Namibia Opt To Bowl Against Scotland In T20 World Cup

Namibia’s Ruben Trumpelmann (2L) celebrates after the dismissal of Scotland’s Calum MacLeod (not pictured) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Scotland and Namibia at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 27, 2021. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP)

 

Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus won the toss and elected to field against Scotland in their first-ever Super 12 match of the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday.

Namibia, who are ranked a lowly 19, qualified for the second stage of the tournament at the back of two stunning wins in the qualifiers and Erasmus said they are raring to go in Abu Dhabi.

“It was an emotional group stage, and we had to regroup after that,” Erasmus said at the toss.

“(David) Wiese is a great performer, but 10 other guys are raring to go today. There’s a lot of potentials and we want to unleash them as well.”

They come in unchanged from their win over Ireland.

Scotland, who suffered a 130-run rout against Afghanistan in their first Super 12 outing, are without captain Kyle Coetzer who is nursing a finger injury.

Stand-in-skipper Richie Berrington said, “We are putting the Afghanistan game to one side now, and we are happy with the cricket we are playing at the moment.

“It doesn’t throw us off, and we are ready to get back on track. Namibia are a strong side, and it’ll be a good game, but we are ready and raring to go.”

Craig Wallace is in for Coetzer.

Teams

Scotland: George Munsey, Matthew Cross (wk), Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington (capt), Craig Wallace, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Josh Davey, Safyaan Sharif, Bradley Wheal

Namibia: Craig Williams, Zane Green (wk), Gerhard Erasmus (capt), David Wiese, Michael van Lingen, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Pikky Ya France, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz

Umpires: Adrian Holdstock (RSA), Rod Tucker (AUS)

TV Umpire: Nitin Menon (IND)

Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND).

Cricket World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria Lose By 59 Runs To Namibia

 

Nigeria’s Women’s Cricket team competing at the T20 World Cup qualifier in Botswana have lost their second match by 59 points to an impressive Namibian side.

Namibia won the toss and elected to bat first. They started really well racing to 21 runs in just three overs before losing the 1st wicket to Abdulquadri Taiwo. The second wicket fell very quickly to Efosa Joy for just 23 runs in the 4th over.

Namibia turned on the heat and raced to 68 runs in 10 overs. Efosa Joy and Abdduquadri returned to break the partnership. Namibia lost the 5th wicket on 95 runs at the 15th over.

Yasmeen Khan and Kayleen Green of Namibia both scored 29 runs respectively, strongly supported by Jurriene Diergaardt with 15 runs. Namibia eventually finished for 125 for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs.

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Abdulquadri Taiwo and Joy Efosa got 2 wickets each for 19 and 24 runs respectively in four overs, while Agatha Obulor and Rachael Samson got 1 wicket at piece.

In the second innings, Nigeria started calmly, trying to navigate the opening overs of Namibia with Esther Sandy and Abdulquadri Kehinde rotating the strikes well.

Unfortunately, Nigeria lost both wickets quickly to peg the team on 22 runs after the 1st power play. Namibia increased the firepower thereon to restrict Nigeria to just 28 runs after 10 overs, taking a firm grip on the match.

Nigeria never got going, every dots ball and fall of wickets ensured that a possible fightback from Nigeria was too little too late. Only Omonye Asika managed double figures, scoring 14 runs off 29 balls as the best bating figures for Nigeria. Nigeria eventually finished with 66 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs.

Nigeria Can take positives from the game coming from the Kwibuka Tournament especially in the fightback during the first innings where Namibia was poised for a total of 170 but were eventually restricted to 125 runs. They will need a much-improved performance against Uganda on Saturday.

US Bans Two Namibia Ex-Ministers Over Accepting Bribes

Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, is distinguished by the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast.
Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, is distinguished by the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast.

 

The United States said Tuesday it would ban the entry of two former government ministers from Namibia whose alleged acceptance of bribes caused a political uproar in 2019.

The State Department said that former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau and former justice minister Sacky Shanghala — as well as their immediate family members — would not be allowed into the United States.

“The United States continues to stand with all Namibians in support of democracy and the rule of law, and against those who would undermine these principles for personal gain,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The two ministers resigned and were arrested in 2019 on allegations that they accepted $10 million in bribes from one of Iceland’s biggest fishing firms, Samherji, in return for awarding quotas on horse mackerel from the sparsely populated southwest African nation.

The scandal, triggered by the publication of documents by WikiLeaks, came shortly before elections in which President Hage Geingob won another term but with a sharply reduced majority.

President Joe Biden earlier this month ordered a review on how better to fight corruption globally, calling the issue a national security interest of the United States as graft “rots democracy from the inside” and boosts authoritarians.

AFP

Cash-Strapped Air Namibia Ceases Flights

Air Namibia halts flights.

 

 

Air Namibia, the southern African nation’s cash-strapped flagship carrier, suspended all operations from Thursday after a government decision to file for voluntary liquidation. 

The airline has failed to turn around its fortunes despite years of state bailouts.

“All flight operations will be cancelled, with all aircraft returning to base,” Air Namibia said on social media.

Lawyers representing Air Namibia and Belgian company Challenge Air SA reached an agreement to have the carrier liquidated.

The board of the national carrier resigned on February 3.

A settlement agreement was reached in December 2019, where Air Namibia acknowledged it owed Challenge Air over N$330 million and undertook to pay the sum in monthly instalments.

Namibia is expected to announce voluntary liquidation on Thursday, which is expected to leave over 600 staff members unemployed.

Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi said about N$8.4 billion ($569.8 million) had been spent to bail out the airline in the past 10 years.

Namibia To Sell 170 Live Elephants

Female elephants walk at the Kulen Prom Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia’s Oddar Meanchey province on December 1, 2020. (Photo by TANG CHHIN Sothy / AFP)

 

Namibia is putting 170 live elephants up for sale to curb rising tusker populations under pressure from drought and territorial conflict with humans.

An advertisement for the sale of 170 “high value” elephants was carried Wednesday by a state-owned daily newspaper, New Era.

The ministry says the elephants are being sold “due to drought and increase in elephant numbers coupled with human-elephant conflict incidences.”

The sparsely-populated semi-arid southern African country is home to some 28,000 elephants, according to official estimates.

Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta told AFP that the government backed the policy of selling live animals after being criticised for shooting elephants to control overpopulation.

“We decided -– after research -– to sell them instead,” he said.

The elephant population had dwindled to about 5,000 animals at independence in 1990, but increased phenomenally thanks to a globally-lauded conservation programme.

The advertisement said pachyderms on sale would comprise entire herds in order to preserve the important social structure in elephant communities — infants or juveniles will not be left behind.

Shifeta warned that Namibia would not recklessly sell the elephants to buyers, saying “we have to make sure that the country is conducive.”

For export purposes, the buyers must ensure that CITES requirements are met by both exporting and importing states for the trade to be authorised, according to the notice.

In October, 100 wild buffalo went up for sale in Namibia.

Last year the government offered for sale around 1,000 animals including 600 buffalo, 150 springboks, 60 giraffes and 28 elephants.

Namibia Rejects Germany’s Offer To Amend For Genocide

Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, is distinguished by the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast.
Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, is distinguished by the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast.

 

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob on Tuesday said reparations offered by Germany for mass killings in its then colony at the start of the twentieth century were “not acceptable” and needed to be “revised”.

German occupiers in Namibia killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 massacres, which historians have called the first genocide of the 20th century.

In 2015, the two countries started negotiating an agreement that would combine an official apology by Germany as well as development aid.

Geingob on Tuesday was briefed by his government’s special envoy Zed Ngavirue on the status of negotiations.

The briefing took place ahead of a final round of talks for which a date has yet to be set.

“The current offer for reparations made by the German government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian government,” Geingob said in a statement after the briefing, adding that Ngavirue had been asked to “continue with negotiations for a revised offer”.

No details were provided on the offer.

The president also noted that Germany had declined to accept the term “reparations”, as that word was also avoided during the country’s negotiations with Israel after the Holocaust.

Ngavirue rejected Germany’s reference to reparations as “healing the wounds” and said the terminology would be subject to further debate, according to the statement.

Berlin was not immediately available for comment on the claims.

Germany has acknowledged that atrocities occurred at the hands of its colonial authorities and some officials have even recognised it as a genocide.

But the country has repeatedly refused to pay direct reparations, citing millions of euros in development aid to the Namibian government.

Namibia was called German South West Africa during Germany’s 1884-1915 rule, and then passed under South African rule for 75 years, finally gaining independence in 1990.

Tensions boiled over in 1904 when the Herero rose up, followed by the Nama, in an insurrection crushed by German imperial troops.

In the Battle of Waterberg in August 1904, around 80,000 Herero fled including women and children.

German troops went after them across what is now known as the Kalahari Desert. Only 15,000 Herero survived.

The German government has so far refused to apologise for the killings.

 

 

AFP

SERAP Writes Buhari, Seeks Ban On Car Purchase For Political Officers

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ban the purchase of new cars for the Presidency and ministers.

It made the appeal in an open letter addressed to the President dated May 16 and signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare.

The group asked President Buhari to use his leadership position to follow the ‘Namibia example’ by urgently issuing an executive order to prohibit the purchase of new cars till the end of his administration.

According to it, the savings from the ban should be used to support students of tertiary institutions across the country to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown on them and their parents.

It suggested that the funds should also be used to improve access to healthcare for all Nigerians, and the National Assembly and governors should be encouraged to also ban the purchase of new cars and to use the savings to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.

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SERAP asked high-ranking public officials and politicians to demonstrate the constitutional oaths of absolute loyalty to the public interest and the common good, especially in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It added that the expenditure of public funds required the highest degree of public trust, stressing that every public official has a duty to protect and preserve the public interest in public spending.

Read the letter to the President below:

16 May 2020

His Excellency

Muhammadu Buhari GCFR

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Aso Rock Presidential Villa

Abuja                                                          

Your Excellency,

 

Re: Request to follow the ‘Namibia example’ by urgently issuing executive order to ban the buying of new cars by the presidency, and ministers for the remainder of the tenure of your administration 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) is writing to request you to use your leadership position to urgently issue an executive order to ban the purchase of new cars by the presidency, and all ministers for the remainder of the tenure of your administration, that is, until May 2023.

SERAP also urges you to use the savings from this ban to support students of tertiary institutions across the country in order to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown on them and their parents and to improve access to healthcare for all Nigerians.

SERAP urges you to encourage the National Assembly and the 36 state governors to also ban the buying of new cars and to use the savings to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.

SERAP also urges you to consider banning spending on generators in the presidency and cutting spending on items like furniture and fittings, refreshments, catering services, and purchase of kitchen and household equipment.

SERAP is a non-profit, nonpartisan, legal, and advocacy organization devoted to promoting transparency, accountability, and respect for socio-economic rights in Nigeria.

SERAP received the Wole Soyinka Anti-Corruption Defender Award in 2014 and was nominated for the UN Civil Society Award and Ford Foundation’s Jubilee Transparency Award.

SERAP serves as one of two Sub-Saharan African civil society representatives on the governing Committee of the UNCAC Coalition, a global anti-corruption network of over 380 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries.

According to reports, Namibia’s president Hage Geingobon on Thursday imposed a five-year ban on buying new cars for top politicians and government officials from buying new cars in order to redirect the funds to fight COVID-19 in his country.

This presidential directive is expected to save the country some 200 million Namibian dollars (US$10.7 million), which would then be directed to “to urgent priorities, specifically at a time when the country is dealing with the health and economic implications of COVID-19”.

Copying the example of Namibia will also show that public funds will be spent for the benefit of the people, and not as a prerogative for the advantage of the government or the benefit of public officials.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the urgent need for high-ranking public officials and politicians to demonstrate the constitutional oaths of absolute loyalty to the public interest and the common good. 

The constitutional oaths of office by public officials include the responsibility to prioritise the well-being of Nigerians.

Imposing a ban on new cars by the presidency, ministers and encouraging the leadership of the National Assembly and the 36 state governors to do the same would serve the public interest, contribute to cutting the cost of governance.

As the trustees of Nigerians’ public funds, your government, the National Assembly and governors are accountable to the public for the management of those public funds.

The expenditure of public funds requires the highest degree of public trust. It is the constitutional duty of every public official to protect and preserve the public interest in public spending. 

As the government prepares to finalise the proposed amendment to the 2020 budget, we urge you to immediately impose a ban on the purchase of new cars by the Presidency and to encourage the National Assembly and the 36 state governors to do the same, and to ensure that public funds are used for the benefit of the public.

SERAP remains concerned that several state governments are failing to pay workers and that the Federal Government is failing to pay pensioners’ entitlements.

This is a clear violation of the right to work recognized under article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Nigeria is a state party.

The right to work is essential for realizing other human rights and forms an inseparable and inherent part of human dignity.

We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in acting to ensure and promote the public interest and the common good in public spending.

Please accept the expression of our highest consideration. Thanking you in advance for your urgent attention to the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Kolawole Oluwadare

Deputy Director

Court Upholds Results Of Namibia Presidential Election

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

 

Namibia’s top court on Wednesday dismissed an opposition bid to overturn last year’s general election over the use of paperless electronic voting machines.

Opposition parties in December petitioned the Supreme Court to annul the results and order fresh polls, claiming the use of electronic voting machines without a verifiable paper record was unconstitutional.

President Hage Geingob, 78, secured a second five-year term in the November poll with a hugely diminished majority of 56 percent compared to 87 percent in the previous polls in 2014.

The ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), which has been in power since Namibia’s independence from South Africa in 1990, also retained its majority in parliament.

“We decline to set aside the election and order a rerun,” Chief Justice Peter Shivute ruled.

“Applicants have not shown that the absence of a verifiable paper trail has adversely affected their fundamental right to vote.”

While upholding the outcome of the 2019 election, the judges nonetheless ruled in favour of paper trails for future ballots.

The lack of a verifiable paper record, they said, was “unconstitutional”.

Runner-up candidate Panduleni Itula, who led the court challenge, welcomed the ruling, even though the election result was confirmed.

He told AFP he was satisfied that paper audit trails would feature in the next poll.

“It is not the end of me or the end of the thought process,” Itula added.

Namibia was the first country in Africa to introduce electronic voting machines in 2014.

Itula had unsuccessfully petitioned against the machines before the elections, claiming the absence of paper records raised the risk of fraud.

The 62-year-old dentist racked up 30 percent of the vote as Namibia’s first independent candidate.

Popular Democratic Movement candidate McHenry Venaani came third with 5.3 percent.

“I am politically vindicated,” Venaani told AFP after the ruling.

“What they have done is going to help our democracy,” he said. “That is a victory in itself.”

AFP

Namibia Set For Election Amid Economic Downturn

Supporters of the Namibian opposition party Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) presidential candidate, McHenry Venaani, cheer during the last Namibian presidential election campaign rally on November 24, 2019 in Windhoek, Namibia.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

 

Namibians will vote in a general election on Wednesday with the incumbent president facing discontent over the ailing economy despite the nation being one of the most mineral-rich in Africa.

An entrenched recession in the southwest African nation has overshadowed President Hage Geingob’s first term in office.

As Geingob, whose South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) has ruled Namibia since independence from South Africa in 1990, seeks re-election, his popularity has waned among frustrated youth who have borne the brunt of the downturn.

The disaffection has fuelled support for ex-dentist Panduleni Itula, 62, a SWAPO member standing as an independent candidate.

Analysts say that Itula could attract votes from both the opposition and SWAPO loyalists displeased with 78-year-old Geingob.

“The Namibian people are living in dire straits,” tweeted Itula last week.

‘Don’t Need Friends’

Observers say the president is still likely to secure a second five-year mandate, but his score is predicted to drop from the 87 percent he garnered in 2014.

His runner-up McHenry Venaani of the opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), had won less than five percent of the votes cast.

SWAPO has enjoyed a two-thirds parliamentary majority since 1994.

“We are now in the second phase of the struggle, that of economic emancipation, that of provision of basic necessities,” Geingob told supporters at SWAPO’s final rally in the capital Windhoek on Saturday, speaking at a stadium that was less than half full.

Around 2,500 people clad in green, red and blue party colours joined in singing liberation struggle songs.

Even fewer attended Venaani’s final rally on Sunday.

His PDM party is haunted by the legacy of its affiliation with apartheid South Africa before independence, which continues to deter voters. The rest of Namibia’s opposition is ethnically divided.

“You have no meaningful alternative to SWAPO,” analyst Henning Melber told AFP.

“With a weak opposition like that you don’t need friends,” he added.

Tough First Term

And Geingob has made very few, with the economy slumping in his first term.

Despite World Bank predictions of recovery this year, growth remained negative for the first two quarters of 2019.

“People are not getting jobs,” said 18-year-old high school graduate Ndeshihafea Nghipandulwa, hawking eyewear on the side of the road.

“We want a new president so that we can see change.”

Namibia’s economic slide was triggered by a combination of low commodity prices and one of the worst droughts in history.

Public debt ballooned as the cash-strapped government sought international support.

But Geingob has continued to pump money into his administration and hired a disproportionate number of civil servants.

“You have six or seven ministries doing the same thing,” complained another opposition candidate, Esther Muinjangue, accusing SWAPO of creating “jobs for its comrades”.

‘Disappointed’ Freedom Fighters

“I fought for the country, but today I am very disappointed,” said 77-year-old SWAPO war veteran Naftali Ngiyalwa, who sells flip-flops on Windhoek’s Independence Avenue.

“We were not fighting to be well off, but just to be okay and not homeless,” he told AFP, while adding that he would still support Geingob.

Namibia is one of Africa’s richest countries in terms of resources. Vast uranium and diamond reserves sit along a 1,500 kilometre (930-mile) coastline, which is home to a vibrant fishing industry.

Nearly a million tourists visit each year, drawn to its wildlife and desert landscapes.

That wealth, however, does not trickle down to many.

Namibia is the world’s second most unequal country after South Africa, according to the World Bank.

Around 40 percent of urban dwellers lived in shacks in 2016, according to the government.

Rising Suspicions 

Geingob’s credibility took another hit this month after WikiLeaks published evidence of government officials taking bribes from an Icelandic fishing company and two ministers resigned.

The president claims the timing of the leaks was calculated to damage his campaign.

Meanwhile, the opposition is concerned over the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), claiming the absence of paper records raises prospects of fraud.

The electoral tribunal on Monday threw out an application by opposition leader Itula seeking to bar the use of EVMs.

Reports that a number of EVMs went missing after they were used for a local election in 2017 have stoked further suspicion over the poll’s credibility.

But the court said there was no evidence that the missing machines “have any relevant bearing” on Wednesday’s elections.

Namibia was the first African country to use EVMs in 2014.

With a population of 2.45 million, around 1.4 million Namibians are registered to vote.

Eleven candidates and 15 parties are contesting the presidential and parliamentary polls.

Two Planes In ‘Minor’ Collision At Frankfurt Airport

A file picture taken on March 21, 2019 shows a passenger aircraft landing at Frankfurt am Main airport, western Germany. Credit: AFP

 

An Air Namibia plane collided with a Korean Air jet after landing at Frankfurt airport on Saturday evening, officials said, adding that no one was injured.

Both aircraft were damaged in what Air Namibia on Sunday called “a minor accident”.

A spokeswoman for Frankfurt airport said the incident happened at around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Saturday. She said no one was injured and the reasons for the crash remain unclear.

“The left wing of an Air Namibia plane collided with the horizontal stabiliser of Korean Air flight KE905 as it was waiting on the taxiway after landing,” Korean Air said in a statement.

The Korean Air plane was carrying 241 passengers and 40 crew at the time, it said.

“We confirm that no passengers and crew were hurt,” Air Namibia added in its own statement.

Korea Air said its Seoul-bound return flight was delayed by 21 hours as a result, adding that affected passengers had been offered accommodation.

A replacement aircraft was set to take off on Sunday afternoon.

Air Namibia said it had likewise offered accommodation to 244 passengers due to travel from Frankfurt to Windhoek, as the airline looked for alternative flights.

Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) has opened an investigation into the cause of the collision.

The damage to the two jets was still being assessed, a BFU spokesman said.

‘It Wasn’t Pretty’ – Italy Off-Key In Rugby World Cup Win Over Namibia

Italy’s head coach Conor O’Shea gestures as he meets the press after a training session in Sakai on September 20, 2019, ahead of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

Italy coach Conor O’Shea said his team were “disappointed” with their Rugby World Cup start after they were forced to come from behind in an error-strewn 47-22 win over lowly Namibia on Sunday.

Talisman captain Sergio Parisse became only the third man to play in five Rugby World Cups but even he admitted it was “not maybe a really nice match to see” as wind and at times torrential rain lashed the Hanazono Stadium.

Often Six Nations whipping boys, Italy are targeting their October 4 clash against South Africa as a possible route to reaching the knock-out stages for the first time but this patchy display will not leave the Springboks unduly worried.

“We’ll have to move on from that pretty quickly. It wasn’t very pretty. There’s too many errors in it,” said O’Shea.

“It was difficult conditions at times in the second half, which doesn’t excuse it. But we’ll be disappointed with the way we played… that’s not the true version of us,” said the Irishman after the bonus-point win.

Namibia’s defence coach had promised to treat fans to an impromptu haka if his minnows pulled off a shock and it was the unfancied Welwitschias who started the brightest.

Italy’s prop Marco Riccioni (C) is tackled during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Italy and Namibia at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashiosaka on September 22, 2019.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

The underdogs led with only five minutes on the clock, seizing on an overthrown line-out to produce a flowing move down the right flank finished off acrobatically by scrum-half Damian Stevens.

Italy hit back within minutes, a Parisse-inspired push-over in the scrum resulting in a penalty try as Namibia collapsed on their line.

The Italians squandered several chances in a nervy and mistake-ridden first half but eventually took the lead in the 26th minute as they unpicked the Namibian defence for fly-half Tommaso Allan to touch down under the posts.

The champagne moment of the match came on the stroke of half-time as Federico Ruzza’s no-look pass let in Tito Tebaldi for a try, well converted to give the favourites a 21-7 lead at the break.

‘Never Gave Up’

With the match being played on the fringes of a typhoon, rain hammered down in the early part of the second half and Italy extended their advantage almost immediately through an Edoardo Padovani try after a clever kick behind Namibian lines.

Italy never looked in danger of losing the match, scoring three further tries via Carlo Canna, Jake Polledri and Matteo Minozzi, but the spirited Namibians refused to lie down and a touch-down from winger JC Greyling was greeted with roars from the capacity crowd.

A mazy Chad Plato try under the posts gave the Namibians a final consolation score just before time.

The 36-year-old Parisse’s record-equalling fifth World Cup put him alongside fellow countryman Mauro Bergamasco and Samoan legend Brian Lima, and his 141st cap also drew him level with Irish star Brian O’Driscoll in second place on the all-time list.

“The important thing today was to win and take the five points,” Parisse said.

“Big congratulations to Namibia as well because they never gave up. They kept playing to the end.”

AFCON: South Africa Stay In Hunt For Last-16 Spot After Laboured Win

South Africa’s midfielder Bongani Zungu celebrates his goal during the match at the Al Salam Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on June 28, 2019. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

France-based Bongani Zungu scored as unimpressive South Africa laboured to a 1-0 Africa Cup of Nations Group D win over Namibia Friday to keep alive hopes of making the second round.

However, to book a last-16 place the winners will probably need at least a point against leaders Morocco, who defeated the Ivory Coast 1-0 in the first match of a double-header.

Already qualified Morocco have six points, the Ivory Coast and South Africa three each and Namibia remained pointless after two solitary-goal losses.

With Ivory Coast set to beat Namibia Monday, the best South Africa can realistically hope for is one of four places reserved for the best third-place finishers.

It looks increasingly likely that teams coming third in the six groups will need a minimum of four points to be among the quartet that survives.

Zungu netted on 68 minutes with a header off a corner to settle a match that lacked the quality of the clash between Morocco and the Ivory Coast.

South Africa made four changes to the team that started in a loss to the Ivory Coast four days ago, including the shock demotion of goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who was outstanding.

He was replaced by Darren Keet and Hlompho Kekana, Zungu and Sibusiso Vilakazi were also promoted with Kamohelo Mokotjo, Lebohang Maboe and injured Dean Furman dropping out.

Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti included Egypt-based Benson Shilongo for Absalom Limbondi in the lone change to the side that unluckily lost to Morocco after conceding a late own-goal.

Blazed Over

South Africa had a chance to go ahead on 16 minutes, but Vilakazi blazed over at the Al Salam Stadium in the Egyptian capital after a Themba Zwane backheel gave him a clear sight of goal.

Mannetti must have been pleased when the 21st minute passed as he was part of the side trailing South Africa 4-0 at that point when they last met 21 years ago in Burkina Faso.

Now retired Benni McCarthy scored all four Bafana Bafana (The Boys) goals in the victory and how England-born coach Stuart Baxter must have longed for someone similarly clinical in this match.

South Africa had plenty of possession, but lacked creativity in the final third of the pitch and their frustration led to many hopeful, long-range shots.

Namibia, with four South Africa-based players in the line-up, held their own and did not resemble a side 41 places lower in the world rankings.

Percy Tau, of whom much had been expected in this Cup of Nations, could have broken the deadlock as half-time approached but a weak shot was comfortably saved by Loydt Kazapua.

Deon Hotto came close to putting Namibia ahead midway through the second half after Keet spilled a cross and the Namibian had his shot cleared off the line by Buhle Mkhwanazi.

Almost immediately, South Africa forced a corner and Zungu from Ligue 1 outfit Amiens rose unchallenged in the middle of the six-yard box to nod the former champions into the lead.

AFP