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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 960 | 961 | (Page 962) | 963 | 964 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Pizarro becomes Bundesliga's oldest scorerPizarro becomes Bundesliga's oldest scorer Claudio Pizarro, the Bundesliga's record foreign goal-scorer, claimed another milestone on Saturday when he became the league's oldest scorer in Werder Bremen's 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin.

    Aged 40 years and 136 days, the Peru striker claimed his 195th Bundesliga goal in dramatic fashion to equalise with the last kick of the game having come off the bench for mid-table Bremen in the 61st minute.

    “I am very happy, this point helps us and I am very proud to have scored,” said Pizarro, who has also played for Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Cologne.

    Luck shone on Pizarro when he smashed a speculative free-kick under Hertha's wall and it took two deflections before hitting the net in the 96th minute at Berlin's Olympic Stadium. “I just tried to shoot under the wall, because I knew they were going to jump,” explained Pizarro.

    Pizarro's goal, which delighted Bremen coach Florian Klofeldt, who is four years younger than the Peruvian, bettered the previous Bundesliga record of Mirko Votava, who also netted for Bremen, aged 40 years, 121 days, back in 1996.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Solomons thrown out of U-17 World CupSolomons thrown out of U-17 World Cup The Solomon Islands have been thrown out of this year's Fifa U-17 World Cup for fielding an overage player during qualifying.

    The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) said in a statement yesterday that the Solomons had breached regulations by fielding a player in the regional under-16 tournament last year who was born before the qualifying date of 1 January 2002.

    The Solomons finished second to New Zealand in the tournament, which qualified them for the U-17 World Cup to be hosted by Peru in October.

    However, the OFC disciplinary committee found the Solomon Islands had committed a “deliberate and serious breach” of the regulations which “resulted in the forfeiting of the team's place at the Fifa U-17 World Cup 2019.”

    A decision will be made soon on who will replace the Solomons at the World Cup, with the leading contender expected to be Tahiti, who beat Fiji in the playoff for third in the regional qualifier.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Finch's Renegades win Melbourne derbyFinch's Renegades win Melbourne derby Aaron Finch's Melbourne Renegades clinched their first Big Bash League title yesterday after city rivals the Stars imploded during a tense run chase.

    Chasing 146 to win at Docklands Stadium, Glenn Maxwell's men were 93 without loss and cruising before losing an incredible seven wickets for 19 runs.

    They finished on 132 for seven, losing the first ever all-Melbourne BBL final by 13 runs at the end of the near two-month tournament.

    “It's unbelievable,” said Finch. “I thought when we got (Ben) Dunk caught and we had two new batters in we had a chance. It's a wicket that was so hard to chase runs on, that's why I was happy to bat first.

    “The boys just executed well under pressure. Very special to win in front of our home fans,” he added.

    After some tight bowling to restrict the Renegades, the Stars signalled their intentions early with left-hander Dunk smacking a boundary off the first ball of the innings from Kane Richardson.

    But he and fellow opener Marcus Stoinis weren't taking any chances, knowing that wickets in hand could be vital in the final overs.

    Instead, they picked off runs when they could to keep the scoreboard ticking over coupled with some extravagant shots, including a Dunk six off Cameron Boyce and Stoinis smashing an even bigger one down the ground from the same bowler.

    Dunk brought up his 50 off 38 balls with a four before Stoinis finally fell for 39 after 93-run stand, bowled by Boyce to spark the incredible collapse.

    Test batsman Peter Handscomb came to the crease but only lasted two balls and then Dunk holed out to Dan Christian off Boyce for 57 before Maxwell was out for one.

    Nic Maddinson followed for six and then Seb Gotch for two. Dwayne Bravo was the next to go for three.

    It turned the game on its head and there was no way back for the Stars.

    “We played some great cricket this tournament, to fall short at the end is disappointing,” said a gutted Maxwell.

    “Hopefully we win it next year. Congratulations to Renegades, we've had some great tussles. To my boys, I've asked a lot of you and you've delivered in spades.” The Renegades, sent into bat in front of 40 000 fans, made 145 for five off their 20 overs.

    Test opener Marcus Harris clubbed 12 runs off Jackson Bird's first four balls but he then rashly went for another big hit and top-edged to wicketkeeper Handscomb.

    The tenacious Bird, recalled to the side in place of all-rounder Evan Gulbis, struck again in his next over to take an easy catch off his own bowling and send Sam Harper packing for six, leaving the Renegades struggling.

    Veteran Cameron White joined Aaron Finch and they took 11 off spinner Adam Zampa's first over before the Renegades skipper was out in bizarre fashion for 13 just as he was hitting his stride. White hit a straight drive and it deflected off bowler Bird's boot to hit the stumps, with Finch stranded outside his crease, leaving the Renegades 47 for three off six overs.

    When White went soon after for 12, lbw to Zampa, they were in big trouble, managing just 65 runs by the halfway mark. The pace was picked up over the final 10 overs with Christian, their semi-final hero, and Tom Cooper sharing an 80-run unbroken partnership to push the total into respectable territory, with the 29 runs bludgeoned from the last two overs proving vital.

    Cooper ended on 43 not out and Christian was unbeaten on 38.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Milan stay on Champions League courseMilan stay on Champions League courseMilan beat Atlanta Krzysztof Piatek took his season's Serie A total to 17, just two behind Cristiano Ronaldo. Krzysztof Piatek hit a wonder goal and grabbed a second as AC Milan came back to defeat Atalanta 3-1 on Saturday and stay on course for the Champions League.

    The Polish star now has scored six times in four starts for Milan since moving from Genoa in the January transfer window to replace Gonzalo Higuain. After Remo Freuler had given Atalanta a 33rd-minute lead, Piatek struck with a memorable left-footed volley in first-half stoppage time. Ricardo Rodriguez swung in a cross from the left, Piatek hooked the ball around defender Berat Djimsiti before volleying into the top corner from 12 yards out despite not even looking at the target.

    “I was being marked closely, but I knew the ball would come into the box sooner or later, so I made the movement to ensure I got there first,” Piatek told Milan TV.

    “I am happy with the two goals today and want to keep going like this. I am a striker, so I'd like to score in every game.”

    Turkish winger Hakan Calhanoglu then put Milan ahead with a sharp drive 10 minutes into the second period before Piatek headed in from a corner just after the hour mark to seal victory.

    Milan fans have taken Piatek to their hearts, even devising a new chant “Piatek! Pum pum pum pum!” to mirror the striker's goal celebration of a pistol-shooter.

    Gennaro Gattuso's Milan stay in fourth spot but they now have 42 points, four more than Atalanta, Roma and Lazio.

    On Friday, Ronaldo set up Paulo Dybala to score early and added one himself with defender Leonardo Bonucci also on target as Juventus surged 14 points clear in Serie A with a 3-0 win over lowly Frosinone.

    The win was a perfect way to prepare for next this week's Champions League last 16, first-leg tie at Atletico Madrid.

    NAMPA/AF

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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Nigeria vote delay condemned
  • Nigeria vote delay condemnedNigeria vote delay condemnedCandidates slam decision The electoral commission in Nigeria this weekend postponed the election five hours before it was due to start. Nigeria's top candidates on Saturday condemned the last-minute decision to delay the presidential election for a week until February 23, blaming each other but appealing to Africa's largest democracy for calm.

    The decision, announced just five hours before polls were to open, is a costly one. Authorities now must decide what to do with already delivered voting materials in a tense atmosphere where some electoral facilities in recent days have been torched.

    Electoral commission chairperson Mahmood Yakubu told surprised observers, diplomats and others that the delay had nothing to do with insecurity or political influence. He blamed “very trying circumstances” including bad weather affecting flights and the fires at three commission offices in an apparent “attempt to sabotage our preparations”.

    If the vote had continued as planned, polling units could not have opened at the same time nationwide. “This is very important to public perceptions of elections as free, fair and credible,” Yakubu said, adding that as late as 02:00 they were still confident the election could go ahead.

    The new February 23 election date is “without equivocation” final, he said. Nigeria's election process is a sprawling affair with over 23 000 candidates for various posts and more than 84 million registered voters.

    Some bitter voters in the capital, Abuja, and elsewhere who travelled home to cast their ballots said they could not afford to wait another seven days, and warned that election apathy could follow. Some anguished over rescheduling weddings, exams and other milestones, along with those in Nigeria's vast diaspora who had returned home to vote.

    The party backing top opposition challenger Atiku Abubakar accused President Muhammadu Buhari's administration of “instigating this postponement” with the aim of ensuring a low turnout. Its statement urged Nigerians to turn out in greater numbers a week from now.

    Abubakar, speaking to reporters outside his home in northern Adamawa state, urged calm. “We will overcome this. You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny,” he later tweeted. A party spokesperson in Delta state in the restive south said the commission “has destroyed the soul of Nigeria with this act”.

    Buhari said he was “deeply disappointed” after the electoral commission had “given assurances, day after day and almost hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections. We and all our citizens believed them.” His statement appealed for calm and stressed that his administration does not interfere in the commission's work.

    A spokesperson for Buhari's campaign committee, Festus Keyamo, accused Abubakar's party of causing the delay to create a “breather” and try to slow the president's momentum.

    One ruling party campaign director in Delta state, Goodnews Agbi, told The Associated Press it was better to give the commission time to conduct a credible vote instead of rushing into a sham one “that the whole world will criticise later.”

    Frustrated voters gathered in the capital. “I am not happy, and I'm very, very angry,” Yusuf Ibrahim said. A civic group monitoring the election, the Situation Room, blasted the “needless tension and confusion” and called on political parties to avoid incitement and misinformation.

    Nigeria's more than 190 million people anticipate a close race between Buhari and Abubakar, a billionaire former vice president. Both have pledged to work for a peaceful election even as supporters, including high-level officials, have caused alarm with vivid warnings against foreign interference and allegations of rigging.

    When Buhari came to power in 2015 - after a six-week election delay blamed on extremist insecurity - he made Nigerian history with the first defeat of an incumbent president. The election was hailed as one of the most transparent and untroubled ever in Africa's most populous country, which has seen deadly post-vote violence in the past.

    Now Buhari could become the second incumbent to be unseated. This election is a referendum on his record on insecurity, the economy and corruption, all of which he has been criticized by some Nigerians for doing too little too slowly.

    NAMPA/AP

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    Mabasa guides Celtic to last eightMabasa guides Celtic to last eight Clinical finisher Tshegofatso Mabasa helped Bloemfontein Celtic into the South African FA Cup quarterfinals by scoring in a nervous 1-0 win over lower-league Richards Bay Saturday.

    The joint-leading goal scorer in the Premiership this season struck his first goal of the competition on 66 minutes at Free State Stadium.

    He evaded a defender who slipped to the ground trying to clear a cutback and rifled a low shot into the corner of the net to settle the round-of-16 tie.

    Celtic should have doubled the lead soon after but captain and goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb had a penalty saved and he blazed the rebound wide.

    Second-division side Richards Bay, who stunned trophy-holders Free State Stars in a last-32 tie, had Katlego Maphathe red-carded for a reckless tackle as they chased an equaliser.

    Former Lesotho star Lehlohonolo Seema was a relieved Celtic coach after a match in which his side struggled in the final third.

    “While winning is all that matters in a cup tie, I cannot pretend to be happy with how we performed in the final third.

    “A difficulty in scoring is not just an issue at Celtic, it is a national problem and all the clubs are battling to find solutions.

    “There is a lack of composure among our footballers. Too many goal attempts are rushed with negative outcomes.

    “As for that penalty by Patrick, I think he will think twice before venturing forward to take another one soon.” After a shock-riddled previous round, top-flight trio Celtic, Golden Arrows and Chippa United all won against second-tier opponents. Lerato Lamola netted for the Arrows in each half before a Slovo Mrawu goal six minutes from time for Witbank Spurs set up a tense finish with the visitors hanging on for a 2-1 win.

    Guided by former national coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba, Spurs had plenty of opportunities to create another shock, but half of their 22 goal attempts finished off target. “We could not score and conceded two silly goals,” lamented Mashaba, who was fired as South Africa coach in 2017 for publicly criticising the national football association president.

    League strugglers Chippa continued a revival under new coach Clinton Larsen by scoring twice in the second half to defeat Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 2-0 in Port Elizabeth.

    Kurt Lentjies put the local club ahead on 51 minutes and after they were reduced to 10 men by an Andile Mbenyane red-card, Marks Mayambela sealed victory with a stoppage-time goal.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Chelsea face crunch United clashChelsea face crunch United clashDo or die for Sarri Maurizio Sarri is in danger of being sacked after a dismal first season at Stamford Bridge and crashing out of the FA Cup would push the Italian closer to the axe. Maurizio Sarri will be fighting to save his job when crisis club Chelsea face Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round today.

    Chelsea suffered their heaviest defeat for 28 years when they were thrashed 6-0 at Manchester City last weekend, an indignity that came just weeks after a humiliating 4-0 loss at Bournemouth.

    Amid claims Sarri has lost the support of his players, the former Napoli boss held clear-the-air talks this week in a bid to convince the squad to stick with him.

    It is not the first time he has challenged Chelsea's stars after accusing them of being hard to motivate, questioning their mental strength and claiming they don't understand even the basics of his game plan.

    Sarri's players are said to be unhappy with the Italian's uninspiring training methods and refusal to adapt his tactics to the players he has at his disposal.

    Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and N'Golo Kante are all being asked to perform roles that are ill-suited to their strengths and so far Sarri's lengthy debriefs have had made little difference.

    While 'Sarri-ball' was a big hit with Napoli, Chelsea have looked laboured for much of this season, struggling for cohesion in midfield and lacking cutting edge up front.

    Demanding Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and influential director Marina Granovskaia are unlikely to spare Sarri unless results and performances improve soon.

    That means Sarri must lift Chelsea beaten in seven of their last 22 games back into the Premier League's top four and keep them on course for silverware.

    They are still in the Europa League, having beaten Malmo in the last 32 first leg on Thursday, and face Manchester City in the League Cup final next Sunday.

    But first Sarri must focus on United's visit to the Bridge as holders Chelsea look to move closer to a third successive FA Cup final appearance.

    “We know it's a crucial moment. We have some very important matches. The first will be United. It's very challenging,” Sarri's assistant Gianfranco Zola said.

    Responding to the mounting sense of gloom around Chelsea, Zola called on his squad to pull together.

    “Nobody is pleased when you lose games the way we did recently. Not only the players, but the coaches and everyone,” he said.

    “It's a moment when we've been alternating the results, going from one good performance to a bad one.

    “We have to be consistent. We all know this, and it's important everyone understands the situation and is working on it.

    “This is important. The unity facing the challenge will make the difference.”

    United were beaten by Chelsea in last season's final, but much has changed at Old Trafford since May.

    Jose Mourinho was sacked in December and his replacement Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had overseen a remarkable turnaround as interim boss.

    Solskjaer went unbeaten in his first 11 games in all competitions, lifting United above Chelsea into the top four. But their momentum stalled in a big way on Tuesday when Paris Saint Germain won 2-0 in the Champions League last 16, first leg in Manchester.

    United's attempt to get back on track has been hit by injuries to Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, who are both out for up to three weeks.

    Solskjaer expects a strong response despite those key absences, saying: “I hate losing games and it seems like the boys hate losing games.

    “There's no point dwelling on it because there are big games against good teams coming up. We need to dust ourselves down and get going again today.

    “You've got to bounce back at this club. You don't panic because you've lost a game, you don't change everything. It doesn't change the mindset at all.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Santa Cruz keeps featherweight beltSanta Cruz keeps featherweight belt Mexico's Leo Santa Cruz defended his World Boxing Association featherweight title on Saturday, dominating compatriot Rafael Rivera to win by unanimous 12-round decision.

    All three judges gave Santa Cruz the victory by scores of 119-109 as the champion improved to 36-1-1, marking the third defence in his second reign in the division.

    “I tried to give my best. I did what I could,” Santa Cruz said.

    “I'd like to give a lot better but Rafael is pretty good. It was a tough fight.”

    Santa Cruz took inspiration from his father and trainer Jose Santa Cruz, who is battling bone-marrow cancer. “It means the world to me (to have my father in my corner),” Santa Cruz said.

    “When I climb in the ring, I don't want to let my dad down. I want to inspire him to keep fighting the cancer.”

    Rivera, who fell to 26-3 with two drawn, was a late fill-in for his first world title bout after original challenger Miguel Flores suffered an ankle injury last month.

    Santa Cruz worked on Rivera's body from the opening round, delivering punishment at a fast pace in the early rounds while defending well to masterfully frustrate the challenger.

    Rivera tagged Santa Cruz with a right to the head to end the 11th round, drawing only a smile from the champion, who stayed in control through a furious exchange in the closing seconds.

    Santa Cruz seeks a unification bout against American Gary Russell Jr., the World Boxing Council champion, or a third career matchup against Britain's Carl Frampton.

    Santa Cruz suffered his only career loss in 2016 to the Northern Ireland fighter but avenged the defeat in early 2017 to reclaim the WBA crown.

    “I want to unify the belts,” Santa Cruz said. “I want to fight three times this year, hopefully by June or July.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Egulu lya londa
  • Egulu lya londaEgulu lya londa Omuloka ngoka gwa kundu omwedhi Februali, okwa tengenekwa kutya itagu ka thikitha omwedhi pehulilo, na okwa tegelelwa onkalo yombepo ya kukuta sigo oshiwike shotango shomwedhi Maalitsa.

    Olopota yonkalo yombepo ndjoka ya pitithwa komunambelewa gwokutengeneka onkalo yombepo moSantam South Africa, Johan van den Berg oya holola kutya itaku ka monika omata gomvula muumbugantu wenenevi sigo oshiwike oshitiyali shomwedhi twa taalela. Olopota oya tsikile kutya omuloka ngoka gwa monika petameko lyomwedhi nguka tuli, itagu kalelele unene miitopolwa yomuumbugantu waNamibia.

    Nonando aanelago oya mono hewa omuloka omunene ngoka gwa hwepopaleke onkalo yoshikukuta , oyendji natango oya mono omuloka omushona nenge inaya lokwa nokuli.

    Oshiwike sha piti, sha landula omuloka omunene ngoka gwa loko muumbugantu woshilongo, omiyelo dhondama yaNaute odha patululwa opo omeya gamwe ga pitemo.

    Momaandaha, NamWater okwa tameke ta pititha mo omeya okuza mondama ndjoka moshitopolwa shaKaras konima sho ondjele yomeya ya pitilile poopresenda 104.

    Molopota yiiwike ya piti ondjele ndjoka oya li poopresenda 61.7.

    Nonando yamwe oya lokwa nawa petameko lyomwedhi, van den Berg okwa kunkilile kutya natango omuloka omunene ogwa pumbiwa opo onkalo yoshikukuta yi hwepopale. Nonando ongaaka okwa popi kutya onkalo yakukuta oya tegelelwa muumbugantu wenenevi mwakwatelwa Namibia sigo oshiwike oshitiyali shaMaalitsa.

    Olopota yondjele yomeya moondama dhomoshilongo oya holola kutya ondama yaSwakoppoort mOmaandaha goshiwike sha piti oya li poopresenda 20.1, okuyeleka noopresenda 38.3 mpoka ya li pethimbo lya faathana omvula ya piti. Von Bach dam oya li poopresenda 49.3, Hardap dam oya li poopresenda 30.2% okuyeleka noopreesenda 50.4 mpoka ya li moshikako shomuloka gwa piti, pethimbo lya faathana.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Iitopolwa yomonooli yiimanga kumweIitopolwa yomonooli yiimanga kumweYa hala okugandja omayakulodhingi kaakwashigwana yawo Iitopolwa itatu yomonooli yoshilongo oya tokola okulongela kumwe opo yi vule okuyambulapo oonkalamwenyo dhaakalimo yomiitopolwa mbyoka. Iitopolwa shaHangwena, Oshikoto oshowo Kavango West oya yi metsokumwe lyelongelokumwe lya nuninwa okutopola omauyelele oshowo oonzo dhomayambulepo.

    Ekwatathano ndyoka otali ka tala unene komayakulo guundjolowele, oopate, eyandjakaneko lyolusheno miitopolwa yomuushayi, elongo, evi, oonzo dhopaushitwe, omagumbo oshowo omauyelele nomakwatathano gopautekinika.

    Ngoloneya gwoshitopolwa shaHangwena, Usko Nghaamwa okwa popi kutya etsokumwe ndyoka otali ulike kutya epangelo itali kotha na otali dhilaadhila omausiku agehe nkene li na okutula miilonga oompangela dhokuyambulapo aakwashigwana ya vule okutyapula iiyimati yemanguluko lyoshilongo.

    Nghaamwa okwa popi kutya aakwashigwana oye li ya tegelela epangelo li ya faalele omayakulo popepi unene mboka yeli koongamba dhiitopolwa.

    Etsokumwe lyelongelokumwe ndyoka olya shainwa mEtitatu mOkongo moshitopolwa shaHangwena.

    Oshituthi shoka osha kaliwa kaanambelewa yepangelo miikondo ya yooloka oshowo aanapolotika.

    Omunambelewa omukomeho moshitopolwa shaHangwena, Fillipus Shilongo okwa lombwele aakuthimbinga ayehe kutya opo etsokumwe ndyoka li tulwe miilonga nokwaadha omalalakano galyo noonakukutha ombinga ayehe oya pumbwa okutula miilonga ooprograma nokuninga omapekaapeko.

    Oya lombwelwa opo ya tothemo ooprograma dhopaufupi oshowo ndhoka dhuulethimbo noopoloyeka, yo taya topola omauyelele gomayambulepo naakwashigwana yiitopolwa mbyoka, mokunkondopeka omayambulepo.

    Iitopolwa mboka itatu oyimwe yomiitopolwa mbyoka yi na aakwashigwana yomwaalu guli pombanda na oya taalela unene oluhepo.

    Ngoloneya Nghaamwa okwa popi kutya oshi li oshinakugwantihwa shawo okukwashilipaleka kutya ha omukwashigwana gwaNamibia ta patelwa pondje onkene ota yambidhidha noonkondo oshiyetwapo shoka sha nuninwa okukondopeka omayambulepo.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya okwa nyanyukwa sho etsokumwe ndyoka tali ka yambulapo oshikondo shuundjolowele, omakwatathano, oonzo dhopaushitwe, elongo oshowo omauyelele nomakwatathano oshowo omayambulepo gamwe giitopolwa.

    Omunashipundi gwelelo lyoshitopolwa shaShikoto, Samuel Shivute okwa popi kutya etsokumwe ndyoka otali gandja ompito ombwaanawa yelongelokumwe miikumungu yomayambulepo nokutula miilonga oopoloyeka dhomayambulepo moshitopolwa she.

    “Etsokumwe ndika otali ka hwahwameka elongelokumwe ewanawa netopolo lyomauyelele kombinga yomayambulepo goshigwana mokati kiitopolwa mbika itatu, okupitila mekwatathano ewanawa pokati kiitopolwa noompangela dha nuninwa oopoloyeka dhegandjo lyomayakulo.”

    Omunashipundi gwelelo lyoshitopolwa shaKavango West, Joseph Sivaku Sikongo okwa indile aanambelewa ya kwashilipaleke kutya etsokumwe ndyoka, ondokumende ndjoka tayi gandja ongushu koonkalamwenyo dhaakalimo.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Schoeman ends Lions' Argentina hoodooSchoeman ends Lions' Argentina hoodooThree-star performance by visitors The Johannesburg outfit triumphed 25-16 at Estadio Jose Amalfitani with Schoeman, not part of the original starting XV, scoring three tries. Marnus Schoeman was the unlikely hero as South African visitors the Golden Lions buried a Super Rugby jinx Saturday by defeating the Jaguares in Argentina for the first time.

    Schoeman owed his place as a loose forward to a midweek injury sustained by first choice Kwagga Smith, which forced the Springbok to withdraw from the trip to South America.

    The blond 30-year-old made the most of his unexpected opportunity by scoring after three, 32 and 50 minutes and becoming the only try-scorer to complete a hat-trick on the opening weekend of Super Rugby.

    “I can barely believe what I achieved,” Schoeman said after the Lions ended a run of three consecutive southern hemisphere championship defeats by the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

    “For a loose forward to score one try is great, two is amazing and three is unbelievable. I will travel home with a permanent smile on my face.

    “Finally winning in Argentina is a fantastic achievement. We have battled here in the past three seasons and it is great to be part of the team that has ended the losing sequence.”

    The Lions, beaten in the past three Super Rugby finals, triumphed because they were more clinical in attack, defended bravely and scrummaged superbly.

    New Jaguares skipper, centre Jeronimo de la Fuente, bemoaned an inability to finish off good approach work by the 2018 Super Rugby quarter-finalists.

    “We got inside the Lions 22 on many occasions during the match only to come away empty-handed. We have to turn this possession into points.”

    The Argentines, playing under Gonzalo Quesada for the first time after Mario Ledesma was promoted to national team coach, were often predictable in attack.

    They missed the flair of star playmaker Nicolas Sanchez, who has joined French Top 14 club Stade Francais.

    Replacement Joaquin Diaz Bonilla was solid rather than spectacular and kicked 11 points from a conversion and three penalties.

    Apart from Schoeman, who scored two pushover tries and the other after a five-metre scrum, the Lions points via the boot of fly-half Elton Jantjies.

    Making his 120th Super Rugby appearance, the Springbok missed his first shot at goal, then succeeded with two conversions and two penalties for a 10-point tally.

    When prop Santiago Medrano barged over for a 16th-minute try, he put the Jaguares ahead for the only time, with the second Schoeman try helping the Lions lead 15-13 at half-time. Earlier on Saturday Rosko Specman scored two superb tries on his Super Rugby debut as the Northern Bulls thrashed Western Stormers 40-3 in the other all-South African conference clash.

    The former sevens international took just four minutes to make his mark, cutting inside from the left wing and sprinting clear to dot down at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

    Specman struck again on 19 minutes, this time outpacing a startled Stormers defence.

    “Rosko was unbelievable and we look forward to seeing how much more damage he can inflict on opponents as the season progresses,” said Bulls' Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard.

    A Johnny Kotze try helped the three-time former champions to go 21-3 ahead and the home team added 19 unanswered second-half points, including a Jesse Kriel try.

    Pollard put on a flawless 20-point goal-kicking show, slotting four conversions and four penalties from eight shots at the posts.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Sibanye-Stillwater may cut thousands of jobs

    Sibanye-Stillwater could cut nearly 6 000 jobs in a potential restructuring of the company's gold mining operations following losses at some of its mines last year.

    The precious metal miner said it had entered into talks with stakeholders on restructuring its gold operations following financial losses at the Beatrix 1 and Driefontein 2,6,7,8 shafts during 2018, which could affect around 5 870 employees and 800 contractors.

    The company, which has both gold and platinum mines in South Africa, employs more than 61 000 people in its local operations.

    Sibanye said above inflation cost increases, including labour and electricity, over the years and large mining areas had contributed to the erosion of operating margins.

    Mines minister Gwede Mantashe issued a statement noting the company's decision. "Minister Mantashe urges stakeholders to engage in good faith to save jobs." The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the largest union at Sibanye's gold operations could not immediately be reached for comment. – Nampa/Reuters

    Trafigura's Puma Energy to restructure

    Puma Energy, the retail and storage arm of commodities trader Trafigura, plans to restructure and sell assets to cut its debt and improve profits, a source familiar with the matter said.

    Puma has hired consulting firm McKinsey under new chief executive Emma Fitzgerald who took over last month from Pierre Eladari, who had overseen rapid expansion, the source said.

    Although its full-year 2018 results have not been finalised, Puma expects a small net loss or profit, the source added.

    Geneva-based Trafigura, which owns about 49% of Puma, has had to put plans to list Puma on hold after a change of government in Angola complicated reducing the country's stake, coupled with weaker profits and a high debt profile. Angola's state oil firm and Cochan Holdings, which is run by a former Angolan general, hold the rest of Puma.

    Puma, which traces it roots to Argentina, has more than 3 100 fuel retail stations in Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific and last year sold its small Peruvian retail network to Spanish oil and gas group Repsol. – Nampa/Reuters

    Bottler Coca-Cola warns of hit to consumer spending

    Soft drink bottler Coca Cola HBC AG's shares fell nearly 7% on Thursday as it warned that slowing economic growth across a range of both developing and developed markets was likely to hurt consumer spending.

    The Swiss-based company, one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola Company brands, also flagged a likely doubling of the costs of its 800 million euro Eurobond in a refinancing this year as well as a 50 million euro hit to core profit from foreign currency effects.

    Comparable earnings before interest and tax rose to 680.7 million euros (US$768.17 million) for the year ended Dec.31 from 621 million euros a year earlier. On a per share basis, the company earned 1.306 euros.

    Volumes rose 4.2 percent, while the company also saw some price increases.

    The Coca-Cola Company indirectly holds about 23% of Coca Cola HBC AG, according to the bottler's 2017 annual report. – Nampa/Reuters

    Airbus to scrap production of A380 superjumbo

    Europe's Airbus announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo on Thursday, abandoning its dream of dominating the skies with a cruiseliner for the 21st century after years of lacklustre sales.

    The world's largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing's legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets.

    Airbus said in a statement that the last A380 would be delivered in 2021. Confirming a shake-up first reported by Reuters, it said Emirates - the largest A380 customer – had decided to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo and order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo models. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nissan and Renault reaffirm alliance

    Top executives from Nissan and Renault on Thursday reaffirmed the importance of an alliance that has been pressured by the ousting of former chairman Carlos Ghosn, but avoided discussing the potentially contentious issue of Nissan's next chairman.

    The newly appointed chairman of France's Renault SA, Jean-Dominique Senard, arrived in Japan on Thursday for two days of meetings with Nissan. Speculation has swirled about the future of the alliance, and whether Senard himself would assume the chairmanship of the Japanese automaker.

    Some in Japan see the alliance as unequal. But analysts say the three-way tie-up, which also includes smaller automaker Mitsubishi Motors, is necessary to compete better with rivals such as Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.

    Senard met Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi's Osamu Masuko for talks that lasted nearly two hours, Masuko told reporters outside his home late on Thursday. The three reaffirmed the importance of the alliance, Masuko said.

    Separately, Saikawa told reporters that they did not talk about the issues related to the chairmanship of Nissan, or a full merger between Nissan and Renault, indicating that the discussions were more mundane. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nestle's overhaul starts to pay off

    Nestle put its Herta processed meats business on the block on Thursday, accelerating the world biggest food group's revamp as it reported an uptick in sales growth in 2018 for the first time since 2011.

    Improvements in China, North America and in its infant nutrition business last year helped the maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafe coffee to break a run of sluggish growth linked to consumers' preference for fresh food. It forecast sales improvements of more than 3% in 2019.

    Chief executive Mark Schneider said portfolio changes could well exceed the figure of 10% of group sales he guided toward in September 2017.

    Activist investor Daniel Loeb's fund Third Point, which took a US$3 billion stake in Nestle in 2017, has said the company could double its earnings per share by 2022 if the group was bolder about divestments, including a stake in L'Oreal.

    Schneider said Nestle was on track to reach its 2020 targets of mid-single digit organic growth and a margin of 17.5-18.5%, with costs and margins improving steadily and a growth recovery backloaded toward 2020. Restructuring costs should reach 700 million Swiss francs this year. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Pangolin saving scheme paying offPangolin saving scheme paying off A reward scheme introduced in 2017 by Namibian authorities and NGOs to address an alarming increase of illegal pangolin captures and trafficking has proved successful.

    By the end of January 2019, 75 criminal cases had been opened by the police related to pangolin trafficking, and 139 people arrested, while 45 live pangolins were confiscated and released safely back into the wild as a result of the reward programme.

    All species of pangolins worldwide are facing the threat of extinction as a result of a thriving illegal market to supply the high demand of the animal's meat and scales to mostly China, which is decimating the population. In Namibia, the demand took hold over the past few years, and the reward scheme was introduced in an attempt to halt the trend of increased pangolin illegal poaching and smuggling. The Namibia Chamber of Environment (NCE), who in late 2017 partnered with the police and other stakeholders to strengthen the response to the rise in trafficking, say 84.9% of the cases opened since 2017 are a result of the reward programme.

    Moreover, 85.9% of arrests resulted from information gained through the reward scheme. In 2017, when the cash reward scheme was launched, authorities offered N$1 000 to any information that leads to an arrest with evidence. A higher amount would be awarded if the information leads to further arrests of traders, traffickers and syndicate member.

    If an informant is prepared to make a statement and to appear as a voluntary witness, then the reward is again increased. Before the scheme was launched in October 2017, the average number of live or dead pangolins being confiscated in Namibia was typically in the range of about five to ten animals per year. Within the first two months after the scheme was launched, 15 criminal cases were opened and 21 suspects arrested.

    Ten live pangolins were seized.

    A year later, 57 cases had been opened, 112 suspects arrested, and 34 live pangolins confiscated.

    Since January, a total of 45 live pangolins had been confiscated, taken into care, assessed for condition, cared for until healthy and then released back into a safe environment.

    Pangolins are believed to be the most trafficked mammals in the world with more than one million animals illegally captured, killed and trafficked over the past decade, and more than 20 tonnes of pangolin scales and parts smuggled illegally each year. The 8th annual World Pangolin Day was held on Saturday, to increase awareness of the pangolin population's plight and vulnerability.

    All pangolin species are threatened Red Data species under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and all have recently been up-listed to Appendix 1 category under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Little data is available on the Namibian pangolin, the Temminck's Ground Pangolin, also known as the Cape pangolin or scaly anteater, despite its highly vulnerable status.

    Pangolins are under threat due to a huge illegal global trade to supply buyers in Asia who eat the meat as a delicacy and use pangolin scales as a medical supplement. Pangolin foetuses and tongues are also highly prized. There is no evidence to support claims regarding medicinal properties of pangolin scales or any other part of the pangolin.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Fish stocks 'healthy' says EsauFish stocks 'healthy' says Esau Namibia's fish stocks are healthy and are managed sustainably. Once again, this was the central message of fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau during his annual address to the fishing industry on Friday in Walvis Bay.

    At the outset, Esau made it clear that this year is the year of accountability, thus, all fishing rights applications would be scrutinised in detail. “All rights holders whose rights have expired after seven or 20 years, must now be held accountable and must show us what they have achieved during that time,” Esau stated.

    Hundreds of stakeholders from the fishing industry gathered in Walvis Bay and expectantly waited for the announcement of the distribution of fishing rights - in vain.

    “We are in the final stages of the assessment and will make an announcement in the next few months,” Esau said. According to him a total of 5 193 fishing rights applications were made. “In the past we had 2 000 applications which took a year to evaluate and award. We are currently at the final stages of the evaluation after just three months,” he announced proudly and added: “Those who have complied with the criteria, have invested in the sector and have created jobs, can be sure that I am determined to sustain employment and investments in the sector. For the rest, tough luck,” he said.

    Esau sent out a stern warning to people or entities who sell fish quotas to make a “quick buck”. He warned he would withdraw the quota. In the same vein he warned shareholders who “cheat” their colleagues. “Communities and vulnerable groups are being cheated out of their dividends and this must not continue,” he warned.

    Esau continued that his ministry was aware of the incidents of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, “particularly along our northern maritime border with Angola”. He added that this practice is “sporadic, limited to this area and takes place only at night”.

    “I will not reveal the whole strategy on this matter, but wish to warn those who are guilty that we have a government approach. Those who are either facilitating or participating in this activity will soon regret their actions.”

    In his speech the minister described the entire fishery resource as “healthy”, with only one exception: the pilchard industry. There has been a significant decline in landings of pilchard over the past years, which is why a three-year moratorium was declared in 2018. “But the pilchard industry constituted a total of 2.5 % of the total fishery, so it must be seen in this context too,” he noted. The decline is, however, regarded as a “very serious” matter, he added.

    “We are not sure if sardines have moved to deeper waters or the stock has gone down. I expect a report on extensive research next year,” he said. For this year's fishing season, the ministry has set a total allowable catch (TAC) of 349 000 tonnes for horse mackerel. This amount is above the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and therefore a sustainable amount, Esau said. For hake a total allowable catch of 154 000 tonnes was set. This species make up 94% of the commercial fish species landed in Namibia.

    For monkfish a quota of 8 000 tonnes was determined. The quota for crab was set at 3 400 tonnes and 200 tonnes for crayfish. “Aerial surveys have shown that the Cape fur seal population is healthy and is expanding considerably,” Esau said, but did not make mention of any quotas.



    Erwin Leuschner

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    Artefacts take over Kooitjie burialArtefacts take over Kooitjie burialNama traditional authorities urged to unite The burial of the late Topnaar chief, Seth Kootjie, turned into a soapbox for traditional leaders and the return of the Witbooi artefacts. The late Topnaar Chief Seth Madawab Kooitjie was buried at Soutrivier, about 125 km from Walvis Bay on Saturday afternoon. Kooitjie passed away on 24 January due to an asthma attack en-route to the hospital. He was 65.

    He served as the Topnaar Traditional Authority Chief for 39 years, succeeding his father Esau Sanaseb Kootjie in 1980. Back then he was only 27 years old.

    During his funeral various speakers from the traditional authorities and local ministries described him as a loyal, caring and visionary leader. He was described as an economic freedom fighter for his people, always looking for ways to improve the conditions of the Topnaar people.

    He was also one of the founding members of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and served as the chairperson until his death. During the memorial service on Thursday night, and again at the funeral the same message prevailed: that the Nama people should unite and choose a successor that will continue on his legacy.

    Katrina Hanse Himarwa, minister of education said that the late chief was a strict, caring, honest and hardworking leader. “He stood up for his people and was always aggressive and angry at the right time for the right reasons. He would rather empower others than himself.”

    She reiterated that the chief left unfinished projects and the Topnaar clan needs a visionary and strong leader to pick this up. “For the clan members, do not rush in trying to find a new leader. Take your time and follow the correct procedures.”

    However, what was supposed to be a day of mourning for the family turned into a platform for traditional leaders to rant on the current repatriation of the artefacts of Chief Hendrik Witbooi and the ongoing New York Court Case on repatriations for the Nama and Ovaherero genocide of 1904-08.

    Chief Vekuii Ruukoro of the Ovaherero traditional authority along with Chief Petrus Simon Moses Kooper, the vice-chairperson of the NTLA, accused government of unlawful discrimination and violation of law by trying to keep the artefacts of Witbooi as state property. The duo shared the same sentiments that the artefacts should be returned to the Nama, as was done in the case of the Ombalantu ritual stone which was returned to the Ombalantu traditional authority in 2014.

    Kooper further said that about seven Nama traditional authorities are not recognised due to 'unresolved disputes' amongst each other. “Use the customary laws in place to settle disputes accordingly among traditional leaders.”

    Hanse-Himarwa emphasised that there is a need for unity amongst the traditional authorities.

    “As a child of the Nama, there is a need for peace, unity and progress amongst our traditional authorities. We cannot expect progress when there is no love or respect amongst each other. It is outdated, unfashionable and boring to witness the endless squabbles within the tribes.”

    In addition, she explained that Chief Hendrik Witbooi's bible and whip will be returned to Namibia by the German government later this month. On 27 February the ministry and a delegation from Germany will make a symbolic visit to Hornkranz. The day after, a procession will head from Windhoek to Gibeon, through Rehoboth, Kalkrand and Mariental. These artefacts will travel to Gibeon on 1 March, where it will be officially handed over to President Hage Geingob. A certified copy of the bible will also be handed over to a designated elder in the Witbooi clan. Government plans to build a Hendrik Witbooi memorial museum where the original documents and other artifacts will be on show.





    Leandrea Louw

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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Regions sign landmark deal
  • Regions sign landmark dealRegions sign landmark dealCooperation for the benefit of all Three northern regions will now work together to improve the livelihoods of their residents. The Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Kavango West regions have entered into a working relationship aimed at sharing information and resources for socio-economic development.

    The relationship will focus on health services, roads, rural electrification, educational facilities, land management, natural resources, housing and information communication technology (ICT). Ohangwena governor Usko Nghaamwa said the agreement is an indication that government is spending sleepless nights thinking about its people and plans to ensure that all citizens can enjoy the fruits of independence.

    Nghaamwa said communities are expecting the government to respond to their needs and bring services closer, especially to those living along regional boundaries.

    The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Wednesday at Okongo in the Ohangwena Region.

    The event was attended by accounting officers and political office-bearers. Ohangwena chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo told stakeholders that in order to implement the agreement, parties are encouraged to establish exchange programmes and conduct studies and surveys in fields of common interest.

    They were also told to identify and implement short- and long-term development programmes and projects, share development information with communities along the borders of the regions, and strengthen coordination in terms of development activities.

    “It is also worth informing you that any activities that may be performed within the ambit of this agreement that require financial contributions have to be borne jointly by the regional councils, as per an article to this agreement,” Shilongo said.

    “Equally important, the issue of confidentiality and the settlement of disputes is also provided in articles 5 and 6, respectively.”

    The three regions are among the most densely populated in the country, with majority of the inhabitants living in abject poverty.

    “It is our responsibility to make sure that no Namibian feels left out; therefore I fully support this initiative and would like it to ensure inter-regional cooperation and strengthen joint planning on socio-economic development activities through determined regional efforts between the parties,” Nghaamwa said.

    “I am happy to learn that this agreement will administer the sectors of health, infrastructure, natural resources, education, ICT and other developments in our regions.”

    Oshikoto regional council chairperson Samuel Shivute said the agreement offers an excellent opportunity for cooperation in the areas related to development and the implementation of projects in his region.

    “This MoU will encourage a closer working relationship and the sharing of information on socio-economic development among the three regions. Through timely communication between the three regions prior to the planning of certain service delivery projects, we will reduce the duplication of services in our regions,” Shivute said.

    Kavango West regional council chairperson Joseph Sivaku Sikongo appealed to accounting officers to make sure that the agreement is a living document that can add value to the lives of residents.

    ILENI NANDJATO

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    Namibians owe lenders almost N$6bnNamibians owe lenders almost N$6bn Namibian consumers owed micro-lending institutions close to N$6 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2018, the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) said in its second quarterly statistical report for 2018.

    It said during the second quarter of 2018, the value of the loan book grew by 20.9% and 22.6% on a quarterly and yearly basis to N$5.9 billion, respectively. The growth originated from household borrower transactions of both term-loan and payday loan lenders.

    With regard to the cumulative number of household borrowers that benefited from the micro-lending transactions, the number grew by 15.7% to 333 690, quarter-on-quarter and 10.1%, year-on-year. A payday loan is a type of short-term borrowing at a higher interest rate which is payable on the next pay date, while a term-loan extends for a period longer than a month and attracts lower interest rates.

    The increase in disbursed loans was attributed mainly to the transactions of term-loan lenders as payday loan lender disbursements declined.

    In this regard, the quarterly and yearly growth in the amount of the new loans disbursed countrywide rose by 12.8% and 6.2%, respectively.

    The quarterly and yearly growth in the value of new loans can be attributed to the transaction value of term-loan lenders and term-loan borrowers that registered a positive growth of 17.6% and 11.2%, respectively.

    On the contrary, the value of transactions between payday loan lenders and payday loan borrowers decreased on quarterly and yearly basis, at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

    The number of the new loans issued declined both on a quarterly and yearly basis at the end of the second quarter of 2018, driven by both payday and term lenders. In this regard, the number of new loans issued contracted by 2.5%, quarter-on-quarter, and 15.3%, year-on-year to 161 397.

    During the period under review, the average amount of loans extended increased both on a quarterly and annual basis at the end of the second quarter of 2018. The average amount of the new loan extended by term lenders and payday lenders stood at N$25 339 and N$1 657, respectively.

    NAMPA

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    Famed Cullinan mine banks on big diamonds to drive down debtFamed Cullinan mine banks on big diamonds to drive down debtSynthetics, demand challenges The miner's difficulties reflect in part the problems facing the industry, including new competition from synthetic diamonds and sluggish demand. Diamond prices have come under pressure from a toxic combination of deteriorating consumer confidence in China, growth in synthetic jewellery capacity, working capital finance withdrawal ... and jewellery recycling. - Ben Davis, Mining Analyst: Liberum Emma Rumney and Barbara Lewis - The owner of one of the world's most famous diamond mines could be about a decade away from clearing its multi-million-dollar debts, in a sign of the struggles facing an industry assailed by synthetic rivals and uncertain demand.

    Petra Diamonds bought Cullinan in 2008, aiming to breathe new life into the South African mine renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found – 3 106 carats - and being the world's main source of rare blue diamonds.

    The London-listed miner, which acquired Cullinan from industry leader De Beers, borrowed heavily to revamp the facility and began mining a new section of ore last July.

    Petra told Reuters its debts from the mine stood at around 65% of its overall US$650 million in borrowing, which would represent about US$420 million.

    Cullinan's general manager Juan Kemp added that it could take "between five and 10 years" from the opening of the new section to clear the debts related to the mine. That goes beyond the 2022 maturity of Petra's bond notes.

    The company says it expects to generate free cash flow this year - a target it had hoped to reach in 2017 before being derailed by strikes and construction delays - and start reducing its debts.

    Kemp said one thought kept him awake at night: "When will we get that next big stone?"

    Expectations

    Ben Davis, mining analyst at Liberum, said the diamond prices Petra had achieved were below market expectations.

    "Everyone is very much hoping, for the sake of the equity holders and debt holders, it will deliver more higher-quality stones," he added.

    The miner's difficulties reflect in part the problems facing the industry - which often takes years to recover huge investments - including new competition from synthetic diamonds and sluggish demand, especially for small stones.

    In a sign of the times, De Beers, owned by Anglo American, last year abandoned its decades-old policy of refusing to sell man-made diamonds as jewellery.

    Prices

    Man-made diamonds require less investment than mining natural stones and can offer more attractive margins.

    Synthetic producers spend around US$300-500 per carat produced, according to a 2018 report by Bain & Company. De Beers' lab-grown diamonds sell for US$800 per carat.

    Petra, by contrast, has to shift 20 000 tonnes of earth at Cullinan to yield one cup of diamonds, at an average cost in the first half of their financial year of US$55 per carat, leaving it with a margin of US$41 per carat.

    Industry experts say synthetic production accounts for a small percentage of the market, but is growing fast. De Beers is investing US$94 million over four years to build a US factory that will churn out 500 000 carats a year, for example, while Chinese producers are stepping up output.

    Prices are also under pressure. Diamond miners say sales are seasonal and fall off after the Christmas rush, but the industry's giants have nonetheless reported weaker prices.

    Pressure

    Alrosa, the world's biggest diamond seller by volume, said in January sales were down 44% year on year, while De Beers, the biggest seller by value, said the first 2019 sales cycle was 25% lower than in 2018.

    "Diamond prices have come under pressure from a toxic combination of deteriorating consumer confidence in China, growth in synthetic jewellery capacity, working capital finance withdrawal ... and jewellery recycling," Davis said.

    The tougher landscape is widening the disparities within the diamond mining industry itself.

    Big players, led by De Beers and Alrosa, have the money and technology to expand in places such as Namibia and Russia, while mid-tier miners like Petra, and smaller players look to eke out the resources from older mines.

    Petra gained control of Cullinan, east of Pretoria, for US$80 million. Previous owner De Beers had dismissed the 116-year-old mine as not profitable enough. For Petra, it is its flagship project and its most capital-heavy, and thus central to shareholder confidence.

    Dirty colour

    A single large, valuable stone could bring in millions of dollars and lighten Petra's debt load. So far, however, the only large stones recovered from the new mining section have been a dirty colour, and low quality.

    Kemp said the new section, which analysis suggests should be rich, had yet to show what it can produce.

    "We expect a large stone at some point," he said.

    In the absence of rarer gems and weak prices for small diamonds, averages for Cullinan stones have slipped from US$140 per carat in the first half of its 2018 financial year to an expected US$96 for the first half of this year - the lowest since 2010.

    That helped prompt a 30% fall in Petra's share price since it published prices in January, extending a steep decline over the previous two years. The miner has bought and developed four other African mines.

    Jacques Breytenbach, Petra's finance director, said pricing at Cullinan was variable from one period to the next, and that the market tended to be weaker at the end of the calendar year due to destocking. An increase in diamond tenders in the second half of Petra's financial year would make a big difference to cash generation, he added.

    Small miners are more vulnerable to adverse industry trends than the bigger players, whose volumes improve the probability of success, according to Bernstein analyst Paul Gait.

    "Their size allows the laws of large numbers to work on their side," he said. "You're not just reliant on the belief that in a few years' time you will find a stone of 1 000 carats."– Nampa/Reuters

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    South Africa beat Nigeria on penaltiesSouth Africa beat Nigeria on penalties South Africa beat Nigeria 5-3 on penalties following a goalless 90 minutes to win the third-place match in the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger on Saturday.

    Amajita's goalkeeper Walter Kubheka saved Adamu Ibrahim Alhassan's penalty as the South Africans converted their five spot kicks to edge the seven-time champions to third place.

    The two sides could not find a goal during regulation play at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in the Nigerien capital Niamey.

    The Flying Eagles dominated the opening stages of the match, which saw very few scoring opportunities for either side.

    Nigeria's Paschal Durugbor came close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark but his header from a corner missed the target.

    South Africa were solid in defence and their quick counter-attack intercepted a pass in midfield through Ngcobo, who threaded a neat ball to Shangase just outside the area but he failed to beat his marker as Nigeria regrouped.

    Aliyu Ibrahim was presented with Nigeria's first real opportunity five minutes before the break, but he failed to test the keeper when he fired over the goal.

    The Oasis FC forward saw his acrobatic overhead kick saved by Kubheka on the hour mark, as Thabo Senong's team maintained their solid defensive approach.

    Substitute Nazifi Yahaya latched onto a cross from the left, but failed to hit the target after Walter Kubheka misjudged the delivery.

    Amajita continued to defend well and forced the match to penalties, in which they prevailed 5-3.

    The two teams, alongside Senegal and Mali, will be the continent's representatives at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland in May.

    Mali and Senegal will battle for the top prize in Niamey on Sunday as the biennial tournament reaches its climax.

    NAMPA/ANA

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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Fox beats Otaegui
  • Fox beats OtaeguiFox beats Otaegui Ryan Fox claimed his maiden European Tour title with a comprehensive 3&2 victory over Spaniard Adrian Otaegui in the final of the World Super 6 at Perth's Lake Karrinyup Country Club on Sunday.

    The 32-year-old New Zealander finished eight-under after 54 holes to earn a bye into the last 16 of the six-hole knockout stage and was the last man through to the quarter-finals after edging out Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond. “I've been close a couple of times and it was certainly nice to get one over the line today in a place I hold pretty special,” said Fox, who could have been knocked out in the last 16 had Janewattananond not missed a three-footer.

    “There was some scrappy stuff in there but I got out of trouble when I needed to and I played great today in the final.

    “Adrian didn't quite play to his best this afternoon but I'm quite happy to take advantage of that.”

    Fox also overcame Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan and Ireland's Paul Dunne to make the final where he raced to a three-up lead against Otaegui and eventually claimed the title when the fourth was halved in pars.

    Fox's European Tour victory is the first by a New Zealander since Danny Lee won the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic as an amateur.

    “A little bit disappointed after losing the final but it's been a good week,” Otaegui said after being denied a third European Tour title.The Spaniard birdied the 18th hole on Saturday to make the knockout stages and beat Daniel Gale, top seed Per Langfors, home favourite Min Woo Lee and Scott Vincent to reach the final.

    “Second is a solid week. I went from low to up during the week, so that's good as well, that's a good feeling,” Otaegui added. “I played very good golf the first four games, just nothing went the way I wanted in the end, but I'm still happy.”

    Ireland's Paul Dunne beat Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe in the extra hole to finish third.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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