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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 11/06/17--14:00: ACC is weak – Schlettwein
  • ACC is weak – SchlettweinACC is weak – Schlettwein Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has raised concern about the effectiveness of the anti-graft agency and its ability to prosecute corruption cases.

    According to Schlettwein, the Anti-Corruption Commission will need to become autonomous for it to effectively tackle cases of corruption. He was speaking during a post-mid-term-budget discussion held on Friday.

    This was in response to a query by businessman Koos Ferreira, who questioned the ACC's role in tackling corruption.

    Schlettwein said the ACC was inadequately funded to carry out its mandate and suggested it should become autonomous.

    “The ACC needs to become autonomous, it needs to be strengthened. They are weak in my opinion,” Schlettwein said.

    Another concern raised by Schlettwein was that the ACC could not independently prosecute, rendering it helpless.

    “If the ACC does not have the power to prosecute, that becomes a problem in my opinion,” he added.

    “Its ability to fend for its own cases is an important one.”

    The ACC recently stopped an investigation into alleged exorbitant fees paid by the government to lawyers based in the United Kingdom for legal advice on genocide reparations.

    About N$47 million was reportedly paid to these lawyers, who assisted attorney-general Sacky Shanghala to establish whether Namibia's case against Germany was strong.

    Schlettwein recently wrote to the ACC to voice his displeasure at its decision to drop an investigation into the matter.

    “The recent announcement in The Namibian newspaper not to investigate the matter of payments to British lawyers is the reason for me writing to you, and to voice my disappointment in the manner the issue mentioned above was dealt with,” Schlettwein wrote.

    ACC director-general Paulus Noa was quoted as saying that the investigation was closed because there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the payment of the lawyers. “They were contracted and paid for the work they did,” he said.

    ?OGONE TLHAGE

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    A winning concept for developmentA winning concept for developmentBritish expert to share insights at PPP Conference Globally and in emerging economies especially there are huge needs for the professional and successful delivery of infrastructure and services. Sir Michael BearExpert on PPPsWell formed partnerships with the private sector can deliver clear benefits. From 2016 to 2030, the world needs to invest an average of US$3.3 trillion a year in economic infrastructure just to support expected rates of growth.

    To achieve this, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) formula is a winning concept, says Sir Michael Bear, a British expert in this field.

    Emerging economies, he emphasises, account for some 60% of these developmental needs.

    From London Bear – born in Kenya – said he is absolutely delighted to be invited to address the third Annual PPP Conference, which will be hosted by the Ministry of Finance, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Namibia and Standard Bank Namibia in Windhoek on 9 November 2017.

    His topic will be “Learning from UK infrastructure financing and PPP experience”.

    Bear has over four decades of experience in design engineering, construction, financing and operation of capital projects, mainly in the infrastructure sector covering PPPs around the world. He will be able to draw on this experience which includes senior roles with Balfour Beatty (the UK’s largest construction company) as a former director of Arup, a consulting services group, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London 2010-11) and most recently, five years’ experience working with UK Trade and Investment.

    THE WHY AND HOW

    “There is without doubt substantial scope to increase public infrastructure investment and PPPs are an important procurement method in this respect,” explains Bear, “providing they can demonstrate value for money and affordability.

    “The reason is quite simple: well formed partnerships with the private sector can deliver clear benefits by driving forward efficiencies, building projects to time and to budget and creating the correct disciplines and incentives on the private sector to manage risk effectively. But it is crucially important to select the correct PPP model for any particular project.

    “These vary from simple outsourcing partnerships (where services are provided on short or medium term contracts) to longer term private finance partnerships.

    “There is a huge appetite from international capital markets to fund investment grade infrastructure projects and successful partnerships with government depend on an alignment of interest, namely a common agenda,” Bear points out.

    Private sources of capital according to him require robust governance, predictable rates of return and above all an investible proposition. “Governments can increase funding streams by raising user charges, capturing property value or selling existing assets and recycling the proceeds for new infrastructure.”

    LOADS OF POTENTIAL

    Market Watch wanted to know from Bear whether PPPs have globally and especially in Africa reached its full potential.

    “In my view, there is an enormous untapped potential for PPPs globally considering there is a predicted shortfall of US$350 billion per year of investment in infrastructure,” Bear argues. “Infrastructure delivery through PPPs in Africa represents a significant proportion of this shortfall.”

    Beard will be meeting with senior decision makers and decision influencers whilst he is in Namibia to see how UK companies with the support of UK government can assist in the delivery of local infrastructure programmes.

    Bear has in his roles with Balfour Beatty, Arup and the UK government been personally involved with a number of PPP projects, ranging from street lighting in Northamptonshire in – a £230 million contract with a 25 year concession to design, install and maintain 46,000 street lights, 11,000 signs and bollards; a new section of A1 road with payments via shadow toll; and building a new hospital at Dryburn and re-developing the existing site for residential and commercial use. This was a £200 million contract through a 25 year concession period.

    The company was also involved in the delivery of prisons, schools and military housing through PPPs. During Beard’s time at Arup, the company was also involved in a number of airport, toll roads and water projects, including the current Thames Tidal Tunnel.

    * Sir Michael D Bear (BSc, MBA, CEng, Hon FREng, Hon FICE, FRICS) over the last 40 years has worked in the international construction industry, including in the US, Europe, China, the Far East, West Africa and South Africa.

    Sir Michael was amongst others a member of Lord Green’s Ministerial Strategic Advisory Group and worked for UKTI setting up the Regeneration Investment Organisation and held the role of Chairman until March 2016. He was Co-Chair of the CEO Forum for UK/China Infrastructure and Chairman of the High Value Opportunities Supervisory Board.

    He was appointed as UK Special Envoy for Sustainable Urbanisation – China by the Chancellor in September 2014 and is currently a Non-Executive Director of Future Cities Catapult. Sir Michael has recently been appointed as Professor for Sustainable Urbanisation at Sheffield University.

    He was knighted during the 2012 New Year Honours for services to regeneration, charity and the City of London.

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    Decision on NUNW list yet to comeDecision on NUNW list yet to comeKasuto list apparently out The Swapo Party is to decide which list of union delegates to its congress is the real one. Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba says the “party structure”, presumably the politburo, will meet today or tomorrow to reach a decision on the list of National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) delegates to the party congress.

    Mbumba met the NUNW leadership on Friday to discuss the question of which list is the authentic one of union representatives to the congress.

    “They have made their demands, I have explained the process ahead, but it is not for me to decide. The decision has to be made by the party structure,” Mbumba said yesterday.

    Though Mbumba would not talk about the outcome of the meeting with the NUNW, he hinted that an amicable agreement was reached.

    Mbumba was reportedly directed by the Swapo politburo to accept the list of 16 names submitted by NUNW secretary-general Job Muniaro, which pitched Namibia Public Workers' Union (Napwu) general secretary Petrus Nevonga as representative on the Swapo central committee. According to this list, the NUNW representatives to go to the Swapo congress include Anna Shiweda, Loide Shaanika, Sarafina Kandere, Hilma Uushona, Lovisa Ndeyapo Iikali, Ester Anna Nghipondokwa, Justina Jona, Nevonga, Jacob Nghifindaka, Job Muniaro, John Uuskona, Evans Mawahu, Jessy Nambanza, Jacob Penda, Joseph Dinyano and Elijah Ngurare, former secretary of the Swapo Youth League.

    This list differs from the one that ousted NUNW president Ismael Kasuto had submitted to Mbumba.

    The Kasuto list included himself [Kasuto], Simeon Kavila, Sarafina Kandere, Asnath Zamuee, Esther Nailenge, Cornelius Ntelamo, Rocco Nguvauva, Jessy Nombanza, Angula Angula, Suama Itope Kalulu, Nancy Kahua, Desley Somseb, Regina Nambahu, Jackie Karumbo, Paulus Namwandi, and Lahja Hitula.

    Nominees for the Swapo central committee were Nguvauva, Natangue Ithete, Regina Nambahu and Zamuee.

    The bitter battle between the two factions in the NUNW is reportedly over which candidates for the party's top four leadership positions the union should support.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Dausab still without a lawyerDausab still without a lawyer A former IT technician who killed his girlfriend, a student pastor at Paulinium Theological College in Windhoek, was again given a chance to acquire a lawyer to appear on his behalf in mitigation of his sentencing.

    André Fidel Dausab (37) on 25 July was found guilty of murder with direct intent to kill Motlamme Gotaone (33). After the conviction he terminated the services of his lawyer, Brownell /Uirab, on 30 August.

    That was a few minutes before /Uirab was to present evidence in mitigation of sentencing.

    Dausab alleged that his lawyer had not represented him honestly and to the best of his ability.

    /Uirab's application to withdraw from the case was accepted after he submitted that Dausab had questioned his allegiance when he went to see him in custody for consultations to prepare for arguments in mitigation of sentencing.

    After Dausab appeared at court without a lawyer yesterday, Judge Naomi Shivute postponed the matter to 17 February next year to enable Dausab to sort out issues pertaining to funding a lawyer.

    This was after he had informed the court that he needed to consult his family regarding the sale of his assets to secure funding for private legal representation.

    The court had found that Dausab declared his intention to kill Gotaone a day before the incident. He sent her text messages threatening to kill her if she ended their relationship. A broken knife was found stuck in her back and she had 27 stab wounds all over her body.

    The court dismissed Dausab's defence that he was suffering from temporary non-pathological insanity or criminal incapacity before and during the commission of the offence and that is why he was not able to remember anything.

    Advocate Ethel Ndlovu appeared for the State.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 11/06/17--14:00: Leaving nothing undone
  • Leaving nothing undoneLeaving nothing undone Octavia Tsibes

    Recently, I found out that whether you are doing your best or not people will always criticise you. You put in so much effort to get that something done but still somewhere someone will find something wrong with what you are doing. Even the ones you thought had your back!

    I grew up serving with diligence; never lacking in zeal till this day. I do my utmost best to deliver what I would want to get from someone, which is excellence. I understand that you cannot always be good at everything but whatever you do make sure you do it with all your might.

    No one knows what the future holds, therefore it is important to always produce what is outstanding. Recently, I attended a women's conference and there I was encouraged to work with my hands and to never leave anything incomplete. That actually made me think, nothing undone is for everything. If it is a business idea that you had and you never made it to realise than that is work undone.

    Grasp your full potential and force yourself to work with your hands, most importantly always make sure that things are done when you start working on it. Even little things such as cleaning your room, cooking for your family or even ironing clothes do it excellently.

    Now, even if you do all things zealously people will always criticise your work. That should never discouraged you from continuing with an excellent spirit, always keep your head up and continue. Someone besides critics will discover your diligence and you can go very far in life.

    “Diligence attracts favour, that is the secret to become a successful person,” Filda Moyo, a prominent South African speaker, said. Favour will only come if you erase out all negativity and keep on doing what you know will help you excel in life. That reminds me of what a well-known speaker once said: “Never be slothful in business but fervently producing a great job.”

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    Retirement funds important economic stimulusRetirement funds important economic stimulus Staff Reporter - Fresh from delivering his mid-year budget statement last week, finance minister Calle Schlettwein launched a new book, titled ‘The Manual on Namibian Retirement Funds and Social Security’, written by the CEO of the Global Advisory Alliance, Manfred Zamuee.

    Schlettwein described retirement funds as an important economic stimulus.

    “Retirement funds perform a social welfare role underwritten by social security and act as a stimulant for economic growth and developmental objectives through mainly deepening and broadening the local financial markets,” he said.

    Retirement funds also contributed meaningfully toward economic development, the minister added.

    “The long-term nature of retirement savings and phenomenal growth of assets over the years present a perfect opportunity for retirement funds to play a significant role in local economic development through progressive investment policies.”

    Referring to the recently updated domestic asset requirements that will soon make provision for up to 45% of long-term insurance and pension savings to be repatriated and invested in locally listed entities on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) by 1 October 2018 , Schlettwein welcomed the fact that asset managers now see opportunity in the local investment market.

    Local opportunities

    “I am happy to observe that many retirement funds have embraced the new investment universe for local unlisted investments and have opted for infrastructure investments as part of their broader investment strategy. This is very encouraging indeed and bodes well for public-private partnerships espoused by the Namibian government,” he said.

    According to Schlettwein, at an individual member level, retirement funds play a significant role to stimulate savings, since the majority of members do not have any other form of savings other than the accumulated values in their funds.

    “This makes it cardinal for rules of retirement funds to create a conducive environment for increased savings in order to offer members positive net replacement rates between pre-and post-retirement incomes.

    “In this regard, the growing trend towards pre-retirement cash withdrawals must be discouraged since it further dilutes the retirement values of members,” he said.

    “Allow me to congratulate Manfred Zamuee for an illustrious book on very important topics of retirement funds and social security and I hope to see more publications of this nature in future.”

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  • 11/06/17--14:00: Developers making a change
  • Developers making a changeDevelopers making a change Using technology to shape society Technology is a part of our lives and we use it to communicate with each other almost each day. The seamlessness and convenience it brings to us has made it indispensable. Whether you use a smartphone or a computer, developers will always play a huge role on the applications you use to communicate through your mediums of technology.

    A community of developers called Developer Circles led by Lameck Mbangula Amugongo and facilitated by Facebook are hoping to use technology to change society.

    “Developer Circles is a community-driven program that's free to join and open to any developer. Developer Circles are forums to share knowledge, collaborate, build new ideas, and learn about the latest technologies from Facebook and other industry leaders,” he shares. He added that a Developer circle is open to anyone passionate about coding and learning a new skill.

    “Whether a member of a circle is a student learning how to code, a developer looking to turn an idea into a reality, or an experienced coder searching for the latest Facebook product and open source tool updates, Developer Circles empowers a diverse range of technical talent to improve their skills and access the information they need,” he says. The software developer argues that we live in the digital and information age and that most careers in the future will be aligned to technology. “It is very important that young people prepare for the turbulent times ahead, they should learn computer science or information technology because it is where most of the jobs will be available in the future,” he warns. He says platforms such as Developer Circles allow people to work together and come up with solution for problems that would benefit society.

    “Developer Circles are important as they bring developers, designers, technology enthusiasts and citizens to share ideas, collaborate and learn from each other.

    “Additionally, developer platforms also facilitate co-creation among diverse stakeholder through events such as hackathons and community challenges,” he says.

    Amugongo is adamant that technology if used properly can be applied to improve life and get rid of societal issues such as poverty and unemployment.

    “In terms of Namibia, developers are important as they play a crucial role in applying their Information Technology to solve local technical challenges from water shortages to e-governance. The creation of a strong developer community will also play a vital role in the creation of a strong ICT industry in Namibia, which will create the much needed new jobs,” he shares. Amugongo, who holds a Bachelor of Information Technology (IT) in Software Engineering, an Honours degree in Computer Science, and a Master's degree in Computer Science was recently selected as one of the hundred Brightest Young Minds and was also awarded the Youth Innovator Award by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.

    He says programming and computer technology in Namibia has grown over the years and the industry has seen a rise in the amount of developers.

    He advises the youth to think clearly about the careers they intend on taking in the future because technology has the potential of impacting their choices at a later date.

    “The future of jobs will become more uncertain as robots or machines become more intelligent because they will be automating millions of jobs. The youth should prepare for the future and take up all opportunities such as joining the developers circles, learn how to code,” he says.





    Shona Ngava

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    NamRights: Release Mwilima on medical paroleNamRights: Release Mwilima on medical parole NamRights has made an urgent appeal to the special rapporteur on torture of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the release of Caprivi treason accused Geoffrey Mwilima (62) on medical grounds.

    Mwilima, who was arrested on 4 August 1999 and has been in jail for more than 18 years, is being held in a maximum security facility known as Unit Six of the Windhoek central prison.

    NamRights says in its communication to the UN body that Mwilima suffers from diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, epilepsy and kidney failure.

    He has been going for dialysis twice a week since September 2014. After a four-hour dialysis session he is reportedly severely dehydrated.

    Yet, says NamRights, in this condition Mwilima is expected to walk a long distance from the porter's office to the maximum security unit where he is being kept.

    During his trial and after his sentencing, the Namibian Prison Service agreed in court to meet Mwilima's dietary requirements.

    NamRights claims that this is not adhered to.

    To make matters worse, says NamRights, Mwilima was moved from a section of the prison where there is a clinic to the maximum security unit where there is no intercom to use in case of an emergency and where there are no facilities to prepare food after 16:00.

    Concerned family members of Mwilima on 20 October wrote a letter in state-sponsored New Era in which they claimed that Mwilima on average spends N$1 200 per month to buy his own food to supplement his dietary requirements and N$1 500 on medication.

    The family members said he recently bled the entire evening after returning from dialysis but was unable to alert the prison authorities.

    The family pleaded with the authorities to release Mwilima on medical parole so that they could take care of him at home.

    “Mwilima takes diabetic injections on an empty stomach and this could worsen his condition,” NamRights charges.

    The executive director of NamRights, Phil ya Nangoloh, says the organisation is concerned that there “could be intention” on the part of the correctional authorities to allow Mwilima's medical condition to deteriorate further and even cause his death.

    “Our concern is exacerbated by the fact that close to 30 Caprivi Strip political detainees have died under mysterious circumstances while in the custody of Namibian authorities,” ya Nangoloh said.

    Ya Nangoloh added: “We are concerned at reports that Mwilima is being 'treated' by a physician from Zimbabwe. We would have no problem if this physician arrived here in his or her private capacity.

    “Our suspicion, however, is that this physician is seconded to Namibia by the Mugabe regime, which is well known for politically motivated killings of its opponents.

    “We are also concerned at the fact that political prisoners such as these Caprivi Strip nationals are allowed to appear before Zimbabwean judges or prosecutors who have been seconded to this country by the Mugabe regime. Justice must not only be done; it must, of necessity, be seen to be done.”

    It was reported that the prison authority last week said Mwilima did not qualify for medical parole because his health condition did not meet any of the criteria stipulated by the Correctional Service Act for the release of an inmate on medical grounds.

    According to this Act the minister of safety and security “may”, on the recommendation of a medical officer and after consultation with the commissioner general of prisons, authorise medical parole or probation if an inmate suffers from a “dangerous, infectious or contagious disease” or “whose continued incarceration is detrimental to his or her health on the grounds of his or her physical condition”.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Sheelongo fights for Air Nam jobSheelongo fights for Air Nam job The former chief operating officer (COO) of Air Namibia, Jonas Sheelongo, is fighting to stay on at the airline after it decided to terminate his contract.

    Air Namibia's acting managing director Mandi Samson on 3 August gave Sheelongo three months' notice that his contract would not be renewed. His last day of work at Air Namibia was Friday, 3 November. Sheelongo says he has lodged a complaint with the Labour Commissioner. A date for hearing the complaint is still to be set.

    His legal representatives, Clement Daniels Attorneys, on 10 August 2017 wrote a letter to Air Namibia's board chairperson, Gerson Tjihenuna, which stated that the termination of the contract was “irrational, arbitrary and bad in law”.

    Daniels wrote that the findings of an internal hearing that took place on 1 August at which Sheelongo insisted that he was to be reinstated as general manager: technical & operations, “meritless, contradictory, unreasonable and arbitrary” because they ignored or failed to take into consideration evidence provided to the hearing.

    According to the report, Sheelongo had accepted an offer of employment as the COO on 8 October 2015.

    Air Namibia announced his appointment as the new COO in November 2015 and he was to begin working in that position on 5 November 2015.



    However, Daniels said in his letter to Tjihenuna that the terms and conditions for the position of the COO were never finalised between the parties, arguing that the parties eventually failed to reach an agreement on the terms of reinstatement over the matter of the job description, reporting lines and package.



    Daniels maintained that no employment contract in respect to the COO position could have come into existence because those conditions had not been fulfilled.



    He further maintained that there was no signed agreement between Air Namibia and Sheelongo regarding the position of COO, adding that non-renewal of such a contract was therefore “fictitious” and “null and void”.



    Sheelongo, as GM: technical & operational, was suspended in December 2013 and reinstated a year later by a ruling of the Labour Commission.



    According to this ruling he was to be reinstated in the position of GM when he returned on 12 December 2014.



    Daniels argued that said Air Namibia had, therefore, refused to restore Sheelongo in his former position.



    Daniels said the only contract in existence between Air Namibia and Sheelongo was the one signed in August 2011, when he was employed as general manager.



    This contract expired at the end of July 2016, but Daniels said it was tacitly renewed by both parties until June 2012.



    Air Namibia did not respond to questions by the time of going to press.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 11/06/17--14:00: Governor pushes salt mining
  • Governor pushes salt miningGovernor pushes salt miningGovernor says he should have been consulted The governor of Oshana wants the environment ministry to give the go-ahead to a salt-mining operation that is regarded as an ecological risk. The governor of Oshana, Clemens Kashuupulwa, is appealing to the environment ministry to review its findings of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) that led to them denying an environmental clearance certificate for the envisaged Otjivalunda Salt Mining and Soap Production facility north of the Etosha National Park in 2014.

    Kashuupulwa said he was not consulted when the application for the clearance certificate was done, although he was the most senior government official in the region.

    In July 2014, the environmental commissioner, Teofilus Nghitila, turned down the application by South African investors Gecko Mining to establish the plant north of the park.

    Gecko was in partnership with influential politicians and traditional leaders of the Ondonga and Uukwambi traditional authorities who created OUME Company as a joint venture with Gecko Namibia.

    Nghitila, in his rejection letter, said the proposed site was a national asset and home to a world-class diversity of species. The scope and extent of the proposed project would stress and force the migration of bird colonies and other wildlife species, he said.

    “The ecology of the area bears the potential and prospects of being recognised as an ecosystem of international importance and the harvesting of salt from the site may result in the drying up of the pans.

    “In accordance with Section 3 (2) (k) and (l) of the Environmental Management Act No.7 of 2007, it is sensible and reasonably fair to protect the ecosystem of the proposed site from any destructive human intervention,” reads part of the letter.

    The salt-mining project was opposed from the outset by people living in the vicinity.

    They cited the local tradition of fetching salt as an initiation rite for young men, and the importance of salt as a 'hard currency' used for trading and barter by the native Hai//om San and Aawambo for centuries.

    Kashuupulwa claims that instead of consulting him, Nghitila and his team only consulted a concerned group comprised of a few traditional leaders and residents of Otjivalunda, who are against the project on the basis of cultural heritage.

    In 2015, Kashuupulwa reported Nghitila to prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila during her visit to the region and to deputy mines minister Kornelia Shilunga, as he was seeking an audience with Shifeta to have the objection overturned.

    Last week Namibian Sun contacted Kashuupulwa to enquire how far Gecko had gone with its legal action against the environment ministry.

    According to the governor, he was unable to reach Shifeta.

    He claims that the region is on the verge of losing a golden opportunity that would create employment, eradicate poverty and establish manufacturing in the region.

    “I have to challenge the decision of the environmental commissioner because I was not consulted as governor. Without consulting me, the environmental commissioner only concluded that the project is not viable,” Kashuupulwa said.

    He said the South African investors had spent a lot of money on the EIA but could not go ahead without the support of the ministry. He said the rejection compromised the regional development agenda.

    The Oshana governor maintains that the Ondonga and Uukwambi traditional authorities procedurally created OUME Company as a joint venture with Gecko Namibia.

    He said Gecko Namibia owns 95% shares in Otjivalunda Salt Mining and Soap Production, while the two traditional authorities own 2.5% of the shares each.

    Efforts to get comment from Shifeta through the ministry's spokesperson Romeo Muyunda failed.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    C-HR R-tuned outguns supercar talentC-HR R-tuned outguns supercar talent Toyota claims world's fastest crossover status Asked to name a Toyota that can outgun exotic muscle from the likes of McLaren and Porsche, you probably wouldn’t suggest a C-HR. But that’s exactly what a 600bhp race-tuned version of the edgily styled crossover has achieved in against-the-clock testing in the USA.

    Preparing for its debut at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas– the world’s largest showcase for the auto speciality equipment market – the C-HR R-tuned lapped the 2.5-mile Willow Springs International Raceway in California quicker than all but five production cars that have been tested there, according to data kept by fastestlaps.com.

    The hot Toyota’s notable scalps include the McLaren 650 S Spyder, Porsche 911 GT3 and Nissan GT-R NISMO, helping it claim the distinction of being the “world’s fastest crossover”.

    The project follows up the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned MPV that was shown at SEMA in 2015. “This redefined the perception of what a family minivan could become with a bit of racing inspiration,” said Toyota North America spokesman Steve Curtis. “With the C-HR R-Tuned, we took it to another level entirely.”

    The customisation was carried out by Dan Gardner Spec (DG-Spec), with a more extreme treatment than was applied to the Sienna.

    The C-HR R-Tuned is powered by a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder Toyota 2AZ-FE engine with Dezod forged internals, a titanium and Inconel valvetrain and a custom DG-Spec Garrett turbo system that pushes power output beyond 600bhp at approximately 23psi of boost. The unit is mounted to a five-speed Toyota E-series manual transmission, driving the front wheels with the benefit of an OS Giken limited-slip differential.

    The car has not been designed simply to be a straight-line dragster but has been engineered for a superb combination of acceleration, braking and handling. It uses Brembo racing brakes with 14” front discs and four-piston aluminium Monobloc callipers and DG-Spec Motion Control Suspension (MCS) motorsports dampers, together with a host of other custom go-fast components.

    To augment the mechanical grip provided by massive 275/35R18 Toyo Proxes RR tyres, the car is fitted with a front air dam, side skirts, a front splitter and an imposing rear wing with a gurney flap. The result is a genuine 300lb of downforce at triple-digit speeds.

    The interior has been stripped out aft of the front seats and details such as a vented carbon fibre Kaminari bonnet have helped shave hundreds of kilograms off the C-HR’s kerb weight. The car underwent shakedown testing at Willow Springs at each stage of the build and performance data was extensively logged. In all, it was track-tested 10 times.

    “The C-HR R-Tuned has been to the track every month since we started the project late last year,” said DG-Spec owner Dan Gardner. “It’s probably been subjected to more real-world tests than just about any car built for SEMA. It’s not just a show concept but a track-worthy performance vehicle, and I can’t wait to see what people at SEMA and beyond think.”

    The C-HR R-Tuned is among 18 Toyota vehicles on display at SEMA, which concludes on Friday 3 November. – Motorpress.co.za

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  • 11/06/17--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Oil hits highest levels since 2015

    Oil prices hit their highest levels since July 2015 early yesterday as markets tightened, while Saudi Arabia's crown prince cemented his power over the weekend through an anti-corruption crackdown that included high profile arrests.

    Brent futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit US$62.44 per barrel.

    Barclays said it was raising its average Q4 Brent price forecast by US$6 per barrel to US$60 per barrel. – Nampa/Reuters

    Toyota interested in Israeli auto tech

    Japan's Toyota Motor Corp is seeking more investments in Israeli robotics and vehicle technologies after its venture arm led a US$14 million investment in Intuition Robotics in July.

    The startup, which makes robots for the elderly, was the first Israeli investment for Toyota AI Ventures, a new us$100 million fund investing in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous mobility and data and cloud computing.

    Israel is a growing centre for automotive technology. Earlier this year Intel Corp bought autonomous vehicle firm Mobileye - one of Israel's biggest tech companies – for US$15.3 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

    ADNOC to sign US$6 bln loan with 13 banks

    Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), the United Arab Emirates oil giant, is expected to sign by the end of this week a US$6 billion loan which has received commitments from a group of 13 banks, sources said.

    ADNOC, which manages almost all of the proven oil reserves in the UAE, is raising the financing as part of an overhaul of its capital structure which involves, among other things, additional debt raising exercises and the initial public offering of minority stakes in some of its units.

    The club loan has been largely oversubscribed, having attracted commitments of US$750 million each from a group of 13 banks. – Nampa/Reuters

    Shell looks beyond road fuels

    While the world braces for the electric-vehicle revolution, Royal Dutch Shell is betting on growing appetite for asphalt and plastics to sustain its century-old oil refining business for the coming decades.

    Refining, together with trading, marketing and chemicals - known together as downstream - has proved its importance during the oil industry's downturn since 2014, providing the bulk of Shell's profits as the price of crude collapsed.

    Shell is forecasting that the demand for gasoline could reach an apex by the 2030s. The company plans to double the size of its chemicals business by the middle of the next decade with several new plants. – Nampa/Reuters

    UK car sales down for 7th consecutive month

    British new car sales in October fell by about 12% y-o-y, marking a seventh consecutive month of decline. Sales were hurt by a decline in business and consumer confidence, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

    Demand for diesel cars slumped by about 30%, the industry body said.

    The SMMT urged the government to use this month's autumn budget to restore stability to the market and encourage the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 11/06/17--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Chad, Glencore meet in Paris

    Chadian government officials met Glencore executives in Paris yesterday to discuss restructuring the country's debt, two senior Chadian government sources said.

    Chad has been trying renegotiate its hefty external commercial debt to Glencore, which eats up nearly all of its oil profits - the country's main source of revenue.

    Chad has been on a collision course with its top creditor, as it wants to divert oil from the Swiss trading house to US energy company ExxonMobil from the new year amid the dispute over the debt restructuring.

    Chad wants to hand over crude oil marketing rights currently held by Glencore under a US$1.4 billion loan agreement to Exxon, the biggest oil producer in the central African country.

    A sticking point has been a request from Chad for another grace period on principal repayment.

    Hit by drought, a refugee crisis and a costly military campaign against Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Chad has had loans from the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank, with another US$12.9 billion of pledged funding as of September from public and private donors for a 2017-2021 development plan. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Gondwana employees become shareholdersGondwana employees become shareholders Gondwana has always been a company that lives its values. – Gys Joubert, MD: Gondwana Collection Staff reporter – All 821 employees of Gondwana Collection became shareholders of the group on 1 November.

    This milestone is part of the recent restructuring of the Gondwana Group with Gondwana Holding Limited now acting as the group’s holding company.

    The number of shares issued to staff members is loyalty-based, with long-serving members allocated a larger quantity of shares according to the years worked. The staff incentive share-scheme elevates Gondwana employees from staff members and members of the Gondwana family to co-owners, raising the team to new and greater heights, says Gys Joubert, managing director of Gondwana Collection.

    “Gondwana has always been a company that lives its values. Values of caring for our country, caring for our communities, caring for our staff members and caring for our environment,” he says.

    He reminded staff that “being part of Gondwana carries a responsibility to leave everything in better condition than when you found it. This underlying spirit of sustainability entails that we look after what we have not as owners, but as custodians for the next generation of Namibians – for our children and their children.”

    From its humble beginnings in the late 1990s - when a farm was bought on the eastern side of the Fish River Canyon and the first lodge opened its doors - Gondwana has endeavoured to incorporate conservation and social responsibility into its ethos, with its motto being: “You can only be successful if you make others successful.”

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    NamBrew invests in new depot at coastNamBrew invests in new depot at coastInjection of N$27 million NBL says the new facility will be world-class, with a pleasant and safe working environment. Staff reporter – Friday saw the groundbreaking ceremony of Namibia Breweries Ltd’s (NBL) new coastal depot at Walvis Bay.

    The construction of depot, expected to be completed towards the end of 2018, comprises a total investment of N$27 million. This includes purchasing new in Extension 14 at Walvis Bay.

    Wessie van der Westhuizen, managing director of NBL, said the new depot will serve as an imminent relocation of its coastal depot from Swakopmund.

    “The current property used at Swakopmund for distribution services used to serve as the Old Hansa Breweries until 2003 when the facility was closed. While all brewing and packaging equipment have been removed, a portion of the erf and buildings are currently being used for warehousing, admin and distribution services, with limited repair and maintenance services,” according to Van der Westhuizen.

    The current deteriorating condition resulted in enquiries and concerns raised by the local community and municipal council, he said.

    “After much deliberations and extensive discussions pertaining to the deteriorating condition of the existing building that posed major health and safety risks for our employees, customers and clients - and in line with our vision of being the most progressive and inspiring company as well as creating amazing experiences with enduring impact - a decision was reached to identify a new allocation for our coastal depot that would also complement the future economic growth in the harbour town.”

    Van der Westhuizen stressed that the new facility will be world-class, with a pleasant and safe working environment.

    “Health and safety precautions are critical to the future of any organisation. These are elements that should be taken seriously and nurtured through appreciation for both the employee and the customer, for they are our most valued assets,” he said.

    The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, of which NamBrew is a subsidiary – enjoys a strong presence at the coast. This includes the recently opened Pick n Pay (PnP) store at the new Dunes Mall, the Strand Hotel Swakopmund, Kraatz and, Hangana Seafood at Walvis Bay, as well as NBL’s micro-brewery situated at the Brewer & Butcher Restaurant in the Strand Hotel.

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    Venaani and members walk out of parliamentVenaani and members walk out of parliament Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani, followed by other members of the opposition party, have walked out of parliament refusing to discuss any the Urban and Regional Land Bill tabled by housing minister Sophia Shaningwa. Venaani reminded the Speaker Dr Peter Katjavivi that the House had earlier resolved to put discussions about land on hold until after land conference. Shaningwa however pleaded with the members not "throw the baby out with the bath water" and to instead take time to study the bill and make decisions on merit. "If it is found that the bill encroaches on issues of land reform then we can remove it. But let us not throw away the entire bill." The Land Conference that was scheduled for September this year was postponed indefinitely.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 11/07/17--14:00: Tigers, NPL in legal tussle
  • Tigers, NPL in legal tussleTigers, NPL in legal tusslePremier League charges club with misconduct The Namibia Premier League has sent a letter to Tigers FC charging them with four counts of misconduct after they failed to turn up for two of their premier league opening matches. Tigers, defending champions of the league's 2015/16 season, together with Black Africa and Orlando Pirates raised concern about the league kickoff dates, threatening to boycott matches. However, only Tigers missed their first two matches giving away points to Civics and Unam FC.

    Soon after, administrators of the NPL pronounced themselves on Tigers' failure to honour their match obligations, charging them with misconduct and giving them ten days to respond.

    The team then turned to a lawyer from Sisa Namandje & Co who in turn wrote a letter dated 1 November to league administrator Joshua Hoebeb in response to article 56 (4) of the Namibia Premier League constitution which reads: “The prosecutor who is appointed by the secretariat and endorsed by the BOG has the sole power and authority to prosecute, to take decisions as to whether it is appropriate for the NPL to prosecute any alleged acts of misconduct”.

    The letter informs Hoebeb that he is not the prosecutor, nor has he been endorsed by the BOG, nor does he have any power to bring any charge of misconduct against any member of the NPL.

    “Your conducts are therefore ultra vires the constitution of the NPL and are therefore illegal, unlawful and constitute misconduct against you under the circumstances, for acting beyond any powers you may have,” the letter reads.

    The letter further states in point five that NPL should withdraw all the charges against their client and act in accordance with the constitution and that the client will thus stand and attend to any lawful hearing setup through lawfully appointed and legitimate judicial bodies, to defend itself against any charges brought against the client.

    “We, therefore, advise you to withdraw your purported charges against our client and act in accordance with the constitution. In any event our client denies any misconduct purportedly committed by our client and specifically state and deny the unlawful and illegitimate charges brought or preferred against our client.

    “We further specifically state that we see your conducts as intimidating tactics against our client and our client will not tolerate such conducts whatsoever,” it further reads.

    In another letter addressed to NPL chairperson Patrick Kauta, Sisa Namandje & Co requested ten documents to be forwarded to them within ten days of receipt of the letter.

    These are: the constitution of the Namibian Premier League; the match report for an alleged planned game, which was purportedly arranged between Tigers and another club called Citizens Football club at Sam Nujoma Stadium; a match report for an alleged league match, which was allegedly set between Tigers and Unam Football Club at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek; team returns of a match allegedly between Citizens and Tigers Football Club; team returns for an alleged match which was scheduled between Tigers and Unam Football Club at Sam Nujoma Stadium; the match commissioner's reports between the aforesaid alleged scheduled matches between Tigers and Citizens Football Club; the current log standing of the Namibian Premier League, the approved activity calendar of the Namibia premier league; minutes of the BOG meeting of 11 October 2017; the letter by NFA authorising the commencement of the league; and the sponsorship agreements between the NPL and any sponsor.

    Namibian Sun asked Hoebeb to give clarity on the matter and to state what the four charges of misconduct against Tigers are. He responded that he was on study leave and could not comment on the matter, therefore questions should be addressed to Kauta, who refused to speak to this reporter.





    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 11/07/17--14:00: Jones's future undecided
  • Jones's future undecidedJones's future undecided The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) is yet to decide whether to reappoint Welsh coach Lyn Jones for the Currie Cup team.

    Jones, who coached the Currie Cup team this year, is back in Wales after his contract expired.

    NRU acting CEO Elizma Theron said they were still negotiating with the coach, though.

    “The decision is not finalised, but we are still in talks with him. I can't say much at this stage,” Theron said.

    The 52-year-old Welsh coach has coached the New Port Gwen Dragons and three other clubs since he started coaching in 1994.

    The expectations were high and will remain high given his profile and attractive CV.

    In his first test, the Welwitschias came up against the Hino Valke, who beat them 50-33.

    Before his departure, the coach remarked that he was interested in renewing his contract until 2019 because his plan was to get the team ticking during the next Currie Cup season.

    But it is rumoured that the NRU could struggle to bring him back given his high price tag.

    Jones has a strong belief in Namibian rugby and has spoken highly of the talent that was at is his disposal during his short stint with the team.

    Jones also fell in love with Namibia, stating that it was a very peaceful and beautiful country.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Drought assistance to resettled farmersDrought assistance to resettled farmers An initiative to support commercial farmers in the drought stricken south has now spread to include resettled and communal farmers.

    An initiative was launched whereby members of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) in the north of Namibia assisted their counterparts in the south.However, according to the NAU, this support now also includes assisting communal and resettled farmers.

    “Due to the severe drought in the Warmbad and Bethanie areas, members of the union in the northern and eastern parts in the country with surplus fodder started with a programme to assist others in the drought stricken areas of the south,” the NAU says. According to the union this assistance includes the delivery of grass as well as lucerne which is purchased from farmers at Hardap.

    “The assistance is to help those farmers to feed their core herds to enable them to continue farming again after the rainy season,” according to the NAU. Apart from grass that is donated by farmers in the northern and eastern areas, lucerne is also bought through the generous support of institutions such as FNB, which contributed N$100 000 to the initiative. Sanlam has also contributed N$10 000.

    This money will be used to buy the lucerne and distribution will take place through the Keetmanshoop and Karasburg extension offices. Contributions by other NAU famers' associations and individual members are used to pay for the transport of donated grass to these areas. In some cases, beneficiaries are also requested to contribute to the transport costs.



    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 11/07/17--14:00: Swakara celebrates 110 years
  • Swakara celebrates 110 yearsSwakara celebrates 110 yearsMajor contribution to the agricultural sector Karakul farming remains a popular choice, in particular in arid areas as the Swakara pelts are still a luxury and desired commodity in several markets. The Swakara industry last week celebrated their 110th anniversary in Keetmanshoop. The annual general meeting, which was also attended by representatives from Copenhagen Fur and other international associates in the pelts industry, was held on 31 October.

    During a glamorous dinner awards were made to various producers. During her speech, Julene Meyer, chairperson of the Swakara board paid tribute to the pioneers which vested the industry 110 years ago in Namibia.

    Agriculture minister John Mutorwa echoed this tribute and he ensured the continued support of government through the ministry to the industry.

    The Swakara industry was already identified by government as a strategic industry several years ago.

    Another highlight of the evening was the fashion show where clothes from Swakara pelts, which were manufactured by international designers, were modelled. The 10 models were all local girls with a bond to the industry.

    An experienced producer in the Swakara industry, the 80-year-old Piet Steenkamp, was awarded with the quality award. The International Fur Federation was awarded with the Golden Lamb award in recognition of the cooperation between the Swakara board and the International Fur Federation.

    Although the European market has somewhat waned for fur products, new markets, including Eastern Europe and China have emerged and Swakara continues to perform very well.



    STAFF REPORTER

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