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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Swakara an African leader
  • Swakara an African leaderSwakara an African leader Namibia is an African leader when it comes to the Swakara industry, however, over recent years pelt numbers have been declining and therefore farming with karakul sheep, which produce the Swakara pelt, should be expanded across the country.

    There are currently are 450 Namibian Swakara producers and approximately 14 000 people are directly benefiting from the industry.

    Top-quality black Swakara pelts can fetch more than N$900 while top-quality white pelts fetch up to N$2 200.

    This was highlighted during a familiarisation visit of agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to Swakara in Windhoek.

    Swakara board member Pieter Hugo explained the origin of Swakara and said that karakul sheep were imported into Namibia from central Asia in 1907.

    “The sheep we have today are totally different than those we imported.”

    Hugo said the genetic makeup of the sheep has been completely changed. “We created in Namibia a uniqueness in the karakul and established a new breed and called it Swakara. It is a major achievement and Namibia can be very proud about what it has created.”

    Hugo said the attractiveness of Swakara is in the short hair, the hair formation and the way the light reflects on it. “This is what is so unique.”

    Hugo added that pelts from Botswana and South Africa are channelled through the house of Swakara.

    However it was pointed out that Namibia used to produce more than five million Swakara pelts per year in the late 70s to the early 90s, and now it barely produces 100 000. Farming of Swakara sheep used to take place across Namibia and it should be expanded across the country again.

    According to the Swakara board, the industry has market access to Russia, China the European Union, America and the Middle East, as well as niche markets.

    “Small scale farmers with one pelt can produce an internationally sought-after product designed by world renowned designers, worn by world leaders and trendsetters.”

    The chairperson of the Swakara board, Julene Meyer, said Swakara was declared as a strategic industry in Namibia in 2006 and is important for the Namibian economy.

    In 1966 the Swakara brand was established and in 1994 the first successful public-private partnership was established with participation from Kopenhagen Fur, Agra, the Swakara industry and government. That year Kopenhagen Fur became the official auction house for Swakara.

    According to Meyer, Kopenhagen trusts the Namibian grading system. “The world-leading auction house trusts Namibian sorters and graders. What is sorted here does not have to be sorted in Copenhagen again. It meets their high international standards.”

    Meyer said their process is used as a base for other karakul industries worldwide through the International Fur Federation system.

    !Naruseb said this is an outstanding achievement. “We must be able to tell good stories of what is happening in Namibia. What we are doing is of such quality that it does not have to be subjected to sorting again.”

    !Naruseb wanted to know how the Swakara industry deals with the anti-fur society.

    Meyer explained that the end users are totally willing to use fur if it is produced in a responsible manner. She said producers subscribe to the codes of conduct and of practice. “We are fortunate that the way the industry is structured, we are guarded against this.”

    It was also explained by Hugo that with regards to harvesting of lambs he explained that animals are harvested between 24 to 48 hours after birth.

    “The ewe does not have to lactate and this means that you can carry more ewes on the land, because you do not have to raise the lamb.”

    He said the Swakara pelting process is internationally accepted. It was explained that a unit is used that stuns the animal and makes it unconscious.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Air Namibia encourages locals to flyAir Namibia encourages locals to fly Air Namibia says locals should look more to flying domestically and said that it has taken measures to ensure airfares charged are at a bare minimum.

    The airline's spokesperson Paul Nakawa said it was part of an initiative driven by the airline to bring fares to within affordable levels to ensure that Namibians can fly domestically.

    “Two years ago, the executive committee of Air Namibia took a decision to lower the domestic fares to N$3 999, and set that as the maximum fare on the domestic routes. This is part of our efforts to remove pressure from the roads and encourage the public to fly, also considering the ongoing road carnage,” said Nakawa.

    Admittedly, he conceded that the fares its passengers were paying were above that margin, but said that this was because of increases in fuel prices and taxes to fly.

    “We are fully aware that of late, our passengers have been paying tickets above that margin, but this is due to the increase in fuel, as well as some taxes,” said Nakawa.

    “The executive committee is in discussions to review and will once again be announcing the new fare in this regard in due course. We are excited to say, the culture of flying has set in as so many passengers are making use of our domestic services,” Nakawa said.

    The desire to see more Namibians fly also resulted in the local air carrier choosing to buy the Embraer ERJ 135 aircraft that it currently leases from local company Westair.

    “In 2017 we revisited our agreement with our lessor with regard to the four Embraer ERJ 135 aircraft we have in our fleet. Instead of continuing leasing them, we are now busy paying them off to own them and be part of our balance sheet. So far we use some of the Embraer jets on the regional routes as well as the four Airbus A319s, which were acquired to service the regional routes,” said Nakawa.

    He said Air Namibia was also interested in flying to more destinations locally.

    “As much as we want to do that, we operate in a highly regulated environment. We can only fly to airports that are approved and are managed by the Namibia Airports Company. We are satisfied that we are operating to most if not all the NAC's managed airports in Namibia,” Nakawa said.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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    South Africa's PPC full-year profit doubles South Africa's PPC full-year profit doubles On Zimbabwe and Rwanda operations South African cement producer PPC on Monday reported a more than two-fold jump in annual earnings, boosted by strong performances in its African operations, particularly in Zimbabwe and Rwanda. The performance from Southern Africa cement and materials was subdued, while certain one-off costs had an impact on our overall financial performance- Johan Claassen, CEO, PPC PPC, which has operations in six countries, said its headline earnings per share for the full-year ended March 2018 surged to 15 cents from 7 cents a year earlier.

    Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.

    The total cement sale volumes increased 6% to 5.9 million tonnes, while group revenue rose 7% to 10 billion rand (US$744.91 million) from 9.6 billion rand in the prior year.

    “The performance from Southern Africa cement and materials was subdued, while certain one-off costs had an impact on our overall financial performance,” chief executive officer Johan Claassen said in a statement.

    Group core profit, or EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation), fell 9% to 1.9 billion rand due to costs related to corporate action, ramp up of plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo and restructuring costs.

    PPC spent most of 2017 in merger discussions with cement and investment suitors including local rival AfriSam, Nigeria’s Dangote Cement and Irish building materials group CRH.

    In December it concluded that it was no longer interested in selling or buying assets, ending talks about a possible takeover by Swiss group LafargeHolcim.

    The South African leading cement group has plants in Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Egypt's Suez canal reports record high revenueEgypt's Suez canal reports record high revenue Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal for the 2017-2018 financial year rose 11.5% to a record high US$5.585 billion, the canal authority said in a statement on its website on Sunday.

    Revenue a year earlier was US$5.008 billion, it said.

    The financial year has not yet finished, however. Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to the end of June.

    The canal authority did not explain why it had released figures ahead of the end of the fiscal year.

    It announced on Saturday increased revenue in May, and predicted a record yearly figure, attributing this to increased international trade and improvements in the shipping industry.

    Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi invested in an expansion of the Suez Canal which began in 2014, one of the former military commander’s mega-projects designed to revive an ailing economy and restore the country’s place as an important trade hub.

    Egypt’s finances were hit badly by unrest that followed a 2011 popular uprising which toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

    Critics have slammed some projects, including the Suez expansion, as a waste of money.

    Cairo is also imposing a raft of harsh austerity measures tied to a US$12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which some economists say are helping get the economy back on track, but which have hit ordinary Egyptians hard.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Building a brighter future
  • Building a brighter future Building a brighter future Moses //Garoëb gets new school block Namibian education is in dire need of bigger facilities to accommodate as many children as possible. “This partnership is of great assistance to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in our quest to deliver quality education to the Namibian children,” Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, minister of education arts and culture. Elizabeth Joseph

    On 11 June, Moses //Garoëb Primary School received a well-deserved donation of a new school block funded by the Japanese government. This event was officiated by Japanese ambassador to Namibia, Hideaki Harada.

    Despite being situated in one of the most disadvantaged settlements of Windhoek, the school still tries its best to uphold the name of the late politician, Moses //Garoëb.

    On top of the continuous population influx into the area, the introduction of free education in 2013 has forced the school to make some big sacrifices to accommodate all their learners.

    The school also had to follow the platoon (double session) system.

    It is against this background that the Japan government awarded the school a grant amounting to N$83 3597.

    The grant was utilised to build a new school block consisting of four permanent classrooms and one storeroom. A total of 154 learners in grade 3, who are currently attending the afternoon teaching session will benefit from this new block.

    This handover marked the last day of the double session system at the primary school. Learners will now be able to attend the morning sessions in a more conducive educational environment.

    “The grant assistance was given by the Japanese government though it’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project,” said Harada.

    Among the many guests at the event was basic education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who was pleased to cut the ribbon for the new classrooms.

    “This partnership is of great assistance to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in our quest to deliver quality education to the Namibian children,” Hanse-Himarwa said.

    The principal of the school, Judith Sepiso, said: “Since 1999 this school has been offering the double session system to the children, but today we are making way for a new era.”

    Sepiso’s selfless and driven desire to see education flourish at all costs was also highlighted.

    It was also emphasised that the learners should take proper care of the school, to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the donation.

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    Wife killer possibly has brain damageWife killer possibly has brain damagePsychologist recommends further examination A clinical psychologist has requested that a neurologist examine convicted murder Willem Visagie Barnard before he is sentenced. A degree of organic brain damage was found in Willem Visagie Barnard, convicted of the murder of his wife, by a consultant clinical psychologist who evaluated him.

    The psychologist, Erwina Mensah-Husselman, called by defence lawyer Advocate Louis Botes, during her testimony on Friday recommended that a neurologist should conduct further examinations.

    “I need that substantiation to prove my findings of brain damage,” she testified before Judge Naomi Shivute.

    She told the court she was sure it was indeed the case and added that there was a decline in Barnard's cognitive function, as his recall of information that he had just heard was slow.

    “He could not recall dates properly. He mostly estimated dates and times. He only could say, 'approximately three years ago', or, 'I drank two to three bottles',” she said.

    Barnard, a farmer in the Aranos area, was recently convicted of killing his wife after an argument over the funeral procession of the late South African AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche.

    He shot and killed his wife Anette on 10 April 2010 at their farm near Aranos, in the district of Mariental.

    Barnard had denied criminal responsibility based on non-pathological criminal incapacity. He had cited medical reports which stated that because of a combination of alcohol and the drugs alprazolam and zopiclone, he likely suffered from memory loss for several hours.

    He argued he might not be able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions due to the timing, amount and combination of psychoactive substances he and his wife had consumed during the course of that day.

    Shivute said in her judgment that although the substances were capable of causing memory loss which could result in temporary non-pathological criminal incapacity, the evidence revealed he was in control of his mental faculties.

    She said he was able to remember most of what happened but conveniently had lapses of memory of the crucial event.

    “A link has been established between the firearm, Barnard and Anette,” the judge found.

    Mensah-Husselman was called by the defence to testify in mitigation of sentencing.

    She had served in the safety and security ministry between 2005 and 2008, during which time she examined and treated prisoners. She had also examined Barnard to determine whether he was fit to stand trial.

    She testified that there was no early substance abuse in Barnard's history. This was confirmed by family and friends who said Barnard and his wife were a decent, caring and loving family.

    She said that Barnard considered himself an introvert and her investigation determined that he suffered from natural cognitive decline.

    “From my investigation I have no reason to believe that he was malingering. The court can request for further investigation to prove my findings,” she said.

    Shivute postponed the matter to 28 June. Advocate Cliff Litubezi is appearing for the State.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Two in court after drug bust
  • Two in court after drug bustTwo in court after drug bust Two men arrested in connection with a drug bust at the port of Walvis Bay on Friday made their first court appearance yesterday.

    Grant Noble (36) and Dinath Azhar (62) appeared before Magistrate Vicky Nicolaides on charges of dealing in cocaine. Nicolaides postponed the case for further investigation to 20 September.

    Prosecutor Tresia Hafeni opposed bail, telling the court that the two were accused of a cross-border offence and that investigations were ongoing.

    The two accused were represented by legal practitioners Jan Wessels and Marinus Scholtz.

    Responding to a question from his father, Gavin Noble, who attended the court proceedings, Grant Noble replied that he was “doing fine”.

    After the hearing, Gavin Noble told journalists that he would take legal action against a weekly newspaper which had connected him to the drug bust on social media.

    “I am a converted Christian and very unhappy. I saw the social media post and consulted my lawyer. The fact that the names were released is also problematic.”

    Police and customs officers at the harbour intercepted a container in which 412kg of what was believed to cocaine, with an estimated street value of N$206 million, was found. Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu of the Erongo police said customs documents indicated that the container had arrived at Walvis Bay on 9 June from Brazil, via South Africa.

    The container was cleared and kept at the port under surveillance in anticipation of the owner coming to claim it.

    When Noble and Azhar arrived on Friday, the container was opened in their presence. Customs officials and the police conducted a search and discovered a substance suspected to be cocaine. The two were arrested immediately.

    Iikuyu added that laboratory tests to determine whether the substance found was in fact cocaine could take a considerable amount of time.

    Noble is a Namibian who resides in Narraville. Azhar is a South African national residing in Namibia. According to a source, he apparently owned a service station at Karibib some time ago and now lives at Langstrand.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Katrina takes time into own handsKatrina takes time into own hands The education ministry has issued a directive that schools may not start earlier than 07:30 or later than 08:30.

    This follows numerous directives issued by the ministry to schools to adjust their hours following the abolition of the Time Act that made provision for a different time zone in winter. This appeal appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

    In a statement issued on Friday, the ministry's permanent secretary, Sanet Steenkamp, also pointed out that schools with platoon systems should finish teaching no later than 16:30.

    “While noting the directives, the ministry observed that some schools in the Khomas Region have not adjusted their times as directed due to circumstances that prevail at these schools. The ministry is equally aware of the fact that some schools in the country face several dynamics and that time changes may not be applied uniformly.

    “This challenge becomes entrenched especially in urban centres. After a thorough assessment of the circumstances prevailing in schools, the ministry has observed that further guidance should be provided to schools to minimise learners going to school when it is too dark,” she said.

    The ministry considered a number of factors, such as the platoon system in which two sessions of teaching are conducted on the same day at some schools. It also considered the distance children travel to school and whether learners and teachers make use of public transport.

    “This is an interim winter time change that will run annually with the commencement of the second term until the end of August, whereupon schools will change back to their original time,” said Steenkamp.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    Otjomuise shack fire claims twoOtjomuise shack fire claims twoArmed robberies and murders mar weekend The police have arrested four men in connection with an armed robbery of five tourists and a tour guide in Windhoek. JANA-MARI SMITH



    A shack fire in Windhoek’s Otjomuise area killed two people over the weekend.

    The police reported that the two deceased, Nicodemus Apollus (29) and Mervis Gariseb (37), likely made the fire inside the shack because of the cold weather.

    After the men had fallen asleep the fire spread to clothing items and started consuming the shack.

    Meanwhile, on Friday two unidentified men and a woman were arrested after police officers caught them in possession of a live pangolin valued at N$50 000.

    The arrests took place during a crime-prevention operation conducted by the police’s protected resources division.

    The three suspects have been charged with illegal possession of and dealing in controlled wildlife products.

    The police also successfully retrieved stolen goods and arrested four men involved in a violent armed robbery of five tourists and a tour guide over the weekend.

    The tour guide was stabbed in the head by one of the armed robbers but was in a stable condition, the police reported yesterday.

    The incident took place at Lovers’ Hill in Klein Windhoek on Sunday morning.

    The tourists, three German and two Swiss citizens, reported the loss of three cameras and binoculars valued at N$104 630.

    Another armed robbery in the early morning hours of Saturday at Onayena at the Helena Kaambu location involved three suspects robbing a cuca shop.

    According to the police report, two victims were tied up and threatened with a pistol.

    The robbers stole two jackpot machines, damaged a jukebox and stole an unspecified amount of money. The total value of the items stolen was estimated at N$170 000.

    No injuries were reported and the police are still on the hunt for the three suspects.

    A case of murder is being investigated after a 28-year-old man was arrested for stabbing his 33-year-old roommate in the early morning hours of Saturday in Wanaheda.

    It was reported that an argument broke out between the two men, which led to the fatal stabbing of Saltiel Nghiyolwa.

    An attempted murder case is being investigated at Opuwo after an off-duty security guard was found lying in a pool of blood near a bar. The police suspect he was stabbed with a broken bottle.

    He was taken to the Opuwo hospital and later transferred to Oshakati for treatment. He remains in a serious condition. A 33-year-old suspect has been arrested.

    An inquest is being conducted into the death of Philipus Maryombo (41), who died in an accident at work on Saturday.

    The police reported that Maryombo and three colleagues were offloading heavy glass panels from a container at a building in the northern industrial area of Windhoek when a panel fell on him.

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Public grills ECN contenders
  • Public grills ECN contendersPublic grills ECN contenders OGONE TLHAGE

    The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has started interviewing candidates for the position of chief electoral officer.

    For the first time ever, the process, which kicked off yesterday, was open to public scrutiny.

    Five candidates, all male, were shortlisted for the position, including former director of elections Moses Ndjarakana, ECN director of operations Theo Mujoro, former magistrate and football administrator Franco Cosmos, former legal advisor in the Office of the President Helmuth Naweseb, and school principal Amos Haimbangu.

    With the public being allowed to raise objections, Ndjarakana’s past as director of elections came back to haunt him.

    Ndjarakana was accused of being abrasive, while his role as elections chair was questioned in light of the 2009 election court challenge brought by nine opposition parties.

    Mujoro was asked how he would hold fair public elections with the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), while the ruling Swapo Party had not utilised EVMs at its elective congress last November. Mujoro was also accused of not projecting himself as an independent observer, while his academic credentials were also questioned.

    Mujoro blasted the objections raised as “insinuations and downright insulting”.

    During the interview, Mujoro listed among his strengths his long service at the ECN, deep institutional knowledge of its processes and his experience as a senior manager.

    Objections were also raised on the issue of whether Naweseb, Cosmos and Haimbangu had suitable qualifications for the position of chief electoral officer.

    Cosmos, an admitted legal practitioner, is currently a labour lawyer. He previously served as magistrate in the Outapi and Khorixas courts and also had a short stint on an interim committee of the Namibia Premier League (NPL).

    Naweseb holds a Master of Law degree from the University of South Africa and has served as a diplomat to Zimbabwe for the period 2003 to 2013, and thereafter as legal advisor in the Office of the President.

    Haimbangu, a school principal in the Omusati Region, holds a specialised diploma in education from the University of Namibia (Unam) and a Bachelor’s Degree in public management from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

    The ECN is obligated to announce the new elections officer within 30 days after the interviews.

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    Phosphate judgment on ThursdayPhosphate judgment on Thursday Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has reserved judgment until Thursday on whether the granting of an environmental clearance certificate to Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) will be upheld.

    A public hearing held yesterday at the head office of the environment ministry was packed as Shifeta heard submissions from NMP and community activist Michael Gawaseb, who had appealed against the clearance.

    The environmental clearance for the Sandpiper Project, located about 120km southwest of Walvis Bay, was issued by the ministry's environmental commissioner, Feofilus Nghitila, on 5 September 2016.

    In November that year the clearance was withdrawn following a public outcry, court applications and an appeal lodged by Gawaseb.

    A court case this year ruled that NMP did not have a fair hearing when the clearance was withdrawn and therefore Shifeta decided to hold a public hearing on the matter.

    Uno Katjipuko, the legal representative of Michael Gawaseb, argued that the environmental clearance should be set aside. She said further research should be done on phosphate mining.

    “Do not make Namibia the guinea pig,” she said.

    She said the appeal was based on the fact that marine phosphate mining could have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the environment and that there are alternative ways to extract phosphate.

    According to her there is no doubt that the activities of NMP would have huge impacts on the environment. “This activity will involve tons and tons of seabed being removed.”

    She referred to media reports as well as NMP's own company reports, which indicated that there could be long-term and permanent impacts on the environment. These could include the destruction of the ecosystem and severe impacts on the fishing industry, she said.



    Katjipuko pointed out that the fishing industry is a vital sector for the country and that phosphate mining would harm the breeding grounds of fish species.



    “Do we allow an activity to impact on an established industry in favour of an activity we do not know anything about?” asked Katjipuko.



    According to her, NMP's Impact Verification Report also highlighted the impact on the fishing industry. It said fishing would be impossible in certain areas because of the dredging done there.



    According to her such mining would affect the industry for 20 years or more, as the company had obtained a 20-year mining licence.

    “To exclude the fishing sector for such a long time from certain areas is a long time,” she said.

    Other points mentioned were the displacement of fish species such as hake, horse mackerel and monk. The displacement period would be 20 years of more and the recovery period would take even longer.

    Fish stocks and species diversity could be permanently affected and there were no mitigation measures, she argued.

    Katjipuko said the precautionary principle must be taken into account, meaning that an activity cannot be allowed if the extent of harm it is going to cause is unknown.

    “If we cannot maintain the environment for future generations then we cannot allow the activity to take place,” she said.

    The legal counsel for NMP, Advocate Deon Obbes, argued that the grounds of the appeal were vague and it must therefore be dismissed.

    “The grounds of appeal are vague and they in themselves do not even constitute grounds of appeal. The grounds of appeal are bad in law, improperly formulated and wildly formulated and should be dismissed.”

    Obbes said no evidence was put forward to support the claim that phosphate mining caused devastating and long-lasting impacts on the environment.

    He said Katjipuko's submission dealt with the impacts on the fishing industry, but gave no evidence on the environmental impact, to which the grounds of appeal referred.

    “The fishing industry is not the appellant and the grounds of appeal are the environment,” Obbes emphasised.

    He continued to say that Katjipuko based her submissions on media statements and a ministerial statement and that no evidence was provided and no witnesses called.



    “There must be facts, not assumptions and fear-mongering. Facts that establish the environmental damage. We have facts supporting the environmental clearance. Nothing has been put up by the appellants to change the granting of the environmental clearance.”



    He said Katjipuko also failed to mention a number of important aspects raised in reports and impact assessments by NMP that had been submitted to the environmental commissioner.



    He said her submission did not take into account the countless studies, environmental reports and scientific opinions gathered, but rather picked out certain points.



    According to him it did not take into account the scale of the planned operations or the economic benefits that phosphate mining could hold for the country.



    According to him there were over 2 000 pages of research that the environmental commissioner relied on to come to his decision.



    “There is no objective reason why the environmental clearance to NMP should not be given,” Obbes argued.



    With regard to the precautionary principle Katjipuko had mentioned, Obbes said: “One must caution that this principle does not allow arbitrary decisions. One cannot say no because there is uncertainty and stop all development.”





    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Court reins in spies
  • Court reins in spiesCourt reins in spiesSecrecy laws cannot be used to hide corruption In a judgement that has far-reaching consequences for those who hide behind national security and secrecy to hide corrupt and illegal activities, the High Court has come down hard on the country's spy agency. The flimsy fig leaf of national security and secrecy, used by government, especially the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), to withhold information in a constitutional democracy, has effectively been torn away by the High Court.

    In his ruling in the matter that saw the spy agency trying to gag The Patriot weekly newspaper, Judge Harald Geier said yesterday although legislation may exist to protect national security interests, the law in general can't be used in instances where the media may potentially be uncovering illegal and corrupt activities.

    He dismissed the application brought by the NCIS with costs.

    The ruling has far-reaching consequences, in that it sets a precedent that the spy agency cannot be a law unto itself and is subject to judicial scrutiny.

    This case emanates from an urgent interdict sought by the state security agency in April to stop The Patriot from publicising allegations of the acquisition of two farms to the tune of N$57 million in the Otjozondjupa Region by the government, under the guise that it was classified information.

    The NCIS had sought to urgently interdict The Patriot newspaper from publishing any information relating to the purchase of the two farms and another property in Windhoek, which the government purchased for the intelligence service at a cost of N$8.2 million.

    It emerged in the court proceedings that the two farms bought for resettlement purposes were now being used by retired members of the NCIS, who are organised in a voluntary association.

    “The press must reveal dishonest mal- and inept administration. This role of the media is obviously also in the public interest,” Judge Geier said in his ruling yesterday.

    The NCIS had argued the information the newspaper intended to publish was a threat and would compromise national security.

    It said further the information might jeopardise the effectiveness of the service, if its operations were exposed, as the information falls within the Protection of Information Act, under the scope of sensitive and classified information, as defined in the Namibia Central Intelligence Service Act.

    The NCIS argued the Act prohibits anyone who is not in possession of a security clearance from publishing classified and sensitive information.

    However, The Patriot had argued the information does not expose the operations of the NCIS or identify its agents, but rather corrupt practices, which cannot be defined as classified or sensitive information.

    The newspaper said the public is entitled to be informed about corruption in the government or the NCIS.

    Geier stressed in his judgement that members of the public have the right to be informed about the manner and fashion in which the authorities are performing their public duties and mandates.



    This includes the right to be informed about how public figures, officials and politicians execute the tasks entrusted to them.



    “The members of the public have a consequent right to form an opinion about the manner and fashion in which authorities and public figures perform their duties… this opinion in a very large measure is dependent upon the media's ability to provide accurate information on the way in which politicians and functionaries are fulfilling their mandates,” Geier emphasised.



    According to him, the media in this regard plays a key role, in that its members are important agents in ensuring that the government is open, responsive and accountable to its citizens, as the founding values of the constitution require.



    He explained the constitution guarantees freedom of speech, expression and of the media. However, he said the limitation of such rights and freedoms is permissible, in terms of the provisions of the constitution, by any law which imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of such rights and freedoms.



    The judge added these rights can also be limited if this should be required in the interest of national security.



    Geier said the recognition of the negative effects and impact of corruption on the Bill of Rights and on Namibia's developing democracy, translates itself into the recognition of the important role the media has in reporting such activities.



    “It is thus one of the functions of the press to ferret out corruption, dishonesty and graft, wherever,” Geier said.



    He stressed the press must reveal dishonest mal- and inept administration. This role of the media is obviously also in the public interest, the judge said.



    Geier further said the actions of the NCIS are subject to judicial oversight, as it operates in the context of a democratic state, founded on the rule of law, which subjects all public officials and all those exercising public functions, whether openly or covertly in the interest of the state, to judicial scrutiny.



    “This would include all operatives and functionaries of the NCIS,” the judge added.



    FRED GOEIEMAN

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

    “The Minerals Council believes that much more work needs to be done to create a Mining Charter that promotes competitiveness, investment, growth and transformation for the growth and prosperity of South Africa,” Minerals Council, South Africa

    Stat

    11 000

    Learners are targeted in 2018/2019 by the school mobile ID registration planned countrywide for schools in towns and in far distant rural areas.

    -Ministry of home affairs

    Focus

    Budget

    Millions for young skills

    Government has in 2018/2019 allocated N$25.7 million towards skills training projects in the ministry of sport, youth and national service.

    -Development budget

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  • 06/18/18--16:00: Support for refugees
  • Support for refugeesSupport for refugees2% of ministry’s budget The administration of the ­refugees programme provides protection and support to asylum seekers and refugees in Namibia. “During 2018/2019 financial year, the refugees administration [programme] will continue strengthening its human capacity to render quality services to refugees.”- Frans Kapofi, home affairs minister NDAMA NAKASHOLE



    A total of N$13.2 million has been allocated in 2018/19 financial year to the administration of refugees programme under the home affairs ministry.

    The programme coordinates, facilitates and promotes local integration, voluntary repatriation and resettlement.

    Motivating his ministry's combined (operational and development) N$609.3 million budget in April, minister Frans Kapofi said that Namibia was host to 7 684 refugees, the majority of them at the Osire refugee camp.

    Kapofi said the number of asylum seekers and refugees was increasing and the majority of refugees were from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    In 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shut down its operations in Namibia after 23 years, saying that the government was now able to deal with the refugees.



    ZERO DEVELOPMENT

    Part of the ministry's N$609.3 million budget for the current financial year is a N$164 million allocation for development projects.

    Of that money, nothing goes towards the establishment of an asylum seekers protection centre.

    The asylum seekers protection centre project within the ministry received allocations of N$432 000 and N$1 million during the previous two years. The government plans to allocate a further N$500 000 during the next financial year. No allocations are planned towards this N$5.3 million project in 2020/21.



    REFUGEES

    ADMINISTRATION

    In 2012 the government approved the local integration of 2 400 former Angolan refugees into Namibian society.

    As a result, 170 households were issued with Permanent Residence Permits (PRPs) while passports for the remaining 306 households are still to be received from the Angolan embassy in Windhoek for the ministry to endorse the PRPs in their passports.

    Kapofi said consultative meetings were being held with regional governors and officials to inform them of the number of former refugees who had opted for local integration in their regions.

    According to him, 20 Namibian refugees from the Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana were repatriated and integrated with their families in Namibia.

    The remaining number of Namibian refugees at Dukwe stands at 916.

    “The government of Namibia is committed to the principle of voluntary repatriation as a core durable solution; hence we are working together with the government of the republic of Botswana and UNHCR to ensure their return back home in a dignified manner,” the minister said.

    He said consultations on a tripartite commission on this matter were at an advanced stage.

    “During 2018/19 financial year the refugees administration will continue strengthening its human capacity to render quality services to refugees,” he said.

    Management of the Osire settlement and reception centre will be strengthened and printing and delivery of travel documents for refugees will be expedited, according to the minister.

    The local integration of former Angolan refugees would be completed during the second and third quarters, he said.



    GLOBAL SUPPORT

    On World Refugee Day, held every year on 20 June, the United Nations (UN) commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee, according to the UN.

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    Kingon re-appointed as SARS commissionerKingon re-appointed as SARS commissioner South African Revenue Service (SARS) acting commissioner Mark Kingon’s time at the helm has been extended by another three months, after minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene re-appointed him as acting commissioner, starting on Sunday.

    This development comes as the President Cyril Ramaphosa and suspended SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane prepare for a showdown in the inquiry into his management of the revenue service which could see the troubled head of the tax unit out on his ear.

    On Friday minister of public enterprises, and former minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan outlined the case against Moyane in a 60 page affidavit.

    Moyane is accused of gross mishandling related to a Finance Intelligence Centre probe and report into SARS and its former business and individual tax executive Jonas Makwakwa, amongst other things.

    Moyane is also accused of clearing unauthorised bonuses at the revenue services, misleading Parliament and muzzling SARS employees when it came to giving evidence to a KPMG probe into a so-called rogue unit at SARS.

    In the statement, National Treasury said Nene would re-appoint Kingon, who took over after Moyane’s suspension in March, to continue leading and stabilising the revenue service.

    “The minister of finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, has re-appointed Mr Mark Kingon as acting commissioner of SARS for a further 90 days beginning on June 17,” according to a statement from National Treasury.

    The statement said section 7 of the SARS Act empowers the minister of finance to appoint an acting commissioner. The President, however, appoints a permanent commissioner.

    -Fin24

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  • 06/19/18--02:40: Trade deficit almost doubles
  • Trade deficit almost doublesTrade deficit almost doubles Namibia recorded a trade deficit of N$8.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018 compared to N$4.8 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2017, according to data released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) this morning.
    In the last quarter of 2017, the trade deficit was N$5.5 billion.

    0 0
  • 06/19/18--16:00: Judgement reserved
  • Judgement reservedJudgement reservedLocal pundits refuse to call Kalinic incident 'racist' Local football lovers have reserved their judgement on an incident in which a Croatian player refused to take to the field against Nigeria. Local football pundit Isack Hamata says an unfolding drama at the Russia World Cup, in which Croatia sent a player home, allegedly because he refused to play against Nigeria, should not automatically be considered a racist saga.

    The atmosphere at the World Cup has taken a somewhat sour turn, after Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic was sent home for refusing to play against Nigeria, while citing back pain.

    However, some international media claimed he had faked an injury to avoid playing against a black team.

    Hamata said it was difficult to put the incident down to racism, as Kalinic may just be a moody and difficult player.

    “The official reason was that Kalinic was suffering from a back problem. It was also noted that he refused to play against Brazil in a pre-World Cup friendly match. My view is that he is just a difficult player who sulked because he was on the bench.”

    Another local football lover Olsen Kahiriri, who is also the secretary-general of the Namibia Football Players' Union (Nafpu), said reporting on the incident may not be factual and it cannot be ruled as racism.

    “In this regard, a conclusion has not been made about the incident and we cannot create perceptions around it. Yes, racism is not allowed in football or by Fifa,” he said.

    Croatia sent Kalinic home earlier this week following his antics in the World Cup.

    Until the incident, the 2018 Russia World Cup atmosphere had been completely festive.

    However, there has been no direct evidence made public that Kalinic acted in a racist manner.

    Croatia opened their Group D campaign with an impressive win over the Super Eagles, but faced an unsettling scenario with the AC Milan forward.

    Kalinic, 30, was on the bench and reportedly refused to come on as a late second-half substitute after being told to warm up by manager Zlatko Dalic.

    It's claimed that Kalinic complained of a back problem and refused to enter the match - something which did not convince his manager, as he had pulled a similar stunt when the team played Brazil in a friendly match, as well as during the practice session on Sunday.

    “I have calmly accepted that, and since I need my players fit and ready to play, I have made this decision,” said Dalic.



    United stand

    Nigeria's game on Sunday was the first big test of Russia's resolve to stamp out racism during the World Cup.

    In line with this, there was not much rowdiness from the crowd.

    Towards the build up to the World Cup, Fifa president Gianni Infantino reportedly promised unspecified consequences if incidents of racism occur during the tournament.

    “I wouldn't say that I'm concerned about discrimination, human rights or security, but obviously we take this very, very seriously and we've taken appropriate measures,” Infantino said.

    “In terms of discrimination, we will have clear procedures in place, including a three-step process for referees who can stop, suspend or even abandon a match in case of discrimination. We have a monitoring system and then immediate sanctions if something happens.

    “We obviously wish that doesn't happen and everyone has been warned that if it happens there will be serious consequences.”



    Past transgressions

    Racism has plagued Russian football since clubs began purchasing foreign players. In addition, Russia's football federation was last month slapped with a 25 000 euro fine after racist chants from supporters during a friendly match against France.

    Fifa has instituted a three-strike policy against any racist abuse by fans during the tournament, threatening to abandon matches if supporters ignore a stadium speaker announcement and a pause in play, in order for them to calm down.

    -Additional info by BBC

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Bok points' machine helps NamibiaBok points' machine helps Namibia The Windhoek Draught Namibia national rugby team has beefed up their coaching staff by bringing in former Springbok Braam van Straaten.

    Van Straaten was capable of playing either at flyhalf or centre and represented the Springboks in 21 tests from 1999 to 2001, scoring 221 points. He will help the Namibian team improve their place and tactical kicking.

    The South African will also do video sessions with all the players, in order for him to monitor and improve their kicking technique.

    Namibia is currently participating in the Africa Gold Cup, which serves as a qualification tournament for the Rugby World Cup slated for Japan next year.

    “Van Straaten is currently the kicking coach of the Cell C Sharks in Durban. This year Van Straaten has also taken up extra responsibilities as the defence coach of the Sharks,” the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) announced.

    Namibia began their quest for World Cup qualification on a high, beating Uganda 56-6 this past weekend.

    Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Namibia are playing in a round-robin format in attempt to book their place at next year's rugby spectacle.

    The winners of the Africa Gold Cup will meet world champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the Repechage winner in Pool B.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Nail-biting FNB Classic ClashesNail-biting FNB Classic ClashesSt Joseph's Dobra shines against Eldorado The FNB Classic Clashes continue to produce thrilling match, with great talent on display. St Joseph's Dobra proved too strong for Eldorado High School, as they defeated the Khomasdal youngsters 27-18 in their FNB Classic Clashes netball match.

    The game was played at the netball courts of the famous Khomasdal Sport Stadium.

    The future stars of Namibian netball showed why the country has been improving in the sport, with their calculated passes and attacks.

    The visiting team began the game slowly, building a marginal 8-7 lead in the first minutes of the game.

    St Josephs, however, picked up momentum and came back firing on all cylinders in the last quarter of the game, to earn a comfortable victory away from home.

    Their goal attacker, Djizuvira Uakurama, impressed in her new position, wowing the small crowd with some of creative passes and goal scoring.

    St Joseph's captain Matundu Vendjimuna said after the game: “We performed very well, and we came to win, and we did our best. My advice to the other team is to train a bit harder and push.”

    Emilia Kavungo of Eldorado was named Aqua Splash hero, while Klenda Ketjivaundje of St Joseph's was crowned the FNB Classic Clashes player of the match.

    On Saturday, hosts Windhoek Afrikaans Privaatskool (WAP) beat visiting rivals Tsumeb Gymnasium 42-31 in their FNB Classic Clashes rugby match.

    The match was a one-sided affair as the hosts scored one try after another and Tsumeb Gymnasium struggled to find their way through the WAP defence.

    The support by more than 250 spectators was fantastic and the well-played match ended in a win for WAP.

    WAP's Danie van der Merwe was crowned Aqua Splash hero and man of the match.

    “It's a very tough game whenever we play Tsumeb Gymnasium, but I think it was a great solid and fair game and our team showed all we have been trained to do.

    “We want to thank FNB Namibia for showing the importance and value of playing FNB Classic Clashes every year.”

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Spain face Iran in crunch tieSpain face Iran in crunch tie Spanish playmaker Isco says today's match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny, as they seek to register their first win in Russia following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal.

    Champions in 2010 and among the favourites this year, Spain's World Cup ambitions were kept in check, almost single-handedly, by a stunning Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

    The draw came just two days after Spain's campaign was thrown into disarray by the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui, following an untimely announcement by Real Madrid that he would join the 13-times European champions after the tournament.

    Fernando Hierro, Spain's sporting director, is now at the helm but barely a week into the tournament La Roja, expected to join Brazil, Germany and France in the latter stages, have endured more drama than they would have wanted or expected.

    “It's a crucial match that will determine our World Cup destiny,” said Isco.

    “We want to score from the opening minute, even though that won't be easy.

    “We will stick to the style that defines us as a team, but we have to pass the ball around a lot more and maintain possession. If we play quickly across the pitch, the chances will come. I hope we score quickly.”

    Iran kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Morocco, thanks to a late own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz, which now piles the pressure on Spain at Kazan Arena.

    Iran sit top of the pile as the only Group B team with a win so far, an achievement that sparked incredible celebrations in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere throughout the Islamic republic.

    Coach Carlos Queiroz concedes Iran now face one of the biggest challenges in their World Cup history, but maintains they can “make the impossible possible”.

    “If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final,” said the former Real Madrid coach.

    “It was not a miracle that we won. What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, can create super stories and super things.

    “Our attitude is to try and make the impossible possible.”

    Yet keeping the Spanish armada at bay to claim the point that would boost hopes of qualifying for the last 16 looks a tall order.

    Iran have never beaten a European side at a World Cup; their only previous victory was a 2-1 win over the United States in France in 1998.

    Despite the frustration of conceding an 88th-minute equaliser to Ronaldo following two goals from Diego Costa and a stunning strike from Nacho, Isco believes Spain's resolve remains intact.

    “We had a setback but we stuck together and got on with the job,” he said.

    “We saw that in the first match. We never gave up, even after conceding a goal in the fourth minute. That shows what this team is all about. We'll never stop fighting.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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