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Date set for Fishrot joinder application

2021-08-09  Roland Routh

Date set for Fishrot joinder application

Lawyers representing the Fishrot accused and the State last week agreed with the date of 20 September proposed by Windhoek High Court judge Christie Liebenberg for the joinder of the two Fishrot matters.

The judge further ordered advocate James Diedericks, on behalf of former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former managing director of Investec Asset Management Namibia (now Ninety One) James Hatuikulipi and Pius Natangwe Mwatelulo, to submit his heads of arguments by no later than Monday.

The judge also ordered the State to have their reply, if any, by next Friday.

The State, represented by Advocates Ed Marondedze and Cliff Lutibezi, will apply for the two Fishrot matters, Namgomar and Fishcor, to be heard as one.

All of the accused, except for former minister of fisheries Bernardt Esau and Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, who is also the son-in-law of Esau, will oppose the application.

In the Namgomar matter, Esau; Shanghala; Hatuikulipi; Tamson; Ricardo Gustavo, a senior manager at Investec Asset Management Namibia; Mwatelulo; Nigel van Wyk, Shanghala’s lackey; Otneel Nandetonga Shuudifonya and Phillipus Mwapopi are charged with corruptly receiving payments of at least N$103.6 million to allow Icelandic fishing company Samherji secure access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia.

In the Fishcor matter, Esau, Shanghala, Tamson, James, Mwatelulo and former CEO of Fishcor Mike Nghipunya are facing charges ranging from racketeering to fraud and money laundering. 

Also on the list of people to be added to the charges is lawyer Marén de Klerk, who is currently in South Africa. 

De Klerk is charged as representative of Celax Investments, which was allegedly used as the conduit to funnel millions of dollars from Fishcor to the bank accounts of the accused.

Also on the list of accused is legal entities Erongo Clearing and Forwarding cc as well as JTH Trading cc, represented by Tamson; MH Property Projects, represented by James; Ndjako Investment cc and Fine Seafood Investment Trust, represented by Shuudifonya; Otuafika Investments cc, represented by Mwatelulo; Otjiwarongo Plot Fifty-one cc, represented by Esau; Gwanyemba Investment Trust, represented by Nghipunya and Wanakadu Investment cc, represented by Mwapopi.

The accused will be charged with seven counts of racketeering, 12 counts of contravening the Anti-corruption Act, four counts of fraud, alternatively theft and four counts of money laundering.

In the Namgomar matter, the legal entities charges are Namgomar Pesca Namibia, represented by Gustavo; Erongo Clearing and Forwarding, JTH Trading and Fitty Entertainment, represented by Tamson; Otuafika Investments and Otuafika Logistics, represented by Mwatelulo; Olea Investments, Erf One Nine Zero Eight Zero Kuisebmond, Greyguard Investments and Cambadara Trust, represented by James; Omholo Trust, represented by Shanghala; Esja Holdings and Mermaria Seafood Namibia; Saga Seafood, Esja Investment and Heinaste Investments.

They will be arraigned on two counts of racketeering in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act; two counts of money laundering; three counts of contravening the Anti-Corruption Act; three counts of fraud with alternatives of theft and tax evasion; one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Van Wyk alone faces further charges of unlawful possession of ammunition and assault on a member of the police, while he and Shanghala face a charge of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

The accused remain in custody after several unsuccessful bail applications and appeals.

Trevor Brockerhoff is representing Gustavo; Richard Metcalf and Florian Beukes: Esau and Fitty;  Milton Engelbrecht: Nghipunya, whereas Jermaine Muchali is representing Van Wyk.-



2021-08-09  Roland Routh

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