Following revelations of a fishing-quota kickback scandal, the Namibian Minister of Fisheries, Bernhardt Esau, and Minister of Justice, Sacky Shangala, have resigned, RÚV reports.
As reported by the investigative journalism programme Kveikur (produced in collaboration with Stundin and Al Jazeera Investigates) yesterday, Samherji allegedly bribed Esau and Shangala – along with three other high-ranking officials – in order to secure access to horse-mackerel fishing quotas in the country.
Leaked documents from former Samherji employee and whistleblower Jóhannes Stefánsson suggest that Samherji paid these individuals, mostly through companies in Namibia and Dubai, approximately ISK 1.5 billion at present value. The payments were frequently made simultaneously with Samherji’s negotiations of quota agreements with the Namibian government, agreements that rarely seemed to have been in the government’s best interest.
To fill the vacancies, President Hage Geingob has appointed Frans Kapofi as acting Minister of Justice and Albert Kawana as acting Minister of Fisheries. According to the Namibian Broadcast Corporation, President Geingob thanked Esau and Shanghala, “for their patriotism and contribution to the work of government.”