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Van Wyk abandons Fishrot bail bid

2021-12-07  Maria Amakali

Van Wyk abandons Fishrot bail bid
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Fishrot accused and a former employee of corruption accused Sacky Shanghala and his business partner James Hatuikulipi withdrew his bail application yesterday in the High Court.

During yesterday’s court proceedings, the 34-year-old Nigel van Wyk’s lawyer Jermaine Muchali informed judge Johanna Salionga of their stance and requested the court to remove Van Wyk’s bail application from the court’s roll.

“Our engagement with the State did not come to a fruitful ending. May the matter be struck from the roll until we get our house in order,” said Muchali. 

He added they intent on bringing their application back next year on a date to be arranged with the State.

Van Wyk’s bail application has been postponed several times during which his lawyer and the State were in consultation about the proceedings. 

During the previous court appearance, it was reported that they had reached an agreement with the State and only final details were being finalised. 

Van Wyk has been in police custody since his arrest on 27 December 2019. He was denied bail by Windhoek Magistrate’s Court last year on grounds he did not satisfy the court’s requirements to be released on bail pending his trial.

Van Wyk is facing two counts of racketeering; three counts of money laundering, with its alternatives; one count of unlawful possession of ammunition; one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice; one count of assault; resisting or obstructing an authorised officer, with its alternatives; and one count of theft. 

He previously worked at the Office of the Government Attorney, where he was a subordinate of Shanghala. He resigned from his position as a senior legal clerk on 31 October 2017, and started to work for Shanghala at Olea Investments. It is stated that he benefitted in the amount of N$1.9 million.   

The prosecution alleges that between January 2018 and December 2019, Van Wyk received more than N$697 000 from Otuafika Logistics. 

The company is co-owned by James Hatuikulipi and his cousin Pius Mwatelulo. It is alleged that during the same period, Van Wyk also received more than N$309 000 from Olea Investments, a company owned by Shanghala.

 The money was allegedly transferred to Van Wyk’s personal account at Bank Windhoek. The State indicated that Van Wyk knew that the funds were derived from unlawful activities.

Van Wyk (34) and Shanghala are also accused of attempting to defeat the course of justice. It is alleged that Van Wyk was caught by the ACC removing potential evidence from Shanghala’s residence in Windhoek. 

The prosecution alleges that the material he removed could be evidence in the ongoing Fishrot saga, a case that is sensitive and of a serious nature.

Van Wyk and his co-accused Marèn de Klerk, Bernhardt Esau, Shanghala, Tamson and James, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo, Otneel Shuudifonya, Mike Nghipunya and Philipus Mwapopi stand accused of corruptly receiving payments to give a competitive advantage to Icelandic fishing company Samherji in securing access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia.

2021-12-07  Maria Amakali

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