Internal Affairs

Shuudifonya promises not to flee

Summary

ishrot accused Otniel Shuudifonya in the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday said he will not flee the country if granted bail of N.dollars 50 000.He said the N.dollars 50 000 would be sourced through crowdfunding from his friends.This was his first appea…

ishrot accused Otniel Shuudifonya in the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday said he will not flee the country if granted bail of N.dollars 50 000.

He said the N.dollars 50 000 would be sourced through crowdfunding from his friends.

This was his first appearance in his bail application hearing in which he intends to persuade the court to release him from custody.

Shuudifonya told Justice Shafimana Ueitele that he has three kids, aged four, one and eight months, and he is the sole breadwinner.

At present, Shuudifonya’s children are being looked after by his friends and family, a situation that is unsustainable, he pleaded.

“Before my arrest, I used to support my kids but since my arrest, my salary has been suspended,” he said.

Prior to his arrest in connection with N.dollars 10 million that was paid into his company’s account by Saga Seafoods, Shuudifonya served as a deputy director for rural services under the Otjozondjupa Regional Council.

His last salary from his employment was in June 2021. He earned a cumulative N.dollars 31 000 from his full-time job, the court heard.

He promised to stay in Otjiwarongo where he owns a property, Erf 3221, at Orwetoveni’s Extension 7.

He purchased this house four years for N.dollars 1.7 million and currently owes N.dollars 600 000.

Shuudifonya initially told the court that this was the only immovable property in his name. But he later contradicted himself.

“I have another property in Ongwediva but it is empty. Unimproved. It is just a plot,” he said.

Ueitele then asked him how he was able to buy a house with collateral.

“I used my life cover,” he said.

Ueitele was not convinced.

“You can't use your life cover to get a bond...the property has no security,” Ueitele said.

Shuudifonya then told the judge that he is a man of his word and has no reason to flee the country once released.

“I am ready to surrender myself, report myself twice a day, Monday and Friday. I am ready to notify the authorities when I intend to travel,” he said.

He also promised not to interfere with the course of justice in any way, shape or form.

“I will not interfere with State witnesses. I have the list of witnesses and I will not interfere with them... they are well known,” he said.

Shidufonya was arrested on 21 December 2020 in connection with the Fishrot scandal which saw State resources looted at an industrial scale.

Shuudifonya and his co-accused Bernhard Esau, Mike Nghipunya, Sacky Shanghala, Tamson and James Hatuikulipi, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo, Phillipus Mwapopi and Nigel van Wyk stand accused of corruptly receiving payments from Icelandic fishing giant, Samherji in exchange for Namibia’s lucrative horse mackerel quotas.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency