Shanghala employeeon abandons bail bid

17 January 2020 | Justice

Nigel Van Wyk, who faces charges related to the Fishrot corruption case, had to abandon a bail application scheduled for 10 January because he could not afford to pay his former lawyer, Mervin Katuvezirauina.

Van Wyk is accused of obstructing the course of justice by trying to remove material believed to be evidence from the house of former justice minister Sakeus Shanghala. The case will return to the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on 20 March. Van Wyk's new lawyer, Boris Isaacks, would not comment yesterday. Van Wyk is believed to be an employee of Olea Investments, a company owned by Shanghala. Olea allegedly received US$330 000 in bribes paid by Icelandic seafood company Samherji, which is at the centre of the Fishrot scandal.

A woman who was arrested along with Van Wyk at Shanghala's house was later released without being charged.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Phelem Masule said the evidence against her was not compelling enough to keep her in custody.

The charge against Van Wyk is linked to the Fishrot saga in which Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, former Investec MD James Hatuikulipi, suspended Investec manager Ricardo Gustavo, Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi and Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatelulo are said to have taken bribes from Samherji in exchange for lucrative fishing quotas.

The six accused are being held at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance on 20 February.

The so-called Fishrot Six have approached the Supreme Court in a last-ditch attempt to have their arrests overturned. In December the High Court rejected their application to be released on the grounds that their arrest warrants had been invalid.

OGONE TLHAGE

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