Fishrot persons will be safe – Ndeitunga

20 January 2021 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Persons of interest in the Fishrot corruption scandal are encouraged to approach the Namibian police if they feel that their lives may be under threat.

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga assured Namibian Sun that any fear these persons may have will be approached in a serious light.

Whistle-blower Johannes Stefansson has in the past said attempts had been made on his life after lifting the lid on the scandal, while Maren de Klerk, the former lawyer to former justice minister Sacky Shanghala and alleged paymaster in the scandal, has also raised concerns over his safety.

Stefansson alleges that he has been poisoned in the past and that he has had to hire a personal bodyguard while De Klerk fled to South Africa after claiming an attempt had been made to first abduct him and then later assassinate him.

In his affidavit, De Klerk said he fears for his life.

Stefansson is set to testify in the Fishcor matter later this year, while De Klerk is set to be charged for his alleged involvement in the matter.



Not aware

On the safety of those tied to the scandal, Ndeitunga said his office had not been informed of any security concerns raised by Stefansson and De Klerk.

“Not even them [have approached me]. I should say I am not aware. They might have approached others but I am not aware,” the police chief said.

He, however, assured those involved that any security concerns would be looked into.

“We offer protection to every person, the same protection. We will always objectively look into security concerns if there is any person that needs protection,” Ndeitunga said.



Only protected in Namibia

When asked about Nampol's readiness to protect the men implicated, Ndeitunga referred Namibian Sun to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

ACC director-general Paulus Noa said De Klerk and Stefansson could not be provided protection as they are not in Namibia as yet.

“Those people are not in Namibia. Wherever they are, we are not in control,” he said.

De Klerk's law firm, DHC Incorporated, is said to have funnelled N$75.6 million in alleged bribes through its trust account. The money is reported to have come from the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) and forms part of its governmental objective quota proceeds.

Other persons implicated in the corruption scandal are Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, former Investec CEO James Hatuikulipi, former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya, Tamson Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo.

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