Fishrot fugitive lawyer dishes out advice on blog

There's a warrant out for his arrest, but the lawyer - currently based in South Africa - seems unbothered, spending his time writing blog posts instead.

15 October 2021 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER



WINDHOEK

A Windhoek lawyer wanted in South Africa so that he can be extradited to Namibia to attend his trial in the Fishrot case is nowadays a keen blogger who shares life advice on his platform.

Marén de Klerk (53) is standing trail in the Windhoek High Court with the former ministers of fisheries and justice, Bernhardt Esau and Sacky Shanghala, the former chairman and CEO of Fishcor James Hatuikulipi and Mike Nghipunya, and six others.

This is in the newly consolidated trial that emerged from two investigations into the events in the fish quota scandal.

Chrispin Phiri, spokesperson for South Africa's minister of justice and correctional services, told Republikein from Pretoria that De Klerk had not yet been extradited, "because the South African police could not yet locate him".

The Namibian justice ministry sent a warrant for his arrest on 19 May, together with a request for his extradition, to the department of justice and correctional services in South Africa.

According to sources close to De Klerk, he lives in a luxury golf estate near a town in the heartland of the Boland.

He recently started a website, marendeklerk.com, on which he, as a life coach and lawyer, posts legal opinions and his views on life. He also shares photos, videos and recipes.

Life and thoughts

“Being a commercial attorney for 25 years, I want to share my life, thoughts and also document my interests, views and ideas for my family and friends; that way it can help in my healing process and help my family and friends better understand my sometimes-idiosyncratic personality,” he wrote.

In one of the articles, he does a "critical analysis of mainstream media's distribution of fake news" and examines the causes and consequences.

He referred to the "big lie" about the 2020 election results in America and added: "Even in small countries like Namibia, several newspapers and specifically The Namibian have distributed numerous articles with serious misinformation about the Fishrot issue, undoubtedly fuelled by political motives because the ruling Swapo Party was implicated by the revelations of whistle-blowers in this matter”.

He does not, however, mention allegations that he was the so-called paymaster who, through his involvement in Celax Investments, channelled millions of Namibian dollars through Fishcor to some of the other accused and beneficiaries in Swapo.

According to Phiri, it is not a foregone conclusion that De Klerk will be extradited. If the police find him and arrest him, the lawyer can turn to the South African courts and dispute his extradition, he said.

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