Eba Kandovazu

THE High Court is tomorrow morning hearing the formal bail application of Fishrot alleged masterminds, former Investec Asset Management Managing Director, James Hatuikulipi, and Former Justice Minister, Sacky Shanghala.

The bail application was initially scheduled for Monday, before Judge Shafimana Ueitele, but could not proceed because the lawyer, Licious Murorua, representing the duo, was not ready. Murorua requested an extension to next week Monday, saying his clients would be ready then, a request which was declined by Judge Ueitele, before setting down the matter for tomorrow morning.

The two are charged alongside former Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Bernard Esau, his son in-law Tamson “Fitty” Hatuikulipi, Pius Mwatelula, Ricardo Gustavo, former Fishcor Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Nghipunya, Nigel van Wyk, Otneel Shuudifonya and Phillipus Mwapopi.

Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa, also decided to prosecute lawyer Maren de Klerk, who is currently in South Africa. It was earlier reported that de Klerk had checked himself in a mental asylum there. Imalwa also decided to prosecute three Samherji executives. Helgason Adelsteinn (Managing Director of Samherji’s Katla Seafood), Ingvar Juliusson (Samherji’s Chief Accounting Officer) and Egil Arnason (Esja Managing Director). High court Judge Christie Liebenberg however ruled that the Icelanders be removed from the indictment until they have been extradited and subsequently issued with a warrant of arrest.

The Icelanders are currently challenging the PG’s application to forfeit their assets.

Van Wyk, regarded as Shanghala’s errand boy, was arrested for allegedly refusing police officers entrance into the former minister’s farm. The suspects’ companies have also been cited in the charge sheet as suspects. Imalwa has decided to prosecute the suspects on 21 charges ranging from racketeering, money laundering, corruption, fraud, and tax evasion.

Last month, the State successfully applied for the two Fishrot cases namely; the Namgomar Pesca case, and Fishcor case to be joined together. This, according to State Advocate, Ed Marondedze, would save State resources and prevent a repetition of evidence. In his ruling at the time, Judge Liebenberg found that the same witnesses in the Fishcor case are the same witnesses in the Namgomar Pesca case.