Swartbooi calls Fishcor board and Swapo to account

LPM leader Bernardus Swartbooi says the entire Fishcor board should be indicted for allowing the Fishrot scandal to happen.

09 November 2021 | Politics

ESTER KAMATI

WINDHOEK

Leader of the landless People’s Movement (LPM) Bernardus Swartbooi on Friday challenged the Fishcor board to either confirm or deny the statements made in court by the company’s former CEO, Mike Nghipunya.

“State institutions must always justify their decisions. Can Fishcor justify its decision to have 18 000-plus [tonnes of fish quota] for government objectives which was then syphoned to Swapo? Can they be called to account by the public accounts committee?” he said.

He added that the entire board should be indicted and arrested.

“The chairperson of that board could not have been acting alone. There is a board of Fishcor. Can they also be arrested?”

The parliamentarian added that he believes Nghipunya’s testimony.

“I doubt a man fighting for his life would lie under oath. He has no reason. The man is trying to dig himself out of a hole.

“I commend him for his repentance. Others must do the same,” he said.

Swartbooi further criticised the ruling party for refusing to take accountability for their members but rather shifting blame to individuals.

“So, people of Swapo are stealing and thieving and Swapo says, ‘it’s not us, it is other people and it’s in court, go ask them’.

“While the judiciary is hearing bombshell evidence, the deputy prime minister was in absolute denial of anything ever having been done,” he said.

“The value system that these people have encapsulated is, they look at the truth, if it doesn’t fit you, deny it regardless of whoever is watching you. Even if Jesus Christ was looking at them, they wouldn’t give a damn, they would deny that they ever sinned.”

Failure

Swartbooi further blasted legal institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the office of the ombudsman for not rising to the occasion to investigate the Fishrot scandal and mismanagement of state resources following the explosive testimony by Nghipunya.

He claimed that the police have failed to dig deeper into investigations relating to Fishrot.

He expressed disappointment in the ACC for not committing to the search for more answers.

“He [ACC director-general Paulus Noa] is also thinking that perhaps we are so stupid that Nghipunya’s statements are of no value. The man [Nghipunya] made those statements of the 44 million plus that was transferred to Namandje and those companies. He did so under oath and that must have great value for any investigating officer, including Noa.”

Swaartbooi questioned why lawyer Sisa Namandje, who is implicated in the scandal, is going scot-free, stating that Namandje should be indicted.

“Why is De Klerk on the run? There is a reality that he faces that he could be arrested. Why is Sisa not even on the run? In fact, he is having the best time of his life. The system is beginning to crack open,” he stated.

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