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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 978 | 979 | (Page 980) | 981 | 982 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Another Buffalo bar fight in courtAnother Buffalo bar fight in court A bar fight at the now infamous Buffalo Recreation Club in Gobabis has resulted in a civil lawsuit in the High Court.

    Sascha Bergmann (30) is claiming damages of over N$3.3 million from Kennie Rautenbach (21) for what he describes as a “vicious assault” on 12 August 2017.

    According to Bergmann, Rautenbach punched him in the face more than once and smashed his face against the bar counter. Bergmann alleges that Rautenbach assaulted him with “the intention to cause grievous bodily injury”.

    The list of injuries Bergmann says he sustained is lengthy. He suffered extensive damage to his right eye, eventually losing it entirely.

    Moreover, he says he suffered “orbital floor damage, an undisplaced nasal bone fracture, fractures of several of the walls of his right maxillary sinus, an extensive fracture of the ethmoid bone between the eyes and a mild traumatic brain injury”. He told the court he was humiliated and traumatised by the incident. He suffered severe pain, was hospitalised for medical and surgical treatment, including orbital floor reconstructive surgery, and eventually lost his right eye.

    He “suffered and will continue to suffer pain and discomfort as well as permanent disability constituted by the loss of his right eye, a loss of facial sensation, facial nerve damage, impaired vision and a loss of self-esteem.”

    Bergmann says he can no longer socialise and interact with others with the same level of confidence, cannot take part in sport and recreational activities requiring normal eyesight and will be compromised in his profession as a diesel mechanic.

    He will require future medical treatment as well as psychotherapy, he claims.

    His claim of N$3 365 823.45 includes general damages, including pain, discomfort and humiliation; past medical costs; loss of earnings both past and future; and an estimation of future medical bills.

    He asked for interest of 20% per year, plus the costs of the lawsuit.

    Rautenbach, represented by Jan Greyling, has filed a notice of intention to defend the matter. He denies that he attacked Bergmann. According to him he acted in self-defence, alternatively in response to “severe provocation” by Bergmann.

    He says his “actions were reasonable and in immediate and reasonable retaliation to Bergmann's conduct in the circumstances.”

    In response Bergmann denied having provoked Rautenbach, arguing that assault cannot be justified by verbal provocation.

    On Tuesday, before Judge Shafimana Ueitele, it was agreed that Rautenbach would file an application to stay the High Court proceedings, pending the finalisation of a criminal case to be heard by the Gobabis Magistrate's Court, by 25 March.

    Rautenbach was instructed to file his documents to oppose, if so inclined, by 12 April and the matter was postponed to 16 April.

    Bergmann is represented by Conrad Marais of Engling, Stritter and Partners.


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    Trump shows SADC the middle fingerTrump shows SADC the middle finger US president Donald Trump has renewed sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by another year, snubbing SADC leaders, including current regional bloc chairperson President Hage Geingob, who has called for an end to the sanctions.

    Geingob said in February the regional bloc had received a briefing from Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa on the current political and socio-economic developments in the neighbouring country. “The SADC Heads of State and Government further noted that the (Zimbabwean) government's efforts to transform the economy and bring about prosperity to the people of Zimbabwe are negatively affected by the illegal sanctions that were imposed on the country since the early 2000,” Geingob said in a statement.

    “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.”

    The US first imposed the measures in 2003 and renewed them in 2005 and 2008 under America's International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

    It has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean officials including President Mnangagwa and says certain human rights reforms are needed to lift them.

    Zimbabwe finance minister Mthuli Ncube recently told a reporter: “We don't need to be told by anyone that we need to do better on human rights or open up democratic space... we need to do it for ourselves.”

    Trump said on Monday that Zimbabwe had not implemented promised reforms.

    The extension of the sanctions effectively rules out the possibility of a US bailout for Zimbabwe.

    In a letter to the US Senate, Trump accused Mnangagwa of running a flawed election.

    This was in reference to the contested July 2018 poll that MDC leader Nelson Chamisa claims he won.

    The continuation of the sanctions also follow Mnangagwa's recent military crackdown on protests over a crippling fuel hike. At least 17 people were reportedly killed.

    In his strongly worded letter Trump claimed the actions of the government of Zimbabwe continued “to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions” and “pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the US”.

    Botswana's government recently denied reports that it will provide a US$600m credit facility to debt-ridden Zimbabwe, dealing a new blow to Mnangagwa's efforts to jumpstart the country's ailing economy.

    Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by high inflation, which peaked above 50% in January, and acute shortages of foreign currency. The country owes the World Bank US$1.4 billion, as well as the African Development Bank and other international creditors.

    It is seeking financial bailouts from its SADC neighbours as it is blacklisted by multilateral lenders, including the World Bank and IMF. Its international debt stands at U$10bn.

    Zimbabwe reportedly requested US$1.2 billion in emergency credit from South Africa, but was turned down.

    In February, Geingob said the SADC Heads of State and Government had also noted that the government has commenced dialogue with all stakeholders in the country, with a view to strengthening economic transformation. He called on all stakeholders to support the process.

    The Namibian head of state had also lambasted what he called “some internal groups, in particular NGOs, supported by external forces”, who he said have continued with efforts to destabilise the country”.

    “The SADC Heads of State and Government also noted that in an effort to address the economic challenges in the country, the (Zimbabwean) government recently increased fuel prices. Unfortunately, violent demonstrators rode on the back of increases in fuel prices, to implement their intention to destabilise the country. The demonstrations resulted in the destruction of property and loss of life. SADC condemns, in the strongest terms, the violence that ensued, and expresses sympathy with the affected families for the loss of their loved ones and their properties.”

    Also earlier this year, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said his country also favours the lifting or easing of international sanctions on Zimbabwe.

    Ramaphosa spoke on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying Zimbabwe faces “serious, serious, economic challenges and they can be assisted by the world if those sanctions are lifted”.

    -Additional reporting by Business Day


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  • 03/06/19--14:00: It's total garbage - Swapo
  • It's total garbage - SwapoIt's total garbage - SwapoParty rubbishes talk of independent presidential candidate Swapo says it won't be wasting time discussing an opinion by one of its members, who is arguing for an independent candidate to stand against President Hage Geingob at the polls this year. Swapo executive director Austin Samupwa has rubbished an opinion piece written by party member Dr Panduleni Itula, which says Namibia is ripe for an independent presidential candidate to challenge President Hage Geingob and other party leaders at the polls this year.

    Samupwa referred to Itula's opinion as “total garbage”, saying the party had nothing to do with it and would not waste time discussing it.

    “We don't sit and discuss non-issues that are not an issue when it comes to Swapo. Just ask him what he wants to do; we have nothing to do with that letter. It's total garbage,” Samupwa said.

    Itula would neither confirm nor deny this week that he was thinking of standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

    “Well, there is nothing to be said. I have said what I needed to say in that opinion; that's basically it. It's up to the people to look at it. I have got nothing to add to that,” Itula told Namibian Sun.

    In his 19-page document Itula explained how it was legally possible for an independent candidate to run for president.

    Section 72 of the Electoral Act states the requirements for being nominated as a candidate for presidential elections.

    Firstly, the Act states that one qualifies based on section 3 of article 38 of the Namibian Constitution, which states that every citizen of Namibia by birth or descent, over the age of 35 and who is eligible to be elected to office as a member of the National Assembly, is eligible for election as president.

    Secondly, he or she should be a registered voter and thirdly the nominee should either be a representative of a registered political party or an independent candidate whose nomination is supported by at least 500 registered voters per region.

    This means that an independent candidate should obtain a total of 7 000 nominations from registered voters.

    According to Itula's document, elections do not necessarily produce the best choices for democratic leadership, and party politics is not the only avenue to achieve good democratic rule.

    “Under the Namibian constitutional dispensation, time may be mature for such a shake-up situation to occur as well. Particularly in the light of unpleasant tendencies we [have] witnessed in local governments and the ruling party. This may indeed be made possible on fertile grounds of dictatorial tendencies surfacing in relation to a catalogue of unilateral decisions since 2015 and dictatorial directives (sic),” Itula argued.

    “The events in the ruling party in the last few years, months and weeks certainly gave Namibians a reason to ponder as to whether an independent president is worth making a cross on the ballot paper for. If any, the time is indeed ripe for such a bold but courageous move with all its inherent risks.”


    Political commentator Frederico Links said the idea of an independent presidential candidate should be tested and it would be interesting to see how people responded.

    “People might actually respond to something like that because we haven't pushed the limits in terms of what is possible in our electoral framework. It is surprising how nobody has ever done this,” Links said.

    He said a possible strategy for an independent candidate would be to focus on addressing corruption.

    Professor Nico Horn said Swapo had been dominating the polls since independence and it would be hard for an independent candidate to make an impact at this stage.

    “The idea is fine but our democracy has developed in a very different way. You still sit with a ruling party that at the last election got 80% of the votes. Well, everything started somewhere. It would be a real challenge for the outsider,” Horn said.

    Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) executive director Graham Hopwood argued that the process of forming a political party was much easier than being nominated as an independent candidate.

    “The only aspect I would emphasise is that it is quite difficult to be nominated as an independent candidate according to our electoral law.

    “Such a candidate would need to be nominated by 500 registered voters in each region, 7 000 people overall. This would mean that any prospective independent candidate would have to be very serious in their approach and start building support well ahead of the election.

    “In contrast, it is easier to register a political party, which only needs to have the backing of 3 500 voters spread evenly across seven regions,” Hopwood said.


    Itula also argued in his document that a political party cannot use its constitution to expel a member who chooses to run as an independent candidate.

    Itula said citizens should exercise their rights as stipulated in the constitution.


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    Cash crunch leads to capital bleedCash crunch leads to capital bleedLowest development budget in six years Compared to 2015/16, Namibia’s development budget has shrunk by 43%. Jo-Maré Duddy – Namibia’s overall development budget for the current fiscal year was cut in the mid-year budget review to lowest since 2012/13.

    The less than N$5.6 billion that was left after finance minister Calle Schlettwein had to chop nearly N$1.8 billion off the original 2018/19 development budget to make operational ends meet, is a far cry from the around N$9.8 billion actual development budget spent in 2015/16 before government was forced to tighten its purse strings.

    In his main budget last March, Schlettwein set aside about N$7.3 billion to boost development projects. Six months later he had to axe it, no isolated incident. Schlettwein had to cut the 2016/17 main development budget by about N$2.4 billion in the mid-year budget review that year to, among others, help settle billions in arrears government owed the private sector.

    Schlettwein is expected to table the 2019/20 budget in parliament this coming Wednesday. According to the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) he tabled last year, nearly N$7.8 billion should be pumped into development projects in the new fiscal year.

    Compared to 2015/16, the development budget has shrunk by 43%. On the other hand, the operational budget – including interest payments on debt – has soared by 23%. The total salary roll of the civil service – nearly half of government’s total expenditure – has jumped by about 22% or N$5 billion.


    Schlettwein had to cut money from nearly 230 development projects in his mid-year budget review last year.

    All together 61 rural and urban projects were N$288.5 million poorer. The budget of 29 transport projects was cut by around N$690.8 million in total.

    Nearly N$190 million was taken away from 49 health projects. This includes the construction and upgrading of primary health centres and hospitals countrywide.

    The development budget for education, arts and culture was slashed by nearly N$143 million, affecting 27 projects, including the building and upgrading of schools and hostels countrywide.


    By government’s own admittance, the consolidation policy it started embarking on in 2016/17 to try and curb deficits and debt and ensure macro-economic stability has contributed to the recession in Namibia.

    A smaller development budget played a major role in the collapse of the construction sector. The sector recorded negative growth every quarter in 2016 and 2017. Coming off a low base, the grew positively in the first two quarters of 2018, just to sink back into the red in the third quarter, according to the latest data by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).

    Job losses and lower government spending meant less money in the economy as was evident from the NSA’s figures for wholesale and retail trade. The sector has recorded negative annual growth since the third quarter of 2016.

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    Sterling hat-trick sends Man City clearSterling hat-trick sends Man City clear Raheem Sterling struck a second half hat-trick as champions Manchester City put pressure on title rivals Liverpool with a 3-1 win over Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

    The win moved Premier League leader's City four points clear of Liverpool who were expected to play Burnley yesterday.

    Watford manager Javi Gracia made seven changes to his side and left out key forwards Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu, and the visitors' deep defending frustrated City in the opening half.

    The decision came after his attempt to take on Liverpool at Anfield ended in a 5-0 loss last week and perhaps was also influenced by Watford's FA Cup quarterfinal against Crystal Palace this week.

    As usual, Pep Guardiola's side dominated possession, but against such a bank of defenders showed no intention of pushing forward, and the match was more like an 'attack vs defence' training session.

    Within a minute of the restart, however, Sterling put City ahead with a controversial goal that was initially ruled out for offside before referee Paul Tierney changed his mind after lengthy consultation with his assistant.

    Once again there was confusion about the current offside law and its interpretation, with Watford players incensed. Sterling appeared to be in an offside position when played in by Sergio Aguero and the assistant referee had raised his flag. The decision appeared to be overruled because Daryl Janmaat, the Watford defender, played the ball against Sterling as the City striker aimed for goal.

    Simple tap-in

    There was no argument about Sterling's second as he simply tapped in a Riyad Mahrez cross from close range after he was left alone at the goal line.

    The England winger completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute - cutting in from the left, behind Daryl Janmaat, to latch on to a fine David Silva pass, and ghosting across two defenders before drilling home.

    Gracia threw on Deeney and Deulofeu in the 66th minute and it took 17 seconds for them to make an impact, with Deeney heading down to the Spaniard who slotted home.

    But for City, this was another indication that they are not about to lose their nerve in the title run-in.

    This was their 10th win in their last 11 Premier League games and sixth straight victory in the competition. Guardiola's side have won 45 of the 48 points available at home.

    “It is the end part of the season so every game is important,” Guardiola said.

    “For three months we waited to be top of the league and now we have to try and win our games. I'm sorry if the first goal is offside but we deserve to win.

    “Today is not luck. We won because we were better, much better than the opponent. Here there are many people working to make last season's level and if they can do that, it will be down to hard work and not luck.”

    City now turn their attention to their Champions League last-16 return leg against Germany's Schalke on Tuesday, which they lead 3-2.


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    Osaka turns tables on MladenovicOsaka turns tables on Mladenovic World number one Naomi Osaka on Saturday launched her Indian Wells title defence with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 65th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic of France.

    Osaka, whose second straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January propelled her to the top of the rankings, avenged a loss to Mladenovic in Dubai last month in her first match since she lifted the trophy in Melbourne. It wasn't all smooth sailing as Osaka was broken when serving for the match at 5-2 in the second.

    After Mladenovic held serve to narrow the deficit to 5-4, the Japanese player faced another break point before wrapping up the match after one hour and 21 minutes. “I've never been a defending champion before - that's new and I was really nervous,” said Osaka, whose first WTA title at Indian Wells last year launched a 2018 campaign that would eventually include her first Grand Slam crown at the US Open. Osaka will today face Danielle Collins, the 25th-seeded American who beat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-1.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: DBN pushes affordable homes
  • DBN pushes affordable homesDBN pushes affordable homesN$796 million approved for housing projects The bank has a strong track record in the field, with N$796 million approved for affordable housing projects and N$580 million for land servicing. Fast-tracking residential land delivery and affordable housing will not only empower cash-strapped low-income earners and ensure them a stake in the local economy, but lead to a myriad of economic benefits for the whole country.

    At the unveiling of 324 serviced residential erven, in addition to five commercial and five institutional erven at Extension 12 in Otjiwarongo's low-income Orwetoveni suburb last week, Development Bank of Namibia (CEO) Martin Inkumbi highlighted the often overlooked macro-economic benefits that support the case for the acceleration of the delivery of serviced land and affordable housing by local authorities.

    The bank, he said, had a strong track record in the field, with N$796 million approved for affordable housing projects and N$580 million for land servicing.

    Chief among the benefits, he said, was the empowerment of people who could not afford a decent house of their own. Owning a house and building an asset base was empowering to families, as it gave them the opportunity to lock into a property as opposed to being exposed to ever-increasing rent.

    Inkumbi added that an equally important knock-on impact was the development and economic benefits stemming from income gains to owners of affordable housing.

    He explained that by shifting a portion of income away from monthly rent payments or bond repayments, money was released into circulation in the economy.

    Inkumbi said this income could be used to support families, as disposable income or for individual savings. Whichever way the income was used, it would become available in the economy, creating better conditions for economic activity and growth, Inkumbi stressed.

    Money spent

    He illustrated this by examining how the additional household income might be used.

    If the holder of the amount saved purchased a fridge or a stove, that would add to the revenue of a retail outlet and support jobs in the outlet.

    Alternatively, if the holder of the resource chose to spend it on private education, this would also support capacity building and ultimately jobs.

    Moreover, if an individual chose to instead repay the bond faster or save the amount, this would also make the cash available to the economy, through investments made by banks.

    Although it can be said that the same would be true for a single, more expensive housing unit, Inkumbi sketched out a dispersal effect in which a spread of income sources would enhance the diversity of the economy.

    He illustrated this by saying the owner of a single, costly unit might use their disposable income on an expensive vehicle, supporting revenue and jobs in one outlet, but multiple beneficiaries of affordable income would have different needs and support multiple, different enterprises to support their needs.

    The dispersal effect would not only support multiple enterprises but could also have a significant geographic impact, as affordable housing was needed in all of Namibia's regions.


    On the topic of job creation for the construction industry, Inkumbi said that servicing land and building affordable homes would require incrementally more staff to work across multiple units, and that even on a temporary basis, this would have a beneficial effect on the economy.

    Inkumbi acknowledged that the mass nature of affordable housing would have an impact on the nature of the property development and real estate industries, but that would not necessarily be a bad thing.

    He explained that where the industries previously relied on revenue from a limited number of expensive units, they could achieve greater returns from the construction of a larger numbers of affordable units.

    He justified this by pointing to the current drag on house prices in expensive brackets, saying that particularly the real estate industry would find new sources of revenue in larger numbers, and strengthen itself with a greater diversity of price offerings to a wider market, rather than competing for a shrinking number of buyers with deep pockets in the market for expensive homes.

    He pointed out that the structural adjustment to the industry was a fait accompli, as evidenced by the growing number of property developers and real estate agents initiating projects in the serviced land and affordable homes bracket.

    Inkumbi invited developers, particularly those focusing on low-cost housing and the rent-to-buy market, to approach the bank and find out how to apply for finance or how to structure proposals with a view to initiating projects.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Zim denies new currency rate being fixed

    The head of Zimbabwe's central bank denied on Thursday that it had fixed the exchange rate of the country's new transitional currency, whose value it said it would let the market decide.

    The value of that currency, which authorities said they would float, has held unchanged at 2.5 to the US dollar since February 22. On the black market, the RTGS rate was 3.8 to the US dollar on Thursday, compared to 3.5 the previous week.

    Concerns that the government is resisting moves to allow a further devaluation of the RTGS dollar has discouraged those holding US dollars from selling them at the prevailing rate.

    "We have not fixed the exchange rate and we will not fix it," central bank governor John Mangudya told a parliamentary committee. – Nampa/Reuters

    US indicts Mozambique's former finmin

    The US Justice Department indicted Mozambique's former finance minister, along with eight executives, officials and investment bankers, over their alleged roles in a US$2 billion fraud and money laundering scheme, the department said on Thursday.

    The alleged co-conspirators arranged for more than US$2 billion in loans intended to fund three maritime projects, but diverted more than US$200 million in loan proceeds in bribe payments to former finance minister Manuel Chang and other officials and kickback payments to three investment bankers, the department said. – Nampa/Reuters

    Tunisia starting to put tourism crisis behind it

    Tunisia's tourism business is on the road to recovery and visitor numbers have started to head back towards their pre-crisis levels, the country's tourism minister said on Thursday.

    Tourism accounts for around 8% of Tunisia's economy and employs 400,000 people, but has suffered years of turmoil following the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 and two militant attacks on holidaymakers in 2015.

    Revenues from tourism jumped to US$1.36 billion in 2018 and a record 8.3 million visitors travelled to Tunisia from Algeria, Russia and other parts of Europe.

    Major European tour operators started to return to Tunisia last year after three years of shunning the country after militants killed 39 tourists in an attack on a beach in Sousse and 21 people in a separate attack at the Bardo National Museum in the capital Tunis.

    The number of foreign visitors rose almost 45% last year with arrivals from Germany up 52%. Tunisia expects tourist arrivals to reach 9 million for the first time in 2019. – Nampa/Reuters

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    No decision on Chinese financingNo decision on Chinese financing No decision has been made on who will finance the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) project, says transport minister John Mutorwa.

    This contradicts earlier media reports that a financing deal had been agreed upon by the Namibian and Chinese governments.

    Namibian Sun asked Mutorwa whether the government had decided to go the route of Chinese financing or whether a private investor would be allowed to operate the airport in a public-private partnership.

    “Government is clear at policy level; the decision was taken some time back that Hosea Kutako International Airport needs an upgrade. It is still a work in progress on financing. The details will follow … this is still a work in progress,” Mutorwa said.

    China had offered the government a sweetener when it proposed that the loan for the airport project would consist of a grant and an interest portion. The loan, state broadcaster NBC reported last year, would be worth N$2.6 billion and 2% interest would be charged; 10% of the loan would be in the form of a grant.

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein recently told a local newspaper that his ministry was leaning towards funding the airport project by getting a loan, instead of allowing a private company to build the airport.

    “A public-private partnership will result in outsourcing the airport. Do we want to outsource our strategic asset to private companies? No,” he said. Schlettwein's comment was a clear indication that the government intended to get a loan from China to fund the airport project, the newspaper reported.

    In December 2015, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) awarded a N$6.8 billion tender for the airport project to a Chinese state-owned firm, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group.

    President Hage Geingob subsequently cancelled the tender, citing irregularities in the manner it had been awarded. The finance ministry also said the tender had been awarded in contravention of the State Finance Act.

    That led to running court battles, which ended with a Supreme Court ruling delivered in March last year, vindicating the head of state.

    The World Bank recently advised the Namibian government to finance the planned airport upgrading on a public-private-partnership basis.

    “A public-private partnership would allow for the required development and enhancement of the Hosea Kutako International Airport's infrastructure, while generating budget efficiencies and fiscal relief for government to sustain the rest of the airport network,” a World Bank report said.


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    Lengthy suspensions discouragedLengthy suspensions discouraged The lengthy suspension of four staff members at the Namibia Airports Company has been criticised by transport minister John Mutorwa.

    When he announced the appointment of new NAC boss Bisey /Uirab last week, Mutorwa called for the swift conclusion of the disciplinary hearings of commercial services manager Toska Sem, human resources manager Josephine Soroses, finance and administration manager Verengai Ruswa and human resources manager Albert Sibeya.

    “As far as the suspension of staff members is concerned, I advise that, where so justified, it must be done within the prescription of the applicable laws as well as within the letter and spirit of Article 18 of the constitution,” Mutorwa said.

    Mutorwa said suspensions could ruin the reputations of those involved, sometimes unfairly.

    “We are ruled by law. Suspensions should be short so that the process of disciplinary hearings can start,” Mutorwa said.

    According to him, the suspension of the four managers harmed the NAC financially.

    “This thing of just suspending has cost the company. How do you run a company like that?” Mutorwa asked.

    Mutorwa had previously warned that the suspensions at the NAC had negative consequences.

    “The long drawn-out suspension of senior managers at the NAC has serious [consequences] for the activities of the company.

    “The board was tasked to urgently deal with the matter to ensure that those executives whose cases are finalised and not found guilty must resume their work at least by 28 August 2018,” Mutorwa said at the time.

    The four managers have since been reinstated while investigations continue.

    Acting NAC CEO Lot Haifide had at the time asked human resources manager Soroses to explain why she had signed five contracts, valued at a combined N$1.1 million, between 11 August 2017 and 18 August 2017.

    The contracts included hiring an economist to inform staff members about the state of the Namibian economy, training the human resources team, a supervisory skills training course, Microsoft Excel training and a training session on how to chair disciplinary hearings.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: RDP adopts 'slate' politics
  • RDP adopts 'slate' politicsRDP adopts 'slate' politicsEino Heelu the only one not on a slate The RDP is to elect new leaders at its third national convention scheduled for 18 to 21 April. Slate politics have been adopted in the run-up to the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) national convention, where a new party leadership will be elected.

    It has emerged that vice-president candidate Eino Heelu is the only one not on a slate.

    The RDP's third ordinary national convention is scheduled for 18 to 21 April.

    Heelu, a school principal who is currently a national executive committee member and the party's secretary of education and training, said three slates have coalesced around presidential candidates, Miriam Hamutenya, Mike Kavekotora and Kandy Nehova.

    Under Hamutenya's slate Heiko Lucks is the vice-president candidate, while Walter Ndakondja and Sibuku Malumbano are the secretary-general and deputy SG candidates, respectively.

    Kavekotora's slate consists of Kennedy Shekupakela as vice-president candidate, while Brünhilde Cornelius is the SG candidate and Agnes Limbo is running for the deputy SG post.

    Nehova's slate at this stage does not include a vice-president candidate, while Hidipohamba Sheuyange is the SG candidate and Phyllicia Hercules is running for deputy SG. “I was nominated by the party members who also seconded me before I was endorsed by the central committee to contest for the vice-president post. I do not belong to any slate because I do not believe in slate politics,” said Heelu.

    “I do not want to be wheelchaired into a position by any of my comrades, but those who nominated me believe in my personal character and also in my political history.”

    Kavekotora confirmed to Namibian Sun that the top four party posts will be contested on the basis of slate politics.

    “I have a team of fellow comrades, Shekupakela for vice-president, Cornelius for secretary-general and Limbo for deputy secretary general, whom I will be contesting with,” said Kavekotora.

    Nehova and Hamutenya could not be reached for comment.

    RDP secretary of information and publicity Nghiningiluandubo Kashume would not confirm nor deny the candidate formations, saying the central committee had not mandated him to talk about slates.

    “On 16 February we had a central committee meeting and it deliberated on the preparations for the third ordinary national convention. The central committee asked among its members who are prepared for positions at various levels of the top structure. They were nominated and endorsed by the meeting,” said Kashume.

    “The delegates to the national convention will be informed about the nominees of the central committee at every level of the top structure. After they are informed they will be given a chance if feel they want to nominate anyone from the floor.” Kashume said if there are no nominations the central committee nominations will be upheld, but if there are additional nominations, they will be made before the actual elections. “Regarding to your question about the slates, I have no idea because I am speaking on behalf of the central committee and not on behalf of any slates. The central committee nominated people not based on slates, but based on knowledge, skills and their ability to lead the organisation to higher heights,” Kashume said.

    He said 622 delegates are expected be in Windhoek on the 18 to 21 April to elect the new RDP top leadership.

    They will be comprised of three members from each of the 121 party districts, 10 members from each of the 14 regions, 74 members of the central committee, 20 delegates from the youth wing and 25 from the women's wing.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: Black Africa in control
  • Black Africa in controlBlack Africa in controlSeven points ahead in NPL Black Africa are the team to beat, going into the second leg of the NPL season. Black Africa has extended their lead at the top of the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) by thrashing Life Fighters 4-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

    The Katutura outfit are seven points clear.

    BA scored two goals in the first half - one by Wendell Rudath and the other by Dynamo Fredericks.

    In the second half, Rudath, who also received a yellow card for unnecessary dramatics, again added his name to the scoresheet, followed by McCartney Naweseb who ended BA's scoring for the day.

    The match was a face-paced one, with the Otjiwarongo-based outfit trying to stay in the contest and also showing they have talented players, but their inexperience and lack of composure in front of goal prevented them from taking home any points.

    With each goal scored BA, who last won the title in the 2013/14 season, saw their confidence growing.

    They now have 35 points, followed by defending champions African Stars on 28 points. Black Africa head coach Paulus Shipanga, who was on his feet for the duration of the match, said he was happy with the three points collected. “The boys who are normally on the bench came to the party, as I have some players with injuries and I had to make changes. I'm glad for the three points and the brilliant goals. We work together as a team. There are mistakes here and there but that's part of the game.” Shipanga said they are taking each match as it comes, and even though Africa Stars are chasing, they are not under pressure.

    He also plans to sign extra players during the transfer window to beef up his squad for the second leg of the NPL.

    “When you play a consistent team with mature players like BA, you cannot make mistakes and concede. We tried to push and change tactics to attack more, as we had nothing to lose, but unfortunately they scored more,” said Life Fighters coach Agnus Chabala.

    Chabala also plans to use the NPL transfer window, which is expected to open today, in order to come back stronger. In other matches, African Stars beat Mighty Gunners 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday.

    On Saturday Unam hammered Orlando Pirates 2-0 on home turf and Eleven Arrows beat Okahandja United 1-0.

    In Karasburg on the same day, Young Brazilian and Tura Magic played to a goalless draw. In Rundu, Julinho Sporting held Tigers to a 1-1 draw.

    There is still a match to be played between Brazilians and Pirates on Saturday to close off the first leg of the league.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: Magic hammer Nust Babes
  • Magic hammer Nust BabesMagic hammer Nust Babes The Skorpion Zinc NFA Women's Super League returned after a two-month break on Saturday in Gobabis, where Tura Magic thrashed Nust Babes 7-0.

    This was the highest scoreline of the day, followed by the Galz & Goals versus Omaheke Queens match which ended 5-0 in Galz & Goals' favour.

    In other matches on the same day, Khomas Nampol beat V-Power Angels 1-0, while Namib Daughters fought tooth and nail to walk away with a 2-0 win over Girls Football Club. Right Way and Unam Bokkies played to a goalless draw.

    A total of 207 goals were scored in the first round of the league, with Tura Magic scoring the most goals.

    “It was really great to bring the matches to Gobabis; we also want to see football action and really enjoyed watching the women play,” said Tala Paul, a supporter.

    Another supporter, Maria David, said it is motivating to see young women footballers. “Football really changes lives. I wish many parents could see sport as a tool to escape poverty and push youth into taking part, whether they are male or female,” she said.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: My minute with Vidic
  • My minute with VidicMy minute with Vidic The Uefa Champions League (UCL) is by far the most prestigious club competition in the world, by virtue of its popularity and reach.

    Equally so is England's Premier League (PL). The competition has garnered a host of fans from across the world and continues to do so every day.

    The following and passion undoubtedly adds to the vibe of the game. Last week Heineken brought former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic to the country as part of the UCL trophy tour.

    Initially many thought that another former Manchester United stalwart Ryan Giggs would land in the country with the trophy, as he was touring with the cup in neighbouring South Africa.

    In the end it was Vidic who landed at Hosea Kutako International Airport, which was still amazing, because this does not happen often.

    I'm not a United fan, but I watch the UCL and for this reason alone I was excited to shake hands with Vidic. It's any sports journalist's dream to meet any player from either Uefa or the EPL.

    I was invited exclusively to 'shadow' the Vidic pick-up at the airport. I thought, okay this is my chance to perhaps ask him a few questions and that I can use his answers in an article for my readers, so that they too can get to know the player off the pitch.

    This did not happen. The pick-up was rushed. It was four minutes tops. I managed to get a photo or two of the player and short video clips for my personal Facebook page, as I was initially not allowed to post them on Namibian Sun's social media pages, the end. We went our separate ways.

    Soon after I posted the clips, fans started calling and enquiring where they can catch a glimpse of the trophy. I did not have answers. They wanted to know if they can take a selfie with the former defender; still I did not know.

    The thing is, I understand why people were excited. Who wouldn't be? It's Vidic, one of the finest defenders ever to grace the Premier League. He was United's captain, who won five league titles, a Champions League trophy and three League Cups during his eight-year stay in England.

    Who would not want to see this guy in Windhoek? But there was no public display of the trophy. The whole affair was hush-hush, except for the lucky few who managed to get an invite.

    It was a disappointment, I must say. But of course most probably organisers were maybe just following protocol.

    But my question is: Why bring a player all the way to lock him up? European players play in stadiums full of thousands of fans. They are swamped by fans at airports. I think by now Vidic is used to the hype and knows how to handle himself.

    I understand sometimes fans overstep boundaries and try to hug players, and so forth, but knowing Namibians, I think they just wanted a selfie to brag that they saw their favourite player.

    Look at Giggs, I believe he had great fun in South Africa. I think South African fans were more excited to see Giggs in the flesh than the trophy. I think that's what most expected here.

    I appreciate the fact that I could tag along to the airport and that I was invited to see the former player. But I think the organisers could have done better. They disappointed many Vidic fans who go out and buy the replica paraphernalia of these players.

    Imagine someone taking a taxi all the way from Ombili or Havana hoping to see this guy, most probably for the first and last time in the flesh, and being told that they cannot even catch a glimpse of him.

    To those who managed to catch a glimpse of Vidic, I'm glad for you; to others who tried and couldn't, I'm truly sorry. All I can say is that he seems like a really humble guy.


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    US household net worth sees biggest fall since crisisUS household net worth sees biggest fall since crisisTumble by US$3.7 trillion Declining stock prices in December ate into consumer confidence and coincided with sharp drops in retail sales. Washington - American households saw their net worth plummet at the end of 2018 amid a rout on Wall Street, the biggest tumble since the global financial crisis, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

    The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average alone lost 13% from October to December, draining the value of stock holdings including in retirement accounts, amid concerns about the slowing US economy and the trade war with China.

    Household net worth fell US$3.7 trillion to US$104.3 trillion in the final three months of the year, according to the Fed's quarterly report. The 3.5% decline was the largest drop in percentage terms since the fourth quarter of 2008.

    The value of equities alone fell US$4.6 trillion during the quarter but this was partly offset by gains in the value of real estate and other assets, the report said.

    Stocks have recovered much of the fourth quarter losses, as Washington and Beijing have signaled they are close to reaching a trade deal, and as Fed policymakers said they intend to hold off on any further increases to benchmark interest rates, reducing concerns that rate hikes would slow the economy.

    Declining stock prices in December ate into consumer confidence and coincided with sharp drops in retail sales.

    Economists say Wall Street selloffs can make consumers fearful for the future and thus wary of spending.

    Consumer spending in December fell 0.5%, its largest monthly decline since September 2009, according to the Commerce Department. – Nampa/AFP

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  • 03/10/19--15:00: Tax evasion versus avoidance
  • Tax evasion versus avoidanceTax evasion versus avoidance There is a thin line between tax evasion and avoidance as they both result in reducing taxes or not paying taxes at all.

    Tax evasion refers to illegal activities deliberately undertaken by a taxpayer to free itself from a tax burden. The commissioner of inland revenue needs no special powers to counter tax evasion, which is in essence a fraud against the fiscus and if discovered, could result in heavy penalties being imposed.

    Tax avoidance, in contrast, denotes a situation in which the taxpayer has arranged its affairs in a perfectly legal manner in order to minimise the amount of tax payable by the taxpayer.

    For example, not declaring income arising from an all-cash business, foreign source or illegal activities (such as drug dealing or prostitution) may constitute tax evasion. However, increasing your retirement fund contributions or donating to an inland revenue registered welfare organisation in order to reduce your taxable income is regarded as tax avoidance or planning.

    Guidance indicators are established under section 95, which enables the receiver of revenue to disregard a transaction for tax purposes if it can be proven that;

    • The transaction, operation or scheme has the effect of avoiding, postponing or reducing the liability for the payment of any duty, levy or tax.

    • It was entered into for the sole purpose of avoidance, postponement or reduction of any liability for the payment of any duty, levy or tax.

    • It was entered into a manner that is abnormal when considering similar transactions, or

    • It was entered into in a manner, which creates rights or obligations that would not normally be created between persons that are an arm’s length under similar transactions.

    It is important to note that the provisions are not limited to the Income Tax Act but to any tax, duty or levy administered by the minister of finance.

    According to section 95 for an impermissible avoidance arrangement to exist, the main purpose of the arrangement must be to obtain a tax benefit. However, at the same time for section 95 to be applied, all the above characteristics needs to be present to empower the commissioner to evoke the taxpayer’s taxability while inflicting penalties as per section 65 and 66.

    Despite the fact that the Income Tax Act has specific and general avoidance provisions, it is not illegal for a taxpayer to plan their tax affairs in a manner that is the most beneficial to them as there is no obligation for a taxpayer to pay more tax than is legally required under the Income Tax Act.

    The commissioner of inland revenue seeks only to disregard those transactions, which have been arranged with the intent to defraud inland revenue purposefully and within the criteria set out in Section 95 above.

    Johan Nel is a partner: corporate tax service at PwC Namibia. This series on tax is published in Market Watch bi-monthly on a Monday.

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  • 03/10/19--15:00: The state of women
  • The state of womenThe state of women Much has been said about the challenges facing women and girls in Namibia and across the world, and with the celebration of International Women's Day this past Friday, there was again much reflection.

    According to statistics published by africa.com, every year an estimated 15 million girls under the age of 18 are married worldwide, with little or no say in the matter.

    Every year, at least 1 000 'honour killings' occur in India and Pakistan each.

    The barbarism of female genital mutilation affects more than 200 million girls and women in over 30 countries.

    According to the UN Foundation, 62 million girls around the world are simply denied an education.

    A 2016 study by the UNDP found that approximately US$95 billion is lost in sub-Saharan Africa each year because women have lower participation in the paid labour force, according to africa.com.

    It is true that International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

    The 2019 International Women's Day theme focused on innovative ways in which gender equality can be advanced, as well as the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

    In the Namibian context, we need to acknowledge how critical women and girls are to our development as a country, and how we, as a nation, would be poor and ragged without their contributions and upliftment.

    The demon of patriarchy, which is still prevalent across many sectors and realms, must be consigned to the dustbin of history, in order for women to take their rightful place at decision-making tables in politics, the economy and civil society.

    It is, after all, from the laps of women that nations have risen to greatness, and the world has fashioned purpose and light.

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    Women should aim for presidency - GeingosWomen should aim for presidency - Geingos First Lady Monica Geingos has told women that they must aim to become president instead of first lady.

    Geingos was speaking during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on the occasion of International Women's Day, which is celebrated annually on 8 March.

    This year's theme was '#BalanceforBetter', focusing on gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women's achievements.

    “They must not aspire to become someone through marriage, they must aspire to become someone through the choices they make,” Geingos advised young women in the interview.

    Geingos said women should aspire to become someone through their studies, the kind of work they do and the kind of impact they want to make in the space that they occupy.

    “So I always advise them, please aspire to be a president, not a first lady.” She further said that women should only marry a person who is good to them, and not for power or money.

    “So it is a conversation I have with a lot of young women, but the young women also give me hope because they do have more choices.”Geingos further said that she sometimes received a lot of criticism on social media because she addressed difficult topics.

    “You will notice on social media for instance I get some sharp answers from some people and that is fine, because I think what is important for me is that we push difficult discussions, because it is in those difficult discussions that mind-sets are changed.” Meanwhile, Namibia's progress towards achieving gender equality was highlighted by President Hage Geingob on International Women's Day.

    He urged the nation to do more to achieve gender equality, while expressing concern about the ongoing scourge of gender-based violence.

    In a statement issued by the presidency, Geingob recognised the efforts Namibia had made over the past three decades in working towards the goal of gender equality.

    “International Women's Day invites us to reflect on the journey we have travelled in achieving the goal of gender equality.

    It also reminds us of the efforts we have made since independence, and summons us to renew our commitment to gender equality, and fight the scourge of gender-based violence.

    “As a nation, we have consolidated equality, including that of women in our laws. Article 10 of the Namibian Constitution states that all persons shall be equal before the law and no persons may be discriminated against on grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status,” said Geingob.

    According to him the protection of rights contained in the constitution is reinforced by the Married Persons Equality Act, which ensures that aspects of common and customary law on marriage are in line with the constitution.

    He said Namibia's gender policies and plans of action were fully geared towards the empowerment of women.

    “The empowerment of women is a human right and not a favour. Even if we should do more, I am satisfied that women continue to play a leading role in business, sports and politics, including in our Executive and Legislature.

    “We have been able to increase the participation of women in the legislature when the ruling Swapo Party took a principled decision at the 1997 congress by passing a resolution to increase the proportion of female delegates to the party's congress up to 50%,” said Geingob.

    He added that all efforts must continue to be centred on the empowerment and education of girls.

    According to him education is the greatest equaliser and is also a powerful weapon in the fight against the “undesirable feminisation of poverty”.

    Namibia has adopted a National Gender Policy and two plans of action - the National Gender Plan of Action and the National Gender-based Violence Plan of Action - which are aligned to regional and continental instruments, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, the Maputo Protocol and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa.


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    Namibia wins big at Berlin travel awardsNamibia wins big at Berlin travel awards The Land of the Brave won big at a global travel awards show, with Namibia being recognised as the Best Safari and Wildlife Destination for 2019.

    Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta also scooped the award for the Tourism Minister of the Year for Emerging Destination.

    Namibia received the accolades at the Pacific Areas Travel Writers Association (PATWA) awards that took place last week in Berlin, Germany, at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB).

    “I want to give the main credit to the women and men in our rural areas, for whom living with wildlife means striving for balanced land use and a healthy environment.

    “Game does not need to be eradicated from a landscape because it may pose a threat to crops or livestock, but can be integrated with other rural livelihood activities,” Shifeta said at the ceremony.

    He said community conservation covered 163 396 square kilometres in Namibia, which was about 53.4% of all communal land.

    Conservancies manage 19.4% of land in Namibia and contribute in excess of N$4 billion to the country's net national income. Community conservation supports wildlife recoveries and environmental restoration.

    Shifeta said the success story of Namibia stemmed from the government realising right at the onset at Independence that its natural assets were the bedrock of the tourism industry and ensured that the protection of Namibia's nature and wildlife was enshrined in the constitution.

    According to Shifeta Namibia strives for the maintenance of its ecological biodiversity for the benefit of its citizens and the world. Namibia's conservation is therefore based on three pillars.

    One of these pillars is conservation across the borders in the form of transfrontier conservation areas.

    “Through this approach Namibia is integrating the aspect of conservation to other countries in the SADC region to ensure that fragmented wildlife habitats are joined into an interconnected mosaic of protected areas and transboundary wildlife corridors, which facilitates and enhances the free movement of animals across international borders,” said Shifeta.

    Furthermore, they promote long-term protection and sustainable use of natural resources and cultural heritage within member countries.

    According to Shifeta Namibia is a member of three transfrontier conservation areas: the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and the Iona-Skeleton Coast Transfrontier Park.

    He said another pillar was the internationally acclaimed community-based natural resources programme which empowered communities and created incentives for sustainable development and co-existence with wildlife.

    “Namibia has gained a worldwide reputation for its innovative approaches of linking conservation to poverty alleviation through this conservancy programme and pro-poor tourism initiatives.”

    He said this programme would continue to provide communities with incentives to manage and conserve their areas and natural resources to unlock enormous tourism development opportunities and benefits from the use of wildlife.

    There are currently 83 registered conservancies in Namibia benefiting thousands of rural communities through employment, cash income, social projects and in-kind benefits.

    Shifeta said the third pillar was the protected areas network that included the country's national parks.

    “This is significant for economic development through tourist attraction to such protected areas.”

    Namibia has 20 state-run protected areas covering about 17% of the country's land surface. These protected areas conserve biodiversity and ecosystems by protecting some of the country's most important habitats and species of national and global significance.

    “We pride ourselves in being among the global leaders in conservation and that we offer tourists not only a safe and incredible safari and wildlife experience, but an opportunity to contribute to ecological preservation and biodiversity protection,” said Shifeta.

    According to him the awards could not have come at a better time than now, when Namibia was battling to control poaching of rhinos and elephants.

    “This will encourage us as the authority and our various stakeholders to do more to stop poaching of high-value species,” he said.

    The PATWA International Travel Awards are handed out once a year at ITB Berlin in March.

    The ITB attracts an average of 109 000 visitors and 10 000 exhibitors from all over the world.

    More than 30 Namibian tourism companies, under the banner of the Namibia Tourism Board, are represented at the tourism trade fair.


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  • 03/10/19--15:00: Boy impaled on broken chair
  • Boy impaled on broken chairBoy impaled on broken chairScuffle at school ends in tragedy A boy who fell onto a broken chair during a classroom altercation last year hopes that bowel surgery will allow him to return to school. The family of Fortune Akawa (15) and the Oshana education directorate hope that an operation on 22 March will enable Akawa to return to school.

    Akawa, a grade 8 leaner at the Ongwediva Control Combined School, has been studying at home since a freak accident at the Oshakati West Primary School in October last year.

    Akawa, who was a class monitor, was impaled on a broken chair while intervening in a squabble between his classmates.

    According to his mother, Sara Johannes, her son was brought home by a teacher on 8 October last year. The teacher told her that he had tripped and fallen onto the exposed metal frame of a chair with a broken backrest.

    He had been called to settle an argument between some of his classmates and was allegedly pushed by one of the other boys.

    “She [the teacher] said Akawa fell onto the chair iron with his full weight. It stabbed him through his anus and pierced through his stomach and protruded from it, injuring his intestines and causing blood to pour from his anus.” Johannes said.

    His mother took him to the local clinic and he was rushed to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital in an ambulance. “He was taken for surgery that same day. After the treatment he could not pass bowel movements and they inserted an artificial bowel sphincter.”

    Since then he has been in and out of hospital and cannot attend school.

    Johannes said Akawa returned to school in November to write examinations and was promoted to grade 8.

    He was enrolled at Ongwediva Control Combined School in January but after a few days the principal called a meeting with Johannes.

    “When the school started I informed the school principal about his condition. They accepted him and his condition, but later they invited me to school and told me that it was better for him to continue his education from home,” Johannes said.

    She fetches his assignments from school every day and returns them for marking.

    The education inspector for Ompundja Circuit, Hofni Kapolo, said he was aware of Akawa's situation.

    “This is a very difficult situation and we had never experienced it before. The boy has an artificial bowel sphincter that needs to be emptied from time to time.

    “The problem is that the school has no pit latrine toilets and they cannot discharge the waste into a flush toilet,” said Kapolo.

    “I was informed that after the meeting with the boy's parent they reached an agreement that the boy would continue his schooling from home. The policy makes it clear that if a learner has a contagious condition they can stay home until they are better.”

    Kapolo said he was informed that Akawa would undergo another operation this month and hopefully he would then be able to return to school.

    Johannes said she was unemployed and struggling to provide her son with the diet prescribed by his doctor. He only eats soft foods and liquids to minimise the pressure on his intestines.

    Earlier this month Esser Shilimela of the charity organisation ESBA Pendukeni Foundation visited Akawa and his family and donated food and N$3 000 in cash toward his medical expenses.

    “All I wish for is for the boy to get well and I keep following up on him and his well-being. If he is still not well after this operation and something needs to be done, I am willing to help out,” Shilimela said.


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