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Nghipunya’s culpable homicide trial deferred

2022-02-09  Maria Amakali

Nghipunya’s culpable homicide trial deferred

The trial of former National Fishing Corporation of Namibia CEO Mike Nghipunya has been postponed to August.

Nghipunya’s lawyer Kadhila Amoomo informed the court they were not ready to start with the trial because of the ongoing bail hearing in the High Court, he was unable to properly get instructions.

The matter was last year set for 7 and 8 February in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. 

Magistrate Ivan Gawanab gave an order for the parties to set aside the dates of 3, 4 and 8 August for the trial to commence. 

Nghipunya is scheduled to go on trial on counts of culpable homicide, reckless or negligent driving and failing to report an accident within 24-hours to law enforcement agencies.

He is accused by the State of having disregarded a red traffic light in Windhoek on 16 August 2017, resulting in a collision in which a man lost his life.

Although on warning for this matter, he is currently in police custody after his arrest in February 2020 for his alleged involvement in the Fishrot corruption scandal. 

Nghipunya is facing 30 charges comprising racketeering, contravening the Anti-Corruption Act, conspiracy, corruptly using an office to receive gratification, fraud, theft, money laundering and defeating or obstructing the course of justice. It is alleged by the State that he benefitted N$43.9 million from the syndicate.

Nghipunya and his co-accused, Bernhardt Esau, Sacky Shanghala, Tamson and James Hatuikulipi, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo, Otneel Shuudifonya, Phillipus Mwapopi, Nigel van Wyk and Jason Iyambo, stand accused of corruptly receiving payments to give a competitive advantage to Icelandic fishing company Samherji in securing access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia.

Other accused persons such as lawyer Marén de Klerk and Icelandic executives Ingvar Júlíusson, Egill Helgi Árnason and Adalsteinn Helgason are yet to be extradited to Namibia so they may stand trial alongside their co-accused.

Nghipunya, Shanghala, James, Mwatelulo, Shuudifonya and Mwapopi are currently fighting to be released on bail. Their hearing will resume on 21 February. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-02-09  Maria Amakali

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