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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 769 | 770 | (Page 771) | 772 | 773 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Less talk, a little more actionLess talk, a little more action News that nine-year-old-girls are accessing birth control while ten-year-olds are giving birth, left us in awe and utterly speechless. To further compound this shocking news, we hear that 16-year-olds are ready to give birth to their second child.

    In the Kavango alone, 83 girls under the age of 15 fell pregnant in one year.

    These are just some of the figures that came out of public hearings conducted throughout the country by the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Human Resources and Community Development.

    That the girl child in Namibia is in trouble is a given. Poverty is omnipresent, coupled with abuse, too much access to social evils like drunkenness and violence, and of course, sex.

    Blessers are said to include senior public officials and members of the police and/or army. And these children are minors… but no one reports these matters.

    Is it because we do not care or is it because we accept this to be the norm?

    The children of these children too, will be illiterate and unemployable, like their mothers who, no doubt, will be single mothers without any form of support. They will, if they manage at all, raise their children to be as poor as them with a future as non-existent as their own. And those children, will repeat the cycle as will theirs and theirs, ad infinitum. So essentially, in many – if not most - of our rural areas, we are perpetuating poverty and readying ourselves for generations that will rely on government hand-outs, rain so that they may plant small vegetable gardens for food to eat, owners of makeshift shacks without running water or toilets in any form and without adequate education or medical care. The future, if this is the foundation, is very bleak indeed and this news should be far more than a wake-up call to our government.

    Ironically, just this week, President Hage Geingob received the African Gender Award. The award, to reward him for his efforts towards the promotion and protection of women's rights in Namibia.

    People, we need to stop having workshops and making speeches about women and children and how we need to protect them. We need to start doing. And we need to start doing immediately.

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  • 06/10/18--16:00: shot of the day
  • shot of the dayshot of the day LOOKING INTO THE ABYSS: Visitors look down from a set of stairs as they visit Victoria Prison, a former colonial prison and police station colloquially known as Tai Kwun, or "big station", on its opening day to the public in Hong Kong on 29 May 2018. The multi-million renovation project saw the overhaul of the complex built by the British between the mid-19th and 20th centuries which housed the city's first jail - Victoria Prison - as well as its central police station and court buildings. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/10/18--16:00: Ireland to stay the course
  • Ireland to stay the courseIreland to stay the courseWallabies beat the Irish Australia scored two tries to nil in downing the Six Nations champions 18-9 on Saturday, with two Tests to play in Melbourne and Sydney. Coach Joe Schmidt says he does not expect to change much for the second Test against the Wallabies after Ireland's unbeaten 12-match run ended in Brisbane.

    The world's number two ranked team had their chances and led 9-8 with 14 minutes left before star flanker David Pocock crashed over for the Wallabies' clinching try in the 72nd minute.

    Schmidt left Leinster kingpins Johnny Sexton, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong among others on the reserves bench in the series opener, bringing them on in the second half as the Wallabies remained unbeaten at home to Ireland in 11 Tests stretching back to 1979.

    The Wallabies will be vying to wrap up the series in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday, but Schmidt said the team's plans would stay in place.

    “We'll just have to dust ourselves off. It's nothing that we didn't expect. They're an unbelievably athletic and talented team,” he told reporters after Saturday's match.

    “That's the level and we've got to be able to compete at that level and get the margins to fall our way, with 14 minutes left we led 9-8 but you've got to lead after 80 minutes.”

    Schmidt, with an eye on next year's World Cup in Japan, said Ireland would persist with their plans for the remaining two Tests of the series.

    “I don't think we can afford to change some of the plans that we've got because we now have 11 Test matches before the lead in to the World Cup,” he said.

    “We've had a pretty good run since the last World Cup. We've capped 33 players, so we've probably capped the guys that we're interested in.

    “But we now need to give them opportunity because we can't be caught with guys who don't have that experience and haven't been in that white-hot atmosphere that playing a big team with that time and space taken away and how physical it was.”

    Skipper and blindside flanker Peter O'Mahony said the advantage of playing in a three-Test series was that a beaten side received another chance.

    “That first-half was one of the quickest I've played in my career,” he said. “Every time I come up against Australia the intensity and physicality is second to none.

    “There are a lot of things to work on, but it's not all thrown out the window.

    “We stick to our process, our plan. We're hugely disappointed, but that's the beauty of the three-match tour, that you get back on the horse.

    “Whoever is selected and get another shot we get a chance to put it right.”

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he was anticipating a determined Ireland to bounce back in Melbourne.

    “The Irish system is pretty good, their players are well managed and they came out here really well drilled. That was a tight match,” Cheika said.

    “We know that it's going to get harder. They're getting over arrival, jet lag, they mixed a few of their players, they didn't start Johnny Sexton and others.

    “They're going to change their look next week and we need to change our look as well because we will all have seen each other.

    “I don't think they'll need anything else around that, they're very capable of lifting it a level next week.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Crawford scores TKO over HornCrawford scores TKO over Horn With a bevy of punches in the ninth round, Terence Crawford solidified his case as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.

    Crawford dropped Jeff Horn with 50 seconds left in the ninth and sent him into the ropes with a slew of punches, ending the fight and winning the WBO welterweight title.

    Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight with 28 seconds left in the round.

    “Like I said before, I was the stronger guy,” said Crawford, who landed 48% of his power shots, according to CompuBox. “He did everything we expected him to do. He came in there with the intentions of roughing me up and getting aggressive. But the thing he didn't understand was how strong I was. I think they underestimated me a little bit.

    “I'm stronger than him. I just had to get in the ring and prove it. You saw what I did in there. Now I want all the champions at welterweight.”

    Crawford (33-0, 24 knockouts) moved up to the 147-pound division and became the sixth fighter in boxing history to win titles at lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight. Considered by many as boxing's best pound-for-pound fighter, Crawford relinquished the four major belts he held in the junior welterweight division to move up to a stacked welterweight division.

    The 30-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska, improved to 11-0 (eight knockouts) in world title fights, the most wins by an active American fighter.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 06/10/18--16:00: Jooste reins in board fees
  • Jooste reins in board feesJooste reins in board feesCap on skyrocketing costs Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has limited board meetings to four a year in a bid to bring down costs. New guidelines have been introduced to place a cap on the board fees paid by parastatals to their boards of directors, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has confirmed.

    According to Jooste, a recent directive to limit board meetings to four times a year has been issued in the hope that this will rein in expensive fees demanded by directors of public entities.

    “We are clamping down on board fees. We have issued a directive limiting board meetings to four per year unless they request an exemption for particular reasons,” said Jooste.

    This comes in response to revelations that newly established parastatal, Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia), paid its directors an average of well over N$90 000 each to attend a board meeting.

    “We have managed to curb expenses and board members now have to ask permission from the ministry before they are allowed to travel abroad. Board fees are equally captured in our new guidelines,” said Jooste.

    Market Watch reported this week that Namdia's seven directors, chairman Advocate Shakespeare Masiza, Venondjo Maharero, Chris Nghaamwa, Florentia Amuenje, Lorentha Harases, Bonifatius Konjore and Tania Hangula, had pocketed massive board fees, according to Namdia's annual report.

    Masiza received N$616 597 in total - a fee of N$595 000 and expense allowances of N$21 597.

    The other directors earned N$560 000 each. Maharero also received N$17 279 as expense allowances.

    According to the annual report, six board meetings took place during the 11 months under review - an inaugural one from 12 to 13 August 2016, followed by a monthly meeting in September, October, November and December 2016, as well as one in February 2017.

    This translates into a director's fee of about N$93 333 each per sitting, while the chairman's fee was an average of N$99 167 per meeting.

    Last year, the former board of the embattled the Namibia Financial Students Assistance Fund (NSFAF) met over 10 times in one financial year alone.

    Weekly newspaper The Patriot reported that NSFAF board members had each raked in N$600 000 in board sitting fees alone between 5 April 2017 and 6 December 2017.

    The chairperson is entitled to claim N$10 580 for chairing a meeting, while other board directors claim N$5 983. Several officials that The Patriot spoke to said board members at bigger public enterprises can earn up to N$20 000 just for attending a board meeting.

    By comparison, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) sitting fees for its non-executive board of directors in 2017 was only N$644 000. Only five of the six non-executive directors received a fee, with finance permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah rendering her services for free.

    The BoN held eight board meetings in 2017, according to its annual report.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    No feasibility done for NBC's 24-hour news broadcastNo feasibility done for NBC's 24-hour news broadcast In the midst of a financial crisis and unsettled employees, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has not conducted a feasibility study to determine the viability of its envisaged 24-hour news broadcast channel.

    NBC's chief human resources officer Vezenga Kauraisa confirmed this during an interview with Nampa last week, saying there were no funds available to finance a feasibility study.

    “We haven't made a feasibility study as you are enquiring. But all we are saying is that we have benchmarked and we had our internal meetings in terms of that,” said Kauraisa.

    A feasibility study is a type of analysis used in measuring the ability and likelihood to successfully complete a project including all relevant factors.

    Kauraisa said NBC has the internal capacity to determine the 24-hour news channel's viability while not revealing how much the national broadcaster intends to spend on or needs to finance the 24-hour news channel.

    However, he noted that they will do everything possible within their limited funds and workforce to have the channel up and running.

    Joining Kauraisa was Menesia Muinjo, NBC's chief news and programming officer, who suggested that a scientific study could be done to this effect, as has been the case in the past.

    “We have been having a scientific research for the audience to see what they like… those on our platforms.

    There is information on what the audience want. For example, news came out as top,” said Muinjo.

    It was against those findings that NBC arrived to a conclusion to have a 13:00 and 22:00 television bulletin, she said.

    Additionally, NBC is guided by information from focus groups and audience research conducted across different social media platforms, according to Muinjo.

    To back NBC's plans to have a 24-hour news channel, Muinjo said they are facing stiff competition from social media.

    “News is timeous and social media has been on us and you cannot have only one bulletin at 20:00, you lose the audience.

    So, it's based on that and guided by the leadership and our strategic objectives,” she explained, adding that NBC intends to become the leading broadcaster on the African continent.

    Amid this, there are concerns from NBC's employees that the entity is not ready, both financially and in terms of human capital to have a 24-hour news channel.

    “These people are just wasting resources. Already, they can't pay our back pay, we are understaffed and overworked.

    Yet you are talking about 24-hours broadcast. Let them put it on hold until we are in a financial position to do so,” said a senior official who preferred anonymity.

    On Thursday last week, over 100 NBC employees took to the street in petition over unpaid overtime, outstanding salary increment and the settlement of accrued arrears.

    The petition was handed over on Friday at 13:00.

    NAMPA

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    10 players to watch at World   Cup10 players to watch at World CupNeymar in the mix The World Cup finals will kick off in a week, bringing together the best football teams and players in the world. In the tournament we will see some players who have yet to hit the headlines take a big leap forward in their careers, but there are plenty of renowned stars who are expected to perform. Here are ten players to keep our eyes on in Russia.



    Neymar

    Neymar travels to Russia after a season cut short by injury and a frustrating European campaign with Paris Saint Germain.

    Considered to be the natural successor to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world, Neymar has speed, close control and incredible talent. However, he needs to focus that talent in a Brazilian side packed with individual skill. Neymar has already tasted the bitter side of World Cup failure in 2014 when the hosts suffered a humiliating semi-final defeat to Germany.

    Now he has to show he has learned from that and that he not only has the skill, but also the mentality to become a leader.

    Lionel Messi

    Lionel Messi is probably playing in his last World Cup and travels to Russia after ending the season as the top goal-scorer in Europe.

    There is little doubt that he is the best player in the world and he showed that as he dragged a poor Argentina team to Russia, scoring vital goals in key qualifying games.

    If Messi is fit and at his best, he is not only a top goal-scorer but also a creator, which he's shown that this season in adapting to a new role at FC Barcelona where he's dropped deep to start attacking moves.

    He will certainly be a marked man and with the demanding Argentine fans expecting nothing short of the title, the pressure will be on Messi to deliver.



    Kevin de Bruyne

    Belgium will be among the favourites in Russia with a host of attacking talents available to coach Roberto Martinez. Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne will all vie for centre stage, but De Bruyne heads to Russia after helping Manchester City romp to the Premier League title. Fast, able to beat rivals with ease and score with either foot, De Bruyne is also a threat from set pieces, which means he can always be at the heart of the action for a team that promises much, but now has to deliver in a major competition.



    Raheem Sterling

    England striker and captain Harry Kane will no doubt be his side's poster boy and his goals will be vital if England are to improve on recent disappointments at big tournaments. However, in a squad which looks to be light on midfield talent, perhaps Raheem Sterling could be England's key player.

    Sterling has long promised much. At Liverpool he was a precocious talent with the ability to drift past rivals with the ball at his feet. Nevertheless he was also frustrating to watch, too often failing to find the finish or the final pass to finish off his moves.

    Sterling has now spent two years working with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and the progress is clear to see. The meticulous Catalan coach has maintained Sterling's mercurial ability, but given greater maturity to his play. That moment's pause will be vital if he is to become Kane's partner in the England attack.



    David de Gea

    Most of the attention Spain get will be paid to their flowing attacking football and the ease with which the Spanish maintain possession of the ball. However every good side needs to be built on a solid defence and in David de Gea the Spanish have arguably the best young goalkeeper in the world.

    The Manchester United keeper is still only 27 years old, but can count on nine seasons' experience playing first team football, firstly with Atletico Madrid and for the last seven campaigns at Manchester United.

    De Gea was raw when he went to England, but he toughened up and improved in the air and dealing with crosses. If a side is able to get past Sergio Busquets and Sergio Ramos they still have to get past De Gea and that won't be easy.



    Kamil Grosicki

    The Polish attack is based around Robert Lewandowski, but people would do well to remember that Kamil Grosicki was his main supplier at Euro 2016.

    Although he has spent the last season plying his trade with Hull City in the English second-tier and has blown hot and cold over the season, on a good day Grosicki is virtually unplayable.

    He is nicknamed “Turbo” for a reason; Grosicki is lightning quick and able to beat defenders with ease. He won't want to spend another season in the English Championship and a good World Cup performance should help earn him a move back to the elite level that 'The Polish Messi' deserves.



    Takashi Inui

    Nobody should underestimate the Japanese football team and in their winger Takashi Inui we can find the perfect example of how the globalisation of football has helped make their side more competitive in recent years.

    Inui has spent the past three years at Spanish La Liga side Eibar, who he joined after plying his trade at Eintracht Frankfurt. He has the ability to combine tricky wing play with hard-work and a willingness to cover in defence.

    Although he is not a prolific goal scorer, Inui chipped in with five goals in the recently completed league campaign. On top of that, some of his challenges have showed that behind his boyish face is a player who is willing to put a foot in to help the cause.



    Joshua Kimmich

    Reigning champions Germany have plenty of standout players, but attacking full back Joshua Kimmich is one who could make the headlines this summer.

    Kimmich's two goals against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals give an idea of what to expect from a player able to play in the centre or to the right of midfield, but who has developed into an attacking right back.

    An article on the Bundesliga official website calls Kimmich a “Swiss army knife” of a player; able to carry out numerous tasks. This summer could be the moment he confirms himself as one of the best forward-looking defenders in the world.



    James Rodriguez

    James Rodriguez shares the Bayern Munich dressing room with Kimmich and knows his style of play well, but James will again be one of the lynchpins for the Colombian national team in Russia.

    The top-scorer in the 2014 World Cup, James joined Bayern on loan from Real Madrid at the start of the 2017-18 season after being squeezed out at the Bernabeu by Isco and Marco Asensio. In the Spanish League at least, Real Madrid have missed James' ability to create chances as well as the average of one goal every three games that he has guaranteed wherever he plays.

    Although James is left-footed, he performs better in a central role, where he has room to cut inside to unleash his powerful shot.

    He's also able to dribble past opponents and is also deadly from set pieces. Four years after being the top-scorer in Brazil, Colombia's poster boy is ready to perform again.



    Mohamed Salah

    Egypt have a real chance of reaching the last 16 of this World Cup, but whether or not they are able to get out of a group containing Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia, depends on if Mohamed Salah will be at his best.

    Salah's stellar performances in Europe was vital in taking Liverpool to the Champions League final and when you add that to his 32 goals in 36 Premier League games, he has quickly become one of the best players on the planet.

    He can play as a second striker or lead the line on the right wing, but his confidence in front of goal means the closer he is to the opposition's penalty area the better.

    Salah's Champions League final came to an early end after a cynical Sergio Ramos foul injured his shoulder. Although the signs are hopeful he will recover in time, some doubt has to remain over his match fitness.

    NAMPA/XINHUA

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    US trains Namibians in bomb disposalUS trains Namibians in bomb disposal Fifteen Namibian defence and police force members successfully completed an explosive ordinance disposal course led by navy instructors of the US Africa Command in May.

    The training of the ten members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and five female members of the police force forms part of the US government's humanitarian mine action (HMA) programme, and took place at the NDF military base at Otavi from 7 May to 31 May.

    The danger of explosives was illustrated recently when the Namibian police confirmed the death of an 11-year-old boy, Petrus Shitenu, who was killed in the Ohangwena Region in May, after a grenade that he and other children were playing with, exploded.

    The training's main focus was on detection, identification, and disposal of explosive remnants of war, to include landmines, grenades, rockets, and artillery shells.

    Medical training, including first-aid, self-aid, and buddy care was also provided.

    Each participant received a certificate of completion for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Level 1 course of instruction.

    The American HMA programme provides humanitarian mine action assistance to countries suffering from the presence of persistent landmines, which maim and kill innocents, obstruct emergency assistance activities, hamper economic development, and impede free movement of citizens.

    Training through the HMA programme is held twice a year and the next iteration is tentatively scheduled for 10 September through 5 October 2018.

    “We appreciate the hospitality of the Namibian Defence Force in hosting the US Navy training team, and are honoured to be a part of the enduring cooperation between the US Naval Forces Africa and the NDF and the Namibian police,” Lieutenant William Greathouse, the team leader, said during the EOD training.

    US Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of six of the American defence deparment's regional military headquarters and has administrative responsibility for US military support to US government policy in Africa, to include military-to-military relationships with 54 African nations.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 06/10/18--16:00: Aiding increased development
  • Aiding increased developmentAiding increased developmentIthete digs into Public Procurement Act Much has been achieved in the past year in terms of the implementation of the Public Procurement Act and all needed bodies are operational. The Public Procurement Act (PPA) is a catalytic instrument for local economic development which is embedded in the national policy plans, said the deputy minister of finance, Natange Ithete.

    The deputy minister told CEOs attending the third annual general meeting of the public enterprises' CEOs forum in Swakopmund that the new Act gave birth to the central procurement board (CPB) of Namibia, creating opportunities for Namibia's industrial and trade policy development to drive intervention on domestic productive capacity and industrialisation. It has been in operation since 31 May last year.

    Ithete said the decision to entrust a centralised body with the responsibility to handle all high-value procurement in the public sector went a long way towards providing for greater transparency, fairness and accountability in the system.

    He pointed out that in terms of this legislation, structures namely the procurement policy unit (PPU), central procurement board (CPB) and the review panel (RP), have been set up. On public entity level, structures, namely the procurement committee (PC), procurement management unit (PMU), and the ad-hoc bid evaluation committee (BEC), have also been created. The CPB replaced the tender board and conducts procurement processes for major contracts as determined by the thresholds prescribed in the public procurement regulations.

    The CPB dealt mostly with transitional matters emanating from the transitional provisions during the past year. Ithete said bidding processes that were not finalised before the commencement of the Public Procurement Act 2015 need to be resolved as a matter of urgency as they might result in extensions and price increases. He added that a review panel, which acts as an ad-hoc panel responsible for the adjudication of review applications lodged by aggrieved bidders, was established to reduce the number of court challenges in respect of grievances from bidder.

    “To avoid unnecessary and undesirable delays in any procurement process and experienced in the past, the PPA made it mandatory that all review matters are heard by the review panel before approaching the High Court of Namibia.”

    The RP is also responsible for blacklisting and the suspension of bidders found guilty of any misconduct interims of the Act.

    “The RP adjudicated 12 cases of review during the 2017/18 financial year. Weekly adjudication meetings were conducted. The CPB has undertaken contract management and monitoring visits to critical projects. The PPU registered over 127 internal procurement structures at public entities level.” Ithete said the implementation of the PPA did not come without its hurdles.

    He listed a lack of both human and capital resources as challenges experienced.

    “The field of procurement requires specialised skills in order to fully be operational. Finding the personnel with the required skills has been a challenging task not only in Namibia but across various developing nations. There is also need for constant training to be carried out by the Procurement Policy Unit.”

    He further said that there has been resistance toward the Procurement Act amongst the public and officials due to lack of understanding hence, all stakeholders have to work in collaboration towards understanding and implementing the Act.

    Successes recorded thus far include training conducted for over 2 400 public officials throughout all 14 regions by the PPU. The second phase of training commenced in 4 June and will last to November 2018.

    “The successes recorded overshadow the challenges. The Act has been built on international best practices and experiences of both developed and developing countries. Government is striving to ensure that industries and businesses have sufficient prospects through participation in the Public Procurement Act and thereafter, can significantly contribute towards economic growth and poverty alleviation,” concluded Ithete.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Local CEO invited to apply for Stanford transformation programmeLocal CEO invited to apply for Stanford transformation programmeAims to create jobs Building on the success of the first cohort of business leaders from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa to participate in the Stanford Seed Transformation Program, Southern Africa, and recruitment has commenced for the next cohort of the highly competitive program. “By challenging business leaders to assess their company’s vision, to redefine strategies, and to make ambitious changes to their business, transformation is realised even before completion of the training,” says Jeff Prickett, director for global operations at Stanford University. The application deadline is 01 July 2018, and those accepted will begin their program in January 2019.

    Local chief executive officers and company founders are strongly encouraged to apply for the second cohort of the Stanford Seed Transformation Program, Southern Africa, which is a collaboration between Stanford Graduate School of Business and De Beers Group.

    The programme is a high-touch learning experience aimed at empowering established business leaders in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa - De Beers Group producer countries in Africa. Participants will undertake a 12-month intensive leadership program that includes sessions on strategy and finance, business ethics, and design thinking, all taught by world renowned Stanford faculty and local business practitioners. The program is exclusively for business owners of for-profit companies or for-profit social enterprises with annual company revenues of US$150 000 – US$15million.

    “By challenging business leaders to assess their company’s vision, to redefine strategies, and to make ambitious changes to their business, transformation is realised even before completion of the training,” says Jeff Prickett, director for global operations at Stanford University. Because leaders gain critical tools to grow their companies and create jobs, they in turn will lead their regions to greater prosperity, Prickett explained. The program is heavily subsidised through philanthropic contributions.

    The inaugural cohort began classes earlier this year and consists of 20 participants: 15 from Botswana, 3 from South Africa and 2 from Namibia.

    Stanford University, founded in 1891 in Palo Alto, California, USA, is one of the world’s leading teaching universities. Located in the heart of tech-rich Silicon Valley, its graduates have founded established global entities such as Nike, eBay, SnapChat, Yahoo, Cisco, and many more.

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    Murray & Roberts asks antitrust body to restrict ATON voting rightsMurray & Roberts asks antitrust body to restrict ATON voting rights Murray & Roberts has asked South Africa’s competition authorities to block its biggest shareholder from fully exercising its voting rights in its proposed tie-up with rival construction firm Aveng, its spokesman said on Friday.

    Last month, the construction firm snubbed a takeover offer from ATON, its biggest shareholder, in favour of its own deal with Aveng.

    Murray & Roberts asked the Competition Tribunal to restrict ATON’s voting rights to the stake it held before launching the rejected takeover offer in March.

    At the time, ATON held around 29% stake, and has since raised that to roughly 44%.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Ondangwa defends mayor's plot allocationOndangwa defends mayor's plot allocation The Ondangwa town council has defended its decision to allocate three business plots to Huhu City, a company owned by the town's mayor, Paavo Amwele, saying he had applied for plots before he was elected as councillor.

    Notices were placed in newspapers last week announcing that the council had approved the sale of three business erven in Extension 23 to Amwele's company for N$229 856.

    Council spokesperson Petrina Shitalangaho told Namibian Sun that there was nothing wrong with the allocation of plots to Amwele's company, as it was done procedurally.

    Shitalangaho explained that Huhu City had applied for 20 000 square metres of land for business purposes on 19 December 2014. The plots in question were approved at a council meeting on 22 October 2015.

    She said that was before Amwele became a town councillor in December 2015.

    Most of the officials currently employed by the council were not working there in 2015 either, so Amwele could not have influenced the decision, she added.

    She further explained that when Amwele was presented his provisional letter in 2014, he could not develop the plots as it was part of the agreement that he could only buy them from the council once they were serviced.

    “By then the land was not serviced and there were conditions that he could only buy that land if it was serviced,” she said.

    Amwele had specified that the plots he wanted should be near the Ondangwa airport but that area was not serviced.

    Shitalangaho said Amwele wrote a letter to the council earlier this year asking about the progress made with his plots.

    She said the council then took a resolution on 18 May this year to rather grant him the three plots in Extension 23.

    Asked whether Amwele was present during the deliberations, Shitalangaho said the mayor was excused.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Taxi union demands 50% fare increaseTaxi union demands 50% fare increase The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) is demanding a 50% taxi fare increase in three phases, starting in July and ending in December this year.

    The increase would mean that the minimum taxi fare of N$10 will jump to N$15 per trip by December.

    On Friday, a letter issued by NTTU president Werner Januarie announced that instead of the 20% increase the union had been calling for over the past year, a 50% increase was needed because of fuel price hikes and the high cost of car maintenance.

    “NTTU has observed very carefully the increment on fuel and spare parts for the general maintenance of vehicles, as well as of customer goods. Thus we confidently state here, those prices rose more than six times over the past four years, since the last taxi fare hike.”

    The letter, addressed to transport minister John Mutorwa, proposed that a first increase in taxi fares should become effective on Monday, 2 July, the second to be implemented at the beginning of October, and the final increase at the beginning of December.

    The letter stated that the union viewed the incremental 50% fare increase as “reasonable for taxi operators and long-distance buses to cover the running costs of their business”.

    Further, it stated that the price increase would enable taxi drivers to “properly maintain their families and meet their obligations”.

    “Due to high inflation it is very difficult to maintain commercial vehicles such as taxi and buses. The running costs of our business are very high,” Januarie wrote.

    Januarie said the increase was “not to punish the customers but to enable the taxi operators to be able to at least cover the running costs of their business and be able to pay their employees – the taxi drivers – well.”

    The request to Mutorwa to sanction a 50% fare hike follows the NTTU's threat of instigating legal proceedings against the transport minister.

    In a statement to Namibian Sun at the end of May, Januarie said the union had decided to announce on 17 June its plans to take the government to court because of its dissatisfaction with the ministry's response to demands made during the taxi strike in April and subsequent meetings with the minister and other sector role players.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Clampdown on illegal sand miningClampdown on illegal sand miningEnvironment ministry takes action The illegal collection of building sand without environmental clearance is punishable by a fine of N$500 000 or 25 years in prison, traditional authorities have been warned. Environmental commissioner Theofilus Nghitila has read the riot act to the Uukwambi Traditional Authority, which has been condoning illegal sand mining for decades.

    Last month Namibian Sun ran a series of articles on illegal sand mining, which is a lucrative business all over the country where companies mine sand for free or pay a small fee to traditional authorities and then make huge profits from sales to building contractors in towns.

    By law, anyone wishing to mine sand for commercial purposes in Namibia needs an environmental clearance certificate, for which consulting the affected community is a prerequisite. Most existing sand-mining operations do not have this clearance.

    Nghitila had a meeting with the leadership of the Uukwambi Traditional Authority where he emphasised the illegality of sand mining in their area and informed them how a clearance certificate is obtained.

    Nghitila informed the traditional authority of the Environmental Management Act, which clearly states that the mining of sand for commercial purposes without the appropriate permission is punishable by law just like any other crime.

    He said the environment ministry had asked the inspector-general of the Namibian police to instruct regional police commanders to help clamp down on illegal sand mining.

    He said perpetrators who are found guilty of this crime are liable to be fined N$500 000 or sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment.

    “Mining sand for commercial purpose is something you cannot do without an environmental clearance certificate, the act is clear on that,” Nghitila emphasised.

    “We do not want to stand in the way of development, but we are protecting the environment as mandated by the law,” Nghitila said.

    He said the environment ministry cannot combat this crime alone and all stakeholders should help to put a stop to it.

    “We need you as the traditional authority, as well as the stakeholders, to make an end to sand mining in our country. Sand is a precious commodity meaning that once it's gone, we will have nowhere to get it from in the future,” Nghitila said.

    “The land is yours but we must use it in a manner that our people benefit from it. We cannot afford to exploit it.”

    Nghitila said if people allowed companies to extract sand from their mahangu fields, it could plunge them into poverty.

    “The moment you give away your mahangu field for N$300 to someone to mine the sand, just bear in mind that that money will be finished quickly and all you will be left with is a sand pit. This means you will have very little left of your productive mahangu field and your family will be subjected to poverty,” Nghitila warned.





    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Southern Africa's finest cash in on CosafaSouthern Africa's finest cash in on Cosafa Bafana Bafana collected R100 000 in prize money after winning the Plate final for the second consecutive year at the Cosafa tournament in Polokwane.

    Zimbabwe, who defeated Zambia 4-2 in a thrilling final, took home the main prize of R500 000 while the men from Lusaka pocketed with R250 000.

    Lesotho, who ended in third spot, collected R150 000 with fourth-placed Madagascar claiming R125 000.

    Madagascar's inspirational midfielder Andriamirado Andrianarimanana was named as the player of the tournament with Zimbabwean No 1 Chigova deservedly earning the goalkeeper of the tournament award.

    Polokwane City goalkeeper Chigova saved a total of five penalties in the quarterfinal and semi-final shoot-outs against Botswana and Lesotho.'

    He also received a further R100 000 from Zimbabwean businessman and staunch national team supporter Wicknell Chivayo for his efforts that brought pride to the Zimbabwean nation.

    Botswana striker Onkabetse Makgantai finished as the leading goal scorer in the tournament with five goals in six games.

    NAMPA/ANA

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    Namibians at Russia World CupNamibians at Russia World CupMoscow here they come Four Namibians have left for Moscow for the exciting curtain-raiser to the World Cup. The Namibia Football Association (NFA) will for the first time send four delegates to attend the 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) camp.

    Shanel Nakurua, Thandi Mabuza, Michael Situde and Antonoitt Tsuses will form part of initiative that brings together young people from 211 countries and encourages them to play the game while upholding the values of friendship, equality, peace and respect.

    F4F is organised by official partner of FIFA and major sponsor of the World Cup Russia 2018, Gazprom.

    Shanel Nakurua (11) is a grade six learner at Pionierspark Primary School and she has been selected to attend the camp as a junior journalist, while Thandi Mabuza (12) is a soccer player and schools at Emma Hoogenhout.

    The young duos are excited and looking forward to the camp.

    Antonoitt Tsuses will go as an official guardian for the duo and Michael Situde will be heading the delegation.

    The sixth season of the F4F programme will conclude with a visit by the participating children to the opening ceremony and the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2018, to be contested between host Russia and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium on June 14.

    Speaking on the selection of the young ambassadors, Congress member of the Namibia Football Association, Michael Situde, said: “The selection of the young ambassadors from Namibia is an extension of our support to this unique global initiative. The programme is a wonderful opportunity for the ambassadors to build ties of friendship among children from around the world and foster peace and harmony through the beautiful game of football. We wish our young ambassadors all the best for the programme and look forward to their contribution in promoting the key values of the programme, in Russia, as well as in Namibia.”

    The Football for Friendship programme has been organised by PJSC Gazprom since 2013 and has grown from eight participating countries to 211 today. The programme is supported by FIFA, UEFA, International Olympic Committee, football federations of various countries, international children's charity funds, and the world's leading football clubs.

    NFA

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    Maritz Transport and CRP sponsor EnduroMaritz Transport and CRP sponsor EnduroUis set for round three Enduro riders' skills will be put to the test yet again when they battle for number one spots at Uis next weekend. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA



    Round three of the Namibian Enduro championship will take place on 16 June at the small town of Uis at the foot of the Brandberg Mountain.

    This race is always a favourite among riders and fans, as it offers a wide variety of terrain and has excellent viewpoints for spectators.

    Starting in the old tin mine outside Uis, the race course consists of boulder fields, high dunes and fast riverbeds.

    The mix of terrain always allows for close racing as some competitors excel in more technical terrain and others fare better in the faster parts of the tracks. It will again be a game of seconds.

    The open class was again a close affair between Henner Rusch and Marcel Henle in 2017.

    Henle ended beat Rusch by a slender margin of 20 seconds, with Pascal Henle 23 minutes behind the leading duo.

    This year is set for another close affair between Rusch and Henle, with the race for third place being between Nickel Visser, Heiko Stranghohner, Kai Hennes and possibly Pascal Henle.

    The race for the master class will pit points leader Werner Wiese against second-placed Joern Greiter.

    The faster nature of the track should suit Wiese. The winner of the first race of the season, Ingo Waldschmidt, is set to line up as well. Waldschmidt won the first race of the season, but crashed out of the second race while leading.

    Third place in round two, Ronald Geiger, will be hoping for a strong performance to close the championship gap to Martin Kruger.

    The clubman class will be a tight race between Oliver Rohrmuller, Jaco Husselman and rookie Quinton van Rooyen.

    Van Rooyen showed impressive pace in round two, finishing in a fine second place to Jaco Husselman.

    Rohrmuller managed a third-place finish in round two after a penalty robbed him of first place.

    The large field competing in the rookie class will be facing fast, flowing tracks and are sure to enjoy the track.

    Championship leader JL Opperman and Rhys Cragg, second in points, will do battle once again.

    Axel Foerster will also look for a good finish to strengthen his grip on third place in the championship.

    Class 11, the class for competitors under 14 years of age, will be equally exciting. After trading wins in the first two rounds Dylan Hilfiker and Zoey Waldschmitt are equal on points coming into round three.

    Andre Barnard, currently in third place in the championship, will hope for a better finish this time round after he did not finish round two.

    - Additional reporting by Enduro

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  • 06/10/18--16:00: Cosafa needs transformation
  • Cosafa needs transformationCosafa needs transformation It is with great displeasure that I write this about the appalling Council of Southern Africa Associations (Cosafa) tournament that was played in South Africa.

    As far as I can remember, this tournament used to be big and attracted quality players throughout the years.

    But I have observed that it has become more of a development tournament than the senior challenge it used to be.

    The fact that most of the teams are fielding their second squads or even under-23s has made the tournament a bit boring.

    The quality of football on display is way below par given that most of the teams are using this tournament to test new players.

    This has resulted in teams playing at empty stadiums because the fans are not interested in watching unfamiliar players.

    South Africa has always been known for its great support towards football and the magical vuvuzelas.

    However this tournament was more or less like there was only one vuvuzela in an entire stadium when South Africa played Namibia.

    It was surprising that even the host nation could not attract fans on their own home turf.

    In the past, nations fielded their best players and the competition produced fierce and entertaining rivalries.

    Stadiums were packed to capacity, given the format in which the tournament was previously played.

    Nations used to play home and away games, which had positive impacts on the brand and quality of football played.

    The tournament structure has changed and the tournament is now played in one specific country every year.

    It is therefore important that the administrators of the tournament change their approach towards this competition to prevent it dying a slow death.

    I understand that the competition is indeed recognised by FIFA, but it is not played during the FIFA calendar dates.

    This is said to be one of the reasons why players plying their trade abroad are reluctant to play in the competition.

    The clubs where these players play are also not releasing them on time because they do not see the importance of the tournament.

    That is why it is important that the tournament is shifted to FIFA calendar dates in order to allow professional players to join their teams.

    The other thing is that coaches must hype up the tournament by encouraging their top players to do whatever it takes to be part of the team.

    I mean, there are under-17 and under-20 Cosafa tournaments already.

    Therefore, I do not see the need why they have to use these younger boys to represent the countries at senior level while they can develop them in the junior tournaments.

    If the current format of playing the tournament in one country is not working, they must weigh in the options of reverting to the old home-and-away structure.

    I believe that more hype should be created about the tournament months before it starts to create a fever similar to other bigger competitions.

    I do believe Namibia did a great job when they hosted the tournament in 2016 because the marketing of the competition was on another level.

    I think South Africa has been given too many opportunities to host this tournament in the last four years and it is about time the organisers look to other countries capable of hosting the tournament.

    If none of this is done, this tournament will lose its value and it would be a mammoth task to revive it.

    The fans of southern African football have to make this competition exciting by attending games even if their nations are not playing on the day.



    jesse@namibiansun.com

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  • 06/10/18--16:00: Heroism amidst tragedy
  • Heroism amidst tragedyHeroism amidst tragedyTulonga Neputa becomes national hero Without thinking, Tulonga Neputa saw a baby lying next to the mangled wreck of a bakkie and, ignoring all warnings of an impending explosion, she ran to save the child. Amidst the tragic deaths of 13 people within the span of little more than a day on Namibian roads last week, a Namibian hero emerged, praised nationally and internationally for rescuing an eight-month-old baby boy, the sole survivor of a horror crash on Thursday afternoon between Windhoek and Okahandja in which five people died.

    In a video that went viral last week, a group of colleagues can be heard arriving at the site of the crash shortly after it took place.

    A baby can be seen lying in the road next to the wreckage of a Volkswagen Amarok bakkie, and a male voice urges: “Quickly, someone get the baby.”

    The voice of a woman later identified as Tulonga Neputa is heard saying in response, “I need to get the baby. Let me go get the baby.”

    Seconds later, Neputa is seen running towards the mangled vehicle, despite worried warnings from her colleagues, protesting that it was too risky, as the vehicle could explode at any second.

    “Tulonga, don't go there! The car will burn!”

    On Friday, during a conversation with Neputa, she shrugged off the accolades of heroism.

    “I am not a hero. Other people lost their lives. I just did what I needed to do,” she said. She explained that when she and her colleagues arrived at the scene, they immediately spotted eight-month-old Dex Geiger lying on the ground next to the Amarok he had been travelling in with his grandfather.

    “It was all dust and smoke everywhere. As we approached the wreckage of the bakkie, I looked down and saw a baby lying on the ground, on his back. He was crying uncontrollably at the time. My mother's instinct just kicked in. I just wanted to get out of that car and get that baby. That is all that was on my mind.”

    After Neputa picked up the shocked infant, he stopped crying, clinging to his rescuer.

    Neputa said her first instinct was to hold him tight. “I kissed him and I soothed him, and I told him all will be fine.”

    She carried the baby to the car she had arrived in and “wiped the blood off his face. There was some on his nose and his mouth.”

    Soon after, she handed over the child to paramedics who arrived at the scene.

    Neputa, who was praised and thanked by thousands over the weekend for her quick and selfless response, told Namibian Sun she was relieved to hear that the baby's parents were not involved in the crash, and that he could be reunited with them.

    She added: “God is glory. It was all about being there at the right time, at the right place.”

    She also pleaded with Namibians to stop speeding and to be aware of other road users.

    “So many lives are being lost on our roads, sometimes because of our own negligence. People have to change their attitudes. We are losing mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, everyone else.”



    Scenes of death

    Over the weekend it was reported that Dex Geiger was in a stable condition and had been reunited with his parents, Nadja and Jurgen Geiger.

    The Namibian police confirmed that his grandfather, Frank Joachim Heger (58), had died in the accident.

    Dozens of tributes went out to Heger over the weekend, including one by the Ministry of Land Reform who hailed him as a “Namibian icon”.

    Heger, who had served on the ministry's Land Reform Advisory Commission from 2013 until the time of his death, was hailed by the ministry for “his knowledge and noble input” which made a “significant impact in the land reform programme and it will be remembered in the ministry with gratitude.”

    He was also a stalwart in the hunting industry.

    The police confirmed that all four occupants of the BMW that had collided with the Amarok died at the scene.

    Two of the deceased were identified as Nikodemus Iyambo (40) and Eric Patson Mbago. The names of the other two have not yet been released.

    Various reports on social media, unconfirmed by authorities at the time of going to print, stated that the accident was the result of speeding by the BMW driver, which led to a tyre burst and loss of control of the vehicle, causing the car to collide head-on with the Amarok.

    Further unconfirmed reports alleged that the BMW was using a spare wheel that is limited to a speed of 80km/h.

    The police further confirmed the identities of the deceased in an accident that took place between Mariental and Keetmanshoop on Wednesday between a bus carrying 35 passengers and a Nissan bakkie.

    All four occupants of the bakkie died instantly. They were identified as Asor Takataeo Baisako (38), Regina Katzao (59), Helena Naambo Shihwandu (30), and Kassian Mwaafa Nambondi (32).

    A third accident, which happened between Rehoboth and Windhoek late Thursday afternoon, allegedly also after a tyre burst, led to the loss of another four lives.

    They were identified as Mercia Maria Jantze (47), Magrieta Van Wyk (41), Max Marcelo Owoseb (3) and Jenny Josef (18).



    Tyre safety

    All three accidents were related to burst tyres, and experts have urged drivers to be more aware of tyre maintenance before driving long distances.

    Aubrey Oosthuizen from the West Coast Safety Initiative told Namibian Sun that the importance of tyre safety is neglected by many drivers, who too often buy non-branded tyres from unscrupulous dealers.

    “Only buy from reputable, well-known dealers and brands. Find out the specifications of tyres and about tyre safety, and their speed ratings. They can give guidance,” he said.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Botswana cancels plans to sell troubled power plantBotswana cancels plans to sell troubled power plantCancels deal with Chinese firm Botswana has scrapped talks to sell a power station plagued by technical problems to a state-owned Chinese company linked to the plant’s builder, an official document seen by Reuters showed. “The board has approved the request for authority to cancel the tender for divestment of government of Botswana and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) financial interest in Morupule B,”- Botswana’s Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) The 600-megawatt coal-fired Morupule B plant, which was commissioned in 2012 and built by China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) at a cost of US$970 million, has often broken down, leading to a reliance on diesel generators and imports from South Africa.

    Botswana has been in exclusive negotiations since November 2016 to sell the plant to state-owned China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which is related to CNEEC.

    In a notice seen by Reuters on Friday, the African country’s Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) said it had approved a request from the Ministry of Energy to cancel the sale tender.

    “The board has approved the request for authority to cancel the tender for divestment of government of Botswana and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) financial interest in Morupule B,” read the notice.

    Government officials were not immediately available to comment.

    Power generation at Morupule B has improved in the last year due to remedial works and it currently operates at about 81 percent capacity, helping the power utility reduce imports.

    Botswana has a maximum electricity demand of 520 MW, which is seen rising by 65 percent in the next seven years to 856 MW in 2025.

    Cancellation of the Morupule B tender comes after a planned $800 million expansion of the coal-fired power plant by Japan’s Marubeni Corp and South Korea’s Posco Energy stalled due to a disagreement over terms.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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