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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 02/06/19--14:00: Eskom too big to fail
  • Eskom too big to failEskom too big to failSA president reassures mining industry South Africa will announce a package of measures to stabilise its ailing power utility. Cyril Ramaphosa; President of South Africa: “It is too important and is too big to fail. And we will not allow it to fail.” Eskom was too big and too important for South Africa to be allowed to fail, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.

    The troubled South African state-owned power utility is expected to post a R20-billion loss for the financial year to March, up from the R15-billion forecast during the mid-year results, as overall expenses widened during the period.

    Speaking at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, Ramaphosa admitted that Eskom was currently facing significant operational, financial and structural challenges, but said government was giving detailed attention to the crisis.

    "The energy, transport and water sectors, all of which are important for the mining industry, represent the bulk of the infrastructure investment spending plans that the government is planning for the years ahead," Ramaphosa said.

    "Eskom's contribution to the health of our economy is too great for it to be allowed to fail. It is too important and is too big to fail. And we will not allow it to fail.

    “Restoring and securing energy security for the country is an absolute imperative. In the coming days, we will be announcing a package of measures to stabilise and improve Eskom's financial, operational and structural position and to ensure security of energy supply for the country. Restoring energy security is an absolute imperative for the country," he said.

    Ramaphosa is expected to announce this package of measures, or give a strong indication of what it would entail, during the State of the Nation Address today.

    It was reported that government might push for the partial privatisation of some operations within Eskom.

    The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has concluded its countrywide public hearings into Eskom's tariff increase application for the next three years, in a bid to recoup more than R20 billion.

    Eskom had initially applied for an increase of 15% a year for the next three years, but it has since revise its tariffs application upwards to between 45% and 48%, due to its financial position. - Nampa/ANA

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    Greenpeace opposes Eskom compliance delayGreenpeace opposes Eskom compliance delay Greenpeace Africa is opposing Eskom's application for postponements and suspensions from complying with South Africa's Minimum Emission Standards (MES).

    In statement on Tuesday, Greenpeace Africa said it has, "submitted comments to Naledzi Environmental Consultants opposing Eskom's application for postponements and suspensions from complying with South Africa's Minimum Emission Standards (MES)".

    The non-profit environment protection organisation said between April 2016 and December 2017, Eskom's 17 coal-fired power stations reported nearly 3 200 days when they exceeded their daily Atmospheric Emissions Licenses limits for particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

    "The MES, which are relatively weak, are designed to improve air quality in the country, but this has been significantly compromised by Eskom's almost complete reliance on coal for electricity production and repeated requests for postponements from complying," said the statement.

    "Greenpeace Africa is vehemently opposed to Eskom's application for further postponements and/or suspensions from air quality legislation. In the interests of realising our constitutional right to a healthy environment, absolutely no further postponements should be given to Eskom (or, indeed, any other entity).

    "Eskom should either comply with the MES or its coal-fired power stations must be retired (at an accelerated pace) because thousands of people's lives are on the line," warned Melita Steele, senior climate and energy campaign manager for Greenpeace Africa.

    Steele said Eskom was granted a five-year postponement from compliance in 2015, and the embattled utility was now applying for yet another set of postponements, and in some cases, complete suspensions from complying.

    "While we acknowledge that Eskom is in crisis, we can no longer ignore the deadly impacts of Eskom's dirty fleet of coal-fired power stations. It is unacceptable that in Eskom's application, the utility is significantly downplaying the health impacts and premature deaths from their coal-fired power stations," said Steele.

    Mpumalanga province in South Africa is the largest NO2 air pollution hotspot in the world, as new satellite data assessed by Greenpeace showed for the period of 1 June to 31 August 2018. -Nampa/ANA

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    MUN worried about Chinese monopolyMUN worried about Chinese monopoly The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) is worried about the Chinese monopoly that will be created in Namibia's uranium mining industry if the sale of Rio Tinto shares in Rössing Uranium Mine goes ahead.

    The acting president of the MUN, Allen Kalumbu, yesterday expressed concern about the sale of the Rio Tinto shares in Rössing Uranium to China Uranium Corporation, a Chinese state-owned company.

    Rio Tinto announced towards the end of last year that it was selling its share in Rössing Uranium to China National Uranium Corporation for N$1.5 billion

    According to Kalumbu this would mean that more than 90% of Namibia's uranium mines would be owned by Chinese state companies.

    If this acquisition goes through, Chinese state-owned companies will own the majority shareholding in the biggest uranium mines in the country, which are the Husab mine, Rössing, Langer Heinrich and Trekkopje.

    The China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and China-Africa Development Fund hold the majority shares in Husab. CNNC, of which CNUC is a subsidiary, holds 25% shares in Langer Heinrich.

    “We fear that this can be a direct monopoly which might have a negative impact in the near future, considering the negative history we have with Chinese companies in the country. We fear that our members might be negatively affected,” he said.

    Kalumbu said the union would like to believe that the government would work together with MUN to ensure that the new owners do not come up with conditions that directly or indirectly harm workers.

    “The MUN will not fold its hands when members are threatened,” he said.

    He also expressed concern about the delay in getting the new Gergarub zinc mine at Rosh Pinah operational.

    He said it is public knowledge that the life of the Skorpion Zinc mine at the town is coming to an end and that jobs are on the line.

    “The only possible approach is that this new deposit found at Gergarub mine at Rosh Pinah needs to be expedited for it to open and create jobs for Namibians.”

    Gergarub is a joint venture between Skorpion Zinc and Rosh Pinah Zinc, the other miner at the town.

    Kalumbu said the lack of government intervention in this matter was unacceptable.

    “These two investors have been allowed back and forth fighting for these resources, yet government has been renewing their licences to the resources as if they are doing something.”

    According to him the union wants its members to have job security.

    “We want investors who have long-term solutions to our current unemployment problem.”

    He added that they did not want mining towns to become ghost towns when investors disinvest and that all existing agreements must be honoured by the incoming investors.

    “We also want our products to start adding value to our country, not this current status of our mineral resources leaving the country in raw state.”


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  • 02/06/19--14:00: City's poisoned chalice
  • City's poisoned chaliceCity's poisoned chaliceCouncillors caught in Napwu, Geingob crossfire The City of Windhoek is caught between a rock and hard place, as tensions mount over whether it will implement a presidential directive. A Windhoek city council meeting, which would have taken place last night to discuss a so-called presidential directive with regard to the continued suspension of City CEO Robert Kahimise and City Police chief Abraham Kanime, was postponed.

    This follows a scathing letter from the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu), which stated that if President Hage Geingob's directive to reinstate both Kahimise and Kanime was implemented, all their members who are facing disciplinary charges in the City should also return to their jobs with immediate effect.

    “We are well aware of the request that was recently made to have charges against Kanime and Kahimise withdrawn,” said Napwu general secretary Peter Nevonga.

    “You are also advised that no employee will ever be charged or suspended going forward should the request be implemented.”

    Napwu deputy chief Gabes Andumba yesterday said they had not received any feedback from the City.

    On Wednesday last week the president instructed the Windhoek city council to reinstate suspended City Police chief Abraham Kanime and to drop disciplinary procedures against municipal chief executive officer Robert Kahimise. The president made a spectacular U-turn on Tuesday and said he had never instructed the city councillors to reinstate Kahimise and drop the charges against him but that he merely wanted to give them direction in addressing the chaos at the City of Windhoek. Kahimise yesterday told Namibian Sun that the council was yet to meet to discuss his fate.

    “The council is still discussing the directive of the president. They have not taken a decision,” he said.

    Kanime also said: “I have not heard from them yet.”

    City councillor Ian Subasubani said a meeting had been scheduled for yesterday evening.

    “It was supposed to be this evening (Wednesday), we received a cancellation, that's all. All we know is that it is postponed to a date to be determined,” he said.

    City of Windhoek spokesperson Harold Akwenye said the status quo remained as it was before the president's instruction.

    He was unaware of a scheduled council meeting to discuss the future of Kahimise and Kanime.

    “We had a council meeting yesterday (Tuesday) and there was no such meeting. I was part of the meeting and nothing was discussed regarding Kahimise and Kanime. No such meeting took place yet, if it took place then it is at their houses or privately,” he said.

    He emphasised that there was also no directive that the two should be reinstated and that the onus remained on the council to make a decision.

    “It is their onus on whether they are going to reinstate or whether they will go the legal route,” said Akwenye.


    The president questioned the hiring and firing that is taking precedence over social problems at the City of Windhoek.

    “Other one is fired, reinstated, fired, and reinstated. What kind of game is that? Are we happy with that? It is not a kindergarten. Let us talk about serious issues like ghettos, people are living in those conditions,” he said.

    The City of Windhoek argued in papers filed at the High Court on Friday that the charges against Kahimise warranted a continuing investigation and were grounds for a possible third suspension.

    Kahimise was suspended for the first time in October last year after obtaining a City study loan, allegedly without following the required procedures.

    In addition to the alleged study loan misconduct, several other allegations were levelled against him.

    These include allegations of non-procedural appointments at the municipality, the alleged quashing of a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that led to Kanime's suspension, questions around a salary increase and the irregular use of municipal property, funds and overtime claims.

    Kanime was suspended with full pay in March last year amid a strained relationship with the CEO.


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     Rundu councillors defy Swapo, elect new mayor Rundu councillors defy Swapo, elect new mayor In clear defiance of the ruling party, Isak Kandingu was this morning elected and sworn-in as the new mayor of Rundu, while Toini Hausiku was chosen as deputy mayor. Anastacia Shinduvi and Matheus Wakudumo were also elected as members of the management committee. The elections of the new office-bearers went ahead despite a directive from Swapo, which instructed the councillors to maintain the status quo, including retaining Verna Sinimbo as mayor and Ralph Ihemba as deputy mayor.
    Read full story in tomorrow’s edition.
    Kenya Kambowe

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  • 02/07/19--14:00: Pressure mounts on Vries
  • Pressure mounts on VriesPressure mounts on VriesSoweto Derby a do-or-die test Chiefs goalkeeper It's time for Virgil Vries to step up and prove his critics wrong. Brave Warriors and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries faces a do-or-die test this weekend, when his South African premier league team hosts bitter rivals Orlando Pirates in a Soweto Derby on Saturday.

    Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has been having a goalkeeping headache with the team's preferred keeper Itumeleng Khune still out with a shoulder injury.

    Vries is struggling to fill Khune's boots and has made a number of uncharacteristic blunders that has cost his team recently over the past weeks.

    His mistakes have threatened his team's title aspirations, and as a result, frustrated and unforgiving diehard Chiefs fans are baying for his blood.

    Tomorrow's match will be a test of Vries' mental strength.

    He blundered against Mamelodi Sundowns last month, when Chiefs lost 1-2 at the FNB Stadium. Not long afterwards, in a Confederation of African Football (CAF) game against Zambian side Zesco United, Zesco midfielder Anthony Akumu fired a long-range shot that caught Vries unaware, leaving him stranded about 20 metres off his line. Chiefs lost the game 1-2 (2-5 on aggregate) and bowed out of the competition.

    Vries was the villain again after failing to hold on to a cross, resulting in a 0-1 loss against Cape Town City at the FNB Stadium on 30 January.

    Chiefs now have more options in the goalkeeping department, after Nigerian international Daniel Akpeyi joined the squad from Chippa United.

    The Nigerian goalkeeper still needs time to acclimatise to the Chiefs environment and Vries is the only experienced keeper in the camp, although the team also have promising academy graduate Bruce Bvuma in their ranks.

    If selected to start, Vries needs to silence his critics, as this will most probably be the last chance for him to redeem himself.

    He did not respond to questions sent him ahead of the clash.

    The last time Chiefs, also known as the Glamour Boys, faced their old rivals they suffered a 1-2 loss in a Telkom Knockout semi-final in November.

    It remains to be seen if tomorrow's match will be any different.

    His Brave Warriors teammate and fellow goalkeeper, Loydt Kazapua, believes in Vries and advised him to continue representing the country well in the South African premiership.

    “These types of things always happen in football. It happened in the past and will continue to happen in the future.

    “We know his capabilities; Vries has a big heart. Anyone else would not have made it to this stage,” Kazapua said.

    “Vries is under pressure. This is his bread and butter. Fans are sometimes impatient, but that's understandable because the club is associated with winners. He must just keep his feet on the ground and believe that he can come out victorious.” Local fan Tovey Paulus said Namibians will never desert Vries. “We have his back.”

    Pirates are in third spot on the Premier Soccer League (PSL) log with 32 points, while Chiefs occupy sixth spot with 27 points. A win for Chiefs could pull them up to fourth.

    The match will kick off at 15:30.

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    Cyclists geared up for Nedbank Cycle ChallengeCyclists geared up for Nedbank Cycle Challenge ?

    The much-anticipated 34th edition of the Nedbank Cycle Challenge kicks off in the capital on Sunday.

    The cut-off for entries was scheduled for 12:00 yesterday.

    However, it is expected that just over 1 000 cyclists will be at the starting line to take on the 20 km, 30 km, 60 km and elite 100 km distances.

    Namibian cyclist Dan Craven, who took gold in the men's 100km elite race last year, will once again compete on Sunday in the colours of Nedbank. He said the Nedbank Cycle Challenge remains a premier platform for Namibian cycling.

    “Ever since I started cycling in 1999, the cycle challenge has been Namibia's premier mass participation event and an important event for me.” Craven who has represented Namibia on the international stage on many occasions, said it is always special participating in cycling races at home and interest in the sport continues to soar. “Being able to race through the main street of our capital, with the roads blocked off, and seeing hundreds of other Namibians enjoying themselves on bicycles is always an amazing feeling and I'm very lucky to be a part of this community.

    “Every year that I come back to Namibia, I see more new faces at cycling events. In the past I used to know most of the participants, however, the sport is growing so much that this is simply is not possible anymore,” Craven added.

    Registration for the road race will take place on Saturday at Mutual Towers on Independence Avenue from 14:00 to 18:00. Cyclists who miss the cut-off will be allowed to submit their entries at registration for an additional fee.

    The Nedbank Cycle Challenge road race will start at 07:00 in front of the Nedbank branch on Independence Avenue. The City Police will be on the scene to ensure the safety of the cyclists. The Nedbank Kidz Challenge will take place at the Waldorf School in Avis on 23 February. This particular race has developed into an event in its own right, with 200 youngsters expected to take part. On Sunday, 24 February the Nedbank MTB Challenge will also start at the Waldorf School, where adventure cyclists will hit the trails in a race testing technical agility.

    It also provides for a leisurely ride in the countryside over the shorter distances.

    The Nedbank MTB Challenge will again serve to host the national MTB marathon championships under the auspices of the Namibian Cycling Federation. The Nedbank Cycle Challenge is held in partnership with Namibia Health Plan and Coco-Cola and is supported by the Namibian Cycling Federation, Windhoek Pedal Power, Rock & Rut Mountain Bike Club, the Today Group and Events Unlimited. For live streaming of the race follow Windhoek Express (WE) on Facebook.

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    Nakathila turns down IBO world title shotNakathila turns down IBO world title shot Jeremiah 'Low-Key' Nakathila and his promoter Nestor Tobias have turned down an opportunity to fight for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior lightweight world title.

    The fight was scheduled to take place next month in either Russia or the United States.

    Nakathila is currently ranked number three by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and has aspirations to fight for the WBO world title.

    He stands a good chance of fighting for that title if he continues his boxing prowess.

    “Yes, we were presented with an opportunity to fight for the IBO world title, but our focus is limited to the top-four boxing sanctioning bodies only, being WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA,” Tobias said.

    He feels the IBO is not taken seriously and it will be a downgrade for Nakathila if he fights under the organisation.

    Tobias believes that the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA are the only sanctioning bodies with legitimate titles.

    “We are not about to go for any world title, just because it's a world title. We have been in the boxing business long enough to understand that this sport is a business and if you do not respect it, it will not respect you.”

    Nakathila has been advised to push harder for a 'legitimate' world title shot.

    “We will continue to push, so he gets a world title shot this year, but we will not take any shortcuts,” Tobias added.

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    All set for Rössing MarathonAll set for Rössing MarathonSwakopmund welcomes athletes The marathon organisers have confirmed that all the logistics are in place for a successful event. The Rössing Marathon takes place tomorrow Swakopmund, with hundreds of participants ready to run for the top prizes.

    “I can confirm it is all systems go for the marathon and that everything is in place.

    “The online registration is already closed, but participants can still come and register at the venue today.

    “We do expect over 500 participants and I can assure you that there will be plenty of fun at the marathon,” Rössing corporate communications officer Ellis Botha said.

    Rössing Uranium is collaborating with Swakop Striders Athletics Club to make this year's event an even more spectacular success.

    The marathon has been sanctioned by Athletics Namibia and will consist of various distances, including a 42.2 km full marathon race.

    The other distances include a 21 km half-marathon and a 10 km relay race.

    A 10 km run has also been organised, while those willing to walk for fun can participate in the 5 km walking category.

    The total prize money for the event amounts to more than N$100 000.

    The first prize for the marathon is N$10 000 each for the men's and ladies open winners.

    Namibian winners (male and female) will each receive N$20 000 in-kind as a development bonus, in support of their sporting careers throughout the year.

    Anyone breaking the current records in the male and female open categories will earn an extra N$1 000.

    The men's record of 2:11:23 was set by Luketz Swartbooi in 1992.

    The mine is inviting the general public join a scenic 5 km fun walk to the beach on the day, with all proceeds going to the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN).

    Invited uranium companies in the region will once again compete in a 10 km uranium relay event, which is aimed at building friendships among the industry's employees.

    The uranium relay event entry fee is N$100 per team of two runners.

    Late registration will take place today at the venue, from 16:00 to 20:00.

    Mathews Mutanya of Zambia won last year's race in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 52 seconds. The first Namibian athlete over the line was Tomas Rainhold from the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) sport club. Anna Amutoko won the female category in an astonishing finish at the coastal town.

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  • 02/07/19--14:00: MUN a limbililwa
  • MUN a limbililwaMUN a limbililwaTa popi kutya epangelo olya mwena owala Ehangano lyaniilonga lyoMineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) olya limbililwa omolwa uukayamukulwa pangeshefa wAaChina tawu kala moshilongo moshikondo shokumina ongopolo, uuna elanditho lyiipambuliko yomina yaRio Tinto momina yaRössing Uranium lya pula komeho. Ngoka ta longo pehala lyOmupresidende gwoMUN, Allen Kalumbu, okwa holola omaiyuvo ge kombinga yelanditho lyiipambuliko yomina yoRio Tinto momina yaRössing Uranium kehangano lyaChina lyedhina China Uranium Corporation.

    Rio Tinto okwa tseyitha okuya pehulilo lyomvula ya piti kutya ota landitha po iipambuliko ye momina yaRössing Uranium, kehangano lyoChina National Uranium Corporation kondando yoshimaliwa sha thika pobiliyona 1.5.

    Kalumbu okwa popi kutya shoka osha hala okutya oopresenda 90 dhoomina dhongopolo moNamibia otashi kala momake gomahangano gaChina.

    Ngele elanditho ndyoka olya piti, nena China ota ka kala nuumwene woomina oonene moshilongo ngaashi Husab mine, Rössing, Langer Heinrich oshowo Trekkopje.

    Ehangano lyoChina General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) oshowo China-Africa Development Fund ogo ge na uumwene wiipambuliko oyindji moHusab.

    CNNC, moka CNUC e li oshitayi oku na mo uumwene woopresenda 25 momina yaLanger Heinrich.

    Omunambelewa ngoka okwa holola uutile we kombinga yonkalo yaaniilonga a gandja oshiholelwa shonkalo ndjoka yi li nale moshilongo okuza kaahona yaChina. Okwa tsikile kutya okwiinekela kutya epangelo otali ka longela kumwe noMUN opo ya kwashilipalkee kutya ooyene aape yomina ndjoka itaya ka tula miilonga oompango ndhoka tadhi ka guma nayi aaniilonga.

    Okwa popi kutya MUN itaka kala a mwena uuna aaniilonga ye taya ihumbatelwa nayi kaagandji yiilonga.

    Okwa holola woo omaiyuvo omolwa etateko tali ningwa mepatululo lyomina yaGergarub zinc mine moRosh Pinah.

    Okwa popi kutya oshigwana osha pumbwa okunongela kutya onkalamwenyo yiilonga momina yaSkorpion Zinc mondoolopa moka otayi thiki pehulilo onkene aaniilonga oya taalela onkalo yekanitho lyiilonga.

    “Omukalo ngoka gu li po ngashiingeyi omina owala ndjoka yi li po yedhina Gergarub yipatululwe yo yi vule okugandja oompito dhiilonga kaAnamibia.”Gergarub ehangano lyomuhanga lyaSkorpion Zinc oshowo Rosh Pinah Zinc.

    Kalumbu okwa ti kutya onkalo kutya epangelo itali idhopo moshinima shoka itayi idhidhimikilwa.

    Kalumbu okwa popi kutya aapunguli mboka yaali oya kala nokukondjithathana taya kondjele onzo yomina ndjoka ihe epangelo otali lelepeke owala omikanda dhawo dhomapitiko gokumina omanga kaye na shoka taya ningi.

    Okwa popi kutya yo onga ehangano lyaaniilonga oya hala iilyo yawo yi kale yi na egamenenepo lyiilonga.

    “Otwa hala aapunguli mboka taya kandula po ompumbwe yetu yokwaahena iilonga uule wethimbo.”


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    Bail extended for Meersig kidnapping, assault accusedBail extended for Meersig kidnapping, assault accused The kidnapping and assault case against Logan Pretorius (29), Curven Nathan Vries (24), Ashley Andre Januarie (24) and Sandra Riobo (22) has been postponed until 18 March.

    They made a brief appearance in the Swakopmund Regional Court recently on charges related to the alleged kidnapping and assault of three minors.

    The case was postponed because of submissions after the trial was partially heard.

    Bail of N$2 000 each was extended for all four accused.

    Magistrate Gaynor Poulton presided, while Boris Isaacks appears for the defence and Dalon Quickfall is the prosecutor.

    “In the case of failure to appear in court a warrant of arrest may be issued for you and your bail will be provisionally cancelled and the bail money will be forfeited to the State,” Poulton told the accused.

    During an earlier appearance last year, former Walvis Bay SPCA investigating officer, Peter Brooks, questioned the validity of claims by one of the victims, who said he was bitten by a pit bull during the alleged kidnapping and assault drama that played out in Walvis Bay four years ago.

    Brooks looked at the photos submitted as evidence in a case.

    He testified that based on his expertise, and his experience with pit bull bites, the injuries look like scratches and not a dog bite.

    “There would be four canine puncture wounds, but here I see only two. I cannot confirm that it is a dog bite wound,” he said.

    Brooks, who is currently a veterinary nurse, said no one talks about the dog that died.

    “I know I am supposed to remain impartial but a seven-month-old puppy died a cruel death.” The attempted murder charge initially brought against the four accused was subsequently reduced to assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. A charge of racial discrimination fell away after the prosecution failed to prove it.

    The accused allegedly physically and verbally abused Carlo Mukuve, Levi Goroseb and Edward Goroseb, who were minors at the time, with a 17-inch spanner, a hammer and a shovel, and set dogs on them. They were also allegedly forced to drink Tabasco sauce and salt water.

    The trio allegedly killed a dog owned by Pretorius and attempted to steal another. Pretorius testified he arrived at home on 28 August 2014 and found the small gate to his property open. This caused him to check whether his dogs were still in the yard.

    “I noticed one of my dogs wasn't in the yard and found my seven-month-old pit bull in an open plot next to my house. I took him home, tried to give him water, but he could not drink or breathe and died shortly thereafter.”

    According to Pretorius one of his co-accused alerted him a few hours later of the presence of three boys at the gate, who were allegedly attempting to steal a white bull terrier. When the boys saw Pretorius, they fled on their bicycles. He gave chase, caught them and bundled them into a vehicle.

    “I told them we either go to the police, or I call their parents. They did not have phones and could not provide the phone numbers of their parents. We decided to take them to my home in order to question them.”

    Adolf Kaure

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    Moratorium on timber transport liftedMoratorium on timber transport lifted The agriculture ministry has lifted the moratorium on the transportation of timber that was cut before 26 November last year.

    The executive director in the agriculture ministry, Percy Misika, says the issuing of forestry permits for all purposes was suspended on 26 November 2018.

    Since then, all timber harvesting, transportation and export permits were cancelled and no new ones were issued.

    The ministry has now lifted its moratorium on the transportation of timber.

    Misika says this means that timber that was cut before 26 November may now be transported the country or exported.

    “However, the moratorium on timber harvesting remains in place and no harvesting permits will be issued until further notice,” said Misika.

    The agriculture ministry said towards the end of last year that about 500 timber harvesters in north-eastern Namibia must apply for environmental clearance certificates.

    This requires an environmental impact assessment which is not only expensive, but can take months to complete.

    Timber harvesting is one of the listed activities in the Environmental Management Act of 2007.

    Loggers must obtain a timber harvesting permit to harvest timber for whatever purpose.

    The applicants must ensure that other legal instruments and their requirements are taken into account. A person applying for a permit must be a Namibian who privately owns land or is a long-time lessee of land.

    A forest inventory assessment is then conducted to establish the allowable quantity that can be harvested on the land, after which the applicant must conduct an environmental impact assessment. Since the suspension of permits applicants have to first provide proof to the agriculture ministry that an environmental impact assessment was conducted and only when the environmental clearance is received will a permit be issued.

    Misika reminded interested parties that timber transport and export permits are issued in accordance with the existing procedures under the Forest Act of 2001.


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    100 squatters to receive plots100 squatters to receive plotsTitle deeds part of package The relocations, set to take place within the next two months will provide a piece of land to 100 former squatters. The Ondangwa town council plans to relocate about 100 squatters at the Uutala informal settlement, and allocate them plots at Onatsi, where they will be given title deeds to their land.

    Town council CEO Ismael Namgongo said this is being done to pave way for development to take place Uutala, where the squatters are currently occupying land.

    The relocations will take place within the next two months.

    Namgongo said the squatters are occupying part of what is known as Extension 7, which is situated behind the Nored offices.

    He said the land has been earmarked for industrial use and was already surveyed and mapped out some years ago. It had been left vacant while the town council looked for money to install the necessary services. He said at the new settlement there will be water and electricity and those that want to build permanent structures will be allowed to do so, as long municipality regulations are followed.

    “These settlers took advantage of the situation and started occupying the municipal land illegally. Over the years we have been engaging them and they told us they were just forced by the situation to settle there. We, however, told them that they will be relocated because the land was already earmarked for another development,” said Namgongo.

    “The majority of the settlers are low-income earners and during our engagement meetings with them they pleaded with us not to evict them, but rather relocate them.”

    Namgongo said a meeting will be held on 16 February at Uutala and the squatters will be informed on the way forward.

    “The purpose of the meeting will be for the council to issue relocation letters and inform them to cooperate during the relocation process. We are also going to explain the terms and conditions to be followed for the settlers to be given water and electricity at the new settlement,” he said.

    Namgongo said the town council had identified suitable land at Onatsi behind the Gwashamba Mall and they are convinced it will accommodate all the Uutala squatters.

    He added that land-grabbing is not tolerated at the town and the town council is going to be more vigilant and react quicker to any such incidents.

    “We have a challenge of high-income earners grabbing municipal land, putting up structures and renting them to the poor. This time around we are not going to entertain these people. Only low-income earners will be relocated; those that do not deserve it will be evicted, because many of them either already have houses in town or they can afford land in formal areas,” Namgongo added.


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    The Voice kicks off on a high note!The Voice kicks off on a high note!Third season will be popular Season 3 of The Voice South Africa is set to be a winner with audiences. The Voice South Africa returned to our screens for a third season which premiered on Tuesday evening with an exciting new look, including a new host, the vivacious Anele Mdoda, and three new coaches who are Afrikaans rock rebel Francois van Coke, singer-songwriter Riana Nel and chart-topper Riky Rick, joining Afro-pop sensation Lira.

    The honour of launching the third season of The Voice South Africa went to Ross Charles, a 26-year-old musician and sound engineer from Durban, who opened up on camera about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, and how The Beatles saved him.

    Skilfully supported by the incredible The Voice SA live band, Ross opened the show with the spine-chilling opening wail of that powerful old Sam Cooke classic, A Change is Gonna Come, and within the first four lines of the song Francois van Coke hit his big red button and turned his chair around.

    Moved by the power of that timeless ballad, Lira, Riky Rick and Riana also hit their buttons in quick succession, and then the fight was on.

    Riana told Ross that he could be a “one in a million”, but Francois was ready to fight her, to get Ross on his team.

    “I'm a singer and a collaborator,” Francois told Ross, “and I'd really like to work with you.” But Lira told Ross she had goosebumps the second he started that song.

    The first episode of The Voice SA Season 3 was an emotional one which kicked off with the blind audition phase of the competition during which the four coaches sit with their backs to the stage to listen to the quality of the voices.

    If they like what they hear, they push the buzzer to turn their red chair around. When only one chair turns, the coach secures the talent on stage for his or her team and when more than one chair turns, the coaches have to pitch their credentials to the talent to lure them onto their team.

    When the end credits rolled at the end of last night's episode, Lira secured Ross Charles and Petro de Villiers for her team; Riana gained Lelo Ramasimong and Greunen Parker on hers; Riky Rick nabbed Joel Zuma and Keanu Harker and Francois van Coke hooked Sade Ross. This leaves coach Lira, Riana and Riky Rick with ten spots open on their teams, while Francois has 11.

    The 39-year-old actor and singer, Joel Zuma from Pietermaritzburg, is the son of a bishop, who honed his singing talent in church.

    He freely admitted that he had his sights set on working with Lira, and fortunately for Zuma both she and Riky Rick turned their chairs for his soulful rendition of that old Otis Redding standard, Try A Little Tenderness.

    But in a surprise twist Zuma then chose to throw his fate in with #TeamRiky.

    “I want somebody that wants to make me better, and takes me to another level,” he explained backstage.

    The 23-year-old content developer Philip Hanly from Johannesburg was up next to compete for a place in The Voice South Africa Season 3.

    He tore the stage up and delivered two classic soul classics which included his energetic pop performance of Walk The Moon's Shut Up and Dance.

    But despite an overjoyed response from the studio audience, not one coach turned for him.

    “I thought the pitching was a bit off,” Lira noted regretfully.

    However Lira turned around for the 36-year-old construction worker from Cape Town, Petro de Villiers, performing Beyoncé's If I Were a Boy as an impassioned rock ballad. “I couldn't let you go home, you need to be on this show,” she said.

    The 22-year-old session guitarist Keanu Harker from Belhar in the Cape brought some funk to the #TheVoiceSA stage with Bruno Mars' Treasure and earned a turn from Riky Rick, followed closely by Francois.

    Francois insisted on hearing Keanu's guitar skills, which were equally impressive, “and you've got the dance moves, too”, Riky laughed. The two coaches pitched hard to get Keanu on their team, who threw his fate in with Riky Rick in the end.

    The 25-year-old Phatiswa Magangane, a teacher and part-time singer from Springs, the daughter of a choir conductor who has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz, gave a stunning performance of Beyoncé's hit Naughty Girl.

    But unfortunately this performance was not good enough and no coach turned around for her.

    Sade Ross, a singing waitress from Cape Town, spoke courageously about her struggles with anxiety and depression, and then became the first member of #TeamFrancois with her delivery of Sia's Chandelier.

    The 22-year-old Greunen Parker from Pretoria became a part of #TeamRiana after he delivered a passionate performance of the 1986 John Farnham hit You're The Voice. Seconds into her performance of Shawn Mendes' Mercy, all four coaches turned their chairs for the 32-year-old musical theatre actress Lelo Ramasimong.

    “I turned first, I want you the most,” Riana pitched, and it worked!

    The Voice South Africa premieres on M-Net 101 every Sunday at 17:30 and is repeated on VUZU, Channel 116, on Mondays at 20:00. It also be available on DStv CatchUp.


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  • 02/07/19--14:00: Let's Unite
  • Let's UniteLet's UniteDJ Castro is using his art for good An Otjiwarongo-based DJ, DJ Castro, says artists must work to impact the poor and the disadvantaged. A local DJ from Otjiwarongo has embarked on a campaign called 'Let's Unite' which is aimed at reminding artists of the importance of collaborations and giving back to the community.

    Uakengeza Seth Castro Ngoimue, better known as DJ Castro, spoke to tjil about his musical career and his Let's Unite campaign.

    Growing up in streets of Otjiwarongo's Orwetoveni location, Ngoimue said that his love for music started way back when he was a dancer, before he transformed his career to become a DJ.

    Ngoimue said that around 2011 and 2012, he was on an outing when he saw another DJ mixing on the decks and ever since that day, he believed that becoming a DJ was his thing, his calling.

    “Music has been part of my lifestyle for many years,” Ngoimue said.

    Ngoimue is currently working on his debut album which is expected to be released later this year.

    However, the youthful and energetic DJ has released a number of singles including his famous 2017 hit titled Whistle which has thus far attracted about 10 000 views on YouTube.

    Apart from being booked weekly at shows in different towns across the country, Ngoimue has also managed to perform in countries such as Angola and South Africa where he says the reception was very good.

    “To be honest, when I perform in other countries the reception I get there is great when compared to what I get in Namibia. It is such a wonderful feeling to be warmly received in another country by people who do not know you,” Ngoimue said.

    Regarding the Let's Unite campaign, Ngoimue shared how the idea was formed and what it entails.

    “Last year the campaign called Let's Unite, which seeks to remind artists to collaborate, was birthed. In addition, I want to plant the seed of awareness for artists to use their platforms to raise awareness on the issues affecting disadvantaged and poor communities in Namibia,” he said.

    Last year Ngoimue and his team collected stationery for the Otjiwarongo Multipurpose Help Centre, an orphanage for children who have lost their parents to HIV and Aids. The campaign helped 78 children living at the centre.

    Ngoimue said that after last year's donation, they discovered that the main challenge for the orphanage was clothing, especially school uniforms and stationery.

    This is what prompted this year's campaign and they managed to collect stationery worth N$14 000.

    The handover was done on 5 February with Bennes Haimbondi, the mayor of Otjiwarongo, in attendance.

    Ngoimue added that in order to assist the centre he will be hosting the Let's Unite Music Concert scheduled to take place at Otjiwarongo's Mokati Stadium on 30 March with an expected turnout of 1 500 fans.

    Various Namibian DJs and artists will be performing. Tickets are available at Computicket.


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    Jayden Mbinda: Reaching for the topJayden Mbinda: Reaching for the topJayden finds his spot to stand in Jayden Mbinda has come a long way since the days of Obie and Jayden when he was still the one half of a young musical duo. All grown up now, he has stepped out on his own, carving a musical identity and transforming himself into the talk of town. Otjiwarongo-born Jayden Mbinda has come a long way. He was part of the duo Obie and Jayden but has in recent times found his way as a solo artist. A new album, titled Mr Legendary, and a tantalising feel-good love song titled Sim Di A on which he is featured along with songstress Adora, are but some of the fruits of his busy new solo career.

    Speaking to tjil, Jayden described the road as very challenging. “But on the other hand, it is also quite exciting. This journey has helped me to discover my hidden talent, it has helped me evolve as a musician and as a person. Since the split I've been working on a few projects such as my album and music videos. I just really want to entertain and inspire people,” he says.

    Asked to describe himself, the soft-spoken young man chuckled before pointing out that he is extremely down to earth and admits that he is a workaholic. Born and raised in the town of Otjiwarongo with a dream to make it big, he says he wants to keep expanding his brand with the hope of someday helping other budding musicians do the same. “I've learned about the importance of networking, of developing bonds, of listening to advice and to constantly keep busy. I thrive on my creative space, but I also learn from others and draw inspiration from people from all walks of life,” he explains.

    “I've been making music for almost five years now and I have gone through a lot of experiences which have shaped and molded me to produce the type of music I've been doing all these years,” he says. He also spoke to tjil about his latest album, Mr Legend.

    “The album consists of 12 tracks and I've worked with producers and artists such as Kallo On The Beat, Gio Beatz, Preezy, Lolo, Tswazis, DjCastro And Dj Klive. It's a feel-good album that describes how one can find yourself when you step out on your own,” he explains.

    Asked about the new collaboration with celebrated songstress Adora, which is just in time for Valentine's Day, Jayden described Adora as a breath of fresh air with buckets of talent.

    “I won't lie, it was a tough experience, Adora is such a professional and has so much experience. But it was exhilarating being in studio with her,” he explained.

    Asked what his ever-growing fan base can expect from him he was quick to point out that they should expect more good music, videos and collaborations.

    “A lot more hard work but I feel this is going to be a good year. I will also be taking performances to other parts of the country and there are many exciting projects in the pipeline,” he said.


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  • 02/07/19--14:00: 'I am blind'
  • 'I am blind''I am blind' The first exhibition for 2019 at the Goethe Institute Namibia, I am blind, which stems from the Blind Photography Project, captures the perception and experiences of visually impaired persons through photography.

    By using photography as a tool in this exhibition, the project aims to explore new ways of looking at the city, building bridges between the sighted and visually impaired, and challenge the common assumptions about the lack of that sense. The exhibition's opening is scheduled for 12 February, 18:00 and it is open to the public until 28 February.

    The Blind Photography Project was founded in 2015 by Alejandro Loreto in Vienna, Austria, who thereafter applied the same concept in Caracas, Venezuela. It was then that Namibian communication and social designer Laschandré Coetzee joined the project, and together they developed the concept of the exhibition and the expansion of the project.

    In the interactive exhibition, the photographic works by the visually impaired in Vienna, Caracas and now Windhoek, are presented together with the stories of these photographs, but all written in braille.

    The photo without the story is not enough and in the same way, the story without the photo cannot be fully understood.

    “Blind people are hidden in our city, so it's about creating a space and point of interaction which isn't usually experienced. Every set of photographs will be accompanied by text written in braille as a point of having viewers engage with the visually impaired to gain a better understanding of their reality and experiences,” Coetzee said. In Namibia, the project collaborated with three visually impaired persons, accompanying them on photographic excursions throughout Windhoek. All photographs remain unedited.

    “Able-bodied people don't actually realise what we are capable of and to be honest, neither did I. I have many visually impaired friends who are crazy about taking photographs and I never understood it, but I have to admit that there is something enjoyable about taking pictures. Even though I can't see them, it is something that I created and can share with others.

    “This project shows people that we are capable of doing something fun and be good at something so far out of league,” said Leticia Bouwer, a participant in Windhoek.

    “I like creating things within the minds of people which seem to be impossible in their idea of the world. And I'm sure that for many, being blind and taking pictures is one of those things. Some might just shake their heads in wonder, but for others, it might even open new perspectives about the great diversity of the world,” said Angela Engel, a participant in Vienna.


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    Doors open for international fameDoors open for international fame Annually, the International ARTS Talent Showcase is hosted in South Africa at Tsogo Sun, the Silverstar Casino, where actors, models, singers and dancers from all nine provinces in the country get together to showcase their incredible talent.

    This year, Namibian talent will have the opportunity to take part without having to fork out for travel to South Africa. Auditions will be held at the National Theatre of Namibia on 23 February.

    The showcase flies in high-end international talent scouts such as the independent casting director for Tyler Perry Studios, Rhyvann Drummer, Blaze Johnson from The Voice America, junior casting director for the Steve Harvey Show and The Four on FOX, as well as Kim Myers from the ARTS Convention in Orlando, Florida. Artists who have been on this platform have had great success within the industry in the United States, such as Abraham Pieters from Namibia who had the great privilege to audition for Tyler Perry Studios. The showcase's artists and models are studying at the New York Film Academy, walking the runways of the New York and Los Angeles Fashion Weeks. There are models who have booked brands such as Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, the NBA Fan Clothing Range, and others who booked Broadway productions in New York such as Spring Awakening, and singers who performed at the Bitterend and Apollo Theatre venues in the States where Neil Diamond, Lady Gaga and Taylar Swift once started their careers. With the showcase platform, they have secured US$620 000 in partial scholarships with the New York Film Academy and have had 62 artists who completed their studies successfully within the institute and the youngest was only 12! The showcase has never scouted within Namibia but has had a huge demand to come to Namibia to host auditions. Artists travel to South Africa to attend auditions but unfortunately not everyone can achieve that. The showcase offers artists national and international opportunities in the film and fashion industry. The International Talent Showcase adds value to the community, building artists' and models' dreams and making these a reality for African artist and models.

    “We would like to also explore the possibility of maybe bringing the New York Film Academy from New York to Namibia to open international education opportunities for Namibian artists,” the showcase said.

    Their social media is extremely powerful with 24 428 followers on Instagram and over 25 000 followers on Facebook for the International Talent Showcase Platform and all venues receive media exposure throughout.


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  • 02/07/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Total makes significant discovery offshore SA

    French oil and gas major Total said it had made a significant gas condensate discovery after drilling its Brulpadda prospects on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin, offshore South Africa.

    Total said the Brulpadda well encountered 57 meters of net gas condensate pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. The well was deepened to a final depth of 3 633 meters and has also been successful.

    "With this discovery, Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block," Total's senior vice president for exploration Kevin McLachlan said in a statement.

    Brulpadda is one of several highly anticipated exploration prospects for the year. Total has said the field could hold between 500 million to over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

    Following the success of Brulpadda and confirmation of its potential, Total and its partners plan to acquire 3D seismic this year, followed by up to four exploration wells on the license, the company said. – Nampa/Reuters

    ArcelorMittal sees slight steel demand pick-up

    ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, yesterday forecast a slight expansion of global steel demand in 2019 after a healthy market drove its earnings to their highest level in a decade last year.

    The company said it expected world steel demand to grow by between 0.5 and 1% this year after an increase of 2.8% in 2018.

    Demand, it said, would improve in all regions except China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of steel, where ArcelorMittal has a minimal presence.

    The most rapidly expanding market would again be Brazil, with a 3.5-4.5% growth this year from 7.3% in 2018. Steel demand in ArcelorMittal's main markets, Europe and the United States, would grow by respectively 0.5-1.0% and 0.5-1.5%, lower than last year.

    The company, which skipped shareholder payouts in 2015 and 2016, doubled its proposed dividend to US$0.20 per share, more than the average US$0.12 forecast in a Reuters poll. – Nampa/Reuters

    BNP Paribas cuts targets, costs

    BNP Paribas on Wednesday reduced its profit target for 2020 and said it planned to cut 350 million euros in costs from its corporate and investment bank after weak financial markets hit revenues in the final quarter of 2018.

    France's largest listed bank now expects a return on equity of 9.5% in 2020, down from a prior target of above 10%. The bank also cut its revenue growth target to 1.5% per year between 2016 and 2020, from 2.5% previously.

    The downgrades came after revenue fell 1.5% in 2018 to 42.52 billion euros (US$48.5 billion), dragged down by a 40% plunge in revenues at the bank's global markets business. This business made a loss of 225 million euros, marking its first quarterly loss since the 2008 financial crisis.

    Yann Gerardin, BNP Paribas' head of corporate and investment banking, said the fourth quarter was a low point for the division, but the business would remain under pressure.

    The bank's plans for 350 million euros in cost cuts come on top of 500 million euros in cuts already announced three years ago. – Nampa/Reuters

    Thomas Cook puts airline business up for sale

    Travel group Thomas Cook said yesterday it was willing to sell its airline business to raise cash and help it recover from a rough 2018 and weaker demand in 2019.

    The company said it was launching a strategic review as it needed more resources and financial flexibility after two profit warnings in quick succession late last year.

    "We are at an early stage in this review process which will consider all options to enhance value to shareholders and intensify our strategic focus," chief executive Peter Fankhauser said in a statement.

    The oldest travel company in the world, Thomas Cook was hurt by a heatwave that gripped northern Europe last year and deterred holiday makers from booking lucrative last minute deals. That led the company to cut its profit forecast twice in two months in the second half of last year.

    Thomas Cook said it had made progress in managing its cost base but that bookings for this summer reflected consumer uncertainty, especially in Britain. In the first-quarter trading update, it said it would not change its outlook for the full-year.

    Jeweller Pandora plans cost cuts

    Jewellery maker Pandora, struggling to regain its competitive edge in a weak retail market, plans to make cost savings of 1.2 billion crowns as it faces a drop in organic revenue growth of between 3 and 7% this year.

    The Danish charm-bracelet maker, currently looking for a new chief executive, has been challenged by a fall in the number of shoppers visiting malls in its key markets, while new jewellery lines have failed to entice shoppers.

    The firm has been without a chief executive since ousting Anders Colding Friis following a first profit warning in August last year. Schwartz and newly appointed chief financial officer Anders Boyer are running the business for now.

    Sales this year would be negatively impacted by a decision to reduce promotional activities, the company said. Pandora's 2019 EBIT margin is seen at 26-28%, excluding restructuring costs of up to 1.5 billion crowns.

    Fourth-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) fell almost 8% from the same period the previous year to 2.8 billion Danish crowns, but were above the 2.5 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/07/19--14:00: KFC DJs break barriers
  • KFC DJs break barriersKFC DJs break barriersDropping their video today Still secretive about the title, and with a missing superstar voice, KFC's video is out today. For a long time they have been quiet but now this dynamic trio is taking Namibia by storm. The KFC DJs will drop their first single, along with its video today. The video was shot and directed by Reggie Films.

    The debut single which is titled Surround is off their first album. They however, remained tight-lipped about the title but were very eager to share the release date with tjil. Although the video leaves room for assumptions as it is 'to be continued', it is filled with everything chivalrous. This was the concept that the group initially came up with and they say that what they envisaged, was brought to life. The plot for the video was to tell a story of love and about the act of fantasising about a person you have instant chemistry with. It features the trio, but the vocal genius, Minga, is not in the video.

    Where's Minga?

    Minga prefers to stay behind the scenes and linger completely out of the limelight. With a voice like that, I'd say it's a bummer. She also wrote the song and the KFC DJs said they felt a great desire to work with her.

    KFC may sound delicious but the name is actually comprised of the initials of the members. Kadafi, Fisher and Chin Chilla. These are the disk masterminds that we have always only ever seen on the decks.

    “We are very excited to share this music video and see the magnitude of its impact,” Kadafi said.

    First, they leave us wondering about their next step and now they entice us by saying there is more. The group is already working on a concept for a second video and say they hope to drop their album by April next year.

    Everything, from the acting to the directing of the video, is mind-blowing. Even though I would have loved to see Minga, who at the moment is pulling a Sia move, there is no denying that Reggie did it again.

    We can't expect anything less from someone who has worked on projects for Sally Boss Madam and Gazza.

    There is a market for DJs and there is an industry, but sometimes it is the stigma that Namibian house music isn't house music, which limits the artists.

    This video is a must-see and Reggie said that his expectation for this video is at least 10 000 views in the first month, because the group is fairly new.

    He also mentioned that at first he was sceptical because he rarely shoots storylines because of the logistical complexity, but he had a good feeling about this one.

    Whether or not his expectations will be met or exceeded, we are yet to find out. Watch out for this fiery group. Make room because this is going to be one interesting journey.

    Elizabeth Joseph

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