Namibia: Two Fishrot Accused Sued for N$11m

(File photo).

FORMER minister of justice Sacky Shanghala and his business partner James Hatuikulipi are in financial trouble, with Bank Windhoek having obtained a judgement for the payment of N$11 million against them on Friday.

The bank sued Shanghala and Hatuikulipi and the close corporation Olea Investments Number Nine, in which they are partners, after they failed to keep up with the repayment of a loan of N$10,1 million which the bank granted to Olea Investments in April 2017, it is stated in a document filed at the Windhoek High Court.

Shanghala and Hatuikulipi, who are facing charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering in connection with the Fishrot fishing quotas corruption scandal, have been in pretrial custody since being arrested in late November last year.

In a document filed at the High Court, Bank Windhoek says Olea Investments Number Nine CC has breached its loan agreement with the bank by failing to pay the instalments on its loan since June this year.

In terms of its loan agreement, Olea Investments had to repay the loan through 20 annual instalments of about N$1,3 million each.

The close corporation was in arrears with an amount of about N$1,2 million with the repayment by the end of July this year, and currently owes Bank Windhoek about N$11,07 million, the bank says.

The bank also informed the court that Shanghala and Hatuikulipi bound themselves as surety for the repayment of the loan.

In addition to that, the bank registered bonds for the sums of N$10,1 million and N$2 million over the farms Dixie and Gunsbewys of Shanghala and Hatuikulipi, it is stated in the claim the bank filed against Olea Investments, Shanghala and Hatuikulipi.

Farm Dixie, which is about 2 000 hectares in size, and the adjacent farm Gunsbewys, with an area of nearly 3 000 hectares, are two portions of the farm Doornboompan in the Leonardville area.

Bank Windhoek asked the court to grant a judgement for the payment of N$11,07 million against Shanghala, Hatuikulipi and their close corporation, and to also declare that the bank may have the two farm portions sold to recover the money owed to it.

With none of the three defendants having indicated they intended to oppose the legal action taken by Bank Windhoek, the bank applied for a default judgement to be granted on Friday.

Acting judge Collins Parker granted a judgement for the payment of N$11,07 million against the close corporation, Shanghala and Hatuikulipi, but in the court's order stopped short of declaring the farms executable.

The claim against the three defendants was filed at the court on 25 September.

In the charges which Shanghala and Hatuikulipi are facing in two separate criminal cases, the state is alleging that they were involved in corruption in the use of fishing quotas allocated by the Namibian government, and that they and five co-accused corruptly received payments totalling N$178 million from Icelandic-owned fishing companies which struck deals to make use of Namibian fishing quotas from 2014 to December 2019.

They are due to make their next court appearance in the two criminal cases on 14 December.

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