Articles on this Page
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Media24 agrees to p...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Bok legend named bo...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Loydt is living the...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Mariental's books a...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _So long, vienna
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Nghimtina warns of ...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Amnesty says Shell,...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _ The graduate-emplo...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Uukwaluudhi ready f...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Semantics in genoci...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Rogue doctor appear...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Xaris slain in court
- 03/18/18--15:00: _'Shark' Nibali wins...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Suburbs struggle
- 03/18/18--15:00: _African Briefs
- 03/18/18--15:00: _NFA hospitality stu...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Something is wrong ...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Sin tax adds burden...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Family, friends bid...
- 03/18/18--15:00: _Ondonga peace talks...
- 03/18/18--15:00: Media24 agrees to pay R14m in price-fixing settlement
- 03/18/18--15:00: Bok legend named board member of Namibian Rugby
- 03/18/18--15:00: Loydt is living the dream
- 03/18/18--15:00: Mariental's books a shambles
- 03/18/18--15:00: So long, vienna
- 03/18/18--15:00: Nghimtina warns of jobless time bomb
- 03/18/18--15:00: Amnesty says Shell, Eni negligent on Nigeria oil spills
- 03/18/18--15:00: The graduate-employer job market dissent
- 03/18/18--15:00: Uukwaluudhi ready for Omagongo Festival
- 03/18/18--15:00: Semantics in genocide matter
- 03/18/18--15:00: Rogue doctor appears today
- 03/18/18--15:00: Xaris slain in court
- 03/18/18--15:00: 'Shark' Nibali wins cycling's Milan-San Remo classic
- 03/18/18--15:00: Suburbs struggle
- 03/18/18--15:00: African Briefs
- 03/18/18--15:00: NFA hospitality students graduate
- 03/18/18--15:00: Something is wrong with Indongo
- 03/18/18--15:00: Sin tax adds burden on poor
- 03/18/18--15:00: Family, friends bid farewell to Nora
- 03/18/18--15:00: Ondonga peace talks collapse
The settlement follows similar penalty agreements between the commission and Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers (R5.8million), Independent Media (R2.22million) and DStv Media Sales (RR22.26million).
“This is one of the legacy media practices that survived the introduction of the Competition Act in South Africa. It is a problem because it consolidates operations of a few media houses that gang up against mainly small advertising agencies," Competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele commented earlier.
As part of the settlement, Media24 has also agreed to contribute R4.98million to the Economic Development Fund over a three-year period and provide 25% bonus advertising space for every rand of advertising space bought by qualifying small agencies over three years (capped at R35 000 000 annually).
Bonakele finds it encouraging that some media houses have settled the matter and will also be directly contributing towards promoting the entry of small and black advertising agencies via the Economic Development Fund.
On February 27 2018 the commission referred more than 20 media companies to the tribunal for prosecution on charges of price-fixing and the fixing of trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act.
According to the commission, the case relates to an investigation dating from November 2011. It found that, through Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC), various media companies agreed to offer similar discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies that place advertisements with MCC members.
MCC accredited agencies were offered a 16.5% discount for payments made within 45 days of the statement date, while non-members were offered 15%. In addition, the commission’s investigation found that the implicated companies, as MCC members, employed the services of an intermediary company called Corex to perform risk assessments on advertising agencies to impose a settlement discount structure and terms on advertising agencies.
The commission found that the practices restricted competition among the competing companies, as they did not independently determine the discounts and thereby fixed the price and trading terms in contravention of the Competition Act.
The commission said in a statement issued on Friday that Out-of-home advertising firm Provantage Media has also admitted to price-fixing and fixing of trading conditions. It agreed to pay R1.09million as part of its settlement agreement.
The commission has referred the Media24 and Provantage Media settlement agreements to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation.
Former Springbok and Western Province captain Divan Serfontein has committed himself to improving the development of rugby in Namibia.
The legendary scrumhalf currently works as a brand ambassador for Namibian Breweries, which sponsors rugby in the country.
According to Netwerk24, Serfontein has been named as a board member of Namibian Rugby Ltd, which manages rugby in Namibia.
“A company was founded to manage amateur and professional rugby. They look at player contracting, development and the extension of the Namibian rugby brand. We'll attempt to strengthen Namibian rugby and to give it a financial boost,” Serfontein, who played 19 tests for the Springboks between 1980 and 1984, the report said.
The Namibian national team is currently ranked 24th in the official World Rugby rankings.
Their immediate goal is to qualify as one of the two African representatives at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, which, on paper, shouldn't be a problem being the second-highest ranked African country at present.
However, should the Namibians achieve their World Cup qualification goal, they will be drawn in the “Pool of Death” alongside the defending champion All Blacks, the Springboks and Italy.
Namibia have played at the past five World Cups, but have lost all 19 of their matches in total.
After having won a Man of the Match award at the African Nations Championships which took place in Morocco, Brave Warriors keeper Loydt Kazapua is happy with the progress he is making.
He made several key stops to win the Man of the Match award, and conceded just once in three group-stage games before losing to Morocco in the quarterfinals of the competition.
The player also has also been linked with South African first-division side Highlands Park.
Kazapua has been one of the most talented goalkeepers in the premier league for many years now.
“I am very happy with the fact that my career is taking great shape and I do believe that more achievements will come my way.”
The 28-year-old, who has had a career-threatening shoulder injury, believes that he is slowly but surely getting over that problem.
Before leaving for South Africa, Kazapua played influential roles for his former clubs African Stars and Tigers.
He has made uncountable saves against some of the best strikers to grace the Namibia Premier League.
Kazapua is a disciplined goalkeeper who is rarely involved in controversies.
Brave Warriors teammate and Golden Arrows keeper Maximilian Mbaeva sees Kazapua as a brilliant goalkeeper.
“He is a special kind of person with brilliant goalkeeping skills and a great attitude towards what he does.
“I believe that his determination and the never say die attitude is something to admire,” Mbaeva said.
Kazapua said that his immediate plans are to get a club in South Africa.
“I have to work harder in order to prove my worth as a player anywhere I go.
“I am very grateful for what the Almighty has been doing in my life, because even when I was going through a tough time, He was there for me.”
Kazapua has advised all the young aspiring goalkeepers to stay away from drug related activities and to focus on their careers.
He felt that many young talented people do not go far because of alcohol and drug abuse.
“I have seen so many talented players whose dreams were shattered because they resorted to the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
“It is something I do not like and I will always try and encourage the people to refrain from the abuse of unwanted substances.
“Talent is something given by God and He can take it away if a person is not careful.”
Highlands Park who the player has been linked with, are currently leading the South African First Division with 53 points from 24 games.
Real Kings FC are behind Highlands Park on 38 points and it appears as if Highlands will gain promotion to the topflight football.
If he signs, Kazapua will join fellow Namibians Peter Shalulile and Chris Katjiukua who both play for Highlands Park too.
“Peter and Chris are doing very well and they have been influential figures for this club.
“It is always great to see Namibians doing so well in a foreign country.
“I must say the likes of Deon Hotto and Maximilian Mbaeva have also proven their worth in South Africa.”
In the municipality's audit report for the financial year that ended 2016, tabled this week in the National Assembly by deputy finance minister Natangwe Ithete, Kandjeke said the deficit was a concern.
The report reveals that the value of expenditures has increased by N$9.3 million compared to the previous financial year. “This is a cause of concern as it could lead to high interest payments,” Kandjeke said in the report. Another brow-raising matter is the unexplained difference between the municipality records and bank statements of nearly N$7.3 million.
“The council should investigate and clear all reconciling items on the bank reconciliation,” Kandjeke advised. The report further reveals a deficit of about N$19.3 million on expenditure, which exceeds the value of income generated during the year under review.
The municipality generated revenue of N$1.6 million from its own self-supporting services, such as house leasing units, abattoir, aerodrome, sanitation, sewerage, the town grounds and pound services.
However, the report uncovered that the council failed to use approved tariffs for sewerage charges on the billing system. “The council should ensure that the approved tariffs are charged in the billing system and should perform regular reconciliations to avoid possible misstatement of the financial statements,” Kandjeke stated.
The report further shows that the municipality is owed around N$285 182 (in 2016) in outstanding study loans (it was N$280 493 in 2015). The study loans bear interest at 6% per annum and are repayable upon completion of studies.
In addition, they spent N$84 732 on unspecified gifts and donations. This is a N$60 732 increase from the N$24 000 of the previous year.
The bacterial contamination, which has been traced to processed meats, was first reported in South Africa in January and has claimed 180 lives there.
In Namibia, a man from Tsumeb was hospitalised after being diagnosed with the disease last week.
The local case was reported after a directive had been issued by the health and agriculture ministries, ordering shops to remove meat products from Enterprise Foods in South Africa from their shelves.
South African authorities had pinpointed a processing plant of Enterprise Foods, a division of Tiger Brands, as the source of the Listeria contamination.
The Swakopmund municipality's general manager of health services, Clive Lawrence, said the town's health inspectors had informed him that most of the products had been removed.
“I cannot guarantee that everything was removed. We received another directive that canned food is not affected, just the pre-packed fresh produce,” said Lawrence.
Kornelius Kapolo, the manager of public health and environment of the Oshakati town council, said they had started removing implicated products a week ago already, before the directive was issued.
According to him, some business people took the initiative to remove the products from their shelves when the disease broke out in South Africa. “However, there was a bit of confusion about the canned products but it was sorted out. Actually, not a lot of our shops are supplied by local businesses such as the street vendors who buy locally,” he said.
The health inspector at the Keetmanshoop municipality, Rudo-whan Benade, said all major retailers that import from South African suppliers were informed of the directive.
He could not comment on how they dealt with smaller shops and street vendors.
Minister of health Dr Bernard Haufiku told the National Assembly this week that the ministry was prepared for an outbreak of the disease, as surveillance measures were activated in January already and would be stepped up.
Speaking at the launch of the Global Apprenticeship Network in Windhoek last week, Nghimtina said government is gravely concerned about joblessness in the country.
The unemployment rate for the youth aged between 15 and 34 stands at 43.4%, according to the 2016 Namibia Labour Force Survey.
“Youth unemployment reveals that apart from the economy that is unable to generate enough jobs for young people, the situation is exacerbated by the lack of proper coordination and collaboration between education and training institutions in the design of training programmes,” the labour minister said.
Nghimtina said it was perhaps time to “rethink” the way we do things.
“It is our observation that over the years issues of unemployment, poverty and income inequality appear to have been left for government alone to find solutions. I would like to remind you that the private sector has to play an important role, as the government has already created a conducive environment for employment creation,” he said.
He said although he is aware there is no “quick fix” or panacea to youth unemployment and skills shortages, with commitment, focus and innovation things can change.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need for government, industry, organised labour, civil society and education and training Institutions to collaborate more in designing relevant programmes that can help young people to make a smooth transition from school to the world of work,” he said.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) senior specialist for employer activities, Maria Machailo-Ellis, pointed out that in Namibia, as is the case in other developing countries, the economy is still largely agrarian. “The training system is however very slow in responding to the changes in the world of work, resulting in a lot of skills mismatches. This becomes the entry point for organised business to become involved and to engage in skills development,” she said.
Machailo-Ellis said the outcomes and benefits of business-led skills training interventions are twofold - a pool of potential workers with skills and competency levels that are more aligned to business sector needs and enhanced employability levels among graduates.
“If we are struggling to find jobs for the bulging population of young people today, lets us consider how we will manage to find jobs for the many more youth of the future,” she added.
Describing their actions as “serious negligence”, Amnesty said the companies were “taking weeks to respond to reports of spills and publishing misleading information about the cause and severity of spills, which may result in communities not receiving compensation”.
A Shell spokesman said Amnesty’s allegations “are false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which the company operates”. ENI declined immediate comment.
Shell and Eni have for decades been two of the most active oil majors operating in the Niger Delta region.
Nigeria’s crude-producing heartland is an ecological disaster zone, scarred by decades of spills that have killed trees and other plants.
Yet clean-ups, and the associated compensation, are highly contentious, with some local communities even blocking teams’ access to spill sites, allowing the damage to worsen, in the hope of extracting a bigger pay-out.
Under Nigerian law, companies must visit sites within 24 hours of reporting a spill. Amnesty said that in one case Italian Eni took more than a year to respond to a spill in Bayelsa state.
While oil companies frequently attribute spills to sabotage and theft, locals say they are often due to other issues such as corrosion.
Shell has reported 1 010 spills since 2011, and Eni 820 since 2014, according to Amnesty, which said among those 1 830 reports it found 89 “about which there are reasonable doubts surrounding the cause provided by the oil companies”.
In 2015, the Bodo community and a British law firm negotiated a 55 million pound pollution settlement with Shell in 2015.
The Natural Resource Governance Institute, a non-profit group that advises countries on how to manage oil, gas and mineral resources, acknowledged there were sometimes difficulties on both sides.
“There’s no good guy here, everybody’s kind of bad. I’m sure the companies don’t do all that they can to get to these places. But then they also have genuine grievances and genuine difficulties dealing with these communities,” said Aaron Sayne, from the institute.
“When spills become an opportunity to make money, your clean-up becomes really tough.”
Results of a survey to asses challenges for employers in implementing apprenticeship programmes in Namibia reveal that a majority of employers do not believe Namibian graduates are well equipped for the job market, despite 91% of graduates interviewed saying they are well or very well equipped for the job market.
The survey, launched yesterday, was conducted by Business Intelligence Africa (BIA) for the Namibia Employers Federation (NEF), in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Of the 62 employers interviewed, 52% of them believe that Namibian graduates are poorly or very poorly trained for the job market.
Only 6% of the employers surveyed think that local graduates are well or very well equipped for the job market, while 42% believe they are averagely ready for the market.
The reasons given by employers for the negative ratings range from lack of practical experience, failure to link theory to practical and a skills mismatch, among many other unique reasons.
Unsurprisingly, of the 100 graduate surveyed, only one said graduates are not well equipped for the job market,
Seven graduates said they are averagely trained, while a whopping 91 believed local graduates are well trained for the local market.
One graduate did not provide a response.
Training providers however, indicated that their students are not sufficiently ready when entering the job market.
A low 8% of the 12 institutions interviewed said local graduates are very well trained for the job market.
Also, 25% of the training providers believe graduates are well trained, while 42% believe the graduates are averagely trained for the job market.
Eight percent of the training providers said the graduates are poorly trained, while the 17% either do not know or did not answer the question.
Training providers’ reasons for poor rating are that VTCs lack new equipment and that only few students get job attachment due to industry size, among other reasons.
Eighty-one per cent of large enterprises stated that there are not enough skills as demanded by businesses.
The majority of these enterprises further said there are significant skills deficits.
This despite the fact that half of the 100 graduates interviewed were unemployed and only 38% of the working graduates are employed in the profession for which they trained and studied.
The survey also found that there is insufficient vocational training offered in Namibia in all professions, with 51% of the respondents saying so.
Another 17% said vocational training in Namibia is “not at all” sufficient.
Confirmation of a mismatch between tertiary and vocational training is further evidenced when 52% and 58% of the employers and training providers respectively, indicated that tertiary and vocational education in Namibia only meets some needs of the business community.
When asked what they think can help tackle the mismatch, employers said they want all VTCs to be run by the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), among many other reasons.
The report further revealed that a majority of employers (large enterprises) and training providers want a dual system whereby trainees work and attend theoretical training in vocational professions.
Sixty five percent of large enterprises are currently in need of skilled personnel, the survey further found.
Given this mismatch, a system of offering an on-the-job training, accompanied by a formal study is the answer, according to NEF.
The majority of SMEs interviewed in the survey listed lack of funding as one of the major challenges in providing training while a majority of large enterprises listed lack of skilled trainers plus a lack of time as the main challenges.
Other challenges, among a long list, are lack of space, lack of interest from employees and trainees and lack of scope.
Despite the challenges, the majority of the employers and SMEs have provided internal training.
A majority (56%) of employers provided external training to employees, while only a few SMEs (11%) did this.
Both a majority of employers and SMEs said they are interested in offering trainees and /or graduates some kind of job attachment.
Of the 100 graduates, 75 of them said they have applied for apprenticeship before, and 40 out of those did so at a private company. For those who have not applied, they listed a lack of information and not being ready as some of the reasons they failed to do so.
The majority of those who did internships and job attachments said they never received any kind of support. An average number said they received financial support. Only few received allowances, tools and other kinds of support.
Based on survey results of overall challenges and opportunities in developing an apprentice programme, the report recommends that companies need to continue to work on a pilot plan by Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and NEF.
Companies are also urged to formalise apprentice programmes, as well as to become involved in significant ways.
There is also a need to find ways for SMEs and informal sector to be included in an apprentice programme.
The UTA wants to use this event to introduce the cultures and traditions of the Aakwaludhi to the rest of Namibia. The hosting of the festival is rotated among eight northern traditional authorities: Uukwaluudhi, Ombalantu, Ombadja, Uukolonkadhi, Ondonga, Uukwambi, Ongandjera and Oukwanyama.
The festival can be held anytime from February to May, depending on the marula harvest from which the omagongo juice is squeezed.
According to UTA, everything is in place, as the community of Uukwaluudhi has already collected over 1 600 litres of omagongo.
Addressing a community meeting at the Uukwaluudhi royal homestead on Friday, King Josia Shikongo Taapopi invited his followers to come to the event dressed in traditional attire and ready to showcase their culture and traditions.
“It is no more the traditional omagongo event that we used to host, but this has become a national and international festival. Let us show the world what Uukwaluudhi can offer,” Taapopi said. Omagongo festivals have been hosted for centuries and were used as an annual platform where elders came together to share ideas. The UTA chairperson, Nekongo Shomeya, said the committee that is responsible for collecting omagongo, headed by Nuusiku Kadhikwa, has been busy since the marula harvest started.
“Marula trees are not the same. There are those that produce the best omagongo that can be used for a festival like this one. This committee has been busy working together with communities to identify the best omagongo for the festival. “Villagers with the best trees notify the senior traditional leaders, who notify the committee. When the event is coming we know we can get the best omagongo,” Shomeya said.
The former regional councillor for Tsandi Constituency, Leevi Katoma, is the chairperson of the 2018 Omagongo Festival. Shomeya says Founding President Sam Nujoma and several cabinet ministers have indicated that they plan to attend the festival.
New York-based lawyer Kenneth McCallion said Germany uses the term 'historical genocide' as opposed to 'legal genocide' in order to avoid the legal consequences and responsibility for its actions.
This follows the German ambassador to Namibia Christian Schlaga's confirmation Friday to Namibian Sun that Germany has always held the position that events leading to what is today considered to be the Nama and Ovaherero genocide did not constitute a legal case with regard to the then existing international public laws.
Schlaga also said that instead, Germany sees the moral magnitude of the events and has therefore accepted to enter into negotiations with Namibia. However, according to McCallion, it is only to avoid responsibility. “The well-documented atrocities that Germany engaged in regarding the Ovaherero and Nama peoples was a violation of both German and international law at the time, and continues to be a violation of international law today,” he said.
Local constitutional expert Professor Nico Horn said while it is true that the crimes could be considered 'historical genocide' there is no doubt that they “fit the bill” of what is considered genocide today.
He pointed out that genocide was not a legal crime at the time and was only accepted as a crime in 1951.
“But it does not make it better than the Nazi crimes against the Jews - crimes for which they got compensation. I think although he is technically correct, it is a matter of 'if it walks like a duck then it probably is a duck',” he said.
Horn also said he is not sure what Germany wants to attain with this approach, adding that it is “strange”.
“I cannot see how it will change things. Isn't it just an excuse? Two Namibian communities were virtually intentionally destroyed,” he said.
Horn said it is not unknown that legislation can be applied retroactively to solve issues like these.
Chiradza was arrested on Friday morning after he handed himself over to Windhoek police in the presence of lawyer Sarel Maritz.
The arrest took place nearly two weeks after a warrant was issued against him for failure to appear in a matter related to a fatal accident on the Karibib-Usakos road in July 2015, in which three people died.
Maritz explained that as there were no public prosecutors available on Friday to attend to the matter, bail could not be considered and Chiradza remained in custody over the weekend at the Karibib police station.
Chiradza was transferred to Karibib on Friday afternoon by the police, and is expected to appear today before the town's magistrate to explain his failure to appear before court on 7 and 8 March, in relation to the culpable homicide case.
On Friday, the police confirmed that charges of reckless and negligent driving had been levelled against him after an investigation into a video showing the doctor driving erratically and dangerously on his way to Otjiwarongo on 9 March.
The doctor was immediately suspended by the health ministry after the video surfaced and public outrage reverberated across the country.
It further emerged that Chiradza is also being investigated by the Health Professions Council after allegations of abuse of addictive drugs were made against him.
The council has in the meantime put in place measures “to curb the practitioner's access to the addictive drugs that were reported to the council”.
Chiradza had been restricted from prescribing pethidine and other opioids pending the finalisation of the investigation.
Moreover, the Otjiwarongo State Hospital, where the doctor is employed, is investigating a case of drug theft.
Xaris and NamPower have to jointly and severally pay the cost of the appeal brought by Arandis Power (Pty) Ltd, which was the “reserved bidder” for the multibillion-dollar tender to put up a 250-megawatt power plant at the coast.
Arandis Power appealed against a High Court decision that its challenge against the award to Xaris had no merit and lacked integrity.
Arandis Power had filed its appeal on 30 January, two days after which NamPower had cancelled the tender it had awarded to Xaris.
Arandis Power, however, had said that the matter would only be over if Xaris unequivocally and irrevocably acknowledge in writing that the tender had been validly cancelled. It argued that Xaris refused to provide the requisite acknowledgement of the cancellation.
The tender process started in March 2014 when NamPower invited applications for the contract. By the closing date in September 2014 three companies had submitted a 'request for proposal' (RFP) documentation.
They were Arandis Power, Xaris Energy and Sinohydro Corporation Limited. NamPower on 21 October 2014 informed Xaris and Arandis Power that they were the “preferred” and “reserved” bidders respectively. In March 2015 the NamPower board gave the tender to Xaris. Arandis Power maintained that it was not informed of this decision, which was posted on the NamPower website only on 15 April 2015. In the meantime, the minister of mines and energy had “directed” NamPower to postpone the award of the contract pending an investigation, a directive NamPower complied with. President Hage Geingob had confirmed the ministry's position on 29 June 2015.
According to Arandis Power, former mines and energy minister Obeth Kandjoze, at a subsequent meeting with it, confirmed that the tender was put on hold and that the tender award no longer resided with NamPower but instead with the Office of the President.
Kandjoze had denied that he said that, and on 22 December 2015 he announced that NamPower could proceed to negotiate with Xaris. This negotiation was subject to certain conditions. Arandis only became aware of the new developments on 18 January 2016 and questioned the decision in letters addressed to Kandjoze, attorney-general Sacky Shanghala and NamPower.
When Kandjoze responded that the matter was referred to the AG's office, Arandis launched a High Court challenge, which it lost in July 2016. The High Court argued that Arandis had unduly delayed its court challenge because it was aware that Xaris was the preferred bidder already in October 2014.
During the course of the review proceedings NamPower had conceded that certain concessions were made in the tender award to Xaris. These concessions were that the award to Xaris was made outside the period of the tender validity and that it did not comply with the tender requirements.
Supreme Court judges Sylvester Mainga, Dave Smuts and Elton Hoff presiding over the matter said the High Court should also have set aside the tender award because it has accepted that NamPower's acknowledgement that it gave the tender to Xaris outside the period of the tender validity in the absence of any extensions.
Arandis Power was represented by Steven Budlender and Natasha Bassingthwaihte instructed by Etzold-Duvenhage Attorneys.
Xaris Energy was represented by Raymond Heathcote assisted by Beatrix de Jager instructed by Engling, Stritter & Partners.
The 2014 Tour de France winner, nicknamed 'The Shark', shook off the sprint favourites on the Poggio hill 10km from home in the 294km race through north-western Italy.
Realising he'd won, Nibali cruised to victory with his arms aloft as Australian Caleb Ewan and France's Arnaud Demare led the chasing pack over the line a good bike length behind after the struggle that had gone to the wire.
As Nibali pulled away on the final climb, pre-race favourite Peter Sagan just watched him go, refusing to chase the Italian down after being pipped on the line in 2017 by Michal Kwiatkowski as the Sky man again sat on his wheel.
At the summit Nibali led by just eight seconds, but his sheer mastery on the descent earned him a lead that allowed him to hope for victory.
“When I knew I was 20 seconds ahead I gave it the gas,” said the 33-year-old, who still had almost 5km to ride. “I'm speechless.”
“We were racing for (teammate) Sonny Colbrelli but in the last 15km, I felt good and decided to go.”
“This is the race I least expected to win, the one I'm least suited to win,” said the man renowned for his climbing and descent work.
Ewan, who made an impressive last thrust to try and catch Nibali, added: “I realise it's a massive result but to come so close to winning it's a pretty big disappointment.”
Three-time world champion Sagan eventually settled for sixth place as the Slovak, who came second last year, once again failed to seal victory on his eighth attempt.
Defending champion Kwiatkowski of Poland finished in eleventh.
Nibali's victory ended Italy's 12-year wait for a home winner since Filippo Pozzato in 2006.
The 33-year-old Sicilian is one of the few riders to have won the three big Tours - Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta.
But he has already won 'Monument' classic races notably the Tour of Lombardy.
The 109th edition of the race, which is the longest in the cycling calendar, started under the rain before the sun came out with 60km to go. Britain's Mark Cavendish, the 2009 winner, had a spectacular crash as he hit a bollard and flew through the air before landing hard on his back, 10km from the finish line. His Dimension Data team later said that he had escaped major injury.
“He did sustain a new rib fracture on the same side as the one that he damaged in the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico,” said a statement.
Meanwhile, the race marked the debut of a video review system following the row over Sagan's exclusion from last year's Tour de France.
The 28-year-old was controversially kicked off the Tour for elbowing Cavendish and causing a crash.
As a result of the fall-out, governing body the UCI is introducing video technology for all major races.
An official monitored television footage from different strategically-placed cameras fixed, on motorcycle and helicopter to view any infractions.
Trustco United managed to beat Western Suburbs 18-13 in the rugby premier league encounter at Suburbs Park in Khomasdal on Saturday.
United delivered a strong performance away from home as they kept the Suburbs team at bay for most of the encounter.
Nanivatu Karuuombe, left wing of Trustco United, delivered another strong performance against FNB Western Suburbs with deadly attacks.
This ensured that United registered their first points of the season in their second game.
Winmar Rust, captain of Trustco United, added eight points to his team's winning total.
He successfully slotted two penalties and converted one of two tries scored by the Blues.
Angolan prosecutors have charged former central bank governor, Valter Filipe da Silva, in relation to an alleged US$500 million fraud attempted against the Angolan government last year, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday. The news was first broken earlier on Thursday by the blog Maka Angola run by activist and journalist Rafael Marques. Angola’s prosecutors’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
IMF approves US$158m credit to Burkina Faso
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved a three-year, US$157.6 million credit facility for Burkina Faso, in part to help boost security after a spate of attacks by Islamist insurgents.
SA mining production increased in January
Mining production increased by 2.4% year-on-year in January, boosted by iron ore and other non-metallic minerals, figures released on Thursday by Statistics South Africa showed.
Iron ore production added 3.4 percentage points to the increase, while other non-metallic minerals put on 1.3 percentage points.
Iron ore is the key component in steel and is mostly used all metals.
The statistics also revealed that mineral sales increased by 4.5 % year-on-year in January 2018, with gold and coal as the top contributors.
Five students graduated at the Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy on Wednesday.
Representatives of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) were present to celebrate their success.
The five students, whose graduation was made possible through the sponsorship of scholarships by the TUI Care Foundation and Futouris e.V. with the support of the GIZ Sport for Development programme, are Martina Shipanga, Joritta Cloete, Jenny Mento, Rosalia Silvanus and Mellissa Eises.
After an intensive process and a year of training in the hospitality field for a Diploma in Food and Beverage Services at Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy in Windhoek, the five women graduating were filled with excitement, hope and drive to pursue their careers in the hospitality industry.
One of the graduating students, Joritta Cloete, said: “When the going gets tough don't give up, because the sunrise you'll experience tomorrow morning will be much brighter. Thanks GIZ Namibia.”
An additional seven women who had also received scholarships are scheduled to graduate sometime in August 2018.
The NFA Girls Centre is supported through the NFA's partnership with German Development Cooperation, GIZ and private partners from the tourism industry such as the Futouris e.V. and the TUI Care Foundation.
The initiative falls in line with the NFA Girls Centre's objectives which are to empower and support girls and young women through sport as well as to create safe spaces for their wellbeing.
I woke up with high expectations on the morning of the fight because I felt that the Namibian stood a great chance against the American.
Well, my expectations were dampened by an unforgiving performance by our very own son of the soil.
Seeing Indongo's face after the defeat was one of the saddest days of my sport journalism career.
I felt as if I was the one who was humiliated in front of over a million viewers.
I felt sorry for the man.
As a person who has watched Indongo's fights through the ranks, I am still shocked about the way he has approached his last fights.
The triple boxing world champion has just gone from a great champion to a laughingstock.
The Julius Indongo I know and the Indongo I am seeing now are two different people.
He had looked nervous even before the unification fight against Terence Crawford.
Indongo failed to guard his face and body in any of these fights and his boxing tactics lacked accuracy in both of the fights he lost.
In his latest fight, Indongo had the height advantage and the experience.
All he had to do was keep the American far from him with his long arms in order to avoid getting punched on the head.
Indongo, however, went in with the American and got the beating of his life.
The American made short work of Indongo after defeating him for the WBC belt in the second round.
I may not be a boxer, but I do not believe some of the punches that sent Indongo to the canvas on most of the occasions were deadly.
I remember him being a very calm and collected boxer who took his time to deal with his opponents.
The man has lost that focus and it remains to be questioned what has just happened to our son of the soil.
The first answer that came to my mind could be that the internal problems he had with his former promoter might have deterred him.
Sometimes I also think that the promoters he has fought for made rapid decisions, forcing him into fights he is not prepared for.
Going to America was also not such a brilliant idea because these people have little interest in the boxer well-being, but worry more about the money they get from the fights.
Indongo appears to be a broken man inside who is haunted by something we do not know.
His body size has been on decline and his arms look thinner than they were before.
It is indeed a terrible time in the boxer's career and I hope that he manages to overcome whatever is troubling him.
My advice to Indongo is to take time off from boxing before he embarrasses himself further.
It is time he comes back home, takes a few months off before he can reconsider making a great comeback.
Suffering from such defeats and making an immediate return to the ring will not help the Namibian at the moment.
What he needs the most now is time to recuperate in order for him to make a proper comeback if there will be any.
At 35, time is really not on his side, but he still can fight until he turns 40.
That is why it will be important for him to allow his body to rest accordingly.
I do not believe that he is totally finished because I know what he is capable of when he is at his best.
In a recent article by Nampa, finance minister Calle Schlettwein was quoted as saying that in line with the solidarity wealth tax initiative, a number of tax reforms, including higher tax rates for the wealthy and decreased taxes for the low earners, had been implemented.
Nampa wrote that the minister further pointed to the annual raise in sin taxes “as a step in the right direction in achieving maximum yields from the affluent section of the society”.
Schlettwein was quoted saying, “We have also taxed consumables that are mostly used by the affluent… that is luxury goods, alcohol, tobacco and fuels.”
Alcohol rife in poor communities
Unam economics professor Omu Kakujaha-Matundu however warned that “alcohol in our country is the staple diet of the low-income groups. So any increase in price will affect the poor more than the rich.”
He cautioned that raising the prices on alcohol could lead to less money being made available in poor households for other essentials, such as “children's milk or bread,” leading to potential catastrophic impacts for poor families, in the short-term as well as the long-term development for Namibia as a whole.
Namibian police chief, Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga agreed that raising taxes on alcohol or tobacco would impact low-income communities, with potentially harmful consequences.
“Alcohol is major impoverishing activity in Namibia,” he told Namibian Sun, adding that the substance is “abused by the poor and the rich. By everyone”.
He added that one of the ways it impoverishes families is that often those who already have very little money, choose to spend it on alcohol instead of other necessary household goods.
Ndeitunga added that alcohol is a major, if not the largest, contributor to violent crime in Namibia.
Nevertheless, he warned that raising prices alone will not reduce use of alcohol, but said it might be helpful if applied in combination with other strategies, including raised prices.
He said the number-one priority should be to implement strict regulatory controls to restrict accessibility and availability of alcohol, which currently is easily available 24/7.
“I can tell you that even if you tax alcohol, many people will still make sacrifices in order to buy alcohol. Raise taxes, but it should be combined with other solutions where we are not impoverishing people and where they don't destroy themselves.”
Steady income stream
From an economic point of view, Kakujaha-Matundu explained that one of the reasons why authorities “love sin taxes is because of the price inelasticity of demand of alcohol and tobacco. This means that since these are habit-forming substances, even if prices are pushed up by the imposition of tax, the consumer will not substantially opt out. They will more or less consume the same quantities and tax authorities can as such collect more tax.” Sin taxes are “simply a tax used by authorities to raise more revenue,” he argued.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliament member Nico Smit said it is doubtful “whether the minister is correct in suggesting that the affluent use more consumables such as alcohol, tobacco and fuels than the approximately 50% of the population who are either unemployed and/or live below the breadline.” He argued further that although the affluent “have more money at their disposal, it does not mean they necessarily spend it on such goods,” instead investing it in education, accommodation and other necessities or luxuries.
Like other commentators, Smit questioned whether a tax raise could change drinking and smoking habits among low-income earners, who, for a number of reasons, rely heavily on such goods.
Kakujaha-Matundu said he agreed that fuel increases would primarily impact higher income communities, despite a majority of low-income earners relying on public transport such as taxis and buses.
“I think the middle and upper income groups consume more fuel than the poor. As it takes forever to increase taxi and bus fares, a small increase in fuel taxes/levies makes sense,” he said.
Smit nevertheless cautioned that a fuel price hike will invariably impact low income Namibians who spend heavily on public transport and good such as paraffin.
Overall, Kakujaha-Matundu said that options available to government to help the needy through tax reforms, includes strengthening tax administration and compliance, in addition to zero rated items mostly consumed by the poor. Smit agreed that strengthening tax collections should be prioritised.
Her funeral was preceded by memorial services in the Martin Lutheran Church in Khomasdal as well as a service in the parliamentary gardens, attended largely by her family, close friends and comrades from the liberation struggle days.
Schimming-Chase chose to be buried next to her parents and late siblings on the family farm De Rust, west of Rehoboth, and not at Heroes' Acre in Windhoek.
Mourners often smiled as one eulogy after the other was read, bringing to life the once phenomenal woman who pulled out all the stops to realise her ideals to see the country liberated.
It was a celebration of a life well lived.
As her coffin was lowered into the grave the singing grew louder and family members held each other seeking comfort because Auntie Nora, the family stalwart, has gone home.
President Hage Geingob said he knew Schimming-Chase as a freedom fighter who also contributed to the realisation of the country's struggle for economic freedom.
“Nora was an indeed a unifier. Today I saw all kinds of people here.
“Her children told me she was not only their mother but that everybody was welcome in her house,” he said.
Theo-Ben Gurirab said Schimming-Chase was a formidable leader and would forever live on in his memory. “She was an eminent ambassador. Her very life was lived as role model,” he said.
Schimming-Chase's eldest and only remaining sibling, Otillie Abrahams, said her sister had a very strong personality and remembered how they always fought when she had to comb her hair as a child.
She also related how Schimming-Chase's parents struggled to convince her to stop sucking her fingers as a child.
“I remember how she was also so different from other children her age - her enthusiasm to do things was unstoppable. And whatever task she took on she passed with merit,” she related.
Abrahams said she was very proud of Schimming-Chase's achievements.
“She was a determined, but very kind and considerate person,” she said.
Her funeral was attended by her family, President Hage Geingob and his wife Monica Geingos, the Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi, Theo-Ben Gurirab, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and corporate leaders.
The seven senior and ordinary councillors addressed a large number of community members at Oluno on Saturday.
They also used the meeting to announce that they will be operating from Oniipa to run the affairs of the traditional authority, with the ministry of justice to assist by paying the rent.
The group does not recognise a rival faction, believed to be close to some members of the royal family, which was installed in July last year.
Namibian Sun recently reported that peace talks were under way within the traditional authority to bring an end to the long-running dispute, which has been described as highly embarrassing.
The axed councillors at the weekend said they had lost faith in the ongoing peace talks and decided to resume their responsibilities.
Addressing over 1 000 community members, one of the dismissed councillors, former Oshikoto regional governor Vilho Kamanya, said the people of Ondonga had been denied quality services since their expulsion.
“The Ondonga community has been not getting traditional services from OTA since March last year. Traditional court was put on hold, we have people that need to be reunited in villages, and we have people who need land.
“The community is crying. We cannot continue like this. Members of the king's council have been discussing the way forward. We decided that OTA services have to resume as soon as possible,” Kamanya said.
Village headmen were also informed to resume duties at their respective villages.
“We have a new office where we will operate from. Our officials at the old office will join us. We are expecting community members to come forth and get assisted.
We are thankful to the ministry of justice for their assistance in the rental payment while we will be operating from these new premises. While allegedly fired, some of us were trained by the justice ministry on administration of traditional courts,” Kamanya said.
Current OTA secretary Nepando Amupanda remained defiant, saying he was appointed by the king and only Elifas could fire him.
He also saw no problem with the former leaders resuming duties, saying they were duly mandated by the urban and rural development ministry and gazetted as traditional leaders.
“Were they recalled by the king? The king has not informed me of anything like that and I am hearing it for the first time from you. I was installed by the king and I have to obey him.
“I will not give them the files in the office unless I get instructions from the king. They can take the employees that are there... not a problem for me, all I will do is to report to the king on what is happening,” said Nepando.
Nepando added he would only surrender his position once the king had died.
“Maybe they were instructed by the ministry as they are still under the ministry. Unfortunately I am also not a fake traditional leader. I was appointed by the king, therefore they must wait until the king dies, then they can reclaim their positions. We will give their offices and positions back,” Nepando said.
Justice ministry spokesperson Penna Master said was unaware of such arrangement with the dismissed Ondonga councillors.
The dismissed councillors include senior leaders such as OTA chairperson Peter Kauluma and secretary Joseph Asino. Heavyweights such as senior headman for Ondangwa John Walenga and Kamanya were also expelled.
Three other councillors – Kashona KaMalulu, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili – were also shown the door.
The infighting within the traditional authority is largely linked to the succession battle of the Ondonga kingdom. The dismissed councillors are backing Shuumbwa Nangolo, who was nominated by the Ondonga king as his heir apparent in September 2012.