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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    MTC's Ekandjo gives back to his communityMTC's Ekandjo gives back to his community'Tis the season to give Pensioners in the harbour town of ­Lüderitz were recently treated to a three-course meal. MTC executive Tim Ekandjo celebrated Christ­mas in style with over 500 senior citizens of Lüderitz. The event took place at the new ­Lutheran Church in Lüderitz where senior citizens were treated with a delicious three-course meal.

    Every elder also received a gift consisting of rice, chicken and soup while the Lüderitz Old Age Home also benefited from the gifts.

    The event was meant to celebrate Christmas with Lüderitz's senior citizens and we are delighted that every senior citizen came out to enjoy the day.

    The event was graced by the mayor of Lüderitz, Hilaria Mukapuli, who thanked Ekandjo for such a historic get-together. The event was also attended by various religious leaders and the Lüderitz political leadership. Amongst the many speakers were Tim Ekandjo's kindergarten teacher, Ousie Frieda, as well as Mrs Sibeni, who taught Ekandjo English at Diaz Primary School.

    “This was such a ­beautiful event, and we want to thank the almighty God for blessing this child with such a good heart, for spoiling us like this and for making us feel so special,” said one elder.

    Ekandjo, who was accompanied by his wife, Ingah Ekandjo, thoroughly enjoyed the event and could be seen serving the elders.

    On Sunday morning, Ekandjo donated N$15 000 to the Lutheran Church towards the completion of the new church courtesy of the Ekandjo family.

    Barely two months ago, Ekandjo also spoiled the senior citizens of ­Okombahe with a similar party.

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    Nearly two years since sit-in startedNearly two years since sit-in started A former employee at the US embassy in Windhoek yesterday failed in her bid to be released on bail pending her appeal against an effective two-year prison sentence.

    Adele Richter, 46, was sentenced to four years, of which two were conditionally suspended, on 5 September. She had been convicted of fraud involving US$4 480 (about N$62 500). Windhoek Magistrate Venasius Alweendo yesterday rejected her bail application. She maintained in her appeal that the sentencing court had failed to adequately take into account her personal circumstances and other mitigating factors.

    “The sentence was shocking, harsh and was not proportional to the amount involved and the merits of the case,” Richter had argued.

    She had defrauded the embassy by requesting it to pay into her personal account funds to build a community playground in an economically challenged area.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 12/18/17--14:00: Ex-SWATF march foiled
  • Ex-SWATF march foiledEx-SWATF march foiledNo bail for former US embassy employee The ex-soldiers say they are tired of waiting for an unresponsive government. The Namibian Police and members of the Special Field Force yesterday stopped a group of about 400 former SWATF and Koevoet soldiers intent on marching to State House.

    The former soldiers started walking along Independence Avenue at about 04:00 without having informed the relevant authorities of their intentions.

    They were stopped by the police at the Katutura State Hospital, where they were told of the illegality of their march and ordered to return to the Red Flag Commando Hall in Katutura.

    The ex-soldiers have been conducting a sit-in at the commando hall for close to two years – since 10 January 2015 – demanding recognition as military veterans and concomitant compensation.

    They also demand pension payouts from the N$36 million that was paid out by the former apartheid South African government to the Swapo-led government after Namibian independence.

    The chairperson of the Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet), Jabulani Ndeunyema, said he was informed of the illegal march around 04:00 in the morning by police commissioner Willem Steenkamp.

    Ndeunyema said the ex-soldiers have lost faith in the Namvet leadership because of the government's silence on this matter despite numerous correspondences, meetings and promises to continue the consultation process.

    He said the minister of presidential affairs, Frans Kapofi, on 17 October informed Namvet that President Hage Geingob had assigned Vice-President Nickey Iyambo to conduct the consultations with the ex-soldiers.

    Ndeunyema said Iyambo had not yet contacted them.

    Elderly ex-soldiers at yesterday's foiled march said they were tired of waiting on a government response.

    “We are angry because we are suffering,” said Darius Utjavari (67), a former member of the 102 Battalion at Opuwo.

    “We worked for the South African government, South Africa has paid out money but we have not received anything.”

    Ruben Kasera (60), former member of 202 Battalion in Kavango, said: “From now on we want to know exactly who it is that has destroyed this country.

    Who planted landmines, bombed banks? These people must step forward. Was it us?

    “The people who destroyed the country are today the children of this country.

    I, who have protected this country, am not a child of this country anymore. Why?

    “From the south to the east, the west to the east, we protected this country.

    Today we are being bad-mouthed. Show us where we have planted landmines or bombed banks. Many innocent people were hurt.”

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    BoN warns against pyramid schemeBoN warns against pyramid scheme OGONE TLHAGE - The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is warning members of the public to refrain from participating in the activities of the Four Corner Alliance, an illegal financial scheme.

    By engaging in activities with Four Corner Alliance, members of the public stood the risk of having legal action taken against them, the Bank of Namibia said.

    By engaging in the business of Four Corner Alliance, members of the public are required to buy an online book through the Alliance and in turn recruit more members who will also buy the prescribed book.

    Through revenue generated by the purchase of the book, members then gain points from sales made on the book.

    “The core business of Four Corner Alliance is to introduce members of the public to the business practice and they are expected to pay a once off membership fee of N$250 to the company supposedly for the purchase of an online book,” the Bank of Namibia said.

    According to the Bank of Namibia, participants are encouraged to introduce or recruit four other persons who in turn are expected to introduce more members of the public in order to earn monetary rewards within the business matrix of Four Corners Alliance.

    “Participants earn more money upon promotion to higher status, with bonuses ranging from N$240 up to N$8.3 million as bonus and funds that are allocated to participants as rewards come from the contributions or supposed sales of online books made by newly recruited members,” the central bank said.

    The Bank of Namibia was also empowered to take legal action against members of the public that were engaging in the activities of Four Corners Alliance and similar financial schemes.

    “It should be emphasised that the bank is empowered to take legal action against members of the public who participate in illegal financial schemes, promote their business activities or recruit members of the public to take part in such activities,” the central bank said.

    Four Corners Alliance is selling a set of 43 books to interested members of the public, distributed through six purchase levels. According to the Four Corners Alliance website, a broad spectrum of financial topics are covered in the book, “that will put the control back where it belongs, the consumer”.

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    Namibia Rare Earths expands portfolioNamibia Rare Earths expands portfolioLooks beyond just lithium Namibia Rare Earths is set to shift its focus from being just a prospective lithium producer to include copper, cobalt and graphite. Namibia Rare Earths will be expanding its area of focus and will move away from being a miner of only lithium to also include cobalt, gold, graphite, nickel, copper and zinc.

    Namibia Rare Earths will also issue 64 000 000 common shares which will be acquired by Gecko Namibia through a yet-to-be finalised private placement.

    The new deal, Namibia Rare Earths said, would give it buy-in into exciting planned future mining projects.

    “The transaction dramatically increases the Namibia Rare Earths' exposure to a wide variety of critical metals and minerals at various stages of development, providing a pipeline of projects spanning the spectrum from near-term discovery to preliminary economic assessment,” Namibia Rare Earths said.

    The company also said it would help accelerate the planned development of its projects from feasibility stage to full production.

    “This diversification will provide Namibia Rare Earths with considerable flexibility in targeting those commodities which can provide immediate shareholder value.

    “The strategic partnership with Gecko Namibia will allow for fast tracking to mine development as projects mature to feasibility stage,” Namibia Rare Earths said.

    The initial focus will be on a yet to be developed cobalt project in the Kunene Region.

    “In terms of commodity interest, the Kunene cobalt-copper project will be assigned highest priority given the high level of investor interest in cobalt and current high cobalt prices,” Namibia Rare Earths said.

    Operations in Namibia for all projects will continue under Namibia Rare Earths (Pty) Ltd., the Namibian operating company of Namibia Rare Earths. Project management will be streamlined through utilisation of Gecko Namibia's in-country administrative and service and the appointment of Pine van Wyk as CEO.

    Gecko was instrumental in bringing the 500 000 tonnes per year run-of-mine Okanjande graphite mine into commercial production earlier this year, through a joint venture partnership with Imerys, a global leader in the production of mineral-based, high-value specialty products. Gecko Namibia redesigned a portion of the crushing, milling and flotation facilities at the Okorusu mine for graphite processing of up to 20 000 tonnes per year of graphite concentrate.

    Gecko also acquired the entire mine and processing facility assets of the Okorusu fluorspar mine from Solvay, in 2016. A comprehensive test programme has been developed with the objective of re-opening the fluorspar operations at Okorusu.

    Further, Gecko Salt, a subsidiary of Gecko, operates a small-scale salt production plant located about 120 km north of Swakopmund. The project is currently operating at a rate of 200 000 tonnes per year and targeting to increase to one-million tonnes a year. The first shipment of 25 000 tonnes of salt for the North American market was exported in August.

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  • 12/18/17--14:00: Steinhoff woes hit Namibia
  • Steinhoff woes hit NamibiaSteinhoff woes hit NamibiaAlbeit little exposure to investment funds Namibian pension funds will take a substantial hit because of the collapse of South African-based multinational giant Steinhoff. A local expert has warned that despite minimal exposure to the Steinhoff scandal, some investment funds in Namibia will still suffer significant losses.

    The CEO of Retirement Fund Solutions, Tilman Friedrich, said the losses were severe when taken on a case-by-case basis per fund.

    “In the case of Steinhoff it seems the maximum exposure to this share of any investment manager was 1.5%, a relatively small exposure that most members can still absorb. When you convert such low exposures to an amount, in most instances it still represents a significant loss,” he said.

    As a pension fund, Retirement Fund Solutions allocates capital to fund managers such as Namibia Asset Management, Momentum Namibia, Sanlam Namibia, OId Mutual and Allan Gray, among others, for investment purposes. Steinhoff's shares fell as much as 62% on 6 December after its CEO, Markus Jooste, resigned amid a probe of accounting irregularities. The market value of the multinational, which is based in South Africa, but listed in Germany on the Dax, has dropped to about N$282 billion following its widely reported accounting scandal. Steinhoff is a global retail holding company and owns brands which include Incredible Connection, Hifi Corp, Hertz Car Rental, Pep Stores, Dunns, Shoe City, Buco which was formerly Pennypinchers, Tekkie Town and clothing retailer Ackermanns. Explaining the possible exposure local pensioners and insurance companies had to Steinhoff, Friedrich said that there were very strict limitations for asset managers to operate in, giving them minimal scope to invest in one single company, irrespective of its size.

    Some of the investment managers mandated by Retirement Fund Solutions, such as Namibia Asset Management and Momentum Namibia, had about 1.5% of their assets under management invested in Steinhoff.

    Old Mutual Namibia had a 1.45% exposure through its Profile Fund, while it had a 0.8% exposure through its Best Investment View Segregated Fund. Sanlam Namibia had a 1.2% exposure through its Stable Bonus Fund, a 0.5% exposure through its Absolute Return Plus Fund, and a 0.5% exposure to its Inflation Linked Fund.

    “The one consolation for pension fund managers should be the fact that prudential investment guidelines place very restrictive caps on the maximum exposure to a single investment,” Friedrich said.



    According to him, asset managers invested money in various companies to lower the risk of being exposed to one single company in the event of severe losses.



    “Typically pension funds spread their investment across anything between 30 and 100 companies and those are typically large companies,” he said.



    With regard to physical property such as shopping malls and industrial complexes, in which pension fund money is also typically invested through companies like Oryx which owns and operates Maerua Mall, strict limitations are also imposed to manage the risk of an investment going bad.



    “No pension fund may invest more than 5% of its capital in a single property. It may invest a maximum of 10% of its capital in a company which has a market capitalisation of at least N$5 billion or a maximum of 5% if the market capitalisation is less than N$5 billion,” Friedrich explained.



    It is speculated that most pension funds would have had some exposure to Steinhoff since it was in the Top 40 index on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).



    The Government Institutions Pension Fund was unable to comment owing to the unavailability of its CEO, David Nuyoma, and its general manager for investments, Conville Britz, who were both said to be on leave when approached to give a response.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    Namcor MD investigated while on leaveNamcor MD investigated while on leave The board of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has commissioned auditing firm Deloitte to conduct a full forensic investigation into alleged misconduct by Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga.

    The investigation started yesterday, on the first day of Mulunga's annual leave, and will continue until 20 January 2018, when he is expected to return to work.

    Board chairperson Patrick Kauta said should the investigation not be completed by the time Mulunga returned for work, the board would meet again to decide on the way forward.

    Kauta, however, said the board expected to know by 12 January whether more time was required for the investigation.

    Mulunga is to be investigated over alleged questionable appointments of six temporary staff. Another matter to be investigated is the allocation of a tender to a Malaysian company, Hyrax Oil, for the supply of lubricants to the parastatal.

    Namcor's ICT executive, Bonni Kandjoze, will also be investigated for his involvement in the lubricant tender allocation because he accompanied Mulunga to Malaysia on a trip that was sponsored by Hyrax Oil.

    It is also alleged that the Namibian agent of the company, Alex Wayne, is a friend of Mulunga's.

    Kauta said after an urgent board meeting yesterday that four of the temporary employees' contracts were expiring at the end of this month.

    He said the board had therefore instructed the human resources department to audit the appointment of six people whose employment contracts had been terminated in terms of a resolution of a board meeting on 27 November.



    Kauta said the board was well aware that some of the affected employees had expressed intent to institute a legal challenge against their dismissals.



    He would, however, not expound on the legality of the termination of their contracts.



    He also made it clear that the board had not sought permission from the minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, and minister of mines and energy, Obeth Kandjoze, to suspend Mulunga. He said the board had merely “consulted” the ministers, as was required by company directives.



    “The investigation does not mean the allegations are true. The investigation is only to determine the veracity thereof. We want a full and thorough investigation,” Kauta said.



    Kauta said Mulunga was aware of the investigation.



    “This is not a clandestine investigation,” Kauta said.



    Yesterday's board meeting further revoked a decision by Mulunga last week to suspend the manager of Namcor' commercial unit, Kosmos Damaseb.



    Mulunga suspended Damaseb for allegedly not following orders and executing a project at the Tsandi Service Station where Namcor is to enter the retail market with Teya Investment.



    Damoline Muruko, Namcor's executive of corporate governance, will act as MD while Mulunga is on leave.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 12/19/17--14:00: 'Warriors will prevail'
  • 'Warriors will prevail' 'Warriors will prevail' Mannetti takes underdog approach The Brave Warriors coach says he wants the team to approach the CHAN tournament as the underdogs. Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti says the team will advance from the group stages in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament, which is slated for Morocco.

    He said this at the announcement of the 31-man training squad yesterday in Windhoek ahead of preparations for Chan.

    Namibia is in Group B with Ivory Coast, the firm favourites to top the group, Zambia and Uganda.

    The coach said it would be unwise for anyone to assume that Uganda or any other team does not know football because teams are improving every day.

    “Being an underdog does not mean we are weak, but it's a comfortable approach for the players. It worked when we played Zimbabwe with their pound for pound players who ply their trade for big names in England,” he said.

    However, he is positive that the Warriors will exit the group.

    “How I don't know, as I am not a fortune teller, but all I know is that we will,” he said.

    In preparation the team will play two training matches out of the country. He said they were negotiating with two teams.

    “I want us to face a West African team as there will be a similarity of how Ivory Coast plays.”

    With new faces in the squad, mostly from the under-20 setup, Mannetti said he wanted to add depth and to use the approach of an underdog as they are rookies going into the tournament.

    Mannetti brought in players like Calvyn Spiegel, who he said was fresh and impressed him; and Kennedy Eib and Hubert Mingeri, whom he wants to reward for the way they have been playing recently.

    Mannetti selected Jackson Johannes because he is left footed and it will be beneficial to have him in the team to help Riaan !Hanamub.

    He also roped in Gregory Auchumeb, who was in the squad when the Brave Warriors won Cosafa.

    “He has a bit of experience and knows what is expected of him. Kleopas Useb has been scoring goals and Penda Mongudhi is a fresh midfielder. Vitapi Ngaruka is strong and has speed and I want to see how he will supplement the back line.

    “It is up to them to impress for a position in the team. If they don't, we still remain with the core of the team,” the coach said.

    The team is expected to train at Soccer House the whole week and the team is to be trimmed to a 28-man squad which will be announced at the end of the week.

    The captain of the team, Ronald Ketjijere, said they were going to work hard and do well at Chan.

    “Pressure is always there. I am leading the team and want to bring my A game.

    “I want to make the players feel comfortable at all times by encouraging them behind the scene,” Ketjijere said.

    The team is expected to leave for Tunisia on 27 December where they will be camping. The tournament will be played over three weeks between 12 January and 4 February. The tournament brings together 16 national teams composed of local players playing in the national leagues of their respective countries.



    Training squad names:

    Edward Maova, Charles Uirab, Loydt Kazapua, Calvyn Spiegel, Ferdinard Karongee, Kennedy Eib, Tjiuana –Tja Tjatindi, Hubert Mingeri, Charles Hambira, Edmund Kambanda, Martin Emilio, Tiberuis Lombard, Vitapi Punyu Ngaruka, Riaan !Hanamub, Gregory Auchumeb, Imannuel Heita, Dynamo Fredericks, Oswaldo Xamseb, Penda Mongudhi, Ronald Ketjijere, Wangu Gome, Petrus Shitembi, Absalom Iimbondi, Jackson Johannes, Himeezembi Hengombe, Muna Katupose, Roger Katjiteo,Junias Theophilus, Panduleni Nekundi, Hendrik Somaeb and Kleopas Useb.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Players not being paid is a thorny issue – KautaPlayers not being paid is a thorny issue – Kauta The Namibia Premier League chairperson, Patrick Kauta, said the issue of players not being paid by their clubs due to mismanagement of funds is a thorny issue which they have tried to deal with to no avail.

    Kauta said this at a media conference which was held on Monday to address problems faced in the first leg of the premier league.

    He said the issue affects the brand as clubs receive money but there is no follow-up even though discussions were made previously to ask for financial statements from each club yearly and to adopt a club licensing framework.

    The chairperson said this will improve with the recent developments between the Namibia Football Players Union (Nafpu) and the Namibian Football Association (NFA). NFA previously pushed Nafpu's request to be recognised as a union representing player's rights, which caused tension between the two bodies.

    This has all changed as 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.

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

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

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

    Nafpu president Sylvester Goraseb said at a press conference, a week ago, that the document would enable their organisation to help players who are mistreated by clubs.

    He said the union would be tackling the issue of player contracts and payment seriously now because they have the backing of FIFA.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 12/19/17--14:00: Ramaphosa faces new battles
  • Ramaphosa faces new battlesRamaphosa faces new battlesHead of South Africa's struggling ANC Ramaphosa defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a gruelling contest, which saw him attaining 179 votes more than the former AU chairperson. South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was facing wide-ranging challenges yesterday after being elected to lead South Africa's ruling party just as it grapples with corruption allegations and disunity.

    He was narrowly elected head of the African National Congress on Monday, winning a bruising race that exposed rifts within the organisation that led the fight against apartheid.

    Thousands of raucous Ramaphosa supporters sang and chanted in the conference hall as rival backers of defeated candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma appeared dejected.

    Ramaphosa won 2 440 votes to Dlamini-Zuma's 2 261.

    The victory puts Ramaphosa in line to succeed President Jacob Zuma, whose reign has been plagued by corruption scandals, a slowing economy and anger at the once-omnipotent party.

    He will likely enjoy a honeymoon period - the rand currency was up 3 percent against the dollar by Monday evening suggesting investor confidence in the politician-turned-businessmen.

    But he still faces unenviable challenges.

    Political analyst Richard Calland warned that Ramaphosa would be politically constrained as long as Zuma remains president.

    Though Zuma stepped down as party chief at the conference, his term as head of state runs until 2019 when elections are due.

    “The winner has inherited a mix blessing, possibly a poisoned chalice,” Calland told AFP.

    Ramaphosa will be confronted with decisions about what public sector cuts to make to balance the budget and how to battle Zuma-era corruption.

    “It's going to be very difficult for him to manoeuver, he'll have to reach compromise at every step,” Calland added.

    A vast image of the ANC's new leader was unfurled as long applause and loud singing greeted news at the party conference venue outside Johannesburg.

    Outside the hall, ANC supporters blocked a road leading to the conference centre, dancing and singing party songs.

    Ramaphosa is due to make his first speech as leader today as the conference draws to a close.

    President Zuma was seen as backing Dlamini-Zuma, allegedly to secure protection from prosecution on graft charges after he leaves office.

    But his loyalists did win senior positions in the vote, including David Mabuza as party deputy chief, meaning Ramaphosa is likely to face strong internal opposition to his pro-business reform agenda.

    “I hope you will cooperate with the new leadership... as we move to the 2019 elections,” Baleka Mbete, outgoing party chairwoman, told delegates.

    The ANC, which has ruled since 1994 when Nelson Mandela won the first multi-racial vote, could struggle to retain its grip on power in the next election due to falling public support.

    Ramaphosa, 65, is a former trade unionist leader who led talks to end white-minority rule in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.

    He is often accused of failing to confront Zuma while serving as his deputy since 2014.

    “Ramaphosa will work to bring back the principles of liberal politics in the party,” Amanda Gouws, politics professor at Stellenbosch University, told AFP.

    “The outcome of the vote was not easy to call. What is at stake here is unity - the new leaders need to forge unity and rebuild the image of the party.”

    Soaring unemployment and state corruption have fuelled frustration at the ANC among millions of poor black South Africans who face dire housing, inadequate education and continuing racial inequality.

    The main opposition Democratic Alliance party said that the ANC was “held together only by the glue of patronage and corruption, and Cyril Ramaphosa is just a new face to the same old ANC”.



    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 12/19/17--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day SNOWY FUN: A dog jumps to catch a snowball in Godewaersvelde. In France, 32 departments were placed on orange alert with winds of more than 100 kilometres forecast in some areas. In the northern Pas-de-Calais and Nord regions, some 20,000 homes were without electricity due to gale-force winds which affected supply. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 12/19/17--14:00: CR17 and slate politics
  • CR17 and slate politicsCR17 and slate politics Namibians in general appeared to have welcomed the election of South Africa's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as the new ANC leader following a narrow victory over former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The win clearly puts Ramaphosa firmly in line for the presidency of South Africa in 2019. The election of Ramaphosa is momentous in that it could help the ruling party turn around the country's moribund economy and appease the markets. In fact, the South African rand rallied over 4% immediately after Ramaphosa was declared the new ANC president. However, there was no slate victory for Ramaphosa as the markets would appear to have wanted. With a hung top six that now includes Jacob Zuma followers such as deputy president David Mabuza, Ace Magashule (secretary-general) and re-elected deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, Ramaphosa definitely has his work cut out for him. The odds are heavily stacked against him to bring down the high unemployment rate among young people as well as inspire investor confidence following a tumultuous spell under Zuma. On the other hand, he must also be seen to be fighting rampant corruption and disunity, which the party is grappling with. Tackling corruption will be his biggest challenge. Corruption has become so entrenched in the ruling party under Zuma and it remains to be seen whether both the state and movement would be further corroded by cronyism. So it is important for Ramaphosa to stamp his authority. All in all there are lessons to be drawn from the ANC elective conference, especially when it comes to the notion of promoting slate politics. Liberation movements like Swapo and the ANC are bigger than any individuals and members must guard against creating images of a leader through unquestioning flattery and praise. The slate approach associated with elective congresses does more harm than good and should be done away with. Slate politics also reduces delegates to mere voting cattle with no capacity to apply their own minds when participating in elective congress. It is completely unhealthy given the current political dispensation, which places a huge premium on forging unity.

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    Special courts against gender violenceSpecial courts against gender violence A pilot domestic abuse court has been established to address the scourge of gender-based violence in the country.

    The announcement was made on Monday by the Office of the Judiciary.

    Chief Justice Peter Shivute announced a pilot project for the facilitation of urgent interim protection orders during the festive season.

    “The scourge is heightened by the use and abuse of alcohol and other substances during the festive season,” the statement read.

    It said substance abuse has a devastating effect on those most vulnerable in society and at times is fatal.

    According to the statement, a dedicated court team has been identified and is available to assist any victim of domestic or gender-based violence outside of the normal court hours.

    “Victims of such violence are hereby informed that they may apply for immediate relief by obtaining an interim protection order provided that the legal requirements are met,” it said.

    “The Namibian Police Force officers are ready to respond to such complaints at the respective police stations. Thus, the citizenry and the public at large are hereby notified that such service is available during weekends and on public holidays as from Monday, 18 December 2017 till Monday, 15 January 2018.”

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 12/19/17--14:00: Shifeta enters Epupa fray
  • Shifeta enters Epupa frayShifeta enters Epupa frayConservancies affected by political differences Chief Hikuminue Kapika is said to have lost the trust of the Epupa community after leaving the PDM and joining Swapo. Political differences between Epupa community members and their traditional leadership, under the Kapika Royal House, are reportedly negatively affecting the affairs of conservancies in the area.

    Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta last week visited the area to help solve the problem. The ministry's spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, said the minister talked to the community and traditional leaders over their differences.

    “The minister was at Epupa in an attempt to address the conflict between the community members and traditional authority.

    “He urged them to resolve their differences because it is negatively affecting the administration of conservancies as well as the benefits to the people,” Muyunda said.

    According to sources privy to the affairs of the two groupings, the Epupa community is reportedly snubbing Chief Hikuminue Kapika and his traditional councillors when it comes to development issues.

    Muyunda said Shifeta talked to the two parties about conservancy laws and how they should be administered. Kapika has in recent years defected to Swapo from the PDM, which enjoys great support in the area. Epupa is also one of the areas that generate a lot of money through conservancies. While addressing Otjivalunda community members in the Iipumbu yaTshilongo Conservancy at Engombe in Oshana Region recently, Shifeta had announced his visit to Epupa to tackle issues affecting the operations of conservancies.

    “Now that Chief Kapika is no more a PDM member the community does not consult him anymore. Traditional authorities must be represented in the conservancy committees. At Epupa the community does not call the traditional authority anymore,” Shifeta said. In 2014 about 500 community members marched against Kapika and called for his removal. The chief's alleged conduct toward community members was frowned upon, as well as his decision to support the construction of the Baynes hydropower project. Before 2014 Kapika had vehemently opposed any development linked to the power project.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 12/19/17--14:00: COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF
  • COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF Kuwait bank plans mass expansion

    National Bank of Kuwait, the country’s largest lender, plans to hire hundreds of people and open more branches in Saudi Arabia and Egypt as it targets growth in the Middle East’s biggest markets.

    NBK, as the bank is known, will open in Riyadh and Dammam by the end of next year after opening its first branch in Saudi Arabia in 2006. The bank’s Egyptian unit also aims to have 60 branches in the most populous Arab country by 2020, up from 43 currently, and will open four or five next year.

    “We started focusing our regional growth on more stable markets in the Middle East, namely GCC countries - Saudi Arabia and the UAE - in addition to Egypt,” group chief executive officer Isam Al Sager said in an interview in Cairo late on Sunday.

    “We have one operating branch in Saudi Arabia and just received required approvals to open two more branches in the kingdom.”

    BLOOMBERG

    Boeing, Bombardier spat heats up

    Boeing Co and Bombardier Inc went head to head on Monday over the US planemaker's claim that its Canadian rival used billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies to dump its newest jetliner in the United States at below cost.

    At a contentious hearing of the US International Trade Commission (ITC), Boeing accused Bombardier of harming its ability to sell 737s in the US market, in one of the final stages of a bitter trade dispute due to conclude in February.

    Bombardier argued Boeing's large 737 order book shows there has been no adverse impact from its CSeries jet. "Boeing is making money hand over fist. And with a backlog of 737 orders years into the future, there are no signs of difficulty on the horizon," Bombardier representative Peter Lichtenbaum said in opening remarks.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

    Brexit transition to 2020, trade deal by 2021: EU official

    Britain could see a post-Brexit transition period run until the end of 2020, with a new trade deal in place by January 2021, a member of the EU's negotiating team said Monday.

    "Until the end of 2020 seems indeed like a natural end point for that implementation period or transition," said Stefaan de Rynck, senior adviser to the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

    In a speech to the Chatham House think-tank in London, he added: "Our goal is to make sure the future relationship is in place in January 2021."

    He also said that during the transition, "new EU rules that come online will need to be applied in the UK. No cherry picking or what one could call a buffet-style transition".

    NAMPA/AFP

    Twitter suspends white nationalists as it enforces new rules

    Twitter suspended the accounts of well-known white nationalists Monday, moving swiftly to enforce its new rules aimed at reducing what it deems abusive content.

    The account of far-right group Britain First, a small group that regularly posts inflammatory videos purporting to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence, was among the first to go dark. The individual accounts of two of its leaders, Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, were also suspended.

    President Donald Trump caused a stir last month when he retweeted a post by Fransen, drawing criticism from British Prime Minister Theresa May. Fransen and Golding were arrested in Belfast last week for allegedly stirring up hatred.

    NAMPA/AP

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    Judiciary mourns respected judgeJudiciary mourns respected judge The late High Court Judge Nic Hannah has been eulogised as a principled judicial officer who promoted social justice. Hannah died last week Thursday in a Windhoek hospital. He was 76.

    “Justice Hannah served the judiciary of Namibia with dedication and distinction. He and his post-independence pioneering colleagues have laid a strong foundation upon which our judicial values are now anchored,” said Chief Justice Peter Shivute.

    According to Shivute, Hannah's dedicated and unwavering commitment to service delivery was evident in the qualities of the many judgments he authored.

    “As a principled judicial officer, Justice Hannah fostered a culture of identifying and narrowing down issues for determination by the court rather than spending valuable court time on peripheral issues,” Shivute recalled.

    The late judge's distinguished record of public service dates back to the 1960s when he was first called to the English Bar in 1964 and later lectured law at the Liverpool University until 1966.

    Hannah practised as a lawyer in London for 13 years until 1979. In 1979, he was appointed as a judge of the High Court of Botswana and served in that capacity until his appointment as the Chief Justice of Swaziland in 1985.

    In 1991, a year after Namibia's independence, Hannah joined the High Court of Namibia, first as an acting judge and then as a permanent judge until his retirement in 2005.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    NWR on its way to profitabilityNWR on its way to profitabilityNo longer waiting for government bailouts NWR seems to be on the right track to profitability, but it urgently needs to do something about the state of its resorts. Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta says Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) is depending less on the government and will soon show a profit.

    Nevertheless, the minister expressed concern about the poor conditions at some NWR facilities and said it was a priority for the state-owned enterprise (SOE) to maintain these facilities.

    Over the years, Shifeta has demanded that NWR become a profitable SOE and stop being a consistent drain on state coffers.

    He attributed the success at NWR to cost-cutting methods and good management.

    “I was told that for the first time NWR may record a profit. However, this is not formal yet. I am just saying they can now be self-sustaining.

    “It's not like it used to be when they used to come asking for money from government and their workers were not paid.

    “Their camps are now full. They will definitely realise a profit and will address the issues of deplorable facilities.”

    Shifeta said he was not happy with what he had seen at some NWR facilities, especially in Etosha National Park.

    “This should be a priority,” he emphasised.

    Shifeta also stressed that maintaining and upgrading facilities was not the role of the ministry.

    “We are already looking after the parks and the roads. We hope that things will be done properly.”

    NWR is one of the largest tourism companies in the country and inherited well-developed infrastructure.

    Shifeta had previously said that several commercial SOEs in Namibia were not performing well and were leaning too much on the government for support.

    He had warned that if an SOE continued making a loss and needing government bailouts, it should either be liquidated or a drastic change should be made at the company.

    NWR spokesperson Mufaro Nesongano also said that NWR had made significant headway and was well on its way to profitability and sustainability.

    “Over the past two years, NWR ceased receiving any subsidy from government and has relied on its funding to go about its business.”

    He added that NWR recently came out on top in the office of the prime minister's first Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

    The survey was carried out by the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

    The study was an initiative of the government as part of its commitment to improved service delivery by government departments and state-owned enterprises.

    NWR was selected to be part of a list of 41 service providers across 19 service sectors to take part in the survey and consistently came up top in all the elements of the survey.

    The survey report concluded that there was an opportunity for NWR to build on its strengths and coordinate efforts to maintain the better-than-average delivery in all its service categories.

    The report further stated that NWR now had the challenge of consolidating and building on the 70% average service rating required by the government's Harambee Prosperity Plan.





    ELLANIE SMIT

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    DBN sponsors sanitation facilitiesDBN sponsors sanitation facilitiesEight new facilities built to stem spread of diseases The Development Bank of Namibia recently sponsored the construction of eight new sanitation facilities as part of its corporate social investment projects. STAFF REPORTER - The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has sponsored eight sanitation facilities at Ohadiwa ya Kapombo village in the Ohangwena Region. The facilities are expected to materially improve community health and safety in the village.

    DBN sets aside a portion of its profits for corporate social investment. The bank is actively involved in initiatives that foster enterprise development, skills development, environmental and biodiversity management, community safety and health management, education, and poverty alleviation.

    Speaking at the official handover of the facilities, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said that a lack of sanitation facilities can lead to the spread of diseases and contamination of water sources. The need to leave households to use the bush also has safety implications, particularly for women and children.

    These factors, Inkumbi said, lead to human tragedy, and to economic costs. Economic costs include loss of productivity, loss of productive members of the community, and the cost of medical services to restore health.

    Inkumbi also sketched out the economic benefits of grassroots development activities such as the Ohadiwa ya Kapombo project. He noted that several employment opportunities arose as a result of the project, creating temporary income for contractors. He added that due to a shortfall of bricks, more bricks were manufactured locally, pointing to potential for a microenterprise or SME.

    He continued by saying that grassroots development combines cost-efficiency with significant socio-economic benefits and stimulus of local economies for small centres such as Ohadiwa ya Kapombo. This he said would be the basis of further, larger-scale development.

    Inkumbi concluded by commending Headman Kapombo on his leadership in the undertaking.

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    Old Mutual sells wealth businessOld Mutual sells wealth business NAMPA/REUTERS - Anglo-South African financial services group Old Mutual is selling its UK wealth business run by veteran fund manager Richard Buxton to private equity firm TA Associates for £600 million, it said on Tuesday.

    The sale of Old Mutual Wealth's single-strategy asset management business - where each fund focuses on one type of asset rather than a mix - is part of a planned break-up of the group.

    TA Associates is paying £570 million pounds in cash on or before completion, with 30 million payable afterwards, between 2019 and 2021, Old Mutual said in a statement.

    Old Mutual's shares rose 4% on the news, to the top of Britain's FTSE-100 index.

    The majority of the single-strategy management team, including Buxton, will move with the business, Old Mutual said.

    "The management team is delighted to be partnering with TA Associates to buy the single strategy business," Buxton said.

    "This is a good outcome for our customers and our staff."

    Old Mutual is planning to list the remaining UK multi-asset business of Old Mutual Wealth next year, as it looks to break itself into four parts by the end of 2018.

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    Rundu men in court over corruptionRundu men in court over corruption Two Rundu men have appeared in the Rundu magistrate's court for allegedly defrauding the council through dubious tender procedures.

    The Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) head of investigations, Nelius Becker, says the two have been investigated for a while.

    They are the municipality's former IT and finance manager, Athanasius Ndjamba Maghumbo, and its current corporate services manager, Herman Haingura.

    Maghumbo is now the chief executive officer of the Divundu village council.

    The two allegedly awarded a contract worth N$600 000 to a company to provide SMS services without inviting other service providers during the 2013 and 2014 financial years. The SMS service was reportedly never fully operational.

    It is further alleged that another N$600 000 contract was awarded to a company to develop a website for the town council. The contract was exempted from tendering procedures, but the website was never developed. According to Becker allegations were made that Haingura and the owners of the businesses were related and that he never disclosed his interest.

    Following an investigation into the allegations the case file was forwarded to the prosecutor-general, who decided to arraign Haingura and Maghumbo on corruption charges.

    They were also charged with contravening the Tender Board regulations and for failure to declare a direct or indirect interest in a tender or agreement.

    The case was postponed to 6 March 2018 to give them an opportunity to apply for legal aid.

    STAFF REPORTER

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