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Fishrot curators relieved of duties

2023-08-24  Maria Amakali

Fishrot curators relieved of duties

David Bruni and Ian McLaren, who are tasked with managing the multimillion-dollar assets owned by Fishrot-accused kingpins, were granted their wish last week to walk away from the task.

Windhoek High Court judge Orben Sibeya ordered that the curators’ appointment, dated 13 November 2020, be terminated. He, however, indicated that it will come to effect on the date when the Master of the High Court has appointed their replacement. 

When that day comes, the court has ordered that Bruni and McLaren shall hand over all files and documents concerning the assets they were managing to their replacement.

The court gave the prosecutor general 60 days to present a replacement for Bruni and McLaren.

Sibeya postponed the case to 6 November for a hearing on the status of the curators.

Last year, Bruni and McLaren filed to be relieved of their duties. The curators claim they do not have the capacity to manage the vast number of properties owned by the accused.

According to them, the sheer volume of assets owned by Fishrot-accused kingpins has made it difficult for them to manage it properly. 

On top of that, the duo also expressed frustration over the bureaucratic processes that have made their management jobs difficult.

They have also called out the Anti-Corruption Commission on how they have handled the matter. They asked the ACC to explain why they have refused to release James Hatuikulipi’s assets into their care as per court order. They have also questioned the whereabouts of one of Hatuikulipi’s vehicles that they confiscated.

Bruni and McLaren are currently managing the assets of James and Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo, Sacky Shanghala, Bernard Esau and Pius Mwatelulo.

The group has a combined 26 erven spread over various Namibian towns as well as in Cape Town, South Africa. Tamson has the highest number of immovable properties; 17 erven and seven sectional title units.

The group’s fleet comprises of 48 vehicles of which Tamson and James top the list with 14 and 13 vehicles, respectively.

The vehicles comprise of luxury cars such as a Volkswagen Amarok 3.0, Mercedes Benz R231, Range Rover Sport, Ford Ranger DC 3.2 Wild Track and Range Rover 5.0 V8.

The curators are also managing the accused’s 33 bank accounts of which James has 12 - of which three are in South Africa, USA and Europe.

The assets being managed also include the accused’s shareholding in various companies and trust. 

In addition to managing the personal assets of the accused, the curators are also handling the affairs and properties belonging to their companies. 

The companies include, Nengomar Pesca Namibia, Erongo Clearing, JTH Trading, Greyguard, Otuafika Investments, Otuafika logistics, Fitty Entertainments, Cambadara Trust, Olea Investments and Omholo Trust. Also under curatorship are Oholo Trading, AL Investment and Gwaaniilongo Investment.

Bruni and McLaren are also managing the affairs of Esja Holding, Mermaria Seafood, Saga Seafood, and Heinaste Investment Namibia.

The duo also has curatorship over gifts given to Tamson’s wife Johanna Hatuikulipi and Esau’s wife Swamma Esau.

Johanna was gifted three erven in Swakopmund and 100% shareholding in JNH Investment.

While Swamma received a Toyota Land Cruiser, Venter Elite Trailer, 50% shares in Esvute Engineering, and a 50% stake in Otjiwarongo Plot Fifty-one.

2023-08-24  Maria Amakali

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