Former president. Jacob Zuma’s legal advisers Mike Hellens and Dawie Joubert were arrested in Namibia on Friday to defend the “Fish Rat 6” over an alleged fish quota bribery scandal.
This is according to local news reports in Namibia.
Various news media reported on Twitter on Friday that Hellens and Joubert were being detained by immigration officials because they were working in the country without the necessary permits.
Both lawyers represented Zuma before. Hellens previously also defended Zuma’s son Duduzane.
Hellens and Joubert were allegedly in Namibia defending six people, including two former Namibian ministers, Bernhard Esau, 61, and Sacky Shanghala, 42, who allegedly engaged in a refund or bribe scandal for fish quotas.
The six were in court on Thursday and were scheduled to apply for bail on Friday, but then their legal representatives were reportedly arrested.
The Namibian reported on Friday that the accused in the case are Esau, Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi (44), former managing director of Investec Asset Management in Namibia, Ricardo Gustavo (44), suspended client director of Investec in Namibia, Tamson “Fitty” Hatuikulipi ( 38), Esau’s son-in-law, and Pius “Taxa” Mwatelulo (31).
They all appeared in court for the first time before Magistrate Linus Samunzala on Thursday.
The six were already arrested on Wednesday.
They appeared briefly in court on Thursday where Deputy Prosecutor General Ed Marondedze informed the magistrate that the case was on the court roll for a bail application, but that the case could not proceed because the lawyers representing the six need more time with their clients and because there was no magistrate available to hear the case.
The six are charged with misusing their position to obtain compensation, as well as money laundering and fraud.
Two weeks ago, Esau and Shanghala resigned as fisheries and justice minister respectively.
The resignations followed news stories in The Namibian and other international news media, which were based on leaked documents.
Accordingly, James Hatuikulipi and “Fitty” Hatuikulipi took advantage of millions of dollars in bribes paid by Icelandic fishing company Samherji.
Samherji is allegedly involved in abusing a Namibian fishing quota that was allocated to the National Fish Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor), which belongs to the state.