338 Fishrot witnesses will not prolong trial

Eba Kandovazu

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lead investigator in the fishrot corruption saga, Andreas Kanyangela today said that a total 338 state witnesses will testify, but only less than 20 will take longer to testify in the witness dock.

Kanyangela said that the majority of the witnesses will not take much of the trial, as they will mainly testify about the services they rendered and the amounts they received from the suspects.

Former Fisheries Minister Bernard Esau, former Justice Minister Sakeus Shanghala, former Managing Director of Investec Asset Management James Hatuikulipi, former Fishcor Chief Executive Officer Mike Nghipunya, Ricardo Gustavo, Pius Mwatelula, Nigel van Wyk, Otneel Shuudifonya as well as Phillipus Mwapopi will answer to the charges.

Kanyangela also revealed today that investigations have been completed. He however said that if new information surfaces, investigations will be made to strengthen the state’s case. According to him, the length of the trial will depend on how the matter is handled in court and the circumstances.

Defense lawyer Milton Engelbrecht today said interlocutory applications and challenges relating to the Constitution may arise during the trial. Engelbrecht, who represents Shuudifonya and Mwapopi, said that the ACC has no strong grounds to deny his two clients bail. Engelbrecht said that although Kanyangela said his clients have been removed from their jobs as a result of their lengthy incarceration.

“I simply relied on the Public Service Act which stipulates that if a person is absent from work for over 30 days then they will be dismissed,” Kanyangela responded.

Shuudifonya was employed as a Deputy Director in the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, while his best friend and co-accused Mwapopi was a City Police officer. Kanyangela said he became aware that Mwapopi was dismissed from work in a newspaper article.

According to him, the suspects, if released on bail, can convince

witnesses to change their statements.


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