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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 09/20/18--15:00: Information is like money
  • Information is like moneyInformation is like money Llewellyn le Hané

    In the modern world, the pursuit of money has become an obsessive activity for many.

    There’s nothing wrong with that; as long as it’s done with a certain goal in mind. This train of thought and discussion I recently had got me thinking. We are consumed by acquiring things, stuff, and as much money as we can.

    This is not just a Namibian obsession; all around the world it seems people are in pursuit of exactly the same goal. Having money to buy nice things, a nice house, a nice car, nice holidays and other essentials and luxuries is great. But when you start to examine the unrelenting pursuit of money, my understanding becomes less clear. Having an emergency fund is great, saving for retirement, children and even grandchildren is the way it should be. Having piles of money for the sake of just having it makes no sense. The same can be said about information.

    Companies, governments and institutions have a great many methods of collecting data - information about people, things, interactions and trends. They harvest this data so much these days that it’s become known as big data. Everything is measured and tracked, and this has been widely reported on. Having information, data, business intelligence or whatever you want to call it, gives you an edge.

    Some say it gives you ‘the edge’ - giving you enough power to leverage during election times and change the mindset of whole swathes of a population.

    But information and data is only an asset if you use it. Just like with money. Having it just for the sake of having it, makes no sense. Companies and governments harvest data and have petabytes of data laying around, but don’t use it. If you have money that you don’t know what to do with, you engage with a financial advisor and they tell you how you can put your money to work, to good use and perhaps benefit others or use it to create something new.

    This is why organisations should harness the power of their data and apply and use it for their benefit and in the long-run for their stakeholders as well. Just imagine using the data to be able to do faster reporting, analysis or planning, make better predictions and business decisions, improve workflow, cut costs, tailor make customer interactions or improve your competitive advantage. These are just a few things that you can do with leveraging all the information and data that is swirling around an organisation.

    Use your information intelligently and use it to improve your business, your organisation or government services. If you are unsure of how to go about it, just as you would get a financial advisor, get a data consultant in. I would also implore people to do the same with money. Do not just let it sit there and watch the pile grow. Do something with it, otherwise it’s no use to anyone.

    *Llewellyn le Hané is the owner of Green Enterprise Solutions (Pty) Ltd.

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  • 09/20/18--15:00: Looking at the positive side
  • Looking at the positive sideLooking at the positive sideVan Wyk has a passion for youth development Pupkewitz Motors, a subsidiary of the Pupkewitz Group, take pride in exceptionally good customer experience rating. Octavia Tsibes

    To be profitable in a highly competitive market and with the recession that is already in the eighth quarter, must not be overlooked. Managing Director (MD) at Pupkewitz Motors, Ekkerd van Wyk, who joined Pupkewitz in 2011 as the motor division’s Operations Manager, is very positive and innovative in all that he does within the company. When he first joined the company, he worked with Mr. Junior Bruwer and later took over from him as Managing Director of Pupkewitz Motors in 2014.

    It worries van Wyk that the motor industry is not on every young job seeker’s shortlist. The motor industry does not only comprise out of mechanics and sales consultants, but is such a wide spectrum with numerous job opportunities that should be marketed and introduced to the public. “I would love to see schools introduce the automotive industry as a vital career opportunity such as logistics, marketing, information technology, computer based management programs and auditing, just to mention a few.” He adds “I will keep on inviting young Namibians into the motor industry and will keep on training them to become stewards of the trade.”

    “We have various trainee programs in place. The Mechanical Traineeship is the most well-known trainee program that we have, where we train young individuals to become qualified mechanics. We also have the Administrative Traineeship, which focuses on financial management and accounting. The third traineeship, and one that I adore the most, is the Sales Traineeship that we offer. This program involves the training of young individuals as sales persons and marketers,” he says.

    He further says that the programs are three months long where they train them, lucratively compensate them and if they succeed, the company employs them permanently as a junior, offering the opportunity for them to start building their career with Pupkewitz Motors. “We focus on young talent, if possible with a tertiary qualification, but if the trainee does not have this qualification, we give them the opportunity to obtain a qualification with our support,” he continues.

    One of his many highlights is being part of the team that increased the market share of Pupkewitz Motors from 21 percent in 2011 to the current 35 percent.

    “The fact that we could solve the shortage of technical personnel by giving on-the-job training and offering training opportunities to our current staff, is one of my greatest highlights,” he says.

    “I must remind myself on a daily basis not only to focus on the big things that we are busy with, but to attend to the smaller details as well,” Ekkerd van Wyk, Managing Director at Pupkewitz Motors.

    Van Wyk, who is both a father and grandfather, says he dedicates his career success to his family, “My values are very important to me and I believe it is crucial to remember where you have started. I believe others value my work ethic, my enthusiasm and positive attitude. It may also be that my ability to listen to others and my contributions towards the team drive others to achieve the mutual goal.”

    He tries to push himself to be innovative on a daily basis, “I encourage my colleagues to refrain from stagnating and to go be creative beyond the day-to-day activities,” he says.

    Facts Box:

    · Born 1959 in Gobabis

    · Van Wyk matriculated in 1977, Outjo

    · He completed his apprenticeship as a motor mechanic and received a diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 1985.

    · He obtained his qualifications in Commerce from The University of Stellenbosch in 1989

    · In 1994 he joined the Barry Group of Companies as Dealer Principal of Jaffes Ford in Worcester.

    · 1999 he moved to Novel Motor Company in Stellenbosch

    · 2003 moved to Novel Motor Company in Windhoek.

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    Nationalise half of white farmsNationalise half of white farms Constitutional expert Nico Horn believes that half the land currently owned by white farmers can be nationalised in some way, with just compensation being paid.

    “Now with the Namibia Statistics Agency statistics we have seen 70% of (agricultural) land belongs to white farmers. Now think if half of those farms are nationalised in some way or another or expropriated with just compensation, as the president promised… then you can have 4 000 families resettled on those farms,” he told Namibian Sun this week.

    Last Thursday, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) revealed that white commercial farmers still own 70% of commercial farmland in Namibia, while black people own just 16% of the total 39 million hectares of the freehold agricultural land, and government just about 14%.

    Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leader Job Amupanda earlier this week warned white commercial farmers, saying they must start engaging with the future leaders of the country.

    “We are not under any illusion, we know the white man owns the land with the permission of the coward and black elite that cannot confront the white man.

    “But these guys [the current leadership] are going to die very soon and we will get our land,” Amupanda told Namibian Sun.

    Since the start of the week civil society organisations and traditional authorities have also threatened to boycott next month's national land indaba, if government refuses to release the master list of resettlement beneficiaries, among other demands.

    AR and the Landless People's Movement (LPM) have already declared the conference predetermined and an absolute farce.

    “I hear LPM is not going to attend, but I think they should attend it, even if it just to let all the voices be heard. If AR and LPM is not going to attend and the white farmers unions are not going to attend, what will happen? It is just going to be a brainstorming meeting for civil servants,” Horn said.

    He is particularly worried that there seems to be no clear plan or indication of a speaker's list.

    To date there has been no official agenda or participant list disclosed to the media, but these documents have been leaked on social media.

    This has been a bone of contention for Namibian activists, who are continually raising their voices over government's failure to address landlessness.

    Horn is of the opinion that government should interrogate the kinds of land ownership, and divide and address the different needs of the country's citizens, in terms of land.

    Earlier this week, civil society organisations said they will not attend next month's second national land conference if Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila fails to release relevant documents, including the controversial master list of resettlement beneficiaries.

    The chairperson of the Non-Governmental Organisation Forum (Nangof) Trust, Sandie Tjaronda, yesterday said they cannot be part of something that they do not agree with.

    At the same time, a joint press statement was issued by civil society including the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), National Youth Council (NYC) and the Namibia CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO), saying all their demands must be published on social media and other platforms in the spirit of the Access to Information Bill in order for participants to prepare thoroughly.

    Others signatories to the statement are the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG), the //Naosan /Aes Movement for Land (Ancestor Fire), the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), the Namibia Rural Women's Assembly (NRWA), the Damara King's Council, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA).

    Their demands include the release of a report by the lands minister on the 24 resolutions of the 1991 national land conference; the list of resettlement beneficiaries; the review report on the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS), Resettlement Programme and Post Resettlement Support; a report on farms offered to the government or waived and purchased; the final report of a review of the Mass Housing Development Programme and any relevant documents.


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    Baby now four weeks on the streetsBaby now four weeks on the streets Helao Nafidi mayor Eliaser Nghipangelwa has called on a homeless family, which includes a one-year-old baby girl, to visit him so he can “provide them with options”.

    Nghipangelwa said he heard about the situation but the family never visited him.

    He said that as soon as the family visits his office they will be presented with options.

    “If they come to my office, I will listen to them and provide them with options and it will be up to them to accept them or not; it is not solutions but options which they need to choose from,” Nghipangelwa said.

    Johannes Haufiku, Saara Kamati and their two children have been living on the streets since 28 August, after the Helao Nafidi town council dismantled their two-bedroom shack and shebeen in the Ombili informal settlement at Oshikango.

    The family told Namibian Sun two weeks ago they received a letter dated 20 August from town council CEO Inge Ipinge, which ordered Kamati to remove her structure by 24 August or else the council would do it.

    On 28 August at around 11:00, council officials arrived in the company of police officers and dismantled their home.

    According to the letter, the council's actions followed after it received complaints from Ombili residents about Kamati's bad behaviour, as well as about criminal activities happening at the premises.

    “Just imagine, my one-year-old daughter sleeping in the open. Only people who are merciless can allow such a thing to happen,” Haufiku said at the time. The family is still seeking answers from the local authority, which confiscated their aluminium roof sheeting, poles and wooden doors, leaving them to brave the night cold.

    When contacted for comment two weeks ago Ipinge veered from the reasons given in his 20 August letter.

    He claimed because Kamati was formerly a resident of the Okatwitwi informal settlement, she was not supposed to move to Ombili, but should rather have moved to an area where Okatwitwi residents were relocated to.

    The family has since turned to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Ohangwena regional coordinator Hidipo Hamata for assistance.

    Hamata's attempt to hold a community demonstration in solidarity with the family on 13 September was unsuccessful.

    Ipinge told Hamata in correspondence that in terms of the Local Authorities Act, a town CEO is not allowed to receive a petition from a political party.

    Hamata said the town council is ignorant about the plight of poor Namibians.


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    Telecom directory tender catches flakTelecom directory tender catches flakForeign firms in pole position to rake in millions Telecom Namibia is accused of reneging on its pledge to Namibianise its tenders, as only two foreign majority-owned companies have submitted bids for the multimillion-dollar phone directory tender. South African majority-owned company TDS Directory Operations (Namibia), which has been compiling the telephone directory of Telecom Namibia since 2007, is likely to be favoured again because the tender regulations were specifically designed to fit it, critics say.

    At the close of the tender applications on 31 August, TDS Directory and Lapaka Namibia Directories, a company owned by Botswana nationals, were vying for the lucrative three-year contract and had submitted bids of N$180 million and N$173 million respectively.

    Previously when the contract was over five years, Telecom Namibia was guaranteed no less than N$188 million from advertising revenue, while the successful bidder earned approximately 25% or N$47 million.

    The critics, preferring anonymity, also said it would appear as if Telecom has reneged on its promise to Namibianise jobs and contracts and that the new tender specifications are designed to suit TDS.

    “This is an absolute slap in the face for Namibia. It is a betrayal of Namibianisation, of BEE [black economic empowerment], and the creation of local employment. It is a retrogressive step,” one of the critics said.

    The bidding documents for the new compilation and supply tender were issued at the start of August.

    The specifications stipulate that bidders will only be considered if they have experience in the nature and size of the contract over the last five years. In Namibia's context, only TDS has such credentials since it has held the contract since 2006.

    TDS is also the only company with the requisite two service contracts “of a nature and complexity equivalent to the services over the last five years”.

    Although preference is to be given to local bidders, the tender specifications further state that a “margin of preference shall not be applicable”, which the critics said puts Namibians on equal footing with foreigners.

    “TDS is only nominally a local company by virtue of its registration, but the de facto company is being run in South Africa,” one source said.

    There it states that the company is “supported by TDS Namibia (Pty) Ltd in South Africa and Truvo internationally”. Its shareholders are TDS Namibia (with 75% shareholding) and Namibian BEE partner Ripanga Investments, which holds 25%.

    During a previous bidding process it was reported that Ripanga's local partners included lawyers Rodgers Kauta, Patrick Kauta and Tjakazenga Kamuhanga-Hoveka. Others included Dawid Nel, architect Marley Tjitjo, former Nedbank Namibia MD Erastus Hoveka, Fanuel Tjivau, Paulus Kamanya, Florence Kaura, medical specialist Ishmael Katjitae and businesswoman Hilda Basson-Namundjebo.

    The tender specifications spell out that the minimum required experience is that the bidder should have done a similar job over a period of three years and experience in sales is required for the 2017/18 financial year.

    According to the local sources, the job to compile Telecom's directory does not require any specialised or rare skills or innovation.

    They further said categories on the score card such as “revenue growth” and “commission required” are high on the totem pole – counting 25 and 20 respectively – which they said would again favour TDS because it is the only company around that would know these figures.

    The critics said when the bids were opened on 31 August, certain information was withheld, which is contrary to the tender specifications.

    “If the income is the fulcrum and only one person knows what it is worth, does this not exclude the rest,” one source questioned.

    The sources also said the requirement to provide guaranteed revenue of N$43 million is misleading because, again, only TDS could know the real value.

    Another requirement questioned is a stipulation that the service provider should get prior approval from Telecom for any changes to its key personnel and subcontractors.

    'This is a closed shop, a sham'

    According to the TDS website it was established in 2006 to “market, sell and produce advertising in the Telephone Namibia Directories”.

    TDS held the first contract from 2007 to 2012 and the subsequent contract was again awarded to it after it was exempted from tender procedures.

    The first tender award was not without controversy and ended up in parliament when Johan de Waal of the then DTA requested that the N$100 million contract be cancelled.

    De Waal accused Telecom of “gross neglect” for having awarded the tender to TDS.

    Some of the critics then – as now – claimed that “certain people got into bed with TDS” and alleged that “political or well-connected movements are afoot”.

    'Old' allegations

    Telecom Namibia's spokesperson, Oiva Angula, when presented with questions regarding the matter, said this was an “old complaint” but would not go into detail.

    Angula referred all questions to the Central Procurement Board (CPB), which responded after about a week that Telecom Namibia should in fact provide answers to many of the questions.

    The CPB added that it would difficult for Telecom Namibia to answer these questions because the tender applications were still being considered by the bid evaluation board.

    Telecom Namibia has not responded since then.

    Cissie Nakashona, a manager at the TDS office, after consultation with the South African office, said the allegations were merely “propaganda” to which the company would not respond.


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     Death toll of Tanzanian ferry disaster passes 200 Death toll of Tanzanian ferry disaster passes 200 The death toll from the ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria has risen to 218 and may further grow, state media has reported.

    Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Isack Kamwelwe said more bodies could be recovered as rescue and recovery operations continued.

    "Relatives have started identifying bodies of their loved ones," Kamwelwe told a news conference at Ukara Islet, the scene of the grisly marine accident.

    He said a ship carrying equipment to be used to pull the ferry out of the lake was on its way from Mwanza, a northwestern port city.

    "We are expecting the vessel anytime and work to pull out the ferry will start right away," said the minister.

    On Friday, Tanzanian President Magufuli announced a four-day mourning period for the victims of the accident.

    According to sources, the ferry, with a capacity of 101 passengers and 25 tonnes of cargo, capsized at around 1 p.m. local time Thursday.

    Preliminary investigations showed that the state-owned ferry was overloaded and was being manned by someone who was not the authorized captain of the vessel.

    The last major ferry accident on Lake Victoria occurred in 1996 in the same region, killing at least 500 people.


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    Housing crisis needs radical solutionsHousing crisis needs radical solutions Key issues such as ancestral land, the national resettlement programme and the controversial veterinary cordon fence or red line, have all featured prominently in the ongoing land debate taking place in the build-up to the country's second national conference.

    Interestingly, we have also observed that fairly populist notions regarding the country's housing crisis and urban land reform failures, which once dominated the national discourse, are nowhere to be found this time around. Much of the emphasis going into the national land conference has sadly been on government's preparedness or lack thereof, its standoffs with various pressure groups and who has been invited, or not, to participate at this important gathering. The housing crisis, which has seen a backlog of over 300 000 units developing nearly unabated, has not enjoyed anywhere near the necessary prioritisation by government over the past 28 years. The National Housing Enterprise, on the other hand, is flooded with thousands of unattended applications for low-cost houses. Instead, the politically connected and elite have been positioned to benefit from developer tenders that has resulted in overpriced homes and rentals. Our local authorities, and to an extent the ruling party, have failed to show the political will to fix this crisis. Now government is hiding behind its failures by laying the blame for the unfolding crisis at apartheid's door, while it has enjoyed the levers of power for the past 28 years. Housing is a basic need, and ensuring more affordable land to allow people to build at their own pace, must be considered the critical priority. We can no longer allow a situation where most urban residents spend their hard-earned cash on paying rent. This is not fair. One wonders why such a rich nation isn't able to provide some of the basic needs of its citizens.

    And why land, especially in urban areas, is still seen as a money-making cash cow, instead of as a way to restore the dignity of our people.

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  • 09/26/18--15:00: Geingob challenges Trump
  • Geingob challenges TrumpGeingob challenges Trump President Hage Geingob says the world cannot rest until the United States, and by implication its head of state Donald Trump, lifts “the decades-old, outdated, ineffective and counterproductive economic and financial embargo of Cuba”.

    While addressing the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, as he touched on a number of issues including global peace and security, Geingob made specific mention of Cuba, Palestine and Western Sahara.

    “The time is now for all of us to demonstrate the leadership required to bring prosperity and peace to all the world's people. It is time to lead in the spirit of peace, in the spirit of equality and in the spirit of sustainability.

    “It is time to make the United Nations relevant to all the world's people. Let us take up the challenge,” Geing“It is time to make the United Nations relevant to all the world's people. Let us take up the challenge,” Geingob said.

    Geingob again called for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council.

    “Africa's right to have an equal say in decision-making on issues that affect the African region and the world at large should be respected.

    “It is equally time that Africa's contribution to peace and security on its own soil and the world by extension, including through the blood of its own peacekeepers, is recognised as a fundamental contribution to peace,” he said.

    He once again expressed his ire over Namibia's classification as an upper-middle-income nation.

    He said this prevents the country from accessing not only globally reduced official development assistance (ODA), but also affordable and concessional financing.

    “The situation has the potential to jeopardise efforts in Namibia and other developing countries to fully achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Geingob said.

    “Therefore, it is pertinent that we avoid pursuing solutions that might create additional layers of inequality, be it in the areas of ICT or financing, thus regressing socio-economic gains made by countries in a similar situation.”

    Geingob called on Namibia's development partners to ensure that their ODA commitments are fulfilled and that foreign direct investment inflows, and technology transfers on mutually agreed terms, are increased.

    “Let us enhance cooperation to curb illicit financial flows, tax evasion and avoidance, and corruption through the strict implementation of the available international instruments.”

    He said Namibia recognises there are existing and emerging threats and challenges that continue to frustrate individual and collective efforts to achieve greater economic development and social progress.

    He said the country would certainly wish to benefit from the assistance rendered through the Technology Bank established in Istanbul on 4 June, in order to enable it to timeously identify the spatial locations of drought and floods areas.

    Geingob said while Namibia has seen sustained economic growth over much of the last ten years, its level of unemployment regretfully remains high.

    “Nevertheless, Namibia has observed one of the fastest reductions of poverty levels in our region over the last 10 years - from 28.8% to 17.4%. I am also happy to inform that life expectancy in Namibia has risen from 58 to 65 years. Child mortality, however, still remains a challenge.”

    Geingob also quoted the late South African president Nelson Mandela when he said: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”

    “As a people who have known the pain of poverty, injustice and gross inequality, we cannot truly rest until we witness the implementation of all relevant UN resolutions and decisions, which will lead to a positive, peaceful and permanent solution that meets the aspirations and will of the people of Western Sahara.

    “We cannot truly rest until the people of the occupied territory of Palestine are allowed to pursue their inalienable right to self-determination, justice, freedom and independence, through political, diplomatic, peaceful and non-violent means,” Geingob added.


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    Body belonging to severed foot foundBody belonging to severed foot found A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 57-year-old woman whose severed foot was found in a shopping bag outside the Bahnhof settlement near Rehoboth on Tuesday.

    According to the crime investigations coordinator for Hardap, Deputy Commissioner Eric Clay, the suspect was initially arrested for arson on the same farm where the body was found.

    The woman's body was found a day later, in the same vicinity where the foot had been discovered.

    The suspect is expected to appear in the Rehoboth Magistrate's Court tomorrow on charges including murder and arson.

    “This was good detective work. There was an incident of arson at the farm where we had found the body. Two farmhouses were set alight,” Clay said.

    “The police investigated the arson and followed tracks and made the arrest yesterday, and today when we investigated after we found the foot we came to the same tracks,” Clay said.

    He added that the body was yet to be identified and had been viewed by family members at Rehoboth yesterday.

    Clay said they were still investigating to find more evidence linking the arson to the murder.

    “It is also a bit difficult because he is underage. We must now try and get a guardian for him. He is currently in detention,” he said.


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  • 09/26/18--15:00: Govt blames apartheid
  • Govt blames apartheidGovt blames apartheidLeaked paper pours cold water on ancestral land restitution Despite having its hands on the levers of government power for 28 years, the Swapo-led government is intent on shifting blame for the country's ongoing land reform and urban land challenges to apartheid. A leaked government discussion paper for the upcoming second national land conference almost exclusively deals with Swapo positions over the years, which have consistently rejected restitution for ancestral land claims.

    The document highlights that past injustices are still prevailing today, as Namibia inherited a divided and skewed land distribution pattern, stemming from centuries of colonialisation and foreign occupation.

    It also warned that expropriation within the law “may be not be avoided unless foreigners who own 3% and formerly advantaged Namibians who own 62% of the land make concessions and avail land for acquisition and redistribution”.

    “There is a notion in some quarters that land acquisition for distribution to the landless threatens both domestic and foreign investment without realising that inequality in land ownership constitutes a threat to peace and stability,” the document states.

    It said further the most arable and productive land in the southern and central parts of the country was allocated and remain exclusive to white European settlers and their descendants.

    “The majority of black Namibians were and are still dispossessed of their land and are relegated to native reserves created on marginal land with low productivity, high population concentration and low farming potential.”

    The position paper was informed by regional land consultations ahead of the country's second national land conference and draws extensively from Swapo's national policy conference of 2016.

    No other political parties or pressure groups' points of view were taken into consideration.

    Government yesterday declined to comment on the circulating document.

    Office of the Prime Minister spokesperson Saima Shaanika referred the newspaper to information minister Stanley Simataa.

    “I also just saw the document that was leaked. But I have not seen it formally. You must talk to the line ministry,” said Simataa. Land reform ministry spokesperson Chrispin Matongela could not comment on whether the document was officially released.

    While the document acknowledges Namibia's painful colonial injustices, it says it will be difficult if not impossible to satisfactorily address the land question through ancestral land claims and restitution.

    “Reviving this debate will amount to acknowledging and accepting Bantustans and contrary to the spirit of One Namibia, One Nation. These claims have a potential of spilling over beyond the borders of the country as all Namibians migrated from somewhere else.”

    Urban land crisis

    Only three paragraphs in the document deal with the urban land crisis, which has been a political hot potato for the ruling party, as young radicals in its midst push for affordable housing and an end to inflated rental prices. The paragraphs list several obstacles that have stalled provision of land and housing to urban Namibians, including “constraints emanating from the inherited legislations”.

    The paper recommends better capacity development at national and regional levels, and a new funding model.

    Critics have blasted this worrying lack of urgency.

    With nearly 50% of urban residents living in shacks, and an estimated 12 000 shacks being erected annually in Namibia's towns, critics say three short paragraphs that fail to include any mention of the explosive shack growth reflects a lack of seriousness by the government to resolve the issue.

    Anna Muller of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia says the urban land issue is “certainly a crisis and deserves more attention from all stakeholders”.


    She says it is time to give “attention to land matters that impact the largest portions of our population” and warns that a major mind shift is urgently needed.

    “One is that the government should put urban land on a high priority as part of land reform, and the second is to create opportunities for households, individuals and communities to improve their urban living conditions.”

    Beat Weber of the Development Workshop of Namibia (DWN) says the social, economic and political impact of this rapid informal settlement growth can hardly be overestimated.

    He warns that informal settlements “entrench poverty and inequality, are hotbeds of crime and social unrest and create massive legacies to be dealt with by future generates and governments”.

    As such, Weber says, “one would expect that the land conference produces a clear and implementable strategy to effectively address rapid informal settlement growth.”

    The Institute for Public Policy Research's (IPPR's) Dietrich Remmert says the brief entry on urban land reform gives the appearance that the issue was “included pretty much as a belated afterthought”.

    Remmert stresses that the “magnitude of the urban land issue and the housing crisis is far too extensive to be covered in three paragraphs”.

    Though he agrees that the recommendations on improved capacity and a new funding model have their value, “there are so many other important recommendations that have not been taken up in the draft”.

    John Mendelsohn of Raison says the position paper misses the point.

    “Capacity is not the problem, not the reason for non-delivery of urban land. There are far bigger reasons, most of which boils down to lack of willingness.”

    He says tweaking the funding model is not the problem either, but funding overall is.

    Mendelsohn says the draft paper's recommendations would only add more bureaucracy to the myriad of urban development challenges already in place.

    “They dance around the problem. It demonstrates that the government doesn't get it. They are missing the fundamentals and the urgency of it all.”

    He says a focus on farmland instead of the urban land crisis at the land conference will not address the much larger issue facing thousands of people living in shacks, remaining mired in poverty.

    Not participating

    Meanwhile, the Landless People's Movement leader and former Swapo firebrand Bernadus Swartbooi said they will not be attending next week's national land conference despite being invited at the eleventh hour.

    “We have demanded that Utoni Nujoma be removed as minister of land reform to ensure that as a country we are able to work together to strengthen land reform initiatives in a productive and responsible manner. Geingob never responded to our demand,” he said.

    “LPM demanded that government release the list of resettled farmers since the inception of the national resettlement programme so that we can judge the fairness of redistribution of land in Namibia. That request was never met,” Swartbooi explained.


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     AR boycotts land conference AR boycotts land conference The Affirmative Repositioning movement this afternoon said it will also not participate in the second national land conference scheduled for next week in Windhoek. The AR withdrawal follows that of several traditional authorities and non-governmental organisations who were expected to attend the land indaba. “Indeed, the land conference that is scheduled to take place next week must be seen in the same context. It is an attempt by the regime to gain moral high grounds and policy legitimacy, through manipulative tactics, while doing nothing about the suffering of our people,” AR said in a statement. Earlier in the day, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA), the Damara King’s Council, Nangof, Swanu, Nudo and the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) all indicated they will not participate in the land conference.


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  • 09/27/18--15:00: NRU goes for the jugular
  • NRU goes for the jugularNRU goes for the jugularTells NRL to stop interfering in its mandate The dust is refusing to settle in local rugby circles, despite a mediation attempt by the sports ministry. Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) council members say the Sports Act should be followed when determining who controls decision-making processes in the sport.

    During a heated media conference yesterday, the council, represented by Keith Allies (Western Suburbs) and Christie Windvogel (Unam), said business wing, Namibia Rugby Limited (NRL), should adhere to the union's constitution as well as the Sports Act, and not involve itself in the mandate of the


    The council members - representing the chairmen and presidents of clubs countrywide affiliated to the NRU - said on 7 April during an annual general meeting (AGM) the NRU put in place a new board to run its affairs.

    “We, however, became aware that the previous board, though within their power to sign contracts, signed away the most important powers they were entrusted with - one of them being the appointment of a coach.

    “The people who signed the agreement (former president Bradley Basson and former vice-president Petrie Theron) signed this cooperation agreement on behalf of the NRU on 16 February, which was backdated to 12 February,” Allies said.

    “We would never have agreed to such an evil agreement, because this corporation agreement nullifies the whole purpose of the NRU as the governing body of rugby in Namibia.”

    Basson was NRU president from 2012, until his successor Corrie Mensah was elected at the April AGM. Basson now acts as the chairman of the NRL board.

    Allies said the cooperation agreement is in contravention of the union's constitution.

    “Rugby should continue but not under the current conditions, and therefore we support the proposal for a new agreement with the company.”

    He explained the NRL's mandate should be to look for sponsorships and manage the union's assets. The council disagrees with the view that the national team should be regarded as an asset managed by the company, since any national team belongs to the nation.

    Ducks in a row

    Allies also voiced stern warning to players who are campaigning in favour of the NRL.

    “It is worrisome that while efforts are underway to resolve the stalemate, our players led by Rohan Kitshoff (a former national captain, who is currently injured) are supporting the company and disregarding their respective clubs, even though they are members of the NRU.

    “It seems like Kitshoff with suspected third forces are behind threats to protest against matches. The players should know that we are aware of those has-beens who already played at the World Cup and who want to influence the inexperienced for their own agendas.

    “Players who threaten not to partake in friendlies are bringing the game into disrepute and they will be disciplined according to the constitution,” Allies fumed.

    Windvogel said that NRL's involvement in union matters is questionable.

    “You don't see sponsors of football creating a separate business arm to administer the game or a team. They also need money and proper preparation for matches. Why only in rugby?

    “Yes, it is a good idea but things don't work like that. You need to follow the Sports Act, as well as the NRU constitution. This is the highest authority and not even World Rugby can overrule it,” Windvogel added.


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    Warriors aim to tame Zebras on SundayWarriors aim to tame Zebras on Sunday It's all systems go for the clash between the Brave Warriors and the Zebras of Botswana on Sunday in Gaborone.

    The Brave Warriors were invited to play the international friendly as part of Botswana's 52nd Independence Day celebrations.

    The match will serve as a fitness test and give senior local players some much-needed game time ahead of their home and away 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group K qualifiers against Mozambique between 13 and 16 October.

    Some under-23 national team players have been included in the Warriors squad.

    “Their involvement is merely for exposure and training purposes; the senior players will play 80% of the 90-minute game time, provided no serious injuries occur,” Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti said.

    He added that winning was not a priority, but that match fitness will be the focal point.

    In a recent interview Mannetti said the Botswana clash will be their only friendly before facing Mozambique.

    “We, however, plan on setting up camp in South Africa hereafter, because it's much easier to get most of the players to either Johannesburg or Pretoria, in preparation for our away match.”

    Mannetti also admitted there have been complaints about the team not having match fit players, so in order to qualify for Afcon 2019, he believes in putting fitness first.

    This is especially so, because he wants to narrow the gap between locally-based players and those who ply their trade in other countries, where there are active premier and other leagues.

    The Namibian squad: Ratanda Mbazuvara, Vipua Tjimune, Charles Hambira, Emilio Martin, Larry Horaeb, Vitapi Ngaruka, Lubeni Haukongo, Aprocious Petrus, Ronald Ketjijere, Dynamo Fredericks, Marcel Papama, Immanuel Heita, Absalom Iimbondi, Hiha Katjivena, Petrus Shitembi Muna Katupose and Sadney Urikhob.


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    Bantwana impress against ValenciaBantwana impress against ValenciaSA u-17 girls draw against Spanish giants Bantwana are hoping to play more friendly matches before jetting off to Uruguay for the U-17 Women's World Cup, which takes place between 13 November and 1 December. NAMPA/ANA

    South Africa’s under-17 girls drew 1-1 with the Valencia CF u-20 team in their second friendly match of their Spanish tour on Wednesday.

    Bantwana coach Simphiwe Dludlu said she was pleased with her team's performances, adding they held their own against an experienced side that has been playing together for the past five years.

    Bantwana's solitary goal came in the first period of the match through Western Cape-based right winger, Ember Edwards.

    "I am very proud of the girls. They played according to our instructions and gave it their all in the game. I would like to thank Safa and La Liga for making this Spain tour possible for us. It gave us an opportunity to look at new combinations, with the players we brought into the squad.

    "This tour also gave us an opportunity to learn to deal with the pressure of having to rest a team, while also having to prepare for the next game in a short space of time as well," Dludlu said.

    She added that she would like to play five extra friendly matches before her side jets off to Uruguay for the upcoming U-17 Women's World Cup, which will take place between 13 November and 1 December.

    The Bantwana coach believes that having these desired matches against other national sides will play a key role in preparing her charges for the battle that lies ahead.

    Bantwana are in Group B, and will lock horns with Mexico, Japan and Brazil in pursuit of reaching the knockout stages of the global event.

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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Not in our name!
  • Not in our name!Not in our name! BY JOHN B. NAKUTA

    This paper is based on a recent presentation to civil society organisations (CSOs) and deals with the issue of restorative justice within the context of land reform in Namibia from a human rights perspective. The UN Human Rights Council recently clarified that restorative justice processes lend itself to be applied in a broad range of contexts. The work of the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia is hailed as a best practice in this regard. Between December 2010 to June 2012 this commission conducted a national land inquiry into the land rights of indigenous peoples in that country. This was reportedly in response to numerous and persistent complaints by indigenous communities regarding the non-recognition and violation of their land rights. Through restorative justice lenses the commission then made a set of 18 key recommendations on how best to redress past and present land injustices committed against indigenous people. The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in a ground-breaking decision in favour of the Ogiek community of Kenya rendered on 26 May 2017, similarly, showed that restorative justice is very much relevant to land rights issues. In this case, the court through imaginative, progressive and purposive interpretation held that the right to property as guaranteed in the African Charter protects both individual and group/collective rights. The court's decision sets a major precedent for indigenous peoples' land rights in Africa. In the case of Namibia, it provides great relief for those who may want to claim the lands, territories and resources they traditionally owned and occupied as part of their right to property under article 16 of the constitution. These examples shows that infusing restorative justice into the land debate requires, at least, the recognition, restitution, reparation, and redesigning of State political-legal institutions and processes to redress our sad history of land dispossession. Suppressing such calls only breeds discontent.

    Infusing restorative justice into the land debate also demands a proactive disclosure of land related information. Proactive disclosure is when information is made public at the initiative of the public body, without a request being filed. Proactive disclosure facilitates public engagement, participation, greater transparency, accountability and trust in government. It also gives effect to the people's right to access to information and their right to know. Add to this, the authoritative voice of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights which clarified that: 'public bodies hold information not for themselves but as custodians of the public good'. Not so in the case of Namibia, it seems! Sadly, all the information about the much anticipated second land conference thus far originated from leaked documents and not through proactive disclosure by a public body. This is a serious indictment and makes a mockery of the much-hailed Harambee goal and outcomes on accountability and transparency.

    Related to the above is the issue of a land audit that was, logically, to have been carried out before the second land conference. Such an audit was supposed to provide information viz. the various types of land tenure systems of the government, desegregated data on those who benefited from the various land reform programmes and who is currently left out under these schemes. Also, how much land is still available in Namibia for redistribution purposes? Why was a comprehensive land audit not carried out? Such an audit would have greatly assisted people to take informed decisions at the conference.

    Another sticky point relates to the list of delegates to the conference. CSOs rightly lamented, about the composition of the list of delegates to the land conference. As things stand, the vast majority of those who will be attending are politicians, senior government officials and ruling party functionaries. This lends credence to the notion that the land debate has been hijacked for political party and elite gains. Also, that it lacks a genuine re-distributive agenda.

    It therefore will not be surprising for the conference to reject such calls and thereby permanently suppress the debate on ancestral land claims. Such a resolution, to put it bluntly, would have been obtained through manufactured consent in total contradiction of human rights standards and principles.

    International and human rights law require that people must be consulted and must participate in matters which affect their lives and livelihoods. This is best achieved through consent-making processes aimed at obtaining the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of those that would be affected by a decision. Importantly, the 'free' in FPIC means that consent must be obtained with no coercion, intimidation or manipulation. It is in this context that the composition of the delegates list to the land conference must be frowned upon and seen for what it is: contemptuous, deceitful and malicious.

    I mooted to CSOs and non-state actors to seriously reconsider their participation in the 2nd land conference to avoid becoming accomplices and giving legitimacy to a process that is fundamentally flawed and undemocratic. It is highly disturbing that what was ideally supposed to be a people summit on land has been hijacked for short term political gains. To the ruling elite I say: not in our name because manufactured consent is not consent!

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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Letter from Eheke
  • Letter from EhekeLetter from Eheke BY ELIJAH NGURARE

    I have been here many times before. I was here for political campaigns, weddings etc. Some years ago, I was also here with late Cde John Pandeni when he officially inaugurated the constituency office. This is Eheke, a vibrant settlement about 15 kilometres south of Ondangwa Airport. According to history, the area was founded by cattle herders in the 1920s because it had a pond. Thereafter, the Owambo-Kavango Evangelical Lutheran Church founded a church under a tree near the pond in what is today Eheke village. Eheke is in Oshana Region under the leadership of a true asset in the arsenal of Swapo, the former Plan Combatant Samuel Nelongo as regional coordinator and another freedom fighter Comrade Clemens Kashuupulwa as governor.

    I woke up early Sunday morning from Kavango and the destination was Eheke. It was especially to honour the invitation from Comrade Paulus Ilonga Kapia and Commissar Andreas Amundjindi, Councillor of Uukwiyu-Uushona Constituency. It was to attend the fundraising church service at Shikongo shIindombo Synagogue at Onkulumbala ya Nelundu, Ehafo lya Nelundu Village, Eheke Parish. I arrived shortly when the service got underway. I was ushered to sit next to my contemporaries like Comrades Tommy Nambahu, Comrade Mandume Pohamba, Comrade Nehemia Hudeiko Haufiku, Comrade Armas Amukwiyu, Comrade Nuunyango, Former Plan Combatant Comrade Shiiti Shoombe, Comrade Merjiam Shitula, Comrade Selma Nambago and many more.

    The church service was electrifying even though conducted in makeshift tents. The Pastors Rev Josef Shikuma and Rev Eino Ekandjo are thoroughly schooled in theology and society. They preached the message of hope and they preached the message of nationalism, social justice and fairness. I was happy to hear a sermon of that nature and certainly even the angels above must have been in jubilant mood. I was happy to see Tatekulu Salatiel Ismael there, last time I saw him was in the early 1990s in Arandis.

    One by one they came to pledge their support and record their contribution. The elders came with Iimbale from far and near. Some brought Oshikwiila and some brought goats, cattle while others pledged money, cement, corrugated irons etc. It was community solidarity in practice. The largest contribution was from the youthful regional coordinator of Oshikoto Region Comrade Armas Amukwiyu who donated severally including 50 bags of cement, 50 corrugated irons and more items. In the end, over N$100 000 was raised for the House of the Lord.

    There was no secret that the event demonstrated nostalgia of what Swapo was supposed to be and has been in years gone by.

    The speech of Comrade Tommy Nambahu fell like mana from heaven. He spoke like a political pastor and like a reverend to the hungry congregants. There were intermittent voices murmuring “osho oshili” as he spoke and as he sowed words of undeniable facts. Comrade Nambahu enthused what it means to be a real “comrade” and gave the true meaning of comradeship while juxtaposing it with the biblical parables. Notably the parable of the lost sheep which appears in the Gospels of Mathew and Luke. It is about that shepherd who left his flock of ninety-nine sheep in order to find the one which is lost.

    There was a time, he continued, when it was a taboo and you will be afraid to be seen or make a phone call “to Kapia, Amupanda or Ngurare”. But these are the very sheep the Bible speaks about, why fear to speak to them?

    A comrade, according to Minister Nambahu, is a human being but not a tool to be used for voting, for making money or all other manners of exploitation. A comrade must be for standing with one another during all weather.

    A comrade steeled in the crucible of the liberation struggle, must be understood to be adhering to the relay race of modern Namibia going forward not hedging backward. It was all in all, a Swapo fundraising for a church and Reverend Eino Ekandjo and Mee Theopoline Shalli accentuated the same sentiments. Even the young people of AR were praised and are being prayed for.

    In the final analysis, we also came to Eheke Church to give praise and thanks giving to God for Comrade Paulus I. Kapia, former Secretary of Swapo Party Youth League. He endured over 13 years of political tormenting with legal clouds hanging over him. In 2018, he is back to his life.

    We came fearlessly as comrades and as brothers of the same generation to lay a foundation for his church. God is for all.

    There is power in practical prayers. One of such prayers is for God to help us to be true comrades, to be brother or sister- like to one another; to be in solidarity with the downtrodden and to help make Swapo and comradeship true as it was once upon a time!

    For God to help revive in us the spirit of oneness and ignite in us once again the true and selfless love for Namibia and its people and to put Namibia's interest first above our personal interests, for ever and ever. Amen!

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  • 09/27/18--15:00: The most bearded crowned
  • The most bearded crownedThe most bearded crowned A festival in the north recently celebrated Namibian men and their beards.

    The LG Bar and Restaurant at Oshakati last week Saturday hosted a well-attended Eembezi (beard) Festival which saw N$15 000 being awarded to the best-bearded man. Fifteen bearded men participated in the festival and Petrus Shimweefeleni from Ondobe in the Ohangwena Region, and George Shivute and Jona Daniel, were declared the winners at the end of the competition. Shimweefeleni, 63, was the participant with the longest beard, Shivute had the thickest beard and Daniel won the stylish beard token.

    The owner of LG, Kristof Amukushu, crowned the winners by handing over N$5 000 to each of the three men. Shimweefeleni told journalists at the end of the festivities that he uses traditional oil (omaadi eenhanga) to treat his beard and it took him some five years to grow it to the present length. Several bearded men, although they did not take part in the contest, attended the event.

    Spokesperson of the organising committee of the festival, Remind Ekandjo told a media briefing held earlier this month that the event was hosted as an amusement event as well as to promote proper beard care and/or treatment for men in Namibia.

    Namibian Breweries, Distell, Remind Trading, LLJ Trading, Oshakati Cold Storage, Meatco, Oshikuku Pit Stop, Shetweni Trading, Onyofi Trading, Metro and Oshipuku Trading were the local firms which jointly sponsored the event.


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  • 09/27/18--15:00: Entertainment with a purpose
  • Entertainment with a purposeEntertainment with a purposeFourth video and they are still hot tjil chats with Patrick and Bernice actor on using art to make a difference in society. Social media has now become a medium for a lot of rising stars. Becoming an overnight sensation has been made much easier and all by posting a video or a simple picture. Well, who knew the internet could give one such a luxury, right? The latest of these internet sensations is Jesaya Namalemo and he keeps doing the thing. He became a social media superstar overnight and has taken social media by a storm with his comedy.

    Ever since we were children, most of us had plans to be superstars, but this is a dream rarely achieved.

    Thousands across the world are working towards making their dream come true, and then there are some who turn into an overnight social media personality like Namalemo.

    The love for film comes from when he was in high school, in his Afrikaans classes. His short films featuring Bernice and Patrick are relatable to majority of people and he says he decided to shoot them to make a difference in someone's life by making them laugh or smile.

    “Sometimes we take life too seriously. Just laugh it off. The first video just went viral and it's funny because we were just fooling around. We are at over 200 000 views now and its phenomenal,” he said.

    Namalemo also recently took part in the KinoNamia film festival where his team produced a film of Bernice and Patrick with a twist to the usual clips they shoot. The film was shot and edited in 48 hours as part of the festival and it currently sits with over 2 000 views on Facebook.

    “We highlighted how males are also abused in relationships and people hardly want to talk about this as they think it's a joke. Abuse can come from both sides; it's not about one being strong, there are so many things such as emotional and mental abuse. These are conversations we need to have openly,” he said.

    The comedian believes that entertainers have a role bigger than making their audience laugh. Namalemo has done videos that depict what happens in a heterosexual relationship where the woman is the main source of income and the man has to deal with abuse - which is seen as comical when watching from the other side.

    “People like comedy and having fun. When they watch the clip they obviously laugh at first but the message still lingers at the back of their minds. That is bound to make a difference,” he said.

    Namalemo and his team which consists of Chantell Uiras and Kuli Muundjua, plan on going bigger than social media and into shooting a comedy movie.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Pamoja Records lifting the industry to another levelPamoja Records lifting the industry to another level Young Namibian entrepreneurs made their mark in the music and technology industry recently by launching a world-class recording studio in the capital.

    Pamoja Records is a record label founded by a young business-minded Namibian Toivo Nuugulu also know as Leather Mein. This innovator has identified a gap in the industry to supply individuals with a state-of-the-art recording studio. At the same time, he has gone across the borders to share film content with Nigeria and other African countries to tell Namibian stories through his music.

    “Other sectors and players in the Namibian economy should find ways of cooperating with us. We should persuade local radio and television stations to have an entire programme devoted to Namibian music,” said Leather Mein.

    Leather Mein also released his music video Give Me Dance featuring the renowned artist Patoranking from Nigeria. The launch was attended by various artists and influencers. The audience was graced with electrifying performances by The Dogg, Lady May, Himba Boi, Hilifa94, Top Cherie and Emily.

    The CEO of Nascam John Max commended the drive through the youth and professionalism added into the industry that he has served for over a decade.

    “I am excited to see this new chapter unfold with endless opportunities given to our upcoming artists in the industry. This is something that we need and will support in the years to come,” he said.

    Pamoja Records, being a state-of-the-art studio, with in-house producer Elvo, will be the heart of music, and will open their doors for everyone to witness and experience their magic. The studio launch did not only showcase how Pamoja Records contributes economically to society but also how it continues to create many job opportunities through the arts and entertainment industry.

    The studio is now open for business and is located in Windhoek West, 11 Delius Street. Bookings can be made at studio@pamajorecords.com or call 061 244467.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Gerald Clark live in WindhoekGerald Clark live in Windhoek Today is guaranteed to be a treat as South African musician, singer and songwriter Gerald Clark makes his way to Windhoek on the Travel by Horse Tour 2018.

    In service to his passion for travel and music, the tour has taken him on an adventurous expedition throughout Botswana, Zambia and Namibia, accompanied by the exceptional slide guitarist Guy Collins. Together, this outstanding duo will be performing at the Warehouse Theatre on Friday for one night only.

    Brought to you by the Warehouse Theatre and Stellenbrau, the show promises original and deep melodies along with a dynamic showcase of brilliant guitar skills in styles ranging from blues, country and soul to African groove. Opening the show will be local and loved act Jacob & Taylor.

    As their horses draw closer and closer to Windhoek, make sure you get your tickets via EventsToday, the PayToday app and Airtime City Kiosks. Tickets are available for N$150 presale and N$200 at the door.

    The Warehouse is also running a special giveaway competition for all ticket holders with the lucky winner walks away with refreshments and two free tickets as a bonus. Visit Warehouse Theatre Windhoek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the competition entry information and updates about what promises to be an unforgettable event.

    Staff Reporter

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