Six in Namibia’s fishrot scandal to spend Christmas in custody

RUSTENBURG – Two former ministers and four others implicated in large-scale corruption in Namibia’s fishing industry are expected to remain in police custody after abandoning a bail application in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

The lawyers representing the six accused did not want to give reasons for their decision to abandon their planned bail application. One of the defence lawyers, Gilroy Kasper, informed Magistrate Linus Samunzala on Monday, that they reserved their right to apply for bail before their next scheduled court appearance, the Namibian reported.

Former Cabinet ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala and four co-accused – former Investec Asset Management Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi, 44, suspended Investec Namibia clients director Ricardo Gustavo 44, Esau’s son-in-law Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, 38,  and Pius ‘Taxa’ Mwatelulo, 31, – are accused of having been involved in a scheme in which Icelandic companies allegedly paid them at least N$103 million to get access to Namibian fishing quotas.

The six accused were expected to apply for bail on November 29, but their planned bail hearing was thrown off course after their two South African senior counsel — who were to represent them — were arrested for working in Namibia without employment permits.

On Monday, the six heard that the prosecution and the defence lawyers representing them have agreed that their case would be postponed to February 20, for further investigations to be carried out.

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