You have news tips, feel free to contact us via email


By: Wonder Guchu

Former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau wants the court to release N$1 928 069 from the restrained assets for his legal expenses.

The former minister said he wants the court to order the release ofN$1,5m from the restrained assets to meet his and son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi’s “reasonable legal expenses in the main restraint application”.

He also asked the court to release a further N$428 069 to pay his outstanding 26 October 2021 legal fees.

“I cannot pay my legal expenses incurred to date, both in respect of the main POCA application and the pending criminal case to which the POCA offences relate. There is no unrestrained property which enables me to settle my outside legal bill and pat a deposit for my upcoming trial,” he said.

Esau also said the outstanding bill for Tamson was N$856 139.

Esau was arrested in late 2019 in connection with millions allegedly paid in what has become known as the fishrot scandal.

One of the 10 main accused, Esau, has been in custody facing corruption and money laundering charges in the Namibian fishing industry.

The other are former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, forme Investec boss James Hatuikulipi and Ricardo Gustavo, Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo, as well as former Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya.

Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa was granted an interim asset restraint order in November 2020 against the fishrot accused.

Among those, Imalwa targeted Esau, the Hatuikulipis, Gustavo, Shanghala, and Mwatelulo.

Also targeted is Esau’s wife, Swamma, and her daughter Tamson’s wife, Ndapandula.

There are also 15 companies on Imalwa’s list of assets she wants to be restrained.

The asset restraint order listed several bank accounts, investments, company and close corporation shares, immovable and moveable properties that include houses and 60 vehicles, firearms, jewellery, and several luxury watches.

The Prosecutor General also grabbed part of Esau’s pension that was about N$1,9 million. Currently, Esau receives a monthly pension allowance of N$102 870 before deductions.

Esau has been trying to get the PG to release this money, arguing that pension is not part of the proceeds of crime.

In August this year, he filed an affidavit saying the Pension Funds Act states pension payout cannot be attached or subjected to any form of execution by a court judgment or order.

The PG, however, the Pension Funds Act does not prevent the restraint of the pension money of a defendant after a fund has paid it out.

in her affidavit, Imalwa said, “I further take note that there is a risk that the pension monies will be dissipated instead of being paid over to the curator from the trust account of the legal representatives of [Esau], should the pension monies have been unrestrained.”

In the latest affidavit released on Monday, Esau says he will ask the court on 14 February 2022 or soon after “for an order of N$428 069.05 or such a lesser amount as may be allowed to be released from the restrained assets to meet his outstanding legal expenses”.

“That the amount of N$1,5m or such lesser amount as may be allowed be released from the restrained assets of the applicants to meet the applicant’s reasonable legal expenses in the main restraint application and the criminal trial in the High Court of Namibia,” he said.

According to the application, Esau wants the Bruni and McLaren Liquidators, managing the assets, to pay the money into Metcalfe Beukes Attorneys, Business Trust Account with FNB.

Esau further said in the case that the PG and the liquidators want to oppose the application, they are supposed to notify his lawyers in writing on or before 12 November 2021 and file their answering affidavits or before 18 January 2022.

Esau listed three immovable properties – Erf 214 Papageienweg in Hochlandpark, Windhoek, valued at N$3,8mand Dakota Farm 35 in Gobabis District valued at an N$11m.

On the Dakota Farm, Esau said he still owes Agribank N$260 000.

He also listed One -third of Erf 530 in Mondesa Swakopmund valued at N$40 000 inherited from the estate of Susana Esau.

He also said he has five cars – two Mercedes-Benzes valued at N$450 000; an Amarok pick up valued at N$250 000, a Toyota Land Cruiser pick up worth N$100 000, an Isuzu KB 200 pick up worth N$40 000 and an MF tractor valued at N$20 000.

He also owns a Venter Moonbuggy worth N$15 000 and a Zebra trailer worth N$5 000.

He has small and large livestock valued at N$500 000, house furniture worth N$200 000 and some more furniture at the farm worth N$150 000.

There are four guns – a .300 caliber Winchester Magnum rifle worth N$25 000, a .243 caliber Winchester Magnum rifle worth N$10 000, a 9x19mm Caliber Pistol valued at N$10 000.

Cash on hand includes N$78 442 seized by the ACC, of which N$60 000 belongs to his son Phillip.

His Nedbank 30-day account has N$1 033 072.65, while a Standard bank prestige account holds N$564 012.33.

Another Standard Bank account has N$433 920.70, while another N$621 424.25 was held in a trust account at Metcalfe Beukes Attorneys.

In addition, Esau said he has 50% shares in Otjiwarongo Plot Fifty-One CC, one-third in Met Processing CC, 50% in Bon Africa Investments.

Wonder Guchu

Related Posts

Read Also ... x