Daily Archives: May 19, 2013

SA to maintain relations with UAE

Pretoria: The South African government says it respects the independence and judiciary of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite the challenges which emerged during Professor Cyril Karabus’s ordeal.

“I must reiterate a point we have made on previous occasions, that the South African government respects the independence of the judiciary and its processes in the UAE, and that we are committed to maintaining our cordial diplomatic and trade relations with the UAE,” International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman said.

Fransman was addressing the media at the Cape Town International Airport on Friday where Karabus landed at noon, much to the delight of his family and friends. Karabus had been in detention in Abu Dhabi since August 2012 where he was arrested while in transit.

He had been found guilty and sentenced in absentia to three years on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents after the unfortunate death of a young leukaemia patient he treated in Abu Dhabi 11 years ago. Karabus was not aware of the charges and his sentence until his arrest.

The case was postponed 13 times due to the inability of the prosecution to present documentary evidence.

The University of Cape Town emeritus professor and retired paediatric oncologist was finally acquitted by a UAE court in March, based on the findings of a medical review committee, which absolved him of all blame in the case.

The South African government had rendered assistance to Karabus from the onset. This included regular visits to the UAE by Fransman to engage his UAE counterpart, and International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane writing a letter to her UAE counterpart requesting the case be resolved fairly. Government’s concerns centred on Karabus’s right to a fair and speedy trial, especially taking into consideration his health and age.

On Friday, Fransman said: “We are elated to have Prof Karabus back in Cape Town, South Africa, where his absence for almost eight months was felt mostly so by his close family as well as the broader family, i.e. the South African nation.”

He thanked the Karabus family and the professor’s legal team for their full cooperation, understanding and patience. He also thanked the government of the UAE, in particular his counterparts, who were willing to engage on the matter.

The deputy minister also acknowledged the role civil society, including the media, played in highlighting the plight of Karabus, thereby putting the spotlight on a process that appeared to deprive the professor of his right to a fair trial.

Villagers steal beer from overturned truck

NamPol’s Crime Investigations’ Co-ordinator here, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton said the driver of the Scania truck, with registration number N14090W, lost control of the truck causing it to overturn.

The truck was travelling from the Muhembo Border Post to the Divundu settlement, situated some 220km southeast of Rundu.

The driver of the truck, Kevin Basson, 29, who is employed by the BJ Groenewald trucking company in Windhoek, sustained light injuries.

Bampton said local villagers flocked to the accident scene and carried away crates of South African beer which spilled over the road.

He cautioned people not to take away anything from accident scenes, as it is tantamount to theft.

Bampton said the police recovered 60 crates of beer on Sunday morning.

BA and Stars’ supporters unhappy with match officials

Almost 10 000 football fans attended the much-anticipated match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

The match eventually ended in a goalless draw, but it was interrupted twice by unruly supporters of both teams who were not pleased with the match officials’ decisions.

Black Africa supporters were first to throw beer and cooldrink cans onto the pitch during the second half in an apparent protest against one of the assistant referee’s ‘biasness and unsatisfactory decisions”.

The situation was well controlled by both security officials and Black Africa officials who managed their fans to calm down.

According to a BA supporter who spoke on condition of anonymity, it seems the whole match was ‘fixed’ to prevent his team from winning the league.

“This is a pre-decided match, and all they want is for us to lose because they know we are champions. It is time that FIFA starts allocating match officials who are not Namibian, because this is not fair,” said the angry supporter.

He said it is well aware that at such a critical stage in the NPL, conspiracies are bound to occur in order to destroy the victorious team and prevent its way to glory.

A few minutes before the final whistle, Stars fans too vented their anger towards the referee by also throwing cans onto the field.

They claim the referee was siding with Black Africa, and it was apparently clear in all his decisions during the match.

According to Black Africa supporter Melvin Karukambe, the referee had been taking sides since the beginning of the match.

“First, we thought it was our players who are committing too many fouls and may be too physical against their opponents, but it later turned out that either the referee does not know about officiating or he was just not neutral,” he said.

Meanwhile, Black Africa coach Brian Isaacks condemned the manner in which both supporters of the two teams conducted themselves, saying it is unacceptable in Namibian football.

“Both teams misbehaved, and we do not need that at all,” said Isaacks.

Black Africa are still log leaders with 44 points, followed by African Stars with 43 points.

No suspects arrested yet in journalist death

The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi confirmed this at a media briefing here on Sunday.

“The police have not yet arrested any suspect or suspects in connection with the death of the New Era journalist. The police detectives are still busy with the investigation in order to track down the culprit or culprits and bring them to book,” said Shikwambi.

The 26-year-old journalist died at the beginning of May this year, after spending some days in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Katutura State Hospital.

He was allegedly assaulted in Windhoek’s Otjomuise residential area on 26 April this year while on his way home after a night out with friends.

The late Paulus was a general reporter, who started working for New Era Publications last year. He covered stories on politics and social issues.

Paulus was laid to rest at his home village of Okakoko in the Oshikoto Region’s Omuthiya District.

The NamPol spokesperson has appealed to members of the public for assistance with information in connection with the journalist’s death.

Study reveals dire outlook despite global warming ‘pause’

PARIS: A global warming pause over the past decade may invalidate the harshest climate change predictions for the next 50 to 100 years, a study said today — though levels remain in the danger zone.

Writing in the journal Nature Geosciences, an international team of climate scientists said a slower rate of warming increase observed from 2000 to 2009 suggested a lower range of values to be taken into account by policy makers.

While the last decade was the hottest since records began in 1880, the rate of increase showed a stabilisation despite ever-rising levels of Earth-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Scientists have alternatively explained the flatter curve by oceanic heat capture, a decline in solar activity or an increase in volcanic aerosols that reflect the Sun’s rays.

Alexander Otto of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, co-author of the new study said because of the hiatus, warming in the next 50 to 100 years is likely to lie within the range of current climate models, but not at the high end of this range.