…claims whistleblower’s mental and substance problem makes his evidence not curial
By: Justicia Shipena
South African advocate Vas Soni says Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Andreas Kanyangela wasted state resources upon conducting investigations into the fishrot matter.
This comes as Soni questioned whether Kanyangela approached the accused on allegations made against them.
Kanyangela is testifying in the bail application of the six men involved in the fishrot fraud and corruption case in the Windhoek High Court before high court judge Shafimana Ueitele.
Soni represents former justice minister Sacky Shanghala and his co-accused James Hatuikulipi and Puis Mwatelulo.
According to the advocate, Namibia is a developing country, and therefore state resources are limited.
“You have the power to short circuit major investigations, but you did not use it,” Soni told the court.
Kanyangela then said: “No, I did not use it.”
In this vein, Soni had stressed that Kanyangela wasted Namibian resources by not using his powers.
“There wouldn’t be this long trial in respect of bail if you had used your powers and have acted as a reasonable holder of that power,” he said.
Soni added that because of the difficulties of investigating corruption, parliament ensured that the ACC had the power to ask questions.
“You don’t know what his version is, and I’m just saying that had you used your powers, you may have come to a different decision.”
Soni stated that there is something odd about the investigator approach; hence Kanyangela is not the right candidate to oppose bail.
“You made an accusation against a former minister, you accuse him of a whole series of things, conspiracy and everything, but you don’t even go up to him and ask him to tell his side,” said Soni.
He further said Kanyangela selected whom to use those powers against.
Kanyangela told the court that information gathered and submitted to the Prosecutor-General show proof that the accused committed offences although the judgment has not been delivered.
However, Soni said that investigating officers like Kanyangela paint a picture and isolate what witnesses are likely to say in a bail application.
“What has happened here is a selection of documents consisting of contracts and agreements have been put up to paint a predetermined picture,” he expressed.
“It is not a matter of painting a picture,” Kanyangela disagrees.
Soni also questioned whether the ACC investigator is aware that the star witness and fishrot whistleblower Jóhannes Stefánsson in the matter has a mental and substance abuse problem.
Soni also questioned whether Kanyangela investigated this. Kanyangela responded saying; “No, I did not investigate it.”
Thus he points out that Stefánsson is not curial.
“Stefánsson has a motive of making false allegations against Samherji; such behaviour fits his character entirely,” Soni reads out an affidavit from Samherji in court.
Kanyangela also said that the former justice minister attempted to bribe an Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement member.
Advocate Soni also said that Kanyangela had blinded himself to the accused’s personal circumstances.
According to Shanghala, he suffers from hypertension, for which he requires daily medication.
“I suffer from asthma and sleep apnea, which requires the use of a CPAP machine. The clinic is not well equipped and obtaining permission from the ACC, who are quite hostile to me, has not been easy,” he said.
Thus he says, being granted bail will help him access medical services.
Shanghala also said he has two five-year-old children who need a father presence.
“I submit that the public interest favours parents reuniting with their young children. In addition, I have an aged father and grandfather who both depend on me.”
He also said he intends to stand trial despite grave doubts.
“I have already indicated I am not guilty of any crime, and I have no intention of absconding. I am a former minister, and it not likely that I could flee to another country and escape,” he said.
Shanghala added that denying him bail is not in the public interest.
The matter continues tomorrow in the High Court.