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By: Kelvin Chiringa

Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo has lamented that some of his co-accused have been allowed to tell their side of the story in the whole corruption scandal while he has not been given the same opportunity.

Gustavo also expressed displeasure at some implicated persons that have explained their cases and were allowed to walk scot-free.

He has also told the court that the arresting authority officials called him to Auspanplatz under the pretext of discussion and asking a few questions.

“Here we are, two years later. Nobody asked me to give any statement of any sort. Nobody came to ask me. All they did was come with a warrant of arrest and a search warrant. My Lord, sorry, may I also add that others have been afforded their opportunity in the larger investigation.

“Others have been allowed to explain their position. They did, and they are free, my Lord. They are free, and there (are) lots of questions being asked. I am sticking my neck out by saying this, my Lord.

“Many questions are being asked about many people who would have been involved because of allegations against them in the larger fish, ah ah, as it is known now, the the the Fishrot case. Those people were given the courtesy to provide their side of the story,” he said.

Judge Herman Oosthuizen asked whether these persons had turned into state witnesses.

“I believe so, but for me, my Lord, for lack of a better term, there is a lot of malaise. There is a lot of malaise,” he said.

However, justice Oosthuizen reminded him that he was on dangerous ground and that he must be very sure of what he was saying, especially on whether he was not allowed to tell his side of the story.

“Because if you say no, as you now do, you might be questioned now by the state and the prosecution. There was a certain time when a certain police officer came to you and asked you whether you were willing to give a warning statement, then you refused. Did something happen like this?”  he asked.

Last week in court, Gustavo said the ACC’s offices called between two and three of his co-accused gunning for bail to give their side of the story.

He said they gave statements and documentations while he was not afforded that courtesy.

“My faculties are 100%, my Lord. To my recollection, nobody has come from the ACC or any other investigation authority to say, Mr Gustavo, let’s have a seat, here is some coffee, let’s talk about this. Or at least Oros or something,” he said.

Gustavo’s Company vs Charges Before Court

Documents constantly refer to the allegations that Namgomar received 50 000 metric tons for the benefit of Gustavo and his cronies.

He said these metric tones were not received per year, as per public perception.

He has also flatly denied that his company caused a major shock in the fisheries sector.

“That is not in dispute that Namgomar Pesca Limitada received 50 000 mt over six years. That’s not in dispute, my Lord. But I want to contextualise. Somebody said to me in law, context is everything.

“Over the six years, the total allowable catch would have been on average 350 000, maybe 340 000 mt per year if one does the sum at the back of a matchbox that’s probably about 2.4 million mt over those six years.

“If I divide that by 50 000 mt, I get to about 2.5% of the total allowable catch. There is no way that a company like that could have disrupted the industry because the allegations were that this company made people lose jobs,” he said.

Gustavo said Namgomar, which got 2.5% of 2.4 million mt, could not have created any instability in the fisheries sector.

He said, to the contrary, all the vessels he had licenses to employed Namibians in the majority.

His lawyer, however, reminded him that his mathematics was poor as 2.5% of 50 000 mt over 2.4 million mt tones equalled less than 1%.

“It is unfortunate that we are where we are, to mobilise meagre resources to clear my name in a matter that has nothing to do with me. Funny as it may sound, my Lord, the very principals of Namgomar Pesca Limitada and that business in Angola, are not a party to these proceedings.  I leave it there, my Lord,”  he said.



Kelvin Chiringa

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