Rose-Mary Haufiku

As Fishrot accused, James Hatuikulipi and former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala head to court on Thursday for their pre-trial hearing, an investigation by the Namibia Correctional Services (NCS) continues after they were found in possession of mobile phones.

According to NCS Windhoek Correctional Facility Head, Deputy Commissioner Manfred Jatamunua, the investigation in the smuggling of the phones, discovered two weeks ago, has been delayed but will continue, although the intention for it to have been done as soon as possible.

“Sometimes considering the type of clients that they are, we are very careful not to do things that will make it difficult for us to discipline them, and we know if I give certain information to the media, they can use it against us and it will again be difficult to discipline them. So some of the things we are doing and some of the information we are looking for now because of that sensitivity of it, we prefer to keep to ourselves,” said Jatamunua.

“The investigations are still on going. I can unfortunately not go into the details of what we are busy doing now, other than to say that we are busy with the investigations and they are at an advanced stage,” Jatamunua told the Windhoek Observer.

Shanghala and Hatuikulipi claimed that the gadgets were required to avoid their conversations being recorded by the correctional services’ recording system. Jatamunua said the accused are presumed innocent until they are found guilty by the prison Disciplinary Board Chairperson.

Jatamunua last week revealed to Windhoek Observer that the Correctional Services Act is limited in what can be done to inmates who break its rules while awaiting trial.

The prison head said some privileges that can be taken away from the accused but that can only happen after the completion of the disciplinary hearing.

Hatuikulipi and Shanghala, along with co-accused, former Fisheries Minister Bernard Esau, his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo, Pius Mwatelulo and former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya are due in the High Court on Thursday, 22 April.