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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: The youth loves booze
  • The youth loves boozeThe youth loves boozeJuvenile drinkers frequent nightclubs Adolescent drinkers speak to The Zone about their drinking practices. Although nightclubs are restricted to those over 18, many young people frequent these places.

    Clubbing has become an activity used by the youth to enjoy themselves and, as a recreational activity.

    Some of the underage drinkers have been participating in a 'culture of intoxication' and despite measures put in place by the authorities, many of the underage drinkers have access to popular clubs in Windhoek.

    The Zone visited a few nightclubs to see how many of the underage drinkers were allowed in.

    One of the teens we encountered was Hosea Shilongo and a few of his friends.

    They were all at a popular club in Windhoek despite being underage.

    “As long as you are safe and you know your yourself and that you should not do things that will make you end up in trouble, you can come here to party,” said Shilongo.

    The 16-year-old teen says he gained access to the party at the popular club because he just had to “walk through” the doors of the establishment.

    “We don't usually have to struggle when we come into the club. My friends and I just walk in, no questions asked at all,” said Shilongo. He argues that many clubs in Windhoek do not inspect most young club goers to see if they have identification on them because some of the underage drinkers who go to the clubs appear “older” than they actually look. “At times you will find a few clubs who actually ask for identification but that does not happen often. If you appear older you can just walk in without any issues.

    Sometimes the bouncers are also working with many people and they just let you in,” said Shilongo.

    He said that he likes to go to nightclubs because of the thrill he gets when he visits them.

    “The atmosphere here is very different from any other place that is why I come here.

    Clubbing is a good way to just relax,” said Shilongo.

    When he was asked whether he knew that he was too young to party at some of the nightclubs he goes to, he said that many underage club goers do not end up in too much trouble when they visit the clubs.

    “The most that can happen to you is that you are thrown out of the club. In the past the City Police used to do random inspections of clubs but they do not do that anymore so many of us go where we want,” said Shilongo.

    Shilongo says he is well aware of the consequences of drinking while young but argues he is not reckless about it.

    “I have not had a bad experience with drinking so far.

    My friends and I make sure not to get too wasted when we go out, we drink responsibly.

    I know I am young but since when has that stopped young people from drinking?” said Shilongo. The teen explained that they get money to buy alcohol from their parents and then each one of his friends contributes.

    “All of us put money together and we use the money to buy the alcohol.

    That is the only way we can afford it,” said Shilongo.

    He says his parents are not aware he drinks alcohol or that he regularly goes out clubbing with his friends. “My mom thinks I am sleeping over at my friend's place.

    I am doing well academically in school and that is one of the main reasons why she does not know about my clubbing habit,” shared Shilongo.

    Shilongo's friend who only wanted to be identified as 'Markus' said he does not drink but goes to clubs because he gets to be around his friends.

    “I do not consume alcohol but I prefer going to clubs. We are all young and sometimes just want to experience these clubs.

    Markus says they are not in clubs because of peer pressure but because they all made a conscious choice to go to clubs.

    “It is not about peer pressure, we come here because we want to. I know some other people who come here because of that, but not us. We come here because we chose to do it,” said Markus.

    He said that they cannot wait until they were older to go to clubs because it is inevitable.

    “I do not think that we have a choice. Even if I was not going clubbing now at some point in my life I will have to do it that is why I have chosen to do it now. Clubs and shebeens are popular in Windhoek that is why many young people go to them,” said Markus.

    A bouncer at two of the clubs visited by The Zone says they are sometimes lenient on underage drinkers because if they removed them it would be bad for business.

    “If many young people are coming to the clubs we cannot stop them because if we do then the business would not operate. Sometimes we do let them off with a warning but they keep coming back to the clubs,” said the bouncer.

    Shona Ngava

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: A story yet to be told
  • A story yet to be toldA story yet to be toldThe tale of love, forgiveness and hope With every keystroke, one young woman has healed herself of the abuse she suffered as a child. An avid writer, Albertina Nande, is releasing her book on overcoming the post-traumatic effects of sexual abuse. Hoping it will mend broken hearts and that it encourages survivors of abuse to speak out, Nande is looking forward to publish her book, 'The Untold' in December this year.

    Born 20 years ago in Okanghudi, Ondobe, Nande was raised in an extended family under the care of her grandparents. After matriculating in 2014 at Gabriel Taapopi Secondary, Nande is a current third-year medical student at Cavendish Medical School in Lusaka, Zambia.

    Speaking to The Zone, she recalls always having a passion for writing. “It has been my undying passion and it is my most effective way of communication. I own a countless number of diaries, which are full of messages that were never shared,” she said. Nande, who comes from a strong Christian background, has always engaged in diarising her emotions. During her counselling course that she was required to take to help her recover from her abusive past, she engaged in a lot of writing. “I wanted to write down everything. The healing wouldn't be complete if I had not written it out. The plan was to write and keep the document locked up in my computer. But God had a different plan; He wanted my writing to go beyond just diaries,” she further explained.

    According to her, the silence in African societies about sexual abuse has hindered her from writing as “it is not reported as often as it happens”.

    It took her about six months to finish writing her book and she said going back in time was one of her greatest challenges. “I had to constantly rewind and relive incidents that I tried to forget. Reliving these moments meant seeing the faces of the abusers, thinking of the words yet staying on the path of forgiveness towards them,” she continued. Nande also had to face her fears that she ran away from for so many years and revealing the mistakes that she kept hidden.

    Her first part of recovery was doing a 10-week group counselling course. The second part of her journey to healing was writing it out. “The general counselling would also help maintain my recovery since healing is a continuous process that needs maintenance, but God has been awesome and He has carried me throughout.” Her book captures the silence behind child sexual abuse in a two-sided form. “Firstly, it speaks on my side that I have kept the experience 'untold' for all those years. Secondly, from the side of the society; the fact that so many people in society condemn those that would wish to speak out. The fact that sexual abuse is a story no one wants to tell and a story nobody wants told.”

    Her book is not only aimed at survivors of abuse, but also those who searching for meaning to life. “I believe sexual abuse has one way or another affected everyone. I also believe that everyone has been hurt before and also that everyone has regrets. Somebody out there is battling with shame from certain mistakes or is carrying a tormenting burden they shouldn't have to carry.”

    The future looks very bright for Nande. After finishing her first book and waiting for its release, she is already working on her second publication. “I have actually started drafting it already, but it will come out during an appropriate time after 'The Untold'. I just really want to be of help to the least counted.”

    TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Use social media wisely
  • Use social media wiselyUse social media wisely Social media is an integral part of any young person's life. For many, it is a way to connect with others and make new friends, and for those who have too much time on their hands, social media can be a source of entertainment. What if I told you social media is way more than just about making new friends or socialising? It can be used for professional purposes and you can use it to mirror the external part of you. Social media can be more of an extension of your personality - but just on the internet.

    You do not want to be caught in the faux pas of the social media jungle. The youth tends to use social media differently compared to adults. I've noticed a few adults have restricted profiles on social media while the young ones do not really consider privacy and what we share on social media. Some of the things we post on these social media sites can be destructive. It can be fun when posting material because we do not think about the consequences. We tend to upload too much personal or inappropriate information and photos on our social profiles. Many employers now even consider going through their potential employees social media profiles before hiring them. Imagine losing out on a job because of the content you posted? There is no handbook on how to behave on social media but there are a few things you can practice that will enhance your presence on social media.

    Your grammar on social media should be unimpeachable. Obviously your grammar should not reflect the Shakespearian type of communication but it must be good if you want to be taken seriously. Avoid typos and double-check your statements before you post them. Make sure you do not upload pictures of your abs, cleavage; drunken evenings with friends or obscene gestures. You need to practice social media etiquette. Do not lie on social media. There are people who use the social media vacuum for many other purposes and they conjure up too many deceptions. We might know some of our social media friends who flash expensive things on social media and when we run into them in public we realise they were just lying about the things they own. Remember to be safe on social media as well. Sometimes people become targets of vicious criminals who monitor these platforms. Once you join a social networking site, you may find yourself spending a lot of time there. It is all in good fun but it can also be harmful and can have an impact on what you do in your life. Sometimes we are so hooked to social media we forget we have a life off of it.

    It is of utmost importance to respect every one of your friends on social media sites. Always be very discreet because not all of your friends are going to be happy about what you do. So many young people have transformed their life into the number of 'likes'. No amount of likes on social media can determine who you are. I know a few friends of mine who get depressed when they do not get a certain amount of likes. They feel if many people do not like what they post then it means they are not popular or that nobody likes them or what they do on social media. At the end of the day some likes and social media fame do not pay the bills so do not get your blood boiling over simple things. And also, go easy on the filters and edits when you are trying to touch up your photos. It has come to a point on social media where people have distorted their personalities totally. They are so out of touch with themselves and who they are. They rely on filters to make themselves feel good. There is nothing wrong with filters but some abuse them. How do you edit a picture to a point where we do not know the real you from the 'edited version' you upload? Clearly if that is happening often, then it is a recipe for disaster. Take it easy and be safe on the net. I also have to conform to some of the things I write here. In no way or theory do I claim that I use social media better. I just felt like sharing some of my concerns regarding how others use it. Be safe on the internet and make sure you are cautious of what you upload there.



    Until next time. Peri Nawa!



    shona@namibiansun.com

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Lawman
  • LawmanLawman Youthful Advocate Eliaser Nekwaya speaks to Zone about his journey towards law and eventually qualifying as an advocate.

    The Zone (Z): Briefly tell us about yourself, where were you born and raised?



    Eliaser Nekwaya (EN): I was born in Windhoek, raised in Omuntele village (Oshikoto Region) where I grew up with my grandparents, looking after cattle and goats, cultivating our mahangu field and generally attending to domestic work associated with young boys at the time. I am just shy of 29 years of age today.



    Z: Take us through your educational background, why the interest law and how (and where) you acquired your qualifications?



    EN: I attended primary and junior secondary school in Omuntele until 2004. Between 2005 and 2006 I attended senior secondary school in Ekulo Senior Secondary School, where I completed grades 11 and 12. In 2010 I graduated with a B. Juris degree, and in 2012, I graduated with my Bachelor's of Law (LLB) degree.During June 2017, I submitted a thesis as part of the requirements for fulfilment of a Master of Law (LLM) in Corporate Law with the University of South Africa, which I will soon graduate. On 12 July 2013, I was admitted as a legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia.



    Z: You recently became an advocate, to our readers who don't know what the title represents, give us a brief explanation?



    EN: Traditionally, the word “advocate” means the person called to the side of another to render him judicial assistance. An advocate is generally a specialist in forensic litigation and in rendering advice on legal matters. An advocate is also primarily an expert in advocacy, which is the art of presenting the client's case in court. In practice, advocates, who are members of the Society of Advocates of Namibia, are independent legal practitioners who practice on their own account, but subject to the referral rule. The referral rule means that advocates are instructed by legal practitioners.



    Z: Prior to independence and early thereafter, black children often didn't have role models who look like them and people like you continue to break barriers and own spaces which in the past were denied for black people. What does your achievement mean for children navigating this world?



    EN: I do not consider myself to have broken a barrier. Barriers were broken by our forebears. To young people and school-going children out there, joining the bar through pupillage is very hard. It is stressful, and it is intense and definitely annoyingly uncertain especially because the law is a very vast subject - there is always much reading and research to do. There is no advantage or previous disadvantage rule in the quality of the training or the examinations given. Logically, it must be so, because the profession has very a difficult constitutional mandate to promote and uphold and clients should expect a high quality of work from the advocate, no matter his or her colour. As a person from a previously disadvantaged background, I felt I owed this duty towards those from my educational background to succeed. However, regardless of your race (granted the opportunity), if you are ethical, disciplined and diligent, becoming an advocate is a realistic dream. Only a person with these character traits would be admitted to undertake pupillage and consequently be called to the Bar to assist in the realisation of Namibia's difficult constitutional project.



    Z: Let's talk legal assistance. It's no secret that poor Namibians still struggle to access quality legal representation and assistance so where are we in terms of ensuring that the poor access quality legal representation and what more can be done the level the playing field?



    EN: Space constraints do not permit the effective answering of this question. Without detail, I will however remark that access to justice has suffered at the hand of exorbitant legal fees, the decrease in the pro bono culture and inadequate provision for legal aid. Although the state provides legal aid services through the Legal Aid Act, they are limited to availability of resources in the public purse. In my view, the state is really trying its level best to assist more people to access justice but I think consideration should be given to the adequate distribution of those funds.



    Z: What are your hopes and dreams for the justice system in Namibia?



    EN: Chiefly, that the onerous constitutional task of access to justice for all Namibians is realised and that the independence of the judiciary is maintained. These are paramount to the rule of law. Although there are various challenges facing the justice system, with concerted efforts from all of us, we will be able to overcome the challenges progressively.



    SHONA NGAVA

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    N. Korea pushing the boundariesN. Korea pushing the boundariesSunday's test of 'hydrogen bomb' elicits major response The stage seems set for a massive sanctions roll-out against North Korea following the most recent test of a nuclear bomb. South Korea's military has fired missiles into the sea in a simulation of an attack on North Korea's nuclear test site a day after Pyongyang set off its largest ever nuclear test explosion.

    In Washington, the US defence secretary, Jim Mattis, bluntly warned that the US will answer any threat from the North with a “massive military response”.

    Earlier, President Donald Trump threatened to halt all trade with countries doing business with the North, a veiled warning to China, and faulted South Korea for its “talk of appeasement”.

    North Korea tested what leader Kim Jong Un's government claimed was a hydrogen bomb.

    That would be a major advancement in Pyongyang's long-sought goal of an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can hit the US.

    North Korea put on an extraordinary two-part show of its nuclear ambitions, releasing photos of leader Kim Jong Un next to the bomb for an intercontinental ballistic missile, then actually detonating a device in its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear test to date.

    The underground test, a major nose-thumb at Washington, Beijing and all of the North's neighbours, follows an intense few months that have seen Kim launching missiles at record clip and in ways that are much more provocative than usual.

    It was almost certainly intended to get under the skin of one man in particular: President Donald Trump, whose first salvo back, in a tweet, was: “North Korea has conducted a major nuclear rest. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

    Here's a closer look at what the North did on Sunday, and some of the possible reasons why.



    The morning teaser

    Bright and early, North Korea's state media started posting photos of Kim visiting the country's Nuclear Weapons Institute to see what state media described as “a signal turn in nuclear weaponisation”.

    A front-page story in the ruling-party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, carried photos of Kim watching a shiny, peanut-shaped device it said was a hydrogen bomb designed to be mounted into the North's new “Hwasong-14” intercontinental ballistic missile. The North's official news agency, KCNA, also released the photos, which were clearly intended to be seen by a global audience.

    Whether the North can make a nuclear warhead small and light enough to put on top of a long-range missile has long been a matter of heated debate among foreign experts. This was clearly an attempt to address those doubts.

    The North in July had demonstrated for the first time that it has - or is very close to having - an operational ICBM, though experts still believe it could at best reach Chicago and will probably require another year or two to perfect.

    The photos created a stir among missile and nuclear weapons experts on Twitter, with the general consensus being that the design appeared to look about right for a sophisticated thermonuclear warhead.

    The state media reports stressed that the bomb was made with domestic parts and workmanship, suggesting that more could be made without outside experts or imports.



    Biggest blast yet

    Before North Korea watchers had a chance to digest the photos, seismographs recorded a big tremor around noon North Korea time.

    Ground motion is a great indicator of an underground nuclear test, and sometimes the only one. North Korea has proven itself adept at masking other tell-tale signs, such as the leakage of radioactive materials. The power of the blast, its location at the North's nuclear testing site and the shallow epicentre left little doubt.

    North Korea has repeatedly stated that it will continue to pursue nuclear weapons and long-range missiles capable of reaching the US because it sees that strategy as its only protection against what it believes is a hostile superpower bent on regime change or possibly outright invasion.

    To that end, it must test its weapons to both perfect technologies and dispel doubts. Sunday's test went a long way toward doing that.

    Although it doesn't prove a nuclear warhead can be fitted onto the Hwasong-14, thermonuclear devices can be lightweight and still produce tremendously high yields.

    The device that was detonated on Sunday is believed to have a much bigger yield than anything the North has demonstrated - possibly 70 kilotons according to Japan's defence minister. That's more than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima (15 kilotons) and Nagasaki (around 20).



    A curtain raiser

    Starting with the launches of two ICBMs in July that are believed to have the range to strike the US mainland, North Korea has been far more aggressive in its military activities over the past few months than usual.

    It's possible Kim Jong Un has decided to hurry to get that nuclear deterrent his country wants.

    But tensions on the Korean Peninsula rise every year in the spring and late summer, when the US and South Korea hold annual military exercises. North Korea has stated it is, at least in part, responding to Washington's decision to hold the exercises, which ended last week.

    It has also protested a new round of sanctions recently approved by the UN and the repeated dispatch of B-1B bombers from the island of Guam to the skies of South Korea - a show of force from Washington to reassure allies in Seoul and Tokyo.

    North Korea's state media reported that Kim said the launch of an intermediate range missile over Japan just a week ago was a “curtain-raiser” for more activity ahead.

    Sunday's test would certainly fit that bill.

    But it will almost certainly raise the curtain on something else - a tougher response, either in sanctions, diplomatic isolation or a bolstered US military presence - that Kim and his top lieutenants will have to take into consideration as well.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day FLOODED: A graveyard is seen as it floods during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Pearland, Texas. Hurricane Harvey left a trail of devastation Saturday after the most powerful storm to hit the US mainland in over a decade slammed into Texas, destroying homes, severing power supplies and forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Now hard work!
  • Now hard work!Now hard work! It is pleasing to see football administrators finally working together to enhance the beautiful game. This past weekend, the Namibia Premier League (NPL) elected prominent lawyer Patrick Kauta as its chairperson and Black Africa's Boni Paulino as deputy chairperson. The two were elected unopposed at an extraordinary elective congress in Windhoek. The mere fact that Kauta and Paulino were recognised as sole candidates signifies the overwhelming vote of confidence the clubs have shown in their leadership abilities. Prior to the elective congress, the clubs had given thumbs up to a new draft constitution as well as rules and regulations governing the local league. The NPL needed to get its house in order and ultimately improve the administration of local football in the country.

    The top-flight league has been inactive since May last year due to infighting and lack of sponsorship. However, we believe that with the recently installed leadership, there is hope for Namibian football and the time is right to work towards a path of success. We have surely learned from the consequences of our past mistakes and the shame it has brought to the football fraternity. For far too long football found itself in total chaos with poor administration being the order of the day. It is our sincere hope that the new leadership has conjured up good ideas to ensure that the league was attractive enough for potential sponsors. There are major priorities that the new leadership will be preoccupied with and we are pretty sure that winning back the hearts of sponsors is one of them.

    As the number-one sport in the country, football, like many other sporting codes, plays an important role in society and the onus should be on establishing new and innovative ways to grow the sport. We want the incoming leadership to lay a foundation for long-term success, including properly accounting for the league's finances, which have been a quite an issue in the past. However, the Kauta-led administration will need clubs and soccer fans alike to buy into the big idea or vision they have for our football to prosper.

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Namdeb CEO search continues
  • Namdeb CEO search continuesNamdeb CEO search continues The search for a substantive Namdeb CEO is still ongoing and there appears to be, at this stage, no indication of when the diamond giant is expected to complete the requirement process.

    Namdeb spokesperson Pauline Thomas this week provided an update and said an announcement would be made as soon as the process was finalised.

    “The CEO recruitment process is still ongoing. An announcement will be made once the process is finalised,” Thomas said yesterday.

    The diamond giant is currently being led in an acting position by its financial director, Markus Lubbe.

    Namdeb board member Daniel Kali has previously said an external recruitment firm had been roped in to help with the search for a CEO.

    “The advert to fill the post of Namdeb CEO has been placed in this week's newspapers. An external human resources service provider has been engaged to assist in the process,” said Kali when contacted.

    Namdeb has been without a CEO for almost close to two years following the resignation of Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi who was appointed as constitutional advisor to President Hage Geingob in 2015.

    She had led Namdeb for 15 years.



    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Rundu to suspend three
  • Rundu to suspend threeRundu to suspend three The Rundu Town Council intends to suspend three officials on accusations of corruption.

    The three are the council's strategic executive for corporate service and administration, Herman Haingura, the divisional head of roads, Leevi Kakukuru, and divisional head of environmental health Sitembinkosi Moyo.

    They were issued with letters of intent to place them on suspension late last week.

    The letters seen by Nampa state that the allegations against them are serious, and that the town council intends to institute an investigation into the matters.

    “It is my view that your presence at the town council might prejudice the investigations in that you might interfere with the investigations or intimidate witnesses,” reads the letters signed by chairperson of the council's management committee, Annastacia Antonio.

    The letters state that the council intends to put the three on precautionary suspension with full benefits pending the finalisation of the investigations.

    The trio was given three working days to provide reasons why they should not be suspended. Today is the due date.

    Kakukuru, in July this year, allegedly pretended to act as an agent of public relations officer of the council, Benjamin Makayi, and entered into two bogus land sale agreements with businessman Martin Shipanga of Marula Trust.

    Moyo was arrested early in August for the alleged contravention of immigration laws and is being investigated on infringements of the Local Authorities Act 1992. She is now out on bail.

    Haingura stands accused of promising municipal land to Ruganeni Investment CC in exchange for money.

    NAMPA

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Shoprite defies court order
  • Shoprite defies court orderShoprite defies court orderFired staff not yet reinstated as instructed Following a court order as far back as October last year, two staff members are still waiting for the company to adhere to the order of the High Court. South African retail giant, Shoprite Checkers, has gone against the decision of the Oshakati High Court to reinstate two employees who were dismissed for tasting sausages meant for customers at its Ongwediva branch.

    The company was ordered to reinstate two former employees, but has, to date, not done so.

    The two former employees Haihambo Gabriel and Priskilla Mukongelwa were employed as a shop steward and front-end controller respectively, at the Shoprite Ongwediva branch.

    They were dismissed on 28 October 2015 after they appeared before a disciplinary committee which found them guilty of tasting food – sausages - meant for customers.

    In court documents seen by Namibian Sun, the two argued that they consumed the meat because the customers were complaining about a salty taste which they wanted to confirm as they were in supervisory positions.

    The two were spotted tasting the product and it was on that basis they were taken to task.

    The duo however took the matter up with the labour commissioner, a matter which was postponed on a series of occasions up until 27 October 2016, when the arbitrator ruled in favour of Shoprite, endorsing the dismissal of the two employees.

    The two employees did not give up on the matter as they went on to appeal the decision of the disciplinary hearing committee and the ruling of the arbitrator in the Office of the Labour Commissioner in the Oshakati High Court which was heard on 7 April this year.

    On 23 June Judge Maphios Cheda made his ruling in which he set aside the findings of the Shoprite disciplinary hearing committee and that of the labour commissioner's office.

    The judge also ordered Shoprite to reinstate the appellants to their respective positions with effect from 19 October 2016 with full salaries and benefits.

    However, thus far the two employees have not been reinstated and the period of 14 days granted to Shoprite to appeal the High Court ruling gave also lapsed.

    When contacted for comment, Shoprite's human resources manager, Joel Kapingana who represented the company during the matter declined to comment on the issue saying that they do not discuss internal matters with the media.

    Meanwhile, the two appellants have approached the High Court for assistance with legal aid so that Shoprite complies with the ruling.

    They also told Namibian Sun that they went to find out from the Supreme Court whether Shoprite has appealed but no such information existed.

    One of the appellants, Gabriel who is now working at a construction company, said that he wants his old job back as he does not earn enough to make a living to take care of his six children.

    “I just want my job back because finding a well-paying job is difficult and I was dismissed for doing my job,” Gabriel said.

    The other appellant, Mukongelwa is currently unemployed and has returned to the village at Endola in Ohangwena Region.

    She said all she wants is for Shoprite to comply with the court's decision and for her to be able to raise her three children.

    “Currently it is a struggle to raise my three children as I have no source of income and I have not been lucky enough to get a new job,” she said.

    Shoprite has of late been the centre of attention and a number of organisations have aired their views about the manner in which the company conducts itself in labour matters.

    Recently, labour minister Erkki Nghimtina also shared his sentiments over Shoprite where he labelled the company as an “anti-union” organisation due to the fact that the workers are for years now are not represented by a union which can fight for their rights when violated.

    In 2015, Shoprite workers were charged with violating several company regulations, including participating in an unlawful strike and gross insubordination.

    They were also charged with the destruction of private property and for interfering with a company investigation.

    Over 100 workers at Shoprite in Windhoek were facing disciplinary charges for taking part in the 2015 strike while 176 workers at Rundu and Gobabis are facing the same charges.

    The disciplinary hearings are still ongoing in Windhoek although calls by several stakeholders for the charges against the workers to be dropped have been on the increase recently.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Malaysia celebrates 60th anniversary with orphansMalaysia celebrates 60th anniversary with orphans The High Commission of Malaysia last week celebrated their country's 60th independence anniversary with orphans and vulnerable children from the Mammadu Centre for orphans and vulnerable children.

    The celebrations were held last Thursday at the official residence of the Malaysian High Commissioner to Namibia, Hishamuddin Ibrahim. Also present at the event was a Malaysian painter, Feeza Jazri, who was recently awarded the International Master of Art Award.

    During the event, Ibrahim expressed his belief that the children of Mammadu have the potential to harness the brightest future through education and hard work, especially with the support from the founder and the staff of the non-profit organisation. Ibrahim also motivated the children and encouraged them to read, as knowledge is the key to success.

    Emphasising that children are the future generation of the country, the high commissioner also reaffirmed his personal commitment to continue his support to Mammadu in any way possible and to help increase awareness among the diplomatic community of the good cause.

    The children were treated to many fun activities such as Batik drawing and painting, face painting and henna drawing. They also had the opportunity to learn Malaysian traditional games such as 'Batu Seremban' (five stones), 'Teng Teng' (hopscotch) and 'Galah Panjang' (long pole).

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Two days for Hashtag FestivalTwo days for Hashtag Festival On Thursday morning the first presentations will be made at the SKW sports grounds as from 10:00 as part of the career expo of the #Festival, which will take place on that day, as well as Friday and Saturday.

    Do take a look at the My Zone site on Facebook and get an idea of what type of presentations are due to be made: Hazel Masvanishe, image consultant of Hazel Consulting; Manni Goldbeck & Gys Joubert of Gondwana Collection Namibia talking about tourism; the audit profession described by Kristian Endresen and Aidan O'Connor of Deloitte Namibia; Andre Nel of Intouch talking about graphic design; Justinus van der Westhuizen of King Price Insurance discussing his trade and career opportunities; Nadine van Rooi, the legal advisor of Paratus looking at her industry; Ally Angula of 'My Republik' talking about her own clothing label; Newsprint's Ernst Venzke and Chantel van Wyk informing you about the printing industry; Colette Riekert of the Windhoek Gymnasium talking about the future of education and the change in school management requirements and many more… all giving you the chance to understand what opportunities exist and how to get there should you choose these career paths.

    The NMH newspapers Republikein, Namibian Sun and Allgemeine Zeitung are giving away free tickets daily. All you have to do is send a text with the word Hashtag-Rep, Hashtag-Sun or Hashtag-AZ, followed by your name, to the number 51500 (N$3 per text). Only one message will be considered per cell number, but you remain eligable to win one of 15 sets of double entrance tickets, which will be given away every day at 12:00. The winners will be notified by text message and will receive their electronic entrance tickets sent by the number 77677. Also follow the internet sites “myzone.com.na” and “hashtag.my.na” in order to read up on all the activities related to the Hashtag Festival's career expo, community games and sport and Summer Festival.

    FRANK STEFFEN

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Annasruh moving forward
  • Annasruh moving forwardAnnasruh moving forwardFirst phase of feedlot is up and running With 18 new jobs for the first phase, the Annasruh feedlot at Gobabis is offering new opportunities for marketing of weaners in that region. Approximately 800 animals were offloaded in the first week at the Annasruh feedlot through the new offloading ramp and sorting station, with the first phase expected to hold up to 3 000 animals.

    The first phase of the feedlot that is situated in the Omaheke Region, 10 km west of Gobabis, has been completed and offloading of the first animals using the offloading ramp was done during the end of August.

    According to Meatco, constructing the feedlot has created a number of new employment opportunities for the town and region. Furthermore, Meatco has ensured an environmentally friendly feedlot thanks to eight boreholes that are powered either by solar or windmill, while three reservoirs have a capacity of 11 000 cubic metres of water. The aspect of renewable energy sources for the management of underground water was a major factor for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

    According to Meatco, following the completion of phase one, phase two will commence with the construction of the next 25 pens. Once the feedlot is complete, the aim is to accommodate 12 000 animals with fully functional facilities, a weighbridge, integration of space, feed, water, waste management and handling facilities.

    Meatco employed 18 people in the first phase. With sorting stations currently accommodating between 600 and 800 animals per week, the total standing cattle by the end of 2017 is projected to be 3 000. This will allow farmers to raise their weaners to long weaners (250-350kg) that can be sold to Meatco, rather than forcing farmers to market their animals on the hoof to South Africa under increasingly difficult export conditions.

    Once completed, the feedlot will increase marketing opportunities to farmers in the surrounding areas as well as ensure consistent throughput to the Meatco factory. Through Meatco's Backwards Integration Initiatives, Meatco is establishing a third feedlot at Kombat in the Otjozondjupa Region. Meatco will continue to invest in developing feedlots and to support local weaner producers to ensure better returns for farmers/producers.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Blue Kunene renders humanitarian aidBlue Kunene renders humanitarian aid Two people were airlifted from the Kunene Region to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital after military doctors forming part of the SADC joint air force exercise Blue Kunene found them to be critically ill.

    More than 1 500 people received medical treatment and 250 tons of food was distributed in the three constituencies of the Kunene Region.

    The Kunene governor, Angelika Muharukua, said the exercise was vital to her mountainous region, where many communities are not reachable by road.

    “Our region is made up of mountains and people live behind those mountains. There are no roads to those places. During this exercise medical services and food relief aid were airlifted to those places.

    “This was a blessing to us because in the past we used to hire a military helicopter but this time it was done for free,” Muharukua said. Muharukua said the region needed more medical personnel to visit remote villages. There is only one tarred road in Kunene and many areas are inaccessible.

    Botswana, South Africa, Angola, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia contributed military aircraft, medical equipment and personnel to the exercise that started on 20 August and will end on Thursday.

    The exercise was done in conjunction with the Office of the Prime Minister's Disaster and Risk Management Unit, which contributed donated food aid.

    Mobile clinics were set up in inaccessible parts of the Epupa, Opuwo Rural and Sesfontein constituencies. When teams went to distribute food aid, they took along medical teams and equipment.

    “Serious cases that were identified during this exercise were referred to the Opuwo District Hospital for proper treatment. We only found two complicated cases, where patients were airlifted to Oshakati Intermediate Hospital. Most of the people were diagnosed with hypertension, arthritis, dental problems and upper respiratory infections,” a source said.

    During the official closing ceremony in Oshakati yesterday, the chief of the Namibian Defence Force, Lieutenant-General John Mutwa, said the exercise was a success despite some challenges that were experienced. He said he wished the next 'Blue' exercise would improve on the problems that were identified.

    Mutwa said 23 aircraft were committed to the operation and distributed 250 tons of food aid to remote communities. The supplies were airlifted from Windhoek to Ondangwa and then from Ondangwa to Kunene.

    “I am confident that you have learned valuable operational lessons to take on board for your future exercises and indeed for real-life emergencies,” Mutwa told the participants.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Inequality unsettles Geingob
  • Inequality unsettles GeingobInequality unsettles Geingob JEMIMA BEUKES



    President Hage Geingob says the inequality in the world keeps him awake at night and is simply not acceptable.

    Geingob said this in light of the Oxfam report launched early this year, which stated that eight people in the world own as much wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world's population.

    This state of affairs is shameful, Geingob said when he delivered the keynote address at the international conference on African European party dialogue of socialists and democrats yesterday.

    Geingob blamed Namibia's inequality, which means the country's wealth and land are largely owned by a white minority, on colonial rule and apartheid.

    “It would be a gross betrayal of trust if we did nothing about inequality. It would be an even bigger betrayal if we were to allow an elite of white minority ownership to be replaced or joined by a few blacks,” said Geingob.

    He emphasised that poverty, inequality and poverty are interrelated and need to be addressed simultaneously and systemically, but added that those who own the wealth will resist, believing that they are being unfairly targeted.

    “I am intentionally using the words 'haves' as it is colour neutral and includes the wealthy black Namibian elite. As a nation, we have a tendency to radicalise the discussion of wealth redistribution when in actual fact it is a matter of highly skewed distribution of resources which is unsustainable. As a country that begrudges our status as one of the most unequal in the world, we are compelled to act with urgency to reduce inequality,” he said.

    According to Geingob the country is making great strides in reducing poverty and inequality with its progressive income tax and generous social spending programmes.

    However, the president noted that despite these reductions both inequality and poverty remain stubbornly high and act as a stark reminder that the government has the complex challenge of creating a conducive environment for job creation while also widening the ownership base of the economy.

    “Namibia's commitment to equity is not restricted to poverty and income measures; we believe that gender equity is equally important for a stable and harmonious society. In this regard a policy decision by the governing party, Swapo, to introduce the zebra-style representation at party level has led to significant improvement to 47% in Namibia's parliament. This is the second highest level of representation on the continent and among the top five in the world,” he said.

    The two-day conference is being attended by delegates from 15 African states and 10 European countries and will end today.

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    San conservancies plead for helpSan conservancies plead for helpMinister earlier said he would not tolerate abuse of land The two San conservancies in the country say they are still plagued by illegal land grabbing and settlements and pleaded for help from the minister. STAFF REPORTER



    The Nyae Nyae and N?a Jaqna conservancies have appealed to environment minister Pohamba Shifeta to visit them in order to address issues that threaten them.



    The two conservancies, run by indigenous San communities, are among Namibia's largest communal conservancies.



    A statement issued by the conservancies said Shifeta promised last year that he would not tolerate abuse of communities in conservancies by invaders who wanted to cheat them out of their land and scarce natural resources.



    Both conservancies have been struggling for years to address illegal settlement and fencing (N?a Jaqna) and illegal grazing (Nyae Nyae).



    “Despite court orders and the minister's words, the residents have been frustrated at the lack of progress, while those acting illegally have continued their illegal activities,” the statement read.



    The conservancies urged Shifeta to exercise his authority to help expedite the legal process of stopping illegal activities.



    “It is something the residents of the conservancies have been seeking for many years,” the statement said.



    The problem with illegal settlement, fencing and grazing is that it threatens the long-term survival of the conservancies, the residents added.



    “We are constantly seeing illegal activities taking place in the conservancies and the lack of action by the authorities is leading to more and more people flaunting the law and abusing our land and resource rights,” said Sarah Zungu, the chairperson of N?a Jaqna Conservancy and a senior !Kung traditional councillor.



    According to the statement the conservancies depend upon sustainable use and management of natural resources, “while those acting illegally flaunt these rules, creating overgrazing and water shortages and stretching the precious resources beyond breaking point.”



    Nyae Nyae Conservancy is also a community forest and N?a Jaqna is seeking community forest status.



    This status means that these communities have rights over the grazing in the conservancies. But it has not had the hoped-for effect of getting additional support from the agriculture ministry in addressing illegal grazing.



    “Everyone agrees on the importance of protecting our natural resources and giving the San people the chance and opportunity to thrive within their conservancies, so that they can feel part of and contribute to the Harambee Prosperity Plan and NTDP 5.



    “However, if the laws of Namibia and High Court rulings are not enforced the challenges facing the residents of the conservancy and their surroundings become insurmountable,” the statement said.



    The local Land Board, instructed by the High Court to ensure that 22 illegal settlers vacate conservancy land, has failed to provide a progress report to the N?a Jaqna Conservancy despite specific requests for information.



    “We urge these matters to be given the priority they deserve,” the statement said.



    Both conservancies hope that a visit by Shifeta would help garner support for their cause and give them the necessary clout they need to implement the court orders.

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Burglars hit Rehoboth bank
  • Burglars hit Rehoboth bankBurglars hit Rehoboth bank ELLANIE SMIT

    Police are searching for burglars who broke into Bank Windhoek’s Rehoboth branch at about 03:00 yesterday morning.

    According to the police the burglars entered through an open toilet window and then disconnected the CCTV cameras.

    They then opened a code-locked door to the tellers’ section and took the keys to the vault.

    They stole an unknown amount of cash and fled.

    The bank said the Rehoboth branch remained closed yesterday because of the police investigation. It will resume normal trading hours today.

    No one has been arrested yet.

    In the north, a 25-year-old man was arrested at Outapi on Sunday for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl.

    According to the police the rape occurred on 10 June at the Onhimbu location. It is reported that the man dragged the child to his room, tied her hands behind her back and raped her.

    He allegedly kept her in his room until the end of the school day and threatened her not to tell anyone about the rape.

    However, the man then bragged to his sister how he would impregnate the girl. The sister decided to report the incident.

    In another rape case, a 30-year-old man allegedly raped a 26-year-old woman in the Simanya area at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West Region on Saturday.

    The suspect allegedly offered the woman a lift to her home. When she got into the car he drove into the bush, where he allegedly assaulted and raped her. The suspect was arrested.

    In another incident on Sunday night, 51-year-old Jordan Nendongo burned to death after trying to light a cigarette.

    According to the police the incident happened at Ombundu village in the Onankali area.

    It is alleged that the man was drunk when left a cuca shop and passed out in the veld on his way home. He died in a grass fire.

    When his friends saw the fire they ran to help him, but it was too late. A box of matches was found in his left hand.

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: Murder appeal dismissed
  • Murder appeal dismissedMurder appeal dismissedPanduleni will have to serve 17 years The High Court has dismissed an appeal by a convicted murderer against his 17-year prison sentence. FRED GOEIEMAN



    The Windhoek High Court has dismissed an appeal against the jail term of a businessman convicted of killing a member of the Men and Women Network against Crime four years ago.

    Magistrate Sarel Jacobs of the Regional Court in Katutura sentenced Jackson Absalom Panduleni, 31, for murder with direct intent to 17 years in jail in October last year for the killing of 33-year-old Tobias Abisai, in Okuryangava in Windhoek on February 9, 2013.

    Abisai died after he was shot in the chest at a street party, also known as a ‘Kasi party’ by Panduleni at a shopping centre in Ondoto Street in Katutura's Okuryangava residential area. The killer had appealed to the High Court against the sentence.

    However, yesterday Judge Nate Ndauendapo, concurred with by Judge Christie Liebenberg, emphasised in their ruling that although the court acknowledged contradictions in the evidence of the State witnesses, not every error made by a witness will affect the credibility of such witness.

    He added that during the evaluation of evidence, the nature of the contradictions, their number and importance and their bearing on other parts of witness evidence, must be taken into account.

    “The court found the differences when considered against the totality of evidence adduced, not material and accepted the version of the state,” he ruled.

    The judge further said that based on the failure of the State to call one witness and the court not exercising its duty to call that witness - which was a crucial witness - that the issue was not raised during the trial and that no application was made at the trial for the court to call that witness.

    The availability of the witness was not known and the court was not faced with a situation where it had to rely on the evidence of a single witness. “There was no duty on the court to call the witness,” the judge said.

    Ndauendapo added that by the time the State witnesses had testified, Panduleni had an opportunity to test their credibility under cross-examination.

    He further said the State, during the appeal hearing, had implored the court to declare Panduleni unfit to possess a firearm in terms of the Arms and Ammunition Act, as the trial court failed to do so.

    However, he added that no such application was made during the trial and Panduleni was therefore never afforded the opportunity to oppose the application.

    “A declaration without hearing the accused would not be fair to him. Accordingly court declined to give such order,” Ndauendapo ruled.

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    Donkey abattoir on international agenda  Donkey abattoir on international agenda ELLANIE SMIT

    A delegation from the Donkey Sanctuary UK and the National Council of SPCAs will visit Namibia next week and meet with role players to discuss concerns regarding possible exports of donkey products from Namibia.

    The delegation will include animal rights activist Alex Mayers from the Donkey Sanctuary UK and Morgane James from the NSPCA South Africa, who is the Donkey Protection Project Leader.

    Their visit follows a controversial plan by a Chinese company to construct and operate a mixed donkey and cattle abattoir at Outjo. Fu Hai Trading Enterprise's plan to open an abattoir has been met with a long list of concerns and objections by residents.

    The CEO of the Windhoek SPCA, Monique Redecker, confirmed their visit to Namibia from 12 to 15 September.

    According to Redecker, the Windhoek SPCA has been extensively involved in the Outjo donkey abattoir saga and has also been gathering crucial information regarding the proposed abattoir.

    “We are proud to confirm that we are closely working with Alex Mayers from the Donkey Sanctuary UK and with Morgane James from the NSPCA South Africa. Both parties will visit Namibia from 12 to 15 September, and, with the collaboration of the SPCA Namibia, see all key role players and decision makers regarding this matter,” said Redecker.

    The Donkey Sanctuary is an international organisation that is devoted to the welfare of donkeys and at the beginning of this year already expressed concern over the fact that Namibia was considering opening a donkey abattoir. The organisation was also concerned that many donkeys may already illegally be slaughtered in the country for export to China.

    The international organisation earlier released the findings of an investigation which revealed that the trade has led to an explosion in the number of donkeys in Africa, Asia and South America being sourced, stolen and slaughtered for their hides which are then destined for China. In particular, illegal thefts have left entire donkey-dependent communities devastated and facing an increased risk of poverty.

    Meanwhile, Quivertree Consulting was hired by Fu Hair Trading Enterprise to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

    The SPCA has handed in two submissions to the consulting firm.

    It required, as per international standards and the Animal Protection Act, that the abattoir must not accept any animals to be slaughtered without proof that the animals were bought legally from any supplier or seller.

    It also said that the company should not allow any seller to transport animals inhumanely and it must ensure that animals are transported as per specific individual humane requirements.

    Another requirement was that the company must ensure that all animals are kept in holding areas in a humane, stress-free manner and that it must ensure that all animals are slaughtered in a humane and stress-free manner as per international standards.

    “Qualified veterinarians/inspectors must be permanently employed to ensure all of the above,” it said.

    The SPCA also said the company must allow any representative from the organisation free entrance to any and all areas on the property to ensure all procedures are implemented and maintained at all times to ensure humane and stress-free treatment of all animals.

    In a background information document drafted by Quivertree Consulting, it said the aim of the development would be to build a state of-the-art export abattoir to slaughter both donkeys and cattle for the local Namibian market, as well as for export to China.

    The abattoir’s business model will include having holding pens on farms in the north, outside Outjo and possibly in other areas while it plans to slaughter a maximum of about 70 donkeys per day.

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  • 09/04/17--15:00: MUN cracks widen
  • MUN cracks widenMUN cracks widenThree branches criticise NEC The branches have also lashed out at MUN acting president Desley Somseb for breaking ranks with other affiliates following a vote of no confidence against NUNW president Ismael Kasuto. STAFF REPORTER



    Three branches representing southern members of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) have openly criticised a decision taken by the national executive committee to drag other affiliates of the National of Namibian Workers Union (NUNW) to court over unpaid affiliation fees.

    The members have also lashed out at MUN acting president Desley Somseb for breaking ranks with other affiliates following a vote of no confidence against NUNW president Ismael Kasuto, who was removed from office last month.

    However, Kasuto has refused to budge, claiming he was still in charge of the largest umbrella body representing Namibian workers. He claimed decisions taken at the special central executive committee meeting were not unconstitutional.

    This assertion has also been supported by Somseb.

    He had called the decision to remove Kasuto invalid, as there was no extraordinary congress to decide on his fate.

    “As the MUN, we, therefore, wish to state none of the decisions taken by the affiliates at the CEC meeting can be regarded as legitimate or constitutional,” Somseb was quoted as saying by The Namibian.

    Yesterday the branch chairmen of Namdeb, Skorpion Zinc and Rosh Pinah issued a joint statement in which they criticised Somseb for the “miscalculated and irresponsible action” to drag NUNW affiliates to court.

    “The fight that MUN is currently fighting is not MUN’s responsibility, but it’s the responsibility of NUNW to ensure that all affiliates are paid up,” the statement read.

    “NUNW is empowered by its own constitution on how to deal with affiliates that are not adhering to the laid out procedures and rules. The costly court battles that MUN has undertaken are not in the best interests of the mineworkers’ union’s general membership and none of the MUN members are benefiting from such retrogressive action except Kasuto, Desley and co.”

    The court case brought by the MUN national executive was dismissed and referred to the labour commissioner’s office. During the special central executive committee meeting of the NUNW, the MUN staged a walkout after a vote of no confidence was passed against Kasuto.

    “It left the organisation (MUN) not represented in that CEC and therefore decisions were taken in their absence. If they knew that they were right in their arguments, they could have remained in the meeting and have their opinion and views properly recorded in the minutes for future reference,” the unionists said.

    They claim affiliates of NUNW – even those who are not in good standing – have all along been attending meetings chaired by Kasuto and the outstanding fees have never been an issue.

    The CEC meeting nominated delegates for the Swapo congress in November this year. NUNW is an affiliate of the ruling party.

    Commentators have linked the infighting plaguing the unions to the battle of the soul of Swapo ahead of the upcoming elective congress.

    “If Desley and Kasuto are dancing to the political music to please their political handlers, our advice to them is clear: they must go and play far at political arenas,” read the statement.

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