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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 501 | 502 | (Page 503) | 504 | 505 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Pacquiao wants Horn rematch in the PhilippinesPacquiao wants Horn rematch in the Philippines Manny Pacquiao said yesterday that he wants a rematch with Jeff Horn after the Filipino boxing hero pulled out of their scheduled bout in Australia later his year.

    Queensland's premier, whose state government was the financial backer of a November 12 fight, announced on Friday that Pacquiao “cannot return to the ring” due to other commitments.

    “It will not push through there in Australia. But we are bringing the fight here in the Philippines,” Pacquiao said on radio station DZBB, adding negotiations were ongoing.

    “This will be good for our country's tourism.” Pacquiao, 38, had initially called for a rematch after losing his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title to the 29-year-old on points Horn in a major upset in Brisbane on July 2.

    Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, had demanded a review of the bout but the WBO declared Horn the clear winner after a panel of judges re-scored the fight.

    Now in the twilight of a 22-year professional career, Pacquiao has not stopped an opponent in eight years and briefly quit boxing last year to pursue his long-held political ambitions and was elected senator.

    But he quickly made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, saying he still felt like a youngster.

    Pacquiao has defied calls to retire for good, including from his family and celebrated American trainer Freddie Roach.

    Pacquiao dismissed funding concerns about hosting the multi-million dollar fight in the Philippines.

    “We have lots of friends who are supporting us including our tourism department. The president is giving his all-out support,” Pacquiao said referring to his political ally Rodrigo Duterte.

    NAMPA / AFP

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    Bafana suffer 2018 SWC qualifying setbackBafana suffer 2018 SWC qualifying setbackSouth Africa stunned by Cape Verde South Africa lost to Cape Verde and suffered serious qualifying setbacks at the weekend. Cape Verde came from a goal down to beat South Africa 2-1 in a 2018 World Cup Group D qualifier at the Estadio Nacional on Friday night.

    Russia-based Nuno Rocha broke the hearts of confident South Africa by scoring twice as Cape Verde came from behind to triumph 2-1 in Praia. In the return leg South Africa will host Cape Verde in Durban in the return leg match on Tuesday night.

    In another game played on Friday, Nigeria hammered African champions Cameroon to virtually seal a 2018 Soccer World Cup place and Ghana drew against Congo Brazzaville.

    Current and former Chelsea midfielders Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel scored one goal and created another as Nigeria overwhelmed Cameroon 4-0 in southeast city Uyo.

    A late strike from Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid salvaged a 1-1 home draw for lacklustre Ghana against Congo Brazzaville in Kumasi.

    The return of Moses and Mikel to the “Super Eagles” line-up coincided with the best Nigerian performance for years as they crushed the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners.

    It was a record-equalling winning margin for Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier and the heaviest defeat suffered by Cameroon in an African eliminator.

    Nigeria can take an uncatchable lead in the “group of death” if they win in Cameroon this Monday - provided Zambia and Algeria draw in Lusaka on Saturday.

    Even one Group B point in Yaounde would send Nigeria to Russia, if Zambia and Algeria draw twice.

    Nigeria have nine points, Cameroon two and Zambia and Algeria one in a mini-league that, so far, has proven far more one-sided than anticipated.

    Odion Ighalo and Mikel scored in the opening half and Moses got the victory-sealing third on 55 minutes after Nigeria had survived intense Cameroon pressure.

    Recent Leicester City signing Kelechi Iheanacho nodded the fourth goal to give Nigeria their widest winning margin since trouncing Zimbabwe 5-1 in Abuja 12 years ago.

    “After the third goal, we were not a team,” admitted Cameroon coach Hugo Broos. “We did not have power to fight.”

    The Belgian said before the match that the “Indomitable Lions” needed to take at least four points off Nigeria to have a realistic chance of topping the table and qualifying.

    Ghana, seeking a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance, fell behind midway through the opening half when Congo captain Thievy Bifouma scored from close range.

    It took the misfiring “Black Stars” until five minutes from time to level as Partey ran on to a through ball and fired across the goalkeeper and into the net.

    Ghana laid siege to the Congolese goalmouth in the closing minutes, but wild shooting, especially from Thomas Agyepong, let them down.

    Uganda top Group E with seven points, one more than Egypt after beating them 1-0 in Kampala Thursday. Ghana have two and Congo one.

    South Africa made a good start in Cape Verde with Tokelo Rantie proving too quick for his pursuers to give the visitors an early lead.

    But Rocha scored twice inside six minutes before half-time, with a deflected shot and from a penalty to turn the tide on the windswept Atlantic Ocean island state.

    Rattled South Africa rarely looked like levelling and were reduced to 10 men entering the final quarter when defender Erick Mathoho got a straight red card.

    Sport24

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    Zambia deliver hammer blow to Algeria World Cup hopesZambia deliver hammer blow to Algeria World Cup hopesUnderdogs beat Algeria A Brian Mwila brace helped Zambia keep their 2018 World Cup qualification dream alive with a 3-1 win over Algeria on Saturday, leaving the Desert Foxes' hopes of reaching Russia in tatters. Zambia's Brian Mwila scored two first-half goals as 10-man Zambia claimed their first victory of the group phase of Africa's World Cup qualifiers and effectively ended Algeria's hopes with a 3-1 triumph on Saturday.

    Zambia moved into second place in Group B as they advanced to four points, but is still five points behind leaders Nigeria, who won 4-0 at home to Cameroon on Friday.

    Algeria is virtually out of the race after having qualified for the 2010 and 2014 finals, where they reached the round of 16. They have just a single point with three games to play.

    Algeria's preparations were disrupted by a decision to allow African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez to return to Europe to try and secure a transfer away from Leicester City, which proved unfruitful. As a result, he missed Saturday's game.

    Mwila hit the upright in the fifth minute before finding the net within 60 seconds, rising between two Algerian defenders to head home a cross from Augustine Mulenga.

    Teenage prodigy Patrick Daka set up a second goal in the 33rd minute as he cut in to cross for Fashion Sakala, whose scuffed shot was parried by Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi, with Mwila first to the rebound.

    Algeria pulled a goal back with powerful left-footed shot from Yacine Brahimi in the 55th minute and was given a further window of opportunity when debutant Sakala, 20, was dismissed for a second cautionable foul a minute later.

    But 19-year-old Enock Mwepu, also making his international debut, came on to score on the counter in the final minute to make sure of home success.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    #Festival to unite youth in sport#Festival to unite youth in sportExcitement builds towards festival The first #Festival organised by Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) will take centre stage at the SKW Field in Windhoek from 7 to 9 September. In the hope of rekindling the spirit of unity in sport at high school level, NMH will host the #Festival in order to provide youth from across the country the chance to take part in various sports and to interact as it is the company's belief that the country needs the youth to become part of the Namibian team.

    The festival will have sports activities which include hockey for boys and girls, rugby, football for boys, fast five netball, sprints, swimming, tennis, chess, volleyball as well as a cheerleading competition.

    Nine community schools will compete against each other in these various sports codes: four community teams from Windhoek and five from the rest of the country.

    There will be cheerleading performances by Delta Lions, Windhoek Saints, Arabian Knights, Canyon Rangers, Etosha Ravens, Coastal Dolphins, Oshana Patriots, Pioneer Warriors and Highveld Cheetahs.

    Apart from sport there will be a career expo for the schools, according school pupils the chance to engage with career professionals who will help them choose a career upon completion of high school.

    In this regard, CEO of NMH Albe Botha said education is the key to the country's prosperity. “We must ensure that our children not only receive quality education, but that they also understand and are informed about the various career options that are waiting for them after school.

    “Empowering the youth with this knowledge will help define the role children can play in making Namibia and the world at large a better place.

    “The Festival is designed to help to create a platform for school going children to better understand this through the means of a career expo,” he said.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Let's push for fair representation in sportLet's push for fair representation in sport Twenty-seven years after independence and we still find ourselves in a situation where some athletes cannot take part in certain sports in this country we call the Land of the Brave.

    Is it because they don't want to? Is it because they don't have money to buy certain sport equipment or is it because of particular restrictions put in place to limit their entry into these sports codes?

    These are questions that need answers. Now, let's think for a moment how easy it is for any football lover to join a football academy and to play the game loved by many. It's very easy. There are no restrictions on entry because most academies and clubs are not managed by certain families pushing for certain agendas. If you are good, you get a chance to play doesn't matter what your skin colour is.

    Then you find particular sports codes – let's say, hockey, cycling, bowling, swimming, to name a few. Most of the athletes taking part in these codes come from one specific school – in most instances, a private school. Is it because they have the particular equipment to aid and push these athletes or is it because skin colour restricts some athletes from being pushed aside because the past disadvantaged these athletes?

    Or is it because government schools don't offer that particular sport code and if not, why not? Isn't it time the government pushed for fair and equal opportunity, access and representation in all sports codes if not national teams?

    I know that certain people pump money into certain teams in the country because their children play the sport and as much as they pump in this money, their children, whether they are good athletes or not, make the first line-up. It's a shame because the gifted, talented others watch from the sidelines.

    Most national teams don't have a quota balance when it comes to representation. Whatever happened to being a united nation fighting for one common course?

    Whatever happened to pushing beyond boundaries? Who speaks up for these athletes who cannot swim in the nationals or compete in certain races because the team manager failed to give them the proper support? When do we start to address these issues and how best do we do that without sounding like we have a certain agenda?

    I know a lot of junior cyclists, if given the chance, would excel at the sport but when it comes to national level you only find the same names over and over. It makes me wonder, do we as a black community not have any interest in some sports codes because we were previously disadvantaged from taking part in certain codes. It is a serious shame to have an all-national side comprising of one colour from a nation made up of different people of pigmentation.

    Do you want to tell me that there are no dark-skinned youth that can play hockey? On national level that is. Under apartheid, sports such as rugby were segregated at all levels. As a result, successive post-apartheid governments have maintained that transforming teams from predominately white player and management groups to ones more representative of the population has been a priority.

    Let's stop playing lip service when asked why all the players in the team belong to one skin pigmentation, let's stop sabotaging ourselves because we don't want to associate with others.

    In the year to come all sporting bodies are compelled to better reflect a better demographic in coaching, administrative and player bases. Let's have a road map to help achieve representation targets and as sport journalist let us also stop being biased and give all sport codes equal coverage – if we don't do that then we send the message that we accept the norms put in front of us by those who wish to divide and conquer.



    limba@namibiansun.com

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  • 09/03/17--15:00: Boland take cricket cup
  • Boland take cricket cupBoland take cricket cup LIMBA MUPETAMI

    The Boland Invitational cricket team took the cup in the Momentum Under-19 cricket tournament held at Vegkop Stadium in Windhoek after beating Windhoek High School with 75 runs and 10 wickets.

    Windhoek High School cricketers made 74 runs and five wickets but it was not enough to secure a win.

    The cup is in its fourth year and this year eight teams took part. The best batsman of the tournament was Altus Opperman, the best bowler was Etienne Beukes, the fielder of the tournament was Kehan van Vuuren and the player of the tournament was Petrus Burger.

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    Women’s Chess Championships a successWomen’s Chess Championships a success LIMBA MUPETAMI

    The first Namibia Women’s Chess Championships held over the weekend at the Windhoek Country Club Resort in Windhoek produced exciting wins.

    The championships attracted close to 35 chess players from across the city.

    Women's Candidate Master Jolly-Joice Nepando won the master title and a N$1200 prize, followed by the 2017 Women's national chess champion, Lishen Mentile, and in third place Rauha Mulisa.

    The tournament had three sections. The cadet section was won by Jamie-Nicole Beukes, who walked away with N$600, and the junior section was won by Keisha van Wyk, who walked away with N$800. The tournament will be held annually.

    Candidate Master title winner Nepando said that with each tournament she participates in she took home valuable lessons and experience. She thanked the organisers and encouraged more young people to take up chess.

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    Junior rugby players eye finalJunior rugby players eye finalChampionship final within their grasp Junior rugby players have a chance to play the final in the 10th edition of the Under-20 World Rugby Trophy competition if they beat Japan in Uruguay on Wednesday. The Namibian under-20 rugby team is faring well in the Under-20 World Rugby Trophy Champions in Uruguay after beating Canada in their opening match 31-16 and then Chile 33-19 in their second match on Saturday.

    In 2016, Namibia finished fourth in the U-20 Trophy competition held in Zimbabwe. Samoa won the competition.

    Montevideo and Punta del Este are the host cities for the tournament, a competition involving eight countries namely host Uruguay, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Portugal, Chile, Fiji and Namibia.

    The tournament kicked off on 29 August and continues until 10 September.

    Hosts Uruguay qualified automatically while Japan's participation was via being relegated from the Junior World Championship. The six remaining competitors all secured their places through regional qualifiers.

    The format for the competition involves two pools of four.

    Information on the competing countries:

    Namibia

    Namibia has been a regular in the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy but has not stepped up on the podium. In 2016 Namibia was fourth. In prior years the team has finished fifth, sixth and eighth. Achieving a top three or better performance this year will require multiple wins in the pool stage.



    Uruguay

    In 2016 Uruguay finished sixth, losing 32-30 against the USA in the fifth-place final. In earlier matches Los Teritos had performed well, making their final place finish lower than their potential. With home advantage this year the team may have the means of going all the way. Uruguay's wins over Fiji and Portugal in the 2015 edition make a compelling case to suggest Uruguay can win Pool B.



    Canada

    Back in the mix after missing out in 2016, Canada will be looking to make their presence felt. The North Americans have a group in which they will be aiming to do well in.



    Chile

    Chile's last appearance was in 2013 when the South Americans did very well to finish third. Chile was also the host nation that year, becoming the first country to host the tournament twice. Chile recorded wins over Namibia and Portugal in the pool stage before downing Japan 38-35 in the bronze final.



    Fiji

    Having finished third in 2016 and fifth in 2015, Fiji will want the trend to continue of finishing two places higher again this year. At the Under-20 level Fiji is not the same force as it is at the senior men's level.



    Hong Kong

    Hong Kong defeated Zimbabwe 44-40 in the seventh-place playoff a year ago to avoid the wooden spoon. Prior to that Hong Kong finished eighth in 2015 and 2014 tournaments. Past performances point to Hong Kong as being a lower table performer in Uruguay.



    Japan

    Relegated from the Junior World Championship in 2016, Japan is looking to bounce back and compete at the top. The Asians have a winnable pool and a clear path to the title. The 29-12 win over Samoa in 2015 is a strong indication of Japan's credentials. Indeed in this year's Junior World Championship Samoa pushed both Australia and Argentina. Japan also enters the competition with a solid junior programme.



    Portugal

    Europe's one competitor is back after missing out in 2016. Spain took the spot last year and went on to reach the final. Portugal's participation in previous years included a 47-21 hammering of Hong Kong in 2015 and a 26-17 win over Namibia in 2013.



    –Additional reporting by www.americasrugbynews.com

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 09/03/17--15:00: 'I like the Guptas'
  • 'I like the Guptas''I like the Guptas'Zuma's scandals ensnare his ambitious son The son of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has denied involvement in alleged corruption despite his links with controversial businessmen. A long-running corruption scandal in South Africa has embroiled President Jacob Zuma, senior ministers and the wealthy Indian Gupta brothers - but now Zuma's own son has taken centre-stage.

    Duduzane Zuma, a 35-year-old businessman with a playboy reputation, is alleged to be the key contact between his father and the Gupta family, who are accused of wielding undue influence over the government.

    Duduzane says he first met the Guptas at his father's house in the early 2000s.

    He was soon employed as a trainee in the Gupta family business before rising rapidly to become a director of one of their companies - at the same time as his father rose to power in 2009.

    Duduzane Zuma has tried to keep a low profile, but this week he became the focus of rowdy parliamentary clashes as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition lawmakers taunted his father.

    They constantly addressed President Zuma in Zulu as "Duduzane's father", mockingly claiming it was a term of respect.

    Duduzane also gave a rare television interview, aired on Thursday, saying that he had worked hard to earn promotion to the top of the Gupta business network.

    "I don't think they wanted anything from me. They liked me. As I liked them," Duduzane told the BBC, sitting in a Dubai hotel room.

    "There's nothing untoward about it... It was just a meeting of minds - they understood me, I understood them."

    President Zuma, who has at least 20 children and has been married six times, is due to stand down in 2019.

    But he has been engulfed in corruption scandals that have fuelled growing calls from within the ruling ANC party for him to resign.

    Among the many allegations, he is accused of unfairly granting lucrative government contracts to the Guptas and even taking their orders over ministerial appointments.

    EFF lawmakers are not the only critics of the president who see Duduzane as a chink in Zuma's armour.

    OUTA, a civil action group, last month laid fraud charges against Duduzane and the three Gupta brothers - Atul, Ajay and Rajesh.

    "Duduzane provides access to his father (and) amassed a vast fortune," OUTA alleged.

    "It is difficult to imagine an innocent explanation for Duduzane Zuma's meteoric rise."

    A report by South Africa's anti-graft ombudsman last year detailed a meeting when Duduzane was present in which Ajay Gupta is alleged to have offered the deputy finance minister a US$45 million bribe.

    The meeting was at the Guptas' headquarters in Saxonwold, an upmarket district of Johannesburg.

    The high-security address has been the centre of their sprawling business spanning computers, mining, media, technology and engineering.

    But the Guptas say they are now selling up as wary banks have shut down their accounts amid the mounting allegations.

    Duduzane is following suit, saying in a public letter published on Monday that he was selling his shares in Gupta companies "to be able to focus my time on clearing my name".

    In the letter, he launched a vicious attack on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who served under President Zuma and was seen as a bulwark against corruption.

    "How do you sleep at night?" Duduzane asked Gordhan, accusing him of trying to "destroy" him and the Guptas.

    A slew of leaked emails in recent months has piled further pressure on Duduzane - and his father.

    They reveal that the Guptas allegedly paid for Duduzane's foreign holidays, his 2015 wedding and helped him to buy property.

    According to the emails, when Duduzane crashed his Porsche in 2014, the first person he called was Rajesh Gupta. A woman in another vehicle was killed in the accident.

    President Zuma faces a tough fight even after leaving office, with the looming threat of almost 800 corruption charges against him being reinstated, over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.

    Duduzane, like his father, may spend many years defending his reputation.

    "I'm not corrupt. I've not involved myself in any corrupt practice, in any corrupt business," Duduzane said in the TV interview.

    Asked if he feared ending up in jail, he said: "It just crossed my mind now (for) the first time. No."

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Kenyan president attacks judiciaryKenyan president attacks judiciary Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday the country had a problem with its judiciary, which annulled his election win of last month, "and we must fix it".

    The Law Society of Kenya said in a strongly worded statement that Kenyatta, as "the head of state who under the constitution is a symbol of national unity", should refrain from derogatory comments about the judiciary.

    Kenyatta, speaking a day after the Supreme Court cancelled his victory and ordered new polls within 60 days, repeated his message from Friday that he would respect its ruling. But, speaking on live television at the State House in Nairobi after meeting elected officials from his Jubilee party, he added: "Who even elected you?...We have a problem and we must fix it." He did not elaborate. The decision to annul the election was unexpected and unprecedented in Africa where governments often hold sway over judges.

    The president's latest comments mark the second time since Friday's ruling that he has criticised the judiciary in public. On Friday, during an impromptu rally in Nairobi, he accused the court of ignoring the will of the people and dismissed the chief justice's colleagues as "wakora", or crooks. The lawyers' association condemned Kenyatta's use of the Kiswahili word, saying that the judges serving in the highest court had acted "professionally, with honour and dignity".

    "They...do not deserve the disrespectful treatment they are being shown", the statement read.

    The president's appearances since the ruling suggest he intends to campaign rigorously for the re-run of the August 8 poll.

    He said via Twitter on Saturday: "For now let us meet at the ballot."

    Attention now turns back to the election board. The court ruled that it had "failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution".

    Raila Odinga, the veteran opposition leader whose coalition brought the petition against the election board to the Supreme Court, said on Friday that some officials from the commission should face criminal prosecution.

    The chairman of the election board said there would be personnel changes, but it was not clear if that would be enough for the opposition. Sweeping out the whole board would complicate efforts to hold a new poll within two months.

    Last month's election - which included the presidential poll in addition to races at other levels of government – was one of the most expensive ever held in Africa. Ahead of the vote

    Kenya's treasury said preparation and conduct of polling would cost the equivalent of around US$480 million.

    Veiled threats

    Analysts saw the president's latest comments on the judiciary as a worrisome development. "It's extremely unfortunate that Kenyatta seems to be issuing veiled threats at the judiciary," said Murithi Mutiga, a Nairobi-based senior Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group.

    "This was a tremendous moment for Kenyan democracy, where the court upheld the rule of law. Politicians should be careful not to incite the public against the judiciary."

    On Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga said the Supreme Court's verdict was backed by four of the six judges and declared Kenyatta's victory "invalid, null and void".

    Details of the ruling will be released within 21 days.

    Prior to last month's election Maraga spoke out to emphasise the judiciary’s independence.

    In a statement he read out on behalf of the Judicial Service Commission less than a week before the election, he listed instances in which politicians - from the ruling party and the opposition - had tried to intervene in the judiciary’s work.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    More than 10 soldiers killed in Somalia attackMore than 10 soldiers killed in Somalia attack More than 10 soldiers died yesterday and several others were wounded when Al-Qaeda-aligned Shabaab militants stormed a base in southern Somalia, security sources said.

    The militants drove a truck loaded with explosives to the main entrance of the base in Bulogadud, about 70 kilometres from the port town of Kismayo and then attacked the soldiers.

    “There was an attack on the military base in Bulogadud this morning... the initial information indicates that more than 10 soldiers were killed,” Abdulahi Mohamed, a senior security official, said by phone.

    “There was a car bomb blast and gunfire followed. The forces retreated from the base initially but they later regained control,” he added.

    Sources in a nearby village said the militants temporarily took control of the camp and the village.

    “Some people in Bulogadud told us the militants looted the camp ... they burned down everything and left,” Ahmed Mohamud, a resident said.

    Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

    “The Mujahedeen fighters took control of Bulogadud, there were many enemy deaths and three technical vehicles were looted,” a brief statement on a pro-Shabaab website said, citing the group's Andalus radio.

    The Shabaab have sworn to overthrow Somalia's fragile government, which is kept in place with international support.

    The Shabaab force was pushed out of the capital in August 2011 and lost most of its other bastions in Somalia.

    But they still control vast swathes of countryside, from where they launch guerrilla operations and suicide attacks, against the capital and against local and international military bases.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 09/03/17--15:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day GRACEFUL: A swan makes its way on Lake Geneva at sunrise on 30 August 2017 in Rolle, western Switzerland. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    A desperate need for engagement and actionA desperate need for engagement and action It is late in the day and we need to engage immediately, take action, and come up with an alternative to the stagnant economic growth or development that manifests itself in our current situation of unemployment and crime, accompanied by the excess of social problems.

    The Private sector needs to engage Government, propose, make suggestions, and be proactive as opposed to the norm of being re active.

    What about a compulsory 1% of all capital projects to be spend on a “social upliftment” project? What if it is made tax deductible for instance? Why not put your “own people” in on a PPP project, to audit/ oversee your part of the investment. (It is called a “partnership” after all.) Let it count towards your “empowerment points?”

    Come to think about it, it is actually a no brainer - if there is no employment, economic activity, skills development and all the rest of it, there will be no future income and business. It is a way of hedging your own future revenue streams. If you engage and get involved by yourself, there is no need for government to introduce legislation and you could control/drive the process, as opposed to being dictated to, like with legislation.

    If we were able to come up with something like the grandiose plans for an EPZ in the 90's, some of which is still yielding good results locally today, in one form or another, surely we can come up with a workable proposal to entice and involve relevant parties into something much more current and desperately needed.

    It is not going to be easy but it has got to be done. The time for niceties and avoiding the real, often painful issues, has past. We have to listen to and act on the courage of our conviction. We are in this together - all passengers on the same ship. If the one part goes down, the other will inevitably follow and there will be nothing left, for anybody.

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    Crime takes its toll on tourismCrime takes its toll on tourismVital economic sector under threat Attacks on tourists in Namibia have led to foreign embassies warning their citizens against travelling to this country. With crime on the increase and tourist attacks and robberies on the increase in Namibia, foreign embassies are turning up the country's risk dial.

    The UK, Canada and Germany are among the countries that are now rating Namibia as a high-risk travel destination.

    According to the CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Gitta Paetzold, crime and safety threats to residents and visitors alike are among the key issues that either make or break a tourism destination.

    “Namibia has been marketing itself as a desirable tourism destination, boasting of its wide open spaces, good infrastructure and a great track record of political stability and general safety.”

    Unfortunately, reports of attacks on tourists have increased during the current high tourism season. There has also been an increase in fatal accidents involving tourists as a result of speeding and bad roads, says Paetzold.

    “The lack of maintenance and the mounting reports of crime against tourists, harassment, bag-snatching and, worse still, the hijacking of cars, pursuits from airports and robberies on dunes, added to the killing of senior citizens, have sent alarm signals to the national and international community.”

    According to her, these reports have not only spread like wildfire on social media, but travel advisories issued by foreign embassies now list Namibia as a high-risk country and warn their citizens against travelling to this country.

    Canada heightened its risk assessment of Namibia in May, while the United Kingdom last month warned of increasing violent street crimes affecting foreign tourists, particularly in Windhoek.

    Paetzold says she visited Europe in May and met industry representatives, including executives of HAN's sister organisation in Germany, the Deutsche Hotel und Gaststaettenverband (DEHOGA).

    “I was directly approached by them on the crime situation in Namibia. They quoted some of the texts of travel advisories and said such documents certainly would deter many potential new visitors to Namibia to consider this country as a travel destination.

    “The issue certainly is also part of the networking and negotiations between foreign operators and local ground handlers and local operators, and fortunately, our tourism stakeholders do their utmost to provide factual information and guard against sensationalism.”

    On forums such as TripAdvisor it has also become increasingly common for travellers to warn others about the crime in Namibia.

    “This certainly is not conducive to our image, and nullifies many of the positive intentions and marketing and promotion efforts done by the private sector and the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) and although crime is not unique to Namibia, it does hamper our growth somewhat at this stage,” Paetzold says.

    She says the tourism industry and the tourism ministry were shocked and dejected upon learning that one of the suspects arrested for the hijacking of a German family on Windhoek's Western Bypass had been released on bail a day later.

    That was despite the fact that he had committed similar crimes in the past and was out on bail in another robbery case.

    According to Paetzold, HAN wrote to the justice ministry, pleading with it to review the laws and regulations guiding the granting of bail.

    “Not a day goes by without a report of a crime incident. At the coast where some of our members are part of the neighbourhood watch activities, they are aware of daily robberies, break-ins and more. Also, individuals are starting to take chances at the coast. Some street vendors selling souvenirs harass tourists who are taking walks.”

    According to her, there was even a case where such vendors claimed to have been put in charge of collecting entry fees at the jetty, and trusting tourists parted with N$20, only to be told later that no such fees were applicable.

    Paetzold says unsuspecting tourists are soft targets, and unfortunately criminals have realised this weakness and use it to exploit visitors.

    She says while the tourism industry has nothing against bona fide street vendors who provide a convenient service to visitors and add to their experiences, there needs to be some control over them.

    “At this stage, no one seems be in charge of this.”

    Furthermore, Paetzold says the recent statement by tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta regarding the increased attacks on tourists was due to continuous prompting by HAN and other stakeholders for the ministry to express itself about the threat that crime poses for the tourism industry.

    The aim of this was to gain understanding and support from other authorities to address the issue.

    HAN and other associations have met with the City Police, the City of Windhoek tourism division and even Nampol to raise issues of concern, while at the coast, the HAN team serves on police committees to address crime against tourists and residents.

    “So there is active engagement and from these we know that the police are also frustrated to see their hard work crushed by seemingly easy bail conditions which allow criminals back on the streets after being arrested in sometimes difficult and dangerous circumstances. Such discouragement could easily lead to the police giving up on arrests, and this we need to avoid at all costs.”

    The inspector-general of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, recently told Namibian Sun that he felt the necessary measures were being taken to contain crime.

    Ndeitunga said a safety strategy for tourists was being developed. He has ordered the establishment of dedicated tourism police offices in all regions. At these offices, specially trained officers should attend to tourists.

    In Windhoek, the City Police have installed CCTV cameras at crime hotspots and placed police officers in uniform and in civilian clothes at tourist attractions to prevent crime against tourists.

    It is estimated that tourism directly contributed 3.8% to the GDP in 2012 and employed 22 897 people, which amounts to 5.1% of total employment in the country.

    Tourist numbers have increased considerably over the years. In 2015, Namibia recorded more than 1.3 million tourist arrivals, compared to 254 978 tourist arrivals in 1993. Namibia's top overseas tourist markets are Germany, the UK, USA, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Windhoek has enormous potentialWindhoek has enormous potential Despite social and economic challenges that derive from the past, Windhoek has enormous potential when it comes to growth in the tourism industry.

    This is according to the recently launched African Hotel Valuation Index (HVI) report.

    According to the report Windhoek as well as the rest of Namibia has immense social and economic inequalities dating from the apartheid era. The report indicated that in 2017 the hotel industry in Windhoek showed a significant value increase compared to the previous year when there was a moderate increase.

    In 2015 the industry showed a significant decline.

    Hotels in Windhoek had an occupancy rate of over 65% over the last three years and revenue per available room growth as well as a value growth of 9.3% in 2016.

    “This year looks even more promising with an estimated occupancy of almost 70% and even though new hotel openings are adding to the supply of the market, revenue per available room is forecast to grow by 16% this year.”

    It says adventure activities along the dunes of the desert and the coastline as well as a large amount of game have attracted a lot of tourists to Namibia. “Windhoek is a perfect starting point for a road trip across the country.”

    In addition the report says major African companies are starting to look at Windhoek as a good place to do business. Windhoek has seen a growth in tourist arrivals each year and various hotel companies are looking to expand in Namibia.

    The South African City Lodge Group is expected to open a Town Lodge in Windhoek with 151 rooms in 2017, the Hilton in Windhoek went through refurbishment, a 180-room mid-market Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to the existing Hilton in Windhoek is supposed to open and a multimillion-dollar phased refurbishment of Gustav Voigts shopping centre is also scheduled to happen in the centre of Windhoek.

    Managing partner at HVS South Africa, a hotel valuation, consulting and brokerage firm, Tim Smith, says that in spite of the challenges of Ebola, the Zika virus, presidential elections slowing down economies, low oil prices and the threat of terrorism, 17 out of the 23 markets covered increased value in 2016.

    In 2015, 10 markets out of 21 cities were growing; in 2016, 14 markets were on the rise and Maputo, Windhoek and Casablanca, among others, have shown an impressive recovery.

    The HVI reports that most African countries now have a steady but realistic growth that investors can rely on when making investment decisions. Despite a more conservative outlook, GDP is much higher than many global economies.

    “The future of hotel demand in Africa will follow a positive trend in the long term. Signs of recovery and improvement on 2016's relatively tough numbers are already up and most of these markets are continuing to grow, so we are expecting 2017 to be even better,” said Smith.

    The report further added that according to the World Bank, according to the latest economic outlook (March 2017) the hotel and restaurant sub-sector in Namibia expanded by 5.9% in 2016 and is expected to grow further by 5% in both 2017 and 2018, which shows positive development for the hospitality industry.

    The report indicates that the future of South Africa's tourism is looking promising as the rand has recently strengthened again and more than 2500 rooms are expected to be added over the next five years.

    According to the report the African hotel industry will continue to face challenges in the short-term. However, the positive news is that international and African unions are working together to promote the future of tourism in Africa, connectivity is improving at a fast pace and many countries introduced e-visa and visa on arrivals in 2016/17.

    “But restrictive visa conditions have broad economic consequences for the tourism sector.”

    It also adds that accessibility is key for hotels' performance. Africa faces a challenge of lengthy and expensive flights to and from Africa and the lack of competition pushes air fares up significantly. On a positive note, Air France, Emirates and Lufthansa have increased routes to Africa in 2016, launching direct flights to an increasing number of African countries.

    The HVI is a hotel valuation benchmark that monitors annual percentage changes in the values of typically four-star and five-star hotels in 23 major African cities.

    Additionally, the index allows rankings of each market relative to an African average. The HVI also reports the average value per room in US dollars for each market.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Empowering small-scale farmersEmpowering small-scale farmers Two climate change projects to the tune of N$300 million that will benefit more than 97 000 rural residents were launched in Windhoek last week.

    The projects are funded by the Green Climate Change Fund which was created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.

    The projects are known as the Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the vulnerable extreme northern crop-growing regions (Crave) project and the Empower to Adapt: creating Climate-Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (EDA-CBNRM) Project.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said at the launch that more than half of the Namibian population live in rural areas and depend heavily on subsistence farming.

    “These people represent the segment of the country's population that will be affected most by climate change because they are already facing existing vulnerabilities in terms of social, economic and gender imbalances. It is incumbent upon us as the government to strengthen the resilience and capacity of these vulnerable sectors of the population,” he said.

    The Crave project is a conservation agriculture project. It is worth approximately N$150 million and will be implemented in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.

    The project is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of rural communities and food insecurity related to climate risks and threats, while simultaneously increasing the adaptive capacity and well-being of the affected communities.

    This project, which will be implemented by the agricultural ministry will benefit up to 21 000 small-scale farmers in the said regions.

    The steering committee for this project has been already been set up and the Environmental Investment Fund and agricultural ministry have completed the recruitment process for the project implementation unit. Awareness creation regarding the project's outcomes is under way and this project is ready to be rolled out.

    The second project, Empower to Adapt, also valued at N$150 million, is expected to benefit more than 76 500 rural residents.

    It is aimed at reducing the climate vulnerabilities and increasing the resilience of locals residing within community-based natural resource management areas by incorporating climate adaptation response strategies into their ongoing local practices.

    The overall goal is to ensure that their assets and livelihoods are protected from climate-induced risks such as droughts, floods, seasonal shifts and other climate disasters.

    Shifeta said climate change is recognised as one of the greatest global challenges and Namibia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects and impacts of climate change.

    According to him climate change has the potential to undermine economic development, particularly the natural-resource-based sectors of the economy such as the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

    “The whole issue of climate change also brings into focus our challenges in terms of water security and local capacity for provision of energy as well as the need for transformative solutions to these challenges such as the development of renewable energy sources and alternative methods of water supply such as desalination and aquifer recharge.”

    Namibia ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on 21 September 2016. He said Namibia is already implementing this agreement based on its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) document, which was approved by the cabinet in 2015 and outlines the country's intended actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

    The INDC contains a number of targets, which are deliberately ambitious as a signal of Namibia's seriousness to tackle climate change and to mobilise the necessary resources for climate change investments.

    The INDC targets includes increasing the share of renewables in electricity production to 70% by 2030 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 89% by 2030; reducing the deforestation rate by 75%; extending conservation agriculture to 80 000 hectares by 2030; and restoring 15 million hectares of grassland by 2030.

    “These targets highlight the importance that mitigating and adapting to climate change can play in moving towards a Namibia that is secure in terms of energy, water and food production,” said Shifeta.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 09/03/17--15:00: Mariental abattoir to close
  • Mariental abattoir to closeMariental abattoir to closeRecession claims another victim Farmers in the Mariental district will have to transport their sheep to Windhoek, Aranos or Keetmanshoop after the closure of the Farmers Meat Market abattoir. OGONE TLHAGE



    Tough economic times have led to the planned closure of the Farmers Meat Market Mariental abattoir, the Hartlief-owned facility said in a statement recently.

    With the closure, 70 jobs now hang in the balance while farmers in the Mariental district will have to find new markets for their small stock.

    The drought was identified as one of the causes of the closure of the plant, Farmers Meat Market said.

    “Due to the severe drought and unfavourable trading conditions in the small-stock industry, the company has made big losses and continues to make these losses. The shareholders of the company cannot sustain these losses and operations at the abattoir must cease,” Farmers Meat Market said.

    The company also said that the operating environment it found itself in did not make business viable.

    “It is the express opinion of the board that the operating environment for an export-approved abattoir has degenerated to such an extent that the business is no longer viable,” Farmers Meat Market said.

    The closure of the abattoir is expected to affect small-stock farmers in the Mariental district adversely, said agricultural economist Wallie Roux.

    “The closing of the abattoir at Mariental is an unfortunate development for the small-stock industry, seeing that it will have a negative impact on the small-stock value chain, including FMM workers losing their jobs,” said Roux.

    The affected farmers would also have to contend with higher output costs related to transporting their animals to abattoirs in Windhoek, Aranos and Keetmanshoop.

    “The impact on farmers in the Mariental district will be that transport costs to an abattoir will increase, may it be to Aranos, Keetmanshoop or Windhoek. Although these abattoirs can accommodate the additional numbers, it will need additional planning and the Mariental small-stock farmers may not always get the slaughter opportunity they applied for,” said Roux.

    “The regular customers of FMM will have to build new relationships at another abattoir,” he added.

    The abattoir complies with European Union standards and exports to Europe, Norway and South Africa. The abattoir has a slaughter capacity of 260 000 lambs annually.

    The closure of the abattoir will be the second in recent times. Meatco has converted its Okahandja abattoir into a cold-storage facility, leaving it to operate only one abattoir based in Windhoek.

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    ‘We must write our own history’‘We must write our own history’ KENYA KAMBOWE

    Founding President Sam Nujoma says the history of Africa and that of Namibia started long before the European missionaries arrived.

    Nujoma, who was speaking during the official opening of the Olufuko Festival at Outapi, said the country’s history and heritage must be preserved for future generations.

    He announced that the Outapi town council and the University of Namibia are carrying out a comprehensive socio-cultural study of Olufuko before and after the advent of colonialism in Namibia.

    According to Nujoma, the study will give Namibians the opportunity to learn about the history of Olufuko.

    “This is unlike before when our history was written by European missionaries who wanted to assert the Eurocentric view that whatever is called history in this country or Africa as a whole began with the arrival of Europeans, thus denying our people a culture and history of their own,” said Nujoma, who is the patron of the Olufuko Festival.

    This year a total of 79 girls took part in the event. Olufuko is a process where girls between the ages of 15 and 20 are prepared for womanhood by going through an initiation process at which they are taught how to do various traditional chores.

    Although in some quarters Olufuko has been criticised as a ceremony that objectifies women and girls, Nujoma defended the practice, saying it needed to be promoted.

    “I always say people without culture are comparable to people without identity because people’s culture gives them the reason to exist, hence, a nation without culture is like a tree without roots… we must therefore ensure that the promotion of culture should become one of the most important engines of development,” Nujoma said.

    Omusati governor Erginus Endjala echoed Nujoma’s sentiments, saying Olufuko was very important to the youth, adults and society.

    “Olufuko Festival is very important to the young people, the adults and the entire society as it provides vital information about our cultural heritage that was practised by our forefathers in those days,” Endjala said.

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    Landless not surprised by conference postponement Landless not surprised by conference postponement OGONE TLHAGE

    The cancellation of the eagerly anticipated land conference did not come as a surprise to the Landless People’s Movement.

    According to land activist Paul Thomas, who was speaking on behalf of LPM, the cancellation was expected.

    “The postponement is not a surprise to us, we have been expecting this,” Thomas said.

    According to him, it was an indication that the government was side-stepping the land question.

    “This is clearly a demonstration that the government is not willing to address the land question.”

    Thomas said the LPM would continue with plans to host its own land conference.

    The resolutions adopted at the LPM conference, he said, would help the government to ensure equitable distribution of land.

    “We are planning to host our own conference. We are going to draft our own resolutions. Through this we will produce a land manifesto which we will popularise among the people. This manifesto will guide government as a tool.”

    Thomas added that the cancellation also put LPM in a better position to draft meaningful resolutions.

    LPM will host its conference this week, from 7 to 8 September, Thomas said.

    Civil society organisation Nangof welcomed the decision to cancel the planned land conference.

    “We salute President Hage Geingob for taking time to engage with civil society organisations on this matter and for taking our concerns seriously. Our views were genuine and out of a desire to ensure an effective and successful second national land conference,” its director Uhuru Dempers said.

    Nangof, Dempers said, was willing to support the government to ensure that a successful land conference could be held in future.

    “We pledge to work with the government and other stakeholders to ensure an effective and successful land conference. We have made concrete recommendations to the government about the steps necessary to organise an outcomes-based conference and will support efforts by the government in this regard,” he said.

    When he announced the postponement President Hage Geingob said more time was needed to study the land issue.

    “Let’s take time to study it. We are talking about ancestral land. These are very complicated matters,” he was quoted as saying.

    According to Geingob, the first land conference failed to address ancestral land claims.

    “The first conference failed to address that. So why should we rush now? Some ministers are not happy, but I am deciding let’s give people more time. That’s why we are going to postpone it,” Geingob said.

    No date has been set for the second land conference.

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  • 09/03/17--15:00: Burger wants to change lives
  • Burger wants to change livesBurger wants to change livesEndurance, discipline and determination Former Namibian rugby captain Jacques Burger will inspire youngsters with his success story at the NMH #Festival. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA



    Jacques Burger will be one of the guest speakers at the Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) #Festival taking place from 7-9 September at the SKW sports grounds in Windhoek.

    Burger is arguably Namibia’s most accomplished and renowned professional rugby player yet.

    Life and choosing a career was never easy for the former Welwitschias captain, but his endurance, discipline and determination earned him many accolades.

    Many international rugby commentators have described Burger as a man who fears no pain because of the courage he showed when going into a tackle.

    Years after enjoying a successful rugby career, Jacques Burger’s wish is to change the lives of young Namibians attending the Namibia Media Holdings #Festival.

    The #Festival will see schools from nine regions competing in various sport competitions and beauty pageants.

    “I think that it is important that I share the journey of my career with the young ones.

    “My hope is that whatever I am going to say at the #Festival will be able to bring change in the life of many aspiring youth.

    “Namibia is a country where some people feel that opportunities are hard to come by and they often end up giving up,” Burger says.

    “I however hope that the story about my endurance, suffering and successes will inspire everyone present at the festival.”

    Burger is inviting all people interested in getting their lives changed to attend the #Festival.

    Burger announced his retirement from rugby in 2015 and now devotes his life to farming.

    In 2004, Burger made his debut for the senior national team at the age of 21 and it was immediately clear that he was destined for great things.

    He went on to represent Namibia at three world cup tournaments.

    Burger is one of Namibia’s most capped players, having played 41 matches for the national team.

    Born on July 1983, the 34-year-old has played for clubs like Wildeklawer Griquas, Aurillac, the Blue Bulls and finally Saracens, where he hung up his boots.

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