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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 677 | 678 | (Page 679) | 680 | 681 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    When you have to carry out a decision you disagree withWhen you have to carry out a decision you disagree with One of the great frustrations of being a middle manager is that senior leaders make decisions that go against what you would have done had it been up to you. Sometimes you are part of the decision process, and other times the decision is simply handed down. Either way, you are now responsible for ensuring that the plan is carried out.

    A natural reaction in this situation is to begrudgingly go along with the chosen course of action. You might even be tempted to communicate to your peers and supervisees that you’re not convinced this is the right way to go.

    Resist that temptation. Your job is to help your organization succeed. You won’t be fulfilling that role if you, intentionally or unintentionally, undermine the decision. Instead, start by asking yourself whether you trust the organization you work for. If you don’t feel that senior management makes good decisions, it’s probably time to start looking for another job.

    But if you do trust the organization, then begin by convincing yourself that the decision is actually a good one. This is what I did early in my academic career when I received peer review comments on a paper I’d submitted for publication. Without fail, there would be at least one reviewer who hated the paper. They did not get the point of my argument or they had reservations about the studies I had done.

    When this first started happening, I hated those reviewers and assumed they hadn’t read my paper carefully. Eventually, though, after I served as a reviewer on enough papers to realize that the authors whose papers I was reviewing probably wanted to dismiss my comments as well, I began to trust that the reviewers had valid points. Perhaps those points reflected my own bad writing, or (perish the thought), perhaps my experiments were not as brilliant as I thought they were. Ultimately, trusting that they had valid points made my papers better.

    To convince yourself of the decision, put yourself in the shoes of someone who believes deeply in the decision that was made. Ask yourself why someone would make this choice. Look for factors you may not have considered before that would make this option a good one. While you’re at it, also be explicit about all of your objections. Those will be useful as well.

    Once you’ve wrapped your head around why this decision was reasonable, you’re ready to start working with your team to carry out the new plan.

    This approach helps you – and your team – in two ways.

    First, how much effort your team puts into making a plan succeed depends in large part on how much they believe in it. If you communicate a new course of action half-heartedly, you’ll get less than peak effort because people will sense that you’re not enthralled with the job to be done.

    Decision Making

    Even the best plans run into some difficulties for a variety of reasons: the plan might be failing, more effort might be required, or the team needs to innovate to find the right way to implement it. How the people you work with interpret inevitable problems and what’s required to remedy the situation depends on their commitment to the plan. If, spurred by your trepidation, they’re already looking for reasons why the option will fail, they are much less likely to be motivated by difficulties they face than if they believe deeply that the plan will succeed. Communicating a plan with confidence can help create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Second, the reservations you have about the decision can strengthen the plans you develop with your team. That list of objections you made when convincing yourself the plan is a good one comes in handy here: it reflects your beliefs about the potential obstacles to success. You are already aware of some of the reasons why the plan could fail. Use this list of obstacles to develop contingencies to handle what you think can go wrong.

    Finally, teach this method of dealing with disappointing decisions to the people who work for you. When you move up in the organization, you are likely to make decisions that fly in the face of what some of the people believe is right. You want them to treat your choices with enough respect to give them the best chance to succeed.

    Source: https://hbr.org

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    PwC Namibia welcomes 2018 new intakesPwC Namibia welcomes 2018 new intakes PwC Namibia welcomed a total of 19 new intakes at the firm’s 2018 calendar year official opening held on 1 February 2018. Staff reporter

    PWC is a major player in training graduates towards becoming Chartered Accountants, PwC has 43 Chartered Accountants and 62 trainee accountants who are currently busy with their CA studies.

    In the beginning of 2007 the firm launched the PwC Tax Academy, the first of its kind in Namibia. The firm currently has 7 candidates enrolled on a 3 year tax training programme. Since 2007, 18 candidates have completed their training.

    In addition to training auditors, accountants and tax specialists, the firm also trains IT specialists, Human Resource Consultants, Internal and Forensic auditors.

    Most of these graduate recruits are beneficiaries of the PwC bursary scheme. The scheme is currently in excess of N$ 12.8 million.

    Besides providing on the job training, the firm currently sponsors 63 Namibian students, 53 of whom are from the previously disadvantaged group, studying at South African and Namibian universities.

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    Cement import raises questionsCement import raises questionsNamport boasts with its capacity to handle large consignment Industry players argue that Whale Rock Cement has received a mining licence and should therefore be obliged to use local products. Whale Rock Cement has imported 40 000 tonnes of clinker cement, which arrived at the Walvis Bay port around 05:00 on Wednesday morning.

    The arrival of the consignment was confirmed by Namport's manager of corporate communications, Taná Pesat.

    Pesat said it would take about three weeks to offload the cargo directly from a bulk carrier ship, m/v Magnum Power, onto trucks.

    She said 70 to 100 trucks would transport 65 tonnes of clinker per load to Farm Cleveland just outside Otjiwarongo, where Whale Rock Cement has built its cement production plant. Pesar said the bags of clinker would be temporarily stored in a tent-like structure awaiting transport to Otjiwarongo.

    “The majority of the cement bags are being loaded onto the trucks as priority, and then transported immediately,” Pesar said.

    She estimated that it would take about 20 days to deliver the consignment, with each truck making about six trips. TransNamib sources said there had been negotiations with Whale Rock Cement for transporting the clinker by rail but TransNamib was reluctant to sign an agreement because the company insisted on paying only N$8 000 per load, which was not financially viable for TransNamib.

    The clinker is a product of China but was loaded onto the ship at the Al Adabiyah port in Egypt.

    According to information the offloading and clearance are being done by a Chinese agent. Sources said no one in the Namibian clearance industry had been approached.

    Namport is proud to be handling such a large consignment, said its executive commercial manager, Tino !Hanabeb. “This proves once again the logistical extent Namport can cater to clients with consignments which require a longer period of offloading and minimal storage at the port of Walvis Bay,” !Hanabeb said.

    It is understood that the bagged product will be transported by Ocean Liner Services (OLS), as well as Wesbank Transport.



    Questions from industry

    The importation of the massive consignment of clinker has left industry players dumbfounded because the product is available locally.

    “Everything is locally available. If Whale Rock Cement imports raw materials to produce cement here while it has a mining licence, where is local beneficiation and growth at home?” one industry player preferring anonymity said.

    Whale Rock Cement is a joint venture between Namibian Cheetah Cement and Chinese Asia and Africa Business Management (XIAN).

    It has a 15-year mineral right on 1004 hectares of Farm Cleveland until 2022.

    The Otjiwarongo municipality, which is now the owner of Farm Cleveland, has confirmed that it is renting out a 1004-hectare portion on the farm on which the cement plant and mining rights are located to Whale Rock Cement at N$10 million for a period of 50 years.

    The municipality said Cheetah Cement had to make a one-off payment of the N$10 million to a community development fund.

    According to Whale Rock Cement's final environmental management plan submitted in December 2015 to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the company did factor in clinker as a by-product in its processing stages.

    Whale Rock Cement's spokesperson, Manfred /Uxamb, referred all questions to other Namibian partners because he said he was on leave this week.

    One of the Namibian partners, Willem Nanub, referred the questions back to /Uxamb, saying the other partners are Chinese and presumably therefore would be unable to provide answers.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 02/15/18--14:00: Define your profession
  • Define your profession Define your profession At the age of 37, Charlene Gwanita de Klerk has so much passion for her profession that she has never looked back. In this profession, one should always be calm, friendly, patient and have good telephone etiquette. hool secretaries were who I was exposed to. I had the privilege to interact with them a few times and noticed how efficient they were and what great listening skills they had,” De Klerk said.

    The profession excited her, because she enjoys talking and meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds.

    As a secretary, she gets to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life.

    She loves organising events, scheduling appointments and being the first line of contact for clients coming to the office.

    De Klerk says this is just a few of many reasons that led to her becoming a secretary.

    She has 15 years of experience in the industry. After completing her high schooling at David Bezuidenhout in Windhoek, she furthered her studies at Damelin, specialising in secretarial and computer work.

    De Klerk is currently a secretary at Deloitte & Touche.

    “I report to three partners and my duties and responsibilities are to manage the diaries of the partners, make travel arrangements, take minutes, type and file documents, arrange internal and external meetings and various other duties,” she says.

    “It has been an amazing 15 years of being a secretary. I learned so much from the different people and different industries where I was working, and I’m still learning. That is one of the great things of being a secretary; you never stop learning. I have learned how to be more patient, kind, how to use my own initiative, how to stay calm in stressful situations and how to appreciate the little things in life. I have met so many people and some of them became friends,” De Klerk added.

    A highlight of her life is that she is thankful for having learnt the true meaning of not judging a book by its cover.

    Among the challenges she encounters is regarding travel request information that is not provided correctly or on time, and often there are not enough hours in a day to deal with this issue effectively.

    This is important, as you will deal with clients who are sometimes impatient, frustrated and upset and you need to be able to calm them down, in order to get your work done.

    De Klerk said you also need to be able to listen quite well, as you will receive many instructions and this often requires you to multitask.

    “Professional conduct at all times is key and very important. You are a custodian of the company brand, as you are often the first encounter that people have with the company, and therefore you should be able to display your company’s values, vision and mission, while engaging with people,” De Klerk said, while adding that she is a master of Microsoft Word.

    “I would say that’s my professional super-power.”

    She said further that she loves the fact that she can work with different kinds of professionals every day and that she can be the go-to person when needed, which is the cherry on top.

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    Recession hammers FNB Nam resultsRecession hammers FNB Nam resultsProfit down nearly N$74 million The six months to December 2017 was characterised by a reduction in topline growth across FNB Namibia’s portfolio. Not entirely surprised given the country economic position. - Megameno Shetunyenga, Analyst: SS Jo-Maré Duddy – “Disappointing,” was the first analyst’s reaction to the latest interim results released by FNB Namibia Holdings yesterday.

    The group’s net profit for the six months ended December 2017 was nearly N$73.8 million or 12.3% less than that of the same half-year in 2016 and came in at approximately N$525.1 billion.

    According to Megameno Shetunyenga, analyst at Simonis Storm, two issues are “getting out of hand”: FNB Namibia Holdings’ impairment charges on advances in its latest set of financials are about N$76.1 million – about N$62.7 million or 468% more than the comparable period in 2016.

    SS will have a discussion with management to understand the entire picture, Shetunyenga said. “Non-performing loans (NPLs) up 25% since June 2017. Not entirely surprised given the country economic position,” he said in his initial comments on FNB Namibia Holdings’ performance.

    Shetunyenga is also concerned about the group’s operating expenses of nearly N$954 million which is 20.5% higher than that of the corresponding half-year in 2016.

    ‘Resilient’

    FNB Namibia Holdings released a statement saying “local economic growth in the second half of 2017 followed a similar trend to the first half, with economic sectors contracting, rising unemployment, year-on-year reduction in the growth of private sector credit extended (PSCE), rising debt levels and negative investor confidence”.

    “Across the FNB portfolio, the six months to December 2017 was characterised by a reduction in topline growth, combined with a strong investment cycle. The group’s operating franchises (FNB Namibia, RMB, WesBank, Outsurance and Ashburton) however, continued to produce resilient operating performances despite the macroeconomic slowdown,” it said.

    FNB Namibia’s advances grew at 5.8% (compared to industry PSCE growth reported for December of 5.1%) and the deposit raising franchises achieved a growth of 12%, the group said.

    “Profit before tax decreased by 11.9% to N$780.0 million (2016: N$885.7 million). Profit before tax was mainly impacted by the increase in impairments, an increase in the cost of funding and the integration of Pointbreak and EBank which were acquired in the last quarter of the previous financial year. Normalised for Pointbreak and Ebank, profit before tax decreased by 9% to N$805.7 million,” FNB Namibia Holdings said.

    Earnings

    Earnings per share decreased to 198 cents (2016: 226.3 cents), while return on average equity reduced from 25.6% (June 2017) to 23.3% for December 2017. Return on average assets was slightly down to 2.8% (June 2017: 3.0%) with an accompanying cost to income ratio increase of 52.1% (June 2017: 48.9%).

    “Overall fee and commission income benefited from strong volume growth of 8% with ongoing momentum across electronic channels, again demonstrating the success of the innovative financial group’s digital Bricks to Clicks migration strategy,” the group said.

    “The group’s long-term digital strategy has had some short-term negative impact from a reduction in cash-related non-interest revenue (NIR), as well as from the cost of the newly introduced e-migration FNB Customer Cashback Rewards programme.

    “However, the strategy to optimise customer experience is both mutually beneficial, and core, to the group’s sustainability and customer commitment. A resulting decline in branch volumes has also set it up to reduce legacy infrastructure costs going forward,” FNB Namibia Holdings said.

    Six months into its financial year, with active accounts up 6.3%, and transactional volumes growth of 8%, new-to-bank and existing customers across all franchises have responded positively to the group’s end-to-end financial services offering, FNB Namibia Holdings said.

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  • 02/15/18--14:00: Health in high care
  • Health in high careHealth in high care Henriette Lamprecht - The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s dire financial situation will not change this year.

    Dr. Bernard Haufiku last week pre-empted his ministry’s continuing financial woes which escalated last year and will most likely continue in the coming financial year – hopefully to a lesser degree.

    Radical steps were taken to ensure the quality of healthcare remains a priority, including the reduction of overtime, buy-outs and even the purchase of much-needed ambulances.

    The health sector’s biggest challenge was however the non- and late payment of claims by the state’s medical aid fund (Psemas).

    The impact was brutal - especially on doctors and pharmacists in private practice in rural areas, where most patients were members of Psemas.

    In the first few months of 2017, Psemas’ outstanding debt to service providers already amounted to N$500 million, with the government’s hold on the state purse ever so tight. To try and curb fraud which haunted Psemas for years, a special task team was formed to root out unscrupulous elements among service providers in the health sector once and for all.

    Seven years before a forensic report indicated fraud already cost Psemas N$120 million per year. A follow-up revealed in 2009 the medical scheme then already surpassed its budget, while its expenses were the top five single biggest expense items of the Namibian government per individual ministry.

    Haunted by this, the ministry of finance was determined to double check claims submitted.

    Those providers who were identified as showing a huge spike in claims were hit with a double-edged sword. Until an investigation has proven no malice in the amounts claimed, all payments were indefinitely halted, leaving those on the right side of the law even further in a state of limbo. By July the ministry of finance had paid out approximately a billion Namibian dollars to service providers of Psemas since March. This was however a case of too little too late for some providers who struggled to make ends meet in months without payment.

    Ethics

    In March the country’s biggest pharmaceutical wholesaler declared no medicine, including chronic and emergency, would enter Namibia should the situation around Psemas payments not be rectified immediately.

    According to NamPharm (Pty) Ltd late or non-payers already exceeded the company’s monthly purchases, amounting to approximately N$50 million for the period 90 to 120 days, said Marius Gouws.

    It came down to an ethical issue, said Gouws, still providing emergency and much-needed medicine that could save lives or closing a supplier’s account to save the company from ruin.

    Doors shut

    By the end of 2017 the Pharmacist Association of Namibia (PSN) revealed at least eight pharmacies had to close its doors due to the Psemas debacle, while others had to let most of their staff go.

    “Young professionals at the start of their careers were put in debt, couldn’t repay loans or support their families,” said Mr. Benjamin Khumalo. According to the Namibian Private Practitioners Forum (NPPF) practices in rural towns left state patients to seek medical advice elsewhere as some could no longer afford even basic medicine.

    Training a no go

    With a tight purse, one of the biggest casualties was training much-needed healthcare providers for a country of which the doctor-patient ratio among others was already not in line with that prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    A lack of skilled medical staff has time and again been singled out as one of the biggest obstacles in the ministry’s drive to deliver quality healthcare to all Namibians.

    With its current structure more than two decades old and not in line with an ever-growing population, the cash-strapped ministry could only fill 89% of its posts.

    Training at all health facilities, as well as training programmes in the Ministry of Health, were halted. This included the training of healthcare workers, vital for reaching those in especially rural areas where facilities are few and far between, as well as registered nurses. Neither were any Namibian students sent abroad for studies in health-related fields.

    Students already studying in among others Russia also felt the pinch, with their monthly allowances several weeks in arrears.

    “Setbacks experienced by a lack of funds by the Ministry of Finance” got the blame.

    No money, no intern

    Funds also dried up for graduates who had to complete an internship at an approved health facility before they could register at the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) to practice as either a doctor, dentist of pharmacist. In this case the reasons were twofold – health facilities were not sufficiently upgraded to training status, while funds were lacking to pay interns’ salaries.

    Unprecedented shortages

    State patients again felt the brunt when those in need of a hip or knee replacement were left to buy prostheses themselves as payment to suppliers were months in arrears.

    Basic supplies like theatre garments, gloves and needles at the three biggest hospitals were no longer a given, while a tender for linen and bandages was not even awarded, according to a regular supplier.

    In an unprecedented move, surgeons at the three busiest hospitals complained about the lack of supplies - from catheters to gloves. Infrastructure was in dire need of maintenance with air conditioners in theatres sometimes reaching 30 degrees.

    With access to quality health care every citizen's right, it seems unlikely that current conditions will in future prove this as a given.

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    What 6 qualities make a good ­human ­resources professional?What 6 qualities make a good ­human ­resources professional? When we think of who a Human Resources professional is, we think about the qualities, characteristics, and the skills he or she possesses. The qualities identified below define the key strengths of a good Human Resources professional.



    KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE IN HUMAN RESOURCES

    You must have a core foundation in the many functions of Human Resources. An ongoing requirement is that you must be able to deal with the daily challenges that arise. You may have to resolve something as simple as an employee being paid the wrong rate of pay. Or it could be a much more difficult issue such as a pending sexual harassment investigation being conducted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Whether the issue is something simple or more complex, a good Human Resources professional must be able to resolve all types of issues, calmly and fairly.



    COMMUNICATION

    Human Resource professionals can't survive if they don't have excellent communication skills. Communication skills encompass a large range; it's not just one specific thing, because there are many forms of communication. Being able to listen and hear what the other person is saying is a real skill. Many people listen, but they don't really hear what is being said. What is the point? You must be able to deal with people in a friendly and professional manner, so that people can relate to you easily. The majority of your communications will be verbal, but written communication is also very important. It's best to structure your written communication like your verbal communication, and be friendly yet professional. Everyone goes to Human Resources for assistance and advice, so being able to communicate effectively is essential.



    TIME MANAGEMENT AND SELF ­DISCIPLINE

    There are not enough hours in the day for a Human Resource professional to be able to get all of his or her work done. As in any job, you have daily tasks that must be completed, but we all know how that goes. When working in Human Resources, you're happy if you can get some of the tasks completed. More often than not, you are faced with sudden issues that come up and require your immediate attention. Some days you may only have one or two incidents to deal with, but other days your whole time could be spent on these types of incidents. When this happens, the daily tasks get put on hold. But at some point you have to stop and play catch up. For this, self-discipline is a must. It is imperative that you designate a time to complete your most important tasks on a daily basis. Knowing how to manage your time is necessary for survival. You will constantly have deadlines to meet and a heavy workload that may require you to work sixteen-hour days. You'll have to learn to manage your time wisely so you don't get burned out.



    BEING TRUSTWORTHY

    This quality is probably the most important one that any good Human Resources professional needs. People will only open up to someone they can trust. They must believe that you will do the right thing and have their best interests at heart. Along with trust comes confidentiality, because if someone is sharing personal information with you, they need to trust that you will keep it confidential and not share it with anyone else. Being known as a trustworthy Human Resources professional gives you great credibility. If you lose your credibility, you will have a very difficult time doing your job, since no one will feel that they can trust you. Trying to regain your credibility is difficult, but not impossible. Make sure you do your best to keep your credibility.



    IMPARTIAL AND OBJECTIVE

    As a Human Resources professional, you must be able to remain neutral. When dealing with a work incident or employee issue, you must be able to be objective and impartial. Your personal opinion does not count—these types of decisions must be based solely on the facts presented. Having excellent problem-solving skills is a must, and you'll need to apply them in numerous situations. A big factor is knowing when you are not able to be objective or impartial about a particular incident or issue, so that you can remove yourself from the situation and have someone else handle it. You must be able to perform well under pressure and be able to make informed decisions based on facts, not emotions. This is especially important when negative scenarios come up, and you have to come up with positive resolutions. The good news is that you will get better at this with time and experience.



    TRAIN, DEVELOP AND MENTOR

    One of the many jobs of Human ­Resources professionals is providing training to employees and management. Employees need to be kept up-to-date and educated on the skills and training needed to perform their job. Helping employees develop their skills to enhance their job knowledge and performance not only benefits the employee's career, but the company as well. There are so many individuals out there who would do just about anything to have someone coach and mentor them. When you provide these services, you help them to grow both personally and professionally. Knowing that you have helped someone and made a ­difference in his or her life is such a great feeling.



    There are many other qualities that make a good Human Resources professional, but these are the most important in my opinion. I think these are some great qualities to have!

    – http://blog.eskill.com

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    Khorixas is filthy - residentsKhorixas is filthy - residents The acting CEO of the Khorixas municipality, Railious /Gowaseb, has denied that a clean-up of rubble from the streets on Monday was a hurried attempt to create a semblance of cleanliness in an otherwise dirty town in preparation of yesterday's visit by the new Kunene governor, Marius Sheya.

    “That is not true. To clean the town is routine business. It is not for the governor,” /Gowaseb countered. Disgruntled residents, preferring anonymity for fear of reprisals from council officials, said heaps of garbage that had been piling up along the streets were removed only because of the impending high-level visit.





    “As soon as the governor gets back into his car, it will be back to basics,” said one resident.

    There have been complaints about blocked drains overflowing onto the streets without anything being done by the municipality despite numerous complaints.

    Even other government institutions have complained to the town council.

    Towards the end of last month the Ministry of Environment and Tourism wrote a letter to the municipality to complain about a “sewage pollution” problem around the Khorixas State Hospital and the Hollywood Single Quarters, and an overflowing drain under the Unib Bridge.

    This letter expressed concern about compromised health and warned of a “complete contamination of the environment and surrounding communities” unless the council took drastic action.

    Days later the Ministry of Health and Social Services also wrote a letter to complain about blocked drains in the Hollywood settlement and on the hospital premises after an investigation by its health inspector.

    This letter advised an urgent improvement in the sanitation of the town to avoid the spread of enteric diseases that have broken out in the Kunene Region and called on the municipality to urgently replace or repair all damaged pipelines.

    “We are all expected to pay our rates and taxes before the seventh of every month. If we fail to do so, the council immediately cuts off our water and electricity supply. We, however, are expected to live in this unbearable mess from year to year. Why should the government give any money to a council like this?” said one angry resident.

    This resident said drains next to schools and in front of private homes were left uncovered for long periods without anything being done.

    “Children are being born in this mess,” the resident said.

    He claimed that dog and cat carcasses in drains are left unattended for weeks, that rubbish is allowed to pile up in streets and merely moved out of sight if when it becomes too unsightly, and that the town's sewage ponds are empty because the sewage flows out onto the streets.

    “Every town in the Kunene Region is a mess. When you make a noise about this, you are treated like a cow,” the resident said.

    Chief Samson /Awaseb in the Khorixas area concurred with the residents, saying many drains have been overflowing “for years” while roads in the town are not graded.

    “Our roads look like crocodile teeth because of the sharp, pointy stones,” /Awaseb said.

    “There is no development taking place in Khorixas. I have appealed to the councillors to put their political differences aside and concentrate on development instead. This council only has two years left before the next elections and they still have nothing to show for it,” /Awaseb said.

    Acting CEO /Gowaseb said he was only aware of the letter from the health ministry and claimed to have no knowledge of a letter from the ministry of environment.

    He also said the residents should take some of the responsibility for the mess because they often dumped cattle hides and donkey skulls into open drains. He said many drains were open because the cast-iron manhole covers were stolen to be sold as scrap metal.

    /Gowaseb said people farming illegally in the informal settlement also deliberately blocked drains or broke pipes so that their animals could have something to drink.

    “The community must cooperate. It is not that bad. We attend to problems when we get notices of blockages,” /Gowaseb said.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Sex trafficking hits High CourtSex trafficking hits High CourtTwo Namibians, one South African in the dock Three cases involving human trafficking and rape of minors were heard before the Windhoek High Court yesterday. Two Namibians and a South African facing multiple charges of human trafficking and rape related to minors at Swakopmund and Okahandja made brief appearances before the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

    Marthinus Pretorius (46), a South African national, was extradited from South Africa in December to face seven rape and six human trafficking charges.

    The first nine charges against Pretorius consist of four counts of trafficking in persons and five counts of rape of a 13-year-old girl in 2012.

    He faces two further charges of trafficking in persons and two counts of rape involving two minor girls at Swakopmund in 2012.

    Pretorius's alleged accomplice, Johanna Lukas, who recruited the girls at his request, was the first Namibian convicted of human trafficking in 2015. She was sentenced to an effective 13 years in prison.

    Pretorius, a former South African police officer and an employee at Rössing Uranium Mine near Arandis in 2012, is accused of having paid Lukas N$10 000 for recruiting the girls. The State was represented by prosecutor Feistas Shikerete and Messe Tjituri appeared for the defence.

    Judge Nate Ndauendapo postponed the case to 22 March. Pretorius will remain in custody at the Windhoek Central prison.



    Okahandja sex slavery

    Tuufilwa Ndawina Jonas (32) was charged with three counts of trafficking in persons, four counts of rape and one count of attempted rate for her alleged role in fraudulently recruiting a minor from Okahenge village in the Omusati Region in April 2012 with a false promise of a job.

    When the complainant arrived at Okahandja in May 2012, Jonas allegedly informed the girl that she had been recruited at the request of a man court documents named “John Puariune” and was forced to stay with him.





    The State is alleging that when the girl refused to have sex with Puariune, he demanded N$200 in payment for her transport to Okahandja.

    It is also alleged that the man asked Jonas to help him threaten and coerce the girl to consent to a sexual relationship.

    The girl allegedly stayed with the man for two months before Jonas collected her and forced to live with another man, and then a third man, all allegedly arranged by Jonas.

    The State further claimed that the minor was not Jonas's only sex-trafficking victim.

    Another woman, age unknown, “also fell for her scam and was assigned” to another man. This woman allegedly became pregnant.

    The matter was postponed to 21 February for a trial date to be set. The trial was allocated to Judge Naomi Shivute.

    Jonas was represented by Milton Engelbrecht. She remains in custody at the Klein Windhoek police station.



    Cigarettes for rape

    The case of Bertus Koch (40), who is charged with five counts of child trafficking and five counts of rape of five minor girls in the DRC settlement in Swakopmund, was postponed to 22 March 2018 for case management.

    Koch stands accused of raping and trafficking five girls in the DRC settlement at Swakopmund between November 2015 and May 2016.

    The girls were 9, 11, 12 and 13 years old.

    The State alleges that in November 2012, Koch invited the five girls to his shack and asked them to buy cigarettes for him.

    When they returned, he locked them in his shack and raped them each in succession.

    The State is arguing that Koch threatened to kill them if they did not comply and if they told anyone what had happened.

    It is alleged that Koch bribed the minors with food, payments of N$2.50 and N$3.00 and hairspray, “among other things.”

    He allegedly continued to assault the girls over a period of several months, until the matter came to the attention of the authorities in May 2016, when he was arrested.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/16/18--00:51: Ajay Gupta is on the run
  • Ajay Gupta is on the runAjay Gupta is on the run Eyewitness News in South Africa reports that officials at OR Tambo International Airport are working with the Hawks as they try to "establish the whereabouts of Ajay Gupta, who is now considered a fugitive".
    Ajay is wanted in connection with the fraud and money laundering investigation related to the Estina dairy farm project in the Free State.
    According to the report, OR Tambo International Airport spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler told EWN that their records show that Gupta left the airport on a Dubai-bound Emarites flight 10 days ago. She says that if he returned to South Africa, he may have done so through other ports of entry.
    "Airport officials will meet with Hawks investigators to hand over video footage showing Gupta's departure and also verify his flight details," EWN reported.
    Gupta is one of several suspects identified in the Estina dairy project investigation, which allegedly unlawfully netted the Guptas more than R100 million of state funds.
    On Thursday, eight accused appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court. The case will be heard again in August.
    Yesterday, the South African police obtained an arrest warrant for Ajay Gupta, the India-born close aide of scandal-hit former president Jacob Zuma, media reports said.
    The Hawks on Wednesday arrested three people as they raided the posh home of the Guptas.
    Ajay Gupta, said to be the patriarch of the embattled Gupta family, is now officially "on the run" and surrounded by a team of heavily armed bodyguards, Times Live reported quoting police officials.
    STAFF REPORTER

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    Kai Rust jailed for three yearsKai Rust jailed for three years Okahandja farmer, Kai Rust, who was found guilty of culpable homocide on 5 February this year, was today sentenced to five years imprisonment of which two were conditionally suspended.
    "Rust acted negligently and there was a loss of life, the crime is serious," Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt said the Katutura Magistrate's Court moments ago.
    Following his arrest for accidentally killing a poacher on his farm in January 2016, Rust was incarcerated for 17 months before he was able to secure bail.
    The final findings of the investigation was that is was a ricochet bullet that killed Andreas Ukandanga, 41.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Lexus LC 500 showcased in 'Black Panther'Lexus LC 500 showcased in 'Black Panther'Strong, fast, sleek and sophisticated The blockbuster movie serves as prefect backdrop for this motoring marvel. Stunning action from the Lexus flagship LC 500 coupe is a feature of Marvel Studios' highly anticipated 'Black Panther', which hit local cinemas on Friday last week.

    The film, part of a robust collaboration between Lexus and Marvel, uses the Black Panther's life as a superhero and as royalty to show the two sides of the LC: performance and luxury.

    Lexus general manager of international strategic communications Brian Bolain said Marvel's charismatic characters and inspiring stories were an ideal match with the Lexus mission to craft amazing, engaging experiences.

    “The LC's aggressive styling, high performance and agile handling are a perfect fit for the Black Panther's quick, cat-like reflexes and superhuman feats. We're excited to see the duo in action.”

    In the film, which takes place after the events of Marvel Studios' 'Captain America: Civil War', the character T'Challa (Black Panther) returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as king.

    Marvel's senior vice-president of global partnerships Mindy Hamilton said the campaign clicked from the get-go.

    “We have this bold, sophisticated hero stepping into the spotlight for the first time, and it's been a blast to work with the Lexus team to build out a story that'll familiarise fans with T'Challa as well as his advanced home nation of Wakanda.”

    'Black Panther' was directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o.

    The collaboration between Lexus and Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther' includes a commercial that aired during the recent Super Bowl, which matched the new Lexus LS 500 F sport flagship luxury sedan with the film's hero.

    It also resulted in an original graphic novel created with Marvel Custom Solutions, 'Black Panther: Soul of a Machine', which is available to read online.

    In October 2017, ahead of SEMA, Lexus unveiled a custom concept coupe dubbed the Black Panther Inspired LC.

    About Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther'

    Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther' follows T'Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

    But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

    'Black Panther' stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. - MOTORPRESS

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    Isuzu Motors South Africa is officially launchedIsuzu Motors South Africa is officially launchedFirst step into growing African market share A new chapter has begun for the carmaker in Southern Africa and the outlook is positive. SA minister of trade and industry Rob Davies - “The auto industry is important to the future of manufacturing in this country and whatever emerges in the future will be based on a significant level of support for it going forward.” QUICKPIC

    Isuzu Motors has announced the official launch of its business operations in South Africa. This follows an announcement last year where Isuzu said it would purchase the light commercial vehicle operations in Port Elizabeth and also the balance of shareholding in its Isuzu Trucks South Africa operations.

    Speaking at the event which was held at manufacturing plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth, the president and representative director of Isuzu Motors of Japan, Masanori Katayama, said that Isuzu was committed to growing its business in Southern Africa.

    “This is the first commercial and light commercial vehicle manufacturing operation outside of Japan in which we have acquired a 100% ownership. We are represented in 30 countries outside of Japan and successfully operate 47 manufacturing plants in these countries with joint-venture partners.

    “Our decision with regards to Southern Africa demonstrates the confidence we have in this market and also is indicative of our longer-term view that South Africa will serve as an important base for our future growth on the African continent,” he said.

    Isuzu is making positive strides in Africa and a year ago the company acquired a 57.7% majority shareholding in the Kenyan truck and bus assembly operation which supplies Isuzu vehicles to East African markets, while commanding a leading 34% share of the Kenyan new vehicle market.

    Isuzu also has a 20% shareholding in joint-venture manufacturing operations in Egypt, and where the company has led in the market for 10 years in a row. The light commercial vehicle pick-up which is produced there and accounts for over 90% share of the market segment is derived from the Isuzu KB pick-up.

    Also speaking at the launch event, Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and MD Michael Sacke said that the company’s initial focus would be to fully consolidate its operations while laying the foundation for the company’s future success.

    “Our short-term focus is on implementing our transitional plans, ensuring the sustainability of our operations, further strengthening our product portfolio and relocating the truck operations from Kempston Road to the Struandale plant.

    “As we do this, we will need to demonstrate excellence in everything we do and the ability to lead in key segments of the market.”

    He said in the medium term the company would need to plan for the successful launch of future products, implement measures to increase its domestic market share and increase its exports into Sub-Saharan African markets.

    Sacke said the company was already making good progress in achieving these objectives and that last year Isuzu trucks accounted for around 15% share of the medium and heavy commercial market, thus cementing its leadership position in these segments of the market for over five years in a row.

    “In 2017, and in an environment where we were transitioning our business to a new business model, we grew our Isuzu KB volume by 14.8% versus the same period last year. This gave us a share of 14% in the pick-up D segment of the market, thus demonstrating the confidence that South African consumers have in our brand and vehicles.”

    Sacke emphasised the important role the South African government played in enabling the establishment of the new company.

    “There can be no doubt that this government is committed to preserving and growing the automotive industry in South Africa,” he said.

    Masanori Katayama commended the South African employees, dealers, suppliers, government, customers and other key stakeholders for their tremendous support in ensuring the successful launch of Isuzu Motors South Africa.

    “Your efforts have been exceptional and give us confidence that this will become a flagship operation for Isuzu Motors.”

    Isuzu Motors sells vehicles in over 120 markets and has a leading share in many of the segments in which it competes in 42 of these markets.

    The minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies, said South Africa’s automotive industry is a global, turbo-charged engine for the manufacture and export of vehicles and components.

    He said many of the major multinational firms use South Africa to source components and assemble vehicles for the local and international markets.

    “With its ability to link throughout the economy, the government has identified the automotive industry as a key growth sector. The auto industry is important to the future of manufacturing in this country and whatever emerges in the future will be based on a significant level of support for it going forward.

    “The sector contributes 7.5% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and employs about 113 000 people directly. It is key to ensuring greater economic growth,” said Davies.

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  • 02/19/18--14:00: A missed opportunity…
  • A missed opportunity…A missed opportunity… In 2015, while raising his national dialogue on poverty, President Hage Geingob encouraged the private sector to rethink its ownership structures by introducing employee share option schemes. This was before the spectre of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) had truly unhinged business owners.

    “Empowering workers through shareholding will not only create a sense of belonging, but will also act as an incentive for workers to be more productive, as they will now be working for themselves and share in the wealth created by the company through dividend payments,” Geingob said at the time.

    It remains unclear whether this clarion call was truly taken heed of, and to what degree plans and actions have been forthcoming with regard to employees owning a piece of the companies they work for. What we do know is that in February 2016, Standard Bank Namibia secured a N$180 million loan from the International Finance Corporation that was used to purchase 10% shareholding in the bank for between 1 400 and 1 500 employees. Other banks have also given employees an option to buy company shares.

    In terms of financial institutions, this should be seen in the context of the Bank of Namibia giving foreign-owned banks until the end of 2019 to comply with requirements that locals should hold at least 25%.

    Since then, these kinds of employee share scheme initiatives have not hit the headlines.

    Globally, employee share schemes are seen as a tool that can motivate employees to become more productive, while aligning their interests with those of shareholders.

    It is also seen as a good strategy when it comes to recruiting new talent or retaining valuable employees. Employee share schemes can also compensate for lower salaries and relieve cash-flow pressure. They are also geared towards remunerating employees in a tax-efficient way, while increasing loyalty and reducing staff turnover, and raising working capital.

    In the Namibian context, this goes much deeper, because of the historical legacies around apartheid business ownership.

    Employee share options, even in the absence of legislation, would thus have been an ideal way to redress this, regardless of whether NEEEF takes flight or not.

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  • 02/19/18--14:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day FEELING LIKE A PRINCESS: Young ballerinas prepare for a lesson at Spurgeons Academy, which provides free education to more than 425 orphans and less privileged children from Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: BBC

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  • 02/19/18--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Clicks staff set for US$108 mln payout

    Nearly 6 000 workers at Clicks Group will share a R1.26 billion windfall from a share ownership scheme launched seven years ago as part of the South African retailer's efforts to meet quotas on black ownership.

    On Friday, employees from cashiers and pharmacists to managers at the drug store chain sold 7.6 million shares at R166 rand each – locking in a four-fold increase in the share price since 2011 when the scheme was launched.

    Clicks launched the scheme in 2011 when it sold 10% of the group's shares to its staff through a trust. Some 5 882 employees are in the scheme, 88% of whom are black.

    Under black economic empowerment rules, South African companies are required to meet quotas on black ownership, employment and procurement as part of a drive to reverse decades of exclusion under apartheid. –Nampa/Reuters


    Coca-Cola sales boosted by vitamin water

    Coca-Cola Co reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales on Friday as it sold more teas, coffees and vitamin water.

    Organic sales, which exclude the impact of the company's ongoing efforts to refranchise its bottling operations, rose 6%, helped by demand for products such as Georgia Coffee and Glaceau vitamin water.

    Net operating revenue fell to US$7.51 billion from US$9.41 billion a year earlier. Global volume growth remained unchanged even as North America volumes increased 1%.

    The Fanta and Diet Coke maker reported a net loss of US$2.75 billion, or 65 US cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended December. 31, mainly due to a US$3.6 billion charge related to the new tax law. A year earlier the company had posted a profit of US$550 million, or 13 US cents per share. – Nampa/Reuters

    Kraft Heinz quarterly profit

    Kraft Heinz Co's quarterly profit and sales missed analysts' estimates on Friday, hurt by lower shipments for nuts, natural cheese and cold cuts in the US.

    Net income of the company, which is backed by ­billionaire-investor Warren Buffett and private equity firm 3G Capital, rose to US$8 billion, or US$6.52 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December. 30, from US$944 million, or 77 US cents per share, a year earlier. Sales in the US, the company's biggest market, fell 1.1% to US$4.79 billion, declining for the seventh straight quarter and also missing analysts' average estimate of US$4.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    The company, which owns brands such as Velveeta cheese and Heinz ketchup, said net sales inched up 0.3% to US$6.88 billion, missing estimates of US$6.92 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

    Global dividends hit record in 2017

    Global dividends rose 7.7% to an all-time high of US$1.25 trillion last year boosted by a buoyant world economy and rising corporate confidence, Janus Henderson said on Monday, predicting another record year ahead.

    The surge – the strongest since 2014 – was driven by increases in every region and almost every industry with record showings in 11 countries including the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Netherlands, the investment manager added.

    For 2018 Janus Henderson expects dividends to keep the same 7.7% growth rate to reach around US$1.35 trillion, as corporate and economic growth remains strong even in more volatile financial markets.

    Royal Dutch Shell kept its position as the world's biggest dividend payer. China Mobile rose to second from 19th last year and was followed by Exxon Mobil, Apple and Microsoft, the report said.

    The top 20 payers accounted for 15.7% of the total payout. – Nampa/Reuters

    Euronext's core profit beats expectations

    Pan-European exchange Euronext reported higher-than-expected full-year core earnings, as cost discipline helped offset an environment of low volatility.

    Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 4.9% to 297.8 million euro (US$369.6 million) in the year ended Dec. 31, from a year earlier, said Euronext, which operates bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Lisbon.

    Revenue rose 7.2% to 532.3 million euro in the year, while cash trading revenue increased 5.3% to 190.3 million euro, as strong market share and improving volumes helped battle low volatility, Euronext said.

    Analysts were expecting core earnings of 292.75 million euro and revenue of 534.38 million euro, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    Market volatility was relatively lower in 2017, following increased activity in 2016 after the US presidential election and Britain's decision to exit the European Union. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Baby dumped, six rapes reportedBaby dumped, six rapes reportedMurder, suicide and assault abound It has been yet another busy weekend for law enforcement across the country. A 23-year-old man who was apparently drunk started an argument with his 35-year-old girlfriend and then assaulted and stabbed her twice on the right arm with a knife. The incident occurred at Mariental on Friday.

    The man then ordered her to undress and raped her. The woman was admitted to hospital in a stable condition.

    At Rosh Pinah on Saturday, a 28-year-old man raped a 29-year-old woman, while in a separate incident a rape was also reported at Bethanie on the same day in which 36-year old man raped his wife.

    In another incident on Friday a six-year-old girl was raped at Ombili by an 18-year-old in an outside shower. In a separate incident in Outapi at the Okalonda location area near the water canal it is alleged that a 38-year-old man raped a woman on Friday while she was on her way home from the cuca shops. He apparently emerged from the darkness, grabbed and threatened her with an okapi knife and then raped her.

    In another incident on Saturday a 16-year-old girl was raped when she was coming from the Green Bar with one of her friends. On her way home in Lukas Stefanus section, a 32-year-male allegedly threatened the girl with an okapi knife and dragged her to his house where he raped her. The girl reported the matter to her mother and it was reported to the police. The suspect was arrested.

    A security guard this weekend murdered his uncle after he proposed to his cousin, and then he killed himself. According to the police the incident took place at a residence in Nangula-Franc Street, Babylon. The 33-year-old Sakaria Kuhangwa on Friday night apparently shot and killed his uncle before shooting himself after he had gone to his cousin's room and proposed to her. However, his 52-year-old uncle confronted him.

    The police say Kuhangwa was enraged and went outside and fired a shot with his service shotgun. He entered the house again and when his uncle confronted him again, he shot him in the chest and thereafter, shot himself in the head.



    Baby dumped

    In a separate incident the body of baby girl was retrieved from a public toilet in Okatope on Saturday after her mother terminated the pregnancy at eight months.

    According to the police, an 11-year-old girl discovered some soaked bloody bed sheets and told her grandmother about it. The grandmother in turn questioned a grade 10 learner, 21, and she admitted that she had terminated her pregnancy.

    The woman allegedly gave birth last week Wednesday at Onambugulu village at Onyaanya while her family was sleeping. She then wrapped the body in a plastic bag and threw it in a public toilet where it was retrieved. At the coast, a 21-year-old woman abandoned her baby boy at the Swakopmund State Hospital, after giving birth and disappearing without a trace.

    According to Deputy Commissioner Erastus Ikuyu, the woman, who identified herself as Evelina Gass, had supplied the hospital with incorrect contact details.

    “The baby is in good health and is in the care of social workers. If anyone has information about this woman, they can contact Detective Chief Inspector Selma Shangula at 081 667 6820 or the nearest police station. In another incident police is investigating a case in Rundu in which a one-year-old toddler's body was discovered on Saturday in a hole dug behind a shack.

    Moving south, in Leonardville on Saturday, it is alleged that a 25-year-old woman stabbed a 20-year-old man with a bottle in the face and continuously assaulted him with stones. The victim sustained serious facial injuries.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Still no end to Air Nam MD appointmentStill no end to Air Nam MD appointment The Air Namibia board is unable to appoint a managing director and said it had made a recommendation to its line ministry for a permanent head.

    Three-years on, Air Namibia is yet to be headed by an MD on a permanent basis following the suspension of its then MD Theo Namises in 2014.

    Seeking to get an update on the matter, Namibian Sun recently contacted the airline spokesperson Paulus Nakawa to establish what has led to the delay to appoint a new MD.

    Speaking to Namibian Sun, he said the Air Namibia board of directors had made their choice known as early as August 2017 already.

    “The fact remains that, appointment of an MD is a responsibility of the board of directors. As we have already reported to media, our board of directors has forwarded its recommendation to the line ministry (Ministry of Works and Transport) in August 2017 for the appointment of the MD, subject to cabinet endorsement,” he said when questioned.

    Nakawa also said that board had not made its preferred choice for MD public and would not confirm whether it was acting MD Advocate Samson.

    “We are not privy to the content of the submission so it's important that you contact the works ministry in this regard,” he said.

    When asked how the lack of the appointment of an MD would affect any planned turn-around strategy, Nakawa again said that was a question that would best be answered by the ministry of works and transport.

    Samson has been with Air Namibia since 2015. Before she assumed the role of MD, Swiss national Rene Gsponer was, like her, also appointed on a temporary basis.

    Samson worked as the general manager for corporate and legal services at the Namibia Airports Company and served as chairperson of the board of trustees at the Government Institution's Pension Fund (GIPF) in the past.

    On the aviation front, Samson, when doing work for her own private legal practice, assisted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in developing and drafting the Common Regulations of Competition in Air Transport Services within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and SADC.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    A promising future for Namibian hockeyA promising future for Namibian hockeyWomen’s team make history After finishing ninth at the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin , the Namibian female Seaflower hockey team cemented their names in the history books. The Zone caught up with the team to find out how they did it. Tunohole Mungoba

    This was the highest position that Namibia had achieved at the World Cup, after they came tenth at their only previous appearance in 2011, and with a largely youthful side picking up valuable experience, Namibia can look forward to the future with confidence and heightened expectations.

    At the welcoming ceremony on 14 February 2018, minister of sport, youth and national services, Erastus Uutoni congratulated the team and applauded their efforts for reaching thus far. “As we were following the different games, we realised that our hockey team was the only representative from the African continent and indeed you kept the continent’s burner lighting in the competition,” says Uutoni. “We note that you had five matches of which you lost two against Germany, the host country and Czech Republic. You draw two matches against Russia and Australia and you recorded victory against Ukraine. “

    Uutoni announced that Kiana-Che Cormack of the girls’ hockey team shared the top goal scorer of the tournament with Yana Vorushylo of Ukraine. The 16-year-old Cormack had a superb tournament with nine goals from six matches. Cormack attends school at St. Mary’s in Durban Kloof on a sports bursary she received in grade 8. Currently playing for the Saints club in Windhoek, Cormack was happy of her performance and says enjoyed every minute of the cup. “I started playing hockey at 5 years and I played my first tournament for the under 13 national team at nine years old,” she says. She thanked her team for working hard together with one aim in mind which was winning each game. “I am so proud of the team as it was really amazing playing with them and I think we really deserved to come ninth, especially if you look at how hard we prepared and how hard we fought to come back. I think that we really put Africa on the map and I think that next time we will do much better than now, so I am very proud to be part of a team that made history at the World Cup,” she says.

    Words from the coach

    Edwin Handura, coach of the team says it feels good to be home after a long trip. “We have been away for almost a month and we have missed the sun. In Europe, it is winter and the weather could not be compared to home,” he says. “We did not face a lot of challenges because our team was very well mentally prepared and they were much focused. So even if the team was presented with some distractions, they managed to get back on track. Other challenges included local transport and the time management was also difficult.”

    In terms of the game, Handura says the Russian game was a challenge because the team felt the referees were biast and felt he could have influenced the match better. “The highlights however, as a country as playing six games which was winning two games, drawing two games and losing the remaining two games. Comparing to the previous World Cups we attended in 2011, we only won one game. This was a very young team and the players were never exposed to such games before. I am truly proud of the team and the performance we made,” he says.

    “Our team also had the youngest player in the entire tournament and this was amazing for us as a country. All the teams in our pool came to know us and we really became competitive as well.”

    The task as a coach was not an easy, but Handura says the team had a mission and this made the journey easier. “We made sure we had bible study every night. We prayed a lot and God showed us His presence during our journey. All the girls gained a lot of spiritual wisdom.”

    The importance of sports in a country

    “It is crucial that all Namibian sectors unite to invest in the youth and sports. For example, the South African team almost missed the World Cup, because of lack of funds until a Good Samaritan came to save the day at the last minute. They performed so badly, because they were not focused. I would like to thank Seaflower and the Namibian government for coming on board to help us achieve our goals,” he says.

    Captain of the team, Maggy Mengo shared the same sentiments. “I want to take a moment and really applaud Seaflower for believing in us and believing in our dreams and goals. We appreciate it a lot and they made it all possible. This is a standard set by Seaflower for other corporates to follow and invest in sport. They touched lives and made dreams come true by supporting the team for past 2 years.”

    Namibia's fighting spirit was also led by her as she refused to lose focus and win all the games presented to them. “We had little challenges. Everyone including management was ready for the tournament and we were all looking forward to each and every game. The challenge was only the pressure of performing, but we were prepared physically and mentally,” she says.

    As the captain of the team, she says knowing your players is key when it comes to helping the team staying focused. “It was not easy, but it is a duty that is in my veins. I need to know each individual in the team to analyse them daily and see whether they are ready or not for the day and it starts from the time you go to breakfast as a team,” says Mengo. “Mentally on and off the pitch, I had to constantly read each player and encourage them throughout the games and competition. I cannot afford to have one of those off days hence I was chosen as a leader. Pep talks and sometime hard talk at some players bring out the best of each.”

    The balancing act between her sports, professional and personal has always been a challenge, but she has found her feet. “I have a day to day agenda every day for everything. My family supports me and at the World Cup was the first time I got to sleep 8 hours a day actually,” she says jokingly.

    It was also the end of the road for Mengo, who announced her World Cup retirement after the match, although there is still a chance that she will play one more international match. “This is indeed my final World Cup, but I might still play one more match for Namibia. I have 49 caps now so the hockey president said it would be nice to close off with a 50th cap so I might just play one more game to conclude my hockey career on a high note. It is emotional, but everything comes to an end and one has to start with a new chapter in life again,” she says.

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    First PPI index ­results later this yearFirst PPI index ­results later this yearAgri census due March The PPI measures price change from the perspective of the seller. The first batch of the Producer Price Index will be released in the fourth quarter of 2018, which is December. – Nelson Ashipala, Spokesperson: NSA The first batch of the Producer Price Index will be released in the fourth quarter of 2018, which is December. – Nelson Ashipala, Spokesperson: NSA

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