The application brought by the State to join the two Fishrot matters, Namgomar and Fishcor, to be heard as one will start this morning before Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg.
The gist of the opposition to the joinder application is that the trials will be protracted and they will suffer financial prejudice.
They also claim it will infringe on their right to a speedy trial, as the two cases are distinct and not interlinked.
They also claim not all the accused are involved in both cases, and this will have an impact on them, as they will have to sit through a trial and listen to evidence that has nothing to do with them.
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 is 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 are lawyer Maren 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 the accused is legal entities Erongo Clearing and Forwarding cc, and JTH Trading cc, who is 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, represented by Arnason; Saga Seafood, Esja Investment and Heinaste Investments, represented by Juliusson. 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, and 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 faces a charge of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.