Miller and Du Plessis crowned Cross Country XCO national champions

WINDHOEK: Mountain bike riders Alex Miller and Monique du Plessis were on Saturday crowned national champions at the Nedbank Namibia Cross Country (XCO) championship held at the IJG Trails in Kleine Kuppe.

The Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) organised the event and crowned its national champions from the junior to the senior level in the XCO categories.

Miller and Du Plessis were on the day in a class of their own dominating their respective categories.

Miller who continues to show exceptional form finished the seven-round laps of the almost five-kilometre circuit in one hour, 30 minutes and 59 seconds (01:30:59) despite stopping for almost a minute to fix his punctured tyre in the fourth lap.

He was three minutes and 44 seconds ahead of Kevin Lowe who started a minute later in the Under-23 category. Lowe was crowned the U-23 men’s champion after completing the seven laps in a time of 01:33:15 and behind Miller.

Tristan de Lange who represented Namibia at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the road race event
also made an appearance after being away from the track for almost a year. He finished second in the elite men’s category, nine minutes behind Miller in a time of 01:39:12.

Danzel de Koe finished third in the elite men category and was almost a lap behind in a time of 01:42:19. Apart from De Lange and De Koe all the other elite riders were lapped or retired from the race.

Meanwhile in the elite women’s category Du Plessis dominated her field finishing the five laps in a time of 01:22:19. She was 10 minutes ahead of second-placed Jean-Marie Mostert who completed her race in a time of 01:32:48. The last podium position was supposed to go to Mimi Hough, but she was lapped by Du Plessis, therefore couldn’t finish the race when the leader crossed the line.

Meanwhile, the U-23 men’s category podium spots went to Lowe who was followed by Hugo Hahn and Theuns van der Westhuizen in second and third respectively. The women’s category only had one rider competing in the event. Ashanti Auchas completed her three laps
in a time of 01:24:58.

In an interview with the media after the race, Miller said he had a good time on the track and is looking forward to the African Championships in Morocco and his European Tour.

‘This was a good race, I decided to put my foot down from the start because I believed in my form. I am now looking forward to representing my country at the African championships in Morocco,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Du Plessis said the windy conditions on the day made the race tough, but she enjoyed the competition and now refocuses her attention on her trip to Europe where she will be competing in the International Cycling Union (UCI) African Junior Team for about six months.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Hainuca matches Fredericks’ record

WINDHOEK: Namibian sprinter Gilbert Hainuca became the second Namibian male athlete ever to run under 10 seconds, when he put up an impressive performance at the Athletics Namibia National Championships held at the Independence Stadium.

The 100m and 200m sprinter on Saturday posted his first sub-10 second run, making him the second fastest man on Namibian soil to run that time in a 100m event.

Hainuca won the men’s 100m final with an impressive time of 9.86 seconds at the weekend’s AN national championships here.

On 03 July 1996, Namibian Olympic silver medallist Frank Fredericks clocked a time of 9.86 seconds in Lausanne, Switzerland, which has remained the national record for 28 years. His time was matched by Hainuca on Saturday.

On 18 May 2002, while competing in Nairobi, Kenya, Fredericks ran even faster, clocking in at 9.85 seconds. But this time did not become the new national record, as the wind was measured at +3.0 by the wind gauge.

In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Hainuca who retained his
100m and 200m titles at the nationals expressed his joy over his achievement.

‘It feels great to have run that time. This event was approved by World Athletics, therefore I now need another event where I can prove that I can run that time again and then I can qualify for the Olympics,’ he said.

The national champion said he is hopeful that he will get a race probably in Europe so he can make his sub-10 record legal.

‘Hard work does pay off. As an athlete, I have to work hard, study and train, so I would like to thank myself for not giving up. I would also like to thank my coach, Letu Hamhola for always believing in me, and the Vugf family for their unwavering support. Credit for my success should also go to my parents, friends, and other family members who have always been there for me, providing a helping hand and support whenever I need it,’ he said.

Hainuca stated that he felt confident when he stepped on the track and used all he had learned at training to execute a good race.

Source: The Namibia Pr
ess Agency


African Stars title celebration marred by public disorder

WINDHOEK: The crowning of the 2023/24 Debmarine Namibia Premiership champions at Independence Stadium on Saturday was marred by supporters invading the football field.

The chaotic award ceremony saw hundreds of African Stars supporters flock onto the football pitch to be near their players as they received the trophy for once again being crowned Champions of the Debmarine Namibia Premiership.

Two brilliant goals in the second half from Ngunzu Salazar and Willy Stephanus sealed the deal for the Katutura-based Namibian football giants to retain their title, while at the same time relegating Orlando Pirates.

At the end of the match, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) organised a ceremony to crown the champions, but this joyous moment was interrupted by scenes of the champions’ supporters who also wanted a piece of history as they posed for pictures with the trophy, causing chaos during the award ceremony.

In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, a disappointed Salomo Hei, African Stars’ chairperson said the
y are happy to have retained the trophy after a gruelling season, but the awarding ceremony left a lot to be desired.

‘The first thing we noticed when on stage is there were no medals. Last year when we were crowned champions it was done by the Normalisation Committee and things moved smoothly, we had a team picture but as I speak today, we don’t have any team pictures of being crowned champions because supporters were everywhere on the football field,’ he said.

Hei added that the security detail at the field was not up to standard as people were unaware of who was doing what and when.

‘We did not know who was going to give the cheques and the trophy. The Normalisation Committee did things much better; we can go back to that award ceremony and show you photos and how supporters were organised to be in the stands,’ Hei said while stating that they would have wanted things to be run better.

He also said that players were asking for medals and there were no medals, therefore it’s essential to allow the Premi
er League to run its affairs independently so that those in the office of the Football Association can focus on other matters.

‘The current football leaders are doing their utmost best to see football played in the country which at times make work too much for them. It’s important to allow the Premier League to be an independent body doing its administration,’ Hei said.

He also stated that not having the Football Association president at the crowning ceremony allows for ‘these small things to happen because the head of the house is not around’.

When the NFA was approached for comment on the matter, its communications department promised to revert but failed to do so before the story was published.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


MVA concerned about rise in road accidents

The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund noted the alarming rise in road accident related statistics during the past Easter holiday.

According to the fund in a media release, road crashes during that weekend rose by 6 per cent, injuries by 19 per cent, and fatalities by an overwhelming 60 per cent.

These figures according to MVA Fund Chief Executive Officer Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, not only reflect a shocking increase from the previous year but also signify a critical need for immediate intervention to ensure the safety of all road users.

‘The safety of road users is of paramount importance because road crashes have devastating consequences that affect families, communities and the nation at large.

The MVA Fund has noted that these crashes are often predictable and preventable through conscientious driving, strict adherence to road traffic rules and regulations, planning long journeys, while also avoiding driving at night when there is less visibility on the road,’ she expressed.

The fund has also expressed
its condolences to the families affected by the tragic bus accident which occurred outside Walvis Bay earlier this week, resulting in the death of two tourists and injuries to many more.

The fund has assured the families that the injured will receive the appropriate medical care and attention they need.

‘We extend our deepest sympathies to the persons injured of the recent tragic road crash and their families. The fund is also offering support to those affected and is closely monitoring their recovery,’ Martins-Hausiku said.

According to MVA, foreign nationals in Namibia are entitled to medical treatment and injury management for the duration of their stay in the country.

Additionally, if a foreign national is fatally injured in a road accident in Namibia, they are eligible for a N.dollars 7 000 funeral grant.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Police officer allegedly steals goat

The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Oshikoto Region have opened a case of stock theft against a 48-year-old police officer for allegedly stealing and slaughtering a goat.

According to NamPol crime investigations coordinator for Oshikoto, Deputy Commissioner Titus Ekandjo on Sunday, the incident happened on Saturday around 14h00 at the Old Police Station Barracks in Omuthiya. The officer holds a sergeant position and is a member of the Special Reserve Force sub-division here.

‘It is alleged that the complainant’s goat herder was looking after goats around Omuthiya town whereby he (the goat herder) saw a man leading/driving some of the goats into the old Omuthiya Police Station yard where some members of the police are currently accommodated,’ reported Ekandjo.

The herder allegedly saw four goats entered in the yard, however only three came out, with one female goat missing.

‘The herder then went to ask the man he had seen about the missing goat, but the said person allegedly responded that no goat re
mained in the yard. The herder then went in the yard and did his own investigations,’ said Ekandjo.

The herder allegedly found some bloodstains on the ground following which he informed the owner of the goats, who then contacted the police.

The police attended to the matter and found a goat carcass in the suspect’s room, in a fire extinguisher box, which was hidden between the suspect’s bed and wardrobe.

‘The goat owner identified the carcass as of her missing goat and the carcass was then handed over to the lawful owner, who is the complainant in the matter,’ noted Ekandjo.

The slaughtered goat is valued at N.dollars 2 000.

The suspect is arrested and he is expected to appear before the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Woman arrested for abandoning child in dunes

Police in the Erongo Region have arrested a 24-year-old mother who reportedly abandoned her toddler in the dunes in the Narraville area in Walvis Bay on Saturday morning.

The 1-year-old child was discovered about 200 metres from the main road between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, by a passerby at around 07h10.

She was found wrapped well in a blanket and dressed in warm clothes along with some disposable nappies.

Namibian Police Force spokesperson in the Erongo Region, Chief Inspector Ileni Shapumba said the woman was arrested later that day when she was found selling kapana (meat) at a shebeen in Kuisebmund.

She was charged under the Child Care and Protection Act No 3 of 2015 and is set to appear in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The child, who was found with no sign of physical injury, was taken to a safe place and social workers from the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare were informed.

Shapumba expressed concern over the incident.

‘This kind of conduct can
not be condoned. It is important to indicate that children have rights to know and be cared for by their parents and we as parents, have that constitutional obligation,’ he stressed.

Investigations in the matter are ongoing.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Police arrest man suspected of murder of ex-girlfriend

Police in the Kavango East Region on Friday arrested a 28-year-old man suspected to have murdered his 21-year-old ex-girlfriend at Kehemu residential area on Thursday.

It is alleged that the suspect fled the scene after allegedly stabbing the victim several times with a knife, leaving behind their three-year-old son and the murder weapon.

She died instantly.

The Namibian Police Force Acting Regional Commander, Deputy Commissioner Eino Nambahu on Sunday told Nampa it is alleged that the two had an argument over a text message on the deceased’s phone, which the suspect took from her the night of her death.

The suspect is expected to make his first appearance in the Rundu Magistrate’s Court on Monday, while investigations continue.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Isaack appeals for unity to overcome contemporary social challenges

Chief of the |Hai-|Khaua Traditional Authority (TA), Johannes Isaack said for his community to survive and overcome all contemporary social challenges, they need to remain united, strive for self-sustainability and stimulate a sense of pride, hope and dignity in the hearts of their children.

Isaack who made the remarks at Berseba on Saturday during the |Hai-|Khaua 13th annual cultural festival urged his community to use their circumstances and adversities, as fuel for inspiration to make a meaningful contribution towards the development and achievement of their full potential.

‘These trying times have severely affected the poorest of the poor, it has affected the youth, many of whom remain trapped in unemployment and social decay and an emotional feeling of hopelessness. [But] the history of our forebearers clearly reveals that our community has been able to rise from the ashes to rebuild and reconstruct their communities,’ said Isaack.

Meanwhile, Isaack criticised the slow or non-existent implementation o
f the resolutions of the national land conference held in 2018, specifically regarding resettlement.

‘Way too few farms are being purchased for the purpose of resettling our people, to that we also find the criteria used for resettlement problematic. Our understanding was that resettlement was meant to address the issue of dispossession of land by the colonial regimes but the criteria used seem to overlook the issue of who lost land,’ he stressed.

Isaack said amid these challenges leaders have a common responsibility to improve the living conditions of their communities and create a better tomorrow for future generations, citing that he is hopeful and optimistic this can be achieved through the national projects which are to commence in the region such as the green hydrogen, oil and gas and the irrigation schemes.

Chairperson of the Traditional Leaders Council, Gaob Immanuel |Gaseb said cultural festivals are one of the most effective vehicles for ensuring that culture within communities is strengthened.

‘They provide a wonderful celebration that provide a sweet atmosphere of happiness and enjoyment of cultural diversity,’ he said.

He urged the community of Berseba to unite, saying: ‘The time has come to unite and stop the infightings, we need to take hands and move towards peace, we have to accept each other as we are different but we need to get to live together. We blame the government that it does not give solutions but it’s not a government matter, it is our traditional issue, the government recognises the person who is chosen by the community.’

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Interrogate underrepresentation of ||Kharas learners in green hydrogen scholarship: Nandi-Ndaitwah

Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said an investigation should be launched to determine why there is an underrepresentation of learners from the ||Kharas Region for the green hydrogen scholarships.

Nandi-Ndaitwah made these remarks at Berseba on Saturday during the 13th cultural festival of the |Hai-|Khaua Traditional Authority.

‘I cannot believe that learners from here cannot qualify. And if that is the case, I think we need to interrogate it, because the schools are here, they are on the doorsteps as compared to other regions, this region as compared to others not all the classes are overcrowded,’ she said.

Further, she said it is evident that the country is experiencing drought which is affecting everyone, adding that Government will do everything possible to ensure that those badly affected and in need of food will be assisted.

Nandi-Ndaitwah stressed drought food must be given to those in need and should not be politicised, as it is food bought by the government that it sends for all Namibians wh
o have no food.

‘We cannot play with people’s lives because of politics, we need these people, people must eat in order to vote for you, why starve them…? Drought food is not for families, friends and political allies to those given responsibility to distribute them, therefore, any unethical behaviour in relation to drought food distribution must be reported to the Office of the Prime Minister,’ she stressed.

She also said communities and their traditional leaders play an important role in the socio-economic development of the country while traditional leaders in particular, contribute to enhancing national cohesion, harmony, peace and unity among their communities.

She called upon traditional leaders and their communities to collaborate with law enforcement agencies in their regions to combat gender-based violence and other negative vices.

‘As of late, we have witnessed an upsurge of criminal activities such as domestic violence against women and children, alcohol and drug abuse among the youth and eld
erly in various communities in our country. Community courts in various traditional communities adjudicate both criminal and civil cases and our communities should utilise these institutions to promote law and order, to maintain peace and harmony in the communities,’ said Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


President Mbumba to host King Philippe of Belgium this week

WINDHOEK: President Nangolo Mbumba will host King Philippe of Belgium on a five-day visit, starting on Monday, the Presidency has announced.

A media statement issued Sunday said King Philippe’s visit from 29 April to 03 May 2024 will present Namibia and Belgium with an excellent opportunity to deepen the strong bonds of friendship and growing bilateral relations that the two countries currently enjoy.

The statement indicated that Belgium is ranked as Namibia’s fifth top 10 exporter partner in copper, diamonds, precious metals, fruits and nuts – valued at more than N.dollars 5 billion between 2022 and 2023.

It noted that imports to Namibia from Belgium include pharmaceutical products, mineral fuels and oil products of more than N.dollars 3 billion.

‘The visit by His Majesty King Philippe, the King of the Belgians provides an excellent opportunity for Namibia and Belgium to strengthen cooperation for the benefit of our peoples in a diverse range of sectors; from green hydrogen, environmental protection, tou
rism, forestry, arts and culture, trade and investment, including the development of port infrastructure,’ Mbumba is quoted as saying ahead of the visit.

The Presidency noted that people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have also seen a sharp increase of activities in the areas of education. It added that Namibia additionally emerged as one of the top destinations for Belgian tourists in Africa, while Belgian investments have increased in the tourism sector.

King Philippe will hold bilateral talks with President Mbumba at State House on Tuesday. He will also lay a wreath at Heroes’ Acre and visit Hope Initiative Southern Africa – Namibia (HISA) in Okuryangava, where he will participate in a financial literacy and economic empowerment session.

On Thursday, the Head of State and King Philippe will witness the Cleanergy Green Hydrogen inauguration in Walvis Bay, Erongo. They will view the filling of two dual fuel trucks at the hydrogen refuelling station and tour the green hydrogen production are
a, dual truck workshop and solar park.

King Philippe will be accompanied by a large Belgian business delegation.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


Lions Old Age Home gets revamped kitchen

First National Bank (FNB) Namibia through its FirstRand Foundation donated N.dollars 225 000 for the renovation of the kitchen at the Swakopmund Lions Old Age Home.

The recent unveiling of the renovated kitchen was combined with staff volunteerism and initiatives, during which some helped prepare meals for the elderly while others assisted those in the village’s Frail Care Centre.

FirstRand Corporate Social Investments Manager Revonia Job in an interview with the media said the donation is part of the foundation’s focus area and motto of giving back to the community.

‘It is important for us as a bank to take care of our senior citizens with the wisdom that they have, and we are really very happy to be associated with the Lions Club and the elderly home,’ she noted.

The donation included tiling, replacement of equipment and painting.

Secretary of the Lions Club Jonathan Wilsnach noted that the kitchen had not been renovated for the past 35 years and it had been the club’s long goal to get the renovations

‘We are therefore very grateful that we have managed to accomplish that task with the help of the FNB Foundation. We have been busy with projects to try and raise funds to renovate this kitchen and a lot of work has indeed been put into this renovation and we cannot be more appreciative as we can now focus on other areas to improve at the old age home,’ he expressed.

Head chef at the home’s kitchen, Maria Seibes also expressed gratitude to FNB for the renovations, adding that the new equipment will now make food preparation easier and more efficient for her and the other kitchen staff.

There are currently 90 units at the centre, with over 200 elderly and frail care residents at the old age village.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency


MIT to develop infrastructure for street vendors

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) has embarked on setting up infrastructure for informal traders.

Addressing micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) owners of the Moses ||Garoeb Constituency in Windhoek on Saturday, Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu said the ministry has identified the need to upgrade and develop infrastructure of MSMEs and has budgeted N.dollars 4 million under the current financial year towards the Informal Economic Traders Platform Infrastructure Development programme.

She said MSMEs makes up 40 per cent of the country’s traders and therefore the ministry has committed towards budgeting for the upgrading of informal trader economic hubs.

‘We think we have done enough with industrial and SME parks, our focus now is on informal traders. We see many people are selling their products on the margins of the street and many of you are street vendors. So our focus is that each financial year we at least envisioned to give three main informal trad
ers space,’ she said.

She indicated that through the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) a total of 46 industrial and SME parks were constructed across the country.

Iipumbu further explained that the programme is done in collaboration with local authorities, noting that under the current financial year, infrastructure development will commence in Okalongo in the Omusati Region, Mariental in the Hardap Region and Henties Bay in the Erongo Region.

She explained a ministerial tour in City of Windhoek’s informal settlements during the COVID-19 era in 2020 identified that about 19 informal economic hubs need infrastructure development.

Also, she noted the ministry has the Industrial Upgrading and Modernisation Programme (IUMP) that offers free training on behavioural change, finance and equally assists traders with equipment between N.dollars 50 000 and N.dollars 400 000.

‘Everybody needs training, even you selling fatcakes. We came to realise that we need to train you on how to manage your finances.
We don’t want you to continue selling 20 fatcakes a day which will gain you a profit that is only enough for you to buy a 1kg maize bag, we want you to grow and think in terms of growth,’ she said.

Iipumbu also indicated that the ministry has revived in 2023 the Equipment Aid Scheme which was halted since 2016 due to budgetary constraints, which supports MSME owners with start-up equipment.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency