Eba Kandovazu

THE state has been granted permission by the Windhoek High Court to have the two Fishrot cases, namely the Namgomar and Fishcor, joined together as one to avoid a repetition of evidences.

Judge Christie Liebenberg today ruled that the application is not a consolidation of the indictments, but that it is just the joining of accused persons with separate offenses in terms of section 156 of the Criminal Procedure Act. State Advocate Ed Marondedze made the application, which was challenged by all the Fishrot suspects, except former Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Bernard Esau, and his son-in- law, Tamson Fitty Hatuikulipi. The State has also been ordered to file the amended indictment with the Registrar of the High Court as well as with the defense lawyers, by 4 PM on the 18th of September.

Asked how much money the State would now save, given the joining of cases, Marondedze could not comment as he was not in the country. He instead referred the questions to Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa. But her phone went unanswered. Other Fishrot suspects include former Justice Minister, Sakeus Shanghala; former Managing Director of Investec Asset Management, James Hatuikulipi; former Fishcor Chief Executive Officer, Mike Nghipunya; Ricardo Gustavo a former Senior Manager at Investec Asset management; Businessman Pius Mwatelula, Nigel van Wyk, Otneel Shuudifonya as well as Phillipus Mwapopi.

The Fishrot matters are currently at the pre-trial stage for case management. Judge Liebenberg maintains that all the accused persons face charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering in both cases. Allegations are that they acted together and with common purpose.

In considering judgment, Liebenberg says he had to consider the facts and circumstances of the indictments, the strengths thereof and weigh up any prejudice the accused persons as well as the state stand to face.

“The state satisfied the requirement of showing that admissible evidence will prove that the accused persons were all in different capacities involved in illegal enterprises,” the Judge ruled.