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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 06/28/18--16:00: Movers and shakers
  • Movers and shakers Movers and shakers a credit extension supervisor at Dupwies Management Services. He started his career with Dupwies in in September 2013 as a loan officer.

    He is responsible for overseeing the processing and administration of loan applications, as well as ensuring that processing deadlines are met as required, daily.

    He also ensures that staff are adequately trained and are knowledgeable about their duties and that they are reporting on daily, weekly and monthly progress.

    “I provide support to 50 branches countrywide and a branch in Botswana,” he said.

    After two years at Dupwies Management Services he was promoted to credit extension supervisor.

    The highlight of his career so far is the evolution that is taking place within him, in terms of growth - emotional maturity and growth in leadership skills.

    He says people believe in him, which helps him to also believe in the kind of person he is.

    Nangolo is an indoor person and enjoys watching movies or working out at the gym.

    “My work environment can be stressful at times, so I prefer being in a relaxing place like the gym and watching movies. Those are my two favourite activities.”

    The main challenge for Nangolo is working with people from different backgrounds, as each person interacts in terms of how they were raised, which can cause misunderstandings.

    “I have learnt to accept people’s traits without trying to change them. I also do not take anything personally; it’s all about work. It’s these kinds of challenges that mould our characters,” he said.

    Nangolo says he overcomes his challenges by maintaining a positive mindset and trying his best at all times. He says he does not allow situations or individuals around him to dictate who he is.

    “It is who I am that helps me overcome many of my challenges, either at my workplace or during life in general.”

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  • 06/28/18--16:00: 'Show me the money'
  • 'Show me the money''Show me the money'SSC application struck from court roll The High Court has dismissed an application by the Social Security Commission for a compensation order to recover the missing N$30 million in the Avid fraud case. The Avid trial briefly took an unexpected turn yesterday when the state brought an application for a compensation order for the missing millions invested for the Social Security Commission (SSC) by the Avid Investment Corporation.

    However, High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg struck the matter from the roll on the basis that it was non-procedural and unilateral. The State could also not provide proof of a resolution of the SSC authorising the application for recovery.

    Former deputy minister Paulus Kapia, Inez /Gâses and Ralph Blaauw, all guilty of fraud, and one of the kingpins in the matter, Nico Josea, who was found guilty of theft by conversion, and Sharon Blaauw, found guilty of reckless conduct of business, will be sentenced on 5 July.

    Yesterday, state advocate Ed Marondedze submitted an application in terms of Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Act on behalf of the CEO of the SSC, Milka Mungunda. Mungunda also asked for costs.

    In a letter to Marondedze on 9 May this year, the SSC said it had received a paltry N$9.8 million of the missing N$30 million.

    The amount to be recovered is N$20 103 377.59, excluding any interest that may have accrued.

    The then acting CEO, Vemunjengua Kavari, had documented that the SSC had received N$6.9 million on 20 September 2010 and N$2 996 622.41 on 28 January 2014. Sisa Namandje, appearing on behalf of Paulus Kapia in opposing the application, said a criminal court is not the best place to determine a civil matter.

    According to him as there is no proof that the application for recovery was authorised by the SSC's board.

    “The application is not properly before the court and it must be struck from the roll,” Namandje argued.

    Gilroy Kasper, the lawyer appearing for the Ralph and Sharon Blaauw, agreed with Namandje and added that in the absence of a resolution from the SSC, which is a statutory body governed by a board of directors, the application is a failure.

    Slysken Makando, appearing for Nico Josea, emphasised that it is not in dispute that the SSC is a juristic persona.

    “A company has no soul of its own. The SSC exists only through human beings who must be authorised and there is no evidence that the purported application by Milka Mungunga was sanctioned by the juristic persona,” Makando argued.

    Marondedze said he had not expected the nature of the opposition from the defence counsels.

    He asked for an adjournment to obtain documentation to prove the application was sanctioned but Liebenberg rejected this, saying he had filed the application


    “If the purpose of the adjournment is to call the deponent, that would not be proper,” he said.


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  • 06/28/18--16:00: Hengari bolsters NWR
  • Hengari bolsters NWRHengari bolsters NWRReady to reach new heights NWR managing director Zelna Hengari plans to enhance the tourism industry by reaching new heights in the years to come. Gabby Tjiroze

    Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) managing director Zelna Hengari assumed her duties as acting MD in 2013 and was appointed substantive MD in 2016.

    She provides strategic leadership and direction to the company, in terms of the goals and objectives set out in its business plan.

    “I see us becoming a key node in tourism and hospitality within southern Africa. Towards this end, we have initiatives such as Holiday Estates to be marketed in Namibia and southern Africa, especially the landlocked countries in the region and the discerning tourists from Angola, South Africa and elsewhere. We also intend to develop KAZA (the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) as a world-class cross-border tourism product. Even with our partner, Air Namibia, starting to fly to Ghana, there is also no reason why we cannot do a pan-African product where we give a visitor one integrated product that encompasses the history and beauty of Ghana and the wonder and beauty of Namibia,” she said.

    She explained the challenges she faced upon taking office.

    “I faced the challenge of stabilising the NWR operationally and financially to set it up for sustainability. We stabilised the company and it is now focused on a sustainable growth path.

    “As part of the transformation, I had to confront an organisational culture that reproduced an unhealthy situation whereby men were concentrated at the top of the organisational pyramid and women at the bottom of the pyramid.

    “From close to zero, women now make up a significant number of resort managers, middle managers and executive team members. In fact, critical functions such as the chief Financial officer and chief human capital officer are now occupied by women. Our challenge is to advance women within NWR decision-making further and to consolidate their equal participation across the company,” said Hengari.

    NWR manages camping sites rest camps and lodges across Namibia, mostly in the national parks.

    The camps include five places to stay in the Etosha National Park – the Okaukuejo, Halali, Namutoni, Onkoshi and Dolomite camps.

    And two places to stay in Sesriem - the gateway to the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei - the Sesriem Campsite and the Sossus Dune Lodge.

    “During 2006 to 2009, a three-year turnaround strategy was formulated, aimed at improving the products of the company. That is why I can say that, to some extent, the hardware is now in place and the challenges that we face are software-related such as excellent customer service, adequate maintenance of resorts, operational efficiency and sound corporate governance.

    “It is in dealing with these challenges that the company is recording progress and achievements.

    “For instance, after the current board of directors took office they immediately set off on a path of ensuring sound corporate governance. They instituted a company-wide performance management system which is tied towards a clear strategic business plan setting sustainable profitability as the key strategic goal of the company.

    “Already these efforts are bearing fruits, and the company has won a few national and global awards culminating in me being named the IPM CEO of the Year in 2016,” explained Hengari.

    She also shared her proud moments at NWR.

    “There are a few things I am proud of, though the one I am most happy with is the introduction of the NamLeisure Card which was crucial in unlocking our domestic tourism.

    “More and more Namibians are now enjoying their own country, and that is very good. In addition to that, I am pleased that we started embarking on a source market diversification strategy through which we are doing everything to deepen and preserve our traditional European market, while aggressively pursuing new markets especially North America and China,” she said.

    Education background

    Hengari holds a Master’s degree in Economic Law which she obtained from the University of Namibia. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a certificate in paralegal studies from New York University.

    Day-to-day activities

    A typical day in the office is mostly pre-occupied with responding to stakeholder emails and call requests.

    “My day is mostly occupied by replying to emails, both internal and external. I tend to consult my senior executive team to keep abreast with matters that need my attention. I also review strategic documents and when time allows I attend networking events to increase our business further.”

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    Utoni under fire for tobacco 'facilitation'Utoni under fire for tobacco 'facilitation' Local political analysts have expressed concern over lands minister Utoni Nujoma's role in apparently facilitating a cabinet presentation by Chinese investors in the Namibia Oriental Tobacco project.

    They raised the issue of Nujoma facilitating the meeting this week, while he is the same person who will decide whether to approve the company's land application in a communal area in the Zambezi Region.

    Two sources, who were privy to the tobacco discussions in cabinet, confirmed to Namibian Sun earlier this week that Nujoma had brought in the group of Chinese investors for their presentation.

    Repeated calls, from different numbers to Nujoma's cellphone went unanswered yesterday.

    Political analyst Frederico Links said it makes no sense that cabinet has become the place to discuss business proposals.

    “What are they doing at cabinet in the first place? The whole things smells of people peddling political influence. It just doesn't sound right. For me, it looks once again like political connections are being used to try to secure national resources for private gain,” said Links.

    Another political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said Nujoma must explain why he had to play a facilitation role during the cabinet meeting.

    “He cannot approve the land application and spearhead the process at the same time. His facilitation role must be scrutinised.

    “From the public's perspective there is evidence of conflict of interest,” he said.

    Namibia Oriental Tobacco is co-owned by Swapo regional coordinator for Oshikoto, Armas Amukwiyu.

    Amukwiyu's application for land was rejected in May 2015 by the Zambezi Communal Land Board.

    The fact that Nujoma brought Amukwiyu's project to cabinet also raises questions around Amukwiyu's factional allegiance within Swapo.

    During the party's elective congress in November last year, Amukwiyu was Team Swapo's secretary-general candidate, but lost to Team Harambee's Sophia Shaningwa.

    According to Kamwanyah it would appear as if Amukwiyu is using his contacts in Team Harambee, as President Geingob's victorious faction was known as, to facilitate the process.

    “Anything is possible in politics, but I am not convinced that he is back with the Harambee team. You must remember that as regional coordinator of Swapo he has quite a lot of political influence. And as far as I know there is no bad blood between him and Nujoma,” he said.

    Amukwiyu, as well as Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu could not be reached for comment.


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    Dukwe SADC petitioners arrestedDukwe SADC petitioners arrested A group of Namibian refugees in Botswana had their hopes of staying there dashed this week when they were detained and returned to the Dukwe refugee camp.

    The group, led by their spokesperson Felix Kakula, recently petitioned the Southern African Development Community to block a move by the Botswana government to return them to Namibia.

    The Namibian high commission in Gaborone confirmed the incident but dismissed local news reports that the group had been arrested.

    Describing the detention to the Botswana Guardian, Kakula said they were chased from the SADC headquarters, placed on a truck and taken to Francistown.

    “We are currently in a queue to board the trucks that will ferry us to Francistown. They arrested us on Tuesday in the central business district of Gaborone after we were chased from SADC headquarters premises,” said Kakula.

    He admitted that the group had left the refugee camp illegally.

    “We spent the night here, at least we are all adults who were arrested. Yes we left without permission,” he said.

    After the petition Kakula said they were not against the decision of the Botswana government to send them home, but were worried about the political situation in Namibia.

    In a public notice posted on the Botswana government website a week ago, Botswana minister of defence Shaw Kgathi said that a decision had been taken to enforce the cessation clause with respect to the group's refugee status, invoked in 2015.

    “All refugees are required to register in person for voluntary repatriation to Namibia from 11 May 2018 to 11 July 2018,” the notice read.

    Namibian home affairs minister Frans Kapofi said the government wanted to ease the return of the refugees to Namibia.

    “Government is committed to the principle of voluntary repatriation as a durable solution; hence we are working together with the government of Botswana and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure their return in a dignified manner,” Kapofi said.

    Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi had warned during a recent state visit to Namibia that the refugees would be regarded as illegal immigrants, should they fail to return home.

    The group fled to Botswana after a failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi Region from Namibia in August 1999.

    The Botswana government initially planned to deport the remaining Namibians living at Dukwe by 31 December 2015.

    However, in January 2016 the Botswana High Court halted the planned deportation of the remaining 880 refugees.

    According to Namibia's ministry of home affairs, there are 906 refugees currently resident in Dukwe.

    -Additional reporting by Botswana Guardian.

    Ogone Tlhage

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  • 06/28/18--16:00: 'I'm not a thief'
  • 'I'm not a thief''I'm not a thief'Shaningwa fumes over bribe allegation The Swapo secretary-general has reacted angrily to allegations that she took a bribe to award a contract for building the new party headquarters. Swapo Party secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa has vehemently denied an allegation that she has received 44 million Kenyan shillings (nearly N$6 million) as a kickback for having awarded Jack Mutua Architects the contract to design the new building.

    An email sent anonymously to the media makes this claim and further alleges that the money was paid into a Kenyan bank account to benefit her brother, Ignatius Shaningwa.

    The email also alleges that the building costs of the new headquarters were inflated by N$200 million and that it would now cost N$400 million instead of the N$150 million to N$200 million it was “supposed” to cost.

    Moreover, it alleges that Shaningwa had “threatened” the CEO of Kalahari Holdings, Christian Maketo, to sign a debt guarantee agreement with the contractor before the project could start.

    “In the history of this country I, Sophia Shaningwa, was never corrupt,” the SG fumed.

    “I am a person of integrity. I do not go for shoddy work; I go for quality and standards.”

    She also urged law enforcement agencies to investigate the allegations of her taking a bribe of any kind.

    “I am requesting with all urgency that Nampol and Interpol get into my [bank] accounts locally and internationally and to arrest any money and return it to whom it belongs to,” Shaningwa said.

    Shaningwa had earlier come under fire for allegedly having awarded a construction contract in Mariental to her brother, Ignatius, which she also vigorously denied.

    Of the recent emailed allegations Shaningwa said: “All corrupt people will talk about me. They won't stop me from doing what is right. We cannot allow Swapo to operate from an office that looks like a residential house. Swapo is the ruling party. The people who do not like progress will try hard to scare me to do what is right but I know what is right in the eyes of God and the people. I won't be stopped by cowardice.”

    She added: “If people have a problem with me, they have to deal with me. I have my house, my salary and I am happy with what I have. I have been telling these cowards [those making the libellous allegations against her anonymously] time and time again that I am not a thief. I don't come from a poor family. We have sacrificed money and items and I am satisfied. I am not corrupt.”

    Etuna Nashima, a general manager at Kalahari Holdings, also denied the allegation that Shaningwa was trying to twist the company's arm to sign a debt guarantee agreement and said Kalahari Holdings was not involved in the construction of the party head office at all.

    Shaningwa had said in April that the construction of the new Swapo headquarters would start at the end of June.

    However, she said this week the deadline would not be met and that the ground-breaking would only commence in July.

    Shaningwa also said that no company had yet been contracted to build the new head office. She would not say what the eventual cost of the building will be.

    She said the idea of a new Swapo head office was first mooted by Founding President Sam Nujoma but was never implemented.

    She said when she became the party's SG she “upgraded” the idea to “do what is right for the idea”.

    Shaningwa said Mutua was chosen from companies that had been contracted by Kalahari Holdings in the past.

    “The party head office is going to be built, not for me but for current and future generations; for the party and its future leaders,” she said.


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  • 06/29/18--02:24: Matengu gets Unam top job
  •  Matengu gets Unam top job Matengu gets Unam top job The University of Namibia has announced the appointment of associate professor Kenneth Matengu (40) as its new vice-chancellor. His appointment is effective 1 August 2018 and is set for a period of six years.

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  • 07/01/18--06:44: Veteran educator dies
  • Veteran educator diesVeteran educator dies Veteran educator and politician Otillie Abrahams passed away on Sunday morning, a family member has confirmed. Abrahams passed away in her sleep at the Paramount Healthcare Centre in Windhoek after a short illness.
    She became politically active while studying in Cape Town. She joined the South West Africa student body in 1952 and also later become involved in Cape Town student politics.
    She was also active in a small guerrilla group, Yo-Chi-Chan, which attracted the attention of the then apartheid intelligence service.
    Abrahams was also Swapo’s first secretary for education.
    She was also a founding member of the Swapo Democrats, but left the party to join the Namibia Independence Party, which won a seat in the National Assembly during the country’s first elections in 1989.
    Abrahams, who was 81, leaves behind three children and seven grandchildren. She was the sister of veteran politician, Nora Schimming-Chase, who also passed away recently.
    Former deputy prime minister Dr Libertine Amathila expressed shock at the news of Abrahams’ death.
    “She was very close to me; we lived together in Sweden. I am very sad, I am very sad.”

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    Man allegedly kills five relativesMan allegedly kills five relatives The Kavango East police are hunting a man who allegedly murdered five of his family members. The police confirmed the killings but could not share any further information yesterday. Unconfirmed reports said the incident happened at the Ndama informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu in the early hours of yesterday. The victims allegedly include the suspect’s grandmother, sister and her three children.

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    Man allegedly kills five relativesMan allegedly kills five relatives The Kavango East police are hunting a man who allegedly murdered five of his family members. The police confirmed the killings but could not share any further information yesterday. Unconfirmed reports said the incident happened at the Ndama informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu in the early hours of yesterday. The victims allegedly include the suspect’s grandmother, sister and her three children.

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    Man allegedly kills five relativesMan allegedly kills five relatives The Kavango East police are hunting a man who allegedly murdered five of his family members. The police confirmed the killings but could not share any further information yesterday. Unconfirmed reports said the incident happened at the Ndama informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu in the early hours of yesterday. The victims allegedly include the suspect’s grandmother, sister and her three children.

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    'Daddy's girl' conquers the world'Daddy's girl' conquers the world Namibian protégé Johanna Ndamwena Amunjela has already made waves across the world with her breakthrough research into the treatment of brain, breast and gastric cancer.

    Over the weekend, she announced she has now earned her Doctorate in Cancer Research from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom.

    “Dr JN Amunjela, Tate Aaron's daughter (daddy's girl),” she said proudly on Facebook.

    “Many years ago, my father and my five-year-old-self, we had a dream. Today that dream has been realised as I earned my Doctorate in Cancer Research from the University of Aberdeen in the UK,” she said.

    “Sadly, my father didn't live to see this day but I rejoice for the both of us. I am immensely grateful to everyone who helped me along the way from Ondukuta to Aberdeen and beyond.

    “To borrow from the wise words of our commencement speaker, 'May we never feel like we've done it all or done enough to just lay back and watch life pass us by!' Here is to climbing new mountains and pursuing new challenges!”

    Namibian Sun has been following her journey for many years.

    In 2015, she presented her research findings at the University of Cambridge at the Genes and Cancer Conference in the United Kingdom.

    The research that Amunjela carried out at the University of Aberdeen, supervised by Dr Steven Tucker, is among the first in the world to investigate the role that specific proteins called 'Popeye domain containing protein1, 2 and 3 or Popdc1, 2 and 3' play in the spread of cancer.

    The understanding these proteins better will lead to treatment breakthroughs globally.

    In an interview with Namibian Sun at the time, Amunjela said: “In August 2010, I lost a very close friend to cancer. He was young, a mere 28 years old, with a very promising career ahead of him. We were a small group of friends and used to hang out together until his very last moments.”

    She said her friend had asked her to explain his medicines to him, so he could understand exactly how each one was helping his body.

    “As a newly-qualified pharmacist this was my field. I understood the mechanisms of action of each one and the rationale for all the combinations of medicines he was receiving,” she said.

    “We'd chat about this and it would help him be more willing to take his medicine. In his last moments though, I felt very helpless and useless. My friend was dying and all I could offer him was a glass of water. From that moment onwards, I knew I had to do something more significant with my life. That is how my passion for cancer research began,” Amunyela said.

    Born in Omusati, Amunjela was born in Ondukuta village in Omusati Region. She relocated to Walvis Bay at the age of 12 and continued with her schooling at the coastal town. She calls herself “daddy's girl” as her father had a big influence in her life.

    “He was a very courageous and visionary, a go-getter who always encouraged us to strive to become more. Since I was about five years old, he started grooming me for greatness. He would say 'daddy's girl, when you grow up, you will go to university, be very educated, wise and take good care of yourself'. It became a poem and I would recite it to him every other day,” she related.

    Her father passed away when she was 12, but he left a strong vision of the great person she has grown into.

    Her mother and older brother continued looking after her and three siblings. “As a young girl I was into academics and modelling,” she told Namibian Sun.

    She said that when she matriculated from Kuisebmond Secondary School, she could not apply directly to study pharmacy, because of the limited matric subjects on offer. Amunjela said she attended a pre-pharmacy course at the University of Namibia (Unam) in 2004 before moving to Cape Town. “I studied my Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at the University of Western Cape and this institution really shaped my career as a scientist,” she said.

    Amunjela said after deciding to specialise in pharmacology and branch into drug discovery, she found it extremely difficult to get any funding. “After approaching many in institutions in Namibia, the ministries of health and education included, my family and I eventually made a plan to fund my studies,” she said.

    She further said her life at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland was not easy, but because of the kindness of the Scottish people and immense support from her family, she managed. She graduated with a Masters in Clinical Pharmacology, obtaining a distinction in November 2013. She was awarded the JC Petrie Prize for graduating at the top of her class. “I then commenced my PhD studies, which were funded by the University of Aberdeen. I am immensely grateful to this institution for recognising my potential and investing in my abilities. Without their help, my cancer research ideas would have never become a reality and my potential never realised.”

    Amunjela said people should pursue their dreams with courage. “Do not limit yourself and do not let anybody limit you. Even if nobody believes in you or supports you, you must fight for your dreams. It's never easy, but you are worth it. Give life your very best shot and allow yourself the opportunity to see what you can truly become, when you extend yourself to the fullest capacity of your capabilities. Leave your mark on the world and make us proud.”

    Ashley Smith

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    Prisoner training not accreditedPrisoner training not accredited With theft and house-breaking being the common types of crimes committed by the majority of inmates in Namibian correctional facilities, there is a need to impart practical employment skills to these prisoners.

    These were the remarks made by the safety and security minister Charles Namoloh in the National Assembly.

    He was responding to questions by Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian, Elma Dienda.

    Information made available by Namoloh shows that as at 23 April 2018, the two leading offences are theft and house-breaking which stood at 58%.

    “Therefore, the ministry recognises that the imparting of practical employment skills to inmates so that they become productive and self-supporting is of paramount importance,” he said.

    To this effect, the ministry has devised custom-made approaches to assist inmates in attaining the requisite vocational skills in the contemporary job market as well as linking them up with prospective employers.

    At present, welding and metal fabrication, joinery and cabinet-making, fashion and fabrics, animal husbandry, crop production, auto and diesel mechanics are some of the courses offered at the correctional facilities.

    Additionally, panel beating and spray painting, bricklaying and plastering, general electrician, as well as fitter and turner, are other vocational and technical trades available at local correctional facilities.

    By the end of March 2018, a total of 267 inmates were engaged in various vocational training, excluding agriculture.

    According to Namoloh, there are 13 vocational trades available for prisoners at present, while the 17 others are set to be introduced between 2018 and 2020.

    A concern for the ministry, however is the fact that their vocational education programmes are not registered or recognised by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA).

    This means that when inmates complete a given vocational course from behind the bars, they are not issued national certificates to present to potential employers upon release.

    To address this predicament, the ministry aims to register its vocational workshops to become recognised vocational training centres.

    Moreover, the available equipment, qualified human resources, workshops and other necessary items at correctional facilities do not meet NTA's standards, the minister stressed.

    “Hence there is a need for a substantial financial injection,” Namoloh noted.

    According to estimates, the ministry needs over N$26 million to upgrade its vocational programmes to the required standards.

    The projected funds aim to meet the human, physical infrastructure, machinery and equipment requirements of the NTA.


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    Court sequel to doomed emergency flightCourt sequel to doomed emergency flightFamilies sue for suffering, damages The families of the two pilots who were killed in 2015 when their aircraft crashed near Cape Town are suing for more than N$12 million in damages. The fatal aircraft crash which killed five people near Cape Town International Airport on 16 August 2015 has resurfaced in court after the families of the two pilots opted to sue Westair and the Namibia aviation authorities for N$12 379 800.

    Elana Naudé, Rejancca Naudé, and Abraham Jacobus Espag, are suing Westair Aviation, the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation Authority (NDCAA), the works minister and the attorney-general.

    The patient on the fated emergency air ambulance flight, Gabriel le Roux and his daughter, Charmaine Koortzen from Oranjemund, Steven Naudé, the pilot in command and his co-pilot Amore Espag both of whom were employees of Westair and both of whom operated the flight as well as the paramedic on board, Alfred Ward, all died on 16 August 2015 when the aircraft crashed close to Cape Town International Airport in South Africa.

    Elana Naude, former wife of the captain on the flight, seeks payment to the tune of N$3 253 200 and N$2 500 000 in damages, while the couple's daughter Rejancca wants payment of N$1 626 600 and N$2 500 000 for damages. Abraham Jacobus Espag, the third plaintiff in the matter, is the biological father of the co-pilot and he seeks N$2 500 000 for damages.

    The plaintiffs also took issue with the constitutionality of provisions of the Carriage by Air Act (CBAA) of 1946, also known as Warsaw Convention of 1929, which limits a two-year period within which claims against aviation authorities may be submitted from the date of the aircraft accidents. Namibia is signatory to the act.

    In this case it is argued that the period expired on 16 August 2017. The investigation report into the accident was released on 20 September 2017, three weeks after the prescribed date.

    “There is no reason to apply a prescription period different to the period of three years provided for by the Prescription Act of 1969 to the time within which damages claimed against a privately owned air carriage operator in Namibia have to be instituted,” plaintiffs emphasised in particulars of claim.

    The South African Civil Aviation Authority conducted an extensive investigation into the accident and its causes and produced a first report under the heading; “Aircraft Accident Report and Executive Summary”. The findings described the actions of Westair and the aircraft crew that caused the accident, as reckless and negligent.

    Prior to the release of the report, none of the plaintiffs were informed of facts, evidence and circumstances they had to present for the purposes of establishing a cause of action. They consequently argued that they had no opportunity

    “These limitations encourage a perception of unaccountability, lack of supervision over actions of the employees of operators, and the proliferation of negligence and recklessness on the part of private operators in Namibia,” the plaintiffs argued.

    According to them this is compromising the safety of aviation and passengers making use of air services in Namibia.

    “There is no justification for treating a privately owned carrier registered with the aviation authorities in Namibia any different to any other defendant facing a delictual claim by a plaintiff arising from the recklessness or negligence of such privately owned carrier,” they maintained.

    They stated this causes the Warsaw Convention to be part of the CBAA and part of Namibian legislation.

    “For such reason the provisions of the CBAA incorporating the provisions of the Warsaw Convention are subject to the provisions of the Namibian Constitution,” the plaintiffs argued in the particulars of their claim.

    They asserted that the CBAA and the Convention limit and/or violate their fundamental human rights and freedoms as contemplated by Chapter 3 of the constitution in number of respects.

    “There is no constitutional justification for the general applicability of the Convention to carriers in private ownership, registered as such with the aviation authorities in Namibia, such as the defendants,” they argued.

    The background to the lawsuit is an emergency air ambulance flight which departed from Eros Airport on the night of 15 August 2015 to collect the patient in Oranjemund and transport him to Cape Town.

    The captain in charge of the Cessna 441 was Steven Naude and Amore Espag acted as the co-pilot. Both were employed by Westair. The paramedic on board was Alfred Ward.

    Between 04:29 and 05:44 on 16 August 2015 and approximately eight nautical miles north of the Cape Town International Airport, the aircraft collided with terrain after it had been cleared to land at the airport. All five on board were killed.

    According to them the Warsaw Convention had its origins in 1929 international carriage by air was in its fledging stages and had to be protected against lawsuits that could have a crippling effect on the development of the industry. Government-owned airliners were also protected.

    “There have never been any cogent grounds upon which to, a century after the promulgation of the Warsaw Convention, protect modern-day private enterprises undertaking national and international carriage in the manner done by operators such as Westair,” they maintained.

    They argued the limitations imposed by CBAA and the convention upon prospective litigants against carriers such as Westair are unconstitutional.

    They add that the South African Civil Aviation Authority's investigation showed, “various damning findings about the negligence and/or recklessness of Westair and its lack of supervision, overseeing actions and lack of control over its employees,” the plaintiffs alleged in their particulars of claim.

    According to them there were further damning conclusions about the capacity and competence of the NDCAA.

    The issue of licensing, the experience of the co-pilot and various other alleged oversights are addressed in the South African probe, all of which are damning, according to the plaintiffs, to the Namibian aviation industry.

    The lawsuit is still at a pre-trial stage.


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    Britain and Nigeria exploring ways to list naira bonds in LondonBritain and Nigeria exploring ways to list naira bonds in LondonInfrastructure focus Britain and Nigeria are exploring ways to list naira-denominated bonds on the London Stock Exchange. “Nigeria is an example where in due course one would hope to have a profitable, pragmatic free trade agreement.” - Charles Bowman London’s Lord Mayor This is in order to help fund infrastructure projects in the West African country, the City of London’s Lord Mayor told Reuters.

    Charles Bowman, who acts as an ambassador for the British capital’s financial district, made the comments during a three-day visit to Nigeria during which he held talks with the vice president, trade minister and representatives of both Nigeria’s stock exchange and central bank.

    Nigeria, once a darling for frontier investors, suffered its worst recession in a generation in 2016 after the price of its main export - oil - collapsed. It has since recovered but growth is fragile, with dilapidated infrastructure holding it back.

    “We are looking at clever methods of essentially being able to list, by way of example naira-denominated bonds, but having those listed on the London Stock Exchange. Having local bonds with an access point into the London Stock Exchange,” said Bowman.

    Bowman, speaking to Reuters in an interview in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, did not provide specific details of who had been involved in the talks, how advanced discussions were or when such a move could take place.

    “We have a lot of capital in London but we don’t have the projects to support. Nigeria has lots of projects to support and not the capital - you are reliant on the banking structure,” said Bowman.

    “Unleash the capital market, link London and Nigeria and what a great opportunity,” he said.

    Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, which has forced London to rethink its trade ties with the rest of the world. The United Kingdom and the EU struck an agreement in December that opened the way for talks on future trade ties.

    “Nigeria is an example where in due course one would hope to have a profitable, pragmatic free trade agreement,” said the lord mayor.

    His comments come after Britain in February said its export finance agency would add the naira to its list of “pre-approved currencies”, allowing it to provide financing for transactions with Nigerian businesses denominated in the local currency.

    He said the finance agency has so far provided 20 million pounds to local businesses from its 750 million pound facility.

    Britain is due to leave the EU in March next year, a month after presidential elections are scheduled to take place in Nigeria.

    Bowman said peaceful elections next year could help boost Nigeria’s image abroad and attract the sort of capital badly needed in the West African nation to develop infrastructure and propel growth.


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  • 07/02/18--16:00: Cold grips Namibia
  • Cold grips NamibiaCold grips Namibia Icy weather conditions that caused thermometers to dip to record lows this Monday will continue for most of the day today before starting to move northwards later today and on Wednesday.

    Some of the lowest temperatures recorded Monday morning was -4 degrees at Omeya and -6 at Seeis.

    Namibians yesterday felt temperatures dip after a major cold front swept over large parts of neighbouring South Africa, which saw temperatures in Gauteng dip by about 6 degrees Celsius overnight and many parts of the Cape highlands experiencing strong winds, snow and rain.

    The Namibian meteorological service (NMS) over the weekend warned that very cold and windy conditions are expected in the south, the west and over the Khomas and Omaheke regions on Monday with black frost at places.

    For today, the NMS stated “it will remain cold and windy over the interior with black frost at places. Eastwind conditions will prevail over the coast.”

    Yesterday the ministry of works and transport issued a statement noting that the cold air will migrate northwards today and tomorrow, with sandstorms expected at the coast.

    The coast is expected to continue experiencing east weather sandstorms for the remainder of the day, with east wind conditions prevailing until the weekend.

    A South African weather report published early on Monday explained the “Atlantic anti-cyclone 'HC' is powerful enough to ridge in strongly over the west pushing the strong cold front “F18” far into the interior where by 14:00 it should have reached Windhoek in Namibia and Johannesburg in Gauteng where the sudden falls in temperature will be about 6 degrees Celsius (from 16 to 10 degrees in Johannesburg).”

    The weather advisory noted that “the coldest areas are the southern Cape highlands with maximums hovering at freezing, with snow in the mountains.”

    The statement further noted that the “influence of the rising pressure from the anti-cyclone 'HC', as an expanding high ridge, will induce subsidence which should cause the cessation of all rains in the Cape by Tuesday morning.”

    Aranos, Buitepos and Gobabis, Otjinene and Maltahöhe are expected to see temperatures dip below zero this morning.

    The NMS predicts -1 degree Celsius at Aranos, Otjinene and Maltahöhe, while Buitepos and Gobabis could see -2 degrees Celsius.

    Grootfontein and Mariental can expect to reach zero degree temperatures at the lowest end today.


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  • 07/02/18--16:00: July off to murderous start
  • July off to murderous startJuly off to murderous start The month of July is off to a murderous start, with ten murder cases being registered with the police across the country.

    Four men and one woman were murdered in the first weekend of the month in separate incidents, while in Kavango East a man allegedly murdered five of his family members. The police confirmed the killings but could not share any further information on Sunday. Reports said the incident happened at the Ndama informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu in the early hours of Sunday. The victims allegedly include the suspect's grandmother, mother and his three nephews.

    In the Oshana Region at Oshakati in the Uupindi residential area, an unknown suspect stabbed a 42-year-old man. The reasons behind the incident have not been discovered and no arrest has been in connection with the case.

    In the Khomas Region in Windhoek, a 34-year-old man was shot at a bar in the Golgotha residential area. The suspect is a 30-year-old male who is a correctional services officer based in Windhoek.

    In the Kunene Region at Outjo, an 18-year-old male suspect stabbed an 18-year-old reveller to death at a bar. The suspect stabbed the deceased in the chest, killing him instantly.

    In the //Karas Region at Keetmanshoop, a 45-year-old man lost his life when he was stabbed on the left side of his chest. A quarrel broke out between the deceased and an ex-lover. The suspect is alleged to have grabbed a knife from the deceased and stabbed him, causing his death. The suspect, a 20-year-old male, made an appearance in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    Also in the //Karas Region at Karasburg, a case of murder was opened when a 33-year-old male suspect stabbed and killed his lover during a quarrel that erupted between the two. The suspect appeared in the Karasburg Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    Meanwhile, in the Hardap Region at Rehoboth, a 19-year-old woman survived a rape attempt when she was dragged into the bush in the Burgershoek residential area by a 22-year-old male suspect. It is alleged the victim was pushed to the ground and punched on her lower lip. A passer-by witnessed the incident and assaulted the suspect, who was referred to the Windhoek Central Hospital, where he is being treated for his injuries.

    An auctioneering business in Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region lost N$350 000 after suspects broke into premises and held the security officers and two employees, including the manager and his daughter, at gunpoint.

    They made off with N$350 000 in cash, a laptop, the cellular phones of the four held at gunpoint and a double cab Toyota bakkie, which was later abandoned with the key in the ignition. No arrests have been made and investigations into the matter continue.

    Also in Windhoek, a two-week-old baby girl was dumped in the bush in the Babylon informal settlement. A passer-by, who heard the baby crying, spotted her. The baby has since been taken to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, where she is reportedly doing well. The suspect remains unknown and police investigations into the matter continue.


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    City scraps N$191 million debtCity scraps N$191 million debtClears books with conditions In a bid to release the poorest of the poor of their municipal debt, the City of Windhoek has written it off with the proviso that prepaid meters are installed. City of Windhoek council members have agreed to write off N$191 million in unpaid municipal debts owed by some of the city's poorest residents after it was deemed “uneconomical to pursue”.

    At the 6th ordinary council meeting held last Thursday “irrecoverable debts owed to council by some of our pensioners and vulnerable residents” was scrapped from the books, City officials announced at a press conference on Friday.

    The municipality's review of the debt book as of 30 April stood at N$642 million, of which some of the dormant debts are as old as three years and have only accrued interest.

    The N$191 078 352.03 irrecoverable debts were calculated at the end of February this year, and have been deemed to be “either irrecoverable or are in respect of pensioners and vulnerable residents who are unable to pay the arrears on their municipal accounts, even if they were to be allowed to make arrangements to pay off the debts,” City officials explained.

    The write-off was conditional to replace conventional meters to prepaid meters of those whose debt has been scrapped.

    “To ensure sustainability in this regard, conversion is deemed critical in order to ensure that pensioners and vulnerable account holders do not fall back into debt.”

    The City has started exploring available technologies with regard to the conversion of conventional meters to prepaid meters.

    On Thursday night, Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua said the installation of prepaid meters “will not only enable our pensioners to sleep in peace, but will also make it easy for us to collect the much-needed monies, in order for us to continue to render adequate services to our people.”

    In May 2017, the City announced it was feeling the pressure of total unpaid debts by residents, government agencies and businesses with more than N$500 million accumulated through unpaid rates and taxes, as well as municipal bills for sewerage and water services.

    The City at the time attributed N$12.5 million to pensioners and vulnerable residents, and N$105 million to various government institutions.

    While the City has struggled to contain the outstanding debt issue, it is also addressing the land and housing shortage. Kazapua on Thursday announced that members of the Iituyeni Saving Group in Havana informal settlement's Zimbabwe Street will soon commence with the construction of houses. He said the group, affiliated to the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, bought land from the City four years ago, but could not start building despite the necessary funds being in place.

    “The obstacles were these two outstanding issues, namely the final road level design and the water and sewer reticulation layout”, both of which have been successfully completed.

    A thorn in the city's side

    On Friday, the City also addressed the surging number of “pirate taxis on our roads. These taxis are mostly used to commit robberies in the city.”

    The issue of illegal electrical connections was also addressed, and officials warned that unauthorised electricity connection pose a danger to residents. Anyone caught with an illegal connection can face a fine of up to N$8 600.

    The steep increase in home burglaries was also addressed, in addition to motor vehicle theft, with the City urging residents to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities in their neighbourhoods.


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    Standard Bank CEO becomes BAN PresidentStandard Bank CEO becomes BAN PresidentOne year term Standard Bank’s chief executive (CE) Vetumbuavi Mungunda, has assumed the presidency of the Bankers Association of Namibia’s (BAN). “Standard Bank will chair the various sub committees forming part of the BAN structure which includes credit, treasury, human resource, accounting & tax, compliance, legal, IT, operational and public relations.”- Standard Bank STAFF REPORTER

    Mungunda is succeeding Bank Windhoek’s managing director Baronice Hans, and will serve for a year in the position, having assumed the position on 01 April 2018. This position rotates annually amongst the heads of the current commercial banks. As part of this annual rotation, Sarel van Zyl of FNB assumes the position of Vice-President taking over from Esther Kali from Letshego.

    Standard Bank will chair the various sub committees forming part of the BAN structure which includes credit, treasury, human resource, accounting and tax, compliance, legal, IT, operational and public relations.

    The Bankers Association of Namibia was established in 1997, in accordance with the Banking Institutions Act, as the representative trade association for the commercial banking sector in the country. BAN acts as a medium for communication with government, the Bank of Namibia as regulator, and other public bodies and authorities, by engaging with them on matters affecting the different activities of banks.In addition, through the BAN, members deal with non-competitive issues that are of common interest. One of the successful initiatives launched was the Code of Banking Practice and Guidelines for Lodging Customer Complaints on all banks websites.

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    Who were you before they decided for you?Who were you before they decided for you? Elizabeth Joseph

    The cry for impartiality and change in our society is a birth long overdue. Do we as women allow ourselves to be treated as property? Are men really trash? Or is it a case of us not knowing and valuing our worth?

    These million dollar questions still stand!

    I can list all the factors contributing to the low self-esteem of women, but we all know them.

    Apart from the cheating and lying, there are worse things that can scar a woman for life.

    Along the way it becomes a joke for some and some of the memes created can leave us ‘deceased’, but that doesn’t mean the fundamentals have changed.

    Ladies, the carrier of human kind, the breadwinner in most cases, the mentors, how much have you been hurt by a partner or by society as a whole?

    I know most of you reading this are probably wondering why I think I am so wise and why the heck I am addressing a subject I know nothing about.

    First of all, I am a woman. I have seen a lot and been through even more and I believe wisdom is acquired through experience. The knowledge of self has nothing to do with age. Don’t impugn my reason just yet.

    We often never consider how much our childhood affects our lives as adults. If you’re one of those people who grew up without a proper male or father figure, if you have experienced some sort of abuse, you will understand.

    It is an enormous struggle choosing someone you want to spend your life with, because you have no one to compare them with. So you settle.

    You settle for the liars, the unfaithful and those who emotionally and physically abuse you - and call it love.

    The absence of a mother leads to even bigger scars. They take longer to heal because every women needs to look up to someone.

    These are all things that has some hand in the moulding of our young lives. Even if you’ve dealt with these issues personally, during a time of introspection, that won’t change the fact that it helped make you who you are today.

    At an early age I learned not to judge people unless I have some sort of knowledge on what they’ve been through. I can thank God for that because if I hadn’t found peace with my own issues, I wouldn’t have been able to be a non-judgemental friend when I was needed.

    A lack of information will leave you naive. This is a fact.

    I don’t even want to start on the reputation we create for ourselves in our early teens. This remains for life. You can try to change it all you like, but it is similar to a red wine stain on your favourite white sweater. Ask me. I am still trying to show everyone I have changed my ways… maybe that’s the issue.

    I am trying to show everyone, when I’m the only one that matters. Not that society makes it easy for us or helps us know our opinion should be the only opinion that should matter.

    I am not Dr Phil, and I am not Mother Theresa either, but I can share how I’ve dealt with abuse, both physical and that of the soul, and I am only an email away.

    Be good to yourself and others!

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