FORMER Ministers of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, and the former Minister of Justice, Sacky Shanghala and their co-accused in the Fishrot corruption scandal will have to spend the weekend behind bars following the impromptu arrest of their South African lawyers at the Windhoek Magistrate court on Friday.
People in the public gallery of the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court were left stunned when police and immigration official swooped in to arrest Mike Hellens and Dawie Joubert who would have represented the two ex ministers. They were taken out of the court room and led away by police after they were briefed by an official from home affairs that informed them that they did not have work permits and are under arrest.
In the meantime Esau and Shanghala hired new lawyers, Advocate, Tinashe Chibwana and Gilroy Kasper to represent them for during their formal bail application.
Seniour Counsel Chibwana however requested that on account of the difficulties that transpired with regard to the first two lawyers being arrested, the court should postpone the matter to 2 December 2019.
“This morning, representatives of Accused 1 and 2 were arrested. We request that the matter be postponed for a bail application hearing on Monday. We did not foresee the events of today and need more time to prepare,” Chibwana stated.
The six suspects including former Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau and Ricardo Gustavo who were re-arrested earlier this week in connection with the Fishrot corruption scandal will remain in custody. The Former Justice Minister Sakeus Shanghala and ex-Investec Asset Management Namibia Managing Director James Hatuikulipi were arrested Wednesday, 27 November 2019 by the Anti-Corruption Commission in conjunction with the Namibian Police, while Tamson Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo handed themselves in and were later detained to face charges relating to corruption, money laundering and fraud.
They are being charged for contravening section 43(1) read with section 46(b) (in respect of former Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau) and, section 33(b) read with section 46(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003 (Act No. 8 of 2003) (in respect of former Justice Minister Sakeus Shanghala, James Nependa Hatuikulipi, Tamson Tangeni Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Jorge Gustavo and Pius Natangwe Mwatelulo.
The suspects all face charges for contravening section 4 & 6 of Prevention of organized crime Act, 2004 (ACT NO. 29 of 2004), and charges of fraud.