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Bail hearing of Fishrot accused Van Wyk in July

2022-05-13  Roland Routh

Bail hearing of Fishrot accused Van Wyk in July
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The bail application of former minister of justice Sacky Shanghala’s employee Nigel van Wyk, which was initially abandoned, is now set to start in the Windhoek High Court before Oshakati-based judge Johanna Salionga on 11 July on new facts.

Van Wyk is asking the High Court to release him on bail, as he had a major operation on his right leg by a South African specialist, and his continued incarceration has bankrupted his nuclear family. 

He is also saying that his moveable and immovable property has been repossessed due to non-payment. 

Furthermore, he said, the criminal charges he faced in Leonardville were withdrawn, investigations into the Fishrot matter are finalised, and the audit report exonerated him on the money laundering charges.

The bail hearing was originally scheduled for November last year but was abandoned, as some issues needed to be sorted out before the hearing could take place. 

He will be represented by advocate James Diedericks, pro bono, on instructions from Jermaine Muchali.

The State is opposing the bail application and will be represented by deputy prosecutor general Ezekiel Ipinge with the assistance of State advocate Ed Marondedze. 

Van Wyk is facing two counts of racketeering; three counts of money laundering with its alternatives; one count of unlawful possession of ammunition; one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice; one count of assault; resisting or obstructing an authorised officer with its alternatives, and one count of theft. 

He previously worked at the Office of the Government Attorney, where he was a subordinate of Shanghala. 

He resigned from his position as a senior legal clerk on 31 October 2017, and started working for Shanghala at Olea Investments. 

It is stated he benefitted in the amount of N$1.9 million.  

The prosecution alleges that between January 2018 and December 2019, Van Wyk received more than N$697 000 from Otuafika Logistics. 

 The company is co-owned by James Hatuikulipi and his cousin Pius Mwatelulo. 

It is alleged that during the same period, Van Wyk also received more than N$309 000 from Olea Investments, a company owned by Shanghala.

 The money was allegedly transferred to Van Wyk’s personal account at Bank Windhoek. 

The State indicated that Van Wyk knew the funds were derived from unlawful activities. 

Van Wyk (34) and his boss Shanghala (43) are also accused of attempting to defeat the course of justice. 

It is alleged that Van Wyk was caught by the ACC removing potential evidence from Shanghala’s residence in Windhoek. 

 The prosecution alleges that the material he removed could be evidence in the ongoing Fishrot saga, a case that is sensitive and of a serious nature.

Van Wyk and his co-accused Bernhardt Esau, Sackey Shanghala, Tamson and James Hatuikulipi, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo (on bail), Otneel Shuudifonya, Mike Nghipunya and Philipus Mwapopi stand accused of corruptly receiving payments to give a competitive advantage to Icelandic fishing company Samherji in securing access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia.

Also on the list of people added to the charges is lawyer Marèn de Klerk.

The State is yet to extradite De Klerk from South Africa as well as Icelandic nationals Ingvar Júlíusson, Egill Helgi Árnason and Aðalsteinn Helgason. 

The State alleges all the accused acted with a common purpose. 

The accused remain in custody.

- rrouth@nepc.com.na


2022-05-13  Roland Routh

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