Van Wyk reports ACC to Ombudsman

Arrested on suspicion of removing key evidence from Sacky Shanghala’s house, the former Olea employee says he was subjected to untold suffering on the day of his arrest.

01 December 2021 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE







WINDHOEK

Fishrot lackey Nigel van Wyk, in a report to the Office of the Ombudsman, has accused the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of unfair treatment during his arrest at the residence of his co-accused Sacky Shanghala in December 2019.

Recounting his experience, Van Wyk said ACC officials prevented him from leaving the house, despite being given access by a certain Twapunikwa Ndikwetepo, with both of them ending up in a guard house while the ACC started its search of the Klein Windhoek property.

Van Wyk has also accused the ACC of sleep deprivation, and said he was slapped by one of its investigators.

He was arrested on suspicion of removing evidence pertaining to the pending corruption trial involving Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya, former Investec CEO James Hatuikulipi, former Investec business manager Ricardo Gustavo, Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, James’ nephew Pius Mwatelulo, Otjozondjupa regional council employee Otneel Shuudifonya and City Police employee Philipus Mwapopi.

“When I was leaving the residence, I was prevented from leaving by the ACC. One of those officers was a certain Mr Karel Cloete. He directed me to go into the guard house and to remain there until further notice. He also informed me that another ACC person, Mr Willem Olivier, will be the investigating officer and that he would arrest me. Nonetheless, my detention began then,” Van Wyk said.

He further alleged that he and Ndikwetepo were kept in the guard house from 19:00 to 23:00, at which point he was taken to the ACC’s headquarters while Ndikwetepo was taken to the Klein Windhoek Police Station.

Van Wyk said he was kept at the ACC’s offices until 02:00, at which point he was driven to his house in Rehoboth, despite being exhausted from the earlier detention at Shanghala’s residence.

“I was dozing off during the drive to Rehoboth and Mr Oliver, who sat in front of me, kept slapping my head, telling me that it was not the time to sleep,” he said.

‘Ungodly hours’

Arriving at Van Wyk’s house at 03:00, the ACC continued with its search despite finding his wife and two children fast asleep.

“We arrived at about 03:00 at my house and they knocked at the door to wake my wife. I had to beg them to allow my wife to move the children - who were fast asleep - into another room while they conducted the search.

“The search ended at 05:00 just before dawn and despite my requests, my children were startled out of their deep sleep. And needless to state, no search warrant was shown to me for the search at those ungodly hours of the day,” he said.

The ACC officials then drove him back to their offices and only charged him at 08:00, he said. At about 11:00, Van Wyk said he was then taken back to Shanghala’s residence for another search effort, which lasted until 15:00, only to be returned to the Otjomuise Police Station at 17:00.

Van Wyk also claimed having to sign for documents removed from the vehicle he had driven to Shanghala’s residence.

“At around 23:00, I was taken from a communal cell I was kept [in] to sign [for] documents taken from the Toyota I had been driving at Mr Shanghala’s house. If my memory serves me well, it was some sort of inventory. I was not given a copy and still do not have a copy hitherto,” he said.

‘Unlawful’ arrest

Van Wyk further said despite his case being joined to the Fishcor trial, he has not been read his rights nor the judge’s rules, maintaining that his arrest was unlawful.

Van Wyk faces charges related to defeating the ends of justice for attempting to remove material from Shanghala’s home.

The State has added additional charges relating to allegations that his personal bank account had received close to N$700 000 from Otuafika Logistics, a company owned by James Hatuikulipi and Mwatelulo.

Van Wyk is alleged to have received an additional N$310 000 from Olea Investment, a company owned by Shanghala. The State is alleging that the funds had been proceeds of crime.

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