Articles on this Page
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Shot of the day
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Chiefs must shape up
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Millions to fight H...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Calls to legalise s...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Over 70 learners dr...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Many learners still...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Aochamub seconded t...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _From classrooms to ...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Water rationing at ...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Swartz complains of...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Cholera outbreak in...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _'Reconciliation' of...
- 01/31/18--14:00: _Travel ban 'too lit...
- 02/01/18--03:16: _ Unam registration ...
- 02/01/18--05:47: _Geingob fires home ...
- 02/01/18--06:15: _ Ekandjo also sent ...
- 02/01/18--14:00: _April applauds Disk...
- 02/01/18--14:00: _NSSU hopes for bett...
- 02/01/18--14:00: _Nigeria through to ...
- 02/01/18--14:00: _Volleyball for All ...
- 01/31/18--14:00: Shot of the day
- 01/31/18--14:00: Chiefs must shape up
- 01/31/18--14:00: Millions to fight Hepatitis E outbreak
- 01/31/18--14:00: Calls to legalise sex work
- 01/31/18--14:00: Over 70 learners drop out of Minna Sachs
- 01/31/18--14:00: Many learners still not placed
- 01/31/18--14:00: Aochamub seconded to NAC
- 01/31/18--14:00: From classrooms to tents
- 01/31/18--14:00: Water rationing at Opuwo
- 01/31/18--14:00: Swartz complains of 'sleazy' reportage
- 01/31/18--14:00: Cholera outbreak in Windhoek
- 01/31/18--14:00: 'Reconciliation' offer sneered at
- 01/31/18--14:00: Travel ban 'too little, too late'
- 02/01/18--03:16: Unam registration reduced to 20%
- 02/01/18--05:47: Geingob fires home affairs minister
- 02/01/18--06:15: Ekandjo also sent packing
- 02/01/18--14:00: April applauds Diski move
- 02/01/18--14:00: NSSU hopes for better 2018
- 02/01/18--14:00: Nigeria through to Chan 2018 final
- 02/01/18--14:00: Volleyball for All this weekend
The Hepatitis E virus was declared an outbreak in October last year by the health ministry. Since then almost 500 cases have been recorded.
Two people have since died from the virus, both pregnant women, who succumbed to Hepatitis E complications after giving birth.
Windhoek's mayor, Muesee Kazupua said N$17 million of the City's contribution to fight the outbreak will be spent during the 2017/18 financial year, which ends in June.
Kazupua said the money will be spent on building additional toilets as well as renovating existing toilets in the affected informal settlements such as Hakahana, Havana, Greenwell Matongo, Ombili and Goreangab. Additional municipal water points will also be provided in the affected areas. In an update about the outbreak, the health ministry last week said that there were 490 cases of Hepatitis E that have been reported. Out of these, 166 people tested positive. Another 308 epidemiological cases were reported in households where infected people lived.
There were still 119 suspected cases with pending laboratory results at that stage. Statistics indicated that the number of suspected cases among females was 212, while among males the number was 228.
The most affected age group the ministry said was the 20- to 39-year-old category. Furthermore, the Havana informal settlement is the most affected with 249 cases reported. This is due to a lack of toilets and potable water in the settlement.
Meanwhile, the ministry of health has also allocated N$3.7 million to contain the outbreak, while the Khomas Regional Council has committed N$2 million and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated more than N$724 000 to fighting the disease. The health ministry also investigated the water sources of people living in infected areas and found that 92% of residents get their water from communal taps. Water samples were also taken from the communal taps and were found to be “reasonably clean”. The containers used to collect water were also checked and it was found that 51% of people have open containers while 49% have closed containers. However, it was worrisome to find that in 55% of the containers used for water there was some indication of faecal matter.
Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease that can be prevented through good sanitation and the availability of clean drinking water.
Clean drinking water and sanitation, including frequent hand washing, are crucial in containing the rate of infection. The virus is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, principally via contaminated drinking water, and the disease is most common in areas with limited access to water, sanitation, weak hygiene and health services. Symptoms include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale-coloured stool, joint pain, nausea and vomiting.
Those working with sex trafficking survivors argue that many victims are reluctant to come forward and report their situation for various reasons, including abuse at the hands of the police and other authorities.
“We believe that ending sex trafficking starts with decriminalising sex work so that people engaged in sex work can come forward safely to report abuses against them,” Jean Bruggeman, the executive director of the Freedom Network in the United States said at a press briefing in Washington, DC recently.
She said that decriminalising sex work and training law enforcement and other service providers in focusing on a human rights approach instead of punishing victims, would be key to exposing sex trafficking in countries.
“You will see more reports of abuse and exploitation. When you make it more dangerous and harder for people to come forward, then they won't come forward and you won't see it. We firmly believe that by decriminalising sex work, those who have experienced abuse and exploitation can come forward and receive services.”
Bruggeman warned that arrests are traumatic in themselves and would reduce the opportunity for possible victims of sex trafficking to reach out for help.
“When someone comes at you gun-strong, and puts handcuffs on you, you are unlikely to talk about the victimisation that you faced and the circumstances around that.”
She added that apart from legal changes, countries would then have to take practical steps, including training of law enforcement to be able to handle cases of abuse and exploitation sensitively and to strengthen social safety nets.
“Law enforcement would have to respect the reports of abuse and exploitation they receive from workers in sex industries, which is not universal at this time.”
In Namibia, several human rights and civil organisations have recommended that provisions relating to sex work in Namibia should be set aside, pointing out that the stigma, discrimination and violence frequently experienced by sex workers discourages them from accessing public services, including health care and law enforcement. Testimony from sex workers to a United Nations Special Rapporteur in 2013 alleged by sex workers recurring police abuse, including high levels of violence at the hands of police including rape, arbitrary detentions and confiscation of condoms.
Don't punish the sellers
Bruggeman explained that the Freedom Network advocates for decriminalising prostitution, which would remove the penalties for engaging in prostitution.
She said that worldwide different models have been implemented; including legalising prostitution, which is a model that puts in place regulations pertaining to sex work.
“I would not venture to suggest that any one model is appropriate worldwide,” she said, noting that countries would have to consider their cultural and legal frameworks, among other things. Critical though, is that sex workers feel safe to approach authorities and service providers for help.
“When workers continue to be arrested for engaging in sex work, it puts them at great risk of all sorts of harm,” she said. She added that punishing sex work increases the risk of sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation and abuse.
She said that moreover, once a person has a criminal record, it could rob them of future opportunities.
“As a human rights-based organisation, we believe in expanding people's options, and their ability to make their own decisions. So if they want to be involved in sex work they can do so safely. If they want to be engaged in other forms of labour, they can do so safely.”
She said the network believes that if these goals are reached, sex trafficking will be reduced to a great extent, but not completely.
“We have not eliminated any form of crime in this country. So I don't expect we will be able to eliminate this form of crime anytime soon. What we can do is to make conditions safer for people so that they are less likely to suffer harm and abuse and that when they do they are more likely to come forward and access services and protection.”
A conversation is needed
Human trafficking, which can involve labour or sex exploitation, is defined as a form of modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain services for commercial or other gains through exploitation.
In Namibia, the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) issued by the United Stated Office to monitor and combat trafficking, identified cases of both labour and sex trafficking in the country, including the exploitation of children and women in the sex industry. Martina Vandenberg, the founder and president of the Human Trafficking Centre in the United States, explained that in the United States, an increasing trend is the recognition that children under the age of 18 cannot consent to sex work.
“So the idea that a child can be prosecuted for prostitution is absurd as a legal issue.” She emphasised in order for sex trafficking to be proven in the case of adults there has to be evidence of force, fraud or coercion.
But in the case of a person engaged in commercial or other types of sex work who is under 18, they are by definition trafficking victims “if someone has induced them, without any fraud, coercion or force” that needs to be established. While federal laws have an understanding of that, at the local level many states do not yet consider the age of minors as a barrier to arresting and prosecuting them for prostitution, she noted.
The answer, she explained, is for states to pass safe harbour laws, which would recognise that children cannot be arrested or prosecuted for prostitution.
*Namibian Sun journalist Jana-Mari Smith is in the United States on invitation by the US Department of State's Foreign Press Centre. She has joined 19 other journalists from around the world to take part in an international reporting tour to create awareness and gain insight into combating human trafficking through prevention, protection and prosecution.
This statistic was provided to parents at a recent school meeting.
School authorities urged parents to encourage their children to take education seriously and to remain in school for as long as possible. A parent who spoke to Nampa said it was shocking that learners “in this day and age” drop out during the primary school phase.
“We heard how teachers would go to the houses of the learners who failed to ask them to attend school, only to be told that they would not return,” the parent said. Principal Richard Namaseb said most of those who dropped out were in the upper-primary phase.
“Learners dropping out is a common thing at Minna Sachs; it has been happening for years,” Namaseb said. He said the main reason was that parents had no control over their children.
“Many of these learners come from single-parent homes and there is a problem with control at home,” said the principal.
Alcohol abuse in the home and community was another factor highlighted by Namaseb, in addition to some learners living with their grandparents.
“The elders are old and weak and cannot walk the learners to and from school,” he said.
In some instances, families relocate to other towns or villages and move learners without informing the school.
The principal said the parents of some learners who had dropped out last year were now demanding that their children be taken back.
“The government wants young learners back in school too,” Namaseb said.
Constance Wantenaar, the education inspector of the Kalahari circuit under which Minna Sachs falls, said she was unaware of the situation at the school when approached for comment.
This comes after an outcry by some parents who complained that their children are too young to be out of school.
The education minister, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, made it clear during the announcement of the Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) national examination results in November last year that Grade 10 failures who are 17 and younger would only be allowed to repeat if there was space at schools.
About 18 137 full-time Grade 10 candidates throughout the country failed.
The region's deputy director for programmes and quality assurance, Paulus Lewin, told Nampa there were limited spaces in schools for Grade 10 repeaters, and those who have been placed are very fortunate.
He said it was unfortunate that learners were faced with this challenge, but “they have only themselves to blame for a lack of commitment to their school work”.
Lewin said it was impossible to take back all the learners because schools simply did not have the resources, including teaching staff, to accommodate them.
“I however advise parents to stop wasting time at schools and rather send their children to register at Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) and other accredited private institutions, where they can re-do two or three subjects instead of all nine subjects,” Lewis added.
Registration for Namcol ends on 7 February. The Khomas Region is also experiencing a lack space for roughly 450 prospective Grade 1 learners and 473 Grade 8 learners.
“We are planning to identify some schools to set up tents and evenly distribute these learners as we are running out of time,” Lewin said.
Presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub has been seconded for a 12-month term to the embattled Namibia Airports Company until a substantive CEO has been found.
In a statement yesterday, the NAC board said the secondment was necessitated by the resignation of Lot Haifidi, who had served as interim head since September last year.
Haifidi will continue to serve as strategic executive for corporate governance at the NAC.
The NAC has been without a substantive CEO following the suspension and subsequent resignation of its former boss, Tamer El-Kallawi.
The former chief executive was facing corruption charges at the time of his exit.
The NAC board yesterday said it was still awaiting approval of Aochamub’s secondment, while the CEO position would again be re-advertised after September this year.
NAC spokesperson Nankelo Amupadhi confirmed that they were still awaiting approval from all relevant stakeholders.
She could not comment on whose approval was yet to be granted.
“The board of directors would like to thank Mr Haifidi for his outstanding service to NAC over the past five months through challenging times and has no doubt that he will continue to act in the best interests of NAC in his substantive position as strategic executive for corporate governance,” said NAC board chair Rodgers Kauta.
At the time of going to press, Aochamub was yet to respond to a Namibian Sun enquiry.
Aochamub joined the presidency in 2015 as spokesperson following a stint at NBC where he served as director-general.
He is also a former spokesperson at MTC, and the head of sales and marketing at FNB Namibia.
Namibian Sun this week reported on the poor teaching and learning environment at the Nkurenkuru Combined School, where classrooms are packed with up to 60 learners.
This situation has led to learners taking their own chairs to school, as there is not enough furniture for them.
Kavango West Region education director Teopolina Hamutumua said she was aware of the situation at the school and the education ministry planned to address the problems at schools in the region.
Hamutumua said while the report on yesterday's nationwide Fifteenth School Day Census was being finalised, some schools had approached other ministries to secure tents that could be used as classrooms.
“The preliminary findings were communicated to the ministry and the request was acknowledged and is receiving the ministry's attention. In the meantime, some of our resourceful principals have explored the options of acquiring tents from line ministries to split larger class groups to ensure quality teaching and learning,” Hamutumua said.
She also said that the directorate had managed to secure funds to construct 15 pre-primary classrooms in the next financial year.
Regarding the shortage of furniture at schools, Hamutumua said there was no budget for buying new furniture.
She said the only viable option was to collect broken furniture from schools and repair it.
“The cost of a desk is estimated at N$430 and a chair at N$350. Considering the available budget, acquiring new furniture for learners at this price will not make a big impact. The management has therefore resolved to collect furniture frames piling up at schools for repairs,” Hamutumua said.
On the issue of dilapidated school buildings, Hamutumua said the region could not afford to respond to the needs of all schools in the same financial year.
She pointed out that in the 2016/2017 financial year, the ministry had allocated more than N$17 million to renovating Kandjimi Murangi Senior Secondary School and a few others.
Hamutumua said the ministry was committed to continue renovating schools and hostels once funds were made available.
Namibian Sun this week also reported on the living conditions of pupils at Nkurenkuru Combined School, where more than 200 learners are housed at a church hostel which is in a terrible state.
Hamutumua said the directorate was aware of the situation and that plans to build a new school and a hostel had been proposed and were awaiting approval.
“The directorate identified and submitted a proposal to construct a full-fledged hostel and school at Nkurenkuru under capital projects, although the project is yet to be realised. We are hopeful that it will be approved soon,” Hamutumua said.
The council has now opted to shut down the water supply at night to reduce the excessively high water bill.
Both the town and the surrounding villages are without water between 19:00 and 06:00 and residents and institutions have been urged to collect enough water during the day to use at night.
Over the years, the town has been losing a lot of money because of wastage, neglected infrastructure and poor administrative management.
The town's acting CEO, Iiyambo Benjamin, told Namibian Sun that the council was investigating the leaks in the town's pipelines.
“The reason for shutting water off at night is to reduce the water bill. Our water supply pipes are old and we suspect they are leaking. The newly appointed technical manager only started investigating the pipes now and we do not know how long it will take,” Benjamin said.
Many say that the leakage has been going on for some time now and that the town council has no idea where the problems are.
The town has been without technical employees and a technical manager since 2006.
Benjamin, who took up the acting CEO position in September last year, said he learned of the leaks when he started working there and he cannot say when the issue would be resolved.
He urged residents and institutions to ensure that they have enough water for use during the shutdown.
Benjamin said Opuwo does not receive water from the Calueque Dam in Angola and is not affected by the water shortage being experienced by the north-central regions. He said NamWater supplies Opuwo with water from boreholes around the town.
“I almost died in the accident yet all that pleases you is to take the accident story [to] another sleazy proportion [sic],” Swartz wrote to editors of the Republikein on Friday.
The article in question raised quoted Rehoboth residents as saying that Swartz should not have used a council vehicle, as he receives a car allowance. Moreover, residents said Swartz should not have represented the council, which is in accordance with a directive issued by the minister of urban and rural development, Sophia Shaningwa, to Rehoboth councillors.
Swartz and Winston /Uirab, the chairperson of the council's management committee, were on their way to a meeting at Keetmanshoop when the accident happened about 14 kilometres south of Mariental.
/Uirab last week told NMH that he [/Uirab] was driving the car at the time of the accident.
In his message to the Republikein editors, Swartz said using his personal car for the trip would have incurred a N$3 000 S&T claim for the council.
“I informed the payment office and councillors that I would rather travel with the council car to cut costs. What is wrong with that?” Swartz wrote.
He said he also did not claim S&T for a similar trip to Okahandja that he made with /Uirab the week before.
Swartz, who was released from St Mary's Roman Catholic Hospital in Rehoboth on Monday, did not answer his telephone when contacted for comment.
It could not be verified whether Swartz in fact had not claimed S&T for the trips to Okahandja and Keetmanshoop. Town council spokesperson Jeffrey Kasupi said he was unable to comment on that matter because S&T claims were “related to salaries”.
Minister Shaningwa on 10 January wrote a letter to Rehoboth mayor Christina Blaauw-Petrus in which she rapped the council over the knuckles for its alleged non-compliance with ministerial directives.
Shaningwa expressed concern over the state of governance and service delivery to the public at Rehoboth.
She directed the council to “show leadership and to observe principles of good governance at all times” and to develop and submit a plan of action indicating the developmental challenges the council had identified.
She further expressed concern over what she called a tendency by the council to ignore advice and directives issued by her office directly or through officials at the ministry.
Shaningwa said she wanted “visible change” in governance and service delivery at Rehoboth.
Furthermore, she instructed that the council revoke the mandate assigned to Swartz, given a pending case of misconduct and other serious allegations of irregularities at the municipality.
Shaningwa wrote that the council should revoke Swartz's signatory power over the municipal's accounts and books, and that he no longer should have the authority to appoint, transfer or suspend any other staff.
She explicitly wrote that Swartz should no longer represent the council at forums and engagements with internal or external stakeholders.
She said precautionary measures were necessary until the misconduct case against Swartz was finalised.
Moreover, Shaningwa said positions for which interviews were held last June, with the involvement of the ministry, should be filled without further delay. The filling of any other positions should be put on hold and only acted upon following consultation with her office.
She also instructed that the council immediately put an end to the payment or reinstatement of housing allowances to staff members. She said all money wrongly paid to staff should be recovered.
The rescue plan
Sources close to the municipality on Tuesday said that Swapo regional and local councillors met on Monday evening to discuss the question of Swartz's continued employment at the municipality.
According to the sources, who preferred anonymity, those present at the meeting were Hardap Regional Council chairperson Eduard Wambo, Rehoboth mayor Christina Blaauw-Petrus, deputy mayor Eva Maasdorp, management committee chairperson Winston /Uirab and the Swapo coordinator for Rehoboth East, Mathew Jona.
The sources said this meeting decided that Shaningwa could “chase Swartz away”, but that they would not have a hand in it.
Instead, Wambo allegedly proposed that Swartz should ask the Rehoboth council workers to pledge their support for him [Swartz] to stave off Shaningwa's directive.
When contacted for comment, Maasdorp said it was the first time she had heard of the alleged meeting.
Although Wambo said he would be available for comment later in the day, he switched off his cellphone.
Mayor Blaauw-Petrus' cellphone was also switched off and Swartz's phone remained unanswered.
This comes at a time when neighbouring Zambia is struggling to contain a cholera outbreak which killed 51 people and made over 2 000 others ill in the capital Lusaka in the first week of January alone.According to a statement from ministry of health permanent secretary Petronella Masabane, the boy was admitted to the Windhoek Central Hospital on Thursday, 25 January after he and another boy who had shared a sausage fell ill in class and started vomiting. The affected boy is attending the People's Primary School in Katutura.
Both boys developed diarrhoea and were taken to hospital by their parents, who initially suspected food poisoning.
“A rapid response team that included the district surveillance officer, two environmental health practitioners and other medical staff visited the house of the confirmed case to carry out an investigation,” said Masabane.
According to her, the affected households were given health education and other cases were being monitored.
No other case has been reported so far.
Masabane said medical personnel were placed on alert for the disease, while communities were being kept informed by community leaders and health workers.
Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) regards cholera as an important public health problem globally.
The Powerpoint document was presumably prepared by the German ambassador to Namibia, Christian Schlaga, and presented in October last year.
Schlaga would not comment on the content or the authorship of the document, though.
According to the document the German intervention is to be guided by Namibia's development priorities and provide “tangible results” that can be felt by the affected groups.
The proposed implementing period is from this year  to 2030, running in tandem with the Namibian government's Vision 2030, as well as the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
“The period could be declared as a decade of reconciliation and cooperation,” the document states.
The document proposes that intervention programmes should be introduced in seven regions – Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Erongo, Omaheke, Khomas, Hardap, and //Karas – where a “significant number of previously affected communities” reside, but it firmly states that all interventions should benefit the entire population within these targeted regions.
The focus areas of the interventions are vocational education (€80 million), land reform (€70 million), rural electrification (€54 million), housing (€50 million), as well as regional development and support measures (€35 million). This totals €289 million, or about N$3.5 billion at the current exchange rate.
Three options for the programming and implementation of the interventions are proposed.
These include budget support in “one go” where no “German visibility and participation” can be seen and where the affected communities are not necessarily the target of the intervention.
A second option is a “quick disbursement” through direct implementation by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) [Society for International Cooperation] alongside contracted Namibian experts.
A third option is the establishment of a new trust fund and organisation, which will be a joint German and Namibian responsibility. This includes the establishment of a joint German-Namibian steering group.
Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro at a press briefing last year criticised the idea for the establishment of a special fund.
Rukoro then commented that the German government first unilaterally decided on the special initiative without any consultation, and that a special trust as now proposed would in all likelihood be administered through the National Planning Commission (NPC).
The €20 million special initiative was meant for development projects with 80 identified communities.
At the time Rukoro commented that money allotted in the special initiative “never reached the so-called affected communities”.
“We reject the principle that they [the German government] are the ones to decide what we should get and what they want for us; they don't know what we want whatsoever,” he said then.
“Is that what we lost? Is that what they took away from us? No, they took away our land,” Rukoro said last week.
Last week he also reiterated an earlier sentiment about the proposed trust fund, which he said would pay for hospitals, schools and tarred roads.
“These are things that should be paid through tax money by the Namibian government. So why should those things be paid from our reparation money? This is blood money of our parents,” Rukoro said.
The technical committees of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association and the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation previously also strongly criticised Germany's special initiative, which they described as a failed “gimmick”.
They insisted on reparations for the affected communities repairing the damage done by German colonialism.
The presidency this week announced a ban on foreign trips for ministers, deputy ministers and political office bearers at least for the month of February in order to rein in government spending.
“The directive is specifically in the interest of curtailing public expenditure. No request for outbound travel for ministers, deputy ministers, and other political office bearers will be considered until the end of February 2018,” the presidency statement read.
The ban was announced shortly after Geingob had used a scheduled commercial flight to travel to the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week. Geingob returned yesterday afternoon.
Geingob had also swapped his presidential jet for an Air Namibia commercial flight when he holidayed in Cape Town last year.
While commending the president for his attempts to cut costs, the young opposition leader believes it will not hold in the long run.
According to Venaani, the president cannot spend millions by using the private jet for one full year and suddenly cut costs only because he sees people struggling.
“By doing this he just further demonstrates that the country is really in economic dire straits, but it is not a bad thing to cut costs. There is always a need to ask which trips necessitate private trips. If he had started that culture since he took office then it would have held, but now it just shows that this government does not have a culture of saving,” he said.
Venaani, instead, encouraged political office bearers to travel within the country to acquaint themselves with the needs of the poor.
Local economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu said most government officials had for years treated the government as a cash cow by cashing in on subsistence and travelling (S&T) allowances.
He also called on the heads of state-owned enterprises to heed the president's call.
“The money spent on wasteful trips should rather be used to pay for children's education. How many billions would we not have saved had we been saving all these years? Even trips inland to unnecessary workshops should also be banned,” he said.
Presidential affairs minister Frans Kapofi said the president was expected to review the ban after February and would eventually decide whether it would be done away with or adjusted.
“I am sure the president will look at the ban and see whether it has worked,” he said.
“The termination of your appointment should in no way be interpreted as a blight on the immense personal sacrifices, as well as the immeasurable contribution you have made in the interest of the Republic of Namibia, during our struggle for independence, as well as after independence. These are feats for which the people of Namibia shall always hold you in the highest regard.”
The players, with many others from other regions, were scouted during the Namibian Newspaper Cup in Swakopmund last year.
April said the chance to play beyond Namibia's borders was a great opportunity for them to hone their skills and to promote the country.
“I congratulate the players and those behind the move. This will also open more days for other Namibian players. I think it will also help if the local premier league has a system making it mandatory for each club to have a number of under-20 players in their team.
“The first division should also be used as a development league where young players can groom their skills instead of having senior players still playing in that setup,” he said.
He added that it was also possible for Namibia to have a challenge or competition just like the Diski Challenge and then to be able to export young players abroad.
“We have talent and are on the same pace as the best. We competed against the best in the 2018 Chan competition and that shows we have quality players,” April said.
He called on the ministry of sport to engage local companies to get involved in sport.
According to a post on the Diski Challenge Facebook page, the players are set to travel to South Africa sometime this month.
The reserve clubs that the Namibian players will join are in 10th and 11th position on the Diski Challenge log. Both have 15 points. Golden Arrows Reserves lead the log with 28 points, followed by Ajax Capetown Reserves with 23 and Bloemfontein Celtic Reserves with 22 points.
The Challenge is MultiChoice's flagship corporate responsibility programme. The programme consists of three core elements: A 16-team development league in partnership with the PSL which aims to fast-track the development of young players into the PSL league.
According to iol.co.za the challenge is meant to foster upcoming footballers, allowing them to get used to competing week in and out.
One of the rules set by the MDC committee is that each team should field at least eight under-23 players at all times.
The MDC has also proven to be valuable to a lot of PSL teams by turning unknown, raw talents into first-team players.
At the moment, schools around the country have begun with their athletics series.
The series are expected to continue till next week before the regional competitions begin.
“Well, I do believe that everything is in place and most of the schools are almost done with their athletics series
“We are busy deploying individuals to all 14 regions in order for them to monitor the events,” Duiker said.
The regional athletics events will begin on 12 April and are expected to be finalised by 10 March.
After the regionals are done, the Coca-Cola National Athletics Championships will be held on 27 and 28 April in Windhoek.
The nationals will feature the athletes who excelled in the regional events.
About 24 of the best track athletes will be selected to represent Namibia at the Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa (Cossasa) Athletics Games.
The top 12 field athletes at the Coca-Cola nationals will also represent Namibia at the Cossasa Athletics Games to be held in Francistown, Botswana, in the first week of May. “Our representatives in the regions will ensure that all times are recorded correctly in order for us to have deserving athletes at the nationals.
“The most important thing is for all the events in the country to be completed at scheduled times so that we can have enough time to prepare for Botswana.
“The athletes will have to do Namibia proud at the Games because they are the future Olympians of the country,” Duiker said.
Windhoek will host the Cossasa Ball Games next year.
JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA
The Nigerians booked a spot in the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) final by beating Sudan 1-0 on Wednesday at Stade de Marrakech.
An early goal by Okechukwu Gabriel helped the West Africans secure a spot in the final where they will meet hosts Morocco on Sunday.
As early as the 12th minute, the Super Eagles were dealt a huge blow when goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa sustained an injury, forcing him to be replaced by Oladele Ajiboye.
Three minutes later, Sudan had a glorious opportunity to grab the lead in the 15th minute, but Ajiboye was quick to read the danger.
However, it was Nigeria who found the back of the net a minute later when Gabriel beat Elhadi Akram from close range with a low shot.
In the 25th minute, Gabriel came close to bagging his brace when his left-footed shot sailed inches wide of Akram's left corner.
Despite good moves and dominance by the Falcons of Jediane in the dying stages, it was 1-0 at halftime for Salisu Yusuf's men.
Nigeria looked threatening in the second half, but Ifeanyi Ifeanyi was shown his marching orders in the 58th minute after a dangerous tackle.
Coach Zdravko Logarusic's men would take advantage of the situation and Osman Ismaeil saw his powerful shot going wide, with Ajiboye becoming a spectator.
With three minutes to go, Sudan was also reduced to 10 men when Bakri Bachir received a straight red for bringing down Solomon Ojo.
Nigeria's Ajiboye kept his team in the game after producing two brilliant saves in the 90th minute to ensure they are through to the final.
The defeat for the Sudanese means they will meet the Mediterranean Knights of Libya in the third-place playoff on Saturday night.
This year's tournament will see about 240 teams competing.
Windhoek Draught has committed itself to sponsoring the competition. Radiowave is still the media partner while Namibia Health Plan (NHP) is on board as co-sponsor.
Tournament director James Verrinder, chairperson of the Namibia Beach Volleyball Academy, said the annual event started in 1984 with only 34 participating teams.
“The event grew to 90 teams in 1987, and boasts with 240 teams over the past five years.”
Verrinder said because of limited resources they were unable to exceed the 240 mark at this stage.
Windhoek Draught brand manager Tasneem Klazen said Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) has been supporting the event since 2001, with its Windhoek Draught brand taking over as main sponsor nine years ago.
“This event is perfectly aligned with what Windhoek Draught stands for. Our brand is all about creating memorable outdoor experiences where real friends can enjoy real beer.
“This event is an opportunity for corporates to kick off 2018 with a bang or for individual entrants to simply break away from work-loaded mind-sets and have fun. This year's tournament promises nail-biting volleyball matches, a variety of tasty snack stalls and loads of prizes up for grabs,” Klazen said.
Magret Akooko, who has been taking part in the tournament for the last six years, said it's always fun.
“I like that it brings together volleyball lovers and their families to spend a day together bonding.
“One also get an opportunity to network with people from different companies and find out about their services and products; children get to spend time with their parents in a fun environment and everyone gets a free fun workout for the day.”
She praised the organisers for making the rules inclusive. “First-time players are comfortable to play and also have fun without intimidation.”
The first games will start at 08:00 and teams that are incomplete or late on the field will forfeit the game.
The six-a-side team tournament has an unlimited number of substitutes, with at least two women on the court at all times. Players may be substituted at any time between points. A match will be lost if fewer than six players of the team are on the court.
This year, Namibian kwaito star Gazza will entertain the crowd at the prize-giving ceremony.