‘I owe it to Namibia’: Stefansson readies to testify

15 January 2021 | Justice

STAFF REPORTER



WINDHOEK

Fishrot whistle-blower Johannes Stefansson has reiterated his stance that he is prepared to face the consequence of his role in the corruption scandal.

In an interview on talk-radio station Eagle FM, he said it was of cardinal importance for him to share his role in the scandal and to see it through.

Stefansson had lifted the lid on the scandal after he provided Wikileaks with damaging information on the affairs of Icelandic company Samherji in Namibia, which led to the arrest of two former cabinet ministers, Sacky Shanghala and Berhardt Esau.

The Fishcor pre-trial is set to start in April and pertains to the alleged payment of bribes to the tune of N$75.6 million made through embattled state entity, the National Fishing Corporation (Fishcor).

It is alleged that the monies had been paid by Samherji, through Fishcor, to former high-ranking government officials and enablers in exchange for lucrative fishing quotas allocated to the company by government.

‘No matter what’

Former fisheries minister Esau, former justice minister Shanghala, former Investec CEO James Hatuikulipi, Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya and Pius Mwatelulo stand accused in the matter of money laundering.

Commenting on the trial, Stefansson said he saw it as a duty to lift the lid on the corruptive practices taking place.

“It was never a question for me, it was never a question… I’ve always said that I am coming to testify when the trial will start; I will face any consequences which I have to face.

“I went into this and the people around me went into this to finish this, no matter what,” said Stefansson.

According to Stefansson, he was encouraged by the conduct of investigators from the Namibian police and the Financial Intelligence Centre, saying they showed great professionalism.

“I was very fortunate because I met very good investigators and some members of the police from the financial crime unit. They took it very seriously. The investigators are making a big difference to take it this far.”

“We owe this to the Namibian people,” he added.

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