THREE more people, amongst them prominent lawyer Marén de Klerk, are expected to stand trial as accused persons alongside the already arrested seven men in the ongoing large scale fisheries corruption case known as Fishrot.
Martha Imalwa, Namibia’s Prosecutor General (PG), has decided to expedite the arrest of De Klerk, who is reportedly currently in South Africa at a metal asylum receiving treatment, Otniel Shuudifonya, Deputy Director of Rural Services and a certain Philipus Mwaapopi.
Once arrested, the suspects will appear alongside former fisheries minister, Bernhard Esau, former justice minister, Sacky Shanghala, former Investec Namibia boss, James Hatuikulipi, his cousin, Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi, Pius Mwatelulo and former Fishcor CEO, Mike Nghipunya, when they appear for a pre-trial hearing in the Windhoek High Court next year, 22 April.
Former Investec client director, Ricardo Gustavo, is not part of the first matte referred to as the Fishcor case, but is part of the second case, which is known as the Namgomar case.
In the Namgomar case, the state indicated that it has completed its investigations, which consists of 61 ring files of paperwork and that the PG now has to make a decision on the matter.
That case, including the attempting to defeat the course of justice case of Nigel van Wyk, a former employee of Shanghala, was postponed to 5 February 2021.
The state, represented by Deputy prosecutor-general Ed Marondedze, has indicated that it plans to join all the cases together to form one case, which will have a total 17 accused, including listed companies.
The seven men in custody appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court this morning with the hopes that the cases against them would be provisionally withdrawn after magistrate Venessa Stanley indicated at the previous court appearance that she will not grant another postponement if the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was not done with investigations by today.
With the exception of Nghipunya, who was only arrested earlier this year, the remaining six accused men were arrested last year December.
Although it is expected that the accused will spend another Christmas behind bars, their case this morning started off with an attempt by their lawyer, Richard Metcalfe, to get the deputy prosecutor-general off the case.
Metcalfe argued that the contract of Marondedze, who is a Zimbabwean national, expired at the end of October and is therefore working in the country illegally.
According to Metcalfe, if lawyers from South Africa were not allowed to appear in court on behalf of the accused men after entering the country without work permits, then the same treatment should be dealt out to Marondedze.
Marondedze, who had his passport on him containing his work permit, told the court that he does not report to Metcalfe and that if indeed the defense lawyer had evidence of what he is saying, that he should approach Home Affairs to deal with the matter.
Metcalfe, who repeatedly referred to Marondedze as “this foreigner” during arguments, informed the court that he will indeed take up the matter with the ministry of home affairs.