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South Africa’s King Dalindyebo goes to jail

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… As Buhari explains: Why I am slow

A South African king who is a nephew of the late Nelson Mandela has begun a 12-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assault and arson.

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo reported to prison after his legal attempts to overturn his conviction failed.

The case against King Dalindyebo was related to a dispute he had with some of his subjects about two decades ago.

He comes from the Thembu clan, to which Mr Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, belonged.

He is the first monarch to be jailed in South Africa since minority rule ended in 1994.

King Dalindyebo, 51, ascended to the throne in 1989, and has about 700,000 subjects.

South Africa has 10 officially recognised monarchs representing different ethnic groups and clans.

They play a largely ceremonial role, and attend to minor disputes within their communities.

King Dalindyebo was accused of kidnapping a woman and her six children, setting their home on fire and beating up four youths, one of whom died, because one of their relatives had failed to present himself before the king’s traditional court.

He handed himself to prison authorities in the eastern city of Mthatha in compliance with a court order after a judge refused to extend his bail on Wednesday, the justice ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, Justice Minister Michael Masutha turned down his request for a retrial, saying there was no legal justification for doing so.

King Dalindyebo had maintained his innocence, saying he disciplined his subjects under customary law.

Many of the king’s subjects feel that he has sullied the reputation of the Thembu royal household.

His father, Sabata, was a revered monarch who fought against minority rule, and campaigned for the unity of South Africa’s ethnic groups.

In contrast, his son turned out to be a disgrace, and has paid the ultimate price.

More significantly, South Africa has once again demonstrated that, despite its leadership problems, it upholds the rule of law, even if it means locking up a king and alienating some of his subjects ahead of crucial local elections next year.

It is also to the monarch’s credit that after exhausting all his legal options, he reported to prison rather than daring the police to come and arrest him at his palace in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday responded to criticisms on the alleged slow nature of his administration, saying he adopted the style deliberately so that he would not make mistakes.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President gave the explanation while receiving a delegation of Women In Politics Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While defending the records of the administration in response to criticism that it is slow, Buhari was quoted as arguing that steps must be taken with caution to avoid mistakes. He said any mistake by his administration would be a disaster for the country.

“People say we are slow. We are trying to change structures put in place by our predecessors in office for 16 years. If we hurry it, we will make mistakes. That will be a disaster,” the President said. 

While decrying the spate of terrorism in the North East, Buhari told his guests that a committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle Internally Displaced Persons in that part of the country would soon be inaugurated. He said the committee which will be led by Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.) will also include Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

He added that all forms of assistance in this respect generated locally and from foreign countries as promised by the G-7 will be channeled through the committee when it is inaugurated.

He said that he had compiled a list of damaged infrastructure, including schools and bridges and handed it to the leaders of the G7 and the United States, adding that “I didn’t ask for a Kobo (in cash). It is up to them to choose what they will undertake. Already, some of them have sent teams to verify our assertions.”

Buhari regretted that women and children are the worst victims of the Boko Haram sect.

He said, “In the North-East, what I saw for myself and on those clips is a source of concern for people with conscience.

“They are mostly women, and children who are orphaned. Some of them don’t even know where they come from. This is the pathetic situation in which the country has found itself.”

The President also said that the fight for the return of the Chibok girls is ongoing and “continues to be a most worrying issue” to his government. He promised that his administration will do all within its powers in making the best efforts to secure their freedom.

The President acknowledged the case made by the WIPF for better representation of women in his government and assured that women would fare well in the composition of parastatals and their boards in the first quarter of the year. He also assured them that the country has a budget proposal for the new year that is good for employment and manufacturing.

“By the end of the second quarter, the full impact of these positive measures will be felt,” he told the visiting women.

The WIPF, made up of women leaders from 26 registered political parties led by Ebere Ifendu of the Labour Party expressed their full support for the government’s war on corruption and insecurity.

BBC with additional report from The Citizen 

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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