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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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     Connection charges could trigger job cuts Connection charges could trigger job cutsHead of South Africa’s Telkom speaks against regulator South Africa’s plan to slash the fees mobile firms charge each other to terminate calls on their networks proposed by the regulator could hurt revenue and lead to job cuts. The proposed fixed termination rates require cost reductions that are not feasible within a three-year time frame without significant job losses- Sipho Maseko, CEO, Telkom Group This was revealed by the fixed line and mobile operator Telkom on Monday.

    The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on Aug. 16 published draft rules on mobile termination rates (MTRs) and fixed line termination rates, the prices telecoms operators charge for connecting calls made from other networks, in a move that could hit profits for operators.

    The regulator in 2014 implemented a three-year “glide path”, the timetable for bringing down the rates gradually for telecoms companies, including Telkom, Vodacom and MTN, saying they were too high and hindered competition.

    The new proposal by ICASA will see charges for terminating a call on mobile and fixed lines slide to 9 cents per minute from 12 cents for mobile operators and 3 cents per minute from 8 cents for fixed-lines over a three-year period.

    The move will also reduce MTR asymmetry, where smaller mobile players such as Telkom currently charge higher fees to spur competition in a market controlled by Vodacom and MTN.

    Telkom Group chief executive Sipho Maseko said his firm will be paid at lower rates by Vodacom and MTN, while it pays higher rates to the bigger players.

    Maseko said Telkom would be forced to review its investment decisions and which regions of the country it participates in.

    “The proposed fixed termination rates require cost reductions that are not feasible within a three-year time frame without significant job losses,” Maseko told reporters.

    “As termination rates trend down, it puts a lot of pressure on your ability to provide the service and recover the cost in a sustainable way ... how can we be able to operate profitably.”

    Operators will be allowed to send in their written comments to the regulator by Sept. 7. The rules are set to take effect at the start of October.

    He said one of his proposals will be to have Vodacom and MTN pay higher rates to connect callers from their networks to subscribers on Telkom and smaller mobile provider Cell C.

    Africa’s most industrialised economy has in the past said it aims to double its mobile broadband coverage to 80% of the population by 2019.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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    Namibians need safe and secure Wi-Fi Namibians need safe and secure Wi-Fi JOHANN VAN ROOYEN

    Namibians love their Wi-Fi. We hold our smartphones in front of us desperately seeking a Wi-Fi router to latch onto in a hotel, airport, shopping centre, restaurant or any venue we may be at. As soon as the signal is strong enough, we try to connect. ‘No security code required’, are the most beautiful words in the English language at that moment and free internet connectivity is ours for the taking. Youtube, Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram are all updated in a blink of an eye and all done without wasting any of your valuable data.

    Our phones contain all our data, all our passwords and almost our complete life these days. We assume the connection to the free Wi-Fi is safe, but we have no real way of knowing. The fact that it is free, is enough for us to not even think about the safety consequences. This is how hackers, criminals, phishing scams happen on unsecured networks.

    This not just a problem in Namibia, although we tend to be less security-minded when going online than some other countries, this is something that Wi-Fi-providers and IT-companies have realised is a real challenge. This is why years ago when Wi-Fi first come to prominence the Wi-Fi Alliance was set up and a Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA was created to enhance Wi-Fi protections in personal and enterprise networks. This Alliance is a collection of all the major companies that make Wi-Fi possible through their products and services. Open networks and free connections meant that people could see what websites you visited and see all your online activities, including perhaps capture your data in the form of passwords and credit card details or any other personal data. The WPA countered this.

    The newest version of WPA to be rolled out is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™ which builds upon the WPA2 security which has been around for more than a decade. Hackers, cyber-terrorists and criminals have become more and more innovative and cunning therefore good security is essential. Now that online banking and so many other financial services have gone online and can all be controlled and used through apps on your phone, the need to be smart and be able to trust a connection when going online is imperative. WPA3 fixes things by using “individualised data encryption”. When you connect to an open Wi-Fi network, the traffic between your device and the Wi-Fi access point is now encrypted, even without a password or login when you connect. This will make public, open Wi-Fi networks much more private. It will be impossible for people to snoop without actually cracking the encryption.

    This is true when talking about personal online security but perhaps even more so when you are dealing with an organisation, whether public, private or governmental. That is why WPA 3 comes in both WPA-3 Personal and WPA-3 Enterprise formats.

    WPA3-Personal: Is even more resilient, and has password-based authentication even when the users choose passwords that are not as secure or complex as normally recommended. There’s even a secure key establishment protocol between devices which provides stronger protections and stops third parties from trying to guess passwords.

    WPA3-Enterprise: This offers security protection that is almost “unhackable” due to its complexity, providing additional protections for networks transmitting sensitive data, such as government or finance. This keeps the data of the enterprise or organisation safe as well as that of its clients, customers and stakeholders over wireless networks.

    Both individuals and organisations are becoming more educated as to the need for online security and needing dedicated secure online access to stop hackers wanting to do harm, spreading viruses and ransomware or steal data for their own gains. However, Wi-Fi protection is often still not up to scratch. With the new WPA-3 level of security, we can now surf online secure in the knowledge that our data and transactions are safe, wherever we may access the Internet wirelessly in Namibia. Providing of course that we take the sensible steps as people, corporations, government and venues to upgrade to WPA-3. By remaining vigilant and investing in our online security and upgrading when new protocols and security mechanisms become available we can keep cyberspace safe for all of us users.

    *Johann van Rooyen is a Senior Technical Advisor at Green Enterprise Solutions

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    SME Bank liquidators victorious in Jhb courtSME Bank liquidators victorious in Jhb court CATHERINE SASMAN

    The provisional liquidators in the continuing SME Bank saga celebrated a significant victory in the hunt for the beleaguered bank’s looted millions on Thursday when the Gauteng Divisional High Court in Johannesburg froze the bank accounts of Moody Blue Trade & Investments 14 (Pty) Ltd and AMFS Solutions (Pty) Ltd.

    The court ruled that nobody may withdraw N$43.8 million from the FNB banking accounts of Moody Blue and AMFS Solutions.

    The liquidators, David Bruni and Ian McLaren, applied to the court to have the bank accounts frozen pending the final determination of legal proceedings to be instituted to reclaim money from the companies.

    The amounts in question reflect proven payments made by the SME Bank. These were calculated from records obtained from the finance department of the looted bank.

    Payments amounting to N$79.8 million were unlawfully made by the SME Bank to various entities - including Moody Blue, AMFS Solutions and Asset Movement & Financial Services CC – between 10 April 2015 and 11 August 2016.

    Bruni said in his application that the transfers to Moody Blue and AMFS by the SME Bank were “incorrectly authorised” by the SME Bank and that the bank did not receive any value in exchange for the payments.

    Moreover, no evidence was found that the transfers to Moody Blue and AMFS were legitimate.

    BACKGROUND

    In their founding affidavit to the Gauteng High Court the liquidators said an initial investment of N$196 million was made by the SME Bank with Mamepe Capital, a black economic empowerment financial services company headed by Mauwane Kotane.

    Of this amount, N$150 million was divested at Mamepe and invested with VBS Mutual Bank, which has in the meantime been placed under curatorship and which has reportedly fallen prey to a massive fraudulent scheme, which resulted in a loss of more than N$1.5 billion.

    According to bank statements three amounts – N$10 million, N$150 million and N$25 million – were transferred from Mamepe to VBS Mutual Bank. The total investment of N$185 million exceeded the approval limit of the SME Bank’s former CEO, Zimbabwean national Tawanda Mumvuma, which required SME Bank’s board approval.

    VBS Bank reportedly repaid a mere N$459 000 to the SME Bank in April 2017, while the balance of N$154.7 million was “impaired” because no evidence of such a balance exists, the liquidators said.

    Kotane claimed that Mamepe had invested N$188.2 million on behalf of the SME Bank, stating that the maturity dates of these investments were in June, August and September 2017.

    The liquidators maintained that Kotane’s claims were false and that the SME Bank’s money was in fact transferred to Moody Blue and Asset Movement & Financial Services CC, the third respondent in the matter before the Gauteng High Court.

    Bank statements from FNB showed that AMFS and Asset Movement & Financial Services for all intents and purposes jointly controlled funds that were unlawfully and without cause paid by the SME Bank.

    The liquidators said the “controlling minds” of Asset Movement & Financial Services were Benoni-based Kalandra Viljoen (a model who has in the meantime moved to the USA), Carlo Stickling and Andries Greyvenstein.

    The liquidators said in their application if Moody Blue and AMFS were not interdicted, the transfer of money into unknown bank accounts could not be ruled out because such transfers could take place in a matter of seconds and cannot be reversed.

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    Vandalism, theft hamper hepatitis campaignVandalism, theft hamper hepatitis campaign JANA-MARI SMITH

    The City of Windhoek is worried about vandalism and theft of sanitation infrastructure which is hampering efforts to contain the hepatitis E outbreak in Windhoek’s informal settlements. More than half of the repaired toilets have already been vandalised.

    The City has spent close to N$1 million on repairing and upgrading water and sanitation facilities in the informal settlements with a view to curbing the spread of the disease.

    The municipality also warns that people should not fish or swim in, or use water from, the Goreangab Dam, which has been identified as a source of hepatitis E infection.

    It plans to fence the dam in the next financial year to keep people out.

    City spokesperson Scheifert Shigwedha says vandalism is a major challenge.

    “Almost 50% of repaired toilets are already vandalised,” he said.

    Although the municipality has already spent N$979 000 on improving sanitation in affected areas, it needs more money to meet the demand there.

    In February, the City of Windhoek announced that its hepatitis E emergency response plan needed N$32 million in order to extend municipal services to the affected areas. N$17 million was set aside for that in this year’s budget.

    Fixed and broken

    Shigwedha told Namibian Sun this week that the municipality had repaired about 380 toilets since the hepatitis outbreak was identified last year, but that 190 have been vandalised since then.

    He said each of the toilets is used by almost 50 people, some of whom have taken ownership to ensure they are cleaned, but their efforts are complicated by vandals.

    Meanwhile, the City has identified dozens of sites for the construction of new toilets.

    Fifteen of these sites are in the Otjomuise area, 23 in Okuryangava, five in Samora Machel constituency and 23 in the Moses Garoëb constituency.

    Shigwedha said 16 new flush toilets and four chemical toilets have been installed and 200 more are planned for the 2018/19 financial year.

    The City expressed concern about vandalism and lack of maintenance of these facilities in February already.

    “This results in constant blockages and high maintenance costs, as well as vandalism due to lack of ownership and sense of responsibility; as it has seemingly proven difficult for community members to maintain facilities that are used by many people, most of whom are not from the area.”

    In early July, health minister Bernard Haufiku also pointed out that vandalism was a significant obstacle in efforts to halt the spread of the disease.

    He said at the time that 1 867 suspected hepatitis cases had been reported in nine regions, including 147 confirmed cases and 17 reported deaths.

    By 21 August, the number of suspected cases had risen to 3 009, the confirmed cases to 462 and deaths to 24.

    To date, seven kilometres of water pipelines have been installed by the City, and 100% of smaller networks were completed, Shigwedha said.

    Ten riverbeds have been cleared and decontaminated since February. Besides the national clean-up campaign in May, two local clean-ups were carried out and more are planned, including one for September.

    In order to ensure food safety, 48 informal vendors have been inspected in affected areas.

    City health officials have collected 260 water samples for testing and continue regular weekly sampling to identify contaminated water sources.

    Besides Goreangab Dam, all water streams in the city are also unsafe.

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  • 08/28/18--16:00: Lawyer commits suicide
  • Lawyer commits suicideLawyer commits suicideBrandt feared ‘irreparable harm’ if suspended Financial trouble and the possibility of being suspended as legal practitioner apparently led to the suicide of a prominent Windhoek lawyer yesterday. FRED GOEIEMAN



    The legal fraternity in Windhoek reacted with shock and horror to the news of the death of prominent Windhoek lawyer Chris Brandt, who committed suicide yesterday morning.

    Brandt was due to appear in the High Court yesterday morning to defend an application by the Law Society of Namibia for his temporary suspension as legal practitioner, pending disciplinary procedures.

    He shot himself at around 06:00 at the gate of his home in Windhoek’s Luxury Hill area.

    Government attorney Matti Asino expressed shock at the untimely death of Brandt, whom he had known since 1992.

    “During his time Brand demanded high performance and was very meticulous in the drafting of pleadings, notices and demand letters and so on,” Asino recalled.

    He said Brandt was an excellent lawyer and added that he had such a deep, commanding voice that his subordinates would pay immediate attention.

    Others said he was a kind and dedicated person.

    Brandt was admitted as an attorney on 12 May 1978. He served as assistant government attorney and later deputy state attorney.

    He resigned as government attorney in August 1998 and opened his own law firm, Chris Brandt Attorneys.

    The urgent application by the Law Society of Namibia was for the temporary suspension of Brandt pending a disciplinary hearing.

    In their application, they asked for the appointment of a legal representative to control and administer Brandt’s trust account and affairs pending the determination of disciplinary proceedings.

    The society alleged that Brandt, in a letter on 9 August 2018, informed or confessed to them that he had been making unauthorised transfers from his trust account to his business account since January 2018 to cover salaries and overhead expenses.

    “In the correspondence Brandt expressed ‘regret for the fait accompli’ and undertook to rectify the situation on or before 21 August 2018.”

    The society said the fact that he had confessed necessitated the application.

    “There are reasonable grounds to believe that Brandt is guilty of unprofessional, dishonourable or unworthy conduct. The conduct in question is serious in nature and it in public interest and that of his clients that he be prevented from carrying on his practice until the proceedings have been finalised,” the society said.

    Legal practitioners are required to keep books of the account that distinguishes monies received and monies paid into an account from those monies received, held or paid by him for the account of another person.

    “The latter is what is called a trust account. An amount standing to the credit of the legal practitioner’s trust account is not regarded as forming part of the assets of the legal practitioner,” the society explained.

    “The rules make it clear that any material breach of the provisions of the act or the rules, constitutes unprofessional conduct.”

    Brandt had opposed the application, saying that a temporary suspension would cause him irreparable harm. He had numerous clients who owed him more than N$2 million, he stated in his court papers.

    “Any kind of suspension shall have a catastrophic and serious impact on my existing clientele and cause me irreparable harm for the remaining part of my professional practice. I need to practice until all my pending matters have been duly disposed of,” Brandt had pleaded.

    He submitted that the temporary suspension be dismissed or alternatively postponed until the disciplinary hearing had been finalised.

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  • 08/28/18--16:00: Africa briefs
  • Africa briefsAfrica briefs Nigeria's central bank to stimulate lending

    Nigeria’s central bank plans to stimulate lending to manufacturers and invest in corporate bonds to revive the economy ahead of next year’s presidential election.

    The bank on Friday said it wanted to increase the flow of credit to help sustain economic recovery after Nigeria exited its worst recession in quarter of a century last year.

    Africa’s most populous nation has bank lending rates sometimes as high as 30%, making them one of the main barriers to growth. Under the new stimulus plan, the bank said it would provide lenders with funds to offer to manufacturers at a rate of 9%.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    UK will use aid budget to boost trade in Africa

    The UK will use its international aid budget to boost its national interest and deepen trade ties with Africa, Prime Minister Theresa May will tell an audience in South Africa on Tuesday.

    May, battling to unite her divided party over her plan to take Britain out of the European Union, will also visit Nigeria and Kenya as part of a three-day visit to Africa alongside a group of business delegates.

    She is expected to recommit to maintaining the overall British aid budget at 0.7% of economic output but will add that she will be “unashamed” to use it in a way that helps Britain.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    South Africa scraps nuclear power expansion plans

    South Africa has cancelled plans to add 9 600 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power by 2030 and will instead aim to add more capacity in natural gas, wind and other energy sources, the energy minister announced on Monday.

    Africa’s only nuclear power has an installed capacity of 1 860 MW but plans under the government of former President Jacob Zuma to have six times that output by 2030 hit hurdles over cost and other issues.

    There are now “no plans to increase nuclear until 2030,” energy minister Jeff Radebe said while releasing the government’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Ethiopia ousts state firm from dam project

    Ethiopia has ousted state-run Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) from a US$4 billion dam project on the River Nile due to numerous delays in completing the project.

    The Grand Renaissance Dam is the centrepiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter.

    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said at the weekend that the government had cancelled the contract of METEC, which is run by Ethiopia’s military, and would award it to another company.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    South Sudan resumes pumping 20 000 bpd

    South Sudan has resumed pumping 20 000 bpd of crude from Toma South oil field, where production had been suspended since 2013, the Sudanese oil minister Azhari Abdulqader said on Sunday.

    Abdulqader told a news conference in Khartoum production at five previously suspended oil fields was expected to reach 80 000 bpd after maintenance work is completed by year-end.

    South Sudan’s oil output currently stands at 130 000 bpd and is expected to reach 210 000 bpd by year-end, he added.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 08/28/18--16:00: The evil among us
  • The evil among usThe evil among us As news filtered in yesterday about the gruesome discovery of the body of nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha, with body parts missing, even hardened journalists sat back and tried to comprehend what kind of person could do that to a child.

    Her mutilated body was found near Khomasdal after she went missing on Saturday.

    It was further confirmed that some of Cheryl’s body parts could not be found and that she was partially boiled.

    The grizzly find could point to body parts being used as so-called muti for medicinal purposes or for witchcraft.

    As the police try to get to the bottom of this heinous crime, it is incomprehensible what Cheryl’s family and loved ones are going through.

    We wish them strength during this awful and difficult time.

    The young girl’s murder and the disposal of her body also points to new depths of depravity we have sunk to as a nation.

    There are indeed psychopaths among us, who have no inkling of empathy - even for an innocent child.

    Unlike most murderers, who act in the heat of a passion, and later feel guilty about what they have done, psychopaths feel no such remorse. The dominant understanding of psychopathy is that these people basically lack emotions such as fear or distress.

    The condition in which Cheryl’s corpse was found points explicitly to a perpetrator who is unable to empathise and who feels nothing for others.

    There is of course the possibility that the killer was simply trying to cover his or her tracks by dismembering and boiling the body, but yet again this points to someone who lacks the basic emotions associated with the shame of doing this to a little girl.

    There is no time to waste. This evil killer (or killers) must be hunted down as a matter of urgency. We cannot have such a person walking around free in our midst.

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    IMF sounds alarm over local SOEsIMF sounds alarm over local SOEsParastatals increase Namibia’s debt burden The International Monetary Fund has expressed concern about Namibia’s under-performing state-owned enterprises. OGONE TLHAGE



    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Namibia’s parastatals pose a risk to the country, and their lack of financial performance could result in Namibia’s debt burden rising.

    This would make it difficult for Namibia to regain its investment-grade credit rating and repay its future debt obligations.

    Local parastatal debt currently stands at 25% of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is a concern for the IMF.

    “Lower dividends and taxes from parastatals, an increased need for subsidies or recapitalisation, or an unanticipated call on parastatal-related government guarantees, would all result in deviations from fiscal forecasts,” the IMF said in a recent report.

    “Parastatals may also have an indirect impact on public finances through their influence on the economy. In addition, changes in the valuation of the parastatals’ balance sheet will result in changes to the government’s net worth.”

    The IMF said non-commercial public enterprises were accumulating arrears and debt.

    “This is mainly due to budget cuts that have not been accompanied by a commensurate scaling back of the entities’ activities in the case of University of Namibia (Unam), as well as the allocation of new policy responsibilities to NamWater, without providing adequate funding from the budget,” the global lender said.

    The IMF also found that public entities were not performing financially.

    “Non-commercial public policy activities, undertaken by commercial public enterprises on behalf of the government, should be funded directly from the government budget.”

    The IMF also said realistic restructuring plans for TransNamib and Air Namibia needed to be concluded swiftly.

    “The credibility of these plans will depend on the alignment of policy and fiscal considerations. Similarly, in the energy sector, strategic decisions on the sector’s evolution and the role to be played by NamPower are required.”

    In the short term, the IMF said Namibia should produce a financial risk statement, as part of its mid-year budget review, in order to provide a high-level assessment of the most significant fiscal risks.

    The IMF also suggested that the government should produce a more comprehensive annual financial risk strategy, which reports in more detail on its contingent liabilities and those of parastatals and public-private partnerships, and that this should be expand to cover other risks.

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  • 08/28/18--16:00: Murdered, mutilated, boiled
  • Murdered, mutilated, boiledMurdered, mutilated, boiledCops mum on possible witchcraft Police probing the abduction, murder, mutilation, dismembering and boiling of a nine-year-old girl have refused to comment on whether witchcraft was involved. OGONE TLHAGE AND JUNE SHIMOUSHILI



    The nation has been left reeling by the gruesome discovery of the mutilated and dismembered body of nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha, who went missing over the weekend.

    Her body was discovered in a Khomasdal riverbed yesterday morning by a passer-by who was on his way to Khomasdal from the Saamstaan area in Katutura in the vicinity of Shanghai Street.

    Pictures of Ujaha had been circulated widely on social media since Sunday.

    She was last spotted in central Katutura along Clemens Kapuuo Street on Saturday, according to posts distributed by her family on various social media sites.

    Describing his experience of discovering the little girl’s body, the eyewitness said he was walking across the riverbed when he came across the horrific scene.

    “I was walking across the path over the riverbed and came across the scene. I saw body parts and quickly ran to get help,” the witness said.

    “The head was not attached to the body and there were just missing body parts,” he said.

    The Khomas crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas, who was at the scene to brief reporters, confirmed that the remains were those of Ujaha.

    He said family members had identified her remains at the state mortuary.

    Abner was asked by journalists in what state the body was found, what parts were missing, whether the police were following up any leads or suspects, and whether the crime could be linked to possible witchcraft practices.

    He remained mum on the possible witchcraft links.

    Ritual, muti or witchcraft killings often involve the removal of body parts. So-called traditional healers have been linked to such murders in other southern African countries.

    Agas said the body was partially boiled and there was no sign of a box or container in which the parts could have been carried, indicating the perpetrator or perpetrators knew what they were doing.

    “The body was mutilated into pieces… that is all we can say for now. It is still not in a decomposed state, but it is in a stage where one can see that it is a body, but it is not decomposed,” said Agas.

    According to him, it appears the crime was committed somewhere else and the riverbed was just where the remains were disposed of.

    Agas would not go into the details of what body parts were missing.

    He added that a suspect or suspects had not yet been identified. He called on the public to come forward with any information that could help solve the case.

    According to the crime report, the missing body parts included both hands, one arm, one foot, the child’s ribs, one thigh and her neck.

    A City Police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it is not feasible to place closed-circuit surveillance cameras at that particular location, as it was not considered a crime hotspot.

    He added there was clear visibility in the area, making it impossible for any crime of that nature to be carried out there.

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) pastor Esron Kapolo said the gruesome incident demonstrated that there was a lot of confusion in society. According to him, people were no longer differentiating between witchcraft and religion.

    “We have broken families now, we don’t have functional family units,” he said.

    He called on the police to be more vigilant and place more cameras and lights in places where crimes were likely to be committed.

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    NWR board probes N$3.5m S&T allegationsNWR board probes N$3.5m S&T allegations JEMIMA BEUKES

    The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) board has been tasked to look into a raft of allegations made by anonymous staff members against the parastatal’s managing director, Zelna Hengari.

    Among the allegations is that Hengari and other senior staff members allegedly claimed about N$3.5 million as subsistence and travel (S&T) allowances from 13 January 2014 to 8 March 2018.

    It was also claimed that Hengari directed staff to take leave days or forfeit them, while she allegedly paid herself nearly N$200 000 for her accrued days.

    This allegation was addressed in a recent NMR media release.

    However, the controversy refuses to die down.

    The anonymous staff members have now written to public enterprises minister Leon Jooste, requesting him to investigate Hengari’s qualifications, the alleged abuse of S&T allowances and an alleged scheme to milk the company through lawyers.

    The disgruntled staff also asked Jooste to investigate why Hengari was appointed as MD if she did not have the required qualifications.

    The staff further alleged that NWR paid out N$3.5 million in S&T allowances to Hengari and three other senior staff members - Martin Kantika, Zandry Haimbodi and Elago Iipinge.

    “NWR has spent N$3.8 million on one lawyer between June 2014 and May 2018 on a frivolous disciplinary hearing which could have been addressed internally, should there have been grounds to charge any employee. Is this sustainable?” the staff said further in their letter to Jooste.

    According to Jooste, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has asked the board to investigate the allegations.

    “We will then proceed, pending the outcome of this investigation by the board.”

    Shifeta said he referred the matter to the board so they could decide whether the letter warranted an investigation.

    “The letter is anonymous; there is no name on the letter. I referred the matter to the board so that they can decide whether to investigate the letter. How do you investigate a letter without a name?” he asked.

    NWR spokesperson Mufaro Nesongano said they could not respond to the letter because it was directed to the minister.

    The NWR board is expected to meet today, but it is unclear whether these issues will be on the agenda.

    On 25 July, NWR released a media statement that dealt with the lump sum paid to Hengari for her accrued leave days.

    “The facts are that the managing director, Mrs Hengari, worked at NWR for close to a decade as company secretary. When she was appointed as managing director in 2014, she had to resign from her previous position as a company secretary and sign a new five-year performance-based contract with the board as managing director; this applies to all affected staff members whose contracts of employment come to an end.

    “The board, therefore, and in accordance with legal advice received, paid her outstanding leave days, which accrued and were due to her in terms of her old permanent employment contract as company secretary.

    “In any case, it would not have been sound corporate governance for the new board to appoint someone as a substantive managing director and then send her on extended leave, as a result of days accrued in her previous role as company secretary,” the NWR statement read.

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  • 08/29/18--16:00: Youth Olympic team unveiled
  • Youth Olympic team unveiledYouth Olympic team unveiled The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) has announced the team that will represent Namibia at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires from 6 to 18 October.

    The three sport disciplines Namibia will compete in are archery, gymnastics and girls' hockey.

    Quinn Reddig qualified at the African Youth Games in Algiers. She won a gold medal in the individual archery event and is coached and managed by Frank Reddig.

    Thalia Loveira qualified at the African Gymnastics Championships in Cairo, Egypt in April, where she won gold in the trampoline event. Loveira is coached and managed by Veselin Kostin.

    The hockey team qualified at the African Youth Games. They finished behind South Africa and won silver.

    The team consists of Kiana Cormack, Sonet Crous, Kahntwa Kruger, Danja Meyer, Taramarie Myburgh, Kaela Schimming, Carien and Joane van Rooyen and Cele Wessels and is coached by Shayne Cormack. The team manager is Manda Myburgh and the extra official is Conrad Wessels.

    The NNOC, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Solitary, also announced they have pencilled in a second coaching forum for 8 September at the Windhoek Sports Club.

    The forum will look at several aspects important to coaching and the preparation of athletes from grassroots to high-performance and elite status.

    “We have a very interesting line-up of presenters that include South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk's coach, Ans Botha. Botha is the 2017 IAAF coach of the year.

    “She will give a talk on ways of coaching athletes from grassroots to high-level performance. The forum will also provide interesting practical sessions on sport science, with demonstrations on chiropractic (techniques), physiotherapy, biokinetics and sports nutrition,” Xoagub explained.

    He said there will also be various practical sessions, including lessons on cool down techniques athletes can make use of.

    “The forum is funded by Olympic Solitary and participants will receive free accommodation and meals, but not transport.”

    Coaches from various regions can attend, because the forum is free. They should get in touch with the Olympic office for their registration forms.

    More information is also available on the NNOC coaches' committee Facebook page. Interested coaches can also contact Marja Woortman on 085 128 4765 or Annatjie Geleni on 081 122 6060.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 08/29/18--16:00: Mannetti turns to old friend
  • Mannetti turns to old friendMannetti turns to old friendBenjamin roped in as Warriors assistant Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti is excited to be reunited with a former teammate, who has joined the coaching team. The Brave Warriors have appointed former national player Collin Benjamin in an attempt to strengthen their coaching staff ahead of the crunch matches that lie ahead.

    Benjamin, who is now Mannetti's second assistant, has been tasked with helping the team qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

    “I am honoured to be part of this team and I am willing to help the team in their quest to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. I consider this as a call-up and a task that I am prepared to work hard for,” Benjamin said, who is a former Warriors teammate of Mannetti.

    “Mannetti is not only my friend, but I consider him as a brother to me as well.”

    The 40-year-old Benjamin played for German Bundesliga sides Hamburg and TSV 1860 München, where he became one of the few Namibians to play in the Uefa Champions League.

    Benjamin earned 32 international caps and captained the Brave Warriors for several years, representing the team at the 2008 Afcon tourney.

    He hung up his boots at TSV 1860 München at the end of the 2011/12 season, before returning in 2013 to join the club's youth academy coaching internship programme.

    During the 2013/14 season, Benjamin took charge of the club's under-13 team and was promoted to one of the TSV 1860 München assistant coaches during the 2014/15 season.

    The player, however, returned to Namibia with the aim of improving the beautiful game in his mother country.

    Namibia will clash with Zambia on 8 September at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in an Afcon qualification match.

    Mannetti said the team will be ready to give a special performance in front of their fans.

    The coach further named a 25-man squad, which will be trimmed to 18 by next week.

    The team will include some surprising faces who were left out for over a year, following disciplinary issues.

    Striker Sadney Urikhob, Willy Stephanus and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries are all going to make a return to the team.

    “There is a situation where some players are struggling with fitness, because of the fact that they have not been playing regular football, given our league situation.

    “We, however, do have other players that have been active in the South African premier league and that will work well for us.

    “It is up to us as the coaching staff to use our tactics wisely, in order for the fitter players to assist those that are struggling with fitness,” Mannetti said.

    He is confident that the players will be motivated by the fact that the stadium will be packed to capacity when they clash with Zambia.



    The squad is as follows:

    Maximillian Mbaeva (Golden Arrows), Virgil Vries (Kaizer Chiefs), Ratanda Mbazuvara (African Stars), Donavan Kanjaa (Young African), Larry Horaeb (unattached), Tiberius Lombard (Lusaka Dynamos), Charles Hambira (Baroka FC), Denzil Hoaseb (Highlands Park), Vitapi Ngaruka (Black Africa), Riaan Hanamub (Jomo Cosmos), Ananias Gebhardt (Baroka FC), Dynamo Fredericks (Black Africa), Petrus Shitembi (unattached), Ronald Ketjijere (African Stars), Wangu Gome (Cape Umoya United), Immanuel Heita (Black Africa) Absalom Iimbondi (Tigers), Deon Hotto (Bidvest Wits), Willy Stephanus (AC Kajaani), Marcel Papama (Unam FC), Hendrik Somaeb (unattached) Muna Katupose (Unam FC), Sadney Urikhob (PSMS Medan), Benson Shilongo (SMOUHA) and Itamuna Keimuine (Tura Magic FC).

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 08/29/18--16:00: Karatekas set for Rwanda
  • Karatekas set for RwandaKaratekas set for RwandaNamibian team aims to excel A strong team will represent Namibia at the ninth edition of a karate championship in Rwanda. Sixteen junior and senior karatekas are set to represent Namibia at the 2018 UFAK Junior and Senior Championships from Friday to Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda.

    The team was wished well by the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) during a send-off event in Windhoek yesterday.

    They are the largest group ever to travel to the championships, according to team manager Leonard Martin. Martin said the Namibia Karate Union (NKU) decided to give the junior athletes an opportunity to compete in Rwanda. NKU president Cornelius D'Alton said competitions of this magnitude don't come along very often, so the athletes should use the opportunity to shine. “Go and make us proud on the other side and hold the flag of Namibia high,” D'Alton said.

    NSC chief administrator, Freddy Mwiya, said the competition will give the senior athletes a chance to accumulate points for the Olympic Games.

    “You have the ability to do great and there is great colour representation in the team. I have to thank the (NKU) president for that, as there has been an outcry of late,” said Mwiya. He further urged the athletes to represent the country well.

    “Network with everyone, as you will meet the best from Algeria, Egypt and South Africa; but remember that you have the ability to do well.”

    One of the travelling athletes, Suzelle Pronk, said everyone worked hard and will represent the country to the best of their abilities. Pronk further thanked the NKU management for their hard work, in terms of making sure the team travels to compete. Another karateka, Katelin Martin, encouraged her teammates to keep their focus and remember that they are worthy opponents.

    “I have been around in a lot of competitions, against the best in the world. But we are up to scale and will give the likes of Algeria a run for their money,” she said.

    The kata and kumite competitions for those aged between 14 and 19 years, and for seniors in the male and female categories.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Elelo lyOkongo tali tungile aakiintu opoloyekaElelo lyOkongo tali tungile aakiintu opoloyeka Elelo lyomukunda gwaKongo otali tungu opoloyeka yokuhondja yaakiintu yongushu yoomiliyona mbali poshitopolwa shevi shoka sha li sha gandjwa momake gehangano lyaChina.

    Mo 2016, elelo lyomukunda ngoka olya gandja iitopolwa iiyali yevi kehagano lyaChina lyedhina Lenn's Investment, opo li tunge omahala gaali goongeshefa omanga oplota yimwe ya li yi na opoloyeka yokuhondja.

    Okuza mpoka elelo olya kala tali kondjo nokutunga po ekwatathano naakwashigwana sha landula sho ya nyenyeta etokolo lyelelo okugandja po evi ndyoka kaaChina.

    Etokolo ndyoka inali taambiwako nawa kaakwashigwana mboka ya kala taya nyenyeta, sho elelo ndyoka lya tokola okugandja po ehala ndyoka lyopoloyeka yaakiintu ye li po 11.

    Aakiintu mboka oya tidhwa pehala ndyoka na oya thigwa kaayena ehala lyokulongela ihe omvula ya piti elelo lyomukunda ngoka olya ningi omalunduluko nokugandja omulilo omuzizi opo ku tungwe opoloyeka yaakiintu mboka kongushu yoomiliyona 2.

    Omunambelewa omukuluntu gwelelo lyondoolopa ndjoka, Wodibo Haulofu, okwa lombwele oNamibian Sun kutya aakiintu mboka oya I a gumwa ketokolo okugandja ehala ndyoka kaanangeshefa yaChina, mboka taya tungu omahala goongeshefa.

    Omunambelewa ngoka okwa popi kutya aakiintu mboka oyali taya longele pehala ndyoka ihe kaya li ya pewa po ehala ndyoka. Shoka osha gumu onkalo yawo yiilonga sho ya kanitha ehala lyokulongela nelelo lyondoolopa olya tokola okuya tungila opoloyeka.

    Haulofu okwa popi kutya ehala epe ndyoka tali tungwa otali ka vula okulongela aakiintu 20 na otali ka kala woo nombelewa.

    Momvula yo 2016 aakwashigwana ya geya oya ningi ehololo lyomadhilaadhilo taya nyenyeta etokolo lyelelo lyondoolopa okugandja po ehala ndyoka kAaChina.

    Aakwashigwana oyiipumu woo mumwe nomunangeshefa gwAChina konima sho ya kambadhala okuya moshipala ehangano ndyoka kali tunge.

    Haulofu okwa popi kutya elelo lyondoolopa otali ninge kehe shimwe shoka tali vulu opo li kalekepo ombili noshigwana unene aakiintu mboka ya li ya gumwa ketokolo ndyoka.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Ondjila yomamanya otayi pula oomiliyona 36Ondjila yomamanya otayi pula oomiliyona 36RCC a ndopa okulonga opoloyeka ndjoka oomvula ntano dha piti Uuministeli womalweendo owa zimine okufuta elongo lyondjila yomamanya kongushu yoshimaliwa shoomiliyona 36 pokati kOmakange nOnamatanga. Ondjila ndjoka oya li yi na okutungwa kongushu yoomiliyona 21 oomvula ntano dha piti, ihe ehangano lyoRoads Contractor Company (RCC), olya ndopa okutameka iilonga yopoloyeka ndjoka.

    Omupopiliko gwoRA, Hileni Fillemon okwa lombwele oNamibian Sun kutya eindilo lyawo lyiifuta ya gwedhwa po kopoloyeka ndjoka olya taambiwa ko na otaya ka tameka niilonga mbyoka yondjila yoshinano shookilometa 41.

    Fillemon okwa popi kutya RCC okwa futwa owala omolwa iilonga mbyoka a longa po ihe ina popya kutya moshimaliwa shoomiliyona 21 okwa futwa mo ingapi.

    “Ehangano lyoRA oshowo uuministeli wiilonga nomalweendo okupitila melelo lyoshitopolwa shaMusati olya gandja otendela yiilonga mbyoka koRCC muNovemba gwomvula yo 2013, ihe RCC okwe shi pondola owala okuteta iihwa etata lyoshinano shoka tashi tungwa ondjila,” Fillemon a popi.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya RA okwa kutha oonkondo okondalaka ndjoka yali pokati kawo noRCC mopoloyeka ndjoka omolwa endopo okugwanitha po iilonga niilongitho yawo oya kuthwa po kehala lyiilonga.

    Sho oNamibian Sun ya talele po omudhingoloko gwOnamatanga omwedhi gwa zako RCC natango okwa li pehalaa lyiilonga. Sho ya ningilwa omapulaapulo, ngoka ta longo pehala lyomunambelewa omulukuntu gwoRCC, Seth Herunga, ina vula okutya sha.

    Kansela gwoshikandjohogololo shaRuacana,

    Andreas Shintama, okwa popi kutya RCC okwa kala owala pehala ndyoka lyiilonga nonando iilonga oya kala ya thikama okutameka omvula yo 2014.

    Shintama okwa popi kutya okwa shangela uuministeli womalweendo oombaapila iikando yontumba ta pula opo opoloyeka ndjoka yi manithwe.

    Okwa popi kutya eyamukulo lya hugunina ndyoka a mono okuza kuuministeli otali ti kutya otawu tala kemanitho lyopoloyeka ndyoka.

    “Ondjila ndjoka ombwiinayi noonkondo mokati komvula na oya pumbwa okulongwa meendelelo. Ope na aanangeshefa oyendji mboka ya holola ohokwe mokuyambulapo Onamatanga ihe omolwa onkalo yondjila ndjoka itaya vulu okupula komeho.”

    Kansela okwa popi kutya oshidhigu woo okufala omayakulo gepangelo omolwa ondjila ndjoka ta gwedha po kutya oshinima oshiwanawa sho RA a tokola okulonga ondjila ndjoka.

    Ominista nale yomalweendo Erkki Nghimtina, okwa tula miilonga iilonga yetungo lyondjila ndjoka momvula yo 2013.

    “Otwa li tu wete twa pepelelwa sho tatu mono ondjila yomamanya ihe ngashiingey katu shi kutya oshike sha ningwapo. Otu na iipotha oyindji yaakwashigwana taya hulitha nenge otaya pulumuthile uunona mondjila okuya koshipangelo omolwa onkalo yondjila,” Omukuluntuskola poskola yopevi yaNamatanga, Johannes Shaanika, a lombwele oNamibian Sun.

    “Otu na okaklinika ihe ohashi kutha oambulansa okuza koshipangelo shaKahao olule opo yi thike kutse nopethimbo lyomvula oambulansa ihayi thiki ko kutse.”

    Onamatanga otayi adhika oshinano shookilometa 120 okuya mondoolopa yaKahao.

    Shaanika okwa holola okuuva nayi kwe omolwa iiputudhilo mbyoka RA oshowo RCC) sho kayi nako nasha nuuwanawa waakwashigwana.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya kOnamatanga ohaku yiwa owala ngashiingeyi niihauto mbyoka inene nondjla ndjoka oya nika oshiponga okuhinga na odhigu.

    Shaanika okwa tsikile kutya nonando okwa shanga oombaapila odhindji ta pula kombinga yondjila ndjoka, ina mona omayamukulo.

    “Oomvula ne monena na ka tu shi kutya omolwashike iilonga inayi tameka natango. Ondjila ndjoka oya simana noonkondo kaakalimo yomOnamatanga,” Shaanika a popi.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Hyundai to ship China-made cars to Southeast AsiaHyundai to ship China-made cars to Southeast AsiaAmid erratic sales recovery Hyundai Motor Co plans to ship China-made cars to Southeast Asia. Yes, we plan to export cars to Southeast Asia- Zhao Jun, Spokesman , Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co The company’s China joint venture and two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, as a plunge in Chinese sales has left much of its massive local manufacturing capacity idled.

    Hyundai once ranked third by China sales alongside affiliate Kia Motors Corp. But just as it opened its fifth factory in the country last year, a diplomatic dispute saw Chinese consumers turn against South Korean goods, damaging Hyundai’s sales and brand image.

    Diplomatic ties have since normalized but Hyundai’s recovery has been erratic. The automaker booked China sales of 30,018 cars in July, down 40% from July last year and its lowest monthly total since the 2008 global financial crisis. Yet sales for January-July are up 17%.

    “A China recovery will take time. Hyundai needs a survival plan,” said one of the people with direct knowledge of Hyundai’s China operations, who were not authorized to speak to the media and so declined to be identified.

    The experience exposed South Korean companies’ reliance on the Chinese market, pushing the Seoul government to court counterparts in Southeast Asia where the number of Korean cars is paltry compared with those of neighboring Japan.

    “Hyundai is considering (exporting China-made vehicles) to emerging markets such as Southeast Asia,” the person said. “Europe may also be a consideration.”

    Most vehicles foreign automakers build in China with local joint-venture partners are destined for the domestic market. Among those that export China-made vehicles, General Motors Co (GM) ships to the United States and Volkswagen AG plans to export to Southeast Asia.

    Zhao Jun, a spokesman at Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co - Hyundai’s Chinese joint venture with Beijing Automotive Group Co Ltd (BAIC) - confirmed the export plan.

    “Yes, we plan to export cars to Southeast Asia. The earliest could be the end of this year,” Zhao said. The automaker will decide on models depending on local demand, he said.

    Hyundai did not have immediate comment.

    SEA TARIFFS

    China was once the biggest market for Hyundai-Kia, whose local production was exceeded only by VW and GM. Yet their data showed a market share of 4.4 percent compared with 8.1 percent before the diplomatic spat, and as high as 10.5% in 2012.

    Exacerbating Hyundai’s plight is the increasing popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) - a segment in which the automaker has relatively few models - as well as heightened price competitiveness of domestic rivals.

    Hyundai recently replaced the head of its China venture and gave its research-and-development vice chairman the added responsibility of overseeing China product development. It aims to sell 900 000 cars in China this year versus 785 000 last year, however the target is almost half of its 1.65 million vehicle capacity.

    Should it export from China to Southeast Asia, it may avoid tariffs of up to 78% in Vietnam, for instance, on cars built in South Korea versus 50% for those made in China.

    It was unclear what impact any export plans would have on Hyundai’s current Southeast Asia strategy, under which it is considering building a factory in Vietnam or Indonesia.

    South Korea’s trade minister said, to help reduce dependence on China as well as the United States, the government would support firms expanding in Indonesia, where Korean automakers’ market share is 0.1% versus Japan’s 98.6%.

    Across ASEAN, sales of South Korean cars are growing, with those of Hyundai-Kia rising 26% on year to 71 847 cars in January-June in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, showed data from LMC Automotive.

    The data provider forecast overall vehicle sales in those five countries to grow 5% to 3.29 million vehicles this year from 2017, reaching 3.41 million vehicles in 201.

    -Nampa/Reuters

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  • 08/29/18--16:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Coke adds Moxie to beverage lineup

    Coca-Cola Co said on Tuesday it will buy Moxie, a soda-based soft drink brand that is more than a hundred years old, from its bottling partner Coca-Cola of Northern New England.

    Moxie, the official soft drink of the state of Maine, was invented two years before Coke in 1884 and counted President Calvin Coolidge and Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams among its patrons.

    Both the companies did not disclose the value of the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

    -Nampa/Reuters

    Thomson Reuters launches $9 billion buyback

    Thomson Reuters Corp on Tuesday launched a US$9 billion share buyback, sending its shares higher, and said it would complete the sale of a majority stake in its Financial & Risk unit to Blackstone Group LP on October 1.

    Shares in Thomson Reuters, which had been suspended prior to the announcement, were trading at C$58.03, up 3.6 percent at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT) in Toronto, having earlier hit C$58.50 after trading recommenced, their highest level since the deal was announced on Jan. 30

    -Nampa/Reuters

    FB, Google chase new US$1trn payments market

    Surendrasingh Sucharia always has a few thousand rupees in his pocket, but can’t recall the last time he used cash. The 29-year-old product manager in Bangalore uses a string of smartphone apps including ones from Google and India’s Paytm to pay for everything from US$40 bags of groceries to street food that costs pennies.

    A bewildering array of digital payment businesses from global names like Facebook’s WhatsApp to Google are in a slugfest to win Indian users. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is acquiring a stake in the company behind payments leader Paytm.

    Meanwhile, a string of other big-name players are also expanding in the country’s digital payments market including its banks, its postal service, and its richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

    -Fin24

    Steinhoff's former CFO to appear

    Former Steinhoff Chief Financial Officer Ben la Grange will present evidence before a joint sitting of four Parliamentary committees on Wednesday, but will not be joined by his ex boss Markus Jooste.

    The embattled firm's share price has fallen by over 95% since early December 2017 when Jooste abruptly resigned after auditors uncovered irregularities in the conglomerate's books. These are still being investigated by PwC as part of an independent forensic audit.

    The committee hearing is set to being at 10:00 and continue until 16:00.

    La Grange resigned as Steinhoff's CFO in early January, roughly a month after Jooste left the company. At the time, the retailer said he would help finalise the group's audited financial statements. But last week, according to Bloomberg, the 43-year-old was suspended from this short term consultancy deal as well.

    -Fin24

    MultiChoice announces new 24-hour channel

    MultiChoice on Tuesday announced Newzroom Afrika as the new black-owned 24-hour news channel on satellite service DStv's bouquet, after the group decided not to renew its contract with Mwanele Manyi's Afro Worldview.

    Yolisa Phahle, the CEO of M-Net, said the winning bidder was a new entrant and had "met all qualifying criteria".

    The two directors of little-known company are Thokozani Nkosi of production company Eclipse TV, and Thabile Ngwato of Rapid Innovation, who previously worked as a news anchor at the SABC.

    Ngwato left the public broadcaster earlier this month. In a media statement, the SABC said she was leaving to "pursue business interests after five successful years of producing and presenting news at the SABC".

    -Fin24

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    Meatco to supply UK retail giantMeatco to supply UK retail giant Namibia’s leading beef producer, Meatco, has been given the green light to supply meat to the United Kingdom’s largest pub retailer and brewer.

    According to Meatco, it recently received approval to serve premium meat to Greene King, a company that was founded in 1799 and owns approximately 3 000 outlets in the UK.

    Meatco however did not indicate how much meat it will be supplying to Greene King.

    According to the company’s quality assurance manager, Marchella Somaes, the Britons conducted a supplier audit based on their standards and International Food Safety Standards (IFS) through which Meatco was approved as the supplier to their chain of businesses.

    “The company will conduct similar audits every two years at the Meatco factory to ensure continuous compliance,” Somaes said.

    According to Meatco, Greene King is one of the major groups in the UK hotel, restaurant and catering sector with its headquarters based in Suffolk, England.

    It owns hotels, pubs and restaurants that are spread across the UK and which have been trading for over 200 years.

    Their various brands include Hungry Horse, which just opened its 200th site, Chef and Brewer, Loch Fyne, a premium seafood restaurant, and Old English Inns.

    Meatco says that the deal with Greene King will further grow the sales opportunities in export markets for Meatco’s Nature’s Reserve beef brand.

    Meatco exports to the European Union (EU), the UK, Norway and South Africa, and new markets in the United States, China and Hong Kong have recently been cleared. The EU, UK and Norwegian markets account for 43.2% of Meatco’s sales by volume, while South Africa and Namibia make up 55.72%.

    The company generated N$795 million in foreign sales during the 2017/18 financial year in comparison to N$1.2 billion the previous year.

    Last year a total 37 000 tons of beef were exported of which 9 400 tons were exported to South Africa and the European Union, the UK, Reunion and Norway received 9 500 tons.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Council makes amends for Chinese land sagaCouncil makes amends for Chinese land saga The Okongo village council is constructing a N$2 million facility to house a women’s tailoring project, after the land the initiative had previously occupied was allocated to a Chinese firm.

    In 2016, the village council allocated two prime plots to Chinese-owned entity, Lenn’s Investment, to establish two business complexes, while one of the plots was occupied by the tailoring project.

    The council has since been trying to rebuild its relationship with the community, following the huge uproar caused by it allocating the plots to the Chinese firm.

    The deal was not was received well by local residents, who were up in arms at the time.

    They were furious that the village council had allocated two strategically-located business plots that were at the time being occupied by nine local women, who had set up a tailoring project.

    The women were evicted and left without a place to operate from, but last year the village council moved to make amends by giving the green light for the construction of a new facility for them, to the tune of N$2 million.

    Village council CEO, Wodibo Haulofu, told Namibian Sun the women were affected by the plot allocations to the Chinese company, which had paved the way for business development.

    “The council allocated two prime plots to a Chinese investor to construct two business complexes. The two plots were occupied by a group of women who were owned a tailoring project and were operating from one of the plots, but the land was not allocated to them,” Haulofu said.

    “Since these women were affected by this development and they lost the place where they were operating from, the council decided to build a tailoring project for them.”

    Haulofu said the new premises currently under construction will have the capacity to accommodate about 30 tailors and will include office space for an administrator.

    In 2016, angry residents staged a peaceful demonstration to condemn the council’s decision to award the land to the Chinese entity.

    Some residents even clashed with the Chinese business owner, after they tried to prevent a construction company from building on the plots.

    Haulofu said the council is doing everything in its power to reconcile with the community, especially the affected women.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    New life for cheetah relocation to IndiaNew life for cheetah relocation to IndiaIndia’s Supreme Court reconsiders Shot down by the Namibian government but, supported by the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the trans-location of cheetah to India has seen new movement. The ambitious project by India to relocate cheetahs from Namibia is in the spotlight again with a request to revive the plan which was originally conceived in 2009.

    This follows after the Supreme Court in India recently decided to reconsider its 2013 order that had quashed the reintroduction plans of African cheetah into India’s Kuno Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

    The court at that time noted that no detailed study had been conducted before introducing a 'foreign' species to India as one of the reasons why the project should be halted.

    The Supreme Court also ordered that cheetah should not be trans-located in Kuno-Palpur where lions from Gujarat's Gir sanctuary were proposed to be shifted.

    Following this, Nauradehi was suggested to be made the home of the spotted feline in India.

    In a recent twist earlier this year the court has now decided to reconsider its order after hearing a plea that the cheetah is not a foreign species to India as it became locally extinct from India’s forests in 1952.

    As per the earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be trans-located to the Nauradehi from Namibia.

    The Namibia Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) had then showed its willingness to donate the felines to India.

    While an amount of N$641 million was reportedly cleared for the project by the Indian environment ministry to move the cheetahs, reports surfaced in 2012 that the project had hit a roadblock due to lack of funds.

    Indian media however this week reported that the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department had written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revive the plan to reintroduce cheetahs in the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary.

    The NTCA will have to provide the necessary funding.

    It was previously indicated that the department had sought N$490 million to import cheetah from Namibia to the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in December 2013 already.

    The department needed to reserve a 700 square-kilometre area for the imported cheetahs to dwell in the sanctuary that is spread over 1 197 square kilometres.

    However, 20 villages located in the reserved area for the cheetah project in Nauradehi needed to be evacuated and for this, a whopping N$490 million would be needed to compensate around 2 640 families living in these villages.

    The return of the cheetah would make India the only country to host six of the world’s eight large cats, including lions, tigers, jaguars and panthers.

    Namibia’s environment ministry previously told Namibian Sun that it received a request a few years ago from the Indian government to relocate African cheetahs to India, but that it was rejected by Namibia.

    The ministry at that time said Namibia is not considering relocating cheetahs to India, nor have there been any further discussions between the two governments about this issue.

    Meanwhile, Dr Laurie Marker, executive director of the CCF, in a recent blog post said that reintroducing cheetahs in India will help relieve pressure on the species by creating additional habitat, which the cheetah desperately needs to survive. It will also help increase the species genetic diversity.

    “Yes, the cheetah reintroduction project will be a massive undertaking, very complex, and it will require great financial resources. But it is one very much worth the attempt, because the payoff is so enormous.”

    ELLANIE SMIT

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