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Faulty passenger assistance unit causes 8 injuries

Faulty passenger assistance unit causes 8 injuries

Six passengers from Air Namibia flight SW708 and two Air Namibia personnel were involved in an incident caused by the passenger assistance unit equipment failure at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday last week.

The incident, which reportedly took place at around 21:20 on 13 December took place upon the arrival of flights SW728 Johannesburg to Windhoek and SW708 Cape Town to Windhoek when the passenger assistance unit tipped backward while passengers were offloaded from the SW708 flight.

According to Air Namibia officials, after the initial investigations, a breakage was found at a factory welded joint. The passengers, as well as the Air Namibia personnel, fell down, primarily from the tipping movement thereby causing some minor injuries. The airport fire station was called in and an ambulance dispatched to the scene. The passengers and Air Namibia personnel were immediately transported to Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek.

Three passengers were discharged immediately after observation, while the other three passengers were admitted, and Air Namibia staff members are booked off until Wednesday, 18 December 2019.

Air Namibia spokesperson Paulus Nakawa said the airline regrets the incident, adding that the specific passenger assistance unit underwent a full service in November 2019.

“Air Namibia acknowledges the gravity of this incident and has constituted a team of aviation experts in their respective fields to carry out an in-depth investigation. The team is tasked to find the root cause of this incident and make recommendations to maintain the Airline’s unblemished safety record. The team is comprised of; Manager of Safety (Lead Investigator), Manager of Security (Co-opted Investigator), General Manager of Ground Operations and a Quality Assurance Officer. The passenger assistance unit has been suspended indefinitely until it is declared safe to operate,” Nakawa said.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.