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MosselbayonTheline | First With The News

Afro Fishing's contentious plans to add a R380 million pelagic fish meal and oil manufacturing plant to its sardine cannery in Mossel Bay may just have suffered a fatal blow after two of its main brains have been implicated in an alleged money laundering scandal in Namibia.

The South Africans, chartered accountant Johannes Augustinus Breed and economist Adriaan Jacobus Louw are the alleged powers behind Afro Fishing's fish meal plans. They are also directors of the controversial multi-million dollar Seaflower Pelagic Processing plant in Walvis Bay which is now at the heart of an alleged money laundering scandal in Namibia.

fishrot Adriaan Jacobus Louw1 2Fishrot Johannes Augustinus Breed 2

SA economist AJ Louw (left) and Johannes Augustinus Breed, one of the two directors of Afro Fishing in Mossel Bay.

Mosselbayontheline has been questioning the secrecy around Afro Fishing's new management and financiers/affiliates since February last year when their unobtrusive application to build a pelagic fishmeal and -oil plant in Mossel Bay's harbour first appeared in the local paper.

When we eventually linked Breed and Louw to fishing companies in Namibia and Angola which had engaged in fishy deals with the beleaguered Namibian state-owned Fishcor, Breed and Afro Fishing tried to muzzle us with a high court interdict - which they lost with cost.

In the latest development in the ongoing international #fishrot investigation, the Namibian cabinet has decided to cancel a controversial N$20 billion partnership between the state-owned fishing company Fishcor and African Selection Fishing.

The two teamed up in 2017 to form a fish-processing entity called Seaflower Pelagic Processing.

Seaflower – now at the heart of an alleged money laundering scandal – operates from Walvis Bay.

The decision comes barely a week after The Namibian reported the deal was structured in such a way that the government, through Fishcor, got a raw deal.

It ended up as the minority shareholder while shouldering most of the financial outlay as well as bearing most of the risk and responsibility for the venture – including loans, collateral and guaranteed state-funded fishing quotas.

Former justice minister Sacky Shanghala's lawyer, Marén de Klerk, and two South African businessmen emerged as key beneficiaries of the 30-year deal.

The partnership is also the subject of a court case in which two former ministers, Bernhard Esau and Shanghala, are accused of allegedly masterminding a scheme to get at least N$75 million through Celax Investments Number One. Celax is owned by De Klerk.

Court charges claim Seaflower Pelagic Processing was used as a conduit for money laundering.

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The Namibian learned Cabinet approved exiting the deal after the minister of fisheries and marine resources Albert Kawana recommended it at a meeting last week.

A government document seen by The Namibian states that “Cabinet approves the termination of the agreement between Fishcor and African Selection Fishing and Seaflower Pelagic Processing”.

The document also states that Kawana, minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste, minister of justice Yvonne Dausab and attorney general Festus Mbandeka were given the responsibility of terminating the contract.

The Namibian understands Cabinet also approved a job-saving proposal tabled by Kawana to avoid the abrupt closure of the factory.

The proposal aims “to allocate 5 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel to Seaflower Pelagic Processing for a period of six months to preserve employment”.

Government officials were this week reluctant to comment on the issue.

“Unfortunately, I cannot at this stage comment on a matter that is still under consideration by Cabinet,” Dausab said.

She directed questions to Kawana and minister of information and communication technologies Peya Mushelenga.

“It is not in my culture to discuss Cabinet proceedings in public,” said Kawana.

Jooste said he was still waiting for instructions from Cabinet and had no information at this stage.

Mbandeka did not respond to calls or text messages.




The Namibian reported that the 2017 agreement between Fishcor and African Selection shows the government had to deliver close to N$700 million in start-up capital – made up of N$530 million for building and setting up a fish-processing plant at Walvis Bay, as well as for the purchase of a refrigerated trawler for the venture.

In terms of the shareholders' agreement between Fishcor and Africa Selection Fishing, the government was committed to allocating 50 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel a year to the joint venture from 2017 to 2047.

The agreement shows African Selection was not responsible for much apart from managing the Seaflower venture at no charge to Seaflower.

Apart from De Klerk, other beneficiaries of the joint venture are South African businessmen Adrian Louw and Johannes Breed. The three, through African Selection Fishing Namibia, held a 60% interest in Seaflower Pelagic Processing. Fishcor is the minority partner with 40%.

Cabinet will also have to consider the involvement of De Klerk, who is wanted by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The lawyer owns 100% of Celax and is the company's sole director.

Celax was formally registered on 24 January 2017, six days before African Selection Fishing Namibia signed its shareholder agreement with Fishcor.

De Klerk resigned as a director of SeaFlower and African Selection Fishing on 15 January this year.


Mossel Bay Harbour

* Three directors of Seaflower Pelagic are now "safely" in South Africa and probably won't be extradited to Namibia? While Namibian attorney Marén De Klerk fled to SA earlier this year, AJ Louw and Johannes Breed are the powers behind the equally controversial Afro Fishing in Mossel Bay whose plans to add a multi-million rand pelagic fish meal and -oil plant to the existing sardine cannery are awaiting the green light .. . The proposed fish meal plant was heavily opposed by the public, but the final decision must still be made by the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP) under MEC Anton Bredell and the Garden Route District Municipality.

  • It is uncertain how these latest developments will affect Afro Fishing's fishmeal plans . . . ?





MATHIAS HAUFIKU and TILENI MONGUDHICABINET has decided to cancel a controversial N$20 billion partnership between the state-owned fishing company Fishcor and African Selection Fishing.
MATHIAS HAUFIKU and TILENI MONGUDHICABINET has decided to cancel a controversial N$20 billion partnership between the state-owned fishing company Fishcor and African Selection Fishing.
 Also, read our previous Facebook post: 

While the world is still in lockdown due to the most controversial flu bug "pandemic" in the history of mankind, South Africa's involvement in the biggest international fishing scandal in decades is slowly but surely surfacing . . .

When Mosselbayontheline last year mentioned the connection between the directors/affiliates of Afro Fishing, Johannes Augustinus Breed and Adriaan Jacobus (AJ) Louw, and the Namibian Fishcor in the #fishrot scandal, Afro Fishing tried to muzzle the publication with an urgent high court interdict which they lost with costs. Since then, nothing was heard again about Afro Fishing's heavily contested application to establish a multi-million rand pelagic fish meal and -oil processing plant in Mossel Bay's harbour.


Mosselbayontheline also exposed the irregularities in the environmental assessment and public participation process:


The SA mainstream media also refrained from mentioning a word about the various South Africans who featured prominently and repeatedly in the #fishrot Wikileaks files in which the biggest fishing scandal in Namibia was exposed ... despite Susan Puren's in-depth article in Noseweek in which high-ranking SA officials and even a previous minister of fisheries were mentioned.

Small wonder Islandic whistleblower Jóhannes Stefánsson mentioned he is more afraid of the SA fishing mafia than the #fishrot accomplices in Namibia and Angola . . . as he believes it was in Cape Town that he was poisoned during his last negotiations.

While the Namibian government and media left no stone unturned to seek justice after the #fishrot scandal broke in November last year and immediately jailed three ministers and Fishcor officials, the South African government and mainstream media basically ignored the entire scandal as though it has nothing to do with South Africa . . .

Even when Namibian lawyer Marén de Klerk fled to South Africa earlier this year when the Namibian Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wanted to question him regarding his involvement in the #fishrot scandal, nothing was done to locate or extradite him.

In the latest turn of events, De Klerk and the two South Africans (Louw and Breed) who represented African Selection with him on the board of directors of Seaflower Pelagic, are now under investigation for their fishy partnership and deals with Fishcor.

Lawyer De Klerk in N$20 billion Fishrot deal

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The Namibian understands the government – through Fishcor – poured close to N$700 million in start-up capital and loan guarantees into the joint venture called Seaflower Pelagic Processing in 2017.

Documents show the government received a raw deal as a minority owner while shouldering the costs of a majority shareholder in a joint venture set up in 2017.

This partnership is now the subject of a court case in which two former ministers are accused of masterminding a scheme to get at least N$75 million.

Seaflower Pelagic had five directors when the deal was sealed.

Africa Selection was represented by De Klerk, Angolan-based South African accountant Johannes Augustinus Breed and South African economist Adriaan Jacobus Louw, while Fishcor was represented by James Hatuikulipi and Mike Nghipunya.

Now documents show the key players in the transaction are De Klerk and Louw – through African Selection Fishing Namibia.

Seaflower Pelagic Processing was used as a conduit for money laundering, court charges allege.



Exposed: Zuma 'bodyguard' was link man in international fishing conspiracy

Noseweek Issue #245, 1st March 2020 By Susan Puren

Much has since been written about the WikiLeaks Fishrot Files that exposed corrupt politicians and officials in Namibia’s fishing industry.

In return for lucrative fishing rights in their country they received close to $10m (R147m) in bribes from the Icelandic fishing conglomerate Samherji.

Two government ministers in Namibia resigned and are awaiting trial, together with another seven senior officials who were also caught with their hands in the cookie jar. In Iceland, Samherji’s CEO has stepped down while the whistleblower, Icelandic citizen Jóhannes Stefánsson, is in hiding, fearing for his life.

But Samherji also actively tried to get into South Africa’s fishing waters, wining and dining politicians and officials during secretive meetings as far back as 2014. It is all there to see in the WikiLeaks tranche of more than 30,000 leaked emails and confidential documents online. As many as 1,210 of these deal with an elaborate plan to capture a huge chunk of South Africa’s fishing industry, specifically horse mackerel, which earns in excess of R1.4 billion per annum. The tale unfolds mostly in emails written in 2016 between Stefánsson and Allie Baderoen.

At the time Stefánsson was still Samherji’s frontman in Namibia, where he had bribed politicians and officials for many years.

Baderoen, a Cape Town businessman, was steering negotiations on behalf of a South African company called Global Pact Trading 193 (Pty) Ltd which controversially received an experimental fishing permit for horse mackerel from South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in December 2015. Global Pact obtained the permit, ostensibly by promoting the idea that horse mackerel was a cheap source of protein that could feed the poor.

This, Global claimed, was not happening because the big players in the fishing industry do not bring their catch to our shores. Instead, tonnes of fish are block-frozen at sea, transshipped and exported to countries such as Angola, Zambia and the DRC without creating a single job on South African soil.
After unsuccessfully lobbying the suits at DAFF for several years, a permit was finally issued under the watch of the department’s then minister Senzeni Zokwana. Granted under section 83 of the SA Marine Living Resources Act, which allows the minister to determine and authorise any scientific investigation or practical experiment, the permit allocated a massive 8,000 tonnes of the oily fish per annum to Global Pact, but without even mentioning details of the required experiment in the official permit conditions.

The quota was worth between R80m-R120m and, with the stroke of Zokwana’s proverbial pen, this new entrant to the industry sneaked in through the transformation back door to become the second-largest horse mackerel rights holder in South Africa, without having to go through the application processes imposed on all other applicants. The permit also
uniquely entitled Global Pact to fish on the West and South coasts of South Africa at any time they chose.

This raised eyebrows throughout the fishing industry. The South Arican Deep Sea Trawling Industry Association (Sadstia) and 21 other entities launched an appeal, saying such an allocation to a newcomer was unheard of and in conflict with the fishing capacity management regime, which was developed and implemented by the very same department that had granted Global Pact’s so-called experimental permit.











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