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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    NCCS Pro Cycling team to compete in two toursNCCS Pro Cycling team to compete in two tours The NCCS Pupkewitz Pro Cycling team will compete in the Tour of Good Hope and the Cape Town Cycle Tour in South Africa next month.

    The Tour of Good Hope is a five-day road race for solo riders and teams. It takes place in the Cape Winelands from 4 to 8 March.

    The annual Cape Town Cycle Tour is hosted in Cape Town and usually covers 109 kilometres. The tour attracts over 35 000 cyclists, making it the world's largest individually timed cycle race.

    It will take place on 10 March.

    Jacob Kiyola, NCCS Pro Cycling's principal and communications manager, said that competing in these races will help riders gain much-needed experience in international competitions, as well as Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) points.

    “We want to see how well we can compete with other teams continentally,” Kiyola said.

    He added they have assembled a team of riders from their stable and other teams because their goal is to become the first Namibian team to compete internationally in the near future.

    Kiyola said exposing themselves to these competitions will help them grow as a team.

    “We have prepared our team very well and we are hopeful that they will give a good account of ourselves while competing in Cape Town,” he said.

    He added the team is still in need of financial support to help them reach their goal of travelling to South Africa.

    The NCCS Pupkewitz Pro Cycling team travelling to Cape Town on 1 March is made up of Dan Craven (captain), Chipopeni Kashululu, Xavier Renzo Papo, Danzel Dekoe, Johannes Hamunyela and Thulazizwe Mxenge. Kiyola and Ebben Iita are the team managers and sport directors.

    NAMPA

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Shaningwa a ngungumanekwa
  • Shaningwa a ngungumanekwaShaningwa a ngungumanekwa Elelo lyongundu yoSwapo otali ka kuutumba oshiwike twa taalela opo li konge omukalo ngoka tagu vulu okulongithwa moku e ta pehulilo omananathano nomalugodhi ngoka ge li pokati kelelo lyondoolopa yaRundu nOkahandja oshowo amushanga gwongundu. Ø Shaningwa a lombwelwa a kaleke ekutho miilonga lyokansela moRundu

    KENYA KAMBOWE NAJEMIMA BEUKES

    Elelo lyopombanda moSwapo, olya pula amushanga gwongundu Sophia Shaningwa opo a kaleke ekutho miilonga lyookansela yatatu yelelo lyaRundu, omanga kwa tegelelwa oshizemo shomutumba ngoka tagu ningwa oshiwike twa taalela.

    Shoka oshimwe shomomatokolo ga ningwa pethimbo lyomitumba dhomeendelelo dha ningwa nookansela yoSwapo melelo lyaRundu oshowo Okahandja kelelo lyongundu moombelewa oonene dhoSwapo mOvenduka.

    Omapopyo guukombunda nokwaahena oshili oga ningilwa Shaningwa pethimbo lyomutumba ngoka gwa kwatelwa komeho kOmupresidende Hage Geingob.

    Toini Hausiku, ngoka e li omukulukadhi gwomupeha amushanga gwoSwapo, Marco Hausiku, ngoka e li gumwe gwomookansela mboka ya kuthwa miilonga moRundu, okwa popi kutya omalombwelo gaShaningwa oge li iikonene yopaumwene na ka geli muuwanawa wongundu.

    Kwiikwatelelwa koonzo, Hausiku okwa ula Shaningwa kutya oha fundju na okwa lombwele oonakukala momutumba kutya elombwelo lye opo Verna Sinimbo a kale mayola gwaRundu omolwa ekwatathano lyuukume ndyoka li li pokati kaamboka yaali.

    “Hausiku okwa lombwele aantu ayehe mwa kwatelwa Geingob nkene Shaningwa ha yi metalelepo lyomonanguwi moRundu nokutsakanena naSinimbo ngoka aluhe he mu pe omulalo ngele e li metalelepo lyopaumwene nenge lyopambelewa,,” onzo ndjoka ya holola.

    Hausiku natango okwa popi kutya olundji ngele opwa holoka okwaahauvathana momitumba dhelelo lyondoolopa yaRundu, Sinimbo oha dhimbulukitha oonakukala pomutumba kutya ye oku na ekwatathano ewanawa moSwapo.

    Onzo oya holola kutya Shaningwa okwa tindi okuyamukula komapopyo ngoka, ta popi kutya ye iha yamukula komaulayi.



    Oonkambadhala okumona Shaningwa odha ponyo, sho ongodhi ye inayi yamukulwa sigo oshowo onkundana ndjika ya nyanyangithwa.

    Onzo oya tsikile kutya pethimbo lyomutumba ngoka Geingob okwa kala nokuula Isack Kandingi onga omayola sha etitha opo Sinimbo a lombwele aakuthimbinga kutya okwa pyakudhukwa okutaamba ompito yokukala oshilyo shelelo lyomutumba.

    Ongundu yookansela momalelo gondoolopa yaRundu oshowo Okahandja odha tokola okwaaha landula omalombwelo gaShaningwa.

    Pahapu dhomukwatakanithi gwoSwapo moshikandjo shaKahandja, Martha Mwandingi-Simeon, okwa popi kutya oya li yiithanwa opo ya ye komutumba gwomeendelelo nelelo lyopombanda mongundu, opo ya ka patulule oomitima dhawo.

    Shaningwa okwa gandja omalombwelo kOkahandja opo elelo lyondoolopa ndjoka li lundululwe, namayola Johannes ‘Congo’ Hindjou ta kuthwa iilonga yuumayola nokuningwa oshilyo shelelo lyondoolopa, omanga Sophia Upithe ta hogololwa onga mayola.

    Shaningwa okwa li a hala Gideon Uwu-Khaeb hogololwe onga omupeha mayola naHileni Iita onga omunashipundi gweleo lyondoolopa.

    MoRundu, Shaningwa okwa gandja elombwelo opo Sinimbo a kale nompito ye yuumayola nomupeha gwe Ralph Ihemba.

    Omalombwelo agehe ngoka inaga landulwa kookansela yongundu yoSwapo.

    Mwandingi-Simeon okwa popi kutya Shaningwa ke na uuthemba wokugandja omalombwelo ge li ngaaka, ta gwedha po kutya oya tegelela oshizemo shomutumba gwelelo lyongundu.

    Swapo okwa tokola okukutha miilonga ookansela ye yatatu moRundu, mwakwatelwa mayola omupe ngoka opo a hogololwa, Kandingu, shoka ya tindi okwiiyutha kelombwelo kutya elelo lyondoolopa ndjoka inali lundululwa.

    Yamwe mboka ya kuthwa miilonga omupeha mayola gwondoolopa ndjoka, Hausiku, ngoka e li omukulukadhi gwomupeha amushanga gwoSwapo, Marco Hausiku oshowo Anastacia Shinduvi-Foya.

    Kansela gwoAll People's Party (APP), Matheus Wakudumo osha li sha hogololwa ongaa oshilyo shelelo lyondoolopa.

    Kandingu, Shinduvi naHausiku olya tokola okukonga ekwatho lyopaveta, sha landula ekutho miilonga lyawo.



    Pethimbo lya faathana elelo lyaKahandja nalyo olya tndi okutula miilonga elombwelo lyaShaningwa na olya hogolulula Hindjou onga mayola omanga , Upithe, ngoka a tindi ehogololo lye kuFrederick Shimanda gwoUnited Democratic Front (UDF) , a popi kutya ookansela yakwawo oya zi mondjila sho ya hogolola Hindjou onga omayola.

    Mwandingi-Simeon okwa popi kutya Shaningwa okwe ya idhimbike sho ye mu lombwele kombinga yomaihumbato gaahogololwa ye.

    “Otwe mu lombwele kombinga yomaihumbato gawo omawinayi kutya otaga dhipaga po ondoolopa. Otwe mu tseyithile [Shaningwa] iinima ayihe ihe ine tu pulakena, ngashiingeyi otatu ningi ngiini? Swapo oku na ekotampango lye nomilandu na otwe dhi landula.”

    Natango okwa holoka evundakano melelo lyaKhorixas, moka ookansela yoSwapo kwa popiwa kutya inaya hala okulandula elombwelo lyaShaningwa opo Elizabeth Geises a hogololwe onga mayola.

    Geises okwa lombwele NBC kutya elelo lyopolotika mondoolopa ndjoka otali shunithwa pevi omolwa ekondjelo lyuuleli.

    Okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi yi nomoshipala niigongi yelelo lyondoolopa.

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    A holoka mompangu omolwa edhipago lyomwiilongi moUnamA holoka mompangu omolwa edhipago lyomwiilongi moUnam OMUTOOLINKUNDANA GWOMENI

    Paulus Nghipulenga (27) okwa holoka mompangu yaMangestrata mOshakati omolwa edhipago lyomukadhona gwe ongulohi yOsoondaha, sha ningilwa mOngwediva.

    Nakusa okwa tsuwa iikando 18 nombele.

    Helao Gideon Hamuteta, omunamivo 22, okwa li omwiilongi momvula ontitau moshiputudhilo shoUniversity of Namibia (Unam) mOngwediva na okwa hulithile pehala lyoshiningwanima.

    Mangestrata Toini Shilongo okwa popi kutya Nghipulenga okwa taalela epangulo enene na okwe mu tindile omboloha, noshipotha okwe shi undulile komasiku 25 gaMaalisa opo ku gandjwe ompito komakonaakono gopolisi ye omutamanekwa a vule okukonga ekwatho lyahahende.

    Omufali gwiihokolola kompangu, Mpule Siyamunji okwa kalelepo epangelo naNghipulenga ina pulwa a tye sha.

    Omukwatakanithi omukonaakoni gwiimbuluma moshitopolwa shaShana, Komufala Hilja Haipumbu, okwa lombwele oNamibian Sun kutya Hamuteta okwa li ha kala oye awike megumbo lyofamili mOngwediva, moka oshimbuluma shoka sha longwelwa.

    Okwa popi kutya mOsoondaha kongulohi nakusa okwa li ta nyenyeta naNghipulenga, ngoka a li e na ombele moondjato dhe.

    “Okwa kambadhala okukutha ombele mondjato ye naHamuteta okwe mu vulu oonkondo nokwe mu kutha ombele ndjoka, okwa tondoka na okwa ka tala ombele mokombitha ihe natango Hamuteta okwe mu vulu oonkondo ihe omupya omunene sho taya kondjo, ombele oya gu Hamuteta moonyala naNghipulenga okwe yi kutha po na okwa tsu Hamuteta iikando yi li 18,” Haipumbu a popi.

    Okwa tsikile kutya tango oya li ye shi okwe mu tsu iikando itano ihe sho kwa ningwa omakonaakono oga holola kutya okwa tsuwa iikando 18, naNghipulenga okwa yi nokwiilopota kopolisi yopeinda lyopolisi pOshiko.

    Haipumbu okwa popi kutya Nghipulenga okwa lombwele opolisi kutya oya li taya kondjo omukadhona gwe na okwe mutsu nombele na okwe mu thigi a lala pevi.

    Okwa fala opolisi kegumbo hoka na okwa tulwa miipandeko.

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief SAA in talks to roll over billions of debt

    South Africa's state-owned airline is in talks with lenders about rolling over US$650 million of debt due next month, its finance chief said on Monday, a move that would give the struggling company breathing space to push through a turnaround plan.

    Chief financial officer Deon Fredericks said the airline was in talks with lenders about potentially extending the maturity of the R9.2 billion debt due at the end of March by between four and five years.

    Fredericks also said the airline had enough money to last until June after securing financing from lenders last week amounting to R3.5 billion. From June, the company would need a further R4 billion, which should carry it to the end of the 2021 fiscal year, in March 2022, he said. The airline expects to turn profitable in fiscal 2021 with no need for government bailouts.

    Rolling over the debt for the long term and securing fresh capital would give the executive team led by former mobile phone firm Vodacom executive Vuyani Jarana room to focus on executing the turnaround plan.

    At the heart of the strategy is the reorganisation of SAA into three business units focusing on the domestic market, the rest of Africa and the international market, Jarana said. Each unit will have its own management, rather than decisions being centralised, in a bid to make the airline more agile and increase accountability. – Nampa/Reuters

    Defence group Denel to seek investment partners

    South Africa's state-owned defence group Denel could sell stakes in some divisions as part of a new strategy to return to profitability within two years, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

    The company has also asked the government for financial support to help underpin a strategy its board approved last week, Daniel du Toit told Reuters in an interview.

    The strategy includes seeking equity partners in some of its core divisions, although a stake in the group is not for sale. It could also sell manufacturing and technology licences.

    Denel, a cornerstone of South Africa's once-mighty defence industry, has been plagued by years of mismanagement. Du Toit was named as new chief executive in December as the government tries to turn around the cash-strapped company.

    Reuters reported in November that Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) had made a US$1 billion bid for a broad partnership with Denel. Du Toit said he was not aware of an offer by Saudi Arabia.

    SAMI CEO Andreas Schwer said this week the state-owned defence firm was in talks to invest in several South African companies but it had not made a formal decision. – Nampa/Reuters

    South32 to cut 500 jobs at aluminium smelter

    South32 could cut about 500 jobs at its Hillside aluminium smelter in South Africa's coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, trade union Solidarity said, in a restructuring the company said is designed to reduce costs and help it contend with volatility in commodities markets.

    Job cuts in Africa's most industrialised economy are politically sensitive, with the unemployment rate at more than 27% ahead of national elections this year.

    South32, which also has manganese mines in South Africa, said it had informed employees at the smelter that it intends to begin consultations over job cuts.

    South32 is the latest mining company to cut jobs after Sibanye-Stillwater last week said that it could cut nearly 6 000 jobs in a potential restructuring of the company's gold mining operations after losses at some of its mines last year.

    SA billionaire says he won't buy Eskom assets

    South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe said on Monday that he would not buy any assets which struggling state power firm Eskom puts up for sale, in response to speculation that he was eyeing an Eskom financial subsidiary.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is Motsepe's brother-in-law, this month unveiled a plan to split Eskom into three units to boost efficiency, which some analysts see as a path to privatising the utility.

    Motsepe's African Rainbow Capital was reportedly eyeing some or all of Eskom Finance Company, an Eskom subsidiary which lends to employees and which the government put up for sale as part of efforts to shore up the company's balance sheet.

    Motsepe, the country's richest black businessman, who is also the brother-in-law of energy minister Jeff Radebe, said: "Having relatives in very high positions in government justifiably raises perceptions of favouritism."

    Motsepe, who also has a large stake in mining company African Rainbow Minerals, also denied on Monday that he had unduly profited from his investments in renewable energy. – Nampa/Reuters

    Global miner BHP Group H1 profit falls

    The world’s biggest miner BHP Group said on Tuesday its first-half profit fell 8% as copper earnings slumped because of declining ore quality at its Escondida mine and a number of production outages globally.

    Underlying profit from continuing operations for the six months that ended on December 31 fell to US$4.03 billion from US$4.40 billion a year ago, the company said in a statement. That missed consensus estimates compiled by Vuma Financial of US$4.209 billion.

    Revenue from continuing operations rose 1% during the period to US$20.74 billion. Earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation from copper fell nearly 40% in the first half.

    However, the miner slightly raised its 2019 copper production forecast to between about 1.6 million tonnes and 1.7 million tonnes. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Do your bit for drought aid
  • Do your bit for drought aidDo your bit for drought aid It would cost about N$170 million to fatten only 5% of Namibia's national herd over a period of two months and to remove the animals from farms.

    In an effort to support farmers, the agriculture sector aims to collect N$10 million through the Dare to Care Fund.

    The initiative, launched on Monday, aims to subsidise fodder costs in order to help farmers to fatten livestock for the market, while also assisting them to maintain their core breeding herds.

    An important aspect of the assistance would be not to donate feed to farmers, but to make sure feeds are more affordable through subsidising.

    Agricultural retail outlets such as Kaap Agri and Agra, which have retail branches countrywide, will be used to reach farmers and subsidised prices will be available at all branches.

    Speaking at the launch, Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) president Ryno van der Merwe said the Fund would provide drought assistance to all farmers.

    “Namibia is facing a national crisis in the agricultural sector due to the current drought conditions which started in 2013.”

    He said livestock and game farmers across the country were overjoyed by the first rains recently received in some parts of the country.

    “However, the biggest part of Namibia has still received little to no rain and even in the areas where rain was received, a long path to the recovery of rangelands still lies ahead.”

    To survive a drought farmers need help to fatten their animals for the market and remove them from the rangeland, while trying to save their core breeding herd for when the rain comes again.

    “To fatten only 5% of Namibia's national herd over a period of two months in order to remove the animals from the farms would cost about N$170 million,” Van der Merwe said.

    The Dare to Care Fund was initially established in 2000 to provide assistance to victims of veld fires in the agriculture sector. It has since evolved to provide support to victims of floods, farm attacks and even the San community.

    According to Van der Merwe the entire agricultural sector and the private sector decided to join hands under the Dare to Care umbrella to help all drought-stricken farmers survive the drought.

    This would apply to communal, emerging and commercial farmers across the country.

    Van der Merwe emphasised that it is not just the government's responsibility to address the situation, but that it must be a collective effort from all stakeholders involved.

    The management of the Fund has appointed SGA Chartered Accountants and Auditors to perform a full financial audit on the Fund to ensure accountability of all money received and distributed.

    “We are appealing to everyone to support this national project in the interest of our country, our farmers and their workers,” said Van der Merwe.

    He said although there were other initiatives to support farmers during the drought, the Dare to Care Fund was the only initiative in which the agricultural unions and the private sector were directly involved.

    Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said farming played a crucial role in the country.

    “Every effort towards the looming drought is welcome and carries the support of the ministry. The two unions are going the extra mile while waiting for the government to announce mitigation measures for the drought.

    “We hope to make the impact of the drought at least bearable for farmers. As farmers of this arid country, however, we should not be surprised that there is insufficient rain and should prepare ourselves.”

    He said farmers should at all times be proactive and prepared for drought.

    According to !Naruseb the ministry had compiled a report on the rainfall pattern of the 2018/19 rainy season by the end of last year, but the expected pattern for 2019/2020 must still be completed by March or April.

    Depending on this data government would announce whether the drought is a national crisis or not.

    “The expected rainfall for 2019/2020 will determine whether we'll declare a national disaster,” he said.

    Donations can be deposited into the following bank account: Dare to Care, FNB Commercial Suite, branch code: 28 19 72, account number: 6202 111 9509.

    Fax a deposit slip to 061 220193 or email it to evg@agrinamibia.com.na

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Geingob castigated over Zim
  • Geingob castigated over ZimGeingob castigated over ZimPressure group asks whether SADC is justifying state brutality The SADC chair had claimed that Western-funded NGOs were behind the current political, economic and humanitarian challenges afflicting the neighbouring country. The 'Concerned Citizens of Zimbabwe' has criticised President Hage Geingob for his recent statement on the political and socio-economic situation in the neighbouring country.

    During a consultative meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of state and government, held on 9 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Geingob who is the current SADC chairperson, issued a statement blaming NGOs and perceived external forces for destabilising Zimbabwe.

    This followed the killing of 12 protesters by the army and police last month after a three-day stay-away organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) turned violent. The protest was triggered by massive fuel price hikes.

    The world, including the United Nations, condemned the ugly scenes in Zimbabwe and called on the authorities in Harare to use restraint when responding to protests

    “SADC expresses its solidarity with the government and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and calls upon the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country,” Geingob said in his statement.

    He also claimed Western-funded NGOs were behind the current political, economic and humanitarian challenges afflicting the country.

    However, the 'Concerned Citizens of Zimbabwe' described Geingob's statement last week as being devoid of historical context and a complete mischaracterisation of the prevailing situation in Zimbabwe.

    “It is unclear if there was any investigation conducted by SADC into the current situation. What we do know is SADC did not meet with victims or speak to anyone other than the government of Zimbabwe. It is appalling that without doing proper diligence the chairperson, His Excellency Dr Hage G Geingob thought it appropriate to issue such a conclusive and reckless statement,” the group said in its one-page statement.

    The group said that Geingob's statement is not only ignorant of the realities on the ground, but a complete insult to the intelligence of Zimbabweans.

    “It is shocking that SADC has so little faith in the intelligence and foresight of Zimbabweans and our understanding of our constitutional rights enshrined in the constitution of 2013, which incidentally the current government has failed to completely align to the laws.

    “We as Zimbabweans understand our own plight. We do not need external forces to tell us, we cannot afford fuel for US$3.31 US dollars when over 95% of us are not working in any form of formal employment and living on less than a dollar a day. To add insult to injury, the government destroyed produce and other products sold by the informal sector.”

    The group added that Zimbabweans understand sacrifice and have sacrificed too much for their nation, like lost pensions and money in the bank, to incoherent government monetary policies “and we continue to sacrifice as we foot the price tag for President Emmerson Mnangagwa's exorbitant travel costs”.

    “When Geingob and SADC blame sanctions for our problems, is SADC also blaming sanctions for Emmerson Mnangagwa's violent reactions to citizens' demonstrations, which resulted in killing, raping and sodomising civilians?

    “Is SADC justifying state-sanctioned brutality and accepting that street justice is a normal and that SADC will co-sign? Respectfully Geingob, it is evident that the only word that matters to SADC is the word of Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF government, so when expressing solidarity SADC must make it clear that your solidarity is with the brutal Zimbabwean government and not the people of Zimbabwe, who were not consulted before the misguided and ill-conceived SADC statement was issued.

    “If it was up to us, the citizens of Zimbabwe, one of our austerity measures would be to remove ourselves from being part of an organisation that does not serve our interests because our tax dollars are being wasted in payment of dues to fund an organisation that enables our suffering and goes against our values. The group added that the people of Zimbabwe are not the least bit deterred by the ignorance of SADC leaders and their lack morality. Namibian Sun could not establish whether President Geingob has received or read the statement, as his spokesperson Alfredo Hengari did not respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone.

    Eliaser Ndeyanale

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    US debt hits record under TrumpUS debt hits record under TrumpRepublicans mum Despite faster growth the budget deficit climbed 17% to US$779 billion last year, the worst since 2012. If we don't have a strong military, you don't have to worry about debt, you have bigger problems. – Donald Trump: US President Virginie Montet - More massive than the US economy, the national debt hit a new record of US$22 trillion under president Donald Trump but Republicans who traditionally rail against debt and deficits have remained mum.

    The sum of borrowing to cover chronic deficits as well as growing interest payments, this mountain of debt already stood at US$19.95 trillion when Trump entered the White House, reaching the equivalent of US GDP for the first time since World War II.

    By comparison, France's debt, which also is about the same as its GDP, amounted to a little more than 2.3 trillion euros (about US$2.6 trillion) in late September.

    The massive corporate tax cuts that Trump pushed for at the end of 2017, and the surge in spending, especially in defense, have increased the fiscal deficit for the world's largest economy.

    "If we don't have a strong military, you don't have to worry about debt, you have bigger problems," Trump told reporters last week.

    Administration officials continue to argue that the tax cuts, which are expected to widen the deficit by US$1.5 trillion over 10 years, will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth and thereby increasing tax revenues.

    But despite faster growth, the budget deficit climbed 17% to US$779 billion last year, the worst since 2012. And according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the deficit is expected to widen further this year to US$900 billion.

    Previous years

    The United States saw a budget surplus for four years under Democratic president Bill Clinton, amid a booming economy, but the war in Iraq under Republican George W. Bush once again plunged federal finances into the red.

    Democratic president Barack Obama had to deal with the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis that required a ramp up in government spending, causing the federal books to deteriorate badly.

    That helped fuel the birth of the Tea Party, a populist political movement that contributed to Trump's rise to power.

    With the economic recovery and the standoff in the Republican-controlled Congress forcing cuts in public spending, the last few years of the Obama administration saw a decline in the deficit.

    But when it started to surge again under Trump, the Republican deficit-hawks were strangely silent.

    Beyond the politics, however, the aging US population with the accompanying increase in health and pension expenditures is the structural issue that is the primary cause of chronic US deficit.

    Fed

    Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell frequently points out that while it is not his role to set fiscal policy, "it's not a secret, it's a long-known fact that the US federal government budget is on an unsustainable path and that needs to be addressed."

    Of course the Fed's interest rate increases - nine in the past four years - have caused an increase in the debt service costs, and Trump has frequently lashed out at the central bank, calling it "crazy" and a greater economic threat than China.

    Interest on the public debt cost the US government US$13 billion more in December compared to a year earlier.

    In addition to the US sovereign debt, which thanks to the strong dollar continues to be viewed worldwide as a safe investment, corporate and consumer borrowing are increasingly a source of concern.

    US corporate borrowing has almost doubled in just over a decade, fuelled by the Fed's cheap money policy after the 2008 crisis, and now stands at US$9 trillion. The Fed calls this "a macroeconomic risk".

    Consumers

    And household debt now stands at US$13.5 trillion, well above the previous peak before the crisis.

    While three quarters of the total is home mortgages, student loans, which put the brakes on consumption of young people, last year hit a record of nearly US$1.5 trillion.

    And auto loans, which also set a record of just under US$1.3 trillion, are seeing rising delinquency rates that have sounded some alarm bells at the Fed. – Nampa/AFP

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    Have an unforgettable trip with Sense of AfricaHave an unforgettable trip with Sense of Africa Sense of Africa specialises in tailor-made experiences throughout southern Africa and offers an exclusive, personalised and unsurpassed service.

    First-hand knowledge of the destination ensures that their team of dedicated travel specialists work hand in hand with their customers, picking the most suitable accommodation and experiences and putting together an unforgettable trip.

    During a recent sustainability assessment by Eco Awards Namibia, Sense of Africa achieved an excellent score against internationally benchmarked criteria.

    The outstanding assessment score enabled Sense of Africa to qualify for entering the 2019 Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA), hosted by Namibia Media Holdings.

    This year's RTA finalists will be announced in March, and the winners will be announced at the official opening of the 2019 Namibia Tourism Expo in June.

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Vetkoek fight drags on
  • Vetkoek fight drags onVetkoek fight drags onNamib Mills to wait until March Namib Mills will hear in mid-March whether the interim interdict it seeks will be granted. The matter in which Namib Mills is seeking a court order that will temporarily restrict Bokomo from selling its vetkoek flour in its current packaging was delayed yesterday in the Windhoek High Court.

    Judge Hosea Angula postponed the matter to 13 March, saying the pleadings had not yet closed.

    He instructed Namib Mills to file their replying affidavits by 28 February and said Bokomo's heads of argument must be filed by 7 March.

    He also instructed Bokomo to pay the wasted costs of the matter for 13 and 14 February, as it had filed documents late.

    In its papers before the court Namib Mills accuses Bokomo of “appropriating” its brand equity by selling its vetkoek flour in packaging not only similar to that of Namib Mills but also using its mustard yellow colour. However, following the company's first application to interdict Bokomo from selling its vetkoek flour in its current packaging, Namib Mills got permission from the court to, in its words, “amplify its complaint” against Bokomo.

    Namib Mills' commercial manager Pieter van Niekerk told the court that “in addition to the appropriation by Bokomo of the get-up of the Bakpro vetkoek flour product, Bokomo is now also using a very recently introduced get-up in respect of its remaining products in its flour range”.

    This new packaging, he said, is “markedly different” from that previously used.

    “The respondent's appropriation of the applicant's pack architecture can only be explained by an intention to appropriate benefit from the existing reputation vesting in the get-up of the Bakpro flour products, or to cause confusion in the market, or both,” Van Niekerk said.

    The intention, he said, is for Bokomo to garner sales at the expense of Namib Mills.

    Bokomo, by way of its CEO Hubertus Hamm countered Namib Mills by saying Bokomo had undertaken to change its packaging in phases, which began in 2017. He explained that research indicated that a consumer was more likely to purchase a flour product with a picture of the final product on the packaging, and they essentially cleaned up the lines of the design to make it more 'crisp'. A logo change was also on the cards.

    He said a vetkoek mix had initially not been a consideration and did not feature in the design plans, but Namib Mills launched their product and Bokomo followed suit.

    “As the Bokomo rebranding exercise was under way, it was decided the vetkoek flour packaging should be in keeping with the focus of the to-be-adopted rebranding.” Market research, Hamm said, indicated that consumers preferred the yellow colour.

    He further explained that as the vetkoek flour was a new entrant into the market, there was no need to first run out of old packaging and that it made sense to launch it in the soon-to-be changed packaging of the other Bokomo products.

    Tobias Louw from Theunissen, Louw and Partners appears for Namib Mills, while Daneale Beukes from Engling, Stritter and Partners appears for Bokomo Namibia.



    YANNA SMITH

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    How South African mines cope with power cutsHow South African mines cope with power cutsRed tape hampers innovation Amplats, the world's top producer of the metal, said it lost 14 000 ounces or less than 1% of annual output due to power cuts last week. People will lose their work for less time put in for work and we are very, very concerned about this. - Stanford Mazhindu, Spokesperson: UASA Tanisha Heiberg and Zandi Shabalala - South African utility Eskom imposed the worst power cuts in several years on homes and businesses last week, conjuring up memories of the 2008 crisis when the grid nearly collapsed and cost the mining industry billions in lost output.

    Although Eskom - which supplies around 90% of power in Africa's most industrialised economy - paused the blackouts on Friday for the first time in five days, it warned that its creaking infrastructure could buckle at any time.

    A decade ago, the state utility ordered mining houses to evacuate all underground staff and cease mining operations for five days as it cut electricity supply to minimum levels.

    It is not clear how much the industry, which consumes about 15% of Eskom’s annual output, lost in production but the crisis sent prices of both gold and platinum to record levels and pummelled the rand.

    But mining companies now appear to be better prepared to cope with the scheduled blackouts thanks largely to an agreement struck in 2010 between Eskom and the industry that allows it to continue operating on reduced power.

    "The South African mines are probably a little bit better prepared for electricity cuts than they were 10 years ago," said Peter Major, an analyst and director of mining at Mergence Corporate Solutions.

    Production

    Anglo American Platinum Ltd (Amplats), the world's top producer of the metal, said it lost 14 000 ounces or less than 1% of annual output - based on 2018 production - last week.

    Diversified miners Exxaro and Anglo American said their operations were affected to varying degrees while AngloGold Ashanti said safety and production were untouched.

    An industry group, the Mineral Council, did not give specific details about the impact of last week's power cuts on production but said the effect on output for the sector had been minimal.

    Miners including Impala Platinum, Harmony and Sibanye-Stillwater have also been working on reducing their reliance on Eskom by setting up their own power generators. However, it has been difficult to get that off the ground because of red tape and prohibitive costs, they say.

    What is at stake?

    South Africa is home to the world's biggest platinum group metals deposits, accounting for just over 90% of global production. Any disruption in output could directly affect prices of the white metal.

    The mining industry directly contributes more than 7% to the economy which has been struggling with anaemic growth over the last 10 years.

    Miners, among the biggest consumers of electricity in the country, are already grappling with weak profits that could be exacerbated by the potential loss of output if Eskom imposes deeper power cuts.

    The potential impact on jobs is also a concern in a country with a jobless rate of more than 27% and has prompted fierce opposition from the country's powerful trade unions to president Cyril Ramaphohsa's plan to split the utility.

    "With all these power cuts through Eskom there will be consequences ... People will lose their work for less time put in for work and we are very, very concerned about this," said Stanford Mazhindu, spokesperson of trade union UASA.

    Coping

    The 2010 agreement between Eskom and the mining industry has partly shielded miners from the massive disruption caused by the 2008 power cuts, when the sector was forced to shut for five days to allow the grid to recover.

    Under the scheme, Eskom gives the industry notice to reduce their power consumption by between 15% and 20% when the national grid is at its tightest and unable to meet demand.

    "If it's a 15 or 20% reduction in demand and it goes on for an extended period, it can have quite a big impact," said Sibanye spokesman James Wellsted.

    For instance, concentrators are switched off and water pumps that would prevent underground dams from flooding are only turned on during low usage hours at night, he said.

    Impala Platinum reduces its usage of power-intensive equipment, including furnaces, during national peak usage times when residential consumers are just waking up or have just returned from work, spokesman Johan Theron said.

    Sufficient?

    Despite these measures, business leaders and the Mineral Council are still concerned about the risks Eskom poses to the industry.

    Impala's Theron said shifting energy-intensive work to an off-peak demand period in the middle of the night to catch up on lost production "is not ideal or sustainable, as it will impact the business over time in that wear on furnaces are accelerated under these operating conditions".

    While the industry was coping, extended rolling blackouts would have affected the commercial viability of mines, particularly deep-level mining and platinum mines, Mineral Council spokeswoman Charmane Russell said.

    Own generation

    Attempts by miners to produce their own power are expensive, as Eskom requires them to connect to the grid for a fee.

    The variety of legal codes found at the energy regulator and energy ministry are additional hurdles to independent power generation, they say.

    The volume of electricity consumed by the industry is also too much to rely solely on self-generation.

    "We need to fix Eskom, to think that underground gold mining can survive without Eskom is going to be difficult," said Peter Steenkamp, the chief executive of gold miner Harmony.

    However, a few companies have succeeded in cutting dependency on the grid. Petrochemicals firm Sasol produces 70% of its electricity needs to power its sprawling plants.

    Power generation, from steam turbines commissioned in 2010 and contracted with Eskom via a medium-term power purchase programme, helped to alleviate Eskom’s shortages at the time, Sasol said.

    But companies such as Sibanye are struggling to do the same.

    The precious metals producer has pushed back plans, unveiled in 2014, to build a solar plant because of difficulty in getting finance for the project and bureaucracy related to connecting to the national power grid.

    Harmony Gold has also been trying to build a 30 megawatt solar plant.

    Amplats said it was also considering building a 100 megawatt solar power plant at the group's Mogalakwena mine. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Agribank chases defaulters
  • Agribank chases defaultersAgribank chases defaultersMillions outstanding on farm loans Cases brought by Agribank against defaulting borrowers feature almost daily on the roll of the High Court. Embattled farmers defaulting on their loans are increasingly being dragged to court in an effort by Agribank Namibia to recover outstanding debts.

    Last year, Agribank announced it would intensify its debt-collection strategy in an effort to recoup millions in outstanding loan repayments.

    The bank features almost daily on the court roll and on Monday, a farmer lost his land which will now be sold in execution of his debt.

    On Tuesday, the High Court roll included three cases brought by the bank against defaulters in attempt to recover loans totalling more than N$8 million.

    Court documentation shows that in one case, the bank had reached an agreement with the owners of a farm in the Omaheke Region.

    The defendants in the case, Paul Johannes Karuaihe and Othene Dawn Karuaihe, had defaulted on two separate Agribank loans amounting to a total outstanding debt of more than N$2.4 million.

    Agribank had taken legal action in an effort to sell the Karuaihes' farm, Hektor, but papers filed in court last week indicated that the parties had agreed on repayment and the bank no longer wanted to foreclose.

    In another matter, the bank is asking that two farms, one in the Otjozondjupa Region and another in the Kunene Region, be declared executable in order to recover a loan of more than N$8 million.

    Agribank lists three respondents: Kaura Kaura, Katuutire Kaura and Victorine Uakahungira Kaura. It states that in 2014 the first respondent, Kaura Kaura, was granted a N$6.2 million loan to purchase farmland.

    The bank states in its particulars of claim that the first respondent failed to repay any annual instalments and now owed more than N$8 million.

    In 2014, the second and third respondents signed a written deed of suretyship and became co-principal debtors for the repayment of any sums owed by the first respondent.

    The two properties, Farm Ahrensburg Nord in the Otjozondjupa Region, and Farm Môreson in the Kunene Region, are not the primary residences of any of the defendants. In another case, the bank is attempting to recover N$76 015.89 outstanding on a loan of N$41 600 granted to Frans Gaoseb, a Karibib resident.

    The bank is asking the court to execute a sale on a 262-square-metre property owned by Goaseb at Karibib, which he had put up as collateral for the loan.

    Agribank came under fire following the release of its annual report for the 2016/17 financial year, in which it received a qualified audit opinion. An unknown number of loans had been 'lost' in the transfer of data to a new system. The bank cleaned up its act and is now actively trying to recover outstanding farm loans.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Arnold appeals against murder convictionArnold appeals against murder conviction Anthea Arnold, who was convicted of murdering her former boyfriend Michael Breder in 2017, has launched an appeal against her conviction and 17-year prison sentence.

    Last year, Arnold had withdrawn an appeal against her conviction before she was sentenced.

    In pre-hearing documents filed with the High Court this month, Arnold argues that she shot Breder in self-defence after he had violently attacked her.

    At the appeal hearing her defence team will argue that the State did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that her actions were not in self-defence.

    The main heads of argument filed by lawyer Norman Tjombe this month are based on Arnold's version that her shooting of Breder took place after he had verbally assaulted and then physically attacked her while both were seated in a Mercedes Benz vehicle in May 2011.

    Arnold had testified that while Breder was sitting in the driver's seat, he moved over to the front passenger seat and began insulting and accusing her.

    He then reached back to where she was sitting in the rear seat and “started strangling and slapping” her.

    She claimed that she “covered her face with her hands and went into a bending position to protect herself. She then saw the deceased had a gun, and she grabbed it, pulled the trigger, and as a result, the deceased was struck and died.”

    Her version is that before she shot Breder, he had been attacking her for “at least a few minutes”.

    Her lawyer will argue during the appeal hearing that Arnold's actions fit the legal requirements of a self-defence case.

    The heads of argument further criticise the court's handling of the available evidence during her trial, including the fact that her version of events was not challenged by anyone, but was nevertheless not taken into account during conviction and sentencing.

    They argue that the court's findings during conviction were “far-fetched and not supported by evidence, that the trial court committed a gross irregularity to arrive at the finding of guilt”.

    The heads of argument filed at court further show that her legal team will argue that a primary piece of evidence, a note found at Breder's house after his death, was not written by Arnold.

    Arnold's legal team is further arguing that the 18-year prison term “induces a sense of shock”.

    The State opposes the appeal and has asked the court to dismiss it.

    The State's heads of argument describe the “the appeal and the events that led up to the appeal” as “quite interesting”.

    The State points out that Arnold previously made a statement under oath where she made a 360-degree turn and stated that she agreed with the judgment and was tired of lying.

    On Tuesday, the hearing of the appeal was set for 29 March.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Kandingu calls for unity
  • Kandingu calls for unityKandingu calls for unity Newly elected Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu has called on his fellow councillors to unite, saying the focus should be on effective service delivery to the people.

    Kandingu said in order for Rundu residents to be provided with much-needed services, councillors should be united and avoid infighting. “It has been my song all along that we councillors should be united and work together for the residents of Rundu,” Kandingu said.

    The Rundu town council has faced various challenges over the years, including littering, ever-expanding informal settlements and the municipality's inability to provide water to residents.

    The riverside town has also been beset by infighting among councillors, who never seem to get along.

    Kandingu was one of the three Swapo councillors who defied party secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa's directive that the office-bearers structure at the town must remain the same and that Verna Sinimbo should retain her post as mayor. The disunity among Swapo Party members was observed during the swearing-in ceremony recently, where those who supported Sinimbo as mayor staged a walkout while Kandingu was taking his oath of office. Meanwhile, Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon in which she said the party's politburo had resolved that its Okahandja and Rundu councillors should focus on rendering services to their residents. The statement said senior party leaders would be deployed to the two towns to engage party members for the purpose of reconciliation.

    “The politburo unanimously resolved to delegate senior party leaders to go and engage the party structures and their Swapo Party local authority councillors at the two towns, namely Okahandja and Rundu, in order to find a lasting solution,” the statement read.

    Nicanor, when contacted for clarity over whether the decision to recall Kandingu, Toini Hausiku and Anastasia Shinduvi from town council would still be implemented, refused to give a straight answer.

    After Shaningwa recalled the councillors last week, they threatened to take legal action.

    At a meeting between the Okahandja and Rundu councillors and the Swapo leadership in Windhoek on Monday, allegations of favouritism and dishonesty were allegedly levelled at Shaningwa. The meeting was chaired by President Hage Geingob.

    Hausiku, the wife of Swapo SG Marco Hausiku, allegedly told the meeting that the SG was conflicted and that her directives were personally motivated and not in the best interest of the party or the masses.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Zambia's debt weighing on central bank reserves

    Debt servicing costs are putting pressure on Zambia's central bank reserves, Bank of Zambia governor Denny Kalyalya said during a monetary policy committee briefing yesterday, after announcing it would keep interest rates unchanged.

    The International Monetary Fund has raised concerns over high levels of government debt in Africa's second largest copper producer, and rejected the state's borrowing plans last February, saying they risked making its debt load harder to sustain. – Nampa/Reuters

    Kenya paves way for green bonds

    Kenya set the stage for the country's first green bond with new rules yesterday, part of efforts to diversify its capital markets.

    Like other African nations, Kenya needs to raise billions of US dollars to invest in infrastructure projects including roads, water and irrigation, railways and power generation.

    So-called green bonds are fixed income securities that raise capital to help finance projects in renewable energy, energy-efficiency, green transport and wastewater treatment.

    In January, HSBC said global green bond issuance is seen at US$140-$180 billion this year, from US$149.2 billion in 2019.

    Nuru Mugambi, director of public affairs at the Kenya Bankers Association, said that there are two strong potential issuers from the banking sector with one at an advanced stage. But commercial lending rates capped in September 2016 at 4 percentage points above the central bank’s benchmark rate, may make it difficult for banks to price the products.

    In 2018, finance ministry officials said that there was room to raise funding through green bonds for infrastructure projects, with an initial aim of about US$50 million. – Nampa/Reuters

    Egypt issues billions in foreign currency bonds

    Egypt has issued US$4 billion in dollar denominated bonds with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale that was five times oversubscribed, the finance ministry said yesterday.

    The issue attracted US$21.5 billion in bids, the ministry said. The money raised will be used to finance the state budget, said deputy finance minister Ahmed Kouchouk.

    Most bids were for longer maturity 10- and 30-year bonds, Kouchouk told Reuters, adding that he considered the yield on the bonds "very good" for Egypt, in line or lower than prevailing yields.

    Egypt struggled through years of political and economic turmoil after its 2011 uprising. It has borrowed heavily from abroad since it began an economic reform programme backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late 2016. – Nampa/Reuters

    Uganda's ruling party endorses Museveni

    Uganda's ruling party has endorsed President Yoweri Museveni, 74, as its candidate in 2021 elections, which could see him seek a sixth term in office, a party resolution said yesterday.

    The move comes after a bill was signed in December 2017 scrapping a presidential age limit of 75, which would have blocked Museveni from running again, sparking demonstrations and an outcry from the opposition which accused the president of seeking to rule for life.

    Museveni, who seized power at the head of a rebel army in 1986, once said leaders who "overstayed" were the root of Africa's problems. However while running for a fifth term in 2016, he said it was not the right time for him to leave, as he still had work to do.

    Museveni is the only president most Ugandans have known in a country where the median age is less than 16.

    Young Ugandans have recently been energised by pop star-turned-MP Bobi Wine, who spearheaded protests against the age-limit amendment and has rapidly become a thorn in the government's side. – Nampa/AFP

    Chinese smuggler sentenced to 15 years jail in Tanzania

    A prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the "Ivory Queen" was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court on Tuesday for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants, weighing nearly 2 tonnes, to Asia.

    Yang Feng Glan had been charged in October 2015 along with two Tanzanian men with smuggling 860 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2004 worth 13 billion shillings (US$5.6 million). All three denied the charges.

    Police sources said Yang, 69, had lived in Tanzania since the 1970s and was secretary-general of the Tanzania China-Africa Business Council. A Swahili-speaker, she also owns a popular Chinese restaurant in Dar es Salaam.

    Tanzania's elephant population shrank from 110 000 in 2009 to little more than 43 000 in 2014, according to a 2015 census, with conservation groups blaming "industrial-scale" poaching.

    Demand for ivory from Asian countries such as China and Vietnam, where it is turned into jewels and ornaments, has led to a surge in poaching across Africa. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Sexy vs substance
  • Sexy vs substanceSexy vs substance Social media has been abuzz with photos of skimpily-clad young people, ostensibly part of a Swapo youth wing project that features a young lady wearing a party-coloured bikini.

    The Swapo Party Youth League told a television reporter that it is behind the idea and that the project was created by young people. The youth wing said further that the project is still to be given the green light by the mother party and that the photos were likely leaked.

    It seems the SPYL has taken a leaf out of the African National Congress’ book, which recently used a model in what looks like a beauty commercial, rather than an election campaign, to get South Africa’s ruling party back into the driving seat at the polls this year. One wonders what the core message is of the SPYL’s ‘project’, because on the face of it, it does not seem to speak to the very real issues affecting the youth. However, they should be given the benefit of the doubt until a full picture emerges, if it ever does.

    What is critical is the thinking behind using bikini-clad girls for political purposes. Detractors would argue that it feeds into the misogynist tendencies that lurk within our society. It may also be rightfully argued that diversion tactics - especially those that want to detract from the sordid realities facing our youth - should have no place in the current political discourse. The most vulnerable among us are woman and children, and it is a blight on our landscape when a young lady - and in this case underwear-clad young men - will potentially be used to lure voters.

    This feeds into the perception that the current SPYL leadership may very well lack the kind of substance required to take the issues of Namibian youth forward in a way that not only addresses the obvious problems of unemployment, poverty and the like, but also requires a generational contestation around ideas. Let’s not sacrifice substance for sexy.

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: New parliament fallout
  • New parliament falloutNew parliament falloutArchitects sue over shelved project Claude Bosch Architects, the leading architect of the shelved new parliament project, is suing the government. The Namibian government is to file its plea and counterclaim against local architect Claude Bosch, who has dragged it to court over N$28 million for work done in preparation for the proposed new parliament.

    The government must also submit answers to the architect's plea by no later than 15 March.

    The case has been postponed to 3 April at 14:00 for a status hearing.

    In early 2014 the government announced its lofty plans to construct a controversial N$2.4 billion building to accommodate the National Assembly and National Council, which would have been known as the Welwitschia.

    Claude Bosch Architects was appointed as the consultants for the project.

    Plans to construct the parliament were then shelved.

    Court papers show that despite several demands for payment, the government has failed to pay the architect firm.

    The firm wants the government to pay the owed amount, as well as legal fees and interest of 20% per year from the date of summons to the date of final payment.

    The works ministry's executive director, Willem Goeieman, said his ministry was not responsible for the payment, and parliament must explain.

    The Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, who is currently in Germany, could not be reached for comment.

    Government legal representative Aina Ndungula said the matter was sub judice and did not respond to enquiries.

    Claude Bosch Architects was represented by Astrid Feris from Sisa Namandje & Co.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    SAPA guns for Brazilian poultrySAPA guns for Brazilian poultryTargets import restrictions While SAPA is vehemently fighting to protect its industry, its jobs and its profits, it has approached the High Court in Windhoek to have restrictions on poultry imports into Namibia set aside. Yanna Smith - It appears that the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) is determined to either entirely halt or severely limit Brazilian chicken imports into that country.

    On 30 November last year, the South African Government Gazette reported that SAPA had applied to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) to increase the South African customs duty on bone-in chicken portions from 37% to 82%, and the duty on boneless chicken portions from 12% to 82%.

    At the time, the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein warned of dire consequences for South African consumers and the economy, should the application for higher import tariffs be granted.

    It said the argument that South African, as a “globally efficient producer of chicken” faces profit challenges and job losses due to imports of frozen chicken “does not sustain itself”.

    Outbreaks

    It held the view that bird flu outbreaks since 2017 were the main reason why the poultry industry in South Africa was facing challenges.

    The Brazilians may be correct. SAPA reported that the impact of bird flu had resulted in a loss of revenue of N$954 million. The poultry industry in South Africa is worth around N$46 billion.

    While the decision by ITAC is still under review, SAPA appears to have come out guns blazing. Its recently appointed general manager for broiler organisations, Izaak Breitenbach, has penned a letter to the media, warning of the dangers of consuming chicken imported from Brazil.

    In the 18 February letter, seen by Market Watch, Breitenbach writes that consumers in South Africa “should be paying close attention to the continuing food safety scandals in Brazil’s meat industry”.

    ‘Foul fowl’

    The document is titled ‘Beware foul Brazilian fowl’.

    Breitenbach digs into the industry in Brazil, which has seen its fair share of troubles including the 2017 Operation Carne Fraca, or ‘weak meat’, which showed serious loopholes in the safety mechanisms at beef, poultry and pork processors in that country.

    He continues by saying that the European Union, after this operation’s results went public, banned imports from 20 meat-processing plants (including beef, pork and poultry). China banned all such imports from Brazil and Saudi Arabia halted imports from five of the 58 companies it makes use of, “presumably for the same reason,” he says.

    He also discussed a recall last week by Brazilian company BFR SA of 500 tonnes of chicken due to fears of possible salmonella contamination.

    “An additional cause of concern is that, due to a lack of resources, our health inspectors are not as strict as they could be.

    “I have requested action against Brazilian imports. EU countries refuse to allow Brazilian imports until producers have been clear of salmonella for six months. We should do the same.”

    Breitenbach confirmed to Market Watch that the document was authentic and was authored by him.

    Namibia

    While SAPA is vehemently fighting to protect its industry, its jobs and its profits, it has approached the High Court in Windhoek to have restrictions on poultry imports into Namibia set aside.

    SAPA, along with South African chicken producers Astral Foods Ltd, Supreme Poultry, Crown Chickens, Sovereign Foods, Afgri Poultry and Rainbow Farms, brought the application against Namibia's trade minister.

    The government, Namib Poultry Industries and the Meat Board are cited as the second, third and fourth respondents.

    This case follows a ruling by the Supreme Court that High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele's dismissal of the application on 8 July 2016, without hearing the merits of the case, was wrong. The matter was sent back to the High Court.

    In April 2013, then trade minister Calle Schlettwein had limited imports of frozen chicken portions to 1 500 tonnes a month.

    The entire Namibian poultry industry is equivalent to 2% of South Africa's poultry production.

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    Murderer says his sentence is 'shocking'Murderer says his sentence is 'shocking' One of three men found guilty of killing a taxi driver in 2004 is fighting to have his appeal against a 20-year prison term heard in the High Court, more than six years after his sentencing.

    In March 2010 Josephat Boois (40), alongside two accomplices, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term by Regional Court Magistrate Dinnah Usiku. They had been convicted of murder and robbery for killing Fillemon Ndeshipanda Amadhila, a taxi driver, on 10 December 2004.

    Boois is currently incarcerated at the Walvis Bay Correctional Facility.







    In an affidavit filed by Boois in the Windhoek High Court, he defends the six-year lapse before filing a notice of appeal.

    He claims that he drafted and signed a first notice of appeal shortly after the case was finalised, in March 2010.

    He claims that after he made enquiries, he was told the appeal had not been received and was told to rewrite it.

    He allegedly submitted a second notice in May 2012, but was again told it had not been received.

    After more enquiries in 2013 and 2014, he claims he was told to submit a third notice, which he then did in October 2016.

    Boois claims that after he drafted and submitted a third notice of appeal, he opened a case against the clerk of the court and “that is how my notice of appeal dated 10 October 2016 was finally received”.



    Not fair

    He claims that the 20-year sentence - 16 years for murder and four for robbery with aggravating circumstances - “is shockingly inappropriate and induces a sense of shock, hence this court ought to interfere therewith”.

    Boois argues that besides the failure of the court to consider the more than five years he had been in custody prior to sentencing, the mitigating circumstances in his case were ignored.

    He argues that he had played an integral part in the arrests of his co-accused by helping the police in their investigation.

    He further states that the court ignored the fact that he had confessed to the crime and showed “genuine signs of remorse”.

    The State is opposing the appeal.



    Adequate

    In its main heads of argument filed on Monday, the State points out that the rules require an appeal to be filed within two weeks, while Boois took six years and seven months to file his.

    The State also argues that the 20-year sentence was “quite lenient” given the serious nature of the crime.

    “The manner in which the offence was committed was brutal. The appellant and his two co-accused got into a taxi and brutally assaulted and stabbed the deceased,” the State submits.

    Amadhila, still alive after he was stabbed multiple times in the back and elsewhere, was dumped by the side of the road and left to die while the three drove away in his car. Amadhila died before he could be taken to hospital.

    The State further argues that Boois only confessed and cooperated with the police after he was arrested at a roadblock, driving the victim's blood-stained car and with the murder weapon in the car.

    “The evidence against the appellant was strong and any assistance he gave cannot mitigate his circumstances, as the case against him was already established at that stage,” the State argues.

    Boois's co-accused were brothers Naftali Eixab and Samuel Eixab, both of whom received the same sentence.

    Boois was represented by Trevor Brockerhoff while the State was represented by Marthino Olivier from the Office of the Prosecutor-General.

    A hearing date was set for 15 March.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 02/20/19--14:00: Shifeta ruffles raffles
  • Shifeta ruffles rafflesShifeta ruffles rafflesChildren will no longer 'beg' While saying it was time to “give Caesar what Caesar is due”, the tourism minister has highlighted that many benevolent lotteries and promotional competitions have been established in the country unlawfully. Minors will no longer be allowed to sell school raffle tickets, according to the new Lotteries Act of 2017, for which regulations are being finalised.

    Under the new Act all promotional competitions that are held in Namibia will have to contribute to the State Lotteries Trust Fund.

    Hefty fines of up to N$4 million or prison terms of 20 years are included in the new legislation.

    Furthermore, a separate parastatal will be established to control and manage the lotteries sector, as it will be separated from the tourism ministry with the implementation of the new law.

    This was revealed during a public consultative workshop in Windhoek on the draft regulations of the Lotteries Act of 2017 and the Gaming and Entertainment Control Act 2018.

    The focus yesterday was on the Lotteries Act, while the Gaming and Entertainment Control Act will be discussed today.

    Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said yesterday it is time to “give Caesar what Caesar is due”.

    He said although the lotteries sector never officially took off in Namibia, many benevolent lotteries and promotional competitions have been established unlawfully.

    “It must further be noted that these lotteries have been taking money from members of society and in most cases from the poorest,” said Shifeta.

    He said the government believes that the proceeds of such lotteries should first and foremost contribute to social welfare by supporting charities, sport, arts and culture, science and youth empowerment.

    “The new law will not allow minors to be involved in lotteries anyway. It will be illegal for schools to send a child to sell raffle tickets. That is a lottery. Today a child can go with a paper to beg for money. This will not be allowed anymore.”





    Shifeta said the purpose of the Lotteries Board is to manage a state lottery and sports pool or licensing someone to do it, and to establish the State Lottery Trust Fund to provide for the authorisation of other lotteries and promotional competitions.

    The board will also authorise, supervise and control benevolent lotteries.

    Tourism executive director Teofilus Nghitila said the lotteries sector would receive a completely new legal framework.

    “All lotteries, benevolent or otherwise, will now be controlled and regulated. There will be only one state lottery and it is the intention of the state to protect that state lottery to ensure that it generates much-needed revenue for social welfare.”

    According to him restrictions will be placed on all other lotteries, including promotional competitions and private lotteries, and offences will be dealt with severely.

    “The aim is not to take citizens to prison, but to keep them out of prison through enforcing compliance with the law.”



    Christmas is over

    Giving an overview of the State Lotteries Act, the director of tourism and gaming, Sem Shikongo, explained that the days of attracting the public with huge prizes in promotional competitions were also numbered, as the maximum value of prizes in a calendar year may not exceed N$1 million.

    This was specifically mentioned with regard to MTC's new 888 SMS competition, in which participants stand a chance to win part of N$1.3 million, which exceeds the new limit.

    “Christmas is over,” said Shikongo.

    He said a lottery in terms of the new legislation includes any games, schemes, arrangements, systems, plans, promotional competitions or devices for distributing prizes by lot or chance.

    According to the new law, a person who participates in or conducts, facilitates, promotes or derives any benefit from a lottery, promotional competition or sports pool, unless authorised, is liable to incur a N$4 million fine or serve 20 years in prison, or both.

    A person that forges or in any other fraudulent way changes any ticket or any other document or thing pertaining to any lottery or promotional competition is liable to a N$500 000 fine, five years in prison, or both.

    With regard to minors, the Act says that a person who sells any ticket for participation in the state lottery, sports pool or any benevolent lottery to a minor, who is known to be underage, is liable to be fined N$400 000, sentenced to four years in prison, or both.

    “It is an offence to invite, cause or permit a minor to participate in a lottery,” said Shikongo.

    A person who conducts or attempts to conduct a lottery for personal gain or for the benefit of any other individual will be fined N$200 000, or serve ten years in prison, or both.

    According to Shikongo the Lotteries Act will not only establish the Lotteries Board as a new SOE, but will also appoint inspectors with powers to regulate the industry.

    Furthermore, the Act spells out what lotteries are not subjected to licensing requirements. With the implementation of the Act the conducting of lotteries will be lawful, as there was previously no protection or involvement from the state regarding the lotteries sector.

    A person involved in a private lottery could previously not go to court in this regard as the activity was unlawful in Namibia.

    Under the Act, a lottery conducted for members of a benevolent society, such as a bazaar, sale or dance, are exempt.

    With regard to lotteries conducted for members of a social or sporting club, they have to get authorisation in writing from the governing body.

    Benevolent societies must be registered with the Lotteries Board and are obliged to pay fees and levies, as well as submit returns after they have conducted a lottery. Financial audits must also be submitted. Examples of these are SPCA fundraisers, Winna Mariba, raffles and the Biltongfees.

    ELLANIE SMIT

    0 0

    Brighter production year for NamdebBrighter production year for Namdeb Namdeb Holdings produced 2.008 million carats of diamonds in its financial ended 31 December 2018, according to the latest results released by Anglo American this morning.
    This is an increase of about 11.3% compared to the 2017 book-year.
    The Namibian government owns 50% of Namdeb Holdings, while De Beers has the other half. Anglo American owns De Beers.

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