The bail application of former minister of justice Sackey Shanghala’s employee, Nigel van Wyk, that was to start yesterday in the Windhoek High Court before Oshakati-based judge Johanna Salionga, was remanded to today on request of the defence.
Advocate James Diedericks who is appearing on behalf of Van Wyk, pro bono, on instructions from Jermaine Muchali, informed judge Salionga, who has been seconded from the Oshakati High Court, to hear the bail application, that there are some issues to be sorted out before the hearing can start. Deputy prosecutor general Hezekiel Iipinge, who is appearing on behalf of the State, with the assistance of State advocate Ed Marondedze, did not oppose the application.
Van Wyk (34) 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 to work for Shanghala at Olea Investments. It is stated that 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 that the funds were derived from unlawful activities.
Van Wyk and his boss Shanghala 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, Shanghala, Tamson and James, Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo, 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.
Pic: Van Wyk bail postponed
Caption: (Nigel) Wait… Fishrot accused Nigel van Wyk’s bail application will start today.
Photo: Roland Routh