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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: SME Bank liquidation ongoing
  • SME Bank liquidation ongoingSME Bank liquidation ongoingMatter back in High Court next week The bank may be placed in final liquidation or provisional liquidation could continue. The liquidation of the SME Bank will be heard in the High Court once again next week, according to its liquidators, Bruni and McLaren.

    Depositors are still guaranteed to receive up to N$25 000, with a claim process expected to be communicated soon.

    “All depositors are protected by law up to N$25 000. The claim process will be communicated to the public in due course. The extent of recoveries of deposits which exceed N$25 000 will depend on the outcome of the process,” the statement released by the liquidators said.

    The liquidators did not want to comment on whether any bids had been received to acquire the SME Bank depositor book.

    “All potential investor bids are subject to strict confidentiality and thus cannot be shared,” the statement said.

    “The bank remains in provisional liquidation until 15 September 2017 on which date the bank may be placed in final liquidation, or the provisional liquidation order may further be extended,” the statement said.

    The liquidators said recoveries of all outstanding loans from SME Bank were under way and would continue.

    “Loan holders are thus encouraged to honour their contractual obligations,” it said.

    The central bank, which took control of the SME Bank at the beginning of March, brought an urgent application for the provisional liquidation of the SME Bank in the High Court after it had discovered that dubious investments of between N$181 million and N$196 million had been made in questionable financial instruments in South Africa.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Putin may reduce US diplomatic staff by 155Putin may reduce US diplomatic staff by 155 Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened yesterday to expel up to 155 more US diplomatic personnel from his country as the diplomatic feud between Washington and Moscow rumbled on.

    “We reserve the right to make a decision on how many American diplomats there are in Moscow. But we will not do that for the moment,” Putin told a press conference after a summit of BRICS nations in southern China.

    Moscow had previously ordered the US to reduce its diplomatic presence to 455 people by 1 September, the same number that Russia has in the US.

    That number, however, includes 155 people who work for Russia's diplomatic mission to the UN in New York, Putin said, meaning his country could further cut the number of US diplomats to 300: “It's 455 minus 155.”

    On Saturday Russia was forced to vacate its consulate in San Francisco and two diplomatic buildings in New York and Washington after the US ordered the move, the latest twist in a lengthy feud.

    Russia demanded Sunday that the US rethink its shuttering of Moscow's diplomatic premises, insisting that Washington bore sole responsibility for worsening ties after the “hostile act”.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Ramaphosa and the 'girls'
  • Ramaphosa and the 'girls'Ramaphosa and the 'girls'Girlfriend number four denies ever meeting him In what appears to be more and more of a smear campaign which is backfiring, Nhlanhla Radebe, accused of having an affair with the deputy president, denies ever meeting him. One of the women who was identified among Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's alleged mistresses in a poster doing the rounds on social media has described the past 48 hours as a “nightmare”.

    PhD student Nhlanhla Radebe told News24 she had never met Ramaphosa.

    Her face was splashed on social media as one of the eight women with whom Ramaphosa allegedly had an extramarital affair. The Sunday Independent reported on the alleged affairs on Sunday, based on private email correspondence, but did not name the women.

    Ramaphosa has strongly denied the claims, admitting only to one affair, which he said ended eight years ago.

    “It is wrong that people can just make things up about people and get away with it. It has been a nightmare.

    “I think these are just sick people that think it's okay to use women as collateral damage to bring down their political opponents,” Radebe said.

    She said she first became aware of the poster when a friend alerted her on Saturday morning that her Facebook and Twitter avatar was trending on social media.

    Though she had received support from her family and friends, she said she was worried about the impact it would have on her future.

    “As a black woman, it has not been easy for me to get to where I am. I do not want this kind of negative publicity to be associated with my brand. I have a fiancé that I have had to break this news to,” she said.

    She said that no one from the deputy president's office has contacted her about clearing her name from their side.

    Radebe is concerned that the poster could jeopardise her studies. She is doing her PhD in Germany, which has been funded by the Catholic Church.

    “I don't think the church will be happy with this when they hear. In addition, when I got my funding for my Master's and PhD, the aim was to come back and work in public service. Now I am not sure how that will happen because people will assume that I got the job through being someone's mistress and not through my hard work,” she said.

    Ramaphosa has been in a political storm since questions about the alleged extramarital affairs started doing the rounds on Friday. He launched a last-minute failed bid on Saturday night to stop the Sunday Independent from publishing the story.

    He claims state resources are being used in a “smear campaign” ahead of the ANC's December elective conference to choose a new party president to replace President Jacob Zuma when his term comes to an end.

    Ramaphosa said some of the people in the emails were receiving financial support from his family for their studies. However, Radebe said she was not one of them.

    She is now appealing to social media users to stop sharing the poster, as it was a “fabricated story”.

    “I think, if my involvement with the deputy president could be fabricated, it calls into question the whole basis of this story,” she said.

    Radebe is a member of the ANC's Sefako Makgatho branch, which released a statement over the weekend labelling the posters “malicious”. The branch has endorsed Ramaphosa for the ANC top job.

    NEWS24

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    Namib Mills secures land, stores excess harvestNamib Mills secures land, stores excess harvest Namib Mills has obtained and prepared additional land in an effort to secure the oversupply of crops this season and store it on behalf of farmers.

    Namibian farmers have harvested a record maize crop of nearly 69 000 tonnes this year. The intake has caused logistical problems as commercial millers do not have adequate silo facilities available for storage.

    According to Namib Mills, commercial millers are obliged to buy their “fair share” - a percentage determined by the Namibian Agronomic Board. Millers are not allowed to exceed their “fair share” by more than 10% in order to allow all millers to be able to obtain maize to mill and to ensure a level playing field and fair competition amongst millers.

    According to Namib Mills, a further contributing factor to the pressure on shortage of space at commercial millers, is the fact that the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) this year bought a limited volume of the Green Scheme maize for strategic reserves.

    Maize and mahangu are both amongst the controlled products that the Namibian Agronomic Board exercises strict border control over by means of AMTA, said Namib Mills. “Maize can only be imported after all local grain has been bought and partially milled. No maize meal is allowed to be imported into the country at any stage. The current crop of approximately 69 000 tonnes, exceeds the long-term average of roughly 60 000 tonnes by 15%.” According to Namib Mills, the mahangu harvest was also outstanding this season. Mahangu consumption has a direct influence on maize meal sales, which have recently drastically reduced in northern Namibia and in turn reduced the maize tonnage being milled at present.

    “Therefore, in order to secure the national harvest, Namib Mills has obtained and prepared additional land to store the seasonal/regional over-supply on behalf of the farmer, in giant 170-tonne silo bags,” the company said.

    According to Namib Mills maize is weighed and graded at the point of intake and thereafter stored on behalf of the producer. Ownership of stored maize is underpinned by a silo certificate issued by Namib Mills to the legal owner of the stored maize. Silo certificates ensure that the producer's volume and grade of the stock is maintained throughout the period of storage. Stored maize is at any time available for sale by the legal owner to any interested party.

    Rates charged for handling and storage in silo bags are in accordance with the White Maize Marketing Agreement of 2017 between producers and millers. “It is important for Namib Mills to not only focus on quality products and excellent customer service, but also to live in accordance with our values of honesty and transparency to all our valued stakeholders, in order to work towards a better future for all, the company said.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Feedlots up the quality
  • Feedlots up the qualityFeedlots up the qualityProduction is efficient and uniform While there is much to be said for free-range or extensive farming, a period of feedlotting animals allows for rounding off and the production of good quality meat. Feedlots and the feeding of cattle have both been put to the test during the past few years due to droughts which have reducied herd numbers, while fluctuating beef and fodder prices make it difficult to gauge profitability.

    Despite these issues, feedlots remain an integral part of the beef industry. According to Meatco, intensive beef production can lead to efficiency gains if the production system has a sufficient scale of operation. While the production of quality beef is usually achieved through feeding high-energy rations to young animals (six to 30 months old) in developed countries, the bulk of the beef produced in developing countries still comes from extensive, free-range farming systems.

    The main systems of production and combinations thereof can be identified as the intensive system, semi-intensive system, mixed farming and extensive system.

    According to Meatco, the intensive system varies according to the principal feed ingredient used: grass, fodder, silage, grain or industrial by-products.

    The operation of growing and finishing activities independently of breeding and rearing, leads to job specialisation which is usually accompanied by a zoning of the beef industry as a whole. This production system also benefits the surrounding community due to relatively high requirements for labour, contributing to an increase in Meatco's workforce.

    Meanwhile, the semi-intensive system was in the past known as the traditional system of beef production in many parts of Europe.

    According to Meatco, small-scale farmers kept young males and some culled heifers for feeding and finishing, feeding them on home-grown fodder. Fattening and finishing of work oxen was also an important source of beef.

    Under the mixed farming system practised today, the feeder cattle are usually, but not always, produced on specialised breeding and raising farms located on poorer land or land unsuited for intensive farming.

    Meanwhile with the extensive system, the breeding, raising, growing and finishing activities are operated by the same people on virtually the same grazing of beef production.

    “This occurs in most of the pastoralist areas of Africa and is also used by some ranchers in Latin America. Under this system meat is often a by-product of milk production, and beef output may be as low as 7kg per hectare per year on a carcass basis,” says Meatco. Acceptable carcass weights (equal to or above 150 kg) can only be achieved when steers are five years or older. The animals stay in good condition for only three to four months of the year following the end of the rainy season. Meatco says the small gain accumulated in these months is often partly lost (up to 25%) when stock is trekked over several hundred kilometres to slaughterhouses, which are usually located near large urban centres.

    However, in such a system there are practically no production costs, except those for watering the animals. “An advantage of feedlot cattle is the ability to produce animals that are uniform in both weight and fat score. This enhances the capacity for forward selling or contracting as a suitable marketing option. The feedlot makes it possible for Meatco to slaughter high-quality beef throughout the year, which allows consumers to enjoy quality beef year-round.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Food Namibia ConfEx focus on food securityFood Namibia ConfEx focus on food security The first-ever 'Food Namibia ConfEx' under the auspices of Operation Werengedje will bring together stakeholders in government and the agro-food industries this weekend in Rundu.

    Key issues related to agriculture and sustainable food production in Namibia will be discussed, and the event will also celebrate this year's good harvest as a culmination of Operation Werengendje.

    This public-private partnership initiative is organised by the office of the Kavango East governor in collaboration with Food Namibia and will incorporate an exhibition and workshop sessions under the theme 'Food security for a healthy nation'.

    The two-day event, that takes place on Friday and Saturday, will be hosted at the Kavango Community Convention Centre in Rundu and is open to the general public. Embassies from across SADC are also invited with a business delegation from Zimbabwe confirmed to attend the event at this stage.

    It will also be a celebration for the public in general with lots of activities including food stalls, traditional performances and a kiddies park. The exhibition will provide a unique business-to-business platform to showcase products and services in the local agriculture and food production industries. The workshop sessions, which will take place on Friday will offer the public and private sector the opportunity to interact with each other, share their vision and discuss key issues concerning the future of food and agriculture industries in the country. Some of the topics under discussion will focus on Namibia's poultry industry, access to agri-finance and tourism.

    The activities on Saturday will emphasise and celebrate the success of Operation Werengendje. Literally translated 'Operation Werengendje' means 'Operation Termite', which relates to termites working hard to gather their food before the winter. When the rainy season started late last year the office of the governor initiated and launched this food production operation and empowered people to plough their fields by providing them with ploughing services and seeds, and ultimately assisted them with the harvesting of crops.

    The Kavango East Region, with Rundu as its capital, has comparatively higher rainfall than most other parts of the country, which elevates its agriculture potential substantially.

    Referred to as the food basket of Namibia, it includes up to five green schemes and is considered to be one of the most important contributors in term of the country's food security.

    At the launch of the crop production initiative late last year the Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo noted that poverty eradication means the creation of wealth. The first step toward wealth creation is food production. As a region, blessed with a perennial river and fertile soil, the region under the guidance of the governor decided to partake in the war against hunger through food production.

    The six constituencies who took part in this crop production initiative will use the Food Namibia platform to showcase their good harvest, with a prize being awarded to the constituency who produced the most crops.

    Food Namibia is a private sector partnership between the event management company Conference Link and Vitumbo Investments cc.

    This pioneering event, the first of its kind in Namibia, focuses exclusively on the agro-food industry and will become an annual event expected to grow in stature every year.

    To cultivate and stimulate an interest in crop production from a young age, Food Namibia will also introduce a social responsibility project that will encourage primary schools in the Kavango East region to produce their own vegetable and crops in order to become selfsustainable.

    So far seven schools have been identified.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day CULTURE: A carnival performer poses on the main Parade day of the Notting Hill Carnival in west London on 28 August 2017. Nearly one million people took to the streets of west London's Notting Hill to celebrate Caribbean culture at a carnival considered the largest street demonstration in Europe. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Apartheid soldiers and their demandsApartheid soldiers and their demands Former SWATF/Koevoet soldiers have heightened their demands to be registered as war veterans and to benefit from the Ministry of Veterans' Affairs funding programme. Of late, the issue over whether there is justification for a pension payout, among others, for ex-SWATF/Koevoet soldiers has divided public opinion, with many saying there was no need to compensate fighters who were against Namibia's independence. On the other hand, the group of ex-SWATF soldiers feel they are being sidelined and marginalised by government in an independent Namibia. There is no doubt that the former apartheid soldiers are accepted as normal members of society. Even though some claim they are oppressed and discriminated against, many former fighters have gone on to secure jobs, including in government and the private sector, just like other ordinary Namibians. Those of old-age are registered with government and receive the monthly old-age grant, while still others receive free counselling services. The plight of the former fighters is a complex one and although the Swapo-led government inherited the republic from the South African authorities, it will be unfair to expect the government of the day to give in to their demands. Well, it is the moral duty of any government to ensure that all citizens have access to basic services such as safety, education and healthcare, among others. As much as the ex-soldiers are trying to shed their dark past as regiments which helped the South African Defence Force in military operations against the nationalist guerrilla force, they have never been declared persona non grata in this country. Thus we can't take for granted the fact that government has absorbed many of these former soldiers into various state departments. There are many Namibians who have been hunting for hope and courage over the years, but poverty still stalks them. Yet, we don't see them making abhorrent demands against government despite their not-so-well livelihood. As a country we have adopted the policy of national reconciliation where perpetrators of brutal acts have been given the opportunity for amnesty and that should be respected by all even by those threatening to take up arms in retaliation.

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    VC asked to lift SRC suspensionVC asked to lift SRC suspensionStudents say the leaders were doing their job In an impassioned plea to the Unam vice chancellor, the leadersip of the northern campus has asked that the suspended students be allowed to continue their studies. The student leadership of the four northern Unam campuses have called on the vice-chancellor, Lazarus Hangula, to lift the suspension of three student leaders from its Windhoek main campus who are currently under investigation.

    Their suspension followed alleged instigation of forced entry into the main campus cafeteria 'The Grub' earlier this year, amid claims by students that there was lack of eating and studying facilities on campus.

    This resulted in the suspension of the Student Representative Council (SRC) members Raymond Tjiueza, Vanessa Hifitikeko and Jefrey Shapange, who now face charges of malicious damage to property.

    The plea for leniency begs for Hangula's sympathy and that he intervenes in the matter. They suggested that the three suspended SRC members be stripped of their powers as student leaders and allowed to continue with their studies as ordinary students.

    “The decision to suspend the three SRCs from their academic activities, and barring them from entering the university premises, should be considered null and void… we are therefore appealing to your conscience to consider the impact of suspending the student leaders in this matter. That is clear intimidation and a threat to future student leaders,” the statement reads.

    They also recommended that the trio be given a final warning as first offenders. According to Unam spokesperson, Simon Namesho, the disciplinary hearing of the suspended student leaders is complete.

    “The student disciplinary committee, in line with the University of Namibia's Student Code of Conduct, has concluded the disciplinary hearing of the suspended student leaders, which was preceded by a preliminary review. The three student leaders' cases and hearing process was handled on an individual basis. Subsequently, and as per the Code of Conduct, after the disciplinary hearing each student was verbally informed of their verdict. They are now to receive this verdict in writing, before end of this week,” Namesho said.

    However, in their statement the northern student leaders argue that the suspended students were acting in their capacity as representatives of fellow students who elected them into power, adding that they were just carrying out their obligations as per the SRC constitution.

    “The management of Unam failed to provide sufficient student study facilities on campuses and this has agitated the students to put pressure on the student leaders. As thus, the student leaders were mandated by the student community to present their demand to management… they were acting in their capacity as student representatives as stipulated in the SRCs constitution to be more specific Article 2,” the statement read.

    “Their attention was to demonstrate the seriousness of the study facility for students on campus but it was never to destroy or damage the university's property but to use minimal force for demonstration purposes,” it further read.

    The suspension of the trio also coincided with the expulsion of the SRC president, Joseph Kalimbwe for his involvement in the matter.

    Kalimbwe was expelled from the university after he was served with a letter from Hangula on 30 May informing him that he was not registered as a Unam student and that he must remove all his belongings from the campus.

    The next day Kalimbwe was arrested and charged with fraud, forgery and uttering. He was released on N$1 000 when he appeared at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Consumers are under pressure
  • Consumers are under pressureConsumers are under pressure Consumers and companies are increasingly reluctant to borrow money, the latest statistics from the Bank of Namibia show.

    The annual growth in Private Sector Credit Extended (PSCE) slowed to 6.9% at the end of July, from 7.3% at the end of June 2017.

    “Growth in instalment credit contracted further at the end of July. The annual growth in instalment credit contracted to 1.4% at the end of July 2017, compared to a lower contraction of 0.7% at the end of June 2017.

    “The contraction was evident in the corporate sector and was due to repayments made during the month under review,” the central bank said in its latest banking report.

    The overall liquidity position of commercial banks declined to N$3 billion at the end of July 2017 from N$3.2 billion at the end of June 2017, the central bank observed.

    The development was welcomed by PSG Konsult analyst Michele Arnold, who said a low interest-rate environment would help bolster consumer spending.

    “The expected continued moderation in inflation and lower interest rates should also support consumer spending, helping the wholesale and retail sector, which contracted by 7.4% year-on-year in quarter one of 2017,” Arnold said.

    IJG said a probable interest rate cut could help consumers already under pressure.

    “Further rate cuts are expected at monetary policy committee meeting in September for the Bank of Namibia. Should that hold to be true, we might see an increase in private credit extension, since a single reduction of 25 basis points was going to do little to spur on demand for credit,” it said in its PSCE report. According to IJG, the slowdown in new loans was a tell-tale sign that consumers were under pressure.

    “The current slowdown in private credit extension is testament to an already stressed consumer,” IJG said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Dunes Mall opening soon
  • Dunes Mall opening soonDunes Mall opening soonSmorgasbord of shopping offered The new Dunes Mall opening in October this year will offer coastal residents the second largest mall in the country and many new economic opportunities. The new 27 500-square metre Dunes Mall is in the final stages of completion with its doors set to open to shoppers on 26 October.

    Developed by South African property developer Atterbury in partnership with local developer Tradehold, the new N$500-million mall will provide residents with a quality regional shopping centre which they can call their own.

    The centre is anchored by a 3 500-square metre Checkers, a 2 700-square metre Pick n Pay and a 1 700-square metre Woolworths. Adding to the mix is a large Dis-Chem and a House and Home. Fashion retailers are well represented with retail offerings from Cotton On, Truworths, the Mr Price Group, Foschini Group and Pepkor Group.

    “Our aim for this project was to construct a convenient and dominant shopping centre, and I believe we have done just that,” said Evert Kleynhans, development manager for Atterbury.

    The Dunes Mall also has a food court with a children's play area and a fountain in the middle of the centre. Dining options will include Spur, John Dory's, Mugg & Bean and Col'Cacchio, all with ample outdoor seating areas.

    “The fact that this is the first regional shopping centre in Walvis Bay, says it all. We designed and built a shopping centre that would stand out anywhere. The design and finishes are of a high quality and there will be no need for locals to leave Walvis anymore since they will have a quality shopping centre on their doorstep,” added Kleynhans.

    Walvis Bay is currently enjoying exponential growth, with mega investments being made at its port. The development of the mall has responded to this and it is positioned to meet both retailer and consumer demand.

    Dunes Mall further benefits from its prime location at the major intersection close to the city's airport and the highway to Swakopmund, another tourism hub. It will provide a comprehensive and exciting variety of shopping and entertainment options for Walvis Bay residents and visitors, as well as people from throughout Namibia's greater Erongo Region.

    The mall will be managed by Atterbury will be the largest in the region and the second largest in Namibia after The Grove Mall in Windhoek. It is expected to be a catalyst for more development and investment in the area.

    According to Kleynhans, upon completion, the mall will accommodate approximately 80 shops. The shops will employ local people and will create a very positive impact on the local employment rate.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Six arrested for bank break-inSix arrested for bank break-in The police have arrested six suspects in connection with a break-in at Bank Windhoek's Rehoboth branch early Monday morning, in which N$1.3 million was stolen.

    N$525 000 has been recovered and the police are still searching for the rest of the stolen money.

    All six suspects were arrested on Monday after a manhunt by the Rehoboth police.

    Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, the police spokesman, yesterday confirmed that two of the suspects worked at the bank as tellers.

    The two young men were found hiding in the hills at the town around midday on Monday.

    According to the police, the girlfriend of one of the suspects was also arrested. She was not employed at the bank. Some of the recovered money was found in her possession.

    The burglars broke into the bank at around 03:00 on Monday morning.

    According to the police the burglars entered through an open 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 the cash and fled.

    “The investigation is ongoing and we are still searching for the other money. They knew what they were doing,” said Kanguatjivi.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Tax incentive programme extendedTax incentive programme extendedAnother chance to get a break on interest A new tax arrears recovery incentive programme will start on 11 September and run until 11 March next year. Defaulting taxpayers have been encouraged to apply for a new tax arrears recovery incentive programme which will resume on 11 September. The tax arrears incentive programme was extended following poor take-up by tax defaulters.

    Announcing the period for the new tax arrears incentive programme, the permanent secretary in the ministry of finance, Ericah Shafuda, said various categories of taxes would be considered.

    “The tax arrears recovery incentive programme will commence on 11 September 2017 and run until 11 March 2018. The programme will apply to all taxes administered by the Inland Revenue department and include income tax, value-added tax, employee's tax, stamp duties, non-resident shareholders tax, and tax on royalties,” said Shafudah.

    According to her, the ministry would waive up to 70% interest payable on outstanding taxes.

    “The ministry will waive the penalties levied on the tax payments and submission of tax returns and write off 70% of the interest balance on all accounts for taxpayers who pay the capital tax amount in full and 30% of the interest balance,” said Shafudah.

    According to her, there will be no write-off of any capital amount.

    She encouraged participation in the programme. “Taxpayers who intend to participate in the tax incentive programme are encouraged to register for such purposes during the months of September and October and settle their debt before benefiting from the programme,” Shafudah said.

    Taxpayers who intended to make one-off settlements were encouraged to do so during the months of September and October. Taxpayers unable to settle the balance of what they owed were required to pay a first instalment that would be agreed upon with the department of Inland Revenue, after which they could pay monthly instalments until their debt was settled within the tax incentive period, explained Shafudah.

    “Any taxpayer who fails to honour the instalment arrangement may be disqualified from benefiting from the incentive programme unless good cause is shown in writing before any payment becomes due and payable,” said Shafudah.

    She further encouraged taxpayers to update tax accounts by filling in all tax returns at offices where their accounts are registered to obtain the most recent statements of account with the correct balances.

    “Taxpayers who choose not to participate in this incentive programme shall become liable for the full payment of taxes and interests owing to the Receiver of Revenue. Inland Revenue shall impose the full extent of the tax laws through the recovery provisions which include attachment of assets, appointment of agents and recovery of tax from third parties,” warned Shafudah.

    Taxpayers owe the government N$19 billion in outstanding taxes, of which about N$240 million has been paid. Only N$4 billion is principal tax owed; the remaining N$15 billion is made up of interest and penalties.

    Under the recently lapsed tax arrears incentive programme which ended on 31 July 2017, the government was prepared to write off 80% of interest and penalties payable.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Livestock consensus stands
  • Livestock consensus standsLivestock consensus stands Agriculture minister John Mutorwa has called on livestock producers and abattoirs in the south to come to a consensus as the industry attempts to do away with the government-imposed export ratios of live animals to South Africa.

    This follows the pending closure of an abattoir in Mariental.

    At present, the government allows small-stock farmers in the south to export one animal on the hoof to South African abattoirs while another animal must be sold to a local abattoir, a point of concern raised by the farmers and noted by Mutorwa in his discussions this week.

    Giving his take, Mutorwa said that the government had engaged the livestock producers on the matter and said that while consensus had been reached on many occasions, the closure of the abattoir was not anticipated.

    “I felt we were making a breakthrough. I made a submission before the cabinet committee. The livestock producers reminded me there was a need to meet on 10 August 2017. The meeting was held and representatives were allowed to make points. All of them agreed to the submission. They said they are ready and the submission must be urgent,” said Mutorwa, who further added that the cabinet committee meeting was to be held on 6 September to deliberate on issues raised.

    According to Mutorwa, the issue had been dragged out.

    “We are getting tired of this now. I have a feeling judging from history, the submission will be maintained. We are still waiting for their comments. Nine years is too long to take a decision,” Mutorwa concluded.

    He did not pin the closure of the abattoir on the failure of the Livestock Producers Organisation to reach a consensus.

    The Livestock Producers Organisation's chairman, Hannes Visagie, earlier told Namibian Sun's sister publication Republikein that the closure of the abattoir could have been averted if the government had done away with the export restrictions.

    The closure of the Farmers Meat Market abattoir was attributed to capacity issues in a letter addressed to the minister.

    “The company used to slaughter on average 21 000 animals a month, going up to as high as 30 000. At present, we are not even able to slaughter 5 000 animals a month which has made the abattoir no longer economically viable and it is causing the rest of the Hartlief group jeopardy,” it said in a statement.

    The abattoir, which is part of Hartlief, has capacity of up to 260 000 animals per year.

    “Despite the fact that Farmers Meat Market Mariental has always endeavoured to pay its producers market-related prices, the upward pressure placed on prices due to all but one border have made us, as an export-approved abattoir with all the associated costs, uncompetitive in the local market,” the company said.

    The abattoir will cease to operate on 30 September.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Bird flu spreads in South AfricaBird flu spreads in South AfricaFive provinces now affected A complete ban on poultry imports might have to be reinstated if the contagious disease spreads further. An outbreak of the highly contagious bird flu in South Africa has spread to several provinces over the past two months, causing fear that it may spread to approved farms where Namibia is importing chicken from.

    Since the end of June South Africa has detected 24 outbreaks of the H5N8 strain of bird flu, including 10 at commercial chicken farms and three at ostrich farms.

    The disease has been reported in Mpumalanga, Gauteng and recently also in KwaZulu-Natal, the North West and Western Cape.

    A complete ban on poultry imports from South Africa was relaxed at the end of July. Poultry and poultry products originating from areas approved by the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) can be imported into Namibia.

    The certified flu-free farms are outside a 90-kilometre radius around the Vaal Dam that borders the Gauteng and Free State provinces.

    The chief veterinary officer in the agriculture ministry, Dr Milton Masheke, told Namibian Sun that this arrangement would have to be changed to include a 90km radius around any area where an outbreak has occurred.

    He added that tests were being done every 30 days to ensure that no new outbreaks had occurred in approved areas.

    “Although Namibia is experiencing shortages of poultry products currently, we will be okay if the outbreak does not get out of hand. If the approved compartments are breached we will have to institute a complete ban again and that would have devastating consequences for us as an importing country. It would be very bad.”

    Namibia Poultry Industry (NPI) spokesperson Ashante Mannetti said the situation had not affected NPI's business much.

    “The only problem is that we must import our next consignment of parent stock from the Netherlands, and not South Africa.

    “We do not foresee any problems in this regard, as these are products that are normally not only sourced from SA.”

    Local consumption of chicken is about 2 500 tons per month, of which NPI supplies about 1 900 tons.

    The bird flu outbreaks have sent shockwaves through the South African poultry industry since 22 June.

    The virus can cause massive poultry losses and it is a priority to contain and eradicate it.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: #Festival kicks off tomorrow
  • #Festival kicks off tomorrow#Festival kicks off tomorrow The Hashtag Festival has certainly been able to raise interest and more importantly it has been able to entice the private and public sectors in what could be termed a public-private partnership, even though it was not specifically intended to be one when the idea was born.

    In typical fashion, the City of Windhoek, as a public entity, was keen to join hands with the organisers of the #Festival and promptly made their fleet of public buses available for the transportation of learners from various schools in Windhoek at no cost, thus proving that they too have the interests of the next generation at heart.

    With the assistance of the City, NMH will be transporting 1 000 learners from different secondary schools around Windhoek on a daily basis on Thursday, 7 September and on Friday, 8 September to the #Festival at the SKW field in Windhoek. This gracious gesture will enable as many learners as possible to attend the #Festival and once again it needs to be noted, that access for learners is free of charge if they turn up in their school uniform or school sport attire. Learners who prefer to visit the Hashtag-Festival in civilian clothes will pay half price at the gates.

    The learners will have an opportunity to engage with different institutions of higher learning and will be offered the opportunity to listen to 50 presenters, presenting 50 different careers.

    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. Please note that while the activities might end later in the evening of each day, entrance gates to the Festival will be closed by 20:00 each day.

    FRANK STEFFEN

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Boy (6) falls to his death
  • Boy (6) falls to his deathBoy (6) falls to his death A six-year-old boy from Otanaha village in the Oshikoto Region died on Monday after falling out of a tree.

    According to the police, the incident took place around 10:00. Sakaria Kaluwa Sakaria fell onto a sharp stick which penetrated his neck.

    In the Oshana Region, the Pick n Pay outlet at Ongwediva's Oshana Mall was burgled in the early hours of Monday.

    According to the police, three men cut open the roof and then disabled the alarm system.

    Once inside the shop, the burglars broke open a safe, but it was empty.

    They then broke the window of the strongroom and damaged the alarm box.

    Employees were busy with stocktaking yesterday to determine what had been stolen.

    No arrest had been made by yesterday afternoon.

    Cases of reckless driving were reported in the Omusati and Erongo regions on Monday.

    In Omusati, a Toyota bakkie overturned at Onamafipa village on the Etayi-Oshikuku gravel road at around 18:30.

    It is alleged that the 26-year-old driver was speeding and lost control of the vehicle on a curve.

    The driver, who was injured, tried to flee but was caught and taken to the Oshikuku State Hospital along with the three passengers, who also sustained injuries.

    In Erongo, an Isuzu bakkie overturned on the gravel road between Omaruru and Wilhelmstal.

    It is alleged that the 28-year old driver had swerved to avoid hitting a kudu. The driver was thrown out of the vehicle.

    Both the driver and the passenger sustained serious injuries and they were taken to Omaruru State Hospital.

    The passenger was later transferred to Windhoek State Hospital.





    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 09/05/17--15:00: Police face N$3.5m claim
  • Police face N$3.5m claimPolice face N$3.5m claim A man accused of slitting the throats of his two sons, aged four and six, about eight years ago is suing the minister of safety and security and the commissioner of correctional services for medical negligence after losing his eyesight while in custody.

    Jonas Penovanhu Shinana, the plaintiff in the matter, is awaiting trial in the murder case. He is accused of killing Matheus Shinana, 6, and Emilia Naatya Shinana, 4, on 23 and 24 December 2009, in Wanaheda, Katutura. Judgement in that matter is set to be handed down on 29 September. He has instituted a N$3.5 million claim against the two defendants for medical negligence or medical malpractice, or wrongful injury to his right to dignity in terms of the provisions of the Namibian Constitution. In the breakdown he claims N$2 million for the loss of his sight, N$1 million of loss of amenities, N$100 000 for post-traumatic stress and N$400 000 for wrongful stripping of his dignity. Shinana's claim is based on the fact that he was diagnosed with tuberculosis on 8 August 2014 and consequently commenced with a treatment programme for about eight months. During January 2015 he continued to experience symptoms of diminishing eyesight and eye pain of which he informed the medical staff at the clinic of the Windhoek Correctional Facility, but to which they did not promptly react. In his particulars of claim he said he was referred to the Windhoek Central Hospital for examination where a brain scan was conducted on 9 March 2015. Doctors observed abnormal swelling in the pupillary veins and attributed it to the TB medication he was using at that time. On 23 March 2015 another doctor at the Katutura hospital recommended a change of his TB medication and advised completion of the new treatment with follow-ups at the Windhoek Central Hospital or clinic.

    “I was told I lost 80% vision and subsequently declared blind,” Jonas maintained in his sworn statement.

    Shinana said a certain Dr T.T. Tuemuna informed the medical staff at the Windhoek Correctional Facility on the same date of the permanent damage to his optic nerves and his subsequent permanent blindness.

    “As a result of abysmal failure of the medical staff of the prison facility to perform their duty to immediately refer me to an eye specialist upon my first complaint, I suffered irreversible or irreparable harm to my eyesight,” Shinana argued.

    The defendants, the safety and security minister and the commissioner of correctional services, in their papers denied that the plaintiff was diagnosed with tuberculosis on 8 August 2014.

    They maintained that the plaintiff was treated for TB and only took his medication for four months instead of six months because of his arrest before completing his treatment. After defaulting he resumed treatment on 8 August 2014.

    The defendants denied that Shinana complained about diminished vision or pupillary pain in January 2015 but only registered the complaint on 12 February 2015, which was six months after the commencement of the TB treatment. They said he complained about itching eyes and poor vision which had lasted for about one week.

    It is argued that the plaintiff failed to prevent the accumulation of his loss of vision. The most likely cause of his visionary problem was determined by the ophthalmology department at the Windhoek Central Hospital to be the drug ethambutol, one of the drugs prescribed for his TB.

    His loss of eyesight was a gradual process and did not happen in one day or a week and in the result, the defendants pleaded that the plaintiff was unreasonable in taking too long in registering his deteriorating eyesight and painful eyes.

    He was promptly - as was practical under circumstances - referred to the ophthalmology department for treatment but before that he took too long to register his complaint thereby failed to prevent the accumulation of his loss.

    “Consequently there was no negligence on the side of the defendants,” they argued in the papers filed.

    The matter is still under case management and is currently in mediation.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Aandonga demand to see their kingAandonga demand to see their kingThree-day vigil at palace Hundreds of Ondonga community members will camp at their ailing traditional leader's house this weekend, demanding to see him. Hundreds of Ondonga community members are planning a three-day vigil at the traditional authority's palace at Onamugundo this weekend where they will demand to be addressed by King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.

    One of the organisers of the meeting, Pendapala Nakathingo, said the gathering would be peaceful and all they wanted was to hear from their traditional leader, whom they had not seen in a while.

    The ailing king has already been dragged to court by his former top aides whom he got rid of after a fallout over the royal succession.

    The infighting stems from the succession race, which took a major twist in April this year after Elifas denounced his supposed successor, Fillemon Nangolo Shuumbwa, even though he had written to the Ministry of Rural and Urban Development in 2002 naming Shuumbwa as his successor.

    In July this year Elifas ordered the dismissal of senior traditional councillors including former traditional authority chairperson Peter Kauluma and former spokesperson Joseph Asino.

    Four councillors were also given their marching orders by Elifas.

    They include senior headman John Walenga and former Oshikoto governor Vilho Kamanya, while three other councillors - Kashona kaMalulu, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili – have also been dismissed.

    A faction close to the king's wife has been accused of capitalising on his poor health to suspend and fire councillors.

    The lawyers representing the fired councillors have particularly questioned the signature stamp used by the traditional authority in their correspondence announcing the firing and hiring of new councillors.

    According to Nakathingo, the planned gathering was given the go-ahead at a public meeting organised by the fired councillors last month at Oluno.

    “We are going with our bedding and the gathering will start on Friday at the open space outside the palace,” said Nakathingo.

    “On Friday evening we will assemble around the fire to caucus on the current issues happening in Ondonga. On Saturday we are expecting to be addressed by the king and on Sunday there will be a mass church service before we go back home.”

    Nakathingo said they will demand to hear from Elifas whether he was truly behind the suspension and subsequent removal of the senior traditional leaders.

    “If he comes we expect him to tell us that he is the one who fired the council and if he cannot address us it is clear that he is not in the state to address masses and make decision as alleged,” he said. Meanwhile, Nampa reports that a faction of the Ondonga community claimed on Saturday that Elifas had been removed from the palace and taken to the Mangetti area of the Oshikoto Region, where he owns a cattle farm.

    According to Nampa the faction spokesperson, Kennedy Iilonga, alleged the family removed Elifas from his Onamungudo palace on 26 August.

    “They removed omukwaniilwa (king) from ombala (palace) and went to hide him at Mangetti, so that the people who have planned to go see him on the 8th of this month cannot do so,” Iilonga was quoted as saying.

    The traditional authority's spokesperson, Naeman Amalwa, dismissed the allegation.



    “They are lying with the purpose of deliberately misleading this nation,” Amalwa said, adding that Elifas undertook a routine visit to his farm just like other ordinary farmers do.



    He also denied that Elifas is ailing and not in a position to make decisions.



    “He is just old,” he said.



    Amalwa declined to comment on the planned gathering this weekend, saying they would issue a statement in due course.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 09/06/17--15:00: Hitman meets opponent
  • Hitman meets opponentHitman meets opponent Paulus 'Hitman' Moses met his opponent, Saidi Mundi, for the first time yesterday ahead of their WBO Africa lightweight title bout scheduled for Saturday.

    The Namibian, who is very close to a world title fight, told his opponent that he will dismantle him on Saturday.

    “My focus right now is to win this fight and become the best in the world.

    “I am ready for this fight because I have been training hard in order to win,” Hitman said at the face-off yesterday.

    The Tanzanian expressed confidence that he will be returning with the Namibian's belt.

    “I came to Namibia to win this fight and I am confident that I can return with the belt back to Tanzania.

    “I do have respect for Moses because he is a great boxer and a former world champion, but I am a fighter and came here to win,” Mundi reiterated.

    There will also be several undercards, including a fight which will see Sakaria 'Desert Storm' Lukas defending his WBO Africa featherweight title against Mudde Rabisa from Uganda.

    The third title fight will be between Jeremiah 'No Respect' Nakathila and Said Chino from Tanzania.

    All the boxers in the undercards met yesterday and were equally excited to outsmart each other on the night.

    Nakathila said: “This is a great opportunity for me to shine and I'm going into this fight wholeheartedly.

    “My opponent is saying that he is going to teach me respect, but I will definitely show him who I am.”

    Tickets are available at Computicket. General tickets sell for N$200 while VIP tickets cost N$1 000.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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