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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 08/16/18--16:00: Business Park still in limbo
  • Business Park still in limboBusiness Park still in limboODC to appoint third contractor Five years after first awarding a contract for setting up a small-business park in the Omusati Region, the Offshore Development Company is looking for a third contractor to finish the job. A N$19 million tender for the construction of an SME business park at the Omahenene border post in the Omusati Region has suffered another setback.

    The Offshore Development Company (ODC), which is the project custodian, is in the process of contracting a third company to finish the construction project that started in 2013, after the first two contractors failed.

    Last year the ODC revoked the construction tender awarded in 2013 to Katrina Enterprises, a company owned by Katrina Elifas, the daughter of Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, and her Chinese business partners.

    The ODC alleged that the joint venture of Katrina Enterprises and Zhen Jiang Construction and Engineering had violated the contractual agreement by halting construction work in 2014.

    The project was supposed to be completed by May 2015 but the contractor abandoned the site, having completed only 65% of the work.

    The ODC then awarded the contract to Omusati Construction, which failed to complete the work due to financial difficulties.

    ODC CEO Phillip Namundjebo told Namibian Sun that Omusati Construction was still at the site but nothing was going on there.

    “The contractor (Omusati Construction) has completed some work on the project. However, they encountered financial and technical difficulties which led to the delay of the project,” said Namundjebo.

    “We are considering subcontracting a company with the financial capacity to complete the remaining work, which is mainly the road work.”


    When Namibian Sun visited the site last week, little appeared to have changed since the previous contractor abandoned the project.

    Contacted for comment, Omusati Construction's project manager, Olavi Iita, said they had stopped the work because the government had stopped paying them.

    “The ministry responsible for the project told us that they did not have money to pay us. They even stopped coming to the project for supervision last year and it became difficult for us to move further because there are no resources,” said Iita.

    “We are still on site and we are still engaging them with the hope that things will go well and we can progress with the construction.”

    A source at the ODC said the government stopped paying Omusati Construction because its surety bond had been provided by the now defunct SME Bank. A surety bond is a type of insurance that protects someone against losses that result from a contractor's failure to perform its obligation.

    “The government cannot pay where there is no insurance. Since the contractor was not getting money from the government the project came to a standstill,” the source said.

    Iita would neither confirm nor deny the source's explanation.

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    Third woman killed in the northThird woman killed in the north The Oshikoto police yesterday arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly murdering his girlfriend.

    The suspect allegedly hacked Albertina Shipale Sackaria to death with a panga at Okatope village near Onyaanya on Wednesday.

    It was the third such murder in the north within a month.

    According to the Oshikoto police spokesperson, Inspector Ellen Nehale, Sackaria suffered injuries to her head, arms and legs.

    “Sackaria died instantly. The suspect and the victim were in a romantic relationship, but were not living together,” said Nehale.

    “It is alleged the suspect went to Sackaria's homestead and the two were involved in a heated argument. They went outside the house and this is where the incident is said to have happened.”

    Nehale said Sackaria's body was found in nearby bushes.

    She said the suspect was arrested early yesterday morning at his home at Ontunda village.

    Last month another woman was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend at Ohangwena and another was murdered in the Omusati Region.

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    Ondonga mess has festered too longOndonga mess has festered too long The Ondonga succession issue has been a hot potato for years and there have been lingering fears that the considerable infighting could lead to dangerous consequences.

    The widely publicised and embarrassing shenanigans within the Ondonga Traditional Authority have led to unnecessary confusion and irreconcilable differences, not only among the leadership, but also among subjects and the community at large. The ongoing dispute pits the Ondonga royal family against the former top aides of King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, whom he fired in July last year. Despite their dismissals, these leaders remain officially gazetted and enjoy the full recognition of government. Over the years the Ondonga authority has become a law unto itself, with various senior leaders trying to mediate the dispute being sent from pillar to post. Government on the other hand adopted a wait-and-see approach, while infighting intensified within the authority.

    Now that the king’s authority is being challenged and he is being compelled to give oral testimony in a court of law to explain his decision to fire the seven councillors, everybody is jumping up and down and onto the bandwagon. This court case has surely opened a Pandora’s Box and it does not surprise us to see the sudden involvement of Founding President Sam Nujoma and the incumbent head of state in Ondonga affairs. However, as much as traditional chiefs and senior leaders are symbolic figureheads in the country and ought to be respected, we must also steer clear of this kind of selective outrage, especially when matters are before judicial consideration. Our politicians have ostensibly done nothing to appease the Ondonga situation for the past couple of years, despite the massive impact the standoff has on the community and nation at large. At the end of the day we must allow for justice to take its course and for the courts to do their job in seeking a lasting solution to this debacle, which has been allowed to explode into an embarrassing row. What a mess!

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    Utilising apps to manage and growUtilising apps to manage and grow They’re in all of our pockets now, aren’t they? Businesses, regardless of their size or function, should consider utilising applications for agility and efficiency.

    PowerCom Pty Ltd's CEO, Alisa Amupolo, made these remarks during her presentation titled 'Utilising apps to manage and grow your business', at the Economist Women's Business Breakfast held in Ongwediva recently.

    “Apps can be used for advertising, promoting businesses, managing businesses, more productivity, as well as gathering business intelligence from the market in order to remain competitive,” she said.

    Applications, commonly referred to as 'apps' by consumers, can serve varied purposes in commercial environments.

    If utilised correctly, business owners can benefit from the low cost and maintenance that comes with mobile or computer-related apps, which have a tangible impact on both the consumer experience and commercial management activities, Amupolo said.

    Advancements in technology have enabled businesses to utilise different mobile, tablet and web-based apps.


    These range from business, social media, productivity, health and fitness and gaming, through to banking apps.

    Although these types of apps are all available, it is important that businesses still determine which apps are relevant to their operations and tailor their efforts accordingly.

    Amupolo went on to highlight the research and development required for businesses to bring new products to market, and the opportunities that apps offer to access that market and leverage those networks to optimise delivery.

    “Apps such as social media have location-based and targeted advertising features. If the app is easy to use, at low or no cost, and has the capability to reach out to customers in different towns, without physically going on foot to sell, that app is right these days, and you can promote a product in the language your customers use, for example.”

    Businesses experience the positive impact of apps in several ways. For instance, they can be used to lower the costs of operational expenditure within a business, by reducing the IT spend, which increases profits.

    “Using dedicated content that is easy to navigate, apps require low IT skills, if at all; enabling entrepreneurs to have more control over their value chain, from supply to service delivery and access to markets,” Amupolo explained.

    She highlighted examples of efficiency-improving apps.

    These included local banking apps, Google's own integrated business apps, plus social media apps such as LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    All these apps are gaining traction in terms of advertising and access to market. The apps most frequently used by entrepreneurs are for bookings and scheduling, customer relationship management, accounting, banking, productivity monitoring, surveying, and meeting planning.

    The modern business owner no longer encounters any opportunity costs that come with waiting in banking queues, when mobile banking is implemented within a business. Equally, app-based personal assistants are available across the globe at a low cost, via artificial intelligence (AI).

    Voice command options on our smartphones, for instance, allow you to search for information without actively inputting the query into your phone.

    Amupolo was careful to caution business owners that despite the numerous benefits associated with apps, many of them demand internet usage and cannot operate effectively offline.

    In remote areas with unreliable internet access, entrepreneurs may experience challenges utilising apps.

    Therefore, emphasis should also be placed on acquiring internet connectivity and smartphones that have low internet consumption.

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    Dobberstein new MD for advertising giantDobberstein new MD for advertising giantDobberstein seeks ways to bolster Weatherman & Co After climbing the corporate ladder, Nadja Dobberstein is writing a new chapter. Elizabeth Joseph

    Weathermen & Co recently appointed Nadja Dobberstein as its managing director.

    Born and raised in Namibia, she is a passionate and driven individual who strives for greatness in everything she does.

    Dobberstein ventured into media and worked in sales as an account manager at Radiowave.

    Throughout her career, she has proven to be a go-getter and took every opportunity to make sure she was relevant to the market, through continuously educating herself.

    A job at First National Bank (FNB) Namibia was next in line for Dobberstein. She started working at the bank in 2010 as a marketing officer.

    Her efforts and persistence did not go unnoticed.

    In 2015 she was approached by Weathermen & Co and was recently promoted to MD.

    Dobberstein is far from intimidated by her new position.

    She is excited about the post and looks forward to seeing the company grow and reach greater heights.

    “Winning two major accounts has been the biggest milestones for me thus far. I have seen this company grow exponentially.”

    She wants to further cement Weathermen & Co's position as a nationally recognised advertising agency. This her vision and passionate.

    “I want us to always think outside the box and be different,” she says.

    Academic journey

    After matriculating from Delta Secondary School in 2004, Dobberstein decided to take a gap year to plan for a greater and more fulfilled life.

    She enrolled at Varsity College in Cape Town and did a diploma in advertising management. “I loved Cape Town, but my heart was always in Namibia,” she said.

    Free time

    Dobberstein loves the simple things in life, like spending every bit of spare time with her family. She loves reading fiction, camping and going to the cinema.

    “Sometimes it can be tough to find the balance between your professional and personal life, but I value my support system I have in my husband and family.”

    Dobberstein values being passionate and precise.

    “I think once you have set a goal for yourself and you work towards it, great results are inevitable.”

    She loves working with people and being in a creative environment that nurtures growth.

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    Cops probe 'murder ­conspiracy'Cops probe 'murder ­conspiracy' The police say they are investigating allegations that the recent death of a Nigerian professor in Windhoek was not suicide.

    The family of Dr Ayetuoma Cyril Ogbokor told a Nigerian news website this week that there had been a conspiracy to murder him and that he did not commit suicide.

    Ogbokor (56), a Nigerian national, was an associate professor in the accounting, economics and finance department of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

    According to a police report Ogbokor committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest with his 7.65mm pistol in his Klein Windhoek flat on 5 August. He was found in the bathroom by his wife. No suicide note was found.

    His family reportedly rejected the police report and are adamant that he was murdered.

    According to the Sahara Reporters news website, a family member, who identified himself only as Roy, said: “With reliable information at our disposal, we, the Ogbokor family, are convinced that our brother and breadwinner was brutally murdered in cold blood and we are demanding justice.

    “There was no iota of truth in the (police) report. We smelt a conspiracy in the report, just in the bid to cover up what actually happened to our brother.”

    The family also questioned whether Ogbokor had shot himself in the chest, claiming that a suicide gunshot is never aimed at the chest but at the head.

    They also wanted to know why, if Ogbokor had killed himself, he was still holding his cellphone in his hand, and whether forensic analysts had determined how far the gun was from his chest.

    The family members wanted to know why the police concluded it was a suicide if there was no suicide note, and whether an autopsy was carried out before this deduction was made.

    The chief police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, said these were very serious allegations and they must be proven.

    “We are taking these allegations in a very serious light,” he said.

    Kanguatjivi said the police were still waiting for the autopsy report before commenting on the conspiracy allegations.

    He said the post mortem would confirm whether it was indeed suicide.

    Kanguatjivi explained that if a person commits suicide there would be gunshot residue on their hands.

    That is just one of the factors that would be taken into account, Kanguatjivi said.

    Others are the angle of the gun, whether shots were heard and whether the door was locked in the room where the person was found.

    A memorial service for Dr Ogbokor was held at Nust yesterday.

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  • 08/16/18--16:00: More fuel shocks
  • More fuel shocksMore fuel shocksBut Namibia still cheaper than most SADC countries In August 2012, the petrol price was N$9.96 per litre and N$10.36 for diesel (500ppm) in Windhoek, while the August 2018 prices are N$12.97 and N$13.31 per litre, respectively. Independent economist Klaus Schade says the weakening of the South African rand means motorists in that country and Namibia will continue to fork out more for petrol and diesel.

    The rand is having a torrid time of late and was trading at 14.57 to the US dollar yesterday afternoon.

    “The South African rand and hence the Namibia dollar has come under pressure recently, owing to domestic factors such as the debate about land expropriation and global factors such as the United States' sanctions against Turkey, which resulted in investor sentiment turning against emerging market currencies such as our currency,” Schade said.

    According to information provided by the energy ministry, under-recoveries for the month of June stood at N$0.63 per litre for petrol, N$0.57 for 500ppm diesel and N$0.56 for 50ppm diesel.

    As a consequence, fuel prices would likely have to increase in order to recover losses that fuel retailers may suffer as a consequence.

    “So far, the National Energy Fund (NEF) has absorbed under-recoveries (losses from the sale of fuel). If under-recoveries continue, the NEF will most likely increase prices in order to recovery losses,” Schade said.

    Energy minister Tom Alweendo said Namibia's fuel is still cheap compared to other countries in the region.

    He was responding to Namibian Sun queries regarding the escalating fuel prices in the country, as well as the region, which have motorists up in arms and battling to make ends meet.

    For the better part of the year, local motorists did not experience any fuel hikes except for the months of June and August, which also saw an increase in the fuel tax.

    “The ministry cannot really contain the increases, given what influences them. However, the ministry uses the NEF to cushion the increases by subsidising the pump price. At N$12.97 per litre, petrol is still cheap,” Alweendo said.

    Namibians can count themselves lucky that they do not pay as much as motorists in other southern African countries, with the exception of Botswana.

    Energy permanent secretary Simeon Negumbo explained that factors such as insurance, freight costs and the cost of the fuel itself all pay a part in what motorists are paying.

    “The basic fuel price is mainly made up of cost, insurance and freight. The domestic levies and margins are then added on top of the other costs to come up with a final pump price per town,” explained Negumbo.

    In instances where the fuel price is lower than the market determined prices, a cost-recovery model is used to ensure that prices are adjusted upwards to create equilibrium in the market.

    The cost-recovery model is also used to adjust prices downwards to the level determined by the market to bring prices to equilibrium, Negumbo explained.

    Explaining the price differences across the region, he said the Botswana pula gives motorists in that country some respite from rising fuel costs, while the South African government does not subsidise fuel, as is the case in Namibia.

    “South Africa does not subsidise its fuel; all costs are passed on directly to consumers. Botswana's pula is a bit stronger than the Namibia dollar and hence Botswana has some comparative advantage in international trade.”

    Schade said Namibian motorists can be consoled by the fact that fuel is cheaper here than in South Africa, where petrol prices have now hit N$16 a litre in places.

    “Namibia's per capita income is higher than in most neighbouring countries except for Botswana and South Africa. Hence, fuel is more affordable in Namibia than in our neighbouring countries with the exception of Botswana, where it is cheaper,” Schade said.

    Despite the increases witnessed, fuel prices are cheaper, according to Schade, relative to 2012 price levels and inflation.

    “In August 2012, the price for petrol 95 was N$9.96 per litre and for diesel (500ppm) it was N$10.36 per litre in Windhoek. In August 2018, prices are N$12.97 per litre and N$13.31 per litre, respectively.

    “However, taking inflation over the years into account prices are currently lower than they would have been, had they increased at the same pace as inflation. Adjusted for inflation since 2012, 95 petrol would cost N$13.85 per litre and diesel 500ppm N$14.41 per litre,” said Schade.

    “Hence, for motorists who have received inflation-adjusted salary increases over the years, fuel has become even more affordable.”

    Recently, South African motorists took to the country's highways to demand lower fuel prices.

    Main roads and highways in Pietermaritzburg were blocked by trucks parking in the road.

    The protest came after the fuel price saw five increases this year, with more increases expected.

    This according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited July mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

    On Monday, supporters of former South president Jacob Zuma called on voters to boycott next year's general elections if political parties failed to pressure President Cyril Ramaphosa to curb petrol price increases.

    People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increase said they had requested several political parties to be part of the protest, but only Black First Land First (BLF) and the lesser known National Peoples Ambassadors attended.

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  • 08/17/18--02:50: Seas gets 25 years
  • Seas gets 25 years Seas gets 25 years Zenobia Seas, 33, was sentenced to 25 years' effective imprisonment today by High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg. She pleaded guilty to a charge of murdering her daughter, Ava Owoses, just shy of three years old, as well as a charge of obstruction of justice, earlier in the week.
    Liebenberg said he would "impose a lengthy custodial sentence even though it will not bring back the life of an innocent child."
    She was sentenced to 25 years for murder and one year for obstruction of justice, the two sentences to run concurrently.
    Earlier in the week, Seas gave a tearful confession in the High Court before Judge Liebenberg, alluding to apparent abuse from Ava's father. She killed her daughter during September 2016 by by suffocating her near Henties Bay with a blanket.
    Seas, told the court that after murdering her child, she sat in her car and made entries into her diary. Afterwards she set the vehicle alight. The notes were meant to be left behind in the wake of her suicide.
    However, the fire was extinguished by neighbourhood watch members and she was later arrested at the scene.
    Seas said she and the child's father, Immanuel Joslin Owoseb, had been in a relationship since January 2013. He allegedly promised to marry her after she gave birth, but had not kept his promise.
    Seas further alleged Owoseb was very abusive, consumed alcohol excessively and dated other women. She said he had told her that she was worthless and that he only used her for sex and money.
    Seas said on two occasions Owoseb had assaulted her front of their daughter, who was then one year old.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Creating prosperity is paramount - GeingobCreating prosperity is paramount - Geingob President Hage Geingob, in his acceptance speech as incoming SADC chairperson, this morning said the region has a mandate to fulfill prosperity and eradicate poverty amongst its people.
    Geingob also emphasised the importance of unity and especially the peaceful transition of power, as well as the urgency to promote deepened economic integration.
    He also advocated strongly for the easing of customs and movement between member states.
    "We are all aware that our aspirations of industrialisation and subsequent sustainable development cannot be pursued without the existence of robust governance architecture within our respective countries. It is imperative that we build on the significant progress made in our region by adopting a modern approach to governance, characterised by robust processes, systems and institutions and no longer centered on personalities."
    South African president and outgoing chair of the regional body Cyril Ramaphosa reminded leaders that the region is still confronted with many challenges, including a lack of adequate infrastructure, underdevelopment, poverty, and the spread of communicable diseases.
    He also noted that the region remains peaceful and stable, adding that the peaceful elections in Zimbabwe is a good sign.
    "We should continue to be guided by adherence to democratic values and practices, good governance and credible and regular national elections. The consolidation of democracy and the elevation of the rule of law across the region is a sign of the improved effectiveness of our regional institutions and mechanisms, Ramaphosa said.

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  • 08/18/18--07:13: Geingob mourns Annan
  • Geingob mourns AnnanGeingob mourns Annan President Hage Geingob has expressed his sadness at the passing of the former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Geingob described the late UN chief as a global statesman, a courageous humanitarian and an exceptional servant of the African continent and humanity at large.

    Annan died this morning in Switzerland. He was 80.

    “The loss of Kofi Annan, an exemplary son of Ghana, leaves a huge void for the African continent and humanity at large, which he has served as a courageous humanitarian with immeasurable passion and distinction. Without doubt, Africa has lost a man of integrity and a hero of our continent who worked throughout his entire life persistently for a better humanity.

    Geingob praised Annan’s efforts for peace.

    “My friend, Kofi Annan worked for a better world and succeeded in many ways in that regard,” Geingob said, expressing his condolences to Annan’s wife, Nane Maria and his children, along with the people of Ghana.

    Kofi Annan was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh secretary-general of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

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  • 08/19/18--16:00: Africa's youth need jobs
  • Africa's youth need jobsAfrica's youth need jobs There is a need for African governments to ensure easy access to funding, access to regional markets and to reduce stringent barriers such as high custom and excise tariffs, in order to reduce the skyrocketing youth unemployment in the region.

    According to Vera Songwe, United Nations undersecretary and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), it is imperative that Africa industrialise to end poverty and generate employment for the 12 million young people who join the continent's labour force every year.

    “While economic prospects have improved, the world economic challenges are no less challenging than they were last year. The emerging and developing countries will likely feel the brunt of these (trade) wars between the United Sates, European Union, China and others. Clearly our countries will suffer if our market access is undermined by these trade wars,” she cautioned.

    She urged African governments to allocate adequate levels of resources in order to meet the demands of a growing youth labour force.

    She also added that it is critical to develop national education and training systems while increasing enrolment rates at tertiary level education.

    Songwe also urged leaders to invest in the agricultural sector through vocational skills training, commercial farming training and farmer cooperation formation and strengthening.

    “The focus should be on job creation, entrepreneurial skills development and small business development. Also needed are lower barriers to entry for small, micro and medium enterprises through active anti-competitive measures and commitments by business and governments to redesign their supply chain,” she said.

    Songwe warned that Africa must remain alert and not lose out on technology and innovations which are the main anchors of the fourth industrial revolution the world is experiences today.

    “In the SADC region, there are 97 tech hubs but more than half are in South Africa. We also need to do more on intellectual property as the current costs of protecting innovations on the continent are prohibitive, especially for young entrepreneurs and start-ups,” she said.

    Meanwhile, the SADC executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said the youth holds potential as an engine for growth for the region, and are key to achieving the region's overall objectives, with prospects to bring innovative ideas and solutions.

    According to Tax, current estimates project the SADC combined population at close to 342.3 million, 60% of whom are under the age of 35.

    “With such a large and increasing youth population, the region is sitting on a gold mine which needs to be tapped,” she said.


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  • 08/19/18--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief SA Express can take off again

    The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has reinstated South African Express’ Air Operator Certificate (AOC), clearing the airline for the resumption of operations.

    This development comes just over a month after the regional airline had managed to get its Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval successfully reinstated by the SACAA.

    With these two crucial certificates successfully reinstated, this means that SA Express can now conduct scheduled commercial operations as an airline. In addition to successfully reinstating its AOC and AMO certificates, SA Express has also managed to get Certificates of Airworthiness for two of its aircraft. Therefore, the airline is in the meantime permitted to operate with only two of its aircraft, according to a SACAA statement.


    Google employees demand oversight of China engine

    Google is not close to launching a search engine app in China, its chief executive said at a companywide meeting on Thursday, according to a transcript seen by Reuters, as employees of the Alphabet Inc unit called for more transparency and oversight of the project.

    Chief executive Sundar Pichai told staff that though development is in an early stage, providing more services in the world’s most populous country fits with Google’s global mission.

    Hoping to gain approval from the Chinese government to provide a mobile search service, the company plans to block some websites and search terms, Reuters reported this month, citing unnamed sources.


    OxyContin maker taps financial restructuring adviser

    OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP has tapped law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for financial restructuring advice, as its potential liabilities swell with a wave of lawsuits over the opioid addiction epidemic sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

    Purdue and other opioid manufacturers, including Endo International Plc and Johnson & Johnson, have been fighting hundreds of lawsuits filed by US states, counties and cities accusing the drugmakers of pushing addictive painkillers through deceptive marketing.


    Walmart posts biggest US sales rise

    Walmart Inc posted its best quarterly US sales growth in a decade and upped full-year sales and profit outlooks on Thursday, sending shares surging as a jump in online and grocery purchases showed it can hold its own against Inc.

    The world’s largest retailer is known for its sprawling stores, a factor that could have worked against it as shoppers migrate online. But Walmart is also the top US grocer, providing a lure for customers to visit stores, where they may also make other impulse buys.

    Walmart has also overhauled its website and worked to use physical locations as distribution points for online orders of groceries and other goods, helping retain buyers who increasingly expect quick, cheap shipping.


    Amazon considering UK insurance comparison site Inc is sounding out some of Europe’s top insurance firms to see if they would contribute products to a UK price comparison website in what would be a major foray by the US online retail giant into the region’s financial services.

    Three industry executives told Reuters they had held talks with Amazon about the possible launch of a site. One said the talks were part of several discussions Amazon is having with insurers. A second said there were no imminent launch plans.

    While it was not immediately clear what type of insurance would be sold on any Amazon site, home and motor policies are popular sellers on existing UK price comparison sites.


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    Van Niekerk trio to jail for fraudVan Niekerk trio to jail for fraud Two men who formed a unauthorised cash loan business trading as West Coast Financial Aid CC, and a woman employed by them as a principle officer, were each fined N$70 000 for conducting a banking business without being authorised, along with reckless or fraudulent business activities.

    Judge Alfred Siboleka, in his sentencing last week, said an amount of roughly N$15 million was collected from investors but only N$7 million was shown.

    The first accused, Charles van Rensburg, 37, was further sentenced to two years' imprisonment for fraud, which was wholly suspended for five years on the condition that he is not found guilty of theft, fraud or any other offence involving deceit.

    Melanie van Niekerk, 49, was sentenced to an effective six years for fraud while Jesaja Jeremia van Niekerk, 53, was also sentenced to four years, also for fraud.

    The three operated an illegal pyramid investment company at Oranjemund between August, 2006 and February 2014 through which they solicited at least N$11.4 million from acquaintances, friends and family by promising unrealistic returns, ranging between 7% and 15% a month.

    They were found guilty on 513 counts of fraud, and the contravention of the Banking Institutions Act and Companies Act after a trial that lasted more than three years in which almost 80 of the victims they swindled testified.

    Siboleka found that the fraudsters used cash loans schemes to lure investors as cash cows and swindled monies from numerous unsuspecting members of the public - most of who were pensioners.

    “A custodial sentence under the circumstances of the case is inevitable,” Judge Siboleka had said.

    He said Melanie received substantial amounts of money, mostly cash and electronic fund transfer deposits, from unsuspecting members of the public termed as investors.

    The victims were promised untenable monthly interest payments and the return of their capital amounts on request.

    “She instead deposited investors' monies into her personal account and that of her husband. The cheating stretched out for a very long time,” Siboleka said.

    The judge emphasised that there was no authorisation for them to receive money from members of the public.

    “The public was deceived and cheated and hence suffered severe losses. The offences are serious and the accused have to be punished,” Siboleka stressed.

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  • 08/19/18--16:00: Sand mines to be guarded
  • Sand mines to be guardedSand mines to be guardedMajor challenge in the north Illegal sand mining remains a headache for authorities and the ministry has instructed for overseers to monitor all sand mines. Overseers are to be appointed to monitor sand mining, which has become a problem in the northern regions.

    This is one of the environment ministry's attempts to clamp down on illegal sand mining.

    Illegal sand miners face fines of up to N$500 000 or 25 years in jail.

    Currently sand-mining companies pay traditional authorities to operate in their areas and there is no control over their activities.

    For years the media has been exposing illegal sand mining done without environmental clearance certificates or rehabilitation of the deep pits left behind.

    A conservation scientist in the environment ministry, Ipeinge Mundjulu, says traditional authorities have been encouraged to adopt environmental management plans (EMPs).

    An EMP is a project-specific plan developed to ensure that appropriate environmental management practices are followed in compliance with environmental laws.

    One of the requirements of an EMP is to appoint people to supervise sand-mining sites.

    This means that all sand mines must have supervisors on site.

    Mundjulu says because sand mining mainly happens in rural areas where traditional authorities have control, the ministry has decided to encourage traditional authorities to draft EMPs and submit them to the environmental commissioner for approval.

    Traditional authorities don't have to apply for environmental clearance certificates for existing sand mines, though.

    “A clearance certificate is only necessary if a new site is being established but if there is an existing pit, the right holder - in this case the traditional authority - will only be required to do an EMP,” Mundjulu says.

    Mundjulu says so far the only progress has been made with the Uukwambi Traditional Authority, which is believed to have appointed an environmental consultant to draft its EMP.

    He says the appointment of supervisors would serve two purposes: creating employment and curbing illegal sand mining.

    “Apart from imposing laws on society the ministry also has a responsibility to uplift people and in this case people will be employed,” Mundjulu says. Mundjulu says the people guarding and controlling the sand pits will not be employed by the ministry but by the party in charge of the environmental management plan.

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  • 08/19/18--16:00: WAP break Whk Gym hearts
  • WAP break Whk Gym heartsWAP break Whk Gym heartsRugby league ends in style There were tears and late-minute dramas at the Hage Geingob Stadium when Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool (WAP) pulled off a great upset to win the Momentum Trophy. JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

    The Momentum Rugby Boards Trophy League came to a thrilling end with Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool (WAP) beating Windhoek Gymnasium Private School 26-25 in the final at the Hage Geingob Stadium on Saturday night.

    Windhoek Gymnasium came into the match as hot favourites to win the under-19 league but WAP had other plans.

    MMI Holdings, which has been the main sponsor of the competition for the past 26 years, announced a whopping N$250 000 sponsorship for this year’s edition in May.

    The organisers thanked MMI Holdings for its continued support of school rugby over the past 26 years.

    Namibia Media Holdings broadcast the finals of the school rugby league live on its social media platforms.

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  • 08/19/18--16:00: WHS rules the roost
  • WHS rules the roostWHS rules the roost JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

    Windhoek High School (WHS) dominated the National Schools Sports Union (NSSU) hockey league as the curtain came down on Saturday at the Davin Trustco Field in Windhoek.

    The WHS under-19 boys' team won the first league after beating Windhoek Gymnasium 1-0 in a sudden-death penalty shootout, after a 1-1 draw in normal time, while the WHS under-19 girls overcame their nerves to beat their Windhoek Gymnasium counterparts 2-0 in their first league final.

    The WHS boys started the final like a house on fire, after scoring a goal in the early minutes of the match.

    Windhoek Gymnasium, however, managed to shake off their early nerves and began passing the ball with more precision, which resulted in an equaliser two minutes before the end of the first quarter.

    The Windhoek Gymnasium goal woke up the home team, who started pushing more bodies forward in search of another goal.

    The first quarter ended at 1-1, with Windhoek Gymnasium looking the more lively of the two sides.

    The game remained tight until the final whistle, with both teams wasting chances to win the match.

    WHS then went on to win the sudden-death penalty shootout.

    Scary moments

    In the under-19 girls' first-league decider, WHS started the game well, even though Windhoek Gymnasium created a few scary moments in the first quarter of the match.

    At the end of the day, the home side went on to secure a comfortable victory.

    In the boys' second league, WHS beat Jan Möhr 2-0, while in the girls second league, WHS also triumphed, beating Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool 2-0. The girls' third league saw WHS beating Keetmanshoop Private School 1-0.

    In the girls' third league third/fourth playoff on Friday, Elnatan beat WHS B 2-1 in the final, while Tsumeb Gymnasium defeated Walvis Bay Private High School 6-1 in the second league third-place playoff.

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    Windhoek Gym dominates primary school rugbyWindhoek Gym dominates primary school rugby YOLANDA NEL

    Windhoek Gymnasium's under-13 rugby team won the Steers Primary Super League 29-19 over Walvis Bay on Saturday.

    The youngsters of Walvis Bay struggled in the first half, with a 17-7 score against them at halftime.

    In the second half the boys showed their mettle, but they could still not beat their opponents before the final score.

    Heinrich Geldenhuys, Mauricio Eberenz and captain Janneman Brand of Windhoek Gymnasium all delivered a good performance, but it was Bianco Stuart of Walvis Bay who was named the man of the match. WAP's team won the Steers Primary A-League final on Friday morning after a match at Pro Ed Academy.

    Both teams scored the same number of tries during regular time and five minutes' extra playing time was given.

    WAP fought hard for a last try, bringing the score to 39-34.

    WAP's under-13 coach, Coenraad Steyn, said the match was a tense one.

    “There was never more than a five- or six-point difference; then we scored a try,” he said.

    Windhoek Gymnasium's under-12 team showed what they were capable of and kicked dust in the eyes of their Pionierspark Primary, with a final score of 29-5.

    The under-11 team of Pionierspark also tasted defeat at the hands of Tsumeb Gym, with a score of 17-10.

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    Obtaining an exemption from VAT on personal / household effects or goodsObtaining an exemption from VAT on personal / household effects or goods As we are well within the 2nd half of the 2018 year, some people may have accepted employment in Namibia from elsewhere in the world. Some people might have decided to emigrate to or retire in Namibia. Some Namibians could have studied or worked outside the country and are now returning to Namibia.

    Although the Customs and Excise Act (Act No. 20 of 1998) and the Value-added Tax Act (Act No. 10 of 2000) explicitly provide for a rebate (exemption) from customs duties and VAT upon importation of personal effects and household items in terms of item 407.04; the Directorate Customs and Excise laid down strict controls to ensure that the exemption from duties or VAT are legitimately granted. The exemption is therefore not automatic and confirmation must be applied for in writing from the relevant department at Customs Head Office in Windhoek. The extract from legislation in the Customs and Excise Act, similar to the exemption in the Value-added Tax Act, is as follows: “407.06 Household furniture, other household effects and other removable articles, including equipment necessary for the exercise of the calling, trade or profession of the person, other than industrial, commercial, or agricultural plant and excluding motor vehicles, alcoholic beverages and tobacco goods, the bona fide property of a natural person (including a returning resident of Namibia after an absence of 6 months or more) and members of his or her family, imported for own use on change of his or her residence to Namibia: Provided these goods are not disposed of within a period of 6 months from date of entry…”

    The application must be in the following format:




    4. The applicant must state the reasons for the confirmation of the exemption;

    5. The following documents must be attached:

    a. Copy of Passport

    b. Copy of Permanent residence permit, if applicable

    c. Copy of work permit

    d. Detailed Packing List, including market value of goods

    e. Registration certificate of a car if any and value

    f. Bill of lading or airway bill as supporting documents

    g. Letter of domicile

    h. Marriage Certificate, if applicable

    i. Study permit, where applicable

    Once Customs is satisfied that the application is bona fide, a letter will be issued, confirming the exemption. The exemption letter is further required by the Asycuda department, which creates a unique exemption/rebate code on the Customs system. This allows the clearing agent to clear the personal effects and household items of a returning Namibian resident or a person who relocates to Namibia, exempt from duties/import VAT into Namibia at the point of entry.

    For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Nelson Lucas at +264 61 284 1000 or email him at

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  • 08/19/18--16:00: Truworths creates COO role
  • Truworths creates COO roleTruworths creates COO role South African fashion retailer Truworths International has created a chief operating officer position to boost retail sales growth at home and in the UK, where consumer spending remains under pressure and online competition is growing.

    Truworths, which also runs British footwear chain Office, made the announcement of the new role on Thursday after reporting a 7.3% fall in annual profit, sending its shares more than 4% higher. The profit decline was in line with analyst estimates.

    Chief Financial Officer David Pfaff, 53, was appointed to the new COO position responsible for retail store operations and will also continue his role as CFO, Truworths said in a statement.

    At home, the retailer launched its new e-commerce site earlier this year to better its online offering and is also expanding its recently acquired homeware Loads of Living business.

    In the United Kingdom, the firm has been introducing improved ranges and product mix to address margin and profit decline.

    Truworths said diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the 52 weeks to July 1 declined to 612.7 cents compared to the 53-week prior period, in line with the average estimate of 612 cents in a poll of eight analysts by Thomson Reuters.

    Compared to the 52-week prior period, diluted HEPS declined 1.3%.

    Headline EPS, a widely watched profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off, non-trading items.

    Group retail sales fell by 2.7% to 18 billion rand (US$1.24 billion), and unchanged compared to the 52-week prior period.

    The firm’s shares pared gains to trade up 2.66% at 81.70 rand.


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    Brave Warriors drop in rankingsBrave Warriors drop in rankings NAMPA

    The Brave Warriors remain ranked 29th in Africa but have dropped one place in the world ranking from 117th to 118th, according to the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday.

    In July, Namibia lost nine positions in Africa, from number 20 to 29, following their poor showing at the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup in Polokwane, South Africa, in June.

    Namibia have played eight games this year, winning three, drawing three and losing two.

    Their last match was a 4-1 drubbing by host Bafana Bafana in the Cosafa Plate semi-final.

    The Brave Warriors will resume their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with a clash against Zambia at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on 8 September.

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