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Fishing Deals Between Nam and Angola Not At My Level – Tamson

By: Justicia Shipena

Fishrot accused Tamson “Fitty” Hatuikulipi has testified that negotiations between Namibia and Angola on fishing quotas are not at his level.

Hatuikulipi said this while testifying in his second bail application in the Windhoek High Court on Thursday after ditching his father-in-law and former fisheries minister Benard Esau.

In his cross-examination with the state, state prosecutor Ezekiel Iipinge had questioned him on a memorandum of understanding between Namibia and Angola on fishing quotas.

The state alleged that the memorandum of understanding signed by Esau accorded Namgomar fishing quotas, to which the accused persons only shared the proceeds.

However, Hatuikulipi denied being party to any memorandum of understanding signed on 18 June 2014.

“I was not part of the negotiations between Namibia and Angola. It is not at my level. I am a businessman,” he testified.

At the same time, he denied involvement in Namgomar despite emails presented to the court that were sent to him o the matter.

Hatuikulipi maintained that only his name was copied in the email communications of Namgomar.

The state also alleges that he (Tamson) and his co-accused, Ricardo Gustavo, had registered the Namgomar project to solicit fish from Namibia.

Hatuikulipi also told the court that he had never attended any meeting where the Namgomar project was being discussed.

Furthermore, he could not confirm nor deny the email communications and said he heard of Namgomar in 2015 when he was going through his emails.

“I cannot confirm or deny that I am not the email owner. I reserve my right to remain silent because I am not the author of the email, my lord. I heard about Namgomar in October 2015 when I was going through my emails. If I recall, there was a name called Namgomar or something like that I cannot recall,” he said.


The court got heated when Iipinge questioned him about an email from former justice minister Sacky Shangula to Tamson with the title “Namgomar Pesca SA notes”.

Hatuikulipi refused to answer questions on the email and interjected with wanting to present his expired passport, which the state opposed.

“Mr Tamson, did I ask you for your passport?” questioned Iipinge.

Desperate, Hatuikulipi responded, saying, “I am talking to my lord! You must have manners.”

This was when acting judge David Munsu interjected and said, “Let’s take it, it is fine.”

In July, when Hatuikulipi gave his evidence in chief in the same bail application, he had indicated that he wanted to be released on bail to gather documentation to prove loan payments between him and his co-accused and fishrot ‘mastermind’ James Hatuikulipi.

At that time, he testified that he received payments from companies owned by James, and these payments were loans.

Tamson told the court he would explain more about the loans in detail when the matter goes to trial.

The state further alleges that Tamson and his entities received payments from Silex Investment or De Klerk, Horn and Coetzee (DHC). The two entities are linked to lawyer Maren de Klerk.

Tamson confirmed during his testimony confirmed getting payments from Silex and DHC. However, it was his impression that the two entities belonged to James, and it was what he (James) was paying back his loans.

According to him, there have been loan transactions between him and James often.

When acting judge David Munsu asked whether Silex and DHC belonged to James, Tamson said he did not find it strange when this money was paid from Silex and thought James owned the entities.

“James is having a lot of companies with weird names. He is even having a company with the name erf 190 Kuisebmond, you might think it is a residential area, but it is a company. So I thought he was the owner of those companies,” he testified.

It was further his testimony that he made most of his profit through his fish shops that operated in different towns of the country.

When questioned about how one opens a fish shop, Tamson holds his horses and prefers not to spill his ‘secret’.

“I cannot give my secret away, my lord, at least now that people know. You will see a lot of fish shops being opened, my lord.”

During the bail application, Tamson pleaded not guilty and said he was just a businessman.

He also denied he was part of a scheme to amend the marine resource act, adding that he was never involved in negotiations with former fisheries minister Bernard Esau on the amendment.

The state also alleges that the fishrot accused had amended the act to benefit from objective government fishing quotas.

Tamson was arrested in November 2019 and has been in custody since. He tried for bail once with his father-in-law Esau, and they were denied Bail in July 2020 by Magistrate Erich Kesslau.

The two then appealed their bail refusal, which was dismissed after acting High Court Judges Herman January and Marlene Tommasi concluded that the lower court did not misdirect itself.

Tamson is represented by Metcalfe Beukes, from the Metcalfe Beukes Attorney and Florian Beukes in this bail application.

In the same month, tearful Tamson, on the verge of tears in the witness dock, told the court that he could not provide support to his two minor children for the past 30 months that he has been in jail.

He further testified all his properties had been subjected to a provision restrain order brought by the prosecutor general while stating that his detention had caused damage to intangible assets.

“My reputation is one intangible damage—the separation from my two minor children. For the past 30 months, I have not been giving fatherly love to my two minor children and during many moments that come once in the child’s growth, I have missed my lord. It is very depressing, my lord. Worse, I am unable to perform my duties as a husband, my lord.”

Tamson and his other co-accused, who were also denied bail earlier this year, were all arrested in 2019 on corruption, fraud and tax evasion allegations.

His co-accused are Sacky Shanghala, Bernhard Esau, Mike Nghipunya, James Hatuikulipi, Phillipus Mwapopi, Otneel Shuudifonya, Pius Mwatelulo and Ricardo Gustavo. Gustavo was free on Bail of N$8 000 last December by High Court judge Herman Oosthuizen.

The matter will resume on 29 August to continue this bail application.

Justicia Shipena

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