run away but sometimes they do,” said Kawana.


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    No rift between Geingob, Malima - GovtNo rift between Geingob, Malima - Govt Government has dismissed reports that there is simmering tension between President Hage Geingob and the Director-General of the Namibia Central Intelligence Services, Phillemon Malima, over the SME Bank saga.
    The ministry of information was reacting to a front page article that appeared in a weekly newspaper last week.
    The Windhoek Observer reported that Malima was once again in trouble after he allegedly remarked to attorney-general Sacky Shanghala that Geingob was protecting criminals involved in the SME Bank saga.
    “Impeccable sources told the Windhoek Observer this week that the spy agency chief’s relationship with the president continue to be strained after he was asked to resign or risk being fired in early June, over remarks he made to Shanghala following a Cabinet meeting sometime in May. The Windhoek Observer has it on good authority that Geingob and Malima have been ruffling each other’s feathers for some time,” the Windhoek Observer reported.
    The weekly further said sources claimed that mines and energy minister, Obeth Kandjoze, overheard their conversation and reported Malima to Geingob, who then wrote a letter to Malima, asking him to resign or risk being fired.
    “At no point has the president instructed the director-general to resign or risk being dismissed as being alleged. This could not be true as there has never been ground for such instruction. However, it is a standing truth that all political office-bearers serve at the behest of their appointing authority, the president,” the statement read.

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    MTC sponsors Okakarara horse racingMTC sponsors Okakarara horse racing Mobile telecommunications service provider MTC has pledged a N$90 000 sponsorship of horse racing at Okakarara.

    N$55 000 of the sponsorship is monetary and N$35 000 in-kind (bibs; safari hats and T-shirts).

    “The company will continue its commitment to give back to community through its corporate social responsibility programme,” said MTC's sponsorship and promotions manager, Joseph Mundjindi, at the opening of the Okakarara 2017 trade fair.

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  • 08/09/17--16:00: Mannetti wants job done
  • Mannetti wants job doneMannetti wants job doneUirab replaces Kazapua The Brave Warriors will travel to the Comoros Islands on Saturday for their African Nations Championships (Chan) final qualifying round first-leg match. Namibia's national football team is likely to dominate ball possession in their next encounter against the Comoros Islands, coach Ricardo Mannetti says.

    The two teams will meet in the Comoros on Sunday for the first leg of the CHAN final qualifying round.

    The return leg of the match will be played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on 20 August.

    The team will travel to the island nation without goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

    Kazapua has been replaced by former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Charles Uirab.

    The coach is confident that the Brave Warriors will create enough chances to get the job done.

    The home team is likely to play long balls, while Namibia is expected to play passing football, he said.

    “We are not going to take our opponents lightly in view of the fact that they have already beaten Lesotho in the last round.

    “Our aim is to go to the islands and get a victory even though we will still have to play the second leg at home.

    “From what I have observed, the Comoros play more to their crowd than on tactics,” Mannetti said.

    The coach spoke highly of his current squad, stating that they are the best he has seen them in three months.

    The spirit in the Warriors training camp is said to be higher than when they travelled to the Cosafa tournament a month ago.

    “I want all the players to score goals, but we will mostly rely on our target man, Hendrik Somaeb.

    “He is such a very good player that I know he can score goals when he is given the chance. He is a goal poacher.”

    The team has also been boosted by the recovery of captain Ronald Ketjijere, who had a muscle injury.

    Petrus Shitembi has also recovered from his injuries.

    The team will depart on Saturday afternoon on an Air Namibia chartered plane.

    They are expected to fly back to Namibia on Sunday at 18:00 with the same plane.

    Team manager Tim Isaacs explained that the plane was made available after negotiations between the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Air Namibia.

    “This will make it possible for us to have enough rest and preparation time because we are now travelling directly to the Comoros.

    “Air Namibia and the NFA made this possible to us by negotiating lower prices for the charter plane,” Isaacs said.

    If the Warriors qualify, they will get close to N$2.2 million while booking their place at their first CHAN tournament.


    Goalkeepers: Charles Uirab and Edward Maova. Defenders: Tiberius Lombard, Charles Hambira, Ferdinand Karongee, Riaan Hanamub, Larry Horaeb and Edmund Kambanda, Midfielders: Ronald Ketjijere (captain), Dynamo Fredericks, Oswaldo Xamseb, Immanuel Heita, Benyamin Nenkavu, Petrus Shitembi and Absalom Iimbondi. Strikers: Itamunua Keimuine, Hendrick Somaeb, Roger Katjiteo, Mapenzi Muwanei and Muna Katupose.


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  • 08/09/17--16:00: Wayde cruises to 400m gold
  • Wayde cruises to 400m goldWayde cruises to 400m goldAs IAAF quarantines stomach-bug victims Wayde van Niekerk added another World Championships gold medal to his list after winning the 400m run. South African star Wayde van Neikerk is halfway to his target of the 400 metres and 200m world double after easing to victory in the former in London on Tuesday.

    The 25-year-old's task of landing both eased considerably with main rival Isaac Makwala of Botswana barred from running by the sport's governing body because he had been diagnosed with the highly contagious norovirus.

    It didn't prevent the 30-year-old from turning up at the warm-up track only to be turned away. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said he should be in quarantine and not near the track.

    “It was definitely a heart-breaking moment,” Van Niekerk said. “I have a lot of sympathy for Isaac.

    “It is quite disappointing. I would have liked him to have his opportunity.

    “But this is sports, these things happen.” Van Niekerk added that the double was not a given. “It's easier said than done,” he said. “Its competition, it's very unpredictable.

    “My body still feels very good. It took me a while to recover on Tuesday.

    “But from endurance I go straight to speed. It's a day-by-day, step-by-step process for us athletes.”

    Botswana suffered further disappointment as 800m race favourite Nijel Amos, second on the same track in the 2012 Olympic final faded to finish fifth with Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse taking a deserved gold for a bold and brave performance which he revealed afterwards reflected his love of gambling. “I am a gambler, I love going to the casino,” said Bosse.

    “And today I just gambled, I put everything on the red, even my last Euro. So hopefully, this is also for luck in love.” However, for his compatriot Renaud Lavillenie his world gold drought continued even in the stadium where he won Olympic gold in 2012.

    The Frenchman had to settle for bronze, his fifth minor medal in the world championships with American Sam Kendricks taking the title in front of his parents and girlfriend to boot.

    Conselsus Kipruto maintained Kenya's fine record in the men's 3 000 metres steeplechase winning in cheeky style from Morocco's Soufiane El bakkali with long-time leader Evan Jager of the United States third.

    Kipruto appeared to be under pressure from Elbakkali going to the last obstacle but once over it the Olympic champion cupped his hand to his ear and pounded his chest. “I used my plans well and for morale I told myself: 'I am Olympic champion and that others must break me',” said Kipruto.

    “There are others who are strong but I used my own plans. I knew if the race was around 8:10 that I was going to win.” There was a second world title for the Czech Republic's women's javelin world record holder Barbora Spotakova. The 36-year-old two-time Olympic champion won with a mark of 66.76 metres. “At this stadium, I am unbeatable,” said Spotakova.

    “There must be something in the air about London. I cannot explain it but when I enter this stadium, I always feel so calm and relaxed.

    “The whole day I was thinking about my last world title which was ten years ago in Osaka. Actually, it is also almost exactly five years since my Olympic title here in London. These facts made me feel very emotional.”

    There could also be a women's double in the 200 and 400m as Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the Bahamas 400m Olympic champion, looked good in her 200m heat.


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    Real beat Man United in Super CupReal beat Man United in Super Cup A delightful goal by Isco proved the difference as Real Madrid survived a Manchester United fight back to win 2-1 and lift the Uefa Super Cup in the Macedonian capital of Skopje on Tuesday.

    Casemiro put the reigning European champions in front on 24 minutes on a steamy summer's night in the Balkans and Isco doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half after a one-two with Gareth Bale.

    The gulf in class between Madrid for whom Cristiano Ronaldo appeared as a late substitute and Europa League winners United that Jose Mourinho had feared was all too evident and it looked like the Spaniards would go on to win by a wider margin.

    But Romelu Lukaku pulled one back just past the hour, marking his competitive debut for United with a goal and sparking a big improvement from the Premier League club in the final stages.

    It was to no avail, with Zinedine Zidane's side winning this trophy for the second year running and the fourth time overall. It is the eighth time in nine years that a Spanish club has won the Super Cup.

    While Ronaldo started on the bench for Madrid having only commenced pre-season training at the weekend, Bale was included in the line-up.

    United boss Mourinho caused a stir on Monday when he claimed he would make a bid to take the Welshman to Old Trafford if he were not a starter at the Philip II Arena.

    Despite the presence of £75 million signing Lukaku up front, with Paul Pogba behind, United gave the impression that they could do with some extra inspiration in the final third. Having missed much of last season's run-in due to injury, Bale is fit again, but it was Casemiro who emerged as the unlikely main threat going forward for Real in the first half.

    The Brazilian midfielder almost opened the scoring in the 16th minute, getting in front of Matteo Darmian to head a Toni Kroos corner against the bar from six yards.

    And the breakthrough came just past the midway point in the first half as Dani Carvajal was afforded the time to flight a ball over Victor Lindelof – another United debutant – for Casemiro to stretch and volley past David de Gea.

    De Gea, formerly a Madrid transfer target, then needed to intervene to save from a Karim Benzema snap-shot that followed a driving run into the area by Luka Modric, as Zidane's side were restricted to a one-goal lead at the break.

    Mourinho sent on Marcus Rashford for Jesse Lingard at the start of the second half, yet it was at the other end that the chances kept coming.

    De Gea repelled a Kroos piledriver but there was nothing he could do to stop Isco making it 2-0 in the 52nd minute.

    Surrounded by red shirts just inside the area to the left, Isco escaped their attentions by playing a one-two with Bale before coolly finishing past De Gea.

    Bale then struck the bar, and all this was going on without Ronaldo, who appeared from the bench to warm-up, raising hysteric cheers from the sizeable number of locals with sympathies for the Spanish side.

    United had a mountain to climb and were not helped when Lukaku blazed over after Keylor Navas pushed a Pogba header out into his path. Lukaku did not make the same mistake twice, converting the rebound when a Nemanja Matic drive was not convincingly dealt with by Navas, but the 'keeper redeemed himself with a vital late save to deny Rashford.

    And Real, with Ronaldo on for the closing stages, held on.


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    Old Boys take lead in hockey leagueOld Boys take lead in hockey league Four big hockey matches took place in Windhoek last weekend, as the Bank Windhoek Field Hockey Premier League entered its fifth round.

    In the Men's Premier League, youth was pitted against experience in a match between Windhoek Old Boys Sport Club (WOBSC) and Saints. while the latter's women's side looked like the team to beat in the Women's Premier League.

    WOBSC's men's team remain the only unbeaten side in the tournament so far.

    In the first match of the men's premier league, Unam encountered a BDO Wanderers side that has upped its tempo over the past couple of months. BDO Wanderers emerged victorious with a 3-1 score line.

    It was a game that shocked Unam, who did not expect to lose. BDO Wanderers with its new approach looked focused on the day as they did not give any space to Unam's tactics. This could hamper Unam's chances of lifting the trophy. Stefan du Preez of BDO Wanderers was the top goal scorer.

    In the second game WOBSC played Saints in a titanic clash that would pit youth against experience. The game was in high tempo as both sides had many opportunities to score.

    Goalkeepers from both teams were in outstanding form as they kept their goal posts closed. With eight minutes to go it seemed as though Saints would persevere but that was not the case as WOBSC came back to draw the game 2-2. WOBSC's player Siyabonga Martins was the top goal scorer with two goals.

    The Women's Premier League was also exciting as Unam faced BDO Wanderers.

    The tightly contested match ended in a one-all deadlock. A solitary goal for BDO Wanderers was scored by Bianca Muller and Ina Louise scored Unam's goal.

    The match between WOBSC and Saints concluded the weekend. It was a difficult day for WOBSC who had to play with a second string team as the regular players were unavailable for the fixture. Saints, who looked like the team to beat in this division, took over this advantage.

    They won the match 3-0 and now sit on top of the log.


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  • 08/09/17--16:00: Do your homework
  • Do your homeworkDo your homeworkTest drive a second-hand vehicle In the market for a pre-owned car? Ensure that you take it for a test drive and we tell you what to test. Times are tough and if you are in the market for a car, second-hand is most likely the way many will go at this point. We, however, suggest that you go to a reputable car dealer with second-hand vehicles that have service records. Also, ask for a test drive.

    Perhaps you regard test-driving a car, as a spontaneous, carefree adventure where you get the chance to take your desired and potentially new 'ride' for a spin around the block. However, it is much more than that…

    Carmen Jacobs of Wheels 24 speaks to Eugene Herbert, group managing director of Masterdrive in South Africa, to obtain advice on what the actual purpose of a test drive should be.

    Herbert says: “The purpose of the test-drive is to determine whether the vehicle you are considering to purchase will suit your driving style and whether you are happy and satisfied with all the vehicle specifications.

    “It is also necessary to test if the car is a comfortable match, whether you can for example, position the seat to suit yourself?

    Remember you will spend many hours and kilometres behind the wheel so think about the fact that long after the pain of having paid your money, you still have to think of how happy you are that you did,” Herbert added.

    The aspects of the test drive

    Eugene advises on the best time to undertake a test drive.

    1. Go in the morning when the engine is still cool and you can detect any problems on start-up. This is especially true of pre-owned cars.

    2. Do a visual check on the tyres — after all you wouldn't want to have a flat half way down the road. Ensure there is nothing underneath the vehicle as it would be a big let-down if you rode over the yard cat.

    3. Maintain the speed limit and match the traffic conditions. If you travel on highways make sure that part of the test is done on the motorway at motorway speeds.”

    4. It is best to always have the salesperson accompany you on the test drive should anything go wrong. If possible take a trusted friend along who at best will give you some objective advice, at worst company on the drive.”

    5. Expose the vehicle to multiple road surfaces. Herbert says this will give you a chance to determine how well the vehicle performs on various road surfaces.

    “Not will doing so give you an idea of its handling ability and how it copes with different road surfaces, but it will also give you a better idea if the suspension is nice and firm. Bad shocks will be exposed,” says Herbert.

    6. The execution of an emergency stop is another crucial part of the process; mainly be to check the braking system.

    “Find an open clear road and do an emergency stop — the car should pull up nice and straight. Any faults on the braking system will show up,” he explains.

    He further advises to make use of the time with the salesperson during your test-drive to inquire about other vehicle details.

    Herbert's word of advice is to use the test-drive to ask about warranties, service plans and service costs, maintenance plans, fuel consumption, carbon emissions, service history and ownership.

    “More specific questions about engine specifications like kW and torque can be found in information booklets and online,” he adds.

    When to seal the deal?

    Herbert suggests not to pressurise yourself into having to make the decision to purchase, immediately after the test drive or even after the first car you take on a test drive. He strongly suggests shopping around and to visit more than one dealership and test-drive other cars. He explains dealerships can be privately owned and may give you a better price offer or offer extras that others may not.

    “Also remember that at month end the dealer may be more willing to offer a better deal. He does after all have salaries and other expenses to settle and he may need the cash flow,” Eugene explains.

    An important factor to consider before deciding to buy is according to Eugene to be certain the vehicle meets all your personal requirements, especially with a pre-owned vehicle you would have to spend more time checking for potential issues.

    The test drive does not have to an unnecessary lengthy occasion. Herbert says that you should be able to do all of the required checks with a 15-30 minute drive. “After the car has been running and it has stood in one place for a while check and see if there are any oil leaks on the floor,” he advises.

    Important vehicle checks

    1 Interior - Check the convenient positions of switches and dials, the space offered the quality of the fit and finish does everything fit together nicely, is it all solid and made of good quality materials. Check the wear on the pedals and steering wheel. Does it match the purported kilometres covered?

    2 Exterior - Ensure there is no exterior damage, especially with pre-owned purchases. Look at things including gaps between panels, scratches, dents and rust. Also check for overspray in some of the sections not readily visible and if the 'bolts' that hold the panels in place appear original.

    3 Safety features - The safety features the vehicle is fitted with would be dependent on the price. Basic features include ABS, traction control, airbags, smash-and-grab and stability control.

    4 Parking features - Test the vehicle's parking mechanisms. There are various features (rear-view cameras, rear park assist, sensors) which can assist with parking; different cars can have some of all of these.

    5 Actual driving - The vehicle should drive smoothly, have visibility, check that the brakes are not sticky and the engine is responsive.

    6 Clutch wear - “Put the car (if manual) in top gear and engage the handbrake fully and then let the clutch out.

    The car should stall, which is good. If the engine still continues to run, the clutch is faulty. Caution: Be sure the handbrake is holding the vehicle stationary before letting out the clutch!” Herbert added.


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