2 NEWS Friday, July 28 2017 | NEW ERA Roland Routh Windhoek The Supreme Court this week dismissed an appeal by the finance ministry, and its customs and excise department, to set aside the High Court order that the Treasury ought to compensate a Botswana company for losses incurred after an impounded cargo of cigarrettes of the company went bad while in government custody. The ruling essentially found that the finance ministry and customs and excise officials overstepped their boundares in the matter and should not have held on to to the consignment of cigarrettes after the company had paid its dues. As a result the Supreme Court found that the finance ministry must compensate the Botswana company for the loss of nearly N.2 million. The matter stems from the case in which the Botswana company, Benson Craig, took the ministry and the customs and excise commissioner to court after customs officials impounded a consignment of 579 boxes of cigarettes destined for a duty-free concern in Oshikango. The cigarettes were sent on February 13, 2013 to a bonded warehouse, but the consignment was detained by customs officials at the border between Namibia and Botswana. This is because the clearing agent of the Botswana company wrongly declared that the cigarettes were Supreme Court dismisses finance ministry appeal destined for consumption in Namibia, which would have led to less duties being paid. When the company realised the mistake they immediately rectified it and withdrew the incorrect declaration. However, customs officials refused to release the cigarettes unless a penalty of 25 percent of excise duty was paid, which exceeded N0,000 and had been calculated with reference to the purchase price of 928,000 pula (approximately N.2 million) for the cigarettes. According to Benson Craig it sold the cigarettes in a “cost and freight” transaction with the bonded warehouse, Southern African Duty-Free Namibia, for the amount of 928,000 pula (N.2 million). After futile attempts to have the consignment released by customs, the Botswana company instituted a legal suit in the High Court to have the consignment returned. They also asked for an alternative compensation claim of 928,000 pula or the Namibian equivalent of N.2 million, as compensation, as well as N,000 for transport costs. The finance ministry and the customs and excise commissioner defended the action and denied the detention of the cigarettes was unlawful, and invoked provisions of the Customs and Excise Act to justify the detention and imposition of the penalty. However, High Court Judge Kobus Miller found in favour of Benson Craig and ordered the return of the consignment. Yet, in the meantime the entire cigarette consignment has become useless as it lost its fragrance and taste and became dry and unsellable as it has a shelf life of six months once packed, wrapped and sealed. The minister and the commissioner appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court and filed their notice of appeal a few weeks late. But the Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter. The only issues raised in the appeal was on the monetary value put on the consignment as it was proved on a factual basis that the consignment was worth N.2 million. Yesterday Supreme Court Judge Dave Smuts, with Chief Justice Peter Shivute and Acting Judge of Appeal Yvonne Mokgoro concurring, ruled the appeal is without any merit and enjoyed no prospect of success. FRAUD From page 1 The two did not get bail as the State strongly opposed the idea, reasoning the investigations are still at an infant stage and it would not be in the best interest of justice as the offences are of a serious nature. Nande resigned from her position last week before her arrest while Haseb had resigned from his plum position in November last year. According to the daily The Namibian, the money in question was meant to subsidise the financially struggling sports federation between 2015 and 2016. If found guilty, the two could face up to 25 years behind bars or a fine not exceeding N0,000. Magistrate Venessa Stanely postponed the case to August 18 for a formal bail application and October 20 for further investigations. Attorneys Vetu Uanivi and Kadhila Amoomo represented the accused with Joseph Andreas prosecuting for the State. SWAPO From page 1 “We cannot be divorced because that OPO has betrayed the Owambo people also,” he said. Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba yesterday said he is yet to receive an official communication of resignation from Swartbooi, or Henny Seibeb, who also announced his resignation from Swapo at the same event. “We did not receive anything yet. If they have resigned they will know how to send them to us. That’s not what is important – if they so announced publicly, that’s what they have done. When or how they will send it is not really important,” Mbumba said. Swartbooi said he had long ago ditched his membership card. “I threw it away already,” said the former governor of //Kharas, who was last year fired by President Hage Geingob as deputy land reform minister, following remarks he made about how land is being distributed in Namibia. He has been a member of parliament since 2015. “It’s not a sad moment for me,” said Swartbooi. “I want to thank the dictators of Swapo for granting us freedom and pulling us out of parliament. We will go do the work of agitation even more sharp and publicly. We will expose their corrupt deeds,” he threatened. Swartbooi said he was not surprised by his recall from parliament this week. “I am not surprised where I am today. I expected it. In fact, I worked for it. Many of you will be saying I will go hungry, and asking how I will feed my family. That’s an irrelevant question because other Namibians also have the same concerns about where they will sleep and how they will feed their family.” He was nevertheless emphatic that the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) would not be turned into a political party. His fellow LPM campaigner Henny Seibeb also announced his resignation from the ruling party. Seibeb once served as personal assistant to former Swapo secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana. Swartbooi lashed out at President Geingob whom he accused of failing to collectively address pressing issues, unlike his predecessor former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, saying: “We have a 75-year-old child in State House.” He also said he was recalled from parliament, and dismissed from the deputy minister post, for simply fighting a just cause, yet Geingob continues defending other political leaders who made public tribal remarks. Swartbooi was referring to Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala who issued a public apology after a voice recording of him making tribal remarks went viral. Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele also had to publicly apologise after a voice recording of him making tribal remarks was circulated on social media as well. Swartbooi said while Namibia is acclaimed for its good constitution, its political leaders are the “most intolerant and most undemocratic beings which reflect a deep sense of their lack of internalization and lack of acceptance of the ordinary”. MUNICIPALITY OF SWAKOPMUND RENEWAL OF LEASE AGREEMENT FOR A PAVEMENT AREA ADJOINING ERF 267 SWAKOPMUND Notice is hereby given in terms of the provisions of Section 63 (2) of the Local Authorities Act, (Act 23 of 1992), as amended, that the Municipal Council of Swakopmund intends to renew the lease agreement for Messrs Masadi Trading Five Three Eight CC for the pavement area measuring 18 m² adjoining Erf 267 Swakopmund, for open air seating. The lease is 5 years. Full particulars of the above lease transaction will lie for inspection in Room BO – 22 A, between 07:30 - 16:00 weekdays until Friday, 11 August 2017. Contact person is Ms B Ramos Viegas at ((064) 4104215. Any person objecting to the proposed lease may lodge such objections in writing, duly motivated, to the Acting Chief Executive Officer, not later than 12:00 on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. Take note: no objection via e-mail will be considered. The objection must be made by delivering a hard copy to the office of the Acting Chief Executive Officer and supplying a return postal address and telephone number. Enquiries: MsB Ramos Viegas E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 088 614 514 Notice No: 43/2017 M P C SWARTS ACTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER NAMDEB From page 1 This figure was mainly due to production recovering following Debmarine Namibia’s Mafuta vessel having been on extended planned in-port maintenance in the second quarter of 2016. Speaking to New Era yesterday during a teleconference from London, Cleaver commented on the De Beers Group’s interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2017. He noted that he was pleased with the half-year results but added that the group continues to streamline operations as it strives to become more efficient. During the first half of 2017 the group’s global rough diamond production increased by 21 percent to 16.1 million carats, which is in line with the higher production forecast for 2017. The half-year diamond production for 2016 stood at 13.3 million carats and Cleaver expects between 31 million and 33 million carats for the full-year results, subject to trading conditions of course. The half-year results indicate that the De Beers Group’s underlying earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA), which is a financial indicator used widely as a measure of efficiency and profitability, increased by three percent to US6 million, compared to US6 during the first half of 2016. Cleaver stated that this figure is primarily attributable to savings resulting from the closure of Snap Lake in North America and a continued efficiency drive across the group. Meanwhile, the group’s total revenue decreased by four percent to US.1 billion, compared to US.3 billion during the corresponding period in 2016. However, Cleaver said the marginal decrease in total revenue was expected and was driven by lower rough diamond revenue, given the benefit of strong midstream restocking during the first half of 2016. “The average realised rough diamond price decreased by 12 percent to US6/carat (H1 2016: US7/ carat), partially offset by a seven percent increase in consolidated sales volumes to 18.4 million carats (H1 2016: 17.2 million carats). This reflected stronger demand for lowervalue goods in the first quarter of 2017 following a recovery from the initial impact of India’s demonetisation programme in late 2016. The lower-value mix was compensated in part by a higher average rough price index, which was four percent higher when compared with the first half of 2016,” read a statement from the De Beers Group. Market analysis from the De Beers Group also show that preliminary consumer demand data for diamond jewellery for the start of 2017 showed continued growth in the US and slight improvements in China in local currency. In India, retailer sentiment improved due to a return to more normal trading conditions following the government’s demonetisation programme while underlying US results reflected the broader changes in consumer behaviour affecting the overall US retail environment, with growth in the independent jewellers’ sector contrasting with some weakness from large chains. “Sentiment in the midstream remains positive following a reasonable 2016 fourth quarter retail season, with evidence of Chinese retailers restocking and demonetisation in India having less impact than anticipated. This has supported good demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds. Spot polished prices remained broadly flat in the first half of 2017,” read the statement from De Beers. During 2017, De Beers expects to invest a total of around US0 million in marketing, which is approximately 20 percent more than in 2016. Marketing activities are to take place through a combination of proprietary and partnership activity across the US, China and India.
Friday, July 28 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 New fishing levy not affecting subsistence anglers Staff Reporter Windhoek The increase in the fishing levy on fishing permits does not affect the subsitence anglers registerd with the fisheries minsitery and the Hangeneni Artisanal Fishing Association, as these people would still obtain John Muyamba Rundu Chairperson of the national leaders assigned to Kavango West, Marco Hausiku, says the review and verification of the process of the Nkurenkuru regional conference shows that there is a need to hold a new regional conference. Hausiku says the review indicated that a number of things were not done correctly at that conference. “It was not nullified it will just be redone, we verified and we discovered that there was no full justice so we have to redo the process to be fair to all as well as to those who were nominated and qualify in all aspect but couldn’t stand to be voted to be given a chance to stand,” Hausiku said. “If we speak of nullifying it needs to be endorsed by the politburo and so on. But in this case it was not, so we informed and asked the politburo not to the fishing permits for free. That would remain standing until new guidelines are put in place for a subsistence anglers. The monthly payment of N00 for a fishing permit only applies to the recreational anglers, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Moses Maurihungirire endorse it but to give us time to verify and if we discover that the process wasn’t done well then we are going to redo it. That is what is happening now,” he continued. “We checked the processes on how things were done, not individuals, we checked how the system was done, identifying the mistakes in the system and all the assigned leaders were present during that process after noticing that the process wasn’t done accordingly we reached consensus and the need for the process to be redone, so we are going to redo it from districts to the regional level, the budget has been approved,” Hausiku said. According to Hausiku the regional conference is set for Saturday August 5. “They are going to redo the process, just how they did it the last time, starting from the district conferences and it will be supervised by national leaders assigned including regional leaders. We have already setup the teams said yesterday. Maurihungirire was addressing the media in Windhoek yesterday afternoon following a public outcry over the shocking increase of recreational fishing permits from N per month to a whopping N00 per month. The permanent secretary told the media that the increase was U.S. pledges N million towards anti-poaching efforts lbertina Nakale indhoek n a show of commitment to he protection of fauna, the overnment of the United tates of America (USA) has ledged a N.4 million rant from the U.S. State epartment for combating wildlife trafficking in amibia. U.S. Ambassador Thomas aughton made the anouncement of the grant owards combatting wildlife rafficking on Wednesday nd explained that the multiector project made possible y this new grant aims to trengthen collaboration mong protected area offiials, communal conservanies, law enforcement, and reehold rhino custodian arms with the goal of improvng wildlife crime detection, ase development, as well as rrest and conviction rates. Photo: Albertina Nakale Working hand in hand… U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Thomas Daughton (left) with Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta. Daughton said in the last few years Namibia has begun to confront a new kind of environmental challenge. “Hardly a week passes without headlines about a poaching incident, or the appearance of a wildlife trafficker in court. In response to this new and dangerous challenge, we want to help Namibia duplicate its previous successes using the same kind of combined effort.” He noted that poaching in one form or another has been around for decades, but trafficking in endangered Kavango West regional conference rescheduled for August 5 and August 5 will be the last day whereby the regional conference will be held on that day, it will also be announced on the local radio to inform all districts on the set date, a day selected to redo the activities,” he said. Hausiku further informed New Era that from Wednesday they will start by doing two districts per day and when they are done with the districts, they will then hold the regional conference to get it out of the way before the announcement of the date of the national congress. “This is the only way to clear the accusations that are currently going around,” he noted. The coordinator was not elected as the current incumbent coordinator David Hamutenya as well as the regional information mobiliser’s term has not ended and thus only elected the treasurer during the last regional conference but that will also be redone together with the nominees who will be sent to the congress. wildlife products, particularly rhino horn and elephant tusk, has increased sharply in Namibia in recent years. Receiving the grant, Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta said actual poaching incidents were difficult to verify as finding carcasses in the vast areas where rhinos and elephants occur takes vast amounts of resources and search efforts. He said the statistics reflect a worrying trend, with poaching incidents rising from three rhinos in 2012, to nine in 2013, 56 in 2014, 95 in 2015, 60 in 2016 and 19 already in 2017. Shifeta revealed most rhino poaching to date occurred in the Etosha National Park and in communal conservancies and tourism concession areas in northwest Namibia, adding there is now a growing trend of rhinos being poached on commercial farmland. “These losses might necessary as the ministry has been subsidising recreational fishing, its permits and associated cost at a cost of N0 000 per month. “This cost could not be covered by the earlier level fees hence the increase was necessary,” he said. He further explained that prior to the increase, the monthly cost of N for a fishing permit basically translates to 46 cents per day. With the new fees a recreational fishing permit will cost N a day. “Mind you, these fees remained unchanged for the past 16 years and was indeed costly for the ministry. We have been subsidising recreational fishing and the situation was not tenable,” Maurihungirire said. According to him, the situation has been depriving non-fishing Namibians from benefiting from the country’s marine resources which not appear significant compared to our neighbouring countries, especially South Africa, but the overall population of black rhino remains extremely small and fragile, and unlike large predators, which might also have similar low numbers, rhinos breed very slowly – approximately five percent per annum. “Black rhino also cannot realistically be bred in small areas, as they are extremely aggressive towards each other. This means that their survival depends on access to large, expansive tracts of wild habitat.” He added that rhino are unfortunately also relatively easy to find and kill, therefore the poaching threat is very serious, particularly as the 2015 levels of poaching in Namibia potentially reached a tipping point, whereafter overall rhino numbers in Namibia began to regress. The U.S. Ambassador maintained that Namibia is a country known around the world for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife and that tourists flock here in their thousands every year for a chance to see rhinos, cheetahs and elephants roaming wild and free. Further, he said Namibia is equally renowned for its commitment to and success in managing and preserving are also utilised by government for its programmes. “However recreational fishers do not need to pay the N00 as a lump sum but can also opt to pay N per day for the days they wish to go fish,” he said. He added that they are also only allowed to catch 10 fishes per day. “Considering the level of license fees applicable for recreational fishing, the N00 cannot be seen as exorbitant and we must understand that the ministry also has the right to charge fees and levies for the successful management of Namibia’s marine resources,” he said. According to Maurihungirire people who have already acquired a yearly permit will only start paying the current N00 once such a permit expired. its environment, as enshrined in the Namibian constitution. “Namibia’s success in this regard has taken many forms, from the establishment of more than 80 communal conservancies to the tripling in the country’s elephant population between 1995 and 2017. This success has been the result of a strong commitment by the Namibian government in partnership with local communities, NGOs, and the American government,” he noted. He said through training prosecutors and informing judges about the seriousness and complexities of wildlife crime, more offenders would be prosecuted and appropriately punished using existing organised crime laws and other legislation. Moreover, he said engagement with local communities would incentivise and empower them to become more active and responsible stewards of their wildlife. Better information sharing among government agencies, civil society, and the private sector would ultimately result in greater successes in breaking up and punishing wildlife criminal syndicates, he said.