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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    The potential to change livesThe potential to change lives Our nation is faced with many problems and has a unique set of issues to tackle. The high unemployment rate, huge levels of inequality, questions about quality of education and healthcare are all common problems. There has also been a surge in crime and intolerance which has the potential of tearing this nation apart. Nationally, we are besieged with numerous political, social and economic evils, threatening our much-hailed project of nation building. Despite the plethora of issues facing our nation, it is also disheartening to see so many of us spending too much time and energy worrying about petty things in our everyday lives. We are not redirecting our energies to better use. However, there are many unsung heroes and heroines in our midst who equally deserve recognition for their commitment to changing lives. My heart swelled with pride when I read about the amazing story of Dr Panduleni Itula and his colleague Dr Jones Nghaamwa. The two doctors performed a life-changing operation on an Angolan woman who had required surgery in the face and neck area to remove the ameloblastoma tumour. Seeing lives transformed is the reward for any doctor. It is a very gratifying experience, which will surely give many profound hopes. Doctors are not the only ones changing lives in our communities. There are many local professionals, businesses and ordinary Namibians that are ploughing back to their communities and reaching out to the poor across the length and breadth of our country. These people are all worthy to be called heroes in their own right. We can ill-afford to disconnect from humanity by turning away from suffering that exists outside our personal realm. Hence it is our moral obligation to live a life of service to humanity wherever we find ourselves. Moreover, we must at always aspire to be productive citizens of this country. We must motivate and encourage each other do better in all we do even though sometimes not all range of services and achievements are celebrated.

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    Ex-manager appears for N$2m fraudEx-manager appears for N$2m fraud Manga Nawa-Mukena, a former marketing manager at MultiChoice Namibia is accused of defrauding her employer of more than N$2 million.

    She appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court and her case was postponed to next Tuesday for plea.

    According to the court papers, it is alleged that over a period of four years and through falsifying invoices, Nawa-Mukena allegedly defrauded MultiChoice Namibia of more than N$2 million by falsifying 80 invoices for advertisements for Kundana, for services she claimed were rendered by the newspaper, and provided her personal bank account to receive payment.

    On 19 September Nawa-Mukena will plead to charges of fraud, forgery and uttering.

    The State's case alleges that Mukena from 1 April 2013 to 17 March 2017, stole a total of N$2 088 071 million from the company.

    According to the summary of facts in the charge sheet, Nawa-Mukena, by means of false pretence, induced MultiChoice to pay the money into her account well knowing that the 80 invoices were falsified.

    The State alleges that Kundana did not render any advertising services to MultiChoice and therefore Nawa-Mukena's actions were fraudulent.

    Nawa-Mukena, who was remanded on N$50 000 bail with instructions to report to the investigation officer twice every week on Monday's and Wednesday, had her conditions altered.

    She was ordered to hand over her travel documents to the investigating officer in the case and was also instructed not to apply for any travel documents until the case is finalised.

    Magistrate Ndapewa Celma Amadhila presided while Tatelo Cuthbert Lusepani prosecuted and Advocate Obed Sibiya appeared for Nawa-Mukena.


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  • 09/13/17--15:00: Zoo Park a danger for kids
  • Zoo Park a danger for kidsZoo Park a danger for kidsFacilities are dilapidated The Zoo Park in the Windhoek city centre has become a hazard for young children who use the playground, mostly due to the state of disrepair of the equipment. The broken recreational equipment at the Zoo Park playground in the capital's central business district has become a safety risk for children.

    The playground, which was once a haven where children played happily and safely, is now in a distraught state as most of the recreational equipment is broken, abandoned and in disrepair for a few years now.

    Several of the swings at the playground are broken with sharp ends exposed, posing a serious risk for injury to the many children who still use the premises. The merry-go-round is stuck and next to the rocking horse lie exposed electricity cables on which children can easily trip and fall.

    In an interview with Nampa recently, City of Windhoek public relations officer, Lydia Amutenya said City officials are aware of the poor state of the Zoo Park playground and have budgeted N$300 000 to revamp the entire park, including the playground equipment, irrigation system and the connection of semi-purified water.

    She said rehabilitation of the park started at the beginning of September this year.

    Zoo Park, which has been a focal place for social life in the city, has also lost much of its attractive botanical features as a result of the restrictions on water usage brought about to mitigate the impact of the devastating droughts of recent years.

    Amutenya explained that the City could not maintain the lawn during last year's drought season, as there was a restriction on watering gardens.

    “We enacted a directive for the public not to water their gardens, so we could not break our own order and keep irrigating the Zoo Park lawn, as the country was hit by a serious drought,” said Amutenya.

    She said the parks division is currently working with the bulk water supply division to connect semi-purified water pipes from the Goreangab Water Reclamation plant to the park.

    “The semi purified water will help to maintain the park even during drought seasons,” she explained.

    - Nampa

    Linea Dishena

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    Swapo congress delegates set record straightSwapo congress delegates set record straight Swapo's Khomas information and mobilisation officer Mirjam Onesmus has denied being involved in any factions ahead of the much-anticipated Swapo congress in November this year, saying she is guided by the Swapo constitution, rules and procedures.

    Onesmus said she is a legitimate member of the ruling party, re-elected to the Khomas executive committee by virtue of her role as information and mobilisation officer.

    “I have been an active member of Swapo since 1978 when I was still a student. I have served at section and district levels over the years. I am a cadre of the party who is guided by its constitution, rules and procedures. These things of factions - I don't belong to any, but to the Swapo Party.”

    She is also a delegate to the Swapo congress and one of the female nominees for a central committee seat.

    During a regional conference last week, she was nominated alongside Nambata Angula, John Elago and prominent businessman Desmond Amunyela for the central committee elections.

    “I attended all regional conferences this year and I can't recall a resolution or discussion about candidates. I have never informed anyone about such a thing,” she said.

    Elago also told Namibian Sun yesterday that he was elected to serve the masses and not individuals in Swapo.

    “We are representing the party and its members and not individuals,” he said.

    Elago also denied reports that he was against the candidacy of Swapo acting president, Hage Geingob.


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    PPP sought for Keetmans housingPPP sought for Keetmans housing In line with cost-cutting in tough economic times, the urban and rural development ministry, along with the Keetmanshoop Municipality, are looking into public-private partnerships to complete 88 houses under the mass housing programme in the town.

    The houses in question are in the Krönlein suburb and are part of 287 houses built under the national housing scheme.

    In some instances, only building foundations have been laid.

    The project was abandoned after the suspension of the programme nationally and the eventual departure of the local contractor at the time.

    The line minister, Sophia Shaningwa, halted the entire project in June 2015 because the National Housing Enterprise, which was mandated to implement the project, could not acquire the necessary funds to finance the programme that was meant to build 185 000 houses by 2030. Construction resumed in February last year when money became available.

    The Keetmanshoop Municipality will now engage interested private developers to finalise these houses.

    Keetmanshoop public relations officer, Dawn Kruger said the main consideration is the affordability of houses for lower income residents.

    The rest of the mass houses are in Tseiblaagte Extension 5 and of the total houses, 110 have been handed over to beneficiaries thus far.

    Kruger said the costing of the remaining 89 houses has been concluded.

    “The houses are in various stages of completion and some have been severely vandalised. We have arrived at a cost of about N$5 million to finish construction,” she said.

    The municipality will soon advertise for the services of three contractors who will be assigned houses based on the levels of completion to ensure speedy delivery, Kruger said.

    The houses are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The municipality availed the land and construction is paid for by the ministry.

    Kruger said a requirement will be for contractors to appoint around-the-clock security to prevent vandalism of properties until construction is complete.


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  • 09/13/17--15:00: Worry over recurring drought
  • Worry over recurring droughtWorry over recurring droughtShifeta implores focus on this phenomenon Speaking in China at COP 13, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has urged for more drought mitigation efforts. The 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification will this week decide whether the Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought can be put into motion.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, who was speaking at the conference held in Ordos, China, said Namibia had in the past been disappointed with the lack of focus of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on drought mitigation.

    “This is one of the reasons why addressing drought mitigation as a matter of priority was incorporated.”

    According to Shifeta, it is encouraging that the UNCCD has now started to assume a leading role on this matter at international level.

    “I am particularly pleased to see the inclusion of a strategic objective on drought in the new draft strategic framework of the convention for the period 2018-2030. I would further like to thank the secretariat for elaborating on a dedicated drought initiative that was presented here at UNCCD COP13.”

    Shifeta added that drought was a particular critical issue for Namibia and in the past few years the country had faced prolonged droughts.

    According to him, Namibia experienced its worst drought in over 30 years during 2013 and had to declare a drought emergency last year. The prolonged drought left more than 25% of the population food insecure.

    Shifeta said the entire SADC declared a regional drought emergency in 2016 and the World Food Programme estimated that more than 35.9 million people in the SADC region could be food insecure by March 2017. Drought events also wreaked havoc in 2016 in regions as diverse as South America and Eastern Europe as well as parts of China and South East Asia.

    “We are acutely aware of the challenges these drought events brought – to name but a few— food insecurity, reduced crop yields, livestock losses, forest fires, water shortages, increased commodity prices and increasing dust and sandstorms. These are severe challenges for any country to manage,” the minister said. Shifeta further said that Namibia in partnership with the UNCCD this year implemented a pilot project to strengthen its drought preparedness systems.

    According to him, the country has reviewed its existing Early Warning Systems and is in the process of integrating different elements so that information on the following issues is incorporated into one system.

    These will include meteorological information, agricultural information, including crop and livestock production estimates price trends of food and fodder, availability of water, and household vulnerability information.

    Shifeta also elaborated on the first African Drought Conference that took place in August last year and was hosted by Namibia in partnership with the African Union and the UNCCD.

    According to Shifeta, the conference resulted in two major outputs, namely the adoption of the Strategic Framework for Drought Risk Management and Enhancing Resilience in Africa, which proposes for a Drought Resilient and Prepared Africa (DRAPA), and the Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought.

    It is expected that the strategic framework will guide African countries to develop and implement national and sub-regional drought policies that will make them more prepared and resilient to drought events. The strategic framework contains a drought policy and governance for drought risk management, drought monitoring and early warning; drought vulnerability and impact assessment, drought mitigation; preparedness and response, knowledge management and drought awareness and also focuses on reducing underlying factors for drought and crosscutting issues.

    Shifeta said these different pillars brought into focus the very broad nature of interventions that were necessary to increase resilience to drought events.

    “I believe the UNCCD can and should play a substantive supporting role to each of these pillar areas. It is clear that most countries have a long way to go in getting to a state of being resilient to drought.”

    The Windhoek Declaration further highlights the need for countries to develop a binding protocol on drought risk management under the framework of the UNCCD to mobilise further commitment and support to drought resilience.

    “In my view, this protocol is necessary to guide a focused programme of work on enhancing drought resilience and I would like to call for a decision at this Conference of the Parties to set this process in motion,” said Shifeta.

    The declaration states the commitments to implement the Strategic Framework for Drought Risk Management and Enhancing Resilience in Africa; to establish a continent-wide African network with national institutions for drought monitoring and early warning systems adopted in Windhoek last year.


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    Ministry mulls huge increase in wildlife compensationMinistry mulls huge increase in wildlife compensation The environment ministry is recommending that compensation in cases where a person is killed by wild animals be increased to N$100 000.

    According to the ministry's director of wildlife and parks, Colgar Sikopo, incidents of human death due to wildlife conflict could be compensated with N$100 000 if the cabinet approves the revised national policy on human/wildlife conflict management.

    The existing policy, adopted in 2009, provides for compensation of N$5 000, paid from the Game Products Trust Fund (GPTF), to cover funeral expenses.

    “These payments are in cases where a person is killed by a wild animal as long as such incidents meet the criteria,” Sikopo said.

    “This amount is intended to support the family with the cost of a coffin and basic expenses associated with the funeral, or if the body is not recovered, a memorial service.”

    According to Sikopo the revised policy is now with the minister for submission to cabinet.

    Human-wildlife conflict in Namibia has become more frequent in recent decades as a result of human and wildlife population growth, unplanned agricultural activities and expansion of agricultural and industrial activities, which have led to increased human encroachment on previously wild and uninhabited areas.

    Due to these challenges, it has become imperative that the national policy on human-wildlife conflict management should be reviewed.

    Statistics released by the ministry earlier this year showed that 39 people had been killed by wild animals between 2014 and 2016, and seven already by March this year. Last year, four people were injured by wild animals, including two employees of the environment ministry.

    As for livestock, 545 cattle, 79 sheep, 291 goats and 15 donkeys were killed by wild animals in 2016. So far this year, 46 cattle and nine goats have been killed.

    With regard to crop damage, there were 71 incidents reported in 2016 and 21 this year.


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    Red tape holds up health professions billRed tape holds up health professions bill JEMIMA BEUKES

    A bill that will compel all doctors and specialists who have just graduated to work in state hospitals for the first five years of their careers has been held up by bureaucracy for over a year now.

    Health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku says he is deeply disappointment with the snail’s pace at which the Health Professions Council Bill is moving.

    According to him, the delay of the bill that was tabled and cleared by Cabinet in April 2016 and sent to the justice ministry the same year, is an impediment to the government’s vision to realise universal health coverage.

    This bill, Haufiku says, will give the health minister the legal mandate to compel doctors, regardless of who funded their education, to deliver quality medical services to the poor in state hospitals across the country.

    The shortage of medical staff at state facilities across the country, and particularly in rural areas, has been widely reported on for years.

    “[Doctors] can refuse. We cannot send a doctor to Okongo hospital, they can refuse and there is nothing I can do. Most of them want to work in Windhoek. The reason why the health sector is so unequal is because of money,” Haufuku says.

    The attorney-general, Sacky Shanghala, confirmed that he had received the draft bill a month ago.

    “But I cannot tell you when I will be done with it. You know it is not the only thing that I am busy with,” he said.

    Haufiku added that a number of bills, including the Mental Health, Hospital and Health Facility Amendment Bill and Safety Bill, are still works in progress.


    Meanwhile, Haufiku has dispelled fears that the new graduate nurses who will take over from non-Namibians are not experienced enough.

    Last month, the health ministry announced the suspension of recruitment of non-Namibian nurses to make way for the first batch of nurses who graduated this year, including specialist nurses in areas such as psychiatric nursing, advanced midwifery and paediatric nursing.

    According to Haufiku, the transition will be done gradually until the Namibian nurses are sufficiently experienced.

    He also pointed out that this is not an anti-Zimbabwean or anti-Kenyan strategy but a way for the country to benefit from its resources.

    “Can you imagine if your daughter or son graduated and came home to Namibia and there was no space because the space was occupied by an expatriate?

    “It just does not make sense. In fact when we called in expatriates it was on the understanding that they were helping out Namibia on a contract basis while Namibia was strengthening its own human resources,” Haufiku explained.

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    Alleged killer cop wants his job backAlleged killer cop wants his job backGaneb claims dismissal was unfair A former policeman accused of murdering his two sons is suing the minister of safety and security for damages. FRED GOEIEMAN

    A former Gobabis police constable accused of murdering his two sons wants reinstatement in the force with the same pay and benefits he had before his arrest.

    Albertus Ganeb (31) is on trial in the High Court in Windhoek on two charges of murder and two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

    Ganeb argues that his dismissal from the police was unfair.

    “I suffered damages in an amount equal to remuneration I would have received had I not been discharged unlawfully,” Ganeb argues in his claim.

    The safety and security minister is cited as a respondent in the matter.

    According to Ganeb, the minister refused to reinstate him or to pay him the damages he is claiming.

    Ganeb allegedly stabbed his seven-year-old son, Romeo Swartz, four times in the head on 25 April 2014. He is also accused of stabbing his four-year-old son, Gregory Swartz, at least six times, causing the boy to die six days later in hospital.

    He is further accused of assaulting the mother of the deceased boys, Romilly Swartz, once in October 2013 and again in 2014.

    The police have testified that when they arrived at Ganeb’s home in Epako, Gobabis, they found the body of a young boy lying in a pool of blood. In another room they found another boy on a bed, also in a pool of blood but still alive.

    Ganeb later allegedly returned a call from the police saying, “You made a mistake by calling me. I have done what I have done, my girlfriend is next and then I will finish myself off later.”

    However, in his plea explanation, Ganeb claimed that he was so heavily under the influence of alcohol that he had no recollection of what had happened.

    According to him, he was only informed by the police after his arrest that he had killed one child and seriously wounded the other.

    In his particulars of claim, Ganeb alleges that the inspector-general of the police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, on 12 May 2014 suspended him until further notice pending the completion of the investigation and his trial.

    Ganeb stated that when he appeared before the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court on 19 October 2015, the court expressed annoyance with the police and prosecution for not finalising the investigation.

    On that basis the case was struck from the roll, he claimed.

    “Despite being free and not facing any charges and therefore despite there being no grounds for my suspension, the inspector-general failed to lift the suspension,” Ganeb argued in his particulars of claim.

    He further stated that while still on suspension on 12 May 2016 he received a letter informing him that he had been discharged from the police by Ndeitunga in terms of the Police Act.

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  • 09/13/17--15:00: Namibian suicide rate drops
  • Namibian suicide rate dropsNamibian suicide rate dropsStill a leading cause of death Last year 368 cases of suicide were reported in Namibia, compared to 464 cases reported in 2015. ELLANIE SMIT

    While Namibia had previously been described as one of the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world, newly released data indicates that suicides in the country have actually declined over the past few years.

    Namibia has a suicide rate of 7.7 people per 100 000, according to the latest data released by the World Health Organisation. In the year 2000 the rate was 10 and in 2005 9.1 people per 100 000.

    Namibia’s suicide rate is below both the global and regional suicide averages, which are 10.7 and 8.8 people per 100 000 respectively.

    The suicide rate in Angola is 20.5 per 100 000, in South Africa 10.7, in Botswana 10.7, in Botswana 10.5 and in Zambia 6.4.

    According to the WHO close to 800 000 people commit suicide every year, which amounts to one person every 40 seconds, and many more attempt suicide.

    The organisation says suicide is the second leading cause of death in the age group 15 to 29.

    According to statistics the highest suicide rate in Namibia is among men, with a rate of 11.7 people per 100 000 recorded in 2015. This figure stood at 15.8 in 2000.

    For women the suicide rate is much lower and in 2015 it stood at 3.8 people per 100 000, declining from 4.5 in 2000.

    Statistics of suicides among 15-to-29-year-olds in Namibia indicate that the average rate is 10.4, and it declined from 13.6 since 2000.

    For men in this age group the rate was 21.5 in the year 2000 and it dropped to 16.4 in 2015.

    The suicide rate for women in this age group was 5.5 in 2015, decreasing from 6.5 in 2000.

    Earlier this year it was reported that an alarming number of 2 190 people had opted to end their own lives since 2012, increasing concern among local authorities.

    Last year 368 cases of suicide were reported in Namibia, a slight reduction compared to the 464 incidents of suicide reported in 2015.

    According to WHO, 78% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2015. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2015. Effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.

    There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide, the organisation says.

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    Namibian skulls found in US museumNamibian skulls found in US museum Four skulls of Nama and Ovaherero origin have been found in the Museum of Natural History of New York.

    According to Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, this has been brought to his attention by lawyer Kenneth McCallion.

    McCallion is representing the Nama and Ovaherero descendants in a class action lawsuit against the German government for the 1904-08 genocide. In a statement issued yesterday, Rukoro said the remains formed part of the private collection of Professor Felix von Luschan of the Okahandja Battalion. “The latter was notorious for the extermination of many Ovaherero people and the selling of these skulls to medical students and institutions in Germany. He is the same racist anthropologist who provided these remains to the New York City Museum of Natural history,” said Rukoro.

    According to Rukoro, arrangements have been made for the Ovaherero and Nama delegation to view these remains in October when they attend court proceedings.

    “I should say already at this stage that we are proposing to keep these remains in the United States of America in close proximity of the Statute of Liberty and the United Nations headquarters,” he said. He added that mystery surrounded the whereabouts of the skulls that were repatriated from Germany in 2011.

    “It leaves us to decide that our ancestors' skulls remain free for the world to see and learn about the tragic history and consequently support us in our demands for reparations,” he said.

    German scientists took the heads to perform experiments seeking to prove the racial superiority of white Europeans.

    The skulls were discovered three years ago in medical archive exhibits.

    “It is my hope that the New York City Museum of Natural History will have paved the way for other institutions in the United States of America to reveal similar items in their possession to expose the extent to which imperial Germany has committed crimes against the humanity on the African continent in the 21st century,” Rukoro added.


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    Man fights for land lost in 1990sMan fights for land lost in 1990s Petrus Nambinga from Okapya village outside Oshikuku has accused the government of not compensating him when he lost part of his land 22 years ago to pave way for development.

    The 43-year-old said he lost large tracts of land when the Oshikuku-Okalongo road was constructed on his property.

    Nambinga told Namibian Sun that he had tried all avenues to seek clarity and restitution on the alleged loss of land from the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Roads Authority (RA), but his efforts yielded nothing.

    Nambinga said he was given the land by his father when he was a teenager, before the construction of the road in 1995.

    This, he said, explains why he was not present when the road was constructed as he was still in school in Oshakati.

    He further said no one in his family claimed compensation on his behalf.

    “No one in my family, not even my late father, was compensated,” Nambinga said.

    The works ministry constructed a five-kilometre tarred road from Oshikuku while the rest of the 30-kilometre road up to Okalongo remained a gravel road for many years.

    Only in 2010, the government, through the RA, started tarring the road.

    Nambinga says he has not been compensated for the land, which he claims had fruit trees and was fenced.

    “My fence was removed without any compensation to make way for the road which was constructed there. In the process my fruit trees were destroyed as well as part of my grazing land,” Nambinga said.

    “I went to their offices many times and I was told that all people were compensated but when I ask about my compensation, they do not say much.”

    He said he also tried to meet with the RA but he got no response to the letters that he wrote.

    Oshikuku constituency councillor Modestus Amutse, in a letter dated 8 May 2017, asked the RA to investigate Nambinga's case, which he said had been dragging on since 1995.

    When Namibian Sun contacted RA spokesperson Hileni Fillemon, she referred all questions to the works ministry, saying the road in question had been built before the RA was established.

    “The RA became operational in the year 2000 and the road in question was not constructed by the RA. All compensation was done by the Department of Transport then which is now the Ministry of Works and Transport. Kindly take this up with the ministry,” Fillemon said.

    The spokesperson in the Ministry of Works, Julius Ngweda, did not respond to questions emailed to him last week.


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  • 09/13/17--15:00: How much is that donkey?
  • How much is that donkey?How much is that donkey?Economic impact of Chinese slaughter There are good reasons why many countries have outlawed the Chinese donkey-skin trade, an international organisation says. An international organisation that has studied the impact of the donkey skin trade globally warns that donkey slaughterhouses could decimate Namibia's donkey population within three years and further impoverish struggling communities dependent on the animals.

    The Donkey Sanctuary UK, which has conducted investigations in at least 40 countries for the past three years, warned that legalising the donkey skin trade would inevitably lead to a robust black market fuelled by rising donkey prices, which in turn would quicken the decline of the population in Namibia.

    This week, Alex Meyers, head of programmes at the Donkey Sanctuary, who is in Namibia as part of a delegation holding “crisis talks” with various stakeholders on the issue, said legalising the trade could open a Pandora's Box of long-lasting problems for the country and its communities.

    Meyers, at a presentation on Tuesday, hosted by the Namibia Scientific Society in Windhoek, said plans to open at least two Chinese-operated slaughterhouses should be put on ice.

    He recommended a comprehensive study of the impacts on Namibians and Namibia as the first step before deciding on the way forward.

    In the publication 'Under the Skin', issued by the Donkey Sanctuary, the authors warn that “the trade in donkey skins and meat is a growing concern in terms of animal welfare, public health and economic, social and cultural stability.”

    The authors add that developing countries “in which communities have a heavy reliance on donkeys as working animals” are particularly vulnerable.

    Gold rush

    Many describe the surge in donkey skin black markets, once trade is legalised, as similar to a gold rush, considering the steep increase in the value of donkeys and their skins.

    In Burkina Faso, and elsewhere, the demand for donkeys led to a steep increase of donkey prices within a few months, from roughly N$1 040 per donkey to N$1 900, leading to a surge in poaching and illegal slaughtering.

    The creation of a black market in donkey skins will be further enabled by Namibia's already well-oiled poaching and smuggling networks of rhino horn, elephant tusks and pangolin scales.

    A recent statement issued by the Donkib Ge Cultural Group in Namibia urged the government to halt all plans for donkey abattoirs until sufficient research is done on the trade and its impacts.

    Abner Axel Xoagub warned that Namibia's donkeys are vital to communities and “without donkeys, the communities will be dormant, stagnant and poor.”

    Xoagub said that Namibia does not currently have any legal framework in place to protect and facilitate the registration of donkeys and it could be “highly risky and counterproductive” for the agriculture sector when mass donkey harvesting begins.

    And while many African countries have abruptly banned the trade in the past year for a number of reasons, including Uganda, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Botswana, researchers say once the trade has taken hold, it is close to impossible to clamp down on the black-market trade.

    Niger's government last year announced a ban after officials discovered that 80 000 donkeys were sold in the first nine months of 2016, compared to 27 000 in 2015. The government warned that the donkey population was facing extinction there and a ban was the only option.

    In Kenya, communities took to the streets recently to call on the government to ban the trade following a dramatic decline in the donkey population there.

    A huge cost for communities

    Meyers warned that “when all factors are taken into account, the donkey population in Namibia would likely disappear in three years”, based on current plans by two Chinese companies to slaughter at least 70 donkeys per day.

    Namibia's donkey population is currently estimated at around 160 000, and with two slaughterhouses operating, if plans in Outjo and Okahandja go ahead, the decline of donkey numbers would be dramatic and quick.

    Meyers explained that during his work investigating the trade, he has been surprised by the number of sectors, including livelihoods, women, pollution, water and more, that are threatened when the trade takes hold.

    Meyers noted that the donkey skin trade is not sustainable in terms of supply without impacting communities, the animals and other sectors, as has been the case in other countries supplying China's insatiable demand for skins.

    The trade currently provides about two million skins annually to China, while the demand for donkey skins for the production of ejia, a traditional medicine, is between 4 and 10 million.

    Meaty issues

    In Namibia, further concerns have been raised that the plan by Fu Hai Trading Enterprise to slaughter cattle in the same abattoir as the donkeys could potentially harm Namibia's reputation in several export sectors.

    At Meyer's presentation this week, a former state veterinarian shared her concerns that the slaughtering of donkeys at the same facilities as cattle could be problematic.

    Another cause of concern is that many countries place high standards on the humane treatment of animals at slaughterhouses, as part of their import conditions.

    The donkey skin industry is notorious for the high number of reported cruelty cases, which, in some cases, led to the ban of the industry, as was the case in Botswana recently.

    Meyers said that the welfare needs of donkeys are unique to the species, and that investigations have seen that between eight and ten donkeys die daily at legal slaughterhouses due to the stress of the transport, handling, captivity, lack of food and water and several other issues.

    He explained that the trade does not “incentivise” the welfare of the animals, because the skin is the main product and the condition of the animals matters little.


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    Young Gladiators ready for SAYoung Gladiators ready for SAJunior women footballers aim for top spot The Young Gladiators head to South Africa to play in the first leg of the 2018 Fifa Women under-20 World Cup qualifier. NFA

    The national junior women’s football team, the Young Gladiators, will face South Africa in the 2018 Fifa Women under-20 World Cup qualifier at Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg.

    Namibia has been without the Women’s Super League for some time now and has not played competitive football in a long time, but there will be no love lost when the Young Gladiators go to war against neighbours South Africa.

    Young Gladiators coach Mervin Mbakera says despite the hardship of the past year or two, the team is prepared and ready to face South Africa.

    “We have worked very hard and we really want to have full dedication and fighting spirit to get a result that will compliment all our hard work during the last weeks,” says Mbakera.

    He adds that playing South Africa will be valuable experience for the Young Gladiators and will motivate them to greater heights.

    “South Africa has quality women football and the experience the girls will gain will come in handy in terms of their overall improvement. But it’s not only about that, but also making sure we leave our mark on the fixture and cause an upset against this favourites.”

    The Young Gladiators will travel to South Africa without their key players in midfield. These players, Memory Ngonda, goalkeeper Melissa Matheus and Millicent Hikuam, are with the senior national team, the Brave Gladiators, in Zimbabwe taking part in the Cosafa Women’s Championship.

    “We will be without their services but we have other players to fill their shoes and I’m so proud that they helped the senior team to such an important victory when they beat Botswana 4-0, so the girls in the team now are motivated to push that far as well,” states Mbakera.

    The return leg will be on 1 October at the Sam Nujoma stadium. The winner of the fixture will face Burundi in the second round in November, with that winner to advance to the third and final round of qualification for France 2018, the Fifa Women under-20 World Cup.

    The senior women’s side will meet Banyana Banyana today in their second match in the 2017 Cosafa Women’s Championship in Zimbabwe. The Brave Gladiators beat Botswana 4-0 in their opening match.

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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Ambunda set for Salute debut
  • Ambunda set for Salute debutAmbunda set for Salute debut Paulus 'The Rock' Ambunda will make his debut for the Salute Boxing Academy at the Otji Fest entertainment festival in Otjiwarongo on 30 September.

    Ambunda, who recently moved to the academy from the MTC Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy, will come up against Tasha Mjuaji of Tanzania in a non-title super bantamweight bout.

    “I am ready to put on a great show at the festival because it will be my first fight under Salute Academy,” Ambunda said.

    The spectacle will take place at the Paresis and Mokati Stadiums where a variety of entertainment and sport events will be hosted.

    Football, music, car spinning and boxing will feature at the festival, with a line-up of local and international artists.

    International artists such as Casper Nyovest, Trompies and Professor will team up with locals Gazza, The Dogg, One Blood and many more to entertain the crowd.

    The academy will stage other eight undercard fights, with the likes of Wilberforce Shihepo also making their debut for the Salute Academy.

    The boxing will start at 14:00 at the Paresis Stadium and is expected to end around 19:00.

    Central Café in Otjiwarongo is the main sponsor of the festival, partnering with Energy 100.

    Tickets for the event will be sold at all Pick n Pay outlets. Tickets will also be sold at the gates, but at higher cost.

    Advance tickets for adults cost N$100, while N$150 will be charged at the gates for those without tickets.

    Children's tickets cost N$30 in advance and N$50 at the gate, with teenagers paying N$70 in advance and N$100 at the gate.

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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Dash days are near
  • Dash days are near Dash days are near Elite cyclists ready for Nedbank Desert Dash The gruelling 24-hour race through the Namib Desert to the coast is only for the toughest and bravest cyclists. SPORT REPORTER

    As the 2017 Nedbank Desert Dash draws closer, expectations are high and race followers are eager to see which of the elite cyclists will be outperforming the others in this year’s race.

    Konny Looser and Michelle Vorster are two of the highly esteemed racers that will tackle this daunting race.

    Looser has completed the Nedbank Desert Dash three times, twice in the solo men’s category and once as part of a two-man team with girlfriend Vera Adrian in the mixed category.

    He is the 2016 Desert Dash champion and will compete in the solo men’s category this year.

    For any cyclist, diet and training go hand in hand in preparing for such an exhausting race.

    “In terms of dietary preparations, I don't have a very strict diet but I make sure that I eat healthy, which includes a selection of diversified food,” Looser said.

    He added that he eats three meals per day, at the same time every day, for control purposes.

    His breakfast consists of muesli and fruit, for lunch he has meat and vegetables, while dinner is usually a salad and an omelette.

    “I only start carbo-loading two days before the race. You have to make sure that your batteries are fully charged when you get to the starting line.

    “The body is simple to understand and sometimes it's only mathematics. You only have to count how many calories you can store and how many you burn. For the Desert Dash, it's important that you have eaten enough.”

    Michelle Vorster is renowned for her participation in the Nedbank Desert Dash, which she has completed four times, twice in a two-person mixed team and twice in a four-person mixed team.

    She still has to decide which category she’ll participate in this year once the teams and arrangements have been finalised by her sponsors.

    Voster said: “The Nedbank Desert Dash is a joyful event on my calendar, which forms part of my base training that contributes to the following year.

    “However, training needs to be consistent to build endurance and power. I have a sophisticated programme to follow in general, but the core of it is consistency.

    She trains five days per week, with two rest days. She does three gym workouts per week to build core muscle strength, which she says is key for enhancing endurance.

    “Group rides with friends are a good way to keep the morale high on longer training days, and one or two night rides before the event will ensure you understand the conditions for the coming Desert Dash,” she said.

    Since the 2016 Desert Dash, both Konny and Michelle have participated in a number of other cycling events.

    “Always remember why you started cycling in the first place, as this will keep you motivated when you are training for any event,” Michelle advises cycling enthusiasts.

    “Once you get your bike, go for a professional setup, it really makes a huge difference to how you feel on your bicycle.

    “Get a good helmet and get a fitted saddle. These are things we want to save on, but are probably the most important in terms of enjoyment and safety on the bike. And remember to have fun while riding.”

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    Hangana Hake Run & Ride entries closeHangana Hake Run & Ride entries closeFormer Lucky Star Marathon calls for late entries Today marks the registration cut-off date for this year's Hangana Hake Run & Ride, which will take place at the coast on 7 October. Hangana Hake Run & Ride late registrations will only be accepted on 6 October at the Jan Wilken Stadium between 14:00 and 22:00. During this time already registered participants will be able to collect their race packs.

    Hangana Seafood, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, earlier in the year announced its take-over from Etosha Fishing of the oldest coastal sporting event, formerly known as the Lucky Star Marathon.

    “I can assure you that other than the name change, the event will continue in the same proud tradition and format as before and where possible, we will continue to further improve and grow the event,” Hangana Seafood managing director Herman Theron said at the official launch of the event.

    Since then Nedbank has come on board as a co-sponsor and Radiowave as a media partner, which is testimony to the popularity of the event for the coastal communities.

    The Hangana Hake Run & Ride coincides with the annual Walvisfees, which is hosted on the same weekend at the Jan Wilken Stadium in Walvis Bay, offering fun and entertainment for the entire family.

    “In line with the O&L Group purpose 'Creating a Future, Enhancing Life', we are truly excited to host this event that encourages a healthy, balanced lifestyle, to our corporate social responsibility portfolio, as we are confident it will make a positive impact on and enhance the lives of the community within which we operate,” Theron said.

    The marathon and 105km cycling events are particularly popular among serious athletes as the latter is a Namibia Cycling Federation sanctioned event and the marathon a qualifier for the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons. Other events include the half-marathon, 10km fun run, 21km mountain and fat bike as well as a 5km kiddies ride.

    Although the event is dominated by local entries, international entries include participants from Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, United States, Japan, Spain, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    All participants not yet registered are encouraged to visit the Hangana Hake Run & Ride website at www.hangana-hakerun.com to register before the end of the week. Updates on race developments will also be made available through the website or Facebook page @hanganahakerun.


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    Swabou 2017 Summer Cup kicks offSwabou 2017 Summer Cup kicks off The tent annual Metropolitan Swabou 2017 Summer Cup starts today and ends tomorrow at the Oshakati Independence Stadium.

    The school tournament is one of the annual flagship activities aimed at supporting soccer and netball at grassroots level, as it targets junior secondary schools in the under-19 age group, unearthing and identifying talent that could be moulded into good academics and sport personalities with character.

    Eight regions, namely Oshana, //Karas, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Erongo, Hardap, Kavango East and Omusati, will take part in the football and netball competitions.

    Kavango East was selected as an additional region to participate in the tournament, joining seven other regions.

    Metropolitan Swabou has set aside N$450 000 for the hosting and organising of the tournament, while winning teams in the first, second, third and fourth positions will receive cash prizes between N$15 000 and N$4 000.

    “This is a school tournament, therefore learners that are enrolled at a particular school within the given category can take part.

    “No Namcol learners are allowed to participate in this competition,” said Laurencia Prinzonsky from MMI Holdings Namibia Limited.


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    Grooming athletes for world gamesGrooming athletes for world games The Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) is calling on sports federations to identify under-20 athletes in all disciplines who can be groomed for international sporting events.

    In order to have a large pool to select from, the NSC is urging sports federations to send in the names of promising athletes to be prepared for next year's Junior African Games and AUSC Region 5 Youth Games, as well as the 2019 All-Africa Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

    The sports federation will develop a programme and set aside a budget which will aid the athletes in their quest to win medals at these events. Also, the NSC will help the athletes to secure sponsorship from corporates.

    Freddy Mwiya, chief administrator of NSC, said the next three years would be hectic for the sporting fraternity.

    “It is against this background that we urge all our federations that participate in the abovementioned games to identify potential medal winners who need to be developed for these games. The selection of athletes should then be done from these development athletes.”

    The due date for submissions for the development programme is 30 September. At the end of February next year a report will be submitted on the progress of these athletes.

    A second report will be submitted at the end of July 2018 and a third at the end of October 2018. The same principle will apply in 2019 and 2020.


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  • 09/14/17--15:00: Welwitschias face Leopards
  • Welwitschias face LeopardsWelwitschias face Leopards LIMBA MUPETAMI

    The Windhoek Draught Welwitschias will meet the Leopards, who are second on the log of the Currie Cup First Division, in Potchefstroom today.

    The match is expected to be a tough one for the Namibians, who have much to prove to their opponents who have been doing well in the tournament.

    Last weekend, they played the Hino Valke and were beaten 56-47 on home ground. It was an entertaining match which saw 15 tries being scored as both sides gave it their all in a tough encounter.

    Despite a valiant effort from the home side, seven tries just weren't enough to get them over the winning line. Johan Tromp scored two tries, while Helarius Kisting, Abel de Klerk, Maharua Katjiteko, Jan Booysen and Russel van Wyk contributed one each.

    Theuns Kotze succeeded with six of his seven attempts at goal, missing only Russel van Wyk's try conversion towards the end of the game.

    Griffons lead the log with 15 points, followed by Leopards with 13, Boland 11, Hino Valke 10, Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 8, SWD Eagles 8, Border Bulldogs 2 and at the bottom is Eastern Province.

    Possible squad for Windhoek Draught Welwitschias:

    Mahco Prinsloo, Russell van Wyk, Lesley Klim, JC Greyling, Johan Tromp, Theuns Kotzé, Helarius Kisting, Christo van der Merwe, Adriaan Booysen, Rohan Kitshoff (captain), Max Katjijeko, Ruan Ludick, AJ de Klerk, Niël van Vuuren and Desiderius Sethie.


    Bigman Kaura, Christo McNish, Hermanus Grobler, Denzil van Wyk, Thomas Kali, Dirk von Weidts and Francois Wiese.

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