Namibians have criticised Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema for defending senior lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.
Ngcukaitobi is representing the country’s former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau and his co-accused in their bid to have their warrants of arrest declared unlawful.
Esau was arrested and appeared at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, along with Ricardo Gustavo, former justice minister Sakeus Shanghala and ex-Investec Asset Management Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi and Pius Mwatelulo in November last year in connection with the state-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia’s (Fishcor) scandal.
This after reports alleging a foreign fishing company secured fishing quotas in Namibia through bribes.
Esau allegedly also ignored regulations when he handpicked a relative to head the board of the state-owned company which gave fishing quotas in contravention of the law.
They are facing charges of corruption, money laundering and fraud. They remain in custody.
Though he has not been linked to the allegations, Ngcukaitobi has reportedly been served with a summons by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), The Namibian reports
In his defence, Malema slammed the country for “interfering” with lawyers through “fake news”.
“If Namibia wants to be taken seriously it should stop the interference with lawyers through fake news and harassment. @TembekaNgcukai1 should do his work in Namibia without fear or favour,” he said in a tweet that was later retweeted by Ngcukaitobi.
If Namibia wants to be taken seriously it should stop the interference with lawyers through fake news and harassment. @TembekaNgcukai1 should do his work in Namibia without fear or favour.
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) February 26, 2020
But unimpressed Namibians have told Malema to stay out of the country’s business.
Twitter user Tough Times responded: “If you follow the #Fishrot case you would not support that Lawyer. Over 700 fishermen lost their jobs because criminal politicians took fish quotas from local companies and sold them for peanut bribes, and Tembeka is defending them. You stood by the Marikana Mine workers,” while @GabesJnr wrote: “Namibia is not a brothel…but it’s a country of law and order, the guy was summoned to explain payment made to him, so should he be found guilty we will deal with him decisively.”
These were some of the other reactions: