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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Community's interests must come firstCommunity's interests must come first The Uuvudhiya constituency community in the Oshana Region's protracted battle against a proposed mining project at the Otjivalunda salt pans has been a long time coming. To this day, the ambitious project continues to be mired in controversy and the dust has clearly refused to settle. The project, which is the brainchild of Gecko Namibia, has been put on hold pending the company's appeal against a ruling by environmental commissioner Teofilus Nghitila, who refused to grant it an environmental clearance certificate to proceed with mining activities at the salt pans. The community has been up in arms and strongly rejected the proposed plan to carry out mining activities at the popular salt pans. Nghitila is of the view that the project will compromise the conservation of natural resources, which could result in the pans drying up. The area has the potential of being recognised as an ecosystem of international importance, the environmental commissioner also argues. On the other hand, the community also believes the project would be the end to northern farmers' access to the salt pans in order to harvest the precious salt. The project is envisaged to be a partnership between Gecko Namibia, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Gecko Otjivalunda Holdings, and the Ondonga Community Trust Fund and the Uukwambi Community Trust Fund operating as Ondonga-Uukwambi Mining Enterprises (OUME), which is the holder of exclusive prospecting licence (EPL) 4365, which covers 20 650 hectares. Another contentious issue that has been frowned upon is the 2.5% stake offered to each of the Ondonga and Uukwambi traditional authorities, which appeared to have been brokered by the politically well-connected supporting the project behind the scenes. As environment minister Pohamba Shifeta pointed out at the weekend, it is well within the community's rights to object and reject development that is affecting them. In this case the environmental commissioner has judged that the proposed salt mining and salt production project will be an ecological risk. Surely the community's interests must come first, ahead of investors and their cronies.

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    The McLaren Senna: A 588kW road-legal hypercarThe McLaren Senna: A 588kW road-legal hypercarThe ultimate McLaren track car is also its lightest road car ever Honouring legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna (Pull quote)"The indomitable spirit of Ayrton Senna has always been alive at McLaren and the McLaren Senna will further amplify his global legacy and link to the McLaren brand." - McLaren Wheels24 -

    The McLaren Senna edition has been designed, engineered and developed with single-minded purpose - to be the ultimate track-tuned car ‘legalised’ for the road.

    The ultimate road-legal, track-concentrated McLaren hypercar will make its public debut at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in March 2018.

    Codenamed M840TR, the 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine at the heart of the McLaren Senna is the most powerful road car internal combustion engine created by McLaren, producing 588 kW and 800 Nm.

    The third model introduced under the McLaren Track22 business plan, the McLaren Senna will be hand-assembled in England at the McLaren Production Centre. Production will be limited to 500 vehicles, each costing from £750 000 (approximately N$13.6 million) and all already allocated.

    Carbon-fibre structure

    The carbon-fibre Monocage III chassis that forms the core of the McLaren Senna is a further development of the structure that underpins the McLaren 720S and the strongest monocoque yet by McLaren for a road-legal vehicle.

    Every body panel is made from carbon fibre, in line with a focus on the weight of every individual component that has resulted in the McLaren Senna being the lightest road-legal McLaren since the iconic F1 road car, at just 1 198 kg.

    McLaren says that there are strong echoes in the new McLaren Senna of the incredibly focused philosophy behind the McLaren P1; where the latter was designed to be the best driver’s car on road and track, the ambition for the McLaren Senna is for it to be the best road-legal track car.

    It’s all in the name

    Given the famous name that this new McLaren bears, its unrivalled extreme performance and dynamic excellence should be no surprise. The legendary Formula 1 racing driver was renowned for his exceptional powers of concentration and single-minded focus on being the best on the track.

    The McLaren Senna driver is hardwired into the dynamic experience the car delivers. Their connection to the car comes through the steering wheel, the pedals and the seat.

    According to McLaren: "The indomitable spirit of Ayrton Senna has always been alive at McLaren and the McLaren Senna will further amplify his global legacy and link to the McLaren brand."

    The doors, which are constructed from carbon fibre, feature two-piece glass side windows with a fixed top part and a smaller opening section below. Both the door upper (effectively part of the roof) and the lower half of the door side can be specified with glass as a replacement for the carbon fibre panels that are standard-fit.

    The cockpit environment reflects the stripped-back, functional nature that is evident in every aspect of the McLaren Senna.

    Visual carbon fibre is used extensively. Dependent on customer preference, Alcantara or leather covers the seats, facia and side airbags, but the absence of any other interior trim both saves weight and reveals the construction of the doors. Even the gas struts used to open them are exposed to save vital grams.

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  • 12/12/17--14:00: Murder suspect on the run
  • Murder suspect on the runMurder suspect on the run A Windhoek man accused of murdering a 4-year-old boy in July 2015 after rumours surfaced that he was not the child's biological father, is on the run.

    Muno Reeves Dawid, 46, was scheduled to make another appearance before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo during a pre-trial conference of case management review yesterday, but did not show up for a second time.

    Dawid was initially absent before court on 28 November 2017, and since that day has been at large, with his whereabouts unknown.

    The accused's government-funded defence lawyer, Mbanga Siyomuinji also made several calls to his client's mobile phone, which was not reachable.

    As a result of Dawid's absence before court for a second time, a warrant for his immediate arrest issued on 28 November 2017 remains in force.

    His bail of N$4 000 was also yesterday finally cancelled and forfeited to state coffers.

    If Dawid is re-arrested, he will be kept in police custody until the finalisation of his alleged murder trial.

    Dawid is accused of intentionally killing Athanosius Katholo Reeves Simbo on 05 July 2015 by hitting the child against a concrete wall at a house in Mika Shimbuli Street in Katutura.

    The state alleges that at the time of the boy's birth on 20 August 2010, Dawid and the child's biological mother, Stella Fatima Simbo, were in a romantic relationship and she told the accused he was the child's father.

    Their relationship ended in 2012 and the child remained in Dawid's care.

    Rumours, however, started to surface in the community that he was not Simbo's biological father.

    Subsequent to the child's death, DNA test results also confirmed that Dawid was in fact not the child's biological father.

    Advocate Cliff Lutibezi appeared for the state.



    NAMPA

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  • 12/12/17--14:00: Stand up for your rights
  • Stand up for your rightsStand up for your rightsGender violence a national crisis About 70% of criminal cases registered at the High Court were related to gender-based violence. Namibians need to fight against the shackles of gender-based violence (GBV) and child abuse by raising their voices and becoming better listeners who believe the victims.

    “Silence is killing us. We need to raise our voices,” Rosa Namises, human rights activist and director of Women Solidarity in Namibia, said at an event commemorating the 16 days of Activism against GBV on Saturday.

    “Silence is death. If you are silent, you are killing the people and yourself,” she said at the event hosted by LifeLine/ChildLine.

    She warned that it is critical to not only share stories, but also to listen and believe those who work up the courage to tell their stories.

    “Sometimes, you are not allowed to tell your story.

    “We must listen. As leaders we must listen. Community members, neighbours, listen. You must react, stand up for people. If you don't listen, and you don't believe someone when they tell you they are in pain, then they might be gone the next day. If we don't listen, we are killing people.”

    Namises warned concerned community members attending the event in the Tobias Hainyeko constituency that unless the issue of widespread violence was addressed, Namibians would never be free.

    “Namibian people, never be afraid to raise your voice, for honesty, truth and compassion, against injustice and lying and greed. And when we are raped, that is an injustice.”

    GBV in Namibia has been identified as a national crisis.

    Between 2013 and 2015 more than 150 women were killed in gender-related attacks, and over 3 000 cases of rape and more than 2 000 cases of domestic violence which resulted in charges of grievous bodily harm were reported.

    It is estimated that around one third of Namibian rape victims are younger than 18 while more than a third of women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced some form of violence in this country.

    The Ministry of Justice recently reported that 70% of criminal cases registered at the High Court were related to gender-based violence (GBV).

    Saturday's event was kick-started with a march by concerned members of the community, co-hosted by funding partners Bread for the World.

    The event was aimed at strengthening collaboration between communities, civil society organisations and service providers to work more closely together in their efforts to address GBV.

    LifeLine/ChildLine has been implementing a project, funded by Bread for the World, in Okahandja Park and Babylon to help strengthen the community's capacity to effectively prevent and respond to GBV and child abuse.

    Namises on Saturday argued that communities would be strengthened if neighbours and others began by speaking out on violence and advising each other where to find help, with such organisations like LifeLine.

    “Words bring us together. Silence separates us. When we are silent, each one suffers alone. And just look at our communities, how the people suffer alone until they die. We need solidarity, I need you and you need me,” she said.

    Youth activist Nelson Shipandeni, who is the founder of the Otjomuise Rising Stars, said GBV can take many shapes.

    “It can be sexual, psychological, economical, emotional and verbal,” he explained.

    He criticised Namibia's high tolerance for violence in general.

    “We all need to say no to violence regardless of who it is directed at or the person committing the crime. Many times people watch as someone is abused and don't intervene.”

    He said in Namibia, gender-based violence is mostly domestic, between intimate partners or in families.

    He pointed out that men can also be victims of GBV.

    “People make the mistake [to think] that men cannot be victims, because as we grow up we are told that boys don't cry or they are cowards if they do.”

    He encouraged men who feel they are victims to step forward and to get the help that is available “regardless of what gender you are”.

    He echoed Namises by saying that it is crucial to reach out for help and not to stay mum on what is happening.

    Moreover, he cautioned against using alcohol or drugs.

    “They will never be a solution to your problems, plus they are a health hazard.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Nantu loses appeal against illegal strikeNantu loses appeal against illegal strike The long-standing dispute between employees of the Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (Kayec) Trust, which has been going on for close to a year, was resolved in the Windhoek High Court last week.

    The court upheld the decision of the arbitrator in the case. The arbitrator had declared that a strike for salary increases and other benefits was illegal.

    The decision to charge and dismiss the 13 striking workers was also upheld by High Court Judge Boas Usiku, who ruled that the strike action was illegal and unprotected.

    The dismissed workers were represented by the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu). At the beginning of the year, Kayec terminated its recognition agreement with Nantu as the bargaining agent after the arbitrator found that their members had not complied with the provisions of the Labour Act.

    The workers failed to give five days' notice before embarking on strike action. This decision was appealed by Nantu. Usiku ruled that a certificate of unresolved dispute, issued by the conciliator, was not a justification for workers to seek a second industrial action.

    He noted that the initial strike action, in respect of which it was first utilised, had been unconditionally withdrawn by the workers themselves.

    The arbitrator on this basis held that the strike embarked upon by Nantu members on 5 July 2016 was illegal as well as unprotected. The workers were ordered to return to work by 25 January 2017.

    Nantu asked the court to set aside the arbitrator's findings that the certificate of unreported dispute dated 26 April 2016 had lapsed when Nantu withdrew their initial notice of industrial action on 27 June 2016.

    The union also wanted the court to set aside the finding that the certificate of unresolved dispute dated 26 June 2016 could not be utilised to underpin the second notice of the industrial action.

    Kayec opposed the appeal.

    Usiku said the strike notice was only given four working days prior to the strike and was thus not in compliance with the provisions of the recognition agreement.

    “When a party embarks upon a strike without complying with the requirements to give five days' notice to the other as required by a collective agreement, the ensuing industrial action would be illegal and unprotected,” he ruled.

    The union had on 7 February 2013 entered into a recognition and procedural agreement with Kayec. On 24 February in the same year, the union referred a dispute of interest to the labour commissioner for conciliation in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Act.

    After several unsuccessful conciliation meetings the conciliator issued a certificate of unresolved dispute on 26 April 2016.

    Nantu on 21 June 2016 gave 48 hours' notice to Kayec that its members would embark on a strike on 23 June 2016.

    “It is common course between the parties that the said notice was defective in that it was not 'in the prescribed form' as required by section 74 (1) (d) of the Labour Act. However Nantu did embark upon such strike on 23 June 2016,” Usiku stated.

    The union made a U-turn and on 27 June 2016 gave another notice to Kayec in which they withdrew the strike notice that was given on 21 June 2016.

    “Such withdrawal was unconditional. The withdrawal of the strike and the unconditional return to work, have the effect of settling the dispute between the parties.

    “If Nantu wished to embark upon a lawful strike they would have to follow the relevant procedures afresh.

    “The finding made by the arbitrator on this aspect is not contrary to the provisions of the Labour Act and in my opinion it is in accordance with the intention of the legislature,” the judge ruled.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Hard work and big dreams in Okahandja ParkHard work and big dreams in Okahandja ParkFrom security guard to self-employed seamstress With dedication and hard work, Aino Kaapangelwa has built up a small businesses that sustains her family. Five years ago Okahandja Park seamstress Aino Kaapangelwa (40) quit her job as a nightshift security guard to launch her own business, which empowered her to singlehandedly support her three children and two siblings since then.

    Her journey from took willpower, passion and dedication.

    “I would work from 17:00 until the next morning as a security guard, and then attend the seamstress classes from 08:00 until 12:00 each day, for eight months. I was always interested in sewing, and I really wanted to acquire these skills,” Kaapangelwa told Namibian Sun this week.

    She runs her small, but thriving business from her home located in Okahandja Park informal settlement.

    Despite living in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Windhoek, without indoors water or electricity, Kaapangelwa radiates passion and joy for her work and is devoted to growing her business.

    “When I sew, someone can talk to me, I probably won’t hear them.”

    One of her goals is to build up the business to the extent where she can employ, train and mentor others.

    “If the business grows, I hope to be able to reach out and perhaps start teaching others these skills. I want to be a mentor, just like the woman who taught me, and who still helps and advises me when I call her.”

    Yet for now, she lacks the funds to buy additional sewing machines and material.

    “I really want to help others, to teach them. If I had a bit more funds, I could show them, because I want to help.”

    Being her own boss is a dream come true and she is determined to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

    She says what is key is the will to work hard and to be dedicated.

    “People must just try to do something to earn their own money. It is better to stand up for yourself, and to be your own boss. Don’t just wait for something to happen,” she advises.

    Kaapangelwa works seven days a week, depending on her clients and their requests.

    “If I had electricity, I would probably work through the night too. Many people come with emergency requests, like uniforms that have ripped and need to be fixed before work the next day. Then I help them.”

    Because her community is poor, she says she often gives discounts to help people in urgent need.

    “Sometimes persons come, like a grandmother whose grandchildren need to go to school, but their clothes are torn or don’t fit and they desperately need help. You can see how they struggle, so I help them, even if they don’t have any money.”

    Her business now consists primarily of requests for mending or altering clothes, or making tailor-made clothes for special events such as weddings, baptisms and choirs.

    She has also earned a reputation for her quality work in making traditional clothes and men’s clothes.

    For Kaapangelwa, one of the biggest rewards of her job is to see someone once a piece of clothing is completed.

    “I say, look meme, you look so nice, and that is because of me,” she told Namibian Sun with a proud smile.

    And as her quality designs have been worn at events, word of mouth has become a crucial part of her growing reputation and lengthy to-do list.

    She says her income now is higher than what she earned as a security guard, even on the night shift rotation.

    Kaapangelwa moved from the north to Windhoek in 2010 in search of a job and to help her siblings after both their parents had passed away.

    After she had worked for four months as a security guard, she heard about a City of Windhoek initiative to teach sewing, mending and related skills.

    She decided to grab the opportunity, asking her boss to transfer her to permanent night shift at the security company and attending the morning classes.

    At the start of the sewing course Kaapangelwa bought a manual sewing machine in China Town.

    Since then, the machine has faithfully helped her in achieving her goals.

    But now, “it’s getting old and I will have to try and get another one.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    US media ban spills over to GoogleUS media ban spills over to GoogleRussians still accused of influencing Trump win Google is limiting the exposure of news on its website according to Russian authorities. YANNA SMITH -

    Tensions between the United States and Russia have again escalated following the Kremlin’s response to the registration of Russia Today under the American foreign agents act, FARA, in November.

    In a swift reaction, the Duma voted for the compulsory registration of nine US media outlets operating in Russia, as ‘foreign agents’ in that country.

    The American response to this action was surprising, with the US Department of State calling on the Russian government “not to apply the newly adopted law concerning foreign media” and adding that “the United States urges the Russian government not to use this legislation to further restrict the operation of media outlets or freedom of expression”.

    It further described the new legislation as “disingenuous and inappropriate”.

    Russian media outlets, such as RT and Sputnik have faced significant pressure in the United States over the past few months, with US lawmakers and the nation's intelligence community claiming that they may have been involved in Russia’s alleged attempts to influence the US 2016 presidential election. RT and Sputnik, as well as Russian authorities, have repeatedly refuted the allegations and insisted that they were unsubstantiated.

    The US Congress has not provided any proof of these allegations.

    Both Google and Twitter have also entered the skirmish with Google announcing “special algorithms” to limit information from RT and Sputnik on its search engine. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, said that “Google was engineering algorithms to detect and de-rank content from websites disseminating alleged Russian ‘propaganda’, namely RT and Sputnik, in Google News search results.”

    Twitter and Facebook are also limiting the two agencies.

    Essentially, news feeds and search results will be hidden from view.

    This decline in friendly diplomacy comes as an obvious turnabout in President Donald Trump’s repeated desire to improve US relations with Russia.

    Peter Ford, a former UK diplomat and ambassador to Syria and Bahrain says it is about a “struggle” in the American establishment.

    “I think the American action is paranoid and bipolar at the same time. The Russians must find it very puzzling to read American behaviour, there is absolutely no consistency in it. The president, as he has made clear in his remarks, seems sincerely to want to better relations with Russia, but there are forces working within the administration and in the security state of America which want the opposite. And so American policy towards Russia veers all over the place, like a supermarket trolley without one key wheel.”

    Jim Jatras, a US diplomat and foreign policy adviser to Senate Republicans, said the issue is not so much about Sputnik and RT as it is about Americans' freedom of access to information which sets a dangerous precedent for access to information, not just for Americans, but, for the world simply because the world’s largest search engine has joined the fracas.

    Said Jatras: “I think it's the beginning of a phenomenon that's going to get a lot worse. My concern as an American is not so much the press freedom; I don't know that a foreign government, whether it's the Russians or the Americans or the Germans or anybody else has a freedom or right per se to bring its content to another country, but I believe as an American that I have the right to get information. That's what they're trying to prevent. They're not so much trying to do this to hurt RT or hurt the Russian government; they're doing it to try to 'protect' the virgin ears and eyes and brains of the American public.”

    Dan Kovalik, an international human rights professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law says the escalating tensions between the two countries, were “US initiated”.

    “Just when there appeared to be a breakthrough between the US and Russia at the G20 Summit, the US Congress reacted to the possibility of a détente by immediately and overwhelmingly acting to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia aimed at Russia’s natural gas trade in Europe,” Kovalik said.

    In his view, there is a strong bipartisan opposition in the US to a peaceful relationship with Russia and this opposition, he says, is putting the entire world at risk of war.

    Jatras describes it as a money machine.

    “The reason Google's doing this is that they have a tremendous amount of business with the US government.”

    The political establishment also has its own interests to take care of, including support from lobby groups with their own agendas.

    “I don't know how many people had a chance to watch the hearing where the representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter were grilled by senators, who placed the blame on them for not policing this ‘nonexistent propaganda’. The executives were clearly scared; they were threatened by senators, essentially as gatekeepers and filters. This is not even so much a free speech issue as a freedom of information issue for the American public, Jatras said.

    The Kremlin has vowed to work to retain access to its news sites on the internet saying, “This kind of practice, if introduced, will contradict both common sense and the human right to free access to information on the internet.” It is working on its own algorithms and already has an extension on Google Chrome for unlimited access to RT.

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    Morocco announces car industry deals worth US$1.45bMorocco announces car industry deals worth US$1.45b NAMPA/REUTERS

    Morocco said on Monday it had signed deals for 26 auto industry projects worth a total of €1.23 billion as it seeks to build its position as an international hub for the sector.

    The deals include six agreements with French company Renault to expand an "industry ecosystem" allowing the firm to increase local sourcing of car components to 55%, according to a government statement.

    Renault has a large factory in the northern Moroccan city of Tangiers that opened in 2012, and an older assembly plant in Casablanca.

    Another 13 of the new projects are planned as part of a manufacturing hub linked to a PSA Peugeot Citroen factory under construction in Kenitra, north of the capital, Rabat.

    That plant is due to open in 2019 and initially produce 90 000 vehicles a year.

    The projects announced on Monday are with companies from France, Spain, Italy, China, South Korea, Japan and the United States, and are expected to create more than 11 500 jobs, the government statement said.

    Eleven of the companies will be operating in Morocco for the first time, Abdel Wahid Rahal, a senior official at the ministry for industry, investment, trade and digital economy, told Reuters.

    On Saturday, officials announced a memorandum of understanding with Chinese automaker BYD to build an electric car plant near Tangier that is expected to create 2 500 jobs. They gave no details on the value of the deal.

    Unlike many countries in the region, Morocco has avoided a big drop in foreign investment following the global financial crisis and the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, partly by marketing itself as an export base for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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    Policeman, farmworker remain missingPoliceman, farmworker remain missing There is still no trace of two missing persons in the Otjozondjupa Region - a 55-year-old police officer who went missing at Tsumkwe in June and a 34-year-old farmworker who went missing from a farm near Otjiwarongo in April.

    The Otjozondjupa police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Maureen Mbeha, told Namibian Sun that months of investigations into the disappearance of farmworker Aktofeli Jason Shipanga and Sergeant Petrus Nghinananye Lukas have been fruitless.

    The police had even brought in a helicopter from Windhoek to assist in the search. Shipanga disappeared on 2 April from the farm Tottenham, 40 kilometres south of Otjiwarongo. He had arrived at the farm three days earlier.

    Lukas was reported missing at the Tsumkwe police station on 14 June when he did not return from the bush after going to search for a calf.

    Mbeha said a shotgun belonging to the police was also missing.

    Lukas had taken the shotgun when he went searching for the calf.

    His dog, which went with him, later returned home without him.

    Shipanga's brother-in-law, Risto Neshuku, said on 31 March that he had brought Shipanga and another man from the north to help him with building work at the farm.

    Neshuku said Shipanga was from Onambeke village near Onyaanya.

    He said soon after they arrived at the farm Shipanga started displaying unusual behaviour and they suspected he was not well.

    “When we arrived at the farm he started saying things that made no sense.

    We asked him to go back to the north, but he refused.

    On the second day it got worse and the plan was to take him back to the north the next day,” Neshuku said.

    He said on 2 April Shipanga woke up around 02:00 claiming that there was a snake in the room.

    He calmed down but later, around 05:00, he woke up again, left the room and disappeared.

    Neshuku said when they could not find Shipanga they became worried and called the Otjiwarongo police.

    Mbeha called on members of the public who have any information regarding the two men to contact the police.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Mass memorials for crash victimsMass memorials for crash victimsFunerals delayed by DNA testing The families of the ten people who died in a collision near Okahandja are holding memorial services to help them come to terms with their loss. A number of memorials will be held by relatives of the ten people who died in a head-on collision less than two weeks ago.

    Their burials have been postponed because the lengthy process of DNA testing required to identify the bodies.

    “The funeral arrangements of the victims can only be made after the finalisation of the DNA forensic analysis, which may take two to three months to complete,” Axaro Werner Thaniseb, who lost four relatives in the accident, said in a press statement yesterday.

    Thaniseb, the appointed family media liaison for the families of those who died in the GWM vehicle that night, explained that instead the families have arranged prayer sessions which will be held at several locales over the next week.

    These include a roadside memorial service on Thursday that will take place at the site of the accident. Thaniseb confirmed that four of the five people travelling in the GWM that night had died and were relatives.

    The 20-year-old son of Magreth Doeses, one of the victims of the crash, was the sole survivor of the collision.

    The other passengers of the GWM, who did not survive, included Goeieman, Silvanus Toa-ini Manga and Seth Manga.

    Seth Manga and his family were returning from Windhoek to Omaruru and Uis after attending his daughter's wedding that weekend.

    In the Volkswagen Golf six people died, including two children aged seven and 11.

    Authorities at Okahandja yesterday corrected previous reports that a baby had died in the crash.

    Thaniseb yesterday said that the police had not yet confirmed the cause of the crash.

    He said his family had met the other family last week when they went to the forensic laboratory to provide samples for DNA testing.

    He said on his side of the family everyone was “trying to get through it” despite the unexpected long delays caused by the DNA testing.

    He told Namibian Sun that the prayer sessions were intended to help bring the families together in a time of grief.

    “The prayer services are being held to pay tribute to those who have left us and to bring people together to help support each other and be there for one another, to help carry the load. It can help to make things easier.”

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 12/12/17--14:00: NC convenes urgent session
  • NC convenes urgent sessionNC convenes urgent session The National Council will convene an urgent session next week to review three bills.

    A statement issued by the secretary to the National Council, Emilia Mkusa, said the session would run from Monday until Thursday.

    The National Council officially ended the year on 29 November 2017, but parliamentarians were summoned to discuss the Urban and Regional Planning Bill of 2017; Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2017; and the Education Amendment Bill of 2017, which were passed in the National Assembly last month.

    The Urban and Regional Planning Bill of 2017 is aimed at decentralising certain aspects of spatial planning in the country and to redress past imbalances in respect of access to land, land ownership and allocation as well as promoting national land reform objectives.

    It targets transforming the spatial planning sector from its current time-consuming and bureaucratic procedures to one that will effectively address development challenges, and to empower local authorities to perform planning approval functions performed by township boards and the Namibia Planning Advisory Board.

    The Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill of 2017 will give effect to the United Nations Protocol to prevent, suppress, criminalise and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. It also seeks to protect and assist victims of trafficking.

    The Education Amendment Bill of 2017, meanwhile, will amend the Education Act 16 of 2001 to remove the requirement for compulsory contributions to school development funds in order to provide free pre-primary, primary, secondary and special education tuition and examinations. However, parents can make voluntary financial contributions towards school activities.

    NAMPA

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    IFRS 16: The new leases standardIFRS 16: The new leases standardImproved rules for bookkeepers Auditors are being advised to implement new accounting standards. STAFF REPORTER -

    The new leases standard features a single lease accounting model for lessees, with a host of different transition options and practical expedients.

    The new standard takes effect in January 2019 – the time to act is now. Before the effective date, companies will need to gather significant additional data about their leases, and make new estimates and calculations that will need to be updated periodically.

    The biggest impact of IFRS 16 will be on lessees as the standard requires lessees to bring most leases onto the balance sheet. The lease liability is measured at the present value of the lease payments.

    The key question to ask yourself is: Which lease payments should be included in the lease liability, initially and subsequently? The answer to this question will determine the scale of the impact of the new standard for lessees. The impact is less dramatic for lessors, but could involve some sensitive disclosures.

    The impacts are not limited to the balance sheet. There are also changes in accounting over the life of the lease. In particular, companies will now recognise a front-loaded pattern of expense for most leases, even when they pay constant annual rentals. And the new requirements introduce a stark dividing line between leases and service contracts – the former will be brought on-balance sheet, while service contracts will remain off-balance sheet.

    The accounting changes do not affect cash flows directly. However, given the scale of the accounting change, it is expected that companies will be keen to understand the size of the lease liabilities arising from transactions they enter into between now and 2019.

    While most companies understand that the new standard will require them to bring most leases onto the balance sheet, what’s proving to be more challenging is deciding on the best transition option for them, how they will gather the data and what systems changes they will need.

    Planning an implementation projects takes time and care. Considering the following ten questions will give you an indication of the challenges ahead:

    1) How many leases do you have? In most cases, when applying the lease definition, companies have more leases than they think. The bigger your lease portfolio, the bigger the effect will be on the company’s key reporting metrics.

    2) Who holds your lease information?

    3) What new leases will you sign by 2019?

    4) How will IFRS 16 affect your KPI’s? From a profit or loss perspective, the EBITDA is expected to increase while the EPS is expected to decrease. From a balance sheet perspective, total assets are expected to increase, while net assets are expected to decrease.

    5) Will your covenant compliance be affected?

    6) Which transition method will you apply? Applying IFRS 16 retrospectively to all accounting periods will lead to an increased cost and increased comparability. Applying IFRS 16 as a ‘big bang’ on the date of application will be at a lower cost, however the comparability of financial information will be lower. Will practical expedients be applied?

    7) Will you apply the optional exemptions? They could save you time and money.

    8) Are your operating lease disclosures complete and accurate?

    9) What will you say about IFRS 16 in your 2017 annual report? Regulators and stakeholders will expect more robust and specific disclosures on the impact of the standard as we get closer to 2019. That puts your financial statements for 2017 and 2018 under the spotlight.

    10) Who owns your IFRS 16 implementation project?

    No analyst or investor should be surprised when your reported lease liabilities increase with the new standard. It is important to engage with your stakeholders and for them to know what to expect so that they are not surprised by the actual numbers when they see it. The new standard introduces new estimates and judgements affecting the measurement of the lease liability, which needs to be revised throughout the lease contract, therefore leading to possible volatility in the gross assets and liabilities.

    The time is now to act on the implementation project for the new IFRS 16 leases standard. Management needs to ensure that implementation projects are designed and on schedule. Where applicable, audit committees need to be actively involved in monitoring progress.

    For more information contact Berdine Coetzer (berdinecoetzer@kpmg.com), audit manager at KPMG Namibia in Windhoek.

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  • 12/12/17--14:00: N$650 000 for garden project
  • N$650 000 for garden projectN$650 000 for garden project NAMPA

    Farmers and community members from Hukus in the Aminuis area of the Omaheke Region on Thursday received a donation of N$650 000 for the development of a community garden from Erongo Marine Enterprises and the Centre for Resource and Transformation (CERET).

    Omaheke is among the eight regions of Namibia whose poverty rates are above the national poverty incidence percentage of 28.7%.

    The Hukus community, which is largely populated by Setswana-speaking people, received farming equipment and facilities for the development of the garden in their community.

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    Farmers face phosphate shortageFarmers face phosphate shortageLegal tussle in SA stop imports of cattle lick Phosphate licks for cattle will be in short supply until January, when a shipment from overseas will arrive at Walvis Bay. Namibia will experience a shortage of phosphate products used as supplements for animal feed while the South African producer of phosphate and phosphoric acid is refusing to supply to customers not willing to pay the price.

    Feedmaster last week warned Namibian farmers of the shortage of phosphate, saying that the limited supply could last at least a month before a shipment from overseas was expected to reach the country.

    The company urged livestock farmers to feed other available licks in the meantime.

    This follows after the fertiliser group Omnia last month filed an application in the Pretoria High Court to have phosphate producer Foskor and its directors declared in contempt of court.

    Foskor had failed to adhere to an order of the Competition Tribunal. The order restricted Foskor's pricing of phosphoric acid to the local market since mid-2014.

    Prior to this, the Competition Tribunal had made an order in 2010, confirming that Foskor had engaged in excessive pricing in contravention of the Competition Act.

    The Competition Tribunal ruled that the phosphate producer may not charge more than the Free on Board (FOB) Richards Bay price for phosphoric acid.

    Despite this, Foskor charged more than this stipulated price from mid-2014 onwards.

    Now Foskor has stopped supplies of phosphoric acid to local customers who refuse to sign letters agreeing to pay the higher price.

    Yara Animal South Nutrition Africa, a customer of Foskor who supplies licks to Feedmaster, said since the court ruling in November Foskor had stopped delivering phosphoric acid to numerous customers, including them.

    “We are in the process of formulating alternative supply solutions but this will take some time. We will therefore be unable to supply your full demand at this time. We are also unable to accept any new orders for any of our phosphate products until further notice,” said marketing manager Cecile de Oliveira.

    She said that the matter was receiving immediate attention.

    The marketing manager of Feedmaster, Christo du Plessis, said another consignment of phosphate from an overseas contractor was currently at the coast of North Africa and would only leave for Namibia after Christmas. The expected arrival is early in January next year.

    “Therefore, for a window period of three to four weeks, we will not be able to manufacture phosphate products. No phosphate raw material is discharged like P21 / P23,” it said. Feedmaster encouraged customers to stay on protein licks as long as possible before making the move to phosphate products. Customers can even consider licks for cow and weaners, especially before the peak season.

    “As soon as the shipload arrives we should be able to deliver our phosphate products without any problems. We can only be grateful for our shipping freight that has already been shipped and that we will be able to deliver a major part of our phosphate season.”

    He added that it was not known how long the South African situation would continue.

    “This is a situation completely out of our control and we must work together and make the best of the situation.”

    Of all licks phosphate is the most economical and gives the most payback.

    It improves condition, growth, fertility, milk production and weaner mass and can be fed to cattle, sheep and goats.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 12/12/17--14:00: MD claims witch-hunt
  • MD claims witch-huntMD claims witch-huntNamcor boss says Kandjoze does not want him there Namcor managing director Imms Mulunga says there are elements who want to make his term of office “ungovernable”. The board of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has terminated the contracts of nine non-permanent staff at the parastatal in an alleged standoff between the board and the managing director, Imms Mulunga.

    The affected staff members were informed that the board had adopted a resolution on 27 November, which stated that the termination of their contracts was due to “circumstances surrounding the validity” of their appointments.

    Some had been appointed as recently as 1 November.

    Mulunga, who made the appointments and was later forced to undersign the dismissal letters, said the board had made the decision unilaterally without providing any reasons.

    Mulunga said he was advised by labour law consultant Frank Köpplinger that the dismissals were “not legal”.

    He said he had taken up the matter with the lawyers and the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu).

    Those dismissed are Sam Hasheela, Karina Indongo, Elina Karlos, Reginalda Kennedy, Tuyenikelao Nangolo, Mwaka Zibiso, Sharon Kavita, Wenselaus Iita, and Elina Alweendo. Their employment at Namcor comes to an end today.

    Some have sought legal advice but are not at liberty to discuss the matter due to a non-disclosure agreement they have with Namcor.

    Board chairperson Patrick Kauta could not be reached for comment because he is out of the country.

    Insiders preferring anonymity claimed that the appointments made by Mulunga did not appear on the organisational structure.

    The insiders further claimed that Mulunga had appointed friends and close allies, saying the appointments were devoid of any professional considerations.

    “There are even two secretaries in Mulunga's office,” one source said, and added: “At the rate he [Mulunga] was going on, appointing people without going through structures, it was open to further abuse. The current board is very strong on good governance.”

    The sources claimed that Mulunga had made the appointments without advertising the positions or interviewing the candidates.

    They further claimed that Mulunga's appointees strictly reported to him and him alone.

    Mulunga countered that a draft policy on non-permanent employment allows him to employ staff without having advertised the positions first.

    He said the only mistake was that the human resources department had stated on the contracts that the appointments were for a fixed term instead of stipulating that they would be temporary.





    “From a humanitarian point of view, this is December and you put people out on the street instead of merely looking at the employment policy and re-doing the contracts. The intention was that they would be employed on a temporary basis,” Mulunga said.

    He said he had made the appointments because Namcor intended to enter the petroleum retail market.

    “The board is conducting a functional review with the objective to see if our current strategy is meeting our ambitions,” he said, adding: “These people [his appointees] are helping the company because there is a need for them.”

    He said the appointments only affect two departments at Namcor.

    Mulunga said the positions were terminated because staff in the commercial business unit “do not want others to work with them”.

    “They do not want others to come into the company and ran to the minister. The company is no longer run on the basis of submissions made by management to the board but from submissions made from outside,” he said.

    Mulunga said there were elements within the company who wanted to make his five-year term of office “ungovernable”.

    He was employed as Namcor's MD in October 2015 after Obeth Kandjoze's departure to take up the position of minister of mines and energy.

    “Everything I do is being reported to the minister,” Mulunga said, adding that Kandjoze did not want him in that position.

    There has been an open display of animosity between Mulunga and Kandjoze since February 2016 when the minister had asked Mulunga to relinquish the position after details regarding his marriage and consultation with Malawian “prophet” Shepherd Bushiri became public.

    Kandjoze would not respond to the personalised allegations, and merely responded: “[I] do not have much to say except to remind everyone that Namibia is a country set in the culture of the rule of law and strong governance. It is now common course that such governance principles are highly respected principles in our democratic dispensation and those who, by their own accord, choose to make a mockery to same should refrain from using my name in that manner.”

    Kandjoze advised Mulunga to direct all such matters to the Namcor board “for the minister does not involve himself in trivia as is alleged”.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Namibia drops among world's good guysNamibia drops among world's good guys Namibia has slipped four places to 88th on a global index that ranks the countries that contribute to the greater good of humanity.

    Namibia's global contribution to culture was one of the categories that received a high rating. The Good Country Index was created in 2014 and uses 35 separate indicators to examine what benefits countries have on humanity. The information to determine rankings is sourced from the United Nations, World Bank and other international organisations.

    Information is categorised in seven broad themes: science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, health and well-being. Namibia scored fairly high in the category for culture (42nd out of 163) and for science and technology the country was ranked 66th.





    For its contribution to international peace and security, Namibia was rated 89th, health and well-being 96th, for, planet and climate 103rd, world order 106th, prosperity and equality 136th.

    The aim of the index is to show which countries are “a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, and something in between,” reads the report. The Netherlands emerged as the world leader on the index and a look at the top ten countries suggests that overall European countries make the world a better place, specifically Scandinavian countries.





    Along with the Netherlands, the top ten spots are occupied by countries in Europe, including Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

    The top-ranked country outside of Europe is Canada, which makes an appearance at number 14, followed by Singapore. The US is ranked 25th.

    In comparison to other African countries, South Africa scored fairly high on the index and was ranked at number 47, while Kenya ranked 63rd.

    Libya and Afghanistan were rated the worst countries.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Cabinet to decide on referral hospitalCabinet to decide on referral hospital Cabinet will have the last say as far as the site for the new referral hospital in the north is concerned.

    The health ministry yesterday confirmed that it was working around the clock to come up with a comprehensive report on the planned referral hospital in the Oshana Region.

    Deputy permanent secretary Petronella Masabane said the ministry was wrapping up consultations before making submissions to cabinet for a decision to be made.

    Namibian Sun reported last week that a boardroom tussle between northern politicians and health minister Bernard Haufiku was threatening to stall the development of the hospital project.

    The political leadership in Oshana has identified Ondangwa as the suitable site for the referral hospital, while Haufiku is accused of favouring Ongwediva. Haufiku has previously dismissed such accusations.

    Last month former health permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola informed the Oshana regional council that the cabinet had passed a motion regarding the hospital project.

    “Kindly be informed that the matter was deliberated by the Cabinet Committee on Overall Policy and Priorities which has now directed the ministry to prepare an agenda cabinet memorandum for cabinet to pronounce itself on the recommendation made,” Mwoombola's letter read.

    The health ministry had promised to submit the memorandum in two weeks' time.





    However, Masabane said this would only take place next year as the submission was not yet ready.

    “The ministry is still not done with consultations. We have to make thorough calculations and obtain comprehensive information that will enable us to submit a comprehensive memorandum. We do not want this to go back and forth after we make the submission,” Masabane said yesterday.

    The report will include the site and financial plan of the project, according to Masabane.



    Oshana regional council chairperson Hannu Kapenda confirmed receiving the letter from the ministry.

    “We have received the much-anticipated communication from the ministry, but could not discuss it since it came at a time the council is in recess and we will only get to it as we resume next year. However, it is good since it is showing that there is progress,” Kapenda said.

    In June this year, the Oshana political leadership unanimously agreed to have the referral hospital built at Ondangwa ahead of Ongwediva and Oshakati. The decision was made a resolution of the regional council.

    Kapenda earlier told Namibian Sun that the decision was based on the development needs of the region, and was supported by all 11 regional councillors.

    The Ondangwa town council has also petitioned President Hage Geingob to consider the town for the referral hospital.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 12/13/17--14:00: Nafpu gains more power
  • Nafpu gains more powerNafpu gains more power The Namibia Football Players Union (Nafpu) yesterday announced that they now have more powers to influence football and player matters.

    This is after the Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and World Players Union (FIFPro) finally signed a cooperation agreement.

    The signing of the understanding came after a long battle between the two bodies which earlier resulted in a legal battle.

    However, the two bodies have now sorted out their differences and will be working together.

    As a result, all organisations under FIFPro, including Nafpu, will now be able to influence football decisions in their respective countries.

    With Nafpu having called for a formation of a dispute resolution chamber by the Namibia Football Association (NFA), the players' union says it will now pursue that demand.

    Nafpu has demanded that the NFA set up a dispute resolution chamber in order to ensure that all players are legally protected.

    The NFA was reluctant to accept Nafpu's demands, leading to tension between the two bodies.

    Nafpu secretary-general Olsen Kahiriri, who recently returned from the FIFPro AGM in Egypt, said: “Now that FIFA and FIFPro are working together, we have the right to write to FIFA to stop sending money to our football association until certain propositions are met.

    “We are tired of running to people and demanding things. Now we can deal straight with the football mother body if people sitting in football offices do not raise the standards.”

    Nafpu also announced that a universal declaration of football players' rights was introduced in order to protect the players.

    One of the notable things in the declaration reads: “Every player has the right to a sporting environment that is well governed, free of corruption, manipulation cheating, protects, respects and guarantees the fundamental human rights of everyone involved in or affected by sport, including a player.”

    Kahiriri said they planned to submit the document to the Namibia Sports Commission so that it could become compulsory.

    Nafpu president Sylvester Goraseb said the document would enable their organisation to help players who are mistreated by clubs.

    Goraseb assured the media that the union would be tackling the issue of player contracts and payment seriously now because they had the backing of FIFA.

    “I would also like to wish everyone who has supported us a great festive season given that we are closing our offices today,” Goraseb said.

    JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

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    Pirates not fazed to meet former coachPirates not fazed to meet former coachTough test for Jacobs Katutura giants Orlando Pirates are not intimidated by the fact that they will face Tigers in Round 14 of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tomorrow. The Buccaneers lost coach Woody Jacobs to rival team Tigers under harsh circumstances after he fell out with the management over the running of the troubled club.

    He claimed the club management undervalued and did not appreciate his contribution to the team. However, the players are focused on collecting points when they face the team. Pirates captain Innocent Tembo said they were not fazed or demoralised by Jacobs's exit and would continue to focus on the team and the matches ahead. The team is currently without a coach but is under the interim stewardship of assistant coach Ivan Namaseb, who said they were ready for the match.

    “We are without Woody but we know his tactics but at the end of the day it's about the players and how they approach the match. Tigers and Pirates are both big clubs and do not need any motivation on the field. We are going in to win the match.” He said he had three to four injured players but they were being attended to and would hopefully be ready for tomorrow's match. Jacobs, who sits with a club threatened by relegation, said he expected a grudge match full of fireworks.

    “I saw a lot of positive things in the last two matches that the team played against Civics and African Stars. I expect nothing but the best from the players.”

    He said the Pirates team might know his tactics but he was leading a different team with different players.

    “Every team responds differently and the players have been responding in the manner which I like. It won't be easier, not that I like easy things anyway because it bores me,” he said.

    He further said that he respected his former team and the players and had built great relationships with them. In Tuesday's match African Stars beat Tigers 1-0.



    Full fixtures for the weekend

    Saturday

    Unam vs Chief Santos Unam Sport Stadium 15:00

    Eleven Arrows vs Civics

    Kuisebmond Stadium 15:00

    Blue Waters vs African Stars Kuisebmond Stadium 17:00

    Citizens vs Young Chiefs Sam Nujoma 17:00

    Sunday

    UNAM vs Young Chiefs Unam Sport Stadium 15:00

    Blue Waters vs Civics 13:00 Kuisebmund Stadium 13:00

    Eleven Arrows vs African Stars Kuisebmund Stadium15:00

    Citizens vs Chief Santos Sam Nujoma Stadium 15:00

    Tigers vs Life Fighters Sam Nujoma Stadium 17:00

    Tura Magic vs Orlando Pirates Sam Nujoma Stadium 19:00

    Mighty Gunners vs Young African Mokati Stadium 15:00

    Rundu Chiefs vs Black Africa Rundu Sport Stadium 15:00

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    Adizonkpak FC wins football tourneyAdizonkpak FC wins football tourney Adizonkpak FC from Hoachanas defeated Black Arrows from Keetmanshoop 4-0 to win the B&R Soccer Bonanza held at Mariental over the weekend.

    The tournament was played over three days and attracted 20 teams with Mainstay United travelling all the way from Upington to be part of the well-organised tournament.

    A total of 80 goals were scored during the tournament sponsored by Southern Target Investment.

    The games kicked off in scorching heat on Saturday but players managed to play and score goals. Dillon Gertze from Mariental Old Boys received the top goal scorer award and Balu Christian from Arrows received the Player of the Tournament award.

    Adizonkpak received N$30 000, a floating trophy along with one trophy they will keep, and 20 gold medals.

    Black Arrows received N$15 000 and silver medals while the semi-final losers, Try Again and Sien is Glo FC, received N$7 500 each.

    Sien is Glo also received bronze medals as best semi-final losers after they lost 1-0 against Arrows.

    Tournament organiser Rhonie Rhuuksie //Garoeb thanked all the sponsors and said that things could only get better for rural sports with corporates coming on board.

    The tournament started at Mariental in 2015 and was known formerly as the Winter Soccer Bonanza. The first winners were Try Again FC from Keetmanshoop who defeated Untouchables in the final by three goals to nil.

    Untouchables went on to win the 2016 tournament at Rehoboth by defeating Airport Eagles 10-9 on penalties after a goalless draw.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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