2 NEWS Friday, February 24 2017 | NEW ERA Product of New Era Publication Corporation (Daniel Tjongarero House) Corner of Dr W Kulz and Kerby Streets Tel: 061 - 273 300 P/Bag 13364 Windhoek Registered as a newspaper, Certificate No. 06/08/91 EDITOR Chrispin Inambao firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL email@example.com Tel: +264 61 - 273 328 Fax: +264 61 - 235 419 EDITORIAL BOARD: Toivo Ndjebela, Chrispin Inambao, Desie Heita, Helvi Shaanika, Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro, Carlos Kambaekwa REGIONAL OFFICES Katima Mulilo Office: Tel: +264 66 - 253 049 Cell: +264 81 488 6594 / +264 81 124 2895 Rundu Office: Tel: +264 66 - 256 298 Cell +264 81 217 1888 firstname.lastname@example.org Ongwediva Office: Tel: +264 65 - 238 990 Fax: +264 65 - 231 305 email@example.com Tsumeb Office: Tel: +264 67 - 221 652 Cell: +264 81 456 8643 firstname.lastname@example.org Swakopmund Office: Cell: +264 81 217 9739 Cell: +264 81 204 8078 email@example.com Keetmanshoop Office: Tel: +264 63 - 222 057 Cell: +264 81 312 5975 firstname.lastname@example.org Luderitz Office: Tel: +264 63 - 204 180 Cell: +264 81 245 9714 email@example.com DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTIONS Ernst Apollus firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +264 61 - 273 326 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 MARKETING, SALES & PRODUCTION Festus Goseb email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +264 61 - 273 322 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 POACHERS From page 1 Walters said: “The N million is the maximum, but a court can also fine N.00. I do not know whether this will deter poachers. Experience has taught us that even heavy sentences do not deter people from committing crimes.” Chairperson of HORN Namibia, an environmental group, Jaco Muller, welcomed the move by the minister, saying: “We are very happy and want to congratulate him.” Muller expressed confidence that once the Bill is sanctioned the new fines will make a difference, as he believes they will deter people from poaching. Administrative and human rights lawyer at the University of Namibia (Unam) John Nakuta explained that the punishment for rhino and elephant poachers should be seen as a preventative and retributive measure to deter would-be criminals, due to the escalating poaching of wildlife resources. “For one, it is reflective of the nation’s disgust and desire to bring the scourge of poaching to an end,” said Nakuta. John Muyamba Rundu New Era has it on good authority that a Grade 10 learner at Rukonga Vision School in Divundu is under police investigation for ‘concealment of birth’ after she had a miscarriage in the school hostel. The school only enrols high-performing learners. A case was opened after the post-mortem results following the child’s death were received by the investigating officer. “The reason we opened the case is because of what happened after she noticed the foetus in the toilet pot. It’s not because it was a miscarriage. It’s not a crime to have a miscarriage, these things happen but it’s what she did after that,” said the Kavango East regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton. According to Bampton it was reported to the police in the evening of February 9 that a learner from Rukonga Vision School had a miscarriage after she experienced some pains in her stomach and went to the toilet to relieve herself. While in the toilet she realised she was bleeding whereafter she allegedly flushed the toilet and to her surprise she realised there was a foetus in the toilet that could not be flushed away. She then took it out of the toilet and threw it in a manhole just behind the school hostel block that evening. “And it seems it was not covered and was He added that even though most of the time those involved in poaching are villagers, who might not be able to afford such fines, poaching is an organised crime and the main brains behind this reportedly make a lot of money. It is thus not in the interest of society to have low fines and lenient sentences handed down to convicted poachers, stressed Nakuta. He further noted that the number of years people are sentenced in murder cases cannot be compared to that of rhino and elephant poaching as murder is a common-law crime and Namibia as such does not have a prescribed minimum sentence for murder. It is thus up to the presiding judicial officer to impose the most appropriate sentence in any given instance. “As such, the minister and his team are probably justified by invoking necessity as a defence in any challenge in respect of the proposed high fines and stiff jail terms,” added Nakuta. When he tabled that Bill in parliament on Tuesday, Shifeta noted that people found illegally with specially protected species will be fined N million from the current N 000 and imprisonment of five Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton Learner charged with concealment of birth discovered by another learner the next morning. The latter then ran to a worker to report that she had found a foetus in the manhole. He called the police,” Bampton said. The police took the Grade 10 learner to Andara hospital since she was still bleeding and the foetus was taken to Andara hospital mortuary. “Since she was still bleeding our members took her to hospital – she could not hide the bleeding and needed medical help,” Bampton explained. A post-mortem concluded it was a premature birth at 28 weeks and the foetus was already dead before it came out of the womb. “The reason why we have opened a case against her for ‘concealment of birth’ is because if she could have reported the incident when she saw the foetus in the toilet pot and not tried to hide it, things on her side could be different,” Bampton added. “She could have reported it to teachers or anyone working at the hostel and they could have informed us to take care of the foetus and also take her to hospital, and it would have been legal not to try to hide the foetus the way she did,” he said. “Normally the police do not make arrests in such cases, that is why the learner was left to go back to school. It is a case of when the police are done with their investigations they will send their findings to the prosecutor general for a decision on whether to prosecute or not,” said Bampton. to ten years. Fines for the illegal hunting of all protected species will increase from the current maximum of N 000 to N0 000 and imprisonment of four to five years, while for that of all other species they will increase from the current maximum of N 000 to N0 000, and imprisonment of two to five years. Shifeta stressed: “The proposed fines are based on comparisons with penalties in neighbouring countries.” Shifeta further said the Bill seeks to increase general penalties from the current maximum of N0 to N 000 and imprisonment of three to six months for first time offenders. Subsequent same offenders, he added, will be fined N 000 from the current maximum of N0 and imprisonment of six to 12 months. He noted that unprecedented levels of illegal hunting of elephant and rhino are being experienced across Africa, and Namibia is not an exception, with organized criminal syndicates involved in trafficking of rhino horns and elephant tusks using very complex networks leading to foreign markets. If the current levels of rhino and elephant poaching, as well as the trafficking of their products, are not brought under control there will be severe negative impacts on the survival of the two species, he said. “Furthermore, such illegal activities will have a serious impact on our tourism, and rural poverty will also be enhanced because a high number of our local communities derive income from wildlife through consumptive and non-consumptive [practices],” he added. Namibia, he said, is home to about 2 700 rhino, the second largest population of rhino in the world. However in 2014 the country lost 61 rhino, 91 in 2015 and 63 in 2016, which have negatively impacted the rhino population in Etosha National Park. Out of 22 000 elephant, Namibia lost 78 in 2014, 49 in 2015 and 101 in 2016, he said, adding that this is particularly concerning as most of the poaching has occurred in Bwabwata National Park and involved foreign nationals working together with Namibians. Shifeta also revealed that a total of 260 cases related to killing of elephant and rhino, as well as illegal possession and export of rhino horns and elephant tusks, were reported in 2016. INMATES From page 1 A letter sent to New Era yesterday by the inmates says the cells where they are being kept are unhygienic, resulting in their exposure to different diseases. The accused question why two Namibians implicated in the matter were granted bail but they (Angolans) were denied the option. The accused in the case are Joshua Kaviyu Hidinwa, Mamsy Mweneni Hilma Nuuyoma (both Namibians), Lukau Nestor, Benvindo Momafuba, Pembele Zimutu, Paulo Kiala, Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, Joao Manuel dos Santos, Tatiana Luquena Muchadu Gonga, Carlos Victor Eliseu, Isaac Cativa Cupessala, Paquete Americo Kapayola Jose, Eugenio Pio do Amaral Gougel, Malakias Tomas Rufine, Paulino Manuel Natal, Carlos Felecoano Tchinduku and Miapa Aurelio Nelson. They were arrested following ongoing investigations at the request of the finance ministry into cases where VAT receipts were forged to claim refunds from the Receiver of Revenue. They called on the government and human rights groups as well as the Angolan embassy to have a closer look at their incarceration, claiming their case is being neglected. “We call the Namibian government (sic) and the human rights agency as well as the Angolan embassy to have a closer look on our case which is being neglected,” reads the letter. Furthermore, the inmates are also protesting over an issue they have with state lawyers representing them. They say lawyers assigned to them have not responded to their calls and text messages since last October, accusing some of not appearing at court for their hearings. In addition, the letter says some of the accused are confused and full of doubts whether state lawyers will be present at their next court hearing slated for February 27. The letter also says that most of them are breadwinners and their children are dropping out of school because they don’t have anyone to support them since their parents are in prison. In addition they claim they don’t have any communication with their families in Angola and with the current economic crisis in their country their families are suffering. They further say their rights are not considered and that according to Namibian law investigations are supposed to last between 90 days and three months, which is not the situation in their case because they have already spent a year and three months in custody. However, they applauded a certain commander at the station for listening to their plea when they called for help concerning xenophobic attacks by local inmates. The commander responded by installing burglar-proof doors in the holding cells where they are being kept.Approached for comment, Namibian Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi said allegations by the suspects were not brought to the attention of the station commander but they are always welcome to address their discontent on any issues with the station commander.“The prisoners should know that they are at liberty to address their concerns and grievances to the immediate shift commanders or ultimately to the station commanders,” said Shikwambi.She added that the suspects are at liberty to be brought food by their relatives. Efforts to get comment from the office of the Angolan high commissioner to Namibia were fruitless.
Friday, February 24 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 Eveline de Klerk Walvis Bay The Namibian Police at Walvis Bay on Monday arrested an employee of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in connection with fraud amounting to N.2 million. The suspect has appeared in court, and the state alleges that out of the N.2 million the suspect personally embezzled N0,000. Police arrested 49-yearold Ivory Uirab in connection with the N.2 million fraud allegedly committed at the Ministry of Finance’s Inland Revenue Division at Walvis Bay between April 2013 and November 2016. Uirab was arrested along with local entrepreneur Patrick Ihulu Hilifa and Michelle Haokoa – believed to be a teacher at the coastal town. Preliminary investigations indicated that Uirab allegedly pocketed N0,000, while Hilifa received N6,000 and Haokoa N,000 from the fraudulent activities. No joy for Congolese who lost millions Fisheries employee in N0,000 fraud The trio made their first appearance on Wednesday and Tuesday and the court granted Hilifa and Haokao bail of N,000 each. The court denied Uirab bail and he remains in police custody. Chief Inspector Erastus Iikuyu of the Walvis Bay police said the case implicated at least 23 persons in the fraudulent activities. NamPol identified three of the suspects as employees of the Ministry of Finance, who are believed to be the main culprits in the case. They apparently created forged Pay As You Earn (PAYE 5) certificates in the names of friends and relatives and processed them, resulting in fraudulently obtained tax refunds of around N.2 million. “So far we have arrested 16 people, including the latest three arrests and we are surely closing in on the last seven suspects,” Chief Inspector Iikuyu said. In addition to the three, police have also arrested Henry Enrico Visagie, Janette Garoes and Anna- Marie Mutilifa. They are all employees of the Ministry of Finance and are still in police custody. Others suspects arrested are Wellmina Visagie, Morne Feris, Jacqueline Imbili, Marlon Ruzyanne Prins, Lukas Shailemo, Patrick Ronoc Titus, Ouinton Zane Mathews and Michael Mclobo. They are out on bail of N,000 each with the exception of Roselli Leonardo, an Italian national for whom the court imposed bail of N,000. The court fined another suspect, Velnancio Muller, and sentenced him to three months imprisonment for contempt of court after he threatened Magistrate Rhiverno Williams during court proceedings on Tuesday. The magistrate also revoked his bail money of N,000. Maria Amakali Windhoek The hearing in a High Court civil case is expected to reveal more information about the real estate deal in Swakopmund that turned sour after a Congolese major-general lost an estimated US0,000 (N.6 million), based on the current exchange rate. The High Court once again postponed the matter and it will return to court on June 19. Erwin Rosalia Ludovic Spranger and Lorinda Heidi Spranger, a couple from the coastal town of Swakopmund, where dragged to court by Major General Francois Olenga. Olenga alleges that the couple fraudulently used the money deposited into their account for personal use rather than for its intended purpose of property development in terms of an agreement they entered into six years ago. The couple who own Kintscher Estate Agents and Auctioneers. The papers filed in court state that the Sprangers placed the US0,000 in their account but through an oral agreement they were supposed to use the money for the development and expansion of a property the general owns at the coastal town. They reached the agreement in January 2010 Bank statements indicate that a company owned by Olenga, Breadfeld Trade Ltd, transferred US0,000 (N.6 million today) into Kintscher Estate Agents and Auctioneers bank account between February 2010 and July 2010 in five instalments. Erwin Spranger allegedly falsely claimed to Olenga he would keep the money in a trust account on the general’s behalf, but subsequently paid the money into his own account. Later in September of the same year, Olenga requested Spranger to pay US0,000 (N.2 million) into his account of which he only received US,000 (N0,000), which left an amount US0,000 (N million) in the hands of Spranger. Olenga requested the accused to return the remaining money, a request he said the accused did not heed. Olenga who owns two plots at the coastal resort brought the application against the Sprangers to obtain a court order stating they must pay the remaining money back to him, with interest. Photo: Nampa Precious drops… A group of kids from Bloukrans Primary School surrounding a drum of water as one of them gets water to drink after their lunch one recent Sunday. Windhoek’s water crisis not yet over WINDHOEK The City of Windhoek (CoW) has urged the public to use water cautiously because the water crisis is not yet over. In a statement issued on Thursday, Public Relation Officer Lydia Amutenya said that as of 20 February this month, Windhoek had only reached 28 per cent of water savings against the required target of 40 per cent. “It is important to keep reminding the public that while we appreciate the rain received so far, there is still a water shortage,” she said. Amutenya highlighted that the public should not relax as far as water saving measures because the country needed to instil a water saving culture in people’s lifestyles. The shortage of water in Windhoek started in 2015 due to poor rainfall during the rainy season that year. The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) has informed the City that due to insufficient flow of water into the catchment areas of the three dams supplying Windhoek during the last rainy season, the dam levels are much lower than they were in previous years. The three dams are Omatako, Von Bach and Swakoppoort. - Nampa Draconian penalties for speeding proposed Helvy Shaanika Ongwediva The Permanent Secretary of Works and Transport has proposed the abolition of admission of guilt fines in cases of motorists caught exceeding the speed limit. In a letter addressed to the Chief Magistrate in the Office of the Judiciary, Willem Goeiemann said his ministry was concerned about the high number of accidents that happen as a result of reckless driving, inconsiderate driving or speeding. Goeiemann said they should curb the attitudes that led to excessive speeding with immediate effect by introducing stiffer punishment against the perpetrators. “Thus it is proposed that anyone driving over 151 km per hour outside an urban area must be subjected to No Admission of Guilt (locked up immediately and the vehicle involved must be seized),” his proposal read. The proposed action, according to Goeiemann, will enforce Act 22, Section 81 and 107 of the Road Traffic and Transport Act of 1999. The Act makes reckless, inconsiderate driving and speeding an offence that can lead to seizure and eventually forfeiture of the vehicle involved by the state. “We hold views that this intervention will drastically reduce (as in the case of New Zealand) the high number of fatalities on our roads.” “The Ministry [of Works and Transport] would therefore request the Office of the Judiciary to review its decision so that the proposal of 151 kilometres per hour can be implemented soonest to save lives on our national roads,” Goeiemann said.