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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: What a joke!
  • What a joke!What a joke! There is a generally poor build up to the second land conference, which is being organised by the Ministry of Land Reform. In fact, at the time of writing this editorial, it was not yet clear whether the conference would proceed as planned. It is reported that the issue was also discussed at the recently held Swapo Central Committee meeting. Before the weekend's meeting, the Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations Forum (Nangof) had requested President Hage Geingob to postpone the conference scheduled for next month. Uhuru Dempers of Nangof claims that the land reform ministry is not ready for a conference of such magnitude, saying that there is too much at stake and the conference is being organised without the involvement of all the stakeholders. This is not the first time that the readiness of the ministry has been questioned. Last year the conference was also abruptly called off and moved to September of this year. As pointed out last week there appears to be no urgency in dealing with the issue of land reform and there is clearly a lax attitude towards the subject judging from the conduct of the authorities. In recent months we are yet to see the ruling Swapo openly pronouncing itself on the land issue. This is a topical issue and whilst we understand the party is preparing for its elective congress in November 2017, there is a general expectation for Swapo to lead the way and come up with recommendations. They are the ruling party for heaven's sake. A conference of this magnitude does not happen overnight. It requires thorough planning and wide consultation for it to succeed. There is not even a date set for this event. What mediocrity is this? On top of that we don't even know who the so-called stakeholders are that are invited to this conference. The ministry has so far failed to provide us with clear details on what is happening on the ground and this is not only unfortunate, but smacks of arrogance and reeks of disrespect towards the thousands of Namibians who want an update.

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: Clampdown on wildlife crime
  • Clampdown on wildlife crimeClampdown on wildlife crime An intelligence-led investigation conducted in the Kavango East Region last week recovered uncut diamonds, ivory and other wildlife products worth N$4 million and four suspects were nabbed.

    The anti-poaching operation started last Thursday. According to the police, the operation included investigations and searches and 26 uncut diamonds were recovered, eight elephant tusks, one pangolin hide and a hyaena hide. The police said a 41-year-old Angolan and three Namibians, aged, 38, 43 and 45 were arrested.

    The value of the diamonds is still to be determined. In a separate incident in Rundu in Kavango East, four suspects were arrested after being found in possession of controlled wildlife products on Friday.

    The suspects were arrested at Rundu behind Ngandu Safari Lodge with three pangolin hides valued at N$30 000.

    Again, three Namibians, 41, 43 and 48 years old, and one Angolan, 22 were arrested.

    Meanwhile, an Argentinian professional hunter was trampled to death by an elephant on Saturday at Farm Mopane in the Kalkfeld district.

    The police identified the hunter as 46-year-old Jose Monzalvez.

    Police said Monzalvez had a hunting permit.

    Monzalvez, who worked for an oil company in Brazil, was part of a group of trophy hunters, two Argentinians and three Namibians, tracking a herd of elephants in the Kalkfeld area.

    According to the police, the elephant that trampled Monzalvez saw the hunters from a distance and charged.

    Monzalvez unfortunately, was unable to escape, the police said.

    In a separate incident in Mariental, a 17-year-old killed his stepfather for allegedly abusing his mother.

    According to the police, the incident occurred on Saturday night at a residence in Ombili location.

    It is alleged that the suspect stabbed his stepfather once with a sharp object on the left shoulder, killing him.

    The police said that the suspect claimed he acted in defence of his mother, who was being assaulted by the deceased. The deceased was identified as Lazarus Matheus, 46. The suspect has been arrested.

    Meanwhile a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her sister's boyfriend.

    According to the police, it is alleged that the girl went to see her sister who lives with her boyfriend, 22, in Khorixas. When she got to the house the boyfriend took her to nearby bushes and raped her. The incident took place on Thursday but was only reported on Saturday. The suspect has been arrested.







    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Swapo members claim Mbumba let them downSwapo members claim Mbumba let them down Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba says he will only meet with the party members in Rehoboth when the “time is right”.

    His remarks come after claims by Swapo members at the town that he let them down last Thursday when he failed to turn up for a meeting with them.

    Mbumba also urged the Rehoboth community to get their house in order and to make sure the party house is always open.

    According to him, he could not attend the meeting because “another assignment came up”.

    He added he had received “conflicting messages” giving him the impression that only some supporters wanted him to visit Rehoboth while others felt they were not ready for his visit.

    The party house, situated in the central part of the town, has been abandoned for years and is in a dilapidated state.

    According to Shuudi Ihalwa, who refers to himself as a bona fide Swapo member, no one from the regional leadership had the decency to inform them that the meeting would not take place.

    What annoyed him more is the fact that people came in their numbers dressed to the nines and waited in vain.

    “We even organised a braai and were singing Ndilimani songs to welcome him, but he never came. This will make it difficult for us to mobilise people for future party rallies. After this people will surely lose faith in the party leadership,” Ihalwa said.

    According to him, party members cleaned the party house diligently and now it appears Swapo has forgotten its voters at the town.

    “We cannot afford to go to the 2019 elections with the current Swapo councillors on board. They will make future campaign processes extremely difficult. We must regroup. We must get our house in order. We have at least three years to do a proper job,” he said.



    Call for nullification

    Ihalwa argues the party will only progress if Mbumba nullifies the Hardap district elective conference results and sends a team to monitor the election to ensure it takes place according to the Swapo party constitution.

    Mbumba, however, in response to Ihalwa's suggestion and sentiments said he did not have the mandate to nullify the results.

    In July, a group of angry Swapo members from the Hardap Region called on acting Swapo president, Hage Geingob, to nullify the district elective conferences results.

    They claimed that the elective district conferences for Rehoboth East, Rehoboth West, Mariental Rural, Aranos and Gochas were conducted in violation of the party policies and constitution, and therefore should be reconvened.

    At the time, the group also demanded that the entire restructuring processes in the region be nullified and that the conduct of such exercises be deliberated on by the party's regional leadership to establish a favourable environment under which they can continue.

    They further requested that the current regional leaders be replaced with other 'discreet' and fair' and 'impartial officials.'



    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: PAAB files with court
  • PAAB files with courtPAAB files with courtSays its act was contravened Auditor Hans Hashagen has to explain why he has not submitted crucial documents in a forensic report. The Public Accountants' and Auditors' Board (PAAB) last Thursday, filed its record of proceedings with the High Court in its defence against auditor Hans Hashagen's application to set aside a decision by the regulatory body to arraign him before a disciplinary hearing.

    Hashagen is charged with six counts emanating from a forensic investigation he has led on behalf of Ernst & Young (EY) into alleged misconduct at the Namibia Financial Services Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) in 2009.

    It is alleged that in his report to the Namfisa board, which commissioned the investigation, Hashagen omitted crucial information, which amounts to unprofessional conduct and possible fraudulent representation in contravention of the standards set in the PAAB Act.

    It is further alleged that these omissions have led to his “final, deceptive and unsubstantiated conclusions”, which led to the departure of the then Namfisa CEO, Rainer Ritter, after a settlement agreement with Namfisa.

    Ritter thereafter lodged a complaint with PAAB and the Institute of Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) against Hashagen.



    Ey investigation

    The Namfisa board appointed EY to conduct an investigation into alleged misconduct at Namfisa after it received a letter from a “concerned Namibian citizen” in December 2008 alleging corruption and racism by Ritter and other senior managers.

    It later transpired that the 'concerned citizen' were disgruntled staff who, amongst others, alleged that Ritter “constantly” demanded that black staff members declare their private business interests to avoid conflict of interest, while apparently never requesting the same from white managers.

    Ritter reported possible internal corruption to the Namfisa board, and some senior officials, the general manager of investments institutions, Boni Paulino and general manager IT, Petrus Kafidi, were suspended.

    The suspension of these officials was, however, overturned a few days later and instead Ritter was suspended, with Namfisa at the time claiming that Ritter was sent on sick leave.

    The Namfisa board decided to appoint EY to do the investigation to initially precede an internal disciplinary enquiry into the conduct of Paulino and Kafidi.

    Purportedly, it was to assist the board to confirm the validity and authenticity of alleged misconduct by Paulino and Kafidi, as well as the allegations levelled against Ritter.



    Terms of reference

    EY was appointed to conduct its work at Namfisa at a time when the regulator had embarked on very sensitive investigations into, among others, the defaulting on loans amounting to possibly more than N$660 million at the GIPF's Development Capital Portfolio (DCP).

    EY had to, among others, look into the validity and authenticity of eavesdropping devices allegedly removed by Paulino. Ritter at the time suspected that the eavesdropping devices were planted in the Namfisa offices to harvest voice data.

    It similarly had to establish why Paulino and John Uusiku, the then manager of long-term insurance, did not declare the disappearance of a laptop belonging to forensic auditors working at the Namfisa office at the time.

    Also to be investigated were the circumstances into the permanent disappearance of security files, and the failure of security cameras on certain dates, as well as the establishment of business relationships that could attest to conflict of interest of Namfisa staff.

    The terms of reference pertaining to Ritter's conduct involved the recruitment of Adrianus Vugs as Manager of Risk and Policy, as well as procurement of services at Namfisa.

    Hashagen was requested to investigate the appointment of Vugs two years after he had been appointed.

    Ritter in his complaint to PAAB claimed that the omissions from Hashagen's report relates to Namfisa's investigations into the GIPF missing millions.

    Apart from documentary evidence as proof that Ritter acted within his powers, it is maintained that the omitted information included the alleged security breaches at Namfisa, cell phone reports containing evidence of possibly corrupt conduct amongst Namfisa officials, and possible conflict of interest.

    Hashagen in his founding affidavit maintains PAAB's intended disciplinary hearing against him is unlawful, and said omissions in the EY report was made because documents were either not provided to him or fell outside the scope of the contractually agreed investigation.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: New media ombudsman named
  • New media ombudsman namedNew media ombudsman named The Editors' Forum of Namibia (EFN) has announced the appointment of John Nakuta as the new media ombudsman.

    He was appointed by a special general meeting held on Friday.

    A media statement issued by EFN said Nakuta teaches administrative law at the University of Namibia.

    He holds a graduate and post-graduate qualification in education and law and is currently pursuing studies for a doctorate degree in human rights law from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

    Nakuta's experience includes teaching and he was the department head for the ministry of education.

    He also held the post of secretary-general of the Namibia National Teachers' Union (Nantu), as well as being the general marketing manager at Trustco Group International.

    He also served as the coordinator for legal education at the Legal Assistance Centre, and was the director of the human rights and documentation centre at Unam.

    The EFN congratulated Nakuta on his appointment and wished him the best in this new public service appointment.

    The forum also expressed its gratitude to the country's first and former media ombudsman, Clement Daniels, for his hard work and the integrity with which he fulfilled his duties.

    According to the statement, the meeting also elected members of the public to serve on the Media Complaints Committee and the Media Appeals Committee.

    Their names will be announced once they have been properly informed and accepted their nominations.

    Additional members from the media will be appointed on 13 September 2017 to serve on these respective committees and a new executive committee will be elected on the same date.



    STAFF REPORTER

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    No compensation, no formalisationNo compensation, no formalisationOmatando residents say no to development While they are waiting for payment for their land, the Omatando residents have said there will be no formalisation of the area. Following media reports that the residents of Omatando and Ongwediva Town Council reached an agreement regarding the formalisation process, community members had a meeting over the weekend announcing no agreement had been reached.

    The residents added that council should not distort the truth but indicated if such an agreement did exist, council should present it to them.

    At the meeting, residents also made it clear that they will not permit any formalisation before fair compensation has taken place. They questioned why council is going ahead with its plan to formalise the area if people have not been compensated yet.

    The villagers also expressed concern over the fact that council refers to the land in Omatando as theirs when the legal owners have not been compensated.

    “The land does not belong to council, it belongs to the people of Omatando and if council wants to formalise it, they should compensate us just like its done in any formalisation process… what council is currently doing is not in accordance with the law,” one of the villagers told Namibian Sun after the meeting.

    When contacted for comment, Ongwediva spokesperson, Jackson Muma, told Namibian Sun that compensation will be done concurrently with the formalisation of Omatando.

    When asked whether it is being done in line with the compensation policy, Muma said the policy does not indicate that people should be compensated before the formalisation saying that council can do it after the formalisation as long as there is an agreement in place.

    “We will do it concurrently and we can actually do the formalisation first before we compensate, it is not a problem,” Muma said.

    When asked whether council has the funds available to compensate the people, Muma said funds will be made available.

    Meanwhile Omatando 1, 2 and 3 became part of Ongwediva townlands through the the Government Gazette No. 5038 of September 2012 in accordance with the Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992.

    The alteration of town borders about 8 kilometres north includes villages such as Oupumako, Okatope, Omusheshe, Okaandje, Okahenge, part of Ondjodjo, Oshidhilaadhila, Omayango and Ohendjele.

    Ongwediva Town Council also made a budgetary provision of about N$800 000 during the 2016/17 financial year towards the formalisation of Omatando.

    Thus far, council has commenced with the on-site verification process which is expected to be completed by end of this month.

    The land survey is planned to start in September and expected to be completed by the end of October.

    Last month the council informed the residents of Omatando that they will not be allowed to construct on their plots up until January 2018 as council plans to speed up the township formalisation process.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    King Price Insurance - One of the key drivers of the #FestivalKing Price Insurance - One of the key drivers of the #Festival Namibia will witness the first-ever Hashtag Festival from 7 to 9 September 2017.

    When Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) approached businesses in Namibia early in the year with the idea of conducting a career expo with a difference, where the focus is not so much on the private and public sectors as such, but rather on what they can offer Namibia's next generation, King Price Insurance was one of the companies which immediately understood that this is what this initiative is really about. King Price thus became one of nine chosen business partners.

    The company fully comprehends the importance of and principle behind inviting a large number of youth from a variety of schools across the country, to visit the career expo, which will be held at the SKW Sport Grounds, and compete in a number of sports and cultural activities.

    King Price's CEO, Justinus van der Westhuyzen (left), and its chief operating officer, Ian de Waal, were very excited to meet a number of learners from Tsumeb Senior Secondary School (TSSS) as well as the franchise manager Josef Katakula (middle), and the NMH franchise patron, Chantel van Wyk. TSSS is the managing school of the Etosha Ravens, a franchise comprised of Etosha Secondary School, Grootfontein Senior Secondary School and Grootfontein Agri College. The Etosha Ravens will be competing against the other franchises, teams comprised from other schools, from all corners of the country.





    FRANK STEFFEN

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    Opposition to communication gatewayOpposition to communication gateway The DTA has joined the Namibia Media Trust in condemning an alleged intended move by information and communication technology minister Tjekero Tweya to select a foreign-owned company as the facilitator through which communications from Namibia to other countries will pass.

    The DTA said that a single communications gateway would compromise private communications, as they would be monitored. This to the DTA presented a violation of privacy.

    The party's secretary-general, Manuel Ngaringombe, questioned why a partially foreign-owned firm was being preferred, as was reported two weeks ago.

    “Having all international communications passing through a singular international gateway that is controlled by a (partially) foreign-owned company potentially opens up private citizens using this network to have their private communications monitored. This too could potentially represent a violation of the important rights to privacy, freedom of thought and freedom of expression,” said Ngaringombe of the proposed deal.

    The Namibia Media Trust also opposed the planned move by Tweya through its executive chairperson, Gwen Lister.

    “NMT calls on government to abandon this single telecoms gateway proposal in its entirety, as it will entail higher costs for consumers, and enable undue surveillance. It seems to hold no tangible benefits for the country,” NMT said.

    The organisation stressed that a single gateway would serve the primary purpose of enabling spying and monitoring of the communications of citizens, and in the wrong hands, could lead to potentially draconian moves such as internet shutdowns.

    According to the advocacy group, the proposed single gateway is unconstitutional and in conflict with the Communications Act.

    “The consumer will have to foot the bill through higher prices. Making more money off international calls than is currently the case implies higher prices for incoming and outgoing calls,” the organisation added.

    NMT also questioned how the French-linked company was being pushed by Tweya, saying this was proof that the deal “is opaque and even questionable as far as a lack of tendering processes is concerned”.

    Tweya, according to a report by The Namibian, was accused of pushing for a French technology company to have an exclusive mandate to control all telecommunications coming in and going out of the country.

    Responding to a query by the daily, Tweya denied that he was favouring a single company and instead said that he was calling for inclusivity in the telecommunications space.

    “Why would I push for this company? I don't think I will go that low,” Tweya said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: I'm no snitch – Swartbooi
  • I'm no snitch – SwartbooiI'm no snitch – Swartbooi Former deputy lands minister Bernadus Swartbooi has told people who are holding their breaths for him to expose corrupt Swapo politicians that he has no such intention.

    Speaking to an elated crowd of supporters on Sunday Swartbooi said he had no plans to reveal the identity of those allegedly sent by President Hage Geingob to persuade him to campaign in the upcoming party congress in return for a ministerial position.

    He also emphasised that he did not speak up because of “sour grapes” but because he had no intention to protect the “lies” of those in the Swapo government.

    “I am not out to make anyone look bad, they make themselves look bad by the way they behave. Leaders are no longer shepherds of the people – leaders are thieves,” he said.

    Swartbooi also hit back at Geingob, who recently questioned his upbringing, and said he was not raised to stroke the egos of corrupt elders.

    “I was raised to speak the truth and not to condone thievery. I am guided by the Ten Commandments,” said Swartbooi to loud applause.

    Time for change

    Swartbooi, who served as the governor of the //Karas Region before his election to the National Assembly, urged Rehoboth residents to vote “right” and not leaders who forget them after elections.

    “We have given them [Swapo] enough time and space to take us for a ride. Stop eating lies. If a political party you support does not support the land issue then it is time you put up your own independent candidates. Get leaders who will cry for you and with you,” he urged.

    According to him the Landless People's Movement (LPM) plans to take the government to court to demand special land rights as provided for by the constitution.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Tourists' road safety a concernTourists' road safety a concernEight visitors killed in three weeks The tourism sector is worried about the high death toll among foreign visitors on Namibian roads. With at least eight tourists having been killed on Namibia's roads in separate accidents during the last three weeks, the safety of the country's roads has been put under the spotlight again.

    The Ministry of Environment and Tourism yesterday expressed concern about the increasing number of accidents in which international tourists had been killed recently and urged visitors to be cautious when driving.

    Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the ministry was saddened about continually losing tourists to car accidents.

    “We urge tourists to remain cautious on our roads and observe the traffic regulations of the country.”

    He said tourists should familiarise themselves with the laws and regulations of the destination country, especially when they are on self-drive tours.

    He added that should tourists observe any reckless driving they should report it to the authorities immediately.

    Muyunda also called upon tour operators to take extra care of tourists and to keep them safe.

    “We want our tourists to return to their countries and tell friends and family about the Namibian experience.”

    According to him, Namibia has one of the best road networks in Africa, but good driving is still necessary.

    The latest crash victims were two Italian tourists killed in an accident near Sesriem on Monday morning.

    Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said four Italian tourists were involved in the crash. Two men were killed and two women were seriously injured and flown to Windhoek.

    The accident allegedly occurred when the Sense of Africa overlander they were travelling in overturned.

    It is alleged that the driver, Gioli Moreno, 39, an Italian national and allegedly a translator for the group, does not have a public driver's permit. He escaped without serious injuries.

    In another accident reported this month a Spanish tourist was killed on the Tsumkwe gravel road while 29 other tourists from several countries were injured.

    An Israeli photographer was killed and his wife injured in a car accident in the north. They were travelling with two other Israeli nationals on a photography trip.

    In another accident an Italian tourist was killed and three other Italians injured on the Helmeringhausen road.

    Three French tourists were killed in a head on collision about 20km from the Mata-Mata border post on 22 July.

    At the end of last year Namibia was slammed in a global report rating countries in terms of the risks they hold for travellers.

    The Travel Risk Map for 2017 ranked the most dangerous countries in the world on various aspects, including travel security and road safety. It is designed to alert travellers and tourists to the level of risk they face when visiting destinations worldwide.

    Namibia was rated high in terms of road safety risks to travellers, meaning that the country's roads pose a real and tangible danger and caution should be exercised when using the roads.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Yemeni denies guilt in murder caseYemeni denies guilt in murder case A Yemeni man arrested for the alleged murder of a Malian national in Windhoek in August 2016 yesterday denied committing the offence.

    Murad Esmail Ali Al-Hersh, 39, was arrested on 2 August 2016 after the body of Gamby Maya was discovered in the Kleine Kuppe residential area on 31 July 2016.

    Al-Hersh pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder before Magistrate Melissa Elizabeth Mungunda.

    Al-Hersh told the court that he understood the charge and that his not guilty plea was in accordance with the instructions he had given his lawyer, Georgitta Losper.

    The case was then postponed to 26 September for a decision by the office of the prosecutor-general.

    Prosecutor Cedric Tubeho Mundia appeared for the State yesterday.

    Al-Hersh was denied bail on 11 November 2016. He was again remanded in custody yesterday.

    Al-Hersh, who had lived in South Africa before settling in Namibia, was arrested at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region. He was found in possession of about N$70 000.

    It is alleged that Maya, 35, was killed after he failed to account for US$150 000 (about N$2 million) following the conversion of at least US$500 000 into Namibian dollars (approximately N$6.4 million).

    Maya was shot once between his eyes while sitting in his green Hyundai Elantra sedan, which was later found abandoned in Windhoek's Olympia residential area.

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    Reho council to turn to courtReho council to turn to courtTired of minister's 'empty promises' The people of Rehoboth want the High Court to order the removal of the town's Swapo council. Rehoboth residents plan to apply for an urgent interdict to compel the minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, to remove the town's Swapo councillors and the municipality's human resources manager, Willie Swartz.

    United People's Movement (UPM) member of parliament Jan van Wyk yesterday told Namibian Sun that the Swapo councillors would also be held responsible for allegedly illegal salary payments made to Swartz.

    A forensic investigation into the town's affairs from 13 to 15 January 2016 concluded that Swartz's reappointment in December 2015 was illegal.

    Firebrand community activist Abes Kaibeb says they will not wait for the court case to take place and will take action in the meantime.

    “We are meeting with the Rehoboth community on Sunday at the community hall to discuss serious action that will compel the minister to take action. We have been waiting for long and must now put pressure on the political leadership to address this issue,” said Khaibeb.

    He added that they were also considering legal action against individual Swapo members for the alleged mismanagement of tax dollars.

    This follows what the community described as “empty promises” by Shaningwa. In December the minister had threatened to dissolve the entire council should they fail to implement resolutions which included Swartz's removal.

    But despite the council's failure to implement these resolutions or to adhere to a legal opinion last month, the minister has not yet taken any action.

    The community's decision to turn to the High Court was prompted by the town's skyrocketing water and electricity debts and the state of public infrastructure, including a broken-down sewerage system.

    The town owes NamWater N$29 million and needs to pay about N$2.5 million for a month's water supply, 40% of which is lost to burst pipes.

    It further owes NamPower N$36 million for electricity, of which N$28 million is overdue for payment.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Security guard caught with N$500 000Security guard caught with N$500 000 A security guard was arrested at Otjiwarongo yesterday in connection with the theft of about half a million dollars in cash that had been collected from businesses in Windhoek.

    The spokesperson of the Namibian Police, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, confirmed that the 41-year-old guard from the Southern Cross Security Company was arrested on his way to the north.

    He said the money was collected by the security company on Monday morning from businesses in Windhoek for banking.

    Kanguatjivi said there were originally two guards in the cash-in-transit vehicle but one of them disappeared with the van and left his colleague at a business where he was collecting money.





    The police said the guard abandoned the van in northern Windhoek and fled with the money in another car.

    The owner of the security company became suspicious when the van did not return to the office and reported the incident to the police.

    A police roadblock was set up on the B1 road outside Otjiwarongo and the guard was arrested at 13:30 yesterday.

    N$556 134 was found stashed in three plastic bags in the boot of the car, the police said.

    It is alleged that the guard used only N$400 of the stolen money.

    The suspect and the money were transported back to the capital and he is expected to appear in court later this week.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: Local women in jails abroad
  • Local women in jails abroadLocal women in jails abroad In the last year Namibians have made headlines for being arrested in foreign countries for carrying drugs or for other crimes.

    Security experts are of the view that with the cash crunch in the country more desperate locals may be easily convinced to act as drug mules for individuals and organisations.

    According to the Namibian Police Drug Trafficking Unit there are currently three Namibians in foreign prisons for drug trafficking, and all of them are women.

    The police said the three women trafficked in cocaine to the value about N$4 million.

    Two women are being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and one in South Africa.





    In April this year a Namibian woman was denied bail in a South African court after she was arrested for possession of cocaine worth N$2 million.

    Lena de Waal, 33, was arrested at the airport when about 5kg of cocaine was found during a routine luggage check.

    In May a 30-year-old woman was arrested at the Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil. Dedre Anzell Strauss was allegedly in possession of cocaine.

    The drug unit says a 30-year-old woman was jailed in Sao Paulo in November last year. No further details are available.

    The Namibian police have warned young women not to fall victim to unscrupulous foreigners who recruit them as drug mules.

    Police said incidents of Namibian women being used in such crimes are becoming more common.

    Recruiters are reported to target desperate girls, paying them nominal fees, while retaining the bulk of the smuggling fee.

    While the police insist that there are only three Namibians in foreign prisons for drug-related crimes, other reports contradict this information.

    Last year in April another woman, Melanie van Niekerk, was arrested in Brazil after allegedly being found in possession of drugs at an airport.

    It was also reported in January last year that a 50-year-old Namibian man was arrested in India after he allegedly arrived from New Delhi with 20 kilogrammes of ephedrine (tik) in Bengaluru. The suspect was en route to Johannesburg, South Africa.

    In June this year the Namibian embassy in Brazil confirmed that there were five Namibian women in Brazilian prisons for drug-related crimes. The sentence imposed for such crimes is up to ten years.

    Last year the police said that close to 50 Namibians were serving time in foreign jails in places as far away as India and Brazil, as well as Angola and South Africa, for various crimes, including rape, robbery and drug trafficking.

    Some were detained for theft, fraud and illegal immigration.

    Since last month Namibian Sun has been requesting further data from the drug unit to compare figures on the arrests of Namibians in foreign countries over the past ten years. Until now no feedback has been received.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 08/15/17--16:00: Over N$50m for Zim 'experts'
  • Over N$50m for Zim 'experts'Over N$50m for Zim 'experts'Government's insane bill for foreign professionals Insiders in the public service have criticised the amount of money being paid to foreign professionals at the expense of lowly paid and unemployed Namibians. For a cash-strapped country which has now crossed the threshold to junk status – albeit challenged – Namibia is prepared to pay exorbitant amounts for expatriate skills.

    According to documents seen by Namibian Sun, the Ministry of Works and Transport is paying N$697 130.45 per month to 86 Zimbabwean professionals. The annual expense amounts to more than N$8.4 million.

    The total cost to the country of the Zimbabweans is more than N$55.7 million per year. That includes a monthly transport expenditure of N$10 million, while the expats already receive travel allowances as part of their packages.

    Compared to this, the total cost of 36 Namibian graduates employed by the works ministry is N$10.2 million, of which transport expenditure amounts to N$258 336.

    These are figures from the ministry leaked to the media by frustrated officials.

    “The country is paying too much for economic refugees; they're milking the government,” one disgruntled source said yesterday.

    This source also questioned how the government could have employed the Zimbabweans, who are working at the ministry as engineers, architects and quantity surveyors, with hardly any work experience.

    And this, the source said, while there were hundreds of unemployed Namibian graduates.

    Many unemployed Namibian graduates, particularly engineers, architects and quantity surveyors, are now threatening to take works minister Alpheus !Naruseb to court for his decision to seek exemption for 29 Zimbabweans from registering with the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors.

    Hundreds of unemployed Namibian engineers, architects and quantity surveyors said they would converge at the head office of the works ministry today with proof of their qualifications to dispel !Naruseb's assertion that there are not enough qualified locals.

    The five-year contracts signed with the young Zimbabweans are the result of an agreement signed in 2012 between former Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

    According to ministerial insiders the Zimbabweans are neither registered with any national professional board, nor have “traceable” working experience in their country of origin.





    This agreement has expired in the meantime but it is understood that the Zimbabweans and other nationals are hard at work to persuade the works ministry to have it extended.

    “This is to be expected because these people have been mining gold from government coffers,” said an insider.

    “Here there is no corporate governance. It is a piggery; it can never get clean. Foreigners have now moved into the main Namibian house; the Namibians are living in the outbuilding.”

    It is understood that there has been a proposal from within the works ministry that the secondment of Zimbabwean professionals be stopped.

    According to a document seen by Namibian Sun, the current procurement system does not need the Zimbabweans because they haven't produced any tangible project since their arrival.



    The main reason for this, it is explained in the document, is because government projects are decentralised to regional councils with a threshold of N$35 million for works and N$20 million for supply of goods.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 08/16/17--16:00: Indongo's fight live on NBC
  • Indongo's fight live on NBCIndongo's fight live on NBC The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) will broadcast this weekend's title fight between Namibia's Julius Indongo and America's Terence Crawford live.

    The WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF super lightweight title unification bout will take at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday at 02:00 Namibian time.

    The American has agreed to defend his WBC and WBO belts against Indongo, who puts his WBA and IBF titles on the line.

    The national broadcaster's rights were made possible after the signing of a channel distribution agreement with Kwesé Free TV Limited.

    This enabled NBC to provide the nation with a host of live international sporting events on its DTT platform.

    Kwesé Free Sports on nbc6 is the latest addition on the NBC DTT platform.

    NBC's executive sport producer Sackie Shikufa said: “As promised with the launch of Kwesé Free Sports on nbc6, the live free-to-air coverage of some of the best in global sports is now available to the Namibian public.

    “Our mandate to educate, inform and entertain remains our number one priority; hence the NBC team worked hard to attain the rights to this boxing match.”

    The NBC holds the bragging rights in being the only Namibian television station to broadcast the bout and clinched a sub-licence agreement which will allow the broadcaster to simulcast the boxing match on nbc1.

    SPORT REPORTER

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  • 08/16/17--16:00: No stamps for Warriors game
  • No stamps for Warriors gameNo stamps for Warriors gameCHAN second-leg action on the cards Spectators going to the Brave Warriors match on Sunday are advised not to leave the stadium once they are inside. The Namibia Football Association (NFA) says people who attend the match between the Brave Warriors and Comoros will not be stamped in order to minimise traffic at the stadium gates.

    The decision was based on the chaos usually experienced at the gates during big matches.

    The national team will battle it out with the Comoros in the second leg of the African Nations Championship Qualifiers (CHAN) at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Sunday at 15:00.

    “Once you are in you can't go out and we will not be selling tickets on match day to avoid the security problems we have encountered.

    “We came up with this decision in order to minimise the movement out of the stadium while other people are entering, given the chaos it creates,” the NFA announced.

    The Brave Warriors lost 2-1 against the Islanders last weekend.

    A 1-0 score line will be enough for Namibia to secure their first ever CHAN qualification.

    A victory would also earn the Namibian team N$2.2 million.

    The home team's hopes have suffered a slight setback, with two of their key defensive players suspended.

    Riaan Hanamub and Tiberius Lombard will be out of action after picking up suspensions during their last trip to the Comoros.

    The Brave Warriors coach, Ricardo Mannetti, told the media this week that he was confident that the team would do what it takes to turn the tie around.

    Mannetti said he was confident that the replacements would be up to the task, given the importance of the encounter.

    Match tickets are on sale for N$30 at Computicket at Shoprite and Checkers countrywide.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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  • 08/16/17--16:00: National colours for teams
  • National colours for teamsNational colours for teamsNSC awards colours ahead of championships The Namibian Sport Commission has handed over national colours to swimmers and chess players. Two swimmers and 12 chess players received national sport colours from NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya yesterday.

    Heleni Stergiadis and Zune Weber will be travelling to the sixth annual FIINA Junior World Swimming Championships scheduled for 23 - 28 August in Indianapolis, USA.

    The team will be accompanied by coach Janis Stergiadis and team manager Phinelia Stergiadis. The team was supposed to consist of three swimmers but Roman Wantenaar pulled out because of injury.

    The Namibia Chess Federation will send Ottilie Hinda, Lilian Jansen, Lure Horn, Kisha van Wyk, Taisha Uris, Patience Tsuses, Galeshewe, Jane Ditshaba, Jazzmo Kotze, Kevin Guirab, Manfredo Gaoseb and Anthony van der Meer to compete in the 2017 African Schools Individual Chess Championships which will take place from 19-27 August in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    Stergiadis said swimming is a very demanding sport but they prepared the swimmers well for the championship.

    “The swimmers wake up early every day to train and then again in the afternoon. They have no social life because training takes up most of their time. They are ready to take up the challenge in the US,” she said. Weber, one of the swimmers, said they have been pushing themselves at training. “We will do our best and improve on our personal best times,” she said.

    Van Wyk, an experienced chess player who has been playing the game for eight years, said she was well prepared and hoped to return with a medal. Mwiya was impressed with the work the swimming federation is putting into grooming great swimmers and encouraged them to reach out to potential swimmers in regions such as Zambezi.

    He also encouraged the Chess Federation to continue grooming young players. “You have very young players in your federation, let's groom them into great sport ambassadors for Namibia,” he said.

    The Namibia Boxing Federation was also supposed to receive national colours but did not turn up as they had to meet a potential sponsor.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Serena eyes 'outrageous' returnSerena eyes 'outrageous' return Serena Williams aims to defend her Australian Open title next year, the American saying the rapid return to action would only give her around three months to prepare after giving birth to her first child.

    The 23-times Grand Slam winner announced her pregnancy in April and will be on maternity leave for the rest of the year. The 35-year-old is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

    “It's the most outrageous plan,” Williams told Vogue magazine. “I just want to put that out there. That's, like, three months after I give birth. I'm not walking anything back, but I'm just saying it's pretty intense.

    “If I lose and I lose again, it's like, 'she's done'. Especially since I'm not 20 years old. I'll tell you this much: I won't win less. Either I win, or I don't play.”

    The American added that she could have a few new tricks up her sleeve after analysing her game on television over the last few months.

    “I learn by watching. Or I watch old matches of myself on the Tennis Channel,” she added.

    “I hit amazing shots and these girls are running them down and hitting winners, and I'm beginning to see why. It's because I have patterns.”

    Williams is one grand slam shy of Australian Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24 major titles.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 08/16/17--16:00: Press raves about teen
  • Press raves about teenPress raves about teen Trent Alexander-Arnold's stunning free kick for Liverpool in their 2-1 Champions League win over Hoffenheim had the British media purring 'Who needs Coutinho?' in reference to the want away Brazilian star.

    The 18-year-old's opening goal for Liverpool in the tie in Germany setting them up nicely for next week's home leg incited the Daily Mail to headline their report 'Alexander the Great'.

    Alexander-Arnold called it a “thing of dreams” to score on his European debut for his “boyhood club” and was lavishly praised by club icon Steven Gerrard.

    But had Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho been fit, Alexander-Arnold probably wouldn't even have taken the free kick.

    Gerrard, who coaches the Liverpool Under-18 side, said the former club mascot another Liverpool great Jamie Carragher tweeted a photo of him and Alexander-Arnold in the tunnel before a League Cup match in 2009 could threaten England international Nathan Clyne's first choice spot at fullback this season.

    “It was a fabulous free-kick and it's ironic really because Coutinho might have taken it if he was available,” said Gerrard.

    “He has played superbly in general play but to have the character to take that before the likes of (Jordan) Henderson and (Sadio) Mane says a lot.

    “I know this kid very well, he's going to be a top, top player and Nathaniel Clyne has to be very, very careful this season because he is already breathing down his neck.”

    Former Republic of Ireland striking great Tony Cascarino, now a respected pundit for The Times, praised the youngster for his boldness in stepping up to take the free kick, which reflected “the respect that his team-mates have for him”.

    Cascarino added that defensively it was hard to judge him though his “electric pace” is eye-catching and whilst he was at fault for the late Hoffenheim goal, he would learn from it.

    “Overall he's very athletic, though he needs to fill out a little, but that will come,” wrote Cascarino.

    “In terms of defending it's pretty hard to judge him in this Liverpool team because the full backs are often so exposed.

    “The late Hoffenheim goal was the only time he put a foot wrong... but that's why he plays these big games, to learn and get the mistakes out of his system.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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