WINDHOEK - The Law Society of Namibia (LSN) said it is busy investigating local lawyers implicated in the international fishing kickback scandal, which also involves Namibian politicians and several business people.
“The LSN has now formally commenced investigations into the trust accounts of implicated legal practitioners and the professional conduct of the legal practitioners involved,” said Meyer van den Berg, LSN Chairperson in a press statement.
The regulatory body has been in regular consultation with other stakeholders and institutions to determine the extent of the allegations and the involvement of the members of the LSN. Van den Berg emphasised that formal action will be taken against all legal practitioners who acted contrary to the Legal Practitioners Act, 1995.
The documentary, ‘The Anatomy of the Bribe’ which aired on 1 December on global network television Al Jazeera, implicated Windhoek-based lawyer Sisa Namandje and Swakopmund-based lawyer and Omualu Fishing managing director Sacky Kadhila Amoomo. The two prominent lawyers have been painted by the documentary as the ‘fixer lawyers’ who have political connections and enable business dealings between potential investors and Namibian politicians.
Amoomo could be seen in the documentary facilitating the bogus deal between the undercover journalists, suspended Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya and former minister of fisheries Bernhard Esau. Esau was forced to resign along with justice minister Sacky Shanghala. They are currently in police custody. The documentary alleges that N$17.5 million was paid by Fishcor into Namandje’s law firm, Sisa Namandje & Co’s trust account between 2015 and 2017, at the time when James Hatuikulipi was the chairperson of Fishcor.
The money is said to be linked to the bribery scandal, which involves at least N$103 million.
Currently only six people have been arrested in Namibia in connection with the scandal. Apart from Esau and Shanghala, former MD of Investec Asset Management Namibia, James Hatuikulipi, his cousin Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, who is also the son-in-law of Esau, have been arrested.
Ricardo Gustavo, a senior manager at Investec Asset Management Namibia, but currently on suspension, and Pius Mwatelulo have also been arrested.
The six are currently in police custody and face charges ranging from money laundering to fraud, conspiracy to commit an offence and corruptly using office for gratification. Their case has been postponed to 20 February 2020 for further investigations.
2019-12-16 10:14:06 | 6 months ago