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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Kaepernick still wants to playKaepernick still wants to play The lawyer for Colin Kaepernick says his client “absolutely wants to play” in the NFL again and that the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers would be good fits for him.

    Mark Geragos spoke with the US media a day after Kaepernick reached a settlement with the National Football League concerning a collusion grievance he filed against it.

    “I think you're going to see... within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who?” Geragos told ESPN. “Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if (Patriots owner) Bob Kraft makes a move.”

    The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback helped spark a wave of protests about US racial injustice in 2016 by kneeling while the American national anthem played during NFL games.

    “I am going to make a bold prediction although I have been wrong once before on this one of three teams picks him up,” Geragos, whose past clients have included pop icon Michael Jackson and musician Chris Brown, said during another interview, with CNN.

    Kaepernick filed his grievance in October 2017 under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, alleging collusion against signing him to a league contract. Kaepernick remains unsigned, having not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March 2017.

    The settlement the sides reached includes a confidentiality agreement that prevents them from disclosing details.

    Asked by CNN about reports that Kaepernick received between US$60 million and US$80 million in the settlement, Geragos reserved comment: “I can't say the ballpark, I can't say anything about that.”

    The US media reported earlier that Kaepernick was approached by the new Alliance of American Football League about playing there but asked for US$20 million to join. The majority of players in that league have a salary of US$225 000 over a three-year period.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Bayern fight back twice
  • Bayern fight back twiceBayern fight back twice Bayern Munich conceded the fastest own-goal in Bundesliga history on Friday and twice had to equalise before securing a 3-2 win at Augsburg in their final tune-up before their Champions League tie at Liverpool.

    Ahead of Tuesday's last 16, first-leg clash at Anfield, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will have watched with interest how Augsburg, who sit just above the Bundesliga relegation places, caused Bayern a few problems.

    The away league win means defending champions Bayern trimmed the gap to just two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who are at bottom side Nuremberg on Monday.

    With one eye on Anfield, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer returned after three games out with a thumb injury, but conceded two goals in the opening 24 minutes - the first after just 13 seconds.

    Leon Goretzka claimed an unwanted record for the Bundesliga's fastest own-goal when he turned the bill into his own net. Kingsley Coman then twice equalised in the opening half, cancelling out the own-goal then levelling at the half-time break after South Korea international Ji Dong-won had restored Augsburg's lead.

    David Alaba scored Bayern's winning goal early in the second half, but Bayern will need to improve to trouble Liverpool.

    Bibiana Steinhaus, the first female referee in Europe's top five leagues, had barely blown for kick-off when Augsburg winger Philipp Max put in a cross which flummoxed the Bayern defence. Goretzka watched in horror as the ball ricocheted off his boot and into the net as the injury-hit hosts took a shock lead.

    It was short of the Bundesliga's record fastest goal, just nine seconds, shared by Kevin Volland, for Hoffenheim against Bayern in 2015/16, and Karim Bellarabi, for Leverkusen against Dortmund in 2014/15.

    However, shell-shocked Bayern quickly regrouped.

    Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski went close, then Bayern drew level on 17 minutes when a beautifully curling Joshua Kimmich cross found Kingsley Coman, who tapped home at the far post.

    Augsburg restored their lead with almost a copy of their first goal when Max again fired in a cross and Ji rifled an unstoppable shot past Neuer from 14 metres out on 24 minutes.

    Bayern still managed to go into the half-time break level when Coman claimed his second goal.

    Goretzka made up for his earlier mistake with a pass to the French winger, who fired through the legs of Augsburg goalkeeper Gregor Kobel to make it 2-2 just before the break.

    The winning goal arrived eight minutes into the second-half when Coman flicked the ball inside to Alaba and the 26-year-old fired a trademark low-shot inside the post which gave Augsburg keeper Kobel no chance.

    Augsburg's Reece Oxford headed over with a brilliant effort with 26 minutes left, but Bayern held on for victory although Coman appeared to have injured his ankle in the dying stages.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: De Waal aims high
  • De Waal aims highDe Waal aims highHorse Racing Association goes big There is a new president at the horse-racing association and his aim is to help the sport grow. The new Namibia Horse Racing Association (NHRA), president Marthinus de Waal, has his sights set on working hard to improve the association.

    The president has been hard at work to build strong relationships that may contribute towards the success of the association.

    De Waal, who replaces Seretse Olibile, says he is proud to have taken over at the association and promises to fix what was not fixed in the past.

    “As a new person in a position, the first thing to do is build a relationship with all the stakeholders.

    “The other thing is to observe and see what the complaints of the past have been and how we can fix them.

    “I just want to make this association successful in order for it to reach new heights,” De Waal said.

    Last year, the sound of hoofbeats and the dust raised at horse races became an exciting part of the Namibian sport fraternity. For many years horse racing was struggling to keep up with other sport codes as far as attracting fans and sponsors was concerned.

    But the sport has grown and is becoming one of the most popular spectator sports in the country.

    Sponsors have also started supporting horse races. Several handicap races were hosted last year, attracting thousands of spectators. Companies like MTC and FNB have decided to lend a helping hand to a sport that was almost forgotten by many.

    The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) currently gives the NHRA a yearly grant of N$50 000.

    Just a few years back, horse racing was on the verge on collapsing because of a lack of sponsorship and support from the Namibia Sports Commission. This was after the NHRA failed to secure land from the City of Windhoek to build a racetrack adjacent to the Windhoek Country Club Resort.

    When this effort failed many people in the horse-racing fraternity saw no future in the sport anymore.

    At that time, there were 12 racing clubs affiliated to the association, which was established six years ago. The number of clubs has increased since then.

    The NHRA received a N$20 000 yearly grant from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) back in 2016. At that point administrators predicted a bleak future for the sport.

    “My plan is to make sure that horse racing is placed in a prominent category and we receive more funding.

    “I can assure you that horse racing has been growing and we can continue to make it grow with the help of sponsors and stakeholders,” De Waal added.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: 2030 World Cup bid
  • 2030 World Cup bid2030 World Cup bid Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay are to submit a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has announced.

    Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay had already submitted a joint bid to host the centenary edition of football's most prestigious tournament, but Pinera said on Twitter that those countries' presidents had agreed to Chile's participation in the “joint candidacy”.

    In December last year, Bolivia's football-mad president Evo Morales offered those three countries help in their bid, proposing “two or three departments as sub-seats” for the competition.

    Had his offer been accepted, it would have meant the Hernando Siles Reyes stadium in La Paz potentially included as a host venue.

    Pinera said he had been touting his idea to the presidents of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for several months.

    Uruguay hosted and won the inaugural World Cup in 1930, Chile was the venue in 1962 and Argentina emulated its neighbour's achievement by lifting the trophy on home soil in 1978.

    Like Morales, Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez and Paraguayan Mario Abdo Benitez are all passionate about football having all been president of a club in their countries.

    Pinera is a billionaire businessman who started out as a teacher and has no previous connection to football.

    The South American bid faces competition from Morocco and potentially several other joint bids, including one from Britain and Ireland and another by an eastern European confederation of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

    Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has even mooted a joint bid with Morocco, which has failed five times in bidding to host the World Cup, and Portugal.


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    Valencia too strong for CelticValencia too strong for Celtic Valencia closed in on the last 16 of the Europa League by inflicting just Celtic's second home defeat of the season with a 2-0 win in Glasgow on Thursday.

    Twice the Celtic offside trap was broken with ease either side of half-time as Ruben Sobrino's pass was tapped home by Denis Cheryshev before the Russian turned provider for Sobrino to net in his Valencia debut after a January move from Alaves.

    Brendan Rodgers's men now have a mountain to climb when the sides meet for the second leg of the last-32 tie in Spain on February 21 given the gulf in class on show between the Scottish champions and the side that finish fourth in La Liga last season.

    “It's a disappointing performance in the end,” said Rodgers.

    “When you make the number of mistakes we made with simple passes you become a wee bit safe and that was the story of our game.

    “At this level you have to concentrate and you can't put pressure on ourselves. Tonight we put pressure on ourselves.”

    Only Salzburg in the group stage of the Europa League had emerged victorious from a visit to Celtic Park previously this campaign and buoyed by a run of seven straight wins since the winter break in Scotland, the home side started positively.

    Callum McGregor forced Valencia goalkeeper Neto to scramble low to his left to turn the ball to safety and James Forrest saw speculative claims for a penalty waved away. However, Valencia quickly took control with captain Dani Parejo pulling the strings in midfield and only a super save from Scott Bain denied Daniel Wass from opening the scoring with a powerful header.

    Celtic often created their own problems by gifting away possession inside their own half and were eventually punished three minutes before the break when Parejo picked out Sobrino's well-timed run despite the home side's pleas for an offside flag and he unselfishly squared for Cheryshev to roll into an empty net.

    The same two players combined four minutes into the second half as Cheryshev's teasing cross split Bain and the Celtic defenders for Sobrino to volley home.

    The introduction of Odsonne Edouard and PSG loanee Timothy Weah lifted Celtic on the hour mark, but Weah blasted over the hosts' best chance to get a foothold in the tie.

    “It's a big challenge for us now but if we get that first goal it maybe gives us hope in the tie,” added Rodgers.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Golden oldies on roll
  • Golden oldies on rollGolden oldies on rollSwakopmund to come alive Veteran athletes have a chance to feel young and vital again, with a number of big sport events lined up for them this year. The Namibian Golden Oldies club will host a sport event at Swakopmund next month.

    The event will see veterans between the ages of 51 and 60 taking each other on in football and athletics.

    The launch of the event will take place on 2 March at 08:00 at the Mondesa Stadium, followed by the athletics.

    The chairman of the Golden Oldies club, John Ramakhutla, says they started the group to keep former athletes in their fifties fit and healthy.

    “It is indeed an initiative we created in order to keep the older people fit and healthy.

    “I believe that the oldies will be able to set an example for the youngsters to follow.

    “This year is just the beginning and we will do this thing each year and we expect it to grow bigger and better,” Ramakhutla says.

    The event will have competitors from 13 towns: Gobabis (two groups), Okahandja, Windhoek, Swakopmund, Kalkfeld, Otjiwarongo, Outjo, Uis, Walvis Bay (two groups), Kamanjab and Rehoboth.

    The runners will compete over distances ranging from 50 metres to 800 metres, as well as in a relay for teams of two men and two women per town.

    The field events will consist of javelin, long jump, triple jump and shot-put.

    The winners in each of these categories will be awarded with medals provided by the Golden Oldies club.

    The football tournament will take centre stage after the athletics.

    The registration fee for the football tournament is N$1 000 per team while each item on the athletics category requires a N$5 registration fee.

    “We are beginning the tournament with only N$10 000 but there will be three other tournaments before the end of the year.

    “The Golden Oldies sports club invites all sponsors to come on board in order to make this event a success,” Ramakhutla says.

    The overall winners in the categories will have a chance to travel to South Africa to compete in a similar event this year.


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    BoN, Bundesbank to further bolster tiesBoN, Bundesbank to further bolster ties There is no money involved. Capacity building is involved. – Ipumbu Shiimi, Governor: BoN The Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the central bank of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbank, want to strengthen existing ties, particularly in the areas of combating cybercrime and sharing of expertise.

    This was said by BoN governor, Ipumbu Shiimi, on Wednesday at State House, after he and Deutsche Bundesbank president, Jens Weidmann, briefed president Hage Geingob on their plans.

    Over their five-year relationship, the two banks have worked hand-in-hand in areas of central banking, exchanged visits and hosted regional workshops in Windhoek involving all Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, said Shiimi.

    “We work together in various central banking areas such as payment systems, currency printing and currency management. We exchange information. We also get training and they have better capacity than us in Namibia,” he said, adding that the BoN has a great deal to learn from its German counterpart.

    With the local economy currently in a precarious state, Iipumbu dismissed the prospect of borrowing money from Germany featuring in their 15-minute long closed-door meeting.

    “There is no money involved. Capacity building is involved. You don’t need money, you need capacity,” he said.


    Weidmann said the area of cooperation topping the list is the fight against cybercrime and the dangers it poses to central banks around the world.

    “We are cooperating in numerous areas including IT and cybersecurity. Cybercrime is something that concerns us both and how to create systems that are secure and can fend off attacks,” he said.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein, who joined Geingob at the meeting, said they discussed ways to better secure systems against cybercrime, money laundering and funding of terrorism.

    “Germany has a lot of experience in that,” Schlettwein said.

    Wiedmann served as an advisor to German chancellor Angela Merkel for five years. According to Schlettwein this an added advantage as he has great insight and strong links to the German government.

    “We also discussed economic issues, how we can better cooperate with Germany, address our structural reforms in the economy and improve investment streams from the European Union, especially from Germany,” he said. - Nampa

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    No plan to revive SME Bank: SchlettweinNo plan to revive SME Bank: SchlettweinGovt considering new aid schemes Government intends to come up with a skills-based loan scheme through a new financial instrument it is planning. After witnessing the collapse of the SME Bank, government has no plan to resuscitate the now liquidated SME Bank, finance minister Calle Schlettwein has said.

    Instead, government wants to push for a number of development schemes and financial assistance schemes to address SME development, the minister said last week.

    Government wants to “de-concentrate from a commercial bank alone to a number of instruments that cover the SMEs better,” Schlettwein said when asked if they had plans to resurrect the now defunct bank.

    Government pumped about N$470 million into the bank since its establishment.

    Schlettwein said government is duty-bound to come to the aide of those who do not have collateral.

    “The need for financing in the SME sector is for people who find it difficult to bring the collateral to the table,” he said.

    Consultation in this regard is ongoing at the cabinet committee on treasury.

    Stakeholders such as the ministries of youth, trade and employment creation will all be engaged to ensure that the new model speaks to the plight of SMEs, the minister said.

    Schlettwein said through the new financial instrument, government intends to come up with a skills-based loan scheme.

    This loan will target university and technical and vocational education and training graduates, to get financial assistance to start their own businesses.

    So far, a structure for the model has been created and there are proposals on accessing the said loan.

    The SME Bank was declared insolvent in 2017 and its winding-up process commenced after a dodgy investment of close to N$200 million, which was allegedly invested in foreign entities and could not be traced. - Nampa

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    Recruitment of NAC CEO ongoing: HangalaRecruitment of NAC CEO ongoing: Hangala The process of selecting a chief executive officer for the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is ongoing, the chairperson of the state-owned enterprise, Leake hangala, has said.

    Hangala was reacting to media reports last week that the NAC board has agreed to appoint the chief executive office of the Namibian Ports Authority, Bisey /Uirab, in the position.

    /Uirab’s term at Namport ends in April.

    “It is news to me as the chairperson of the NAC board as the process is still ongoing and we hope to finalise it by the end of February,” Hangala said when approached for comment.

    /Uirab also refused to comment when contacted.

    The position of NAC CEO became vacant when former presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamab, who acted as CEO, stepped down in August last year.

    Lot Haifidi, the company’s strategic executive for corporate governance, has been acting in the position since. - Nampa

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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Explosive court battle looms
  • Explosive court battle loomsExplosive court battle loomsGRN and PDM to square off over Russian farms The stage could be set for stunning testimony in the High Court. The government has indicated that it will defend allegations by the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which has dragged the government to court over the sale of four farms to Russian billionaire Rashied Sardarov for N$42 million.

    If the government defends its case, it would have to open up the entire agreement, show where the money went and disprove the alleged contraventions of the Agricultural Land Act, including the lease agreement bypassing the new procurement legislation.

    The executive director of the ministry of land reform, Peter Amutenya, said there was no way that the ministry would sit back and allow the PDM to make such allegations.

    “Do you think we will just stand and be accused and attacked? They want to take us to court over the four farms. We have to defend ourselves. We have to meet them with our lawyers as well,” he said.

    In papers filed in December, the PDM brought the action against nine respondents: the land reform minister, Sardarov's company Comsar, the finance minister, the prime minister, the president, the attorney-general, the registrar of deeds, the chairperson of the Central Procurement Board and the government.

    The PDM's lawyer, Elize Angula, yesterday confirmed that the government had given notice to defend.

    “We have to wait and see now,” she said.

    Attorney-general Albert Kawana told Namibian Sun he could not comment on the issue because of attorney-client-confidentiality.

    In his court papers, Venaani said lands minister Utoni Nujoma had devised “a scheme” to circumvent the provisions of the Agricultural Land Act by suggesting that Comsar buy the land, donate it to the government and then lease it for their own use.

    Venaani insisted that this scheme enabled Comsar to be placed in the same position as an owner of the farm, adding that the agreement was beyond the scope of Nujoma's powers.

    He also added that while it was indicated that the prime minister had given approval in terms of the Finance Act for a N$24 million “donation” by Comsar, there was no indication that the money was paid to the treasury.

    “The deed documents were not in the strongroom where all the documents are officially kept, but were in the possession of the registrar of deeds,” Venaani said, after the party had demanded to see the title deed and transfer papers.

    He received the said papers on 25 October. He said the deed showed that the government had purchased the farms for N$43 462 749.75, paid for by Comsar.

    “This is highly suspect. According to a report submitted to cabinet, the farms are worth N$12 000 per hectare, which amounts to N$207 million. The report discloses that the president of Namibia and Nujoma knew about this. It also discloses that Nujoma submitted a document to a cabinet committee in which it is asserted that Sardarov, aka Comsar, was prepared to pay the owners of the farms N$12 000 per hectare.”


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    Helao Nafidi councillor saga returnsHelao Nafidi councillor saga returns The Swapo Party politburo has once again decided to remove Ester Nghidimbwa from the Helao Nafidi town council despite the fact that the High Court had made a ruling on the matter in 2017.

    Swapo Party secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa issued a directive dated 8 February to the party's Ohangwena regional coordinator, Hafeni Hatutale, informing him about the politburo's decision to withdraw Nghidimbwa as a councillor of Helao Nafidi with immediate effect. In a letter dated 11 February, Hatutale then informed Helao Nafidi town council CEO Inge Ipinge of the new development. He indicated that the council should make the necessary arrangements to withdraw Nghidimbwa as councillor and replace her with Lusia Nghililewanga. “Notice is hereby given by the Swapo Party for the withdrawal of Ester Nghidimbwa (local authority councillor) which leads Lusia Nghililewanga to take over as local authority councillor of Helao Nafidi town council,” the letter reads.

    Nghidimbwa's lawyer, Henry Shimutwikeni, then wrote a letter to Ipinge informing her of a 2017 High Court judgement on the same matter where the court ruled in favour of his client. Shimutwikeni argued that the party's repeated attempt to recall his client was unlawful and demonstrated that it disregarded the court's decision. He urged Ipinge to desist from implementing the decision of the Swapo Party politburo, or else she too would be held accountable when the matter was taken to court. On Friday, Swapo's lawyer, Dirk Conradie, responded to Shimutwikeni stating that the decision to withdraw Nghidimbwa had been agreed on by both parties.

    Conradie said Nghidimbwa had been given a number of opportunities to resolve the matter amicably before the politburo directive was issued. “It is quite disconcerting of your client to now allege that our client took the decision in total disregard of the rules of natural justice, after your client, duly represented by her legal representative and in compliance with a notice to show cause issued by our client affording your client the opportunity to make representation on 11 July 2018, presented herself before a panel chaired by the secretary-general of the Swapo Party,” Conradie wrote.

    Conradie argued that the 2017 High Court ruling did not prevent the party from taking action against Nghidimbwa. Conradie described Shimutwikeni's reliance on the said judgment as “ill-conceived” and said the politburo's decision to withdraw Nghidimbwa as councillor of Helao Nafidi was lawful.

    He added that his client would oppose any legal action taken.

    The Helao Nafidi council saga started in 2016 when Nghililewanga complained to the Swapo Party after she was not sworn in as a councillor, but Nghidimbwa, who did not feature on the party's candidate list, was sworn in instead.

    In an attempt to rectify the situation at the time, former Swapo Party secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba then issued a directive stating that it had made a mistake by swearing in Nghidimbwa instead of Nghililewanga as councillor after the 2015 local authority elections.

    The parties at one point met at the party's Windhoek headquarters to resolve the issue but Nghidimbwa refused to accept her withdrawal. On that basis the matter went to court.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Chief Kauluma laid to rest
  • Chief Kauluma laid to restChief Kauluma laid to rest ILENI NANDJATO The deputy chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Namibia, Chief Immanuel #Nu Axa /Gaseb, has urged young Namibians to emulate the virtues and qualities of the late Peter Shimweefeleni Kauluma, whom he described as a selfless leader full of wisdom.

    Kauluma, who died in a Windhoek hospital on 11 February, was buried at his home village of Ongula yaNetanga in the Ohangwena Region at the weekend.

    Although Kauluma was only known as a traditional leader, he was one of the founder members of Ovamboland People's Congress (OPC) in 1957, along with the late Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, Emile Apollus, and Kuhangwaand Mifima.

    The OPC later became the Ovamboland People's Organisation (OPO), which was then transformed into the South West African People's Organisation (Swapo).

    Though he was dismissed by the Ondonga king, Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, Kauluma was still the recognised and gazetted chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority at the time of his death.

    /Gaseb said the Ondonga community had lost a man who was always ready to serve his community.

    “Tatekulu Kauluma was a remarkable person with a very good heart and he was always straightforward. He was a personal friend to King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas and up to the king's illness he extended his support, guidance and leadership to the council of traditional leaders. He was instrumental in helping the council to steer the ship during the difficult time when the chairperson was not there,” /Gaseb said.

    “I had to take the reins of the council and Kauluma was always there to support. I therefore urge his children, grandchildren and indeed all the youth to emulate Kauluma's qualities.

    Kauluma was the brother of the first Namibian bishop of the Anglican diocese in the country, the late James Hamupanda Kauluma.

    He is survived by 12 children and five siblings.

    On behalf of his children, his daughter, Dr Rahja Kauluma, described her father as their best friend who always listened to their problems and offered them support and guidance, but never spoiled them.

    Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba said Kauluma was his friend and a source of wisdom. He said he could always visit Kauluma whenever he needed advice.

    President Hage Geingob's message, which was read by Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said when the war of national liberation intensified in the mid-1970s, Kauluma was arrested by the apartheid regime in 1976 and was incarcerated without charges.

    He was accused of aiding guerrilla fighters of the People's Liberation Army of Namibian (PLAN), Swapo's military wing.

    “Although he was subjected to degrading and dehumanising torture at the hands of the enemy, the revolutionary spirit that coursed through his body allowed him to resist all attempts to break his will,” Geingob said.

    “For 37 long years, Kauluma served Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas with unquestioning loyalty and dignity.

    “He possessed a natural acumen for dealing with traditional matters and this was extremely valuable for Omukwaniilwa Elifas and the Ondonga community, particularly during the war of liberation.

    “He continued to provide sound advice to Omukwaniilwa Elifas after independence as senior traditional councillor and chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority. Shimweefeleni was a person who personified kindness and humility,” Geingob said.

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    Not conflicted: Hilda Basson-NamundjeboNot conflicted: Hilda Basson-NamundjeboVicious attacks on female football administrators The woman heading the NFA's Normalisation Committee says she was taken aback by the public response to her appointment. The chairperson of the Namibia Football Association's Normalisation Committee, Hilda Basson-Namundjebo, says there is no conflict of interests in her position as the new administrator at the Football House.

    She was responding to comments on social media platforms which questioned her appointment as the chairperson of the committee, seeing that her newspaper, The Patriot, recently ran an exposé of happenings at Football House.

    “I own The Patriot newspaper, but I do not run the newspaper. Ask the journalist where they got the information from.

    “Even now I have no sight of what is in the paper for this week,” she said.

    Basson-Namundjebo added that she does not dictate what is published in the newspaper.

    She said she was surprised at the vehement criticism of herself and her colleague Vivienne Katjiuongua, saying that people seemed to think they were on the NC to “referee matches”.

    “I am here because of my business acumen. My job is to run this organisation like I have done before in other institutions which needed my help.

    “I was not asked to run football games, I was asked to run the NFA,” she clarified.

    Basson-Namundjebo said people should rather judge her results at the end of her contract in four months' time. She also denied being part of any of the two warring camps that were fighting to take control of the NFA, prompting Fifa to intervene.

    Other members on the NFA normalisation committee are Franco Cosmos, Gaby Ahrens, Matti Mwandingi and Vivienne Katjiuongua.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Cut Rukoro some slack
  • Cut Rukoro some slackCut Rukoro some slack I know many people are celebrating the eventual exit of long-serving Namibia Football Association secretary-general Barry Rukoro but I believe he deserves praise for the good he has done for Namibian football.

    The FIFA normalisation committee headed by Hilda Basson-Namundjebo on Wednesday removed long-serving Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary-general Barry Rukoro from office.

    Social media platforms were abuzz with comments celebrating Rukoro's fall from grace.

    Yes, the Teflon Don of Namibian football had overstayed his welcome and his administration was sometimes questioned.

    But I cannot celebrate his exit as if it was some kind of victory and I give him credit for what he has done for football.

    Under his leadership the Namibia Football Association was transformed, attracting sponsorships for the senior and junior national teams.

    Many football tournaments were staged in Namibia while he was the secretary-general, including the hosting of the African Women's Championship in 2014 and the Cosafa Cup in 2016.

    As the secretary-general, Rukoro was directly involved in the appointment of coach Ricardo Mannetti who has been so successful for the national team.

    At the moment, the Brave Warriors are on the verge of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations and they did most of the work while Rukoro was still the secretary-general.

    It is impossible to forget that the Namibia Football Association managed to empower women under Rukoro, given the increase in a number of women's football activities in the country.

    It goes without saying that the level of football development from youth level made great strides under Rukoro's leadership too.

    Many see Rukoro as an arrogant individual but my encounters with him made me believe that he can be a humble individual too.

    The NFA managed to provide jobs for many people during the years Rukoro was at the helm of the secretariat.

    I may be one of the few who believe that Rukoro does have a passion for Namibian football, given the amount of commitment and interest he had shown at Football House.

    Rukoro has over 27 years of experience in football administration. Over the years he has empowered himself sufficiently in terms of the politics and administration of football.

    He has rubbed shoulders with the top dogs of world football and he has the football qualifications that go with cementing his position.

    He is one of only a few people who understand the politics of football and he put that to good use.

    Namibia's amateur football setup and its football officials mostly lack the knowledge that has elevated Rukoro to be among the knowledgeable.

    It is for these reasons I believe that Rukoro was not a bad administrator, as many now portray him to be.

    Lastly, my advice to whoever will be appointed to that position is that he/she must work hard in order to restore the peace in Namibian football.

    The new secretary-general must be willing to learn from some of the positive steps Rukoro took while at the helm of the secretariat.

    It is very important that the new secretary-general learns from the mistakes of his or her predecessors.

    All we can hope for is a transparent appointment of a new executive committee.

    I hope that the peace and harmony that once reigned at Football House will be restored in the interest of Namibian football.

    Let us continue to build a strong football nation and steer clear of infighting and power-hungry shenanigans.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Innovation is essential
  • Innovation is essentialInnovation is essential So yet another dismal season of dismal rainfall is upon us and soon coming to an end with no respite in sight.

    That Namibia is a dry country is a given. Sporadic and sometimes lengthy droughts are part and parcel of our existence in this country.

    But the weather has become more erratic of late – ask any Australian and they will tell you.

    And we were warned, long ago, by all the climate change experts, that dry spells will become more common and intense, along with excessive and sporadic flooding.

    We have seen these changes over the past few years.

    That agriculture is a mainstay to our economy is a given. A job-intensive sector, we cannot do without it. Many of our agricultural practices however, are archaic.

    We rely on rainfall for everything. A large part of the economy relies on a good rainy season.

    We need to get with the programme. We need to find innovative ways of farming, of harvesting rainwater, of using our perennial rivers to their maximum to produce when they are flowing at good and healthy levels.

    We need to up our game because at the moment, we are using what we can and neither are we preparing, in good years, for the bad years.

    A national crisis is how the current agricultural situation looks. Food security in Namibia is scant, to say the least.

    We plant when it has rained enough for our fields to be moist enough for the seeds to survive. If it does not, we do not plant. And then, if there is no follow-up rainfall, we lose the crop, and the investment made into it.

    The same goes for our livestock. And we are so reliant on our export markets, to whom we export bulk meat. Nothing is value-added. The Europeans and the Norwegians do that and make the profits that we should keep in our country.

    We need to get it together. We need to take control.

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    Kunene terminatesCRO contractKunene terminatesCRO contractKamseb paid for remainder of his term A hasty suspension without consulting the Public Service Commission has cost the Kunene regional council dearly. The Kunene regional council has paid an undisclosed lump sum to terminate the contract of former chief regional officer (CRO) George Kamseb, who had refused to return to work after his suspension was ruled illegal by the Public Service Commission (PSC) in October 2016.

    For about two years, the regional council has been paying Kamseb his full salary and benefits, plus the salary of his replacement.

    Council chairperson Julius Kaujova said after they failed to resolve the issue, the council approached the urban and rural development ministry to advise them on the way forward.

    Kaujova would not say whether the decision to pay Kamseb came from the ministry and would not say how much he was paid.

    “The issue has been resolved and Kamseb is no more a member of the regional council. We have paid his contract off.”

    The ministry did not respond to questions and efforts to obtain comment from Kamseb also failed.

    On 19 October 2016, the council served Kamseb with a letter ordering him to stay away from the regional council building until further notice. The suspension was ruled illegal by the PSC two months later.

    According to a well-placed source, the regional council accused Kamseb of failing to provide the council with his employment contract.

    The council decided to suspend him without consulting the PSC.

    In 2017 the PSC chairperson, Marcus Kampungu, told Namibian Sun that the council had made a mistake.

    “We received the suspension request from Kunene in November 2016, a month after they had suspended him. However, we rejected the request to suspend him. For us to suspend there must be grounds that the official in question could interfere with investigations but in their request there were no grounds for this,” Kampungu said.


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    Okahandja councillors defiantOkahandja councillors defiantShaningwa calls meeting in Windhoek Johannes 'Congo' Hindjou was re-elected as mayor of Okahandja on Friday in defiance of the Swapo Party's directive that Sophia Upithe be elected. Swapo Party secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa has summoned the party's representatives on the Okahandja town council to a meeting this afternoon at the party headquarters in Windhoek.

    In a letter to Swapo Party Otjozondjupa regional coordinator Susan Hikopua, Shaningwa requested her to inform the councillors to attend the meeting, which is expected to start around 13:30.

    “You are expected to inform all the local authority councillors on the Swapo Party ticket on the Okahandja town council. Additionally, the regional coordinator, the district coordinator and the regional governor are invited to the same meeting,” Shaningwa's letter reads.

    Hikopua yesterday confirmed the authenticity of the letter but could not say what the meeting was about.

    Shaningwa's letter was dated 15 February: the same day that the Okahandja council elected new office bearers. Johannes 'Congo' Hindjou was re-elected as mayor of Okahandja in defiance of the party's directive that Sophia Upithe be elected. Shaningwa had directed that Hindjou be demoted to an ordinary council member.

    According to a Nampa report, Upithe was nominated by the Popular Democratic Movement's Sylvia Karuuombe and was seconded by United Democratic Front councillor Frederick Shimanda.

    Upithe refused to accept the nomination because it was made by an opposition councillor instead of a Swapo member.

    Karuuombe then retracted her nomination. Hindjou was then nominated by Helmi Maruru and seconded by Hileni Iita, both of Swapo.

    He accepted the nomination and was subsequently sworn in as mayor of Okahandja.

    Hindjou is deputised by Iita, while Gideon Uwu-Khaeb was sworn in as the chairperson of the council's management committee.

    Maruru is the additional member of the management committee.

    One position on the management committee was left vacant after Upithe rejected another nomination.

    Hindjou could not be reached for comment.

    The Okahandja Swapo councillors' defiance of Shaningwa's directive came just days after the party had withdrawn three of its councillors from the Rundu town council for ignoring a similar directive.

    In the case of Rundu, the party's directive was that no changes be made to the structure and that Verna Sinimbo must retain her mayoral position.

    Despite that, Isaak Kandingu was elected as mayor, deputised by Toini Hausiku, the wife of Shaningwa's deputy, Marco Hausiku.

    Anastasia Shinduvi was elected as chairperson of the management committee while All People's Party (APP) councillor Matheus Wakudumo was sworn in as a member of the management committee.

    Swapo then recalled three from the council and replaced them with Johanna Kakondo, Ngondo Johannes and Sarafina Kandere.

    The three recalled councillors' lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, wrote a letter to Shaningwa claiming that the recall was unlawful because the necessary procedures had not been followed.

    “We now, therefore, demand that you cease and desist from any action withdrawing our clients from office as councillors immediately,” the letter reads.

    “We further demand that you provide an undertaking that you will not persist [with] any further action intended to enforce your aforesaid decision. Should we not receive the aforesaid undertaking by 12:00 on 15 February 2019, our clients shall approach the High Court for appropriate relief.”

    Lawyer Dirk Conradie, representing Shaningwa, said in his response to Amoomo that he was waiting for instructions from his client, which would only be ready by tomorrow.

    Conradie indicated that Shaningwa was out of town.

    Amoomo then responded that Conradie must put it in writing that until he received instructions from Shaningwa, the decision to withdraw the three councillors would not be implemented.

    - Additional reporting by Nampa


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    Crisis looms as rain stays awayCrisis looms as rain stays away The wetter climatic conditions that marked the start of February in Namibia are likely to cease and make way for dry conditions for the rest of the month and into the first week of March.

    “Rainfall conditions remain negative for the next months for the southern and western parts but could improve in the second week in March for the central to northern parts,” South African climatologist Johan van den Berg writes in his latest climate outlook report.

    The report points out that the wide spread of rainfall that occurred in the first two weeks of February, with heavy rainfall especially in the southern parts of Namibia, was “not expected in terms of the long-term rainfall forecasts”.

    While some of the rainfall was sufficient to alleviate drought conditions, many areas have still received little to no rain. Last week, following heavy rains in the south, the Naute Dam's floodgates were opened.

    NamWater started releasing water when the level of the Naute Dam reached 104% of capacity.

    The previous week, the level had stood at 61.7%.

    Despite the good rains in some pockets since the beginning of February, Van den Berg warns that more rain is needed to ensure sufficient winter grazing in many places. He explains that the development of a strong low-pressure system over Mozambique and the Indian Ocean from yesterday will disrupt rainfall patterns for the rest of February.

    “It seems at this stage that the system can produce heavy rainfall over the inland areas of Mozambique and north-eastern parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and even parts of Botswana.”

    However, drier conditions are expected elsewhere, including Namibia, until at least the second week of March.

    At the beginning of February, the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) and the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers' Union announced that an emergency action plan had been compiled to reduce the impact of the ongoing drought, which they described as a “national crisis”.

    According to them the current drought is the worst in recent years, as no part of Namibia had received good rains by the beginning of the month.

    “During recent drought conditions, such as in 2016, some parts of the country received good rains, which allowed for the build-up of fodder and hay. This was then donated to drought-stricken farmers. However, currently this is not the case as there is very little hay on the market.”

    The unions said that since 2013, Namibia had experienced below-normal rainfall for five of the seven years. This depleted the growth reserves of rangelands, as well as carryover fodder on the veld.

    A joint NAU and NECFCU statement said it was of utmost importance that livestock exports not be limited, in order to enable producers to market their animals as soon as possible in order to reduce the impact on grazing.

    They suggested that the ministry and Meat Board of Namibia should remove all policies restricting livestock exports in order to minimise financial and livestock losses.

    The state of the dams is also dismal, with the Swakoppoort Dam standing at 20.1% last Monday, compared to 38.3% last season. Von Bach was at 49.3%, following transfers from Omatako Dam. The Hardap Dam was at 30.2% of capacity, compared to 50.4% last season.


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  • 02/17/19--14:00: Child rapist gets 35 years
  • Child rapist gets 35 yearsChild rapist gets 35 years The Swakopmund Regional Court has imposed a long sentence on a man arrested in 2014 for raping four minor girls at the coastal town.

    Dragan Vujicin (68) was sentenced to 35 years' effective imprisonment on seven counts of rape and four counts of human trafficking involving four underage girls. The crimes were committed in 2013 and 2014.

    Regional Magistrate Gaynor Poulton sentenced Vujicin on Friday after having convicted him on 31 January.

    Poulton sentenced him five years' imprisonment on each on the four human trafficking counts and ten years each on the seven counts of rape.

    She ordered that three of the human trafficking sentences run concurrently with the first count, and that four of the rape sentences run concurrently with the other three, resulting in an effective prison term of 35 years.

    Poulton said Vujicin had not shown any sign of remorse, nor had he offered an apology.

    “The version of the accused was a bare denial and up to today he does not want to accept blameworthiness for what he did. The accused is a father with a daughter who is equally vulnerable against his mode of operation.

    “The age disparity of 50 years is also aggravating since the accused could have been the father or grandfather of the victims,” she said.

    Poulton said it was an aggravating factor that Vujicin targeted children that he knew were vulnerable, and exploited their vulnerability by making them perform “despicable sexual acts”.

    “The children were merely seven to nine years old when the crimes were committed. He groomed them until the stage they did not bother to report the inappropriate deed that was done to them by a wonderful uncle, and abused his position of trust. He also did not commit the offence once but several times.”

    She added that rape was without a doubt one of the most serious and inhuman offences that could be committed against a woman, while trafficking in persons was an equally serious offence.

    “Rape is a heinous offence while the seriousness of human trafficking is evident from the penalty provisions. There is a daily outcry that this offence must be stopped. It is expected from the courts to sentence in such a way to deter and prevent.”

    A social worker and two of the victims' mothers testified for the State, represented by prosecutor Maria Shilongo.

    Social worker Margret Richter told the court that the trauma the victims experienced would last forever. She listed extreme and excessive sexualised behaviour, promiscuity and stigmatisation as some of the significant impacts of the trauma experienced by the victims.

    “The emotional wounds remain long after the event and are accompanied with feelings of shame. The fact that the accused groomed the children over a long period shows that he is a sexual predator.

    “He maintained the relationships over quite some time. I classify the accused as a paedophile. He has interest in children and the probability is high that without rehabilitation, and should the opportunity present itself again, the accused would continue on the same path,” Richter testified.

    Both mothers testified that the incident had changed their daughters.

    “My child is not what and how she used to be. She underwent a complete behavioural change and became rebellious. She sleeps out, no longer performs at school, has issues with her concentration and cannot remember,” one mother said.

    The second mother testified that her child was experiencing stigmatisation to a certain extent.

    “Others point fingers while some sympathise. She closes up when the incident or the name of the accused is mentioned. I have panic attacks and am paranoid ... that something similar could happen to my other two kids,” she said.

    Richter also said that support systems were not always in place and that professional help lacked in many instances. That made it difficult for such children to lead normal lives.

    Dragan did not call any witnesses during the trial.

    His lawyer, Mpokiseng Dube, submitted that he had no previous convictions and was married with three minor children.

    “During pre-trial he was incarcerated for a year and is of fragile health,” Dube argued in mitigation of sentence.

    Dube listed Vujicin's advanced age and the fact that there was no penile penetration as grounds for the court to deviate from the mandatory sentence.

    “Due to the age of the accused, it would be unjust to incarcerate him for very long,” he said.


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    SA rules the roost at swimming championshipsSA rules the roost at swimming championships The South African swimming team opened the African Swimming Federation Zone IV Championships with a total of 19 medals (eight gold, eight silver and three bronze) and six new championship records at the Olympia Swimming Pool in Windhoek on Saturday.

    Lise Coetzee (14) and Kelly-Ann Brown (14) had a record-breaking start to the competition, finishing with the gold and silver in the 800-metres freestyle, both under the previous 2017 championship record of 9:37.40 in 9:32.31 and 9:37.00, while Mauritius' Ines Gebert (14) claimed the bronze in 10:36.11.

    Coetzee topped the medal podium once again in the 100-metres backstroke with a new championship record time of 1:09.08, ahead of SA's Emma Kuhn (14) in 1:11.23 and Gebert in 1:13.01. Kuhn also finished second in the 50-metres breaststroke in 35.21. Kelsea Munro, 16, won the 100-metres backstroke title with a new championship record time of 1:07.87, beating the 2009 mark which stood at 1:09.90 held by SA's Hayley Plumpstead.

    In the men's under-14 800-metres freestyle, Leshen Pillay (14) raced to another championship record, winning the gold in 9:28.58, followed by teammate Kian Keylock (13) in 10:04.58 and Botswana's Benco van Rooyen (14) in 10:18.64.

    Keylock also won the bronze in the 100-metres backstroke with a time of 1:07.00. Cameron Casali (16) won a gold and two silvers during the opening day, finishing first in the 100-metres backstroke in 1:03.17, second in the 800-metres freestyle in 9:12.41, while in the 50-metres breaststroke; Casali touched the wall in 32.03 behind teammate Jakobus Terblanche (16) in 31.98 and ahead of Angola's Salvador Gordo (16) in 32.26.

    Megan Shepherd (15) secured the silver in the 50-metres breaststroke, clocking 35.61 ahead of SA's Ashton Volkwyn (16) in 36.02 and followed that performance with a bronze in the 800-metres freestyle, with a time of 10:10.34.

    The girls' under-14 4 x 200m medley relay team concluded the evening on a high note with a gold medal, clocking 2:09.74, while the boys' under-14 relay team finished with the silver in 2:02.54.

    In the over-15 200m medley relay, the girls took the top spot with a new championship record time of 2:03.95 ahead of Mauritius in 2:08.85 and Namibia in 2:10.78.


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