Fishcor chair condemns Seaflower deals

10 September 2020 | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The newly appointed board chairperson of the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia, Mihe Gaomab II, has condemned agreements entered into by the company's subsidiary, Seaflower Pelagic Processing.

Seaflower Pelagic was established under an agreement between Fishcor and African Selection Fishing Namibia, a company owned by lawyer Maren De Klerk.

De Klerk was once the lawyer of former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, who is implicated in the Fishrot scandal.

Other people implicated in the scandal are former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, former Fishcor board chairperson James Hatuikulipi, suspended Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya, Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, former Investec manager Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo.

Seaflower Pelagic Processing is 40% owned by Fishcor while the remainder is owned by African Selection Fishing Namibia (ASF).

ASF is in turn owned by De Klerk through his company Calex Investments Number One, with a 33% shareholding.



'Parasitic relationship'

Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula recently criticised a planned interdict by Seaflower Pelagic Processing to stop the auctioning of fishing quotas by the government to raise funds to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Angula called the application by Seaflower a desperate attempt to save its parasitic relationship with Fishcor. Angula said Seaflower had an opportunity to bid in the auction.

Reacting to the judgment, Goamab said it was evident that a corrupt relationship existed.

“The message is clear that these agreements are symbiotic of a corrupt relationship and give rise to a cosy and parasitic relationship which in our view is consistent with our resolve not to proceed with the associative entity on the prevailing incestuous kind of arrangement,” he said.



Termination

Fishcor was trying to terminate contracts entered into by Seaflower, he indicated.

“We as Fishcor accordingly distance ourselves from these so-called agreements in total and inform the public that we are currently pursuing options, legal or otherwise, on the termination of these so-called agreements.

“It is clear that these agreements were against public policy interests, usurp the discretionary power of the minister of fisheries to allocate quotas in terms of the provisions of the Marine Resources Act and contrary to the beneficial arrangement Fishcor ought to get with the public interest objectives in mind,” he added.

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