Articles on this Page
- 05/06/18--16:00: _IOC to appeal lifti...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _Oshakati receives n...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _United lacked desir...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _The world was never...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _Basketball camp a s...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _Govt faces N$1.6m l...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _Pay Aandonga for Et...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _No honour in tribal...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _Geingob talks China...
- 05/06/18--16:00: _NPL done and ...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Vivo Energy floats ...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Breadwinners ripped...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Battle of Sam Khubi...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Water master plan f...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Africa Briefs
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Rocky Crest plots r...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Land conference a '...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Media must adapt or...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _Shared water resour...
- 05/08/18--16:00: _French keep Geingob...
- 05/06/18--16:00: IOC to appeal lifting of Russian bans
- 05/06/18--16:00: Oshakati receives new football kit
- 05/06/18--16:00: United lacked desire - Mourinho
- 05/06/18--16:00: The world was never ready for Semenya
- 05/06/18--16:00: Basketball camp a success
- 05/06/18--16:00: Govt faces N$1.6m lawsuit
- 05/06/18--16:00: Pay Aandonga for Etosha - Swartbooi
- 05/06/18--16:00: No honour in tribalism - Iipumbu
- 05/06/18--16:00: Geingob talks China, unity, Swapo 'cabinet'
- 05/06/18--16:00: NPL done and dusted
- 05/08/18--16:00: Vivo Energy floats with 2 billion pound valuation
- 05/08/18--16:00: Breadwinners ripped from families
- 05/08/18--16:00: Battle of Sam Khubis remembered
- 05/08/18--16:00: Water master plan for capital
- 05/08/18--16:00: Africa Briefs
- 05/08/18--16:00: Rocky Crest plots ready in 18 months
- 05/08/18--16:00: Land conference a 'gimmick' - AR
- 05/08/18--16:00: Media must adapt or die
- 05/08/18--16:00: Shared water resources in the spotlight
- 05/08/18--16:00: French keep Geingob hanging
A few days before the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, CAS ruled that there was “insufficient” evidence that the athletes had benefited from a system of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
The doping scandal had led to Russia being banned by the IOC from February's Games in South Korea.
The decision by CAS to overturn the athletes' Olympic life bans was hailed by Russia as a major embarrassment for the IOC.
But IOC president Thomas Bach said on Thursday that the organisation would fight against the ruling to “protect clean athletes”.
“We put ourselves into the position of athletes who have finished behind these Russian athletes. We have a CAS decision saying 'it does not mean they are innocent',” said Bach.
“This was the final reason why we took this decision (to appeal), we said that regardless of the degree of chances, the decision does not mean the athletes are innocent, we want this in the interest of the other athletes to be reviewed by the Swiss Federal Tribunal.”
The decision to appeal was made after a meeting in Lausanne of the IOC executive board on Thursday.
“The chances of winning did not play a role, the only factor which led us to the decision was this protection for the clean athletes who have finished behind these Russian athletes who have not been declared innocent,” added Bach.
The Oshakati town council received a sponsorship of brand new football kit from Omatando Construction last week.
The kit and several sports materials worth N$7 000 was handed over to town council CEO Werner Iita who thanked Omatando Construction for the generous gesture, saying the council and its stakeholders should always meet each other halfway.
“We really have to thank Omatando Construction for what they have done, as this generous gesture means a lot to council,” Iita said.
He said the football kit could not have come at a better time, as the council is taking part in the Namibia Local Authority Sports and Recreation Association (Nalasra) Games, which is being hosted in Otjiwarongo from today until Friday.
The games were established in May 2008, with the aim of local authority employees networking and sharing their experiences, while partaking in various sports codes.
Omatando Construction MD Kornelius Mbangula said when he was informed that the council is going to partake in the Nalasra Games, they decided to make the donation.
Mbangula said that giving back to the community is part of the company's objectives.
Just over two weeks ahead of the FA Cup final against his old club Chelsea, United boss Mourinho made six changes and was punished as Pascal Gross's second-half header secured Brighton's first win over the Red Devils since 1982.
“Today I think was a clear difference in the desire to fight for the targets,” said Mourinho, whose side missed the chance to all but secure second place in the Premier League behind champions Manchester City.
“They clearly showed that, for them, it's more important for them to stay in the Premier League than for us to finish second. They showed it from the first minute, and we didn't show that.
“I'm disappointed because second is important for me. I'm not sure every one of my players is disappointed.”
Chants of “We are staying up” rang around a packed house at the Amex Stadium at full-time as victory moved Brighton up to 11th and more importantly eight points clear of the bottom three.
With third-bottom Southampton and 17th-placed Swansea to meet on Tuesday, Brighton now can't now be relegated.
“I felt that we've deserved to stay in this league for our season's work,” said Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
“But if we'd lost today and the next two, it would have been a real feeling of injustice had we gone down. So relief that we've done it now, but I'm also really proud of a group of players.”
By contrast, the defeat means United must wait to secure second as they remain five points clear of Liverpool with Tottenham a point further adrift.
United were without either of the injured Romelu Lukaku or Alexis Sanchez, and their firepower was missed as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford failed to make the most of rare chances to start up front.
“For many months you are always asking me why this player doesn't play? Why that player doesn't play? Why this player is on the bench? Why always Lukaku?” added Mourinho.
“I know my players better than you, and probably you don't know them so well to be always with these questions.” The visitors did have the ball in the net after just four minutes when Marouane Fellaini turned Rashford's free-kick in from close range, but the Belgian was rightly flagged for offside.
United secured a top-four finish by beating Arsenal 2-1 last weekend, and Brighton's more desperate need for the points shone through.
David de Gea was the only United player selected in the PFA's Premier League team of the year and the Spaniard showed why he has again been his side's outstanding performer this season with a stunning fingertip save to turn a dipping volley from Glenn Murray behind.
Brighton's survival party had been put on hold by a run of seven games without a win.
But they got the helping hand they needed from the goal-line technology system to seal another campaign in the Premier League on their return to the top flight after 34 years on 57 minutes.
The dangerous Jose Izquierdo got to the byline and when his cross was parried by De Gea, the ball crossed the line from Gross's header by the finest of margins before being hooked clear by Marcos Rojo.
City can now break United's record winning margin of 18 points from the 1999/2000 season should they win their remaining three games.
Matt Ryan saved a ball from Rashford before Martial and Jesse Lingard fired off target as Brighton held out despite a late United rally.
“God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I am proud of myself.”
These are words of Caster Semenya, who was forced to defend herself after being ridiculed and criticised by many for years because of her hyperandrogenism, which sees her having testosterone levels three times higher than is expected in women.
This, her critics say, is the reason she has an upper hand over her competitors.
The first time she made headlines, the South African female athlete was suspected of being a man after she took part and won the 800m race at the Berlin world champs in 2009.
Due to her masculine physical attributes, controversy has trailed her since, with some of her critics questioning her gender and making jokes about her without shame.
The jokes were pushed a bit too far, as some demanded she be taken in for a gender test to prove her femininity.
Ever since then public debate has been raised around the athlete without rest and it keeps escalating whenever she wins major competitions.
Recently the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) imposed regulations that changes the conditions under which female athletes competing in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1 500m and the mile may participate.
Female athletes who naturally produce testosterone levels above five nanomoles per litre will be required to take medication to lower them, if they want to continue running in the above distances, otherwise they will have to move up to the 5 000m or 10 000m races or compete in male races.
So its okay for IAAF to instruct athletes to lower their testosterone levels in order to fit in, but it's wrong if they increase it? Or use substances to supplement it?
Should men with low testosterone then be allowed to run with women in order to give them a fair chance of winning as well? All of this is just absurd for me.
It goes against everything I stand for as a human being. It's discriminatory towards individuals who seem a little different to everyone else.
The rule, I think, is just a way to curb the South African athlete who has performed brilliantly over the years.
It's a shame that the federation, instead of standing by the athlete and allowing her to compete as her true self, wants her to reduce herself to nothing just because she loves to run.
I know a lot of women who have male traits. Some of them have beards, broad shoulders, and biceps much larger than the average guy. Look at Serena Williams.
These ladies are in no way look 'feminine', but because they do not compete at high level, it's okay for them to be like that. These women don't fit in the 'male or female' mainstream gender boxes defined by society.
But does this make them any less of a woman? No it doesn't.
We unfortunately live in a man's world where tough women like Semenya can't peacefully compete with fellow regular women without terms like “genetic advantage” being thrown around as an excuse.
Semenya trains hard like any other athlete and dreams of greatness, just like any other individual. She comes from a family and has friends who she supports just like any other athlete.
She's no different from you and me. She pays taxes just like the rest of us. Slamming and shaming her because she has an advantage only speaks of one thing - hate.
If I was competing against her, I would try and find the best method of beating her on the track, rather than using politics and gender testing in an attempt to end her career.
I'm really just interested in the best athlete or athletes and not their beauty or elegance and that's what Semenya brings to the table: herself and nothing else.
More than 70 players and coaches took part in the basketball camp of the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) and the Basketball Artists School (BAS) Foundation from 28 until 30 April in the new DHPS sports hall.
The three days were filled with dribbling, passing, shooting and numerous contests and games.
“The new record number shows that basketball is a fast-growing sport in Namibia,” said BAS director Ramah Mumba.
“We would like to thank DHPS and their dedicated principal Kristin Eichholz, as well as our partner OTB for supporting this BAS fundraising activity.”
Special awards were given to Operi Tjingaeti (Kristin Eichholz MVP Award), Freviano Kampara (Best Shooter), Angel Shiimbi (Most Improved Girl) and Nickolai Schaffrath (Most Improved Boy).
SA citizens sue for unlawful detention
Two South African citizens are suing the government for a combined total of N$1 678 723 for unlawful arrest, detention and malicious prosecution.
However, safety minister Charles Namoloh and Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa are seeking N$700 000 from Pieter Groenewaldt and Elmarie Greeff as security, while arguing further that if the amount is not paid, the matter should be struck from the roll.
Greeff alone is claiming N$928 723 in damages for legal costs and professional fees expended for bail purposes, accommodation and sustenance, travelling and professional fees and costs incidental to psychological and trauma treatment.
“The amount claims by the South Africans are exorbitant, hence the amount required for security,” government maintained in its court papers.
It also raised the grounds that the South Africans are foreigners, who are not living in Namibia.
“Whenever they are in Namibia they live in hotels and we believe that they at times instruct their lawyers from South Africa. They do not have immovable property in Namibia.”
The two South Africans are opposing the application that they pay N$700 000 for “security”.
In their main application Groenewaldt and Greeff are claiming damages for wrongful and malicious arrest between March and April 2013, which was set in motion by the laying of false charges of human trafficking against them with the police at Divundu and Rundu.
It was alleged in 2013 that the two South Africans recruited a group of 11 Kwe San to work as trackers and game guards in South African.
“The (safety) minister and PG, when laying the charges, had no reasonable or probable cause for doing so, nor did they have any reasonable belief in the truth of the information so given to them and/or from those acting for and on behalf of them,” the South Africans alleged in their court papers.
According to them, as a result they were unlawfully arrested on their way from Divundu to Rundu by members of the Namibian police stationed at Rundu.
“The arrest was executed without any warrant issued by a court of law, therefore we were unlawfully detained at the Rundu police cells for a period of 15 days, before we were released from custody,” Groenewaldt and Greeff said.
They said due to the criminal proceedings they were restricted to move freely after their release.
“We were unlawfully prevented for a period of two months to leave Namibia to return to our country of our origin, South Africa,” they said.
They also maintained the police and officials of the PG’s office acted without sufficient cause and persisted with instituting criminal proceedings against them on false charges, which were originally formulated on the basis of contravening the Employment Services Act.
However, the charges involving the Act were withdrawn and were substituted with false criminal charges involving human trafficking and, well as with offences relating to the contravention of the Immigration Act, the South Africans said.
“The police and prosecution acted without reasonable cause, which culminated in the failed prosecution in the Rundu Regional Court, after two weeks of a trial, whereupon we were discharged and acquitted on all the charges.”
Judge Herman Oosthuizen postponed the matter to 26 November for continuation of trial.
The areas he specifically mentioned were the Etosha National Park and other lucrative tourism hubs now controlled by the state-owned Namibian Wildlife Resorts (NWR).
When asked specifically how government should deal with land that is now regarded as state property, but was taken from communities during colonialism, Swartbooi said “major unfairness” had been perpetrated.
“When the Germans came they expropriated land and they did not compensate. When South Africa came, they took that land and said 'this land now belongs to the crown'. This government (Swapo) now said such land now belongs to the state.
“Now this government, if it takes on the sins of previous governments, must redeem itself by paying back communities in financial terms for land they have taken.
“If this government insists that Etosha is state land then they must pay compensation to those communities from whom land was taken during colonialism.
“If NWR operates state land we must ask how was Etosha acquired historically by the Germans or the Afrikaner regime. If they do not want (joint) shareholdership then the Aandonga must be paid; the Hai//om must be paid compensation because it is only fair that if you take someone's land you must pay for it, it is a constitutional provision.
“So this government sits on illegally acquired land, which it calls state land. Black people are owed money. Just like they are compensating for land that they are buying from white people, so must they compensate black people, unless they are saying let us work on terms,” Swartbooi said.
He was reacting to President Hage Geingob's recent announcement that ancestral land restitution will be included in the discussions that will take place at the country's second national land conference, slated for the first week in October.
Swartbooi also said the LPM is working hard to deal with possible tensions between tribes - especially the Damara and Ovaherero – over overlapping or “shared heritage” claims.
Asked what concrete plans and solutions LPM will come up, Swartbooi said: “What we have said from a strategic point of view already is that the very fact that Geingob has announced that it will be on the agenda means government has conceded that ancestral land must be recognised.
“The conference will not be aimed at discussing whether or not ancestral land must be discussed, but it will merely agree on modalities as to how to achieve the implementation of the return of ancestral land.”
Asked how the LPM is going to deal with the possible conflict where different tribes claim to have lived in the same areas, Swartbooi said it will continue with its strategic engagement with stakeholders, in order to defuse this.
“Last year we had our conference and we were planning a subsequent workshop to sharpen our approach to the issue. What we have done so far and continue to do is to begin to meet strategic stakeholders to work on a common position paper, so that we do not have a clash going into the conference, in particular in terms of traditional authorities who are saying their land their starts and ends at a particular point and where we will have conceptual problems of overlapping claims.
“We have put together some traditional groups that may contest each other to start talking and they have started talking. I do not want to mention names now. We have in particular started to work to have the Ovaherero and the Damara people start talking.
“We have done away with certain vocabulary of 'overlapping claims' but instead (we call it) shared areas or shared territories or shared heritage, so the ancestral land issue does not become an argument about whose land this was or whose land it is not. We are pushing for people to recognise that communities lived together and boundaries at certain fringes could overlap, as there was great interbreeding,” Swartbooi said.
He added the LPM is speaking to traditional leaders and technical committees and also holding outreaches to churches “and at the same time we will have an outreach to the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC)”.
“One of the key institutions that we will also soon start to talk to is Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), because it manages - under the guise of state land - traditional areas of certain communities. If you look at how it is structured now, eastern pockets is the Ondonga area, the southern and western area is the Hai//om area, northern fringes are areas that belong to the south Omusati and the northwest pockets is often the Ovahimba.
“Our thinking is that we will be talking to NWR management to say part of resolution of this issue is to give actual land - territorial space in a shared way to certain communities that are today landless, for instance the San.
“But also that there is a fundamental process that NWR is reformed so that it is longer 100 % owned by the state. But that certain lodges in certain areas are managed by NWR but co-owned by traditional authorities, by those communities through trusts, so there is a profit sharing methodology worked out,” the LPM leader, who was fired from Geingob cabinet after a public spat with his then senior in the lands ministry, Utoni Nujoma, said.
He added that in the discussion around ancestral land, there were certain non-negotiable issues.
“In the discussion, of course, there are non-negotiable issues to the approach of ancestral land. A non-negotiable is space - a piece of land that is of such great historical, cultural and heritage value that it has to be brought under the direct control of traditional authorities, for instance Hoornkranz.
“The first attack was at Hoornkranz. (12 April 1893 the Germans launched a full-scale attack against the Witbooi settlement at Hoornkranz). There were areas of the Ovaherero where there are graves such as at Shark Island.
“Look at the Waterberg Plateau; you cannot talk of Ovaherero history and ignore this area. Areas where key battles took place; that if you do not buy the whole farm that you buy the specific demarcated area so that your events are held there so that you have the process of return to certain spaces to communities,” Swartbooi added.
Iipumbu made the remark last Friday while addressing about 200 people at Oikokola village in Omusati Region, where she was the guest speaker at a Cassinga Day commemoration event.
She said thousands of Namibians who lost their lives during the long and bitter liberation struggle were united and fought for a common purpose, which was the independence of the country, and not to see which tribe is better than the other.
“We should denounce tribalism and any form of 'isms' to the core; our martyrs have not died in vain that we today think one tribe is better than the other, there is no honour in that,” Iipumbu said.
It was on that basis Iipumbu called on Namibians to focus on matters that contribute positively to the economy of the country and the betterment of people living in difficult circumstances.
She also used the opportunity to inform the community members about some of the developments that had taken place since Namibia gained independence from the apartheid regime.
Iipumbu also expressed her dismay towards Namibians who claim that government has not changed the livelihood of its people, adding there are people out there that say there is no difference between then and now, as far a development is concerned.
This, Iipumbu said, does not hold water and should not be entertained.
“Fellow Namibians, it is with great sadness when I hear some individuals today claiming they don't see any difference in terms of development… in fact, government has brought development and services closer to the people, such as but not limited to today, where almost 195 000 Namibians are currently receiving social grants, which include old-age pension, people living with disabilities and vulnerable children,” Iipumbu said.
She also reminded the audience to honour the lives of those whose blood waters the freedom of the country, as they are deserving.
He also told the CC that Namibia and China are “equals” and that he is also looking at having a Swapo 'cabinet', which will be briefed on decisions made by the national cabinet.
Geingob, who briefed members on several issues on Saturday, told the CC that congress is over and he does not want division within the party.
“We had elections and this divides people within the party,” he said.
“Now that it is over, if people have doubts let them go to the courts. Let us move forward in the spirit of Harambee.”
In November last year Geingob was elected as Swapo president after vying for the position with Jerry Ekandjo and Nahas Angula.
The winner, as per the party's succession policy, automatically becomes the Swapo candidate for the 2019 national presidential election.
Also up for grabs during the elections were the vice-president, secretary-general (SG) and deputy SG positions, while 84 CC members were also elected.
Campaigns leading to the congress were marred by vulgarities, insults and personal attacks by the two competing camps, christened Team Harambee and Team Swapo.
Geingob told the CC members they should join hands and work on the leadership roles that have been assigned to them.
“The campaign is over. The election is over. It is one party now,” he said.
Geingob further briefed the CC on his recent state visit to China and said the Asian nation has elevated Namibia to a strategic cooperation partner.
He stressed this means Namibia and China are equals and dismissed reports that China was colonising Africa.
“It has never colonised Africa,” he said.
He said China and Namibia are partners and friends. He said it is true that loans were discussed with China and added that several other topics such as agricultural and tourism, as well as corruption, also came up for discussion.
Geingob said if tenders are given in an unlawful manner it will be cancelled.
He specifically referred to the Hosea Kutako International Airport tender which was previously cancelled.
He further spoke about his recent trip to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London.
He mentioned the fact that Prince Charles will become the next head of the Commonwealth after Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth has led the Commonwealth since 1952, when she took over the role from her late father, George VI. However the position is not hereditary and it is up to the leaders of the 53 member nations to select a successor.
Geingob however said the position should have been held by a head of state. “But this was the ruling,” he said referring to fact that Prince Charles has been tipped for the position.
He also informed the committee members about the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika Summit that was recently held in Luanda.
Geingob will take over as chair at the 38th Ordinary SADC Summit in August this year.
He said with the chairmanship coming to Namibia the country must be ready and therefore committees must be set up to plan for this.
Furthermore, Geingob said in the future he wants to implement a “smaller cabinet” for the party, which will be briefed by Swapo SG Sophia Shaningwa.
Therefore, after the government cabinet briefing has taken place, another Swapo cabinet briefing must also take place to ensure information flow to the party.
The matches were played in Tsumeb, Walvis Bay, Otjiwarongo Gobabis and Oshakati and in Windhoek, as football lovers turned up in their numbers to watch the games.
The first leg of the league started on 20 October, after it received sponsorship of N$15 million and N$5 million respectively from MTC and FNB Namibia for each of the next three seasons. The sponsors will assess the possibility of doubling that investment should the partnership with the football body be extended.
A sum of N$260 000 was distributed to each of the 16 clubs taking part in the first part of the league season in September, October, November and December last year.
In February the second leg of the season started with clubs battling it out for the top spot. Katutura-based outfit African Stars led by Bobby Samaria emerged as the victors.
They dethroned defending champions Tigers 2-1 to walk away with the coveted title. Stars lost their match on Saturday against Eleven Arrows and had one more match to play yesterday against Blue Waters, but the result does not matter, as they are champions already. In an interview after winning the title, Samaria said they only took back what had been taken from them by Tigers at the end of the 2014/15 season.
“With the grace of God we reclaimed our title. It is a great feeling, even though we wanted to win the league with four matches to go. We left it till late and dropped points on the way but we made it,” said Samaria.
Rundu Chiefs and Chief Santos became the first clubs to be relegated from the country's top league, after only collecting 24 and 17 points respectively from their 28 matches played.
Young Chiefs 2-0 Citizens, Chiefs Santos 1-4 Unam, Civics 3-0 Blue Waters, Young African 1-1 Rundu Chiefs, African Stars 0-1 Eleven Arrows, Life Fighters 1-0 Tura Magic, Orlando Pirates 3-1 Tigers and Black Africa 0-3 Mighty Gunners.
Sunday's matches (results only available after going to print:
Chief Santos vs Citizens: JP Ratledge Sports Complex
Young Chiefs vs Unam: Oshakati Independence Stadium
Life Fighters vs Tigers: Mokati Stadium
Young African vs Mighty Gunners: Legare Stadium
Black Africa vs Rundu Chiefs: SKW Stadium
Civics vs Eleven Arrows: Ramblers Stadium
African Stars vs Blue Waters: Sam Nujoma Stadium
Orlando Pirates vs Tura Magic: Unam Stadium
The initial offer price for the just under 30% of the company floated was set at 165 pence per share and the shares advanced to 169.50 pence in conditional trading.
The company is the downstream fuels joint venture of energy trading house Vitol and Helios Investment Partners which are cutting their stakes. It sells Shell-branded fuels and lubricants at nearly 2 000 filling stations in 15 African countries.
"It's a success," said Vivo chief executive Christian Chammas. "The offer was seriously oversubscribed."
"Our success comes from the success of Africa," he said, noting that the average growth rate in the countries where the company operates is roughly 4% per year.
"It's a different environment," he added.
The IPO is the largest Africa-focused London listing since Telecom Egypt raised 514 million pounds on a 2.662 billion pound valuation in December 2005 and the most significant since Seplat raised US$500 million in a 2014 IPO with a market capitalisation of US$1.9 billion.
Chammas said the listing would allow the company to join the benchmark FTSE 250 index.
It follows an aborted IPO plan from Vitol's European downstream venture, Varo Energy, which pulled its Amsterdam flotation last month.
Varo said global trade disputes had negatively affected other European initial public offerings.
The offer of 332.2 million shares equates to 548 million pounds representing 27.7% of the company.
It creates liquidity for the primary shareholders, and will bring Vitol's ownership down to 40%, from 55%, and that of Helios to 30%, from 44%, Chammas said.
Vivo reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of US$376 million in 2017, up from US$302 million in 2016.
It also expects to close by the end of the year a deal to buy 300 filling stations from South Africa's Engen, which will expand its business to nine additional African countries. – Nampa/Reuters
Sidney Boois of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund told Namibian Sun the statistics of crashes, injuries and fatalities from 1 January to 29 April 2018 “show a substantial reduction”.
Nevertheless, between January and March 2018, youth between the ages of 16 and 35, represented 57% of the total fatalities, followed by children between the ages of zero and 15 - an age group that represented 16% of total deaths.
Statistics on pedestrian fatalities for the same period showed the majority of deaths were in the age group of 16 to 35, which represented 43% of all pedestrian-related fatalities.
“Even though the statistics paint a positive picture on road safety, pedestrian, youth and male-related fatalities still remain a concern,” Boois said.
A recent World Bank report on the high cost of road crashes, and the economic consequences, noted that hypothetically the impact of road crashes and injuries or deaths that result will have macroeconomic “ripple effects”, because they happen most commonly among the economically active age groups.
Recent world health statistics estimate that road injuries or deaths “account for the greatest share of mortality and long-term disability among individuals aged 15 to 29 years, and exact a considerable toll among the working-age population as a whole, aged between 15 and 64 years.”
Moreover, genders impacted are also economically significant.
“Three out of four road deaths are among men, the primary sources of income for households in many societies.”
Furthermore, rural areas often suffer a disproportionate burden as a result of injuries or deaths caused by road accidents.
No change over the years
Statistics published by the MVA Fund in terms of age groups and gender impacted from previous years paint a similar picture.
The fund's 2015 year-end report noted that the most affected by injuries from crashes were young people, mainly between the ages of 16 and 35 years, accounting for 3 721 or 51% of all persons injured in crashes in 2015.
A similar trend was observed in 2014, whereby 56% of the injured persons were young people.
The report noted that another concern are children under 15 years of age, who accounted for 10.9% of those injured in 2015 and who in most cases are vulnerable to pedestrian-related crashes.
The majority of those injured in road crashes in 2014 and 2015 were males.
Similar to the report on injuries, the recorded fatality data for 2015 found the majority who died - 43% - were aged between 16 and 35 years.
A similar pattern was observed in 2014, with 44% of the fatalities being people in this age range.
The 2016, the MVA Fund statistics again found that young people between the ages of 16 to 35 years represented 48% of persons injured and 44% of persons killed in accidents on Namibia's roads.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of persons injured and 72% of those killed in Namibia were male.
Fourteen percent of fatalities were children aged zero to five.
Horst Heimstädt of the Private Sector Road Safety Forum told Namibian Sun apart from the high financial cost of car crashes, one of the issues that could be attributed to the high rate of fatalities of young people on the roads, could be the “lack of perception of risk”.
He noted that responsibility is taught by experience, and when it comes to road safety, some still consider cars as toys, until that car is involved in an accident.
“Global research has shown that for every crash there are roughly 80 near crashes,” he said.
He further pointed out that more than 50% of fatalities in Namibia are passengers and pedestrians, “innocent bystanders”.
Heimstädt noted that the reduction in crash statistics can be attributed to public education campaigns, in cooperation with improved law enforcement, but warned that without an in-depth analysis of the exact causes, “nobody will be able to claim what has worked”.
He further warned that too many Namibians remain uninterested in the topic until they are directly affected.
Cause for hope
The reduction in crashes, injuries and deaths remains a positive development, the MVA Fund noted.
Compared to the same period last year, 153 people died as a result of car crash related injuries, 79 less people than the year before.
Moreover, 1 828 persons were injured between January and April 2018, compared to 2 251 over the same period in 2017.
In total, 1 087 crashes were recorded during the period this year, compared to a total of 1 298 the year before.
The MVA Fund noted that in total the figures indicate a reduction of crashes, injuries and fatalities by 16%, 19% and 34% respectively.
“The reduction in the year-to-date crash statistics is indeed encouraging and positively reflects on the success of road safety interventions by all road safety partners and stakeholders.”
Boois said the reduced number of accidents could be attributed to a combination of factors, including ongoing as opposed to seasonal road safety campaigns and robust law enforcement and public education.
Moreover, the general public have become actively involved in road safety, by reporting unruly or risky behaviours observed while driving.
Social media and chat platforms have become beehives of alerts shared across cyberspace.
Boois described this as an increase in self-policing by the general public.
“This important concept of self-policing requires all road users to do the right thing all the time, and the right thing is to obey all traffic rules, all the time.”
Chairperson of the Sam Khubis festival committee, Albert Alberts relayed to Nampa that the historical battle took place on 8 May 1915, when the German colonial army attacked the Baster people who had fled to their last stronghold of Sam Khubis.
The fear of total annihilation by a better equipped German army created a strong sense of common destiny among the Baster people, said Alberts.
“Early that morning, the Germans attacked our people at Sam Khubis, where a large part of the community had found protection. The fighting lasted until the evening. The Basters feared that the bigger artillery of the German army would mean a total defeat and possible extinction, but the Germans withdrew from the fight the next day,” Alberts continued.
He further said the escalation of events started on 13 April 1915, when the German authorities demanded from the Baster Council for the armed Baster troops to go to Otjiwarongo to guard prisoners of war.
“If these demands were not to be met, all weapons in possession of the Rehoboth Basters had to be handed in to the German army. The Germans gave the Baster Council a three-day deadline,” he noted.
However, according to Alberts, the following day, the Germans unexpectedly disarmed Baster soldiers in Sandputs.
“Several of the Baster soldiers tried to escape in which one was killed and another one escaped to tell the Baster Council of the events. In the following days, several armed skirmishes occurred, leaving a number of Baster and German soldiers dead,” he remarked.
This year's activities in remembrance of the events kicked off on 1 May with a church service at Farm Uitdraai, where the Baster vow was renewed. It proceeded to Farm Garis, where the then Baster Kaptein, Cornelius van Wyk's family was wiped out by the Germans.
Alberts said the commemoration is important in the sense that the youth need to know what happened to their ancestors.
“The commemoration is very important for our younger ones as they will be the future torch bearers of the Baster community and know about the atrocities against their people. The onus is on them to carry on with the commemoration to pass on the knowledge to their future generations.”
After the worship service and lighting of the festival torch, about 50 men on horseback accompanied by people dressed in the traditional attire of the Baster, led by the Namibian Police Traffic unit, took the road to Sam Khubis via the B1 national road.
The tender closed on 18 April. The bidders are an assortment of local water engineering consultants joined by consortia and joint ventures from Angola, Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
The consultancy is to be funded by a grant received by the Namibian government from the African Development Bank.
The objectives of this project are to develop a strategic master plan to assist the municipality in mobilising the necessary resources for ensuring sustainable water supply and sanitation for the next 20 years.
Components of the tender include an integrated master plan and a strategic document which should provide a vision for the sustainable development and operation of water facilities in the next 20 years.
It also includes an operational document determining the required works, costs, impacts and sequence of investment.
The consultancy is to run over a 30-month period.
The Windhoek municipality is a global trendsetter in water reuse and overall water management. Windhoek residents have been drinking recycled wastewater since November 1968, making it the second city in the world to recycle water for human consumption. Los Angeles in the United States of America started in 1962.
NamWater is the bulk supplier of Windhoek's water, but the municipality also sources water from its reclamation works and from an underground aquifer.
The city was plunged into a critical water shortage in 2015/16, not only because of poor rains and little inflow into its three main supply dams since 2012.
The crisis was also ascribed to the fact that the city has outgrown NamWater's water network for central Namibia, which has not been expanded in nearly 40 years.
The central water supply network stretches from south of Grootfontein to Waterberg and Okakarara, covers everything between Okahandja and Windhoek up to Hosea Kutako International Airport, and includes Karibib, the Navachab mine and Otjimbingwe to the southwest.
The three main components of this scheme are the three dams – Omatako, Von Bach and Swakoppoort. The last time this scheme was expanded was in 1980 with the construction of the Omatako Dam and the extension of the canal from Grootfontein to these dams in the early 1990s.
South Africa's net foreign reserves fell to US$43.115 billion in April from US$43.384 billion in March, the Reserve Bank said yesterday.
Gross reserves also fell to US$49.539 billion from US$49.979 billion, the central bank data showed.
The forward position, which represents the central bank's unsettled or swap transactions, was lower at US$1.933 billion from US$1.996 billion in the previous month.
"The decrease of $440 million in the gross reserves reflects the foreign exchange payments made on behalf of the government and the appreciation of the US dollar against most currencies," the central bank said. – Nampa/Reuters
Zambia concludes mine tax audits
Zambia concluded audits of mining companies that prompted the nation to slap Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals with a tax bill of over 76.5 billion Zambian kwacha (US$8 billion), its revenue authority said on Monday.
First Quantum, which owns two copper mines in Zambia, said in March that Zambia's tax agency had demanded the taxes, saying they were on import duties, penalties and interest on consumables and spare parts.
There are dozens of mining companies operating in Zambia, mainly extracting copper.
The ZRA said it had audited all the major mining companies in Zambia and informed them what they owed.
Other major mining companies operating in Zambia include Vedanta Resources, Barrick Gold Corp and Glencore. – Nampa/Reuters
Kenya's fiscal deficit to drop
Kenya's budget deficit is expected to drop to 5.7% of GDP in the 2018/19 (July-June) fiscal year from 7.2% this fiscal year, estimates sent to parliament by the Treasury showed.
The East African nation has been under pressure from the International Monetary Fund and other bodies to cut its budget deficit, which peaked at 9.1% of economic output in 2016/17.
"This reduction will strengthen our debt sustainability position. We have carefully evaluated our external and domestic debt to ensure that we are in a position to service the same," the Treasury said in the estimates.
It said the budget, which will be formally presented in mid-June, would set a net external financing target of 282.5 billion shillings (US$2.82 billion), equivalent to 2.9% of GDP. – Nampa/Reuters
Third of Burkina's population is food insecure
A third of the 18.6 million people of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries of the world, will experience food insecurity this year, agriculture minister Niouga Ambroise Ouedraogo has said.
He blamed an 11% slump in the grain harvest, affecting 22 out of the 45 provinces.
The government has said it will sell 110 000 tonnes of cereal at a subsidised price to help meet needs. – Nampa/AFP
Saudi to supply oil to fuel-starved Sudan
Saudi Arabia will supply Sudan with millions of tonnes of oil for the next five years to help it tackle a growing energy crisis, the African country's oil minister has said.
Sudan has been hit with an acute fuel crisis for weeks now, sending black market prices surging in Khartoum as residents queued outside fuel stations for hours.
In a bid to resolve the crisis, a Sudanese delegation led by oil minister Abdul Rahman Osman visited Riyadh last week.
Sudan will receive 1.8 million tonnes of oil in the first year. After that each year the quantity will be raised by 7%, he said.
The financing of the deal is to be facilitated by Saudi Development Bank, Osman added without giving financial details of the agreement or when the first oil delivery was expected. – Nampa/AFP
DRC to allow oil exploration in national parks
Democratic Republic of Congo's government is seeking to reclassify swathes of two UNESCO-listed parks so that oil exploration can be carried out there, an investigative group said.
The London-based NGO Global Witness said it had seen documents about a scheme to "redraw the boundaries" of the fabled Salonga and Virunga national parks, home to many of the planet's endangered species.
A special commission of ministers and DRC civil servants met on April 27 to push through the plan, it said.
More than a fifth of the Virunga National Park, the oldest wildlife reserve in Africa, would be affected by the reclassification, it said.
Virunga's denizens include hippopotamus, elephants and some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas. – Nampa/AFP
IMF says Egypt must deepen reforms
Egypt will have to deepen its IMF-backed reforms and better encourage private sector growth if it wants to cash in on a wave of global expansion that may soon come to an end, a fund official in Cairo said.
Halfway into a three-year $12 billion IMF loan programme it signed in late-2016 tied to tough austerity measures, Egypt is hoping painful reforms like tax hikes and subsidy cuts will now lure back foreign investors and kick-start an economy that crashed after its 2011 Arab Spring uprising.
Speaking to government officials as part of an IMF visit to review Egypt's reform programme, first deputy managing director David Lipton praised the country's progress but said "broadening and deepening the reform agenda" is crucial to take advantage of ripe global conditions.
Cairo's tough reforms have included a currency float that halved the value of its pound, deep cuts to fuel and electricity subsidies and a new value-added tax.
The IMF has forecast that Egypt will grow by 5.2% this fiscal year, up from about 4.1% a year earlier. – Nampa/Reuters
Algeria to open farming concessions to foreigners
Algeria plans to offer foreign investors concessions for farm land for the first time, according to an official document, as the oil producer seeks to boost food output and reduce reliance on imports.
Under the plan, which is expected to be discussed by the cabinet this week before being submitted to parliament, any foreign investor would need to work in partnership with the state or a private Algerian firm, the document seen by Reuters said.
Algeria, a member of OPEC, has been encouraging farmers with incentives such as low interest loans in a bid cut the state's US$50 billion annual bill for food and other imports.
The government relies on oil exports for about 60% of its revenues, which are only now starting to recover after a crash in crude prices from above US$100 a barrel in 2014 to below US$30 in 2016. – Nampa/Reuters
The municipality is currently servicing a piece of land in the Rocky Crest suburb to the south west of the city.
City spokesperson Scheifert Shigwedha said residential and business plots would be available.
“Two-hundred-and-fifty-six are for single residential in Extension 5 Rocky Crest but in total the erven for Extension 5 are 307, including institutional and businesses. Extension 7 residential are 175, with the total being 190 for institutional and business purposes,” said Shigwedha.
Rocky Crest Extension 5 is located west of Pionierspark Extension 1 along the Western Bypass and measures 43 hectares.
A private financier would help the City service a large portion of land in Rocky Crest in a public-private partnership, he said.
“Take note that Extension 7 is not to be serviced through the PPP,” he added.
“The completion of the proclamation process will eventually determine ... how soon our PPP partner and the City can commence with servicing...” said Shigwedha.
Rocky Crest Extension 7 measures about 21 hectares.
The City recently said that there was a backlog in residential plots for all income groups, and the residential land to be developed in Rocky Crest extensions 5 and 7 would cater for the middle-income group.
The AR yesterday said the government had negotiated in bad faith before, suggesting that no meaningful resolutions would be implemented.
“Unlike other stakeholders who view the envisaged land conference as somewhat [like] Christmas where Santa Claus will arrive with a bowl of land and housing, our experience with and government's record of negotiating in bad faith places us on the side of extreme caution as we approach this land conference. Our understanding is that conferences and policies do not have the force of law,” AR said in a statement.
Making reference to the first land conference held in 1991, the AR said even if there was intent to repatriate land, the constitution made provision for the protection of ownership rights.
“Looked at closely, this conference may just be another political gimmick like the 1991 land conference where the political elites, after accepting the property clause in the constitution, went on to convene a conference while knowing very well that the fate of the land question has been sealed by the constitution,” it said.
Despite raising concerns about the land conference, the AR said it attend the planned conference and engage other activists to consolidate views and present a strong enough case.
“Despite our reservations, we will still participate in the land conference to not only present superior logic but to give the regime the benefit of doubt. We will, however, not go into the conference blindly. We will begin conversations with other activists, stakeholders, land and housing groups to consolidate the national land collective.”
The AR also said it would be upping the ante in the fight against corruption with the planned establishment of an institution that would mimic the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
According to them, many Namibians were now reporting cases of corruption to the AR movement instead of the ACC.
AR's legal team was now establishing a similar institution.
“Most Namibians prefer to approach AR in order for their concerns to be taken seriously. In response to this reality, the AR legal team has been hard at work creating an institution that will have a legal mandate and institutional capacity to deal with prosecutorial and litigation matters,” it claimed.
During a panel discussion at an event to commemorate World Press Freedom Day in Windhoek yesterday, a media studies professor at the University of Cape Town, Herman Wasserman, warned that media sustainability in southern Africa was closely linked to media freedom and ethics.
“When we become vulnerable economically, we also become vulnerable politically,” he said.
Wassermann highlighted the results of a study completed in 2010, which found that media sustainability in southern Africa was already in decline nearly a decade ago.
He said the study noted that “financing and media management is the weak link threating media sustainability and independence”.
He added that once media independence was threatened, the doors were opened “for all sorts of nefarious interests”, whether political or economic.
Wassermann added that while media sustainability was a global concern for an industry that was “struggling with the issue of sustainability in a rapidly and seemingly ongoing changing landscape”, the fragile economic, political and social context of Africa added another dimension of concern for the region's media.
“There are things we should be extra concerned about. We have to think of media sustainability also as an issue with implications for media freedom and media ethics.”
Wasserman highlighted the distinction between media profitability and media sustainability.
“Media profitability is a market question that also brings its challenges and problems in and of itself,” including the influence that is wielded by powerful advertisers who can have an impact on media freedom and ethics.
“But sustainability means the media has to sustain itself, it has to survive, in order to serve the public interest. Public interest is always what you have to bear in mind,” the professor said.
A local warning
A draft research report on media sustainability undertaken by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), presented at yesterday's event, found that while the Namibian media were experimenting with ways to adapt to the new media landscape, significant challenges remained that needed urgent attention to ensure quality journalism was not undermined or eliminated.
IPPR researcher Dietrich Remmert noted that the two major disruptive factors currently faced by the media were the economic recession and the radical transformation of how news is accessed by readers, here and elsewhere.
Remmert warned that while advertising and marketing budgets were shrinking, advertisers were also increasingly prioritising online spending to attract consumers, dealing another blow to traditional media models.
Remmert said the research indicated that overwhelmingly, Namibian media houses were not sufficiently prepared for the stark transition they faced.
The IPPR research found that many were “far more concerned with the current recession and less concerned with what is going to happen in the long term regarding online, regarding digitisation,” he said.
Remmert warned that shrinking newsrooms and the unsuccessful application of experimental and new business models could have a devastating impact on journalism in terms of quality and capacity in Namibia.
There is a way
Gwen Lister, representing the Namibia Media Trust (NMT), yesterday said Namibian media needed to “take a long, introspective look at themselves, and the quality of content they put out”.
She said in an effort to ensure quality journalism and sustainability, the media must find ways to be “creative and innovative in order to get to the youth again, and get them back to not simply clicking on data, but getting them back to reading and interested in quality information.”
Lister emphasised that another crucial factor in ensuring the survival of quality media was to educate people on how to find news “that is good for them and can benefit their lives.”
She said teaching media literacy, and creating a better understanding of the need for good journalism, was crucial.
Wassermann agreed that the question was not on what platform journalism survived, but what type of journalism survived, whether online or elsewhere.
He argued that the core issue for journalists and the media industry was to re-establish relationships and trust with audiences and to distinguish one media house from another by offering unique and quality content.
“Do good journalism and invest money in doing good journalism, so that audiences can start trusting you again and choose your outlet rather than another,” he advised.
SADC countries this week met in Windhoek to discuss the management of shared river basins in the region.
The theme of the eighth SADC River Basin Organisations Workshop was 'Securing Strategic Investments to Realise the Benefits of Trans-boundary Water Cooperation'.
The deputy permanent secretary in the agriculture ministry, Abraham Nehemia, said it was an acknowledged fact that the scarcity of water resources is the most severe constraint to agricultural development and food security in Namibia and in most of the SADC member states.
He said securing investments in trans-boundary water infrastructure had become crucial for a water-scarce country like Namibia as well as other SADC countries.
“In an effort for Namibia to alleviate water shortages, all possible conventional and non-conventional methods to provide water for domestic and industrial development are being assessed and evaluated.”
He said this included desalination of seawater and brackish water, recycling and reuse of water, fog harvesting, artificial recharge of aquifers and inter-basin transfers.
According to Nehemia most of the options available to Namibia are pointing towards tapping into the large rivers that form the country's borders.
“It is therefore in the best interest of all riparian states and in the spirit of true trans-boundary water cooperation through our River Basin Organisation that we take our own Protocol on Shared Water Courses seriously.”
Agriculture permanent secretary Percy Misika said investment in extensive water-supply infrastructure was needed to ensure industrialisation and economic development.
He said all SADC member states shared one or more river basins, with the exception of the oceanic member states.
“These are resources available to us to transform our economies to the level of industrialisation and develop nations.”
He said that would require financial commitments at all levels.
“This gathering must therefore take a critical look at how to identify, assess and communicate the benefits of trans-boundary water cooperation to foster cooperation. We should ... agree on priorities for investment that will yield tangible results for riparian states,” said Misika.
The SADC River Basin Organisations Workshop is a biennial platform, which is organised with the aim of using river basin organisations as a vehicle for strengthening regional integration and cooperation.
SADC is home to some 280 million people relying on water supply for domestic, industrial and agricultural requirements.
Over 70% of the region's freshwater resources are shared between two or more member states, a situation that has been the basis for the development and adoption of a series of regional instruments to support the joint management and development of shared watercourses.
Member states are expecting to see social, economic and environmental benefits derived from trans-boundary water cooperation.
The radio station alleged that a French probe was looking into whether Geingob had received bribes in connection with the sale of Canadian firm UraMin to French miner Areva.
Following the publication of the article, Geingob swiftly moved to demand a retraction from RFI through his lawyer, Sisa Namandje. A person familiar with the matter told Namibian Sun this week that RFI's legal team was looking into the issue, while the radio station's English editor, Daniel Singleton, did not respond to enquiries.
The RFI article linked Geingob to an unfolding investigation involving Sébastien de Montessus, Areva's former mining branch head, who has been charged with corruption in relation to the company's purchase of UraMin, which owned the Trekkopje mine in Namibia, among other African mining assets.
Namandje was quoted last week saying the French radio station had not yet retracted its article.
“We have not yet received a formal response, but RFI published another article on their website.
We are still continuing with our consultations, I do not want to say much, just know the matter is still ongoing,” Namandje said.
Geingob has over the years denied that he played any part in UraMin's sale to Areva, and has threatened legal action against RFI for its report alleging he was in any way linked to the unwfolding French investigation.
The time period in which Geingob is said to have illicitly gained money for work pertaining to Areva dates back to 2007 when the miner, which today is in financial difficulties, bought UraMin for US$2.5 billion.
The French inquiry, according to RFI, is looking into payments made to Namibia's United Africa Group in 2009 and 2010 and
€8 000 paid in 2008 and 2009 to Geingob, who was trade minister at the time.
Geingob is adamant worked as a UraMin consultant when he was a Swapo backbencher and never during his tenure as trade minister.
During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last month Geingob again vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
“I was just involved as a consultant, whatever the French allegations are, they have nothing to do with me,” Geingob said during a question and answer session in the National Assembly.
“I received US$300 000 from UraMin for facilitating their acquisition of a mining licence. I shared the money with two South Africans whom I worked with,” he said.