Namibia: Fishrot Whistleblower to Receive Iceland Award

(File photo).
21 September 2020

Fishrot whistleblower Jóhannes Stefánsson is set to receive an award in Iceland next Saturday for the work he did in revealing details of Namibia's biggest corruption scandal.

The honorary medal is being given by the Iceland-based Complimental Group and the Voices of the People, which is led by activist Hordur Torfason.

The award was created to award groups and individuals that strive for the betterment of Icelandic society.

According to a press release from the activists groups in Iceland, Stefánsson will receive the award on 26 September in the country's capital, Reykjavík.

Stefánsson told The Namibian yesterday it was a great honour for him to receive the medal from the groups, and noted that activist Torfason has dedicated his life to fight for a better society and improve the lives of ordinary Icelandic people.

He noted that to have the medal come from these groups and Torfason made it special and was a great recognition for his journey to fight and expose corruption.

He further said these groups have bravely fought for changes for the people in Iceland with big protests and they made changes to better the ordinary people who had suffered greatly due to high corruption and wrongdoing, including major white-collar crimes in Iceland.

Stefánsson came to Namibia in 2011 as a representative of the Icelandic seafood company Samherji, to look for business opportunities. He got involved in questionable payments to politicians and businessmen in Namibia and Angola.

However, he became a whistleblower to end schemes that harmed the Namibian economy and ordinary Namibians.

His revelations led to the arrest of former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala and his friend and business partner James Hatuikulipi, Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, former Investec Asset Management Namibia client director Ricardo Gustavo, suspended Fishcor chief executive officer Mike Nghipunya and Pius Mwatelulo, an associate of Shanghala and James Hatuikulipi.

The group has been charged with multiple counts of fraud, tax evasion, bribery, corruptly using office for gratification, money laundering and conspiring to commit corruption.

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