Archive for June 1st, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Unconfirmed reports say government is planning an advertising ban on private newspapers reminiscent of the clampdown imposed on the Botswana Guardian and Midweek Sun in 2001.

The imminent advertising ban appears to follow flamboyant local editor, Outsa Mokone, around as his paper, The Sunday Standard, is rumoured to be first on the hit list of the targeted newspapers that could face collapse should the government plot become reality.

Mokone was at the helm of the Botswana Guardian when the then chief administrative officer at the Office of the President, Molosiwa Selepeng, announced a similar ban about 12 years ago.

The legend then was that the government was riled at the paper’s front-page depiction of former President, Festus Mogae, as a miniature figure [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

Advocate Sydney Pilane, retired Special Advisor to former President Festus Mogae, this week accused President Lt Gen Ian Khama of poor judgement, authoritarianism, autocracy and ruling the country by fear and patronage.

In an explosive analysis, Pilane says Khama’s reaction to the John Kalafatis tragedy “has betrayed his poor priorities. He places the need to vindicate himself personally ahead of the public interest. For a man who speaks of the lot of Batswana in messianic tones, who admirably takes principled positions on Zimbabwe, and on the President of Sudan, (positions which his predecessors would not have had the moral courage to adopt), a man who revels in occasional fireside one-way banter with ordinary Batswana, he ought to have shown greater sensitivity, not for himself, but for the tragic-struck family of Mr John Kalafitis, and for a nation deeply troubled by an ominously growing number of incidents involving the killing of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
31 May 2009

Cape Town — As a police gunman walked from one end of Long Beach, Kommetjie, to the other, shooting whales, groups of rescuers made desperate last attempts to push the creatures back to sea.

But, their efforts were in vain, with most of the false killer whales re-beaching themselves.
Tempers flared and emotions spilled over when the shots rang out, with one woman being frog-marched off the beach by a policeman. Others sobbed, having spent hours in the icy water trying to save the distressed animals.

The gunman was flanked by law enforcement officials and National Sea Rescue Institute volunteers who formed a barrier to prevent people taking pictures.

Mike Meyer, a scientist with Marine and Coastal Management, said that 41 or 42 whales were shot as it was considered to be the most humane option. The whales were slowly dying of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi were yesterday urged to utilise the Parliament Library to read and arm themselves with information.

Librarian Keorileng Moatswi told the members that the parliament library has over 10,000 documents dating back to 1924 that include books, hansards, speeches, newspapers and magazines, reports, DVDs and audio cassettes, and laws of Botswana, to mention but a few. He said that members needed to read them to make informed comments, debates and decisions.

The library is open to Members of Parliament (MPs), staff and researchers. He said that Dikgosi would be allowed to borrow the documents each for a specific period of time.

Moatswi said that the information they are keeping is reliable to be used in any argument.

He added that they respect the right to privacy and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Jo-Maré Duddy
20 May 2009

Windhoek — THE European Union (EU) is not motivated by commercial self-interest in seeking economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with Namibia and other African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries, Dr Elizabeth Pape, the European Commission’s (EC) Ambassador to Namibia, said on the eve of the watershed EPA meeting between Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob and his peers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Botswana today.

It is believed that Geingob and his fellow trade ministers from South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola and Botswana will attempt to find a common stance on signing the controversial pact during their one-day meeting in Gaborone.

Negotiations between the ACP and the EU have been dragging on for two years as the economic superpower simply could not persuade countries like Namibia and South Africa to even initial the interim agreement. Namibia provisionally initialled the interim EPA so that its table [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Angela Mdlalani

The Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute partnership revealed the results of the Netefatso study, which was conducted between 2006 and 2008 among 325 HIV discordant couples in Botswana.

The study was meant to determine whether the use of the drug acyclovir, a drug widely used to treat Herpes Simple Virus-2 (HSV-2) could reduce the risk of HIV transmission when taken by people infected with both HIV and HSV-2.

Multiple studies have previously indicated that frequent genital herpes recurrences increase the amount of HIV in the blood and genital tract; it also showed that the HI virus is also shed from the genital herpes ulcers and persons with such ulcers transmit HIV more efficiently.

The researchers had hoped that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Directorate of Public Prosecution is set to subpoena former Debswana chairman and De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer to give a witness statement in the corruption case against former Debswana CEO Louis Nchindo.

Addressing the court on Wednesday, chief prosecution counsel, Matlhogonolo Phuthego, pleaded with the court to make an order for Oppenheimer to come and make a statement in relation to a document he signed.This did not go down well with Nchindo’s defence lawyer Parks Tafa of Collins and Newma who labelled the request from Phuthego as ‘bizarre’ and ‘impossible’.

Tafa said that the request by Phuthego was effectively a warrant of arrest for Oppenheimer who resides in South Africa. He said that Oppenheimer said that [continue reading]

source: IOL
By Peter Bills
May 31 2009

The South African government under Thabo Mbeki rejected an offer of R1 billion from a leading South African businessman to help fight serious crime.

The same offer, to pour money into helicopters, computers and hi-tech equipment, is to be made to President Jacob Zuma, who has spoken out strongly on the need to fight crime.
The extraordinary offer to Mbeki and now to Zuma comes from one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Douw Steyn.

“The intention is to give them hi-tech facilities”

He has revealed to the Sunday Tribune that he wrote a lengthy dossier, now printed in book form, detailing how he believed South Africa should go about purging the scourge of crime.

He had been motivated in part by two bad experiences that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The new-fangled Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) runs the risk of conflict of interest and of offending against corporate governance because its Chairman is a director in a company contracted to run South African Airways (SAA) operations in Botswana.

Mmegi investigations have revealed that CAAB board chairman Gobusamang Keebine is also one of the directors of Inter-Cargo Services (ICS) which has won a tender to run SAA operations between Gaborone and Johannesburg. “There is a new authority in the skies,” says a nifty tagline in reference to the newly- launched CAAB and the country’s new civil aviation authority, Keebine.

Under the CAA Act, the organisation will regulate air transport and licence of pilots and other civil aviation personnel. It will also be responsible for the certification of aircraft, the provision of air navigation and offer other air traffic services.

This means CAAB, under Keebine, will determine the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Selabe

The merging of the Local Police Service (LPS) and the Botswana Police service seems to be providing more problems than the intended solutions as some Tribal administration secretaries and clericals are complaining that some Local Police officers are taking over their jobs.

The secretaries said some Local Police officers, either in fear of their criminal backgrounds or just out of dislike of merging with the Botswana Police Service, are now flooding into the administrative service and taking over their duties.

It is alleged that more than 5 Local Police Service officers who have been working at Local Police Service headquarters have now taken some posts within the Tribal Administration, which could otherwise been filled by Tribal administration secretaries and clericals.

All the alleged police officers are supposed to have started [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

With an estimated 245,738 private vehicles registered by 2008, affordable imported vehicles have contributed to a rise in Botswana’s vehicle population.
The figure represents a 12 percent increase in the number of private vehicles registered in Botswana in 2007. Government vehicles in use rose slightly to 10, 760 in 2008 from 10, 660 in 2007, according to the March edition of Stats Update, an organ of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), released on Monday. Private cars registered on the country’s roads numbered 119, 618 in 2008, up from 103 980 in 2007. Over the same period, the number of light-duty vehicles registered rose from 77, 659 to 82, 727.Air traffic volumes also rose over the corresponding periods. Domestic air passenger arrivals numbered 165, 235 passengers in 2008, a 10-percent increase from 2007, while international air passenger arrivals rose to 159, 077 in 2008, an increase of only two percent increase.

Analysts believe these figures will decline this year before rising again from 2010 going forward. “The global recession will have a negative impact on international, and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Angela Mdlalani

The Audi driving experience team from South Africa is soon to offer its advanced driving operational services to Batswana through a recently founded organization, Kgatelopele, a non-governmental organization aimed at curbing the rising number of road accidents in the country.
Through actual demonstrations and field practicals, the Audi team members bring to Batswana advanced driving techniques that driving schools usually can’t match in order to help Batswana to take control of their vehicles in life threatening situations on the road.

The team is in talks with the Botswana Police, which intends to schedule a targeted time period for their public demonstrations at their Otse-based camp, which provides suitable ground for the safety inspired exercise.

Through the expert services offered by South Africa’s Mark Allison, who excels as an instructor, Batswana are to be taught [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 31 2009
By Karyn Maughan and Sibusiso Ngalwa

It would be “reckless” for President Jacob Zuma to appoint a replacement for axed prosecuting head Vusi Pikoli while the latter’s legal challenge against his dismissal is still pending, says ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

He also cautioned against appointing a national police commissioner while the contract of Jackie Selebi, the incumbent who is on special leave pending a criminal case, has not ended.

He said Selebi could sue for unfair or constructive dismissal. Mantashe’s comments seemingly contradict Zuma’s denial that he was bound by an undertaking not to appoint Pikoli’s successor until [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

African Copper (ACU) this week fully repaid P153,1 million owed by its subsidiary, Messina Copper, to holders of bonds it issued to mining investment company Natasa Mining.

This follows last week’s demand by Natasa that the company fully pay the money owed after it lost out on the bid to acquire ACU.

African Copper says in a statement it believes that “virtually all” claims by Natasa against it and any of its subsidiaries identified in Natasa’s petition for the provisional liquidation of Messina had now been satisfied in full.

“With remaining proceeds in hand from the previously announced financing package provided by Zambia Copper Investments (ZCI), ACU considers that it would be inappropriate for any remaining disputes in relation to monies owed by ACU or its subsidiaries to be determined in insolvency proceedings and [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 31 2009
By Chris Makhaye

The luxury Mercedes limousine presented as a gift to transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele is locked away at a dealership while the donors decide its fate.
Yesterday one of the members of the Vukuzakhe Contractors Association confirmed the R1.1 million vehicle had been collected from the minister and was in storage at a Mercedes Benz dealership in Umhlanga. The vehicle would possibly be sold.
Initially Ndebele accepted the car, among other gifts, earlier in May but an outcry from opposition political parties, the media, civil society and unions brought a change of heart.
The contractors tried to insist that he keep the gifts or pass the car on to a member of his family, but Ndebele declined. Vukuzakhe members are among the small BEE contractors who had benefited by more than R10 billion in KwaZulu-Natal provincial government contracts to build and maintain roads.

“We will either try to get a private buyer for the car or [continue reading]