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Hatuikulipi pleads not guilty to bribery charge

2023-02-24  Roland Routh

Hatuikulipi pleads not guilty to bribery charge

Fishrot accused James Hatuikulipi pleaded not guilty to charges, ranging from corruptly giving gratification as an inducement, bribery or improperly influencing an authorised officer and defeating or obstructing the course of justice in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

His co-accused Sakaria Kuutondokwa Kokule did not plead to the charges and instead claimed that the court does not have jurisdiction to try him. 

According to him, he regards himself as an informer, who cannot be charged for information he provided to law enforcement authorities. 

Kokule claimed he informed on Jason Iyambo, whom he said wanted to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission officer with N$250 000 to obtain bankcards of a co-accused in the Fishrot case, Pius Mwatelulo, and a handwritten document, titled ‘Total Allocation’, which had also been seized by the ACC. 

Hatuikulipi wanted the Bank Windhoek cards for Omvindi Investment CC and Otuafika Logistics issued to Mwatelulo.

Iyambo admitted he offered a bribe of N$250 000 to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Junias Iipinge in Windhoek on 20 January 2020. 

Iyambo was convicted and sentenced to nine months of imprisonment.

Kokule testified he was in the North in December 2020 when he received a call from Iyambo, who told him that he was at Hatuikulipi’s house with an ACC agent, who has searched the residence and confiscated some items. 

According to him, when he went there, he found Iyambo and the ACC officer there. 

He further said Hatuikulipi was not aware that they were at his house. 

He said that during a subsequent meeting, Iyambo asked him to use his friendship with the ACC officer, Junius Ipinge, to convince the latter to remove the items from the custody of the ACC for a fee of N$250 000. 

However, the investigating officer went to his superiors at the ACC and reported the incident.

According to Kokule, he was summoned by the ACC and told that he would be a witness for the prosecution; that is why he provided them with statements. 

In his plea statement, Iyambo implicated Hatuikulipi.  

According to Iyambo, Hatuikulipi asked him to bribe an ACC officer to get hold of the items in question. 

The matter is continuing. 

Hatuikulipi, who is represented by Vas Soni on instructions of Gilroy Kasper, remains in custody – and Kokule, represented by Jermaine Muchali on instructions of Legal Aid, is free on bail.

 The State is represented by Ian Malumani.


2023-02-24  Roland Routh

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