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Investec Namibia MD resigns amid fishing bribery scandal

Scheme generated kickbacks of at least 150 million Namibian dollars.
Investec says its internal investigation into the matter is ongoing and it remains open to cooperation with the authorities. Image: Shutterstock

The Namibia managing director of South African investment firm Investec has resigned after allegations he spearheaded a fishing scheme that generated kickbacks of at least 150 million Namibian dollars ($10 million) in a bribery scandal that has seen two ministers quit.

James Hatuikulipi also resigned as Managing Director of Investec Asset Management Africa, excluding South Africa, while his number two Ricardo Gustavo has been suspended pending the outcome of an ongoing independent investigation, the company said in a statement late on Thursday.

“Although the alleged activities were conducted in their private capacity Investec Asset Management takes allegations of this nature very seriously,” Investec Business Manager Gwynneth Rukoro said in a statement.

“Our internal investigation into the matter is ongoing and we remain open to cooperation with the authorities,” the statement said.

Hatuikulipi and Gustavo could not immediately be reached for comment.

Namibia’s Justice Minister Sackeus Shanghala and Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Bernhard Esau resigned on Wednesday following media reports they had awarded horse mackerel quotas to Iceland’s biggest fishing firm Samherji in exchange for bribes. Samherji said it had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations.

Esau has denied wrongdoing, saying he had only stepped down to prevent a “media campaign” from tarnishing the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) ahead of general elections later in November.

Shanghala could not be reached for comment.

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste recommended on Thursday the immediate removal of Hatuikulipi as chairperson of state-owned fishing company Fishcor.

($1 = 14.8511 Namibian dollars) 

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Investec. Not Incestec. Sorry!!

Corruption everywhere

It’s time for the ‘’Investec’’ show (the main case) to go on – not one of the people involved in ‘’Investecgate’’ so far resigned!

Naked Gold options should be banned due to the turmoil and destruction that it created in the mining industry in South Africa, since 2000.

Investec, AIG and Hypo Munich sold naked gold options to South Deep in 2001 (via a total novice like Brett Kebble).
Western Areas shareholders lost billions as its gold had to be sold at dirt cheap prices (and not the prevailing gold price at the time), from late 2001 until the completion of the Gold Fields takeover in 2007. The repercussions of this toxic naked option methinks gave birth to ‘’Investec-gate’’ and ‘’Kebble-gate’’ sage.
Naked Call option can be disastrous if the price rises significantly, which it did. Bankers normally don’t allow these structures without stop loss orders, as the eventual losses can be infinite.
Gold Fields, methinks bought this toxic Western Areas hedge book (without the necessary due diligence), and to date paid the ‘’price’’ as well. Thousands of mineworkers are currently been affected by the closure/sale of South Deep – Investec methinks will also soon be in a position where their shenanigans to keep JCI liquid, will be under legal scrutiny.

Namibia is SA in miniature. Fishing has been a vehicle for patronage since independence (a Commission of Enquiry into the industry in the 90s found that most of the irregularities in rights and quota allocation) involved SWAPO-linked companies).

Here’s a nice quotation from the CEO of Fishcor, the fishing SOE :

“[the fishing industry] is very unique in the sense that there are certain areas of operation that do not work as your ordinary tender processes. Fishcor … knows the operators who can be approached for joint venture arrangements”.

End of comments.

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