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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 771 | 772 | (Page 773) | 774 | 775 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 06/12/18--16:00: Totem
  • TotemTotem Quote of the day

    Eskom has been designated as an essential service provider, and therefore our employees are reminded that they are not allowed to participate in strike actions - Eskom

    Stat

    7

    Entities including corporates have donated to the Support In Namibia of Albinism Sufferers Requiring Assistance (SINASRA) in 2018.

    -SINASRA website

    Focus

    Budget

    New land purchase projects

    Government has allocated N$64.3 million in 2018/2019 towards new projects under the land reform ministry’s Land Purchase and Ownership programme.

    -Development budget

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    Underpricing costs Angola’s diamond gem millionsUnderpricing costs Angola’s diamond gem millions The current marketing process, where diamonds are sold to 'preferential buyers', destroys the value for the producer and the government. Catoca presentation Stephen Eisenhammer – Angola's Catoca, the world's fifth largest diamond mine, estimates it lost US$464 million over the past six years due to a government-imposed marketing system that obliged it to sell production below international prices, a company presentation seen by Reuters showed.

    The figure was presented during a private meeting in March between the diamond industry and the minister for natural resources and oil, Diamantino Azevedo.

    President João Lourenço has vowed to reform Angola's secretive diamond industry in order to increase production and improve returns as Africa’s second largest oil producer looks to diversify its economy.

    Despite being the world's fifth-largest producer of diamonds, major international miners have largely shunned Angola due to unattractive investment terms.

    All production in Angola must be sold through state-owned diamond trading company Sodiam, which makes the stones available to buyers of its choosing.

    ‘Preferential buyers’

    Two industry sources with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters that under the previous government of Jose Eduardo dos Santos these "preferential buyers" were often politically connected and able to negotiate prices below fair value.

    Producers are not able to sell their diamonds independently.

    "The current marketing process, where diamonds are sold to 'preferential buyers', destroys the value for the producer (less revenue) and the government (less tax)," the presentation dated March 16 said.

    Angola's state diamond company Endiama, of which Sodiam is a subsidiary, did not respond to telephone and email requests for comment.

    According to the presentation, diamonds from Catoca were on average sold for 24% below market prices over the last six years up to and including 2017.

    A spokesman for the ministry of natural resources and oil confirmed the presentation had been made to the minister.

    "The minister declared the necessity to find a more balanced model in which everyone wins and the producers are not the most impaired," he said in an emailed response.

    The spokesman declined to comment on allegations that preferred buyers were often politically connected individuals.

    Shareholders

    Russia's Alrosa and Angola's state diamond company Endiama each own 41% of Catoca, which produces three quarters of all Angola's diamonds. LL International Holding B.V. owns 18%.

    Alrosa did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters was unable to reach LL International Holding B.V.

    "It does not stimulate producers to increase their production or invest in exploration," the presentation adds of the marketing system.

    Last week, on a visit to the diamond trading city of Antwerp in Belgium, Lourenço said Angola would shortly unveil a new business framework for the sector that would help to attract investment and overhaul the current marketing arrangement.

    Since taking power in September, Lourenço has moved to open up sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest economy, pushing a new investment law through parliament and introducing attractive new terms for the oil and gas industry.

    Much of the country's diamond prospects remain under-explored due to 27 years of civil war and a closed, difficult business environment since fighting ended in 2002. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 06/12/18--16:00: Avid kingpin a 'broken' man
  • Avid kingpin a 'broken' manAvid kingpin a 'broken' man One of the Avid fraud kingpins, Nico Josea, says he is a broken man. Testifying in mitigation of sentence yesterday in the High Court, Josea said he realises the seriousness of the offences of which he was convicted.

    He said he was a broken man - spiritually and physically - and pleaded in tears for leniency from the court.

    “I am really sorry for what had happened. Be merciful to me. I did not know it would be this way today. I leave everything in the capable hands of my lordship,” Josea said to Judge Christie Liebenberg.

    His lawyer Slysken Makando said his client is a first-time offender and urged the court not to adopt and eye-for-eye attitude towards him.

    “The society we will be having under such circumstances is a blind society,” he argued, while pleading for a substantial portion of Josea's sentence to be suspended.

    The state called for appropriate sentences to be meted out to the five accused who have been found guilty of their part in the Avid/Social Security Commission (SSC) saga.

    State advocate Ed Marondedze said former deputy minister Paulus Kapia, Inez /Gâses, Ralph Blaauw, his wife Sharon and Josea all played their part in the disappearance of the N$30 million from the SSC.

    They had claimed in 2005 that the money would be transferred for investment, but it had ended up somewhere else.

    “The effect of not investing the money has caused potential prejudice to the SCC and three of the accused (Kapia, /Gâses and Ralph Blaauw) did not provide an explanation to the commission,” Marondedze said.

    “It is not in dispute that the money went missing.”

    Marondedze argued the three accused were indecisive about how the money should be invested.

    “They relinquished their duties and therefore their moral blameworthiness is very high,” he said. Marondedze said the evidence was that SSC managers did not want to deal with Avid founder, the late Lazarus Kandara, when investing the commission's funds.

    He said Kandara's involvement in Avid was then shielded from the SSC.

    When the SSC transferred the money into Avid's account, Kandara transferred it to the account of Namangol Investments, where Josea was the director and shareholder.

    “Josea further transferred the money to Allan Rosenberg in South Africa and the rest is history,” Marondedze said.

    “These are the snake's heads and they must be hit hard. They occasioned the loss,” Marondedze said of Kapia, /Gâses and Ralph Blaauw.

    He said they had shown no remorse for what Kandara had done.

    “They all along denied his involvement.”

    Marondedze submitted the court should not treat Kapia with “kid gloves” and that he, /Gâses and Blaauw were not acting for the benefit of the country, but for their private pockets.

    “The three were not forthcoming. They kept Kandara under their arms. There is no way they can expect a soft landing from the court in a case of this nature,” he argued.

    Referring to suffering that the accused endured due to the long drawn-out trial, Marondedze argued this was as a consequence of the case.

    “This should not make this court shy away from imposing the appropriate sentences,” he maintained.

    According to him, when a court deals with fraud, involving potential or factual losses, it should look at the accused's role or purpose to determine whether they lived up to expectations or not.

    “If we look at Kapia, he had a brilliant career. But did he live up to expectations? No! A lot was expected from him. He was supposed to lead by example. He was a member of parliament, where he was supposed to be in the driving seat of the country,” Marondedze argued.

    Kapia was forced to resign as deputy works minister in August 2005.

    Marondedze argued that society looked up to some of the accused as leaders, but they were used by Kandara and Josea and abdicated their responsibility towards the society.

    “That should weigh heavily against them,” he argued.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 06/12/18--16:00: Govt called out on RCC
  • Govt called out on RCCGovt called out on RCCClaims private firms to rake in billions Fritz Jacobs, who tried in vain to save the RCC from judicial management, says private sector players are ready to move in and feast on billions in tenders. Outgoing Roads Contractor Company (RCC) board chairperson Fritz Jacobs claims there are deliberate plans to do away with the parastatal in order to favour private sector interests in the country.

    The beleaguered chairman, who has come under fire for brokering a N$580 million funding deal with a Chinese company in order to keep the RCC afloat, resigned together with fellow board member Elsie Skrywer yesterday, following a cabinet decision to follow through on placing the entity under judicial management.

    “The plan to close the RCC and start a new RCC-type public entity will cost the country far more than N$2.5 billion and more time… in the meantime, there will be players who will move into the vacuum and capitalise on the billions of investments earmarked in the roads development plan of the country,” Jacobs said.

    He and Skrywer's resignations follow those of Anna Mathebele as RCC board vice-chairperson, Elzevir Gelderbloem and Melkizedek Uupindi as board members.

    “The company most certainly can be turned around. It is a company with great potential,” Jacobs said.

    “I firmly believe in the future of the RCC.”

    Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste yesterday dismissed the allegation raised by Jacobs, saying there were no discussions held at cabinet level that suggest a new RCC would be created.

    A decision had been taken in 2017 to place the RCC under judicial management, with Jooste making the announcement at the time.

    “Under judicial management, the board is effectively disempowered and the company is managed under the judicial manager. Executive management usually continues as usual, other than the CEO,” explained Jooste.

    When asked if there is a possibility that the judicial management bid could be opposed by interest groups, such as employees and trade unions, Jooste said “no”.



    Chinese deal off

    The cabinet committee on overall policies and priorities last week reversed a decision to allow the RCC board to rescue the embattled parastatal, and has finally decided to go back to its original plan to place it under judicial management.

    The announcement was made by works minister John Mutorwa following the conclusion of a committee meeting that decided it would be better to go down the original route of judicial management.

    Under judicial management, a manager is appointed by the Master of the High Court to among others, try and steer the entity out of trouble. If it cannot be rescued, it will be liquidated.

    The board of the RCC, led by Jacobs, was given a chance to revive the RCC, and entered into a deal with Chinese construction firm Jiangsu Nantong Sanjian.

    Under the deal with the Chinese entity, the RCC arranged off-balance sheet financing from Jiangsu to the tune of N$580 million, which would have seen the Chinese company raking in over N$2 billion in contracts for an initial loan outlay of N$580 million.

    The partnership would have stretched over 14 years, with a five-year repayment period at 15% interest per year.

    The arrangement also stated that Nantong Sanjian would become the RCC's major partner in the projects.

    However, cabinet stopped the RCC board dead in its tracks from entering into the arrangement, following its failure to seek advice from the attorney-general and the approval of the line ministry.

    This prompted the cabinet committee to direct the works ministry to prepare affidavits to support the RCC's judicial management court application.

    “The decision was intact, taken in September 2017 already. The bill has been approved in principle by cabinet and is ready to be tabled by the minister of transport. The minister of transport will table the bill since he is the current shareholder minister as defined in the RCC Act,” said Jooste.



    PS in hot water

    Cabinet had initially directed Mutorwa to consider dismissing the RCC board, while secretary to cabinet, George Simataa was asked to take disciplinary action against works permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann.

    Goeiemann is accused of withholding vital information regarding the RCC-China deal from Mutorwa.

    “I asked him (Goeiemann) why he never shared the agreement with me and all he told was that he got the document with difficulty. I told him that even if he had got the document with difficulty he should have at least shared it with me,” Mutorwa told weekly Confidente last week.

    When approached for comment by the newspaper, Goeiemann did not deny that he had not shared the document with Mutorwa.

    “I was also given the agreement a day or two before Mutorwa got it,” he said.

    The RCC has also been instructed to provide the minister of finance with updated financial statements to enable treasury to determine whether salaries of employees should be paid until the judicial management process is satisfactorily and successfully completed, Mutorwa said in statement released on Monday.

    With the ball now in Mutorwa's court, the works minister did not say when he would start making arrangements for the tabling of the judicial management bill.

    According to Mutorwa, it will be business as usual for the RCC, in the meantime.

    “The RCC as an organisation will continue with its projects and there will be no disruptions. The RCC as a juristic body is not dissolved,” Mutorwa said.

    The works minister also provided his assurance that CEO Seth Herunga would not be affected, saying: “The RCC CEO is an appointee of the board. The outgoing board did not raise any complaints against the CEO, thus the CEO position is not affected.”

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    Mbidi rubs shoulders with starsMbidi rubs shoulders with starsAll systems go for Russia World Cup The NFA president has urged Namibians to rally behind the five African teams at the global spectacle: Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia. Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi is among the global football administrators who will witness the opening ceremony of the 2018 Russia World Cup today, while mingling with some of the famous footballing faces of today and yesteryear.

    “I have met so many important people here in Russia and now they are aware that a country like Namibia does exist,” Mbidi said.

    He attended a Fifa congress yesterday where North America was awarded the right to host the 2026 World Cup, as delegates voted in favour of the joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    “Meeting with several football officials from all over the world serves us well, because we exchange ideas and gain knowledge on how to expand our football,” Mbidi said

    The global football showpiece kicks off in Russia today and the NFA president has called on all Namibians to rally behind the African teams in the competition.

    Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia are all vying to make it to the semifinals, which will be the first time an African team accomplishes this feat.

    No African country has ever gone past the quarterfinal stages before.

    “We have to support Africa because it is our continent. All these five nations that are taking part in the World Cup need our moral support.

    “I remember in 2010, everyone stood behind Ghana when they were the only African country left in the competition.

    “The African support really motivated the team to reach the quarterfinal stages and they also almost went on to the semifinals,” Mbidi said.



    Putin welcomes the world

    Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Fifa president Gianni Infantino have praised each other's work in preparing for the World Cup.

    Putin had a warm relationship with Sepp Blatter, who led Fifa when Russia was awarded the World Cup hosting rights in 2010. Blatter was ousted and banned in the fallout following corruption scandals.

    Putin says Infantino “stood at the helm of Fifa in very complicated times, but he is very good as our frontman, as a true fighter”.

    The Fifa president has “always had positive sentiment toward our country”, Putin added.

    With hundreds of thousands of fans expected to travel to the World Cup, Putin says visitors should “feel the hospitality and welcoming nature” of Russia.

    Infantino praised Putin for “making us feel part of the same team” and thanked him “from our hearts”.

    The opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia will set the tone for a month-long festival of football, even if in this case it brings together the two lowest-ranked teams in the competition.

    Hosts Russia will walk out onto the pitch at the 80 000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium ranked a lowly 70th in the world, three spots below Group A rivals Saudi Arabia, and without a victory in eight months.

    However, Russia has spent more than US$13 billion on preparations for the big event, and Putin will be eager for the hosts to get off to the best possible start.

    In contrast, a defeat against minnows Saudi Arabia would heighten the prospect of Russia becoming just the second host nation to be eliminated in the group stages, after South Africa eight years ago.

    The standout fixture in the first round is the Iberian derby in Sochi, as Spain look to make an early statement of intent when they take on Cristiano Ronaldo and his reigning European champions, Portugal, in Group B.

    It is the fourth meeting of the two countries at a major tournament in the past 14 years, with the last coming at Euro 2012, when Spain won on penalties in the semifinals en route to winning the title.

    Extra spice has been added tomorrow's game after Tuesday's announcement that Julen Lopetegui will leave the Spain job to become Ronaldo's coach at Real Madrid.



    Salah in race against time

    Mohamed Salah has been in the headlines over the past few days thanks to the photograph of him posing with Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov at the Egyptian team's base in Grozny.

    However, Egyptians will be more concerned about Salah's fitness, with the Liverpool forward in a race against time to be ready for their Group A opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg tomorrow.

    The 25-year-old is recovering from the shoulder injury suffered in a challenge by Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, when he was forced off the pitch in tears.

    Egypt are pinning their hopes on Salah after his prolific season in England, as the Pharaohs prepare for their first appearance at the World Cup since 1990.

    The very last group game will be played in the exclave of Kaliningrad on 28 June, and it will be worth the wait, as these sides are expected to be competing for top spot in Group G.

    The Belgians are ranked third in the world, and Roberto Martinez's squad contains some of the best players in the Premier League, so there will be no surprises for Gareth Southgate's England.

    The English have a talented young squad, and for once expectations at home are not over the top. It will be fascinating to see how they fare against Belgium's golden generation, led by Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.



    Video assistant referees

    The introduction of video assistant referees (VARs) has also raised questions about whether they will cause World Cup chaos or prove to be a welcome addition to the competition.

    VARs have been used to varying degrees of success in Serie A and the German Bundesliga, while Fifa used the system at the Confederations Cup in Russia last year and is confident they will help officials on the field.

    Fifa director of referees Massimo Busacca admits the system has been rushed in for the tournament, but said: “We are ready, we know we must be ready as there can be no experiments here.”

    Controversial incidents will be replayed on big screens inside grounds so fans can see why decisions were reached. And, curiously, VAR officials in the Moscow control room will watch games in full kit.

    “VAR officials sweat with the stress, believe me,” said Pierluigi Collina, chairman of Fifa's referees committee.

    -Additional by reporting/Nampa/AP/AFP

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: Woods faces uphill quest
  • Woods faces uphill questWoods faces uphill questMickelson set for historic US Open Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson will try to become just the sixth golfer to complete a career Grand Slam in a tournament in which he has settled for second a remarkable six times. World number one Dustin Johnson leads a string of in-form stars out to deny Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson another measure of major magic at the 118th US Open.

    Woods, whose pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major victories has remained stalled at 14 since his 2008 US Open triumph, will put his fused spine and gradually improving game to the test at Shinnecock Hills in the 10th official start of his comeback season.

    Mickelson, who turns 48 on Saturday, would become the oldest US Open champion and the second-oldest major winner in history, should he pull off the feat.

    “We're certainly on the back end of our careers,” 42-year-old Woods admitted. “We've been going at it for 20-plus years. That's a long time.”

    But Woods and Mickelson remain front and centre in the consciousness of golf fans, with Woods' return from the injury wilderness and Mickelson's return to form electrifying galleries and fuelling television viewership this year.

    Three-time major-winner Jordan Spieth believes a career Grand Slam for Mickelson would trump an end to Woods' major drought.

    “I think it makes a bigger difference for Phil than Tiger. I think there's a different meaning to those two.”

    But Australian Jason Day disagrees.

    “I think the biggest story would probably be Tiger,” Day said. “Not taking anything away from Phil because winning the career Grand Slam is absolutely huge. But for what happened to Tiger, it's been 10 years, what he did in that period of when he dominated, and I think a lot of people are kind of chomping at the bit for him to come back and do something special seeing if he can get back to winning and beating Jack's record.”

    Either outcome, however, would be a massive upset.

    Johnson, the 2016 US Open champion, arrives at Shinnecock as the top-ranked player in the world courtesy of an emphatic PGA Tour triumph in Memphis last week.

    He'll tee it up on Thursday and Friday alongside Woods and second-ranked Justin Thomas, whose five victories last season included a first major title at the PGA Championship.

    Mickelson will play the first two rounds alongside Spieth and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, a winner on the US PGA Tour this year who will only be spurred by final-round failures at the Masters and the European PGA Championship at Wentworth.

    England's Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, signalled he's set to contend when he romped to a three-shot PGA Tour victory in Fort Worth last month.

    Defending champion Brooks Koepka is rounding into form after recovering from a wrist injury that sidelined him for 15 weeks.

    Fellow American Rickie Fowler remains a threat to break through for a first major title while Patrick Reed is eager to back up the maiden major he claimed at the Masters.

    Reed noted that Shinnecock will present a vastly different challenge than that of Augusta National, although the US Golf Association has vowed there would be no repeat of 2004, when brutal conditions on the final day saw some holes virtually unplayable.

    “Even though it's a long golf course, you have to be able to work the ball both ways,” Reed said. “You have to be able to flight the ball depending on wind. So any little detail of your golf game that's not on is going to be exposed.”

    Spieth spoke of the “artistic approach” required.

    “You have three or four different blind tee shots where you've just got to step up and really trust what you're hitting at,” he said. “It really makes you think a lot.”

    And, Woods noted, any mistakes are magnified in a major championship.

    “As they should be,” Woods added. “This is our toughest test.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Spoilers in top-of-the-table clashSpoilers in top-of-the-table clash Spoilers Football Cub (FC) from Okahandja are confident of winning their top-of-the-table clash against Flamingoes in Walvis Bay on Saturday in the Southern Stream First Division (SSFD) coastal stream.

    The men in blue and white from Nau-aib are leading the log with 11 points after six rounds of matches and have played one match more than their second-placed opponents, Flamingoes.

    Spoilers coach Boyboy Mokhatu said on Tuesday that his team is ready to do battle and remain at the top of the log.

    “Our aim this season is to win the stream and try and navigate our way past the promotion playoff against the inland stream winners. Although our home form is inconsistent, we have been good on the road and have been picking up points easily.”

    Mokhatu added they will work hard to collect as many points as possible at home.

    “We have shifted our focus and changed the mentality to collect points here at home. As for the weekend matches, I can promise that we will give the fans value for their money and entertain them with top class quality football,” he said.

    In a midweek game that took place yesterday at 19:00, Western Spurs hosted relegation-threatened sixth-placed neighbours Northern Stars in a Walvis Bay derby at the Kuisebmund Stadium.

    Spoilers will face Flamingoes at 14:00 at the same stadium on Saturday, before locking horns with fifth-placed PC Blue Boys at 12:00 on Sunday at the Mondesa Stadium in Swakopmund.

    In other matches on Saturday, PC Blue Boys will try and avenge their 5-2 hammering at the hands of Khomas Nampol during the first leg of the season, when they entertain the men in uniform at the Mondesa Stadium at 12:00.

    Flamingoes will welcome Khomas Nampol to the Kuisebmund Stadium at 12:00 in the other match scheduled for Sunday.

    NAMPA

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    All Blacks prop escapes red cardAll Blacks prop escapes red card All Blacks prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi received an official warning yesterday, but escaped further sanction for a tackle which caused a double fracture to the face of Remy Grosso, ending the French winger's tour.

    World Rugby, the sport's governing body, said the tackle was “just short” of the level of a red card, which probably would have seen Tu'ungafasi suspended for the rest of the series.

    Grosso, France's only try-scorer in their 52-11 thrashing by the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday, was taken to hospital after colliding with Tu'ungafasi's shoulder.

    In the same tackle Grosso, who has been ruled out of the second and third Tests, suffered a high shot from All Blacks flanker Sam Cane.

    French coach Jacque Brunel labelled the tackle as “dangerous” and “illegal”, but in a statement World Rugby said there were “mitigating factors” which ruled out a red card.

    “Having reviewed all available camera angles, the citing commissioner (South African Freek Burger) considered Ofa Tu'ungafasi to have executed a dangerous tackle 'just short of' red card level,” the statement said.

    Burger determined the mitigating factors included Grosso's body position lowering as he went into contact with Cane, who made the initial tackle immediately before Tu'ungafasi.

    The All Blacks prop received a warning “issued for acts of foul play that are viewed by the citing commissioner to come close to but do not warrant the player receiving a red card”, World Rugby said.

    Tu'ungafasi tweeted an apology to Grosso after the match, saying the hit was unintentional.

    “Remy, I hope you're recovering well. It was a physical game and it wasn't my intention to hurt you,” he wrote.

    “I'm also gutted that I didn't get to see you after the game and you weren't well for me to visit you in hospital this morning before we left but I hope to catch up soon brother.”

    Cane was penalised on field for his tackle, and World Rugby said no further action was warranted against the flanker.

    The second match in the three-Test series will be played in Wellington on Saturday.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: Bemba free soon
  • Bemba free soonBemba free soon Jean-Pierre Bemba's lawyers argued Tuesday for his immediate release after international judges acquitted him of war crimes, as the former Congolese vice president edged closer towards freedom following a decade behind bars.

    Bemba was acquitted on appeal on Friday by the International Criminal Court, who said he could not be held criminally liable for crimes committed by his troops in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

    Bemba's lawyer Peter Haynes told journalists after his acquittal that his client “should be released without delay”.

    “He should be gone. Having acquitted him the court has a duty to release him or act with expeditiousness,” said Haynes.

    The stocky former rebel leader however for now remains behind bars.

    Bemba is currently awaiting another sentence in a separate case in which he was handed one year in jail and fined US$350 000 for bribing witnesses during his main war crimes trial.

    He lost an appeal against that sentence and the ICC is yet to decide on a new jail term, which carries a maximum of five-years.



    Immediate release?

    Haynes however argued his client had already spent a decade at the Hague-based ICC following his arrest in 2008 in Belgium, thus negating any possible change in sentence handed down by the court.

    “The position is that he has spent... 10 years in custody. I can't imagine any circumstances in which there will be a change from 12 months to five years,” said Haynes.

    Tuesday's hearing before judge Bertram Schmitt is in the form of a so-called status conference “to discuss the matter of the continued detention of Mr Bemba in this case,” the judge said in a court document.

    Although it is highly unlikely that Schmitt will order Bemba's immediate release, a second hearing or written order to that effect may soon follow, legal experts say.

    The ICC in a statement said “a decision on this matter will be made subsequently in due course.”

    “I would be very surprised if he was not immediately released,” former US ambassador for war crimes issues Stephen Rapp told AFP.

    “The most obvious would be to release him,” added Thijs Bouwknegt of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

    “It's a simple mathematical equation,” Bouwknegt told AFP.

    Friday's surprise decision came after Bemba, 55, was sentenced unanimously to 18 years in 2016 by ICC trial judges in the longest sentence ever to be handed to a suspect before the Hague-based court.

    Then, judges found Bemba - nicknamed “Miniature Mobutu” - guilty on five counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his private army during a five-month rampage in the neighbouring CAR.

    Bemba had sent his militia, the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) - a rebel force that he later transformed into a political organisation - into the DRC's northern neighbour in October 2002 to quash a coup against the then president, Ange-Felix Patasse.

    Bemba was likely to join his family in Belgium as soon as he is freed, Haynes told journalists last week.

    It is not yet known whether or when the former Congolese leader planned to return to the vast central African country following his release.

    Bemba had unsuccessfully opposed President Joseph Kabila in elections in 2006. After his militia clashed violently with government forces in 2007, he was forced out of the DRC but retains a groundswell of support.

    His acquittal came amid mounting tensions in the run-up to scheduled presidential elections on December 23.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Kabila will not seek new termKabila will not seek new term The prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said that President Joseph Kabila will not seek a third mandate in the country's delayed elections because of constitutional term limits that prevent him from running again.

    Kabila, whose second term officially ended in 2016, is constitutionally ineligible for December's poll and his rivals accuse him of wanting to stay in power.

    So far, he has not clearly stated himself whether he will step aside despite appeals from the international community to publicly say he will not run for re-election.

    But DRC Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala said on Tuesday that Kabila will respect the constitution.

    “The elections are going to take place without the participation of President Kabila who will abide by the spirit and the letter of the constitution,” he said in an interview on the side-lines of the International Economic Forum of the Americas conference in Montreal, Canada.

    The country has seen widespread anger over what some see as Kabila's refusal to relinquish power after the end of his his second full term in December 2016.

    Kabila came to power in 2001 after the assassination of his father, Laurent-Desire Kabila, the country's third president.

    He was elected in 2006 in the DRC's first democratic election since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

    Kabila secured a second term in 2011, though that election was plagued by allegations of widespread voter fraud.

    Currently, a DRC president can only serve two, consecutive, five-year terms. According to the DRC's Independent National Electoral Commission, the elections - which have been postponed twice - will take place on 23 December 2018.

    Last week, exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi addressed thousands of supporters in the capital, Kinshasa, via a video link and called for a united front against Kabila.



    NEWS24

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: Trump's Trudeau revenge
  • Trump's Trudeau revengeTrump's Trudeau revengeRants and tweets reign supreme The war of words between US president Donald Trump and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is turning ugly. President Donald Trump said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “learned” from the mistake of criticising him and it's going to cost Canada “a lot of money”.

    Trump adviser Peter Navarro, meanwhile, said Tuesday he made a mistake when he said “there's a special place in hell” for Trudeau.

    At a news conference Tuesday after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump recounted his recent tough exchanges with Trudeau. He said the Canadian leader must not have realised that Trump had televisions on Air Force One, allowing him to monitor Trudeau's news conference at the end of the G-7 summit.

    “That's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned,” Trump said wagging his finger. “You can't do that. You can't do that.”

    The president said he was annoyed by Trudeau's comments about not letting Canada get pushed around.

    “He's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States. And I say, push him around? We just shook hands. It was very friendly,” Trump said.

    Trump called Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” in tweets following the summit on Saturday.

    Trump advisors also took up the attack in appearances on Sunday's news shows, levelling more withering and unprecedented criticism against Trudeau, branding him a back-stabber unworthy of Trump's time. “There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” Navarro said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    Navarro seemed to apologise for the remarks on Tuesday.

    “Let me correct a mistake I made,” Navarro said at a Wall Street Journal conference Tuesday, according to video provided by the newspaper's CFO Network. “In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate.”

    When asked about Trump's remarks in Parliament on Tuesday, Trudeau said he supports Trump's efforts on North Korea and looks forward to the details of that agreement.

    “On his comments, I'm going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests,” Trudeau said before walking away from reporters.

    A Trump advisor had suggested Sunday that Trump saw Trudeau as trying to weaken his hand before the meeting with Kim.

    The US president also discussed in Singapore the viral photo taken of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others standing before him. Trump said it was snapped as they waited for changes he'd requested to the communique, which he ended up pulling out of.

    Trump said it “didn't look friendly” but it was “very friendly.

    NAMPA/AP

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    Petite Alfa 4C transformed into supercarPetite Alfa 4C transformed into supercarMulti-purpose toy with track days The internals of the car were upgraded in every area. We scoured the planet and carried out extensive research to find the very best components to build this engine. – Rob Green, Founder: RGMotorsport A car owner doesn’t usually take delivery twice, but that’s exactly what a South African Alfa Romeo loyalist has done.

    The first time he collected his 4C sports coupe was from the dealer but second time round it was from leading tuners, RGMotorsport. And what he stepped into was radically different from the showroom version.

    The RGM model featured a radically uprated engine and just prior to the handover the mid-engined sportscar had been securely strapped down on the dyno after a careful running-in period.

    It was worth the wait: having given the rollers a thorough workout, the numbers finally stopped climbing. With flywheel kW of 388 at 6 500 rpm (up from 177kW in stock form) this is a serious upgrade. Torque, meanwhile, had gone from 350Nm to 610Nm.

    You don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that the power increase is over 100% and torque not far from doubling up!

    Explains RGMotorsport’s founder, Rob Green: “This was much more than a bolt-on. In fact, we scoured the planet and carried out extensive research to find the very best components to build this engine. The internals are upgraded in every area – as one would expect of an engine designed to cope with twice the factory output.”

    Upgrades

    Upgrades include Omega pistons and Arrow Rods, with the engine assembly carried out in RGM’s dedicated engine room. A gas-flowed, ported cylinder head sits atop and is fed by an RGM carbon fibre cold air intake system. The compression ratio of the engine is now 10.1 to one (9.25 in standard form) and maximum boost has increased from 1.45 bar to 2.45.

    More visible changes are an enlarged Garrett GTX28/71R ceramic ball bearing turbo on a custom ceramic-coated turbo manifold and look closer and you’ll also see that the engine also boasts water-methanol injection. With all this extra urge, it was deemed essential to fit the gearbox with an oil cooler while an Alfaworks Kevlar/sintered copper button clutch assists in coping with supercar output numbers.

    Because the car is designed as a multi-purpose toy with track days very much on the agenda, measures have also been put in place to prevent oil surge during hard cornering: an electronically-controlled and rev-dependant device forces oil into the sump under certain conditions.

    With circuit use in mind it is fitted with a set of super-sticky Toyo 888 tyres (265/30/19 rears and 225/40/18 fronts) on widened rims, upgraded RGM-Vari brake hook-slotted and heat-treaded discs, plus high-performance brake fluid and pads. Lowered suspension is via KW Variant Three dampers with a comprehensive range of adjustments.

    “When we first took a close look at the 4C we felt that it had the makings of a ‘mini-supercar’ and set out to turn it into one,” says Green. “But the reality is that there isn’t anything ‘mini’ about it anymore … this is now an authentic, red-blooded Italian supercar!” - MotorPress

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    Aakondjelimanguluko ya lulilwaAakondjelimanguluko ya lulilwaInaya mona natango iikwaniipangitho yawo yokutamekitha oopoloyeka Aakondjelimanguluko oyendji ngashiingey oye li momalimbililo taya popi kutya itaya vulu okutameka oopoloyeka dhawo dhokwiimonena iiyemo. Uuministeli wiipambele yoonakulwa aakulu owa longitha oshimaliwa shooN$200 000 mukehe omuntu opo aakondjelimanguluko ya vule okutamekwa oopoloyeka dhawo, ihe nonando ongaaka, oyendji inaya mona natango iilongitho yawo yokutamekitha oopoloyeka dhawo ndhoka.

    Omupopiliko gwuuministeli mboka, Edson Haufiku okwa koleke koshikundaneki shoNamibian Sun kutya yamwe po yomwaamboka ya landa kuyo iipumbiwa yomoopoloyeka ndhoka inaya gwanitha po omatsokumwe, na oye na ontseyo kombinga yomalimbililo nongeyo ndjoka yi li ngashiingeyi mokati koonakulwa aakulu.

    Aakondjelimanguluko oya popi kutya kape na ngoka ta pewa ombedhi nenge ta geelwa omolwa ekanitho ndyoka, unene sho iilongitho yawo inaye yi mona natango.

    Gumwe gomaakondjelimanguluko mboka, omunamimvo 64, Wilhelm Shilongo, ngoka a kala a tegelela eshina lye lyokutsa omahangu okuza kuuministeli okutameka omvula yo 2015 ihe sigo onena ina mona eshina lye ndyoka.

    Pahapu dhaShilongo kape na ngoka tamu yelithile okuza kuuminsiteli kutya oshike tashi imbi opo a mone eshina lye, ye a tameke niilonga ye.

    Ombapila yomafutilo ndjoka ya monika koNamibian Sun oya holola kutya uuministeli owa landa eshina ndyoka kondando yooN$28 995 okuza kehangano lyoRenov Namibia momasiku 17 gaJuni 2015 ihe ehangano lyoRenov olya ndopa okugandja eshina ndyoka kumwene.

    “Shika otashi uvitha nayi noonkondo. Kehe esiku otandi yi koombelewa dhuuministeli mEenhana ohandi lombwelwa ndi ye kOvenduka. Ngele onda yi kOvenduka, ohandi lombwelwa ndi ninge ekwatathano nehangano lyoRenov ngame mwene. Otandi ka ninga ekwatathano ngame mwene ngiini ngele uuministeli owo wa futa eshina ndyoka. Ngele otaya popi kutya uuministeli itawu vulu okulandula Renov, nena ngame otandi shi ningi ngiini?” Shilongo a pula.

    Kwa popi kutya ke wete ngele uuministeli mboka otawu kutha ko tuu iikumungu yaakundjelimanguluko onga yi na oshilonga.

    Omunambelewa omukuluntu gwomalanditho moRenov, Jaco du Plessis okwa popi kutya ita vuu okuyamukula molwaashoka oye na ookastoma odhindjiokuza kuuministeli wiipambele yoonakulwa aakulu.

    Haufiku okwa popi kutya uuministeli wu na ontseyo kutya aalandithi yamwe inaya gandja natango iikwaniipangitho mbyoka ya landa kuyo.

    Okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka oya etitha opo ya lundulule omukalo ngoka ya li hala longitha mokulanda iinima nale. Nale omuntu ohaka konga hoka ta landa oshinima she mwene, nokugandja okambaapila kiifuta kuuminsiteli opo wu fute. Oya nongele kutya aalandithi yamwe itaya gandjai inima yaantu omanga iinima yimwe tayi gandjwa yapuka. Oya lundulula nokukala taya futu owala ngele oshinima shoka sha pewa mwene nokukolekwa kutya oshi li mondjila.

    Omunambelewa ngoka okwa popi kutya onkalo yaShilongo hayo awike, oya dhidhilika iipotha oyindji yoludhi ndoka.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Aanafaalama ya hala ku tulwe miilonga mbala oNational Pension FundAanafaalama ya hala ku tulwe miilonga mbala oNational Pension Fund Konyala aanafaalama oyendji moshilongo oya holola ohokwe yawo,na oya halelela opo ku tulwe miilonga oshiketha shoopenzela shopashigwana mbala, sha landula ekutho miilonga lyoshiketha shoopenzela dhoNamibia Agricultural Retirement Fund.

    Oshiketha shoNamibia Agricultural Retirement Fund (NARF), osha kuthwa miilonga omolwa ompumbe yekuthombinga kiilyo yawo.

    Mokongressa yokomvula yoAgricultural Employers' Association (AEA) ndjoka ya ningwa mEtiyali lyoshiwike shika, omunashipundi Hellmut Förtsch okwa popi kutya nonando omaindilo giifuta yoopenzela ogendji okuza moshiketha shoka oga li ga futwa, ope na natango mboka inaya ninga ko omaindilo gawo.

    Pahapu dhe, ngashiingeyi aagandji yiilonga oyendji oya tegelela etulo miilonga lyoshiketha shoopenzela shopashigwana, shoka tashi ka kala tashi longo ngaashi okakomisi koSocial Security Commission (SSC) na okwa tegelelwa shi tulwe miilonga kepangelo okuya mokati komvula yo 2019.

    Förtsch okwa popi woo kombinga yoondjambi dhopetameko yaaniilonga yomoofaalama, ndjoka ya zimina dha landula oonkundathana ndhoka dha ningwa muNovembaa gwomvula ya piti.

    Iifuta iipe ngashiingeyi yaaniilonga yomoofaalama oya londo pombanda okuza pooN$3.70 okuya pooN$4.62 mowili nenge oshimaliwa shooN$900 komuniilonga ngoka ha longo oowili 45 moshiwike.

    Förtsch okwa popi kutya ondjambi ndjoka oyaaniilonga ayehe, naamboka yeli iilyo yomahangano gaaniilonga.

    Omunambelelwa ngoka okwa popi kutya omapekaapeko taga ithanwa 2018 AEA wage survey ogeli metifa na oya tegelela egalulo lyoombapila dhomapulaapulo okuza kiilyo yawo. Ehangano olya tokola woo okugwedha ko ongushu yolusheno, omeya oshoowo iikuni mbyoka hayi pewa aaniilonga oshali.

    Förtsch okwa tsu omuthindo kutya omapekaapeko ngoka goondjambi taga ningwa oge na oshilonga noonkondo molwaasshoka otaga ka gandja uuyelele wa simana kiilyo yawo oshowo koshikondo shuunamapya oshowo kwaashona shaaniilonga.

    Okwa indile iilyo yawo yi kuthe ombinga momakapekaaeko ngoka.

    Omunambelewa omukomeho gwoIJG, Rene Olivier, okwa longitha ompito momutumba ngoka opo a gandje omaiyuvo kombinga yonkalo yeliko lyaNamibia monena.

    Okwa yelitha kutya oshilongo otashi yi monkalo yadhigupala yopaliko, ihe oshi li oshinima hashi ningwa na ohashi taambiwako ngele oshilongo sha yi monkalo ngaashi ndjoka tayi dhidhilikwa moNamibia ngashiingeyi.

    Okwa popi kutya pamatengeneko otashi ka kutha Namibia uule woomvula mbali, opo onkalo yi hwepopale na otaku tengenekwa kutya eliko lyaNamibia otali ka koka okuya poopresenda 3 momvula yo 2020.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Ondhalate yEtosha tayi pula oshindjiOndhalate yEtosha tayi pula oshindjiUuministeli owa taalela omashongo ogendji mokumanitha iilonga mbyoka Uuministeli womidhingoloko owa popi kutya otawu ka pumbwa oshimaliwa sha thika poomiliyona 500 kehe omvula muule woomvula ntano opo wu vule okumanitha iilonga yokutula ondhalate kEtosha. Ondando ndjoka oya kwatela mo iilonga oshowo iifuta yiilonga yopoloyeka ndjoka, nuuministeli owa tseyitha ngaaka konima sho wa li wa tseyitha kutya otawu pumbwa oshimaliwa sha thika poomiiliyona 419 opo wu vule okumanitha iilonga mbyoka muule woomvula omulongo.

    Sho a popi kombinga yomaupyakahi ngoka taga yi iilonga ywo moshipala, omukomeho gwoompangela nomayakulo gopautekinika muuministeli mboka, Boas Erkki natango okwa popyulula komapopyo ga li ga ningwa kuuministeli mboka kutya oshinano owala shookilometa 112 shondhalate ndjoka sha longwa muule woomvula hamano.

    Okwa popi kutya okuya pehulilo lyomvula ndjika, otaku ka kala kwa longwa oshinano shookilometa 145 shomookilometa 842.

    Kombinga yoshimaliwa shoomiliyona 419 shoka sha li sha popiwa kuuministeli nale, okwa popi kutya ondando ndjoka oya li owala ya kwatelamo odhalate.

    Ondhalate ndjoka tango oya li ya longwa moomvula yo 1960, nangashiingeyi oya kulupa noonkondo.

    Opo nduno ondhalate ndjoka yi tulwe monkalo ombwaanawa, momvula yo 2010 uuministeli womidhingoloko owa tameke iilonga yokutula kondhalate yimwe naandjoka tayi indike iiyamakuti yi ze mo meni lyoshikunino shoka. Pahapu dhaErkki, oshinano shookilometa 118 shomoshinano shookilometa 370 shodhalate ndjoka osha longwa nale monooli yoongamba dhoshikunino shoka. Oshinano shookilometa 70 okwa popi kutya osha tulwa nale ondhalate yolusheno. Kombinga yomUumbugantu, oshinano shookilometa 27 otashi kala sha manithwa nuumvo, naashoka osha topolwa miitoplwa iyali. Oshitopolwa shotango otashi ithanwa K1 shuule wookilometa 12 shoka sha manitha nale noopresenda 70 omanga oshitopolwa oshitiyali sha K2 shuule wookilometa 15 sha manithwa nale noopresenda 60.

    Natango omunambelewa ngoka okwa popi kutya oshinano shookilometa 118 shondhalate ndjoka ya longwa nale nasho natango osha pumbwa okulongulula omolwa ompumbwe kutya ondhalate ndjoka ihayi silwa oshisho. Elongululo lyondhalate ndjoka otali ka pula oshimaliwa sha thika poomiliyona 10. Erkki okwa popi woo kombinga yompumbwe yaaniilonga yokusila oshisho ondhalate ndjoka, ta popi kutya oye na owala aaniilonga 30 yuuministeli mboka taya longele mEtosha. Okwa yelitha kutya uupyakadhi owu li mpaka kutya, ondhalate ndjoka nonando oya longwa nawa, otayi vulu okuyonagulwa koondjamba muule wesiku limwe.

    Okwa popi kutya iionga yondhalate ndjok oya kala woo nokuyiwa moshipala koprograma yepangelo yoTargeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg).

    Erkki okwa tsikile kutya oshiholelwa ongaashi kutya ehangano ndyoka tali longo odhalate ndjoka olya ulikwa owala momvula yo 2016, sha landula sho otendela yoTipeeg ya hulu mo 2014. Shoka osha etitha omahangano ngoka ga li ga pewa ootendela ga thige po opoloyeka molwashoa iimaliwa yiilonga oya londa pombanda okuyeleka niimaliwa mbyoka ya li ya pula konima yomimvo mbali sho ya tendele iilonga mbyoka.

    Erkki natango okwa tsikile kutya oya taalela omaupyakadhi ngaashi ondhalate yoKaros ndjoka tayi yonagulwapo koondjamba konima sho yi li pokumanithwa nale.

    Okwa popi kutya shoka oshi li uupyakadhi molwaashoka ondhalate ndjoka inayi gandjwa natango momake gepangelo, na oshi li omukundu omunene kaalongi yodhalate. Yimwe po natango mbyoka tayi enditha kashona iilonga, ompumbwe yiilongitho, omamanya ngoka taga adhika pehala ndyoka oshowo iifuta yalata okuza kepangelo.

    Ompumbwe yuunongo niimaliwa nasho oshi li omukundu omunene.

    Okwa tsikile kutya muule woomvula dha piti, uuministeli owa kala wa tala unene kokukondjitha uukongo waaheli paveta naashoka osha etitha unene eyonagulo lyodhalate yoshikunio shoka shiiyamakuti.

    Etopolo lyiimaliwa mbyoka ya nuninwa iilonga yodhalate yEtosha oli I ngaashi tali landula, oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 35 oshiikalekelwa mo 2012/13, oomiliyona 40 omo 2013/14, oomiliyona 40 omo 2014/15 oshowo oomiliyona 20 ndhoka dhiikalekelwa momvula yo2015/16.

    Momvula yo 2016/17 okwiikalekelwa oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 29 omanga oomiliyona 12 dhiikalekelwa momvula yo2017/18.

    Kumwe oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 176 osha nuninwa okulanda iilongitho niitungithi yokutulako ondhalate ndjoka. Nuumvo oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 23.8 osha nuninwa okutulako ondhalate yolusheno oshowo emanitho lyoshitopolwa shondhalate yoK1 no K2.Erkki okwa popi kutya uuministeli otawu kambadhala okushunitha ondando yiilonga pevi, pakukutha oshiholelwa kiishiindalongo ngaashi okuza koshikunino shiinamwenyo shaKruger National Park moSouth Africa. Uuministeli owa tsikile kutya otawu pumbwa oshimaliwa shoomiliyona 500 komvula muule woomvula ntano opo wu vule okukala wa manitha iilonga mbyoka, paku manitha oshinano shookilometa 200.

    Erkki okwa popi woo kutya uuministeli owiikalekela oshimaliwa shoomiliyna 100 shoka sha nuninwa okuyambidhidha iizemo yiikolokosha pokati kaantu niiyamakuti, momvula yonuumvo. Iimaliwa mbyoka otayi vulu okulongithwa mokutunga iigunda, oondhalate oshowo mokulonga oomboola dhomeya.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Ya hala mboka yeli moBotswana ya kale oshitopolwa shoonkundathanaYa hala mboka yeli moBotswana ya kale oshitopolwa shoonkundathana Ongundu tayi ithanwa Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama Council for Dialogue (ONCD) on the 1904 genocide, ndjoka tayi yambidhidha oonkundathana dhepangelo dhokweeta moshilongo AaNamibia mbyoka taya lumbu moBotswana, otaya pula etsokumwe lyokukala mekwatathano naamboka taya lumbu moBotswana, yo ya vule okukala oshitopolwa shoonkundathana pokati kepangelo lyaNamibia oshowo epangelo lyaGerman.

    Pahapu dhomunambelelwa omunashipundi gwo ONCD, Gerson Katjirua elelakano enene lyetsokumwe ndyoka okukondopeka ekwatathano pokati koongundu ndhoka mbali miikumungu ayihe ya guma oonakuninga iihakanwa yomadhipago ga kiinahenda ngoka ga ningilwa aakwashigwana yaHerero, Ovambanderu oshowo AaNama kuGerman pethimbo lyuukoloni.

    Pethimbo lyomutumba gwiikundaneki ngoka gwa ningwa, Katjirua okwa popi kutya elongelokumwe lyawo olya hwahwamekwa kompumbwe yehanganitho lyaantu mboka.

    Okwa tsikile kutya osheendo shaaleli yopamuthigululwakalo oshowo iilyo yoTechnical Committee of the Botswana Society for Nama, Ovaherero oshowo Ovambanderu oya tsakanene nongundu yomoNamibia, mOmaandaha. Oya tsakanene woo nomupeha presidende Nangolo Mbumba.

    Okwa popi kutya elalakano lyomutumba ngoka okupula epangelo lyaNamibia opo li gandje epitikilo lyekuthombinga lyaakalelipo yaantu mboka, moonkundathana ndhoka, dhili pokati kepangelo lyaandjetu nepangelo lyaGerman.

    Oonkundatha pokati kiilongo mbyoka iyali odha tamekele momwedhi Sepetemba gwomvula yo 2016, sho osheendo shaaNamibia tashi kwatelwa komeho ku 2016, Zed Ngavirue, sha tsakanene nosheendo shaGerman shoonkundathana moBerlin.

    Namibia okwa hala Germany a kutheko oshinakugwanithwa kutya oye a ningi omadhipago ngoka, a gandje ombili yopashigwana oshowo a fute omolwa omadhipago ngoka.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Laying the table for the eliteLaying the table for the elite Namibians have shown considerable interest in information workshops organised by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, aimed at sensitising them on the new rules when applying for fishing rights. Last month fisheries minister Bernhard Esau invited Namibians, particularly the formerly disadvantaged, to apply for 96 new fishing rights in nine fisheries sectors. The new rights are for hake, horse mackerel, monk, red crab, rock lobster, line fish, large pelagic, mullet and Cape fur seals. The deadline for applications is 31 July. At the same time Esau also announced new requirements, which include that all applicants must be a shareholding privately held company - a (Pty) Ltd - were gazetted. He said this provision was aimed at protecting vulnerable communities and individuals that have in the past been used by some Section 21 companies, close corporations (CCs) or trusts as fronts for favourable consideration. For years these workshops have been kept away from the public eye and only a selected few knew exactly how to go about the process of applying for fishing rights. It also goes without saying that the political elite and their cronies have reaped the most benefits from fishing quotas and this should not be allowed to continue any longer. While we welcome the ministry's decision to host workshops countrywide, there are fears that the sessions are merely a smokescreen to an already pre-determined process. In addition, the decision to only include registered PTYs as potential beneficiaries has been a contentious matter and prospective applicants have particularly taken issue with the short deadline given for submissions. The ministry can therefore not claim to be transparent in this process while they have already gazetted the new requirements way before consultations started countrywide. Many Namibians are willing to participate in the economic activities of this country and it is up to the authorities to come up with policies that benefit a wider range of previously disadvantaged people, and not just the already rich and politically well-connected.

    We sincerely hope that government is gearing up the process of fishing rights applications to benefit those in most need. We should not raise the hopes of the poor and vulnerable, while laying the table for the usual suspects - the elite - to eat.

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  • 06/13/18--16:00: SHOT OF THE DAY
  • SHOT OF THE DAYSHOT OF THE DAY IN SOLIDARITY: Ugandan activists with tape over their mouths take part in a protest against the amount and handling of police investigations into murders and kidnappings of women in Kampala on 5 June 2018. A group of activists were blocked and four of them were arrested by riot police officers as they tried to hand a letter to the police Inspector General to demand more action and investigations. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Town council dragged to labour commissionerTown council dragged to labour commissioner Rehoboth Town Council employees on Tuesday dragged their employer to the Rehoboth Labour Commissioner's office over unfulfilled promises of backpay dating back to July last year.

    Early in March this year the workers downed tools twice and demonstrated against the town council for what they termed “unjust treatment and empty promises” by their employer.

    They were specifically unhappy about alleged unjust treatment by then human resources manager, Willie Swartz, who was also the acting chief executive officer.

    The workers handed over a petition saying there has been no salary increment for the last eight months as agreed upon with the Namibia Public Workers' Union (Napwu) and promised to them last July.

    An employee of the town council who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were told that they would receive the backdated salaries with their February salaries, but to date nothing has happened.

    Upon enquiry Napwu's branch organiser Lesley Mosegedi told Nampa they had no choice but to take the matter to the labour commissioner's office.

    “The RTC management did not keep their end of the bargain and we had no choice but to ask the labour experts to intervene,” Mosegedi said.

    Mosegedi said they want the town council to pay the backdated increment as from July last year.

    He said the case has been postponed to 19 June.

    Approached for comment, the council's CEO Christoph |Uirab confirmed that the case is with the labour commissioner's office.

    “I can confirm that it is true, but at this stage we treat it as an internal process. I can unfortunately not divulge much about the case,” |Uirab said, however adding that they are negotiating with the labour commissioner's office.



    NAMPA

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    Telecom to cough up 1.5% turnover to CranTelecom to cough up 1.5% turnover to CranSupreme Court rules on constitutionality The country's highest court has found that section 23(2) (a) of the Communications Act and the regulation made thereunder by Cran was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has found that although a levy of 1.5%, imposed by the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) on the annual turnover of telecommunications service providers like Telecom Namibia, was not unconstitutional, as such, the absence of a clear guideline or limit has however created the risk of an unconstitutional exercise of discretionary power by the regulator.

    The country's highest court thus found that section 23(2) (a) of the Communications Act and the regulation made thereunder was unconstitutional.

    However, the order of invalidity is only operational after the date of the judgement.

    “For the period preceding the taking effect of order of invalidity, Cran can only exact payment from Telecom for such amounts as are due after the regulation came into force,” the Supreme Court ruled.

    A full bench, consisting of Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb and justices Dave Smuts and Fred Choma, ruled the levy of 1.5% was within the international norm, as shown in evidence and in the case law considered.

    Cran imposed the 1.5% levy on the gross income of telecommunication providers, including Telecom Namibia, on 13 September 2012.

    However, Telecom refused to honour the levy and challenged section 23(2) (a) of the Act and the regulation made under it in the High Court.

    The parastatal alleged the regulation impermissibly had a retroactive effect and the provision either constituted an unconstitutional tax without representation or an unconstitutional delegation by parliament of plenary legislative power.

    The High Court in October 2016 upheld the constitutional challenge, holding that section 23(2) (a) of Communications Act was beyond what section 23(1) authorised.

    “There was no connection between the regulatory scheme and the charges levied, based as it was on a percentage and without actual or properly estimated costs of regulation,” the High Court ruled.

    The court added that the order of invalidity took effect from the moment the Act came into force, as no order was made delaying the order of invalidity. A costs order was awarded against Cran.

    The Supreme Court ruled on Monday after an appeal by Cran that the High Court misdirected itself on the applicable test for determining if a charge is tax or a regulatory levy.

    “Even if a charge has all the attributes of a tax but it is connected to a regulatory scheme, it will not be a tax,” the full bench of Supreme Court ruled.

    The Supreme Court held that the Communications Act represents a complex and complete regulatory framework for the affected industries, with substantial benefits and privileges to those granted licences to operate under it.

    “Therefore there is a relationship between the scheme and those being regulated,” the court said.

    The provisions of the Communications Act authorises Cran, by regulation, to impose a levy to 'defray' its 'expenses' for the purposes of regulating the telecommunications, postal and radio spectrum industries.

    However, the Supreme Court found that although a levy of 1.5% on annual turnover was not, as such, unconstitutional, the absence of a clear guideline or limit to exercise its power failed to remove the risk of an unconstitutional exercise of its discretionary power.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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