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Kanyangela accused of ‘holding back’ 

2022-02-22  Roland Routh

Kanyangela accused of ‘holding back’ 

Chief investigator of the Anti-Corruption Commission Andreas Kanyangela found the going tough yesterday fielding questions from Vas Soni, the South African advocate of Sackey Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo.

Kanyangela continued to face a barrage of questions about the procedures he adopted when he investigated the Fishrot scandal. 

He admitted to making several mistakes in his affidavits and during his investigations. 

He further denied he was not forthcoming and was holding back in answering. 

“My Lord, I put it to this witness that he is uncooperative and is especially unwilling to answer questions that he feels uncomfortable with,” Soni at one time told presiding Judge Shafimana Ueitele, unable to hide his disgust.

Soni also questioned the warrants used to search the properties of the Fishrot accused and the arrest warrants issued. 

Although the warrants were already declared unlawful by Windhoek High Court Judge Thomas Masuku shortly after the arrest of former minister of fisheries Bernardt Esau and Shanghala, he still questioned them. 

His questions surrounded the issue of who and how the warrants were obtained. 

He also questioned former chief of investigations and prosecutions of the ACC Nelius Becker’s role in the investigation or whether Kanyangela consulted his wife, Justine, as the acting head of investigations and prosecutions about the warrants.

According to Kanyangela, he investigated according to the ACC procedures. With regards to the availability of Johannes Stefansson, the whistle blower who exposed the Fishrot scandal, he said that while Stefansson is currently not in Namibia, he is certain that the Icelander will come to testify, however, should that not happen, it will not diminish the State’s case. 

“We have enough evidence to convict the accused without Mr Stefansson’s evidence,” he stated. Soni, however, read from an affidavit prepared by Icelandic national Ingvar Júlíusson in which he stated that Stefansson is a mental case and has substance abuse problems. 

He also said that Stefansson will be convicted in Namibia and, therefore, he will not show up for his testimony. 

Kanyangela was also adamant that the accused will interfere with the witnesses. A case in point, he said, is that Shanghala allegedly sent a letter to Swapo Party Youth League members and asked them to protest against their continuous incarceration.         

Kanyangela is facing cross-examination from Soni in the bail hearing brought by former justice minister Shanghala, former chair of the Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) James Hatuikulipi, former chief executive officer of Fishcor Mike Nghipunya, Pius Mwatelulo, suspended City cop Phillipus Mwapopi and suspended Otjozondjupa Regional Council employee Otneel Shuudifonya before Ueitele.

The six men, together with Esau, Ricardo Gustavo (on bail) and Tamson Hatuikulipi and Nigel van Wyk, are facing more than 40 counts including racketeering, contravening the Anti-Corruption Act, conspiracy, corruptly using an office to receive gratification, fraud, theft and money-laundering, as well as defeating or obstructing the course of justice. It is alleged by the State that they corruptly received 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 De Klerk. The State is yet to extradite De Klerk from South Africa, and Icelandic nationals Ingvar Júlíusson, Egill Helgi Árnason and Aðalsteinn Helgason. The State alleges that all the accused acted in common purpose. The matter continues today, and the accused remain in custody.


2022-02-22  Roland Routh

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