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MosselbayonTheline | First With The News

Die bom en #fishrot-Wikileaks-skandaal van omkopery, geldwassery en korrupsie ter waarde van dermiljarde dollar in die internasionale visbedryf om toegang tot Namibië en Afrika se visbronne te kry, het ook 'n plaaslike visreukie deur die betrokkenheid van een van Afro Fishing se twee direkteure by die Namibiese staatsmaatskappy Fishcor waarop die soeklig nou ook skerp val.

Heinaste Samherji vessel 

Johannes Breed (37), 'n geoktrooieerde rekenmeester, is ook die besturende direkteur van die Angola-gebaseerde maatskappy African Selection Trust (AST) wat op sy beurt 'n 60%-aandeel in 'n nuwe Namibiese maatskappy Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty). Ltd het, terwyl Fishcor die ander 40% besit.

Volgens die Namibiese koerant, The Namibian, verteenwoordig Breed, sowel as die ekonoom Adriaan Jacobus (AJ) Louw en prokureur Maren de Klerk AST op Seaflower Pelagic se direksie. Volgens die Namibiese koerant, Namibian, is Louw ook die eienaar van African Selection Fishing (ASF) en het sy vennootskap met Fishcor verlede jaar die wenkbroue laat lig omdat dié transaksie glo nie nie deur die normale verkrygingskanale en prosedures beklink is nie.

https://www.namibian.com.na/177399/archive-read/Procurement-board-idle  

Volgehoue bewerings dat Fishcor (en AST by implikasie) onreëlmatige geld en 'n viskwota van N$1,8 miljard oor 'n 15-jaar periode van die Namibiese minister van visserye en mariene hulpbronne, Bernard Esau, ontvang het, word onder meer nou ondersoek.

Esau, asook Namibië se minister van justisie, Sacky Shanghala, het hul bedanking ingedien en is in hegtenis geneem sedert dié omkoopskandaal oor viskwotas die afgelope tien dae wêreldwyd opslae gemaak het.

Afro NamibiaAfro Namibia2

Bernard Esau (links), Namibië se gewese minister van visserye en Sacky Shangala, gewese minister van justisie

Dit kom ook te midde van Mosselbaaiers se kommer oor Afro Fishing se planne vir 'n R350 miljoen pelagiese vismeelfabriek, asook owerheidsplanne vir akwaboerderybedrywighede met geelstert in Mosselbaai se waters.

afro meeting8

Deon van Zyl, Afro Fishing se bestuurder, aan die woord tydens verlede Woensdag se inligtingsessie en vergadering waartydens 'n paneel kundiges belanghebbendes te woord gestaan het oor Afro Fishing se beplande en hoogs omstrede planne om 'n pelagiese vismeel en olieverwerkingsaanleg in Mosselbaai te vestig. Die vergadering was deel van die openbare deelnameproses wat deur die omgewingskonsultantgroep Cape EAPrac aangebied is terwyl die #fishrot-skandaal besig was om skokgolwe deur die internasionale visbedryf te stuur. 

 

Volgens die Namibiese koerant Die Republikein het Esau en Shanghala hul bedankings ingedien ná 'n vergadering met die Namibiese president Hage Geingob in die nadraai van aantygings oor en ondersoeke na miljarde rande se omkoopgeld van 'n Yslandse maatskappy Samherji om Namibiese viskwotas te verseker.

Volgens internasionale berigte is die Namibiese politici en beamptes wat na bewering tussen 2012 en 2018 Samherji-omkoopgeld ontvang het, mnre. Esau, Shanghala (wat vroeër die prokureur-­generaal was), Tamson 'Fitty' Hatuikulipi, wat as konsultant vir SAMHERJI gewerk het, en James Hatuikulipi, die raadsvoorsitter van Fishcor en besturende direkteur van Investec Namibia.

Mnr. Mike Nghipunya, die uitvoerende hoof van Fishcor, word ook geïmpliseer.

Die Yslandse fluitjieblaser, mnr. Jóhannes Stefánsson, wat glo saam met owerhede werk om die beweerde korrupsie oop te vlek, was Samherji se verteenwoordiger in Namibië. Hy is in 2016 afgedank.

Dié skokkende onthullings van grootskaalse korrupsie en geldwassery in die visbedryf om Afrika se seelewe te plunder deur maatskappye met tentakels wat van Angola tot in Cyprus en Dubai strek, het ook tot grootskaalse betogings teen korrupsie in Ysland gelei.

Betogers in Ysland

 Die #Fishrot-skandaal kring wyd uit en 'n Spaanse vismaatskappye se bande met Kunene Fisheries in Namibië word ook nou ondersoek. 

Afro Spanje

Mosselbayontheline het in vorige berigte onthul dat Afro Fishing se direkteur, Johannes Breed, sedert verlede jaar op die direksie van agt Suid-Afrikaanse maatskappye in die visbedryf dien en dat hy ook die besturende direkteur van African Selection Trust (AST) is.
Afro Fishing bestaan reeds sedert 2007, maar het verlede jaar van eienaars verwissel. Vyf van die ses vorige direkteure het in 2018 bedank, terwyl net Shamera Daniels, 'n lid van die Wes-Kaapse seevisserybedryf, aangebly het.

Die nuwe bestuurder, Deon van Zyl, wou vroeër vanjaar nie in 'n openhartige onderhoud met mosselbayontheline sê wie nou Afro Fishing se direkteure is nie. Hy wou ook nie sê waar die R350 miljoen vir Afro Fishing se beplande en uiters omstrede vismeel en olieverwerkingsaanleg vandaan kom nie, behalwe dat dit van oorsese beleggers kom.

Die Namibiese koerant, Namibian, het in Mei 2018 soos volg berig oor Fishcor se vennootskap met African Selection Fishing (ASF) van Adriaan Jacobus Louw: 

Fishcor formed a partnership with Adriaan Jacobus Louw, who owns a company called African Selection Fishing Namibia (ASF).

That deal has raised eyebrows in the fishing sector because Fishcor is building a N$500 million factory without going to tender.

A source close to the Central Procurement Board suspects that the Fishcor issue did not go through them because the parastatal was in a partnership.

https://www.namibian.com.na/177399/archive-read/Procurement-board-idle

 

Intussen is die Suid-Afrikaanse beleggingsmaatskappy INVESTEC ook by die ondersoek betrek:

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.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.

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/companies-and-deals/investec-namibia-md-resigns-amid-fishing-bribery-scandal/

In 'n artikel in Noseweek is vroeër berig:

In 2017, the amaBhungane Center for Investigative Journalism reported that the Namibian fishing industry was outraged because an international interest group, referring to AST, benefited from the allocation of a huge fishing quota to the state-controlled Fishcor. According to the Daily Maverick, the quota comprises 50 metric tons of mackerel per year for 15 years with an estimated value of R120 million per year.

At the time, it was said that at least five Namibian companies could qualify as partners for Fishcor, but were overlooked. At least one, Bidvest Namibia, had to stop its operations in the meantime and about 1 200 people lost their jobs. Seaflower Pelagic has just commissioned a fish factory of nearly R540 million in Walvis Bay. The plant can process as many as 600 tons of mackerel per day.


If Johannes Breed is involved in AST's operations in both Angola and Namibia, then the logical question to ask is whether AST is also the investor behind the R350 million injection in Mossel Bay's Afro Fishing? What is AST's share in the other local fishing companies where Breed also serves on the boards? And what does all this mean for the local fishing industry?

Afro Fishing Managing Director, Deon van Zyl, denies that the company is a subsidiary of AST and was only prepared to say that the money for the Mossel Bay fishmeal factory is a privately acquired investment from abroad.

 

In Januarie vanjaar het Undercurrent berig Seaflower Pelagic Processing verteenwoordig die grootste belegging in baie jare in die Namibiese visbedryf. Dit beslaan 'n gebied van 14,000 vierkante meter en is reeds die grootste aanleg van sy soort suid van die Sahara en behoort werk aan 420 mense te verskaf.

Namibia’s Fishcor set to open new 70,000t pelagic plant

By  

Lees ook meer hier oor hoe die grootste skandaal sedert Namibië se onafhanklikheidswording nou wêreldwyd ontvou:

http://www.mosselbayontheline.co.za/…/geingob-shows-esau-sh…

http://www.mosselbayontheline.co.za/…/icelandic-and-russian…

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Só het ons oor verlede week se Afro Fishing publieke inligtingsvergadering in die Mosselbaai stadsaal berig: 
 
Afro meeting3
 
Sowat 200 mense het Woensdag vanaf 16:00 stuksgewys die inligtingsessie en vergadering oor Afro Fishing se omstrede beplande vismeel en -olieverwerkingsaanleg op Kaai 1 in die Mosselbaai-stadsaal bygewoon.

'n Indrukwekkende paneel kundiges het die konsepverslag van die omgewingskonsultantgroep Cape EAPrac. van George verduidelik, waarop die publiek geleentheid gekry het om vrae te vra.

Afro meeting2

Besware, vrae en vrese oor die oorweldigende en wye impak van só 'n omstrede nywerheid in die kleinste werkende hawe in die land, kon ondanks al die wetenskaplike jargon nie besweer word nie.

Een inwoner het al die besorgdes se vrese in een versoek opgesom: Sal AL die betrokke owerhede (lug- en waterbesoedeling; padverkeer; omgewingsake en vissery, ens.) op skrif onderneem om binne 24 uur alle werksaamhede by die aanleg te staak as dinge nie in die praktyk uitwerk soos (op skrif) beplan is nie ongeag watter faktore die probleme veroorsaak?

Afro meeting1

Nodeloos om te sê, sal géén owerheid so 'n onderneming op skrif gee nie en berus die suksesvolle implementering, bedryf en bestuur van so 'n vismeelaanleg steeds op al die ASSE:

* AS genoeg VARS pelagiese vis in die omgewing gekry kan word om 1000 ton per dag te voorsien, en daar daagliks verseker kan word dis NET pelagiese vis wat gevang is;
(Al die sardyne vir Afro Fishing se sardyninmaakfabriek word al die afgelope twee jaar van Morokko ingevoer weens die afname van dié visspesie in die gebied.)

* AS die viskwotas vir pelagiese vis en totale toelaatbare vangs (TAC) wat nog toegeken en bepaal moet word, voldoende is om in die bedryf te voorsien;

*AS die ingevoerde en gesofistikeerde RTO-stelsel om stank te bekamp (wat vir die eerste keer in SA beproef gaan word) nie probleme gee nie en behoorlik onderhou en bedryf word deur 'n goed-opgeleide span kundiges en toesighouers;

* AS die "wettige toelaatbare vlak" van reuk-, lug- en waterbesoedeling volgens nasionale standaarde ook "aanvaarbaar" is vir inwoners, besighede en toeriste in die nabye omgewing sodat dit hulle nie negatief beïnvloed nie . . . wat selde in die praktyk die geval is, want wie bepaal hoeveel dit mág stink/raas/besoedel soos al jare by Saldanhabaai, Gansbaai, St Helenabaai, Houtbaai, ens. gebeur ONDANKS uitgerekte hofsake, wetgewing en ewe indrukwekkende omgewingsimpakstudies en -voorleggings?

Die goeie nuus is dat bekommerde inwoners steeds kan registreer as belanghebbendes en hul menings/besware kan opper deur voor 12 Desember 2019 Cape EAPrac se senior konsultant Melissa Mackay te kontak by 044 874 0365 of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Die konsepverslag kan aanlyn bestudeer word op die webblad www.cape-eaprac.co.za of kan ook op CD of by die biblioteek verkry word.

* Die noodsaaklike lisensies vir omgewingsbesoedeling en atmosferiese luggehalte moet toegestaan word voor enige verdere stappe gedoen kan word. Bg. word onderskeidelik deur die Wes-Kaapse departement van omgewingsake en ontwikkelingsbeplanning onder minister Anton Bredell en die Garden Route Distriksmunisipaliteit uitgereik.

Nog belangrike nuus onder foto's:

 
 
 
 Lees ook ons vorige verwante artikels hier:  
 
  
Related Articles:

Amid the unfolding bribery and money-laundering scandal that has rocked the local fishing industry, Icelandic captain Arngrimur Brynjolfsonn and Russian Yuri Festison were on Thursday arrested for fishing illegally some 200 nautical miles from the Namibian shoreline. Jade Lennon reported:

Arngrimur Brynjolfsonn is described by Iceland’s state broadcaster as a ‘former Samherji vessel captain’

The two suspects made separate court appearances in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where they were charged with fishing illegally in fish breeding areas. Bail was set at N$100,000.

It is understood they were arrested when they docked at Walvis Bay to land their horse-mackerel catches.

Festersson (44) was released on bail but may not leave the bay until the next hearing on 28 November. Brynjolfsonn (67) remains in custody until the N$100,000 bail is paid. He intends to apply for his confiscated passport so he can visit his sick wife in Iceland. His case was postponed to 30 January.

The police did not respond immediately to requests for clarification whether the two captains were in fact employed by Icelandic firm Samherji, which is said to be central to a billion dollar money laundering and international bribery scheme for fishing quotas.

The arrest of the two captain comes after it emerged this week that three massive trawlers belonging to Samherji were still fishing undisturbed in Namibian waters, despite the legality of their operations having been called into question by recent Wikileaks revelations.

Three Samherji vessels, including Heinaste, were spotted in shallow fishing grounds this week still catching.

The disgraced former fisheries minister, Bernhard Esau, and justice minister Sacky Shangala were abruptly forced to resign last Wednesday from their ministerial posts, following explosive revelations of high-level bribery and corruption within the fishing sector amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars — which point to the likelihood that the former ministers will face criminal prosecution.

Impeccable sources close to the Presidency told Confidente that President Hage Geingob had asked for the immediate resignation of the two ministers, who are heavily implicated in what may prove to be the biggest corruption scandal yet uncovered in the history of independent Namibia.

Speculation was rife, following the publication of a massive database and an international investigation supported by Wikileaks, Al Jazeera, Namibian reporters and the daily paper, Stundin in Iceland, that fingered Esau and Shangala as central figures in widespread corruption in the fisheries sector.

It emerged this week that the Icelandic fishing firm, Samherji, allegedly paid hundreds of millions of Namibian dollars in bribes to politicians and related individuals in Namibia to obtain a fishing quota that laid the foundation for much of the company’s billion dollar profits in recent years.

Stundin said a cache of confidential records availed to them in the form of email correspondence, company records, video footage and WhatsApp messages showed how profits and bribes flowed through a network of offshore tax havens into the pockets of politicians and company executives.

The Icelandic paper claimed that Samherji has since 2012 paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to individuals linked to Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau to secure access to a fishing quota.

“According to documents available about Samherji in Namibia’s operations, large payments, amounting to ISK 2 billion (N$238 million), were made to parties making decisions on fisheries issues on behalf of the Namibian state. In addition to paying bribes, Samherji had set up a website for offshore companies where the company engaged in “capital transfers with low transparency and unclear tax payments”.

FISHCOR IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Sackey Shangala, James Hatuikulipi and Tamson Hatuikulipi during a trip to Iceland.

Stunden said “One of the people who has received payments from Samherji is James Hatuikulipi, chairman of the board of a state-owned company called Fishcor, which among other things distributes quotas to shipping companies in the country. “Another one that has been paid is his nephew, the son-in-law of Fisheries Minister Esau, Tamson Hatuikulipi.”

The third is the disgraced former minister of justice Sacky Shangala, who is said to be one of the pioneers in organising the business, including owning one company that received payment from Samherji.

“The fourth is Mike Nghipunya, CEO of the state-owned company Fishcor, which [the whistleblower] says has received payments from Samherji through intermediaries.”

FISHY TRANSACTIONS

Stundin noted that Samherji is the single largest shipping company in Iceland, factoring in domestic and foreign operations. It generated profits of around N$14.4 billion between 2011 and 2019.

“Part of this huge profit can be attributed to Samherji’s operations in Africa. Samherji’s operation in Namibia makes up about 10 percent of annual income of the Samherji group,” with revenues of close to a billion Icelandic Kroner a year it was estimated.

The deep-going investigation produced evidence that Samherji was in fact paying bribes for quotas in Africa, including through payments to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from its partner in Cyprus, Esja Seafood, which Stundin said could be called “the centerpiece of the international operation of the Akureyin fishing company”.

“Among other things, Samherji paid over US$4 million, close to half a billion [Icelandic Krone], to a Dubai-based company, Tundavala Investment Limited, owned by James Hatuikulipi, the chairman of the state-owned company Fishcor in Namibia, from 2014 to 2019 to help Samherji’s access to Namibia’s fishing quota in the country and in Angola. Hatuikulipi is a close relative of the son-in-law of Minister of Fisheries Bernhard Esau, ‘Fitty’ Tamson Hatuikulipi. Fitty’s wife, named Ndapandula, is the daughter of Esau.

“The payments were made through Esja Seafood Limited, a holding company and fish company of Samherji in Cyprus, and Noa Pelagic Limited, another Samherji company in Cyprus. Payments from Samherji’s companies to these individuals in Namibia amount to more than half a billion kroner”, (circa N$60 million at today’s exchange rate).

‘CONSULTANCY PAYMENTS’

According to the whistleblower, Jóhannes Stefánsson, a former company employee, Samherji paid a bribe for the very first quota the shipping company acquired in Namibia. The payments were called “consultancy payments” at Samherji, but as the former managing director of Samherji in Namibia from 2012 to 2016, Stefánsson says these were in fact bribes.

Amounts paid to Tamson Hatuikulipi’s firm Erongo Clearance and Forwarding Services in 2014 total N$10 million.
The agreement Tamson Hatuikulip and Samerhji’s agents.

THE WHISTLE-BLOWER

Jóhannes Stefánsson

Stefánsson said he made the decision to reveal what he knows about the company because he feels bad for Namibia — a poor country with the greatest wealth disparity in the world where about one-fifth of the population live below the poverty line.

Stefánsson, who is assisting the Namibian Police, said of Samherji: “They do not hesitate to bribe and break laws to make the most profit out of the country and leave nothing but … money in the pockets of corrupt parties.” He said he paid money to the minister of fisheries and others in Namibia on behalf of Samherji from 2012 until 2016 when he left the company.

“Payments continued to be received by the Namibians after he left Samherji in July 2016, and the last transfers from Samherji to Tundavala Investments in Dubai, the company of James Hatukulipi, were in January 2019, according to evidence seen by Stundin.

“More than half of the nearly ISK 500 million (N$60 million) bribe paid by two of Samherji’s Cyprus companies to Tundavala Investments, totaling just over ISK 265 million, was paid out after John left Samherji in Namibia in July 2016.”

“Samherji now fishes in Namibia with two to three factory trawlers, Geysir, Saga and or Heinaste, each of which catches 3,500 tonnes of horse mackerel per month. Alongside these tens of billions of revenue, the total bribe amounts to about and more than a billion dollars.”

TAX HAVENS

Stefánsson also claimed that about US$100 million of Samherji’s income in Namibia could not be traced, and suspects that this money was taken out of Samherji, possibly through tax shelters.

“It can therefore be said that a steady stream of money stems from Samherji’s operation in Namibia, as well as from Samherji’s holding companies in Cyprus, such as Esja Seafood, and is in at least three of the world’s tax havens, Marshall Islands, Dubai and Mauritius. In addition, numerous payments are made in large sums to all kinds of offshore companies, including the British Virgin Islands. Little is known about most of these companies.”

Bernhard Esau and Thorstein Má Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji, at Tamson Hatuikulipi’s house in Windhoek.

No answers were received from Thorstein Má Baldvinsson, CEO and largest shareholder of Samherji, about claims of bribery. When employees of Kveik news asked Baldvinsson about the bribery allegation on October 28, he preferred not to answer questions but spoke instead about the weather. No answers to the bribery were in fact received from two of the largest shareholders and key executives of Samherji. Baldvinsson has reportedly since stood down (or been suspended) from his position as Samherji CEO.

ASKED TO PAY

According to the report, Stefánsson said that in 2012, “Fitty Tamson Hatuikulipi asked him to pay Esau, the minister of fisheries… He claims to have called Aðalstein Helgason, the managing director of Kötla Seafood, who was his immediate supervisor, and asked him about it. “I called Aðalstein and told him that I was to pay the Minister of Fisheries 500,000 Namibian dollars.

“Then Aðalstein told me that whenever I had the opportunity to pay the minister of fisheries, I should pay the minister of fisheries. He somehow put it this way. I took it out in cash and let Tamson have it. Tamson was an intermediary in this. I did this twice.”

He said the minister received personal pay, even though the amounts were small compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that the data show the three closest to him received from Samherji.

“However, these are the examples of direct payments, as he was supposed to receive them through an intermediary. Whether and how much Bernhard Esau, the minister of fisheries, receives from the hundreds of millions of kroner that the trusts have paid from Samherji over the years is still an issue to be shown or mapped, since the case data does not cover cash payments or their fate,” the report said.

‘I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING’

In secretly recorded video footage obtained by the investigating team, the fisheries minister can be seen negotiating in a hushed voice with what turned out to be undercover Al Jazeera reporters — pretending to be potential investors — at a Chinese restaurant in Windhoek about the payment of “200,000”.

He raises some concern about “money laundering” regulations, about the risk of getting found out and ending up on the front pages of the newspapers. “Yes we want money, but we must be very, very careful,” he famously said. The reporter suggests sending the funds via “Sacky and Sisa”, to which Esau agrees.

Such compromising footage raises concerns that the minister would be vulnerable to blackmail if it were used against him in fisheries-related negotiations.

Esau when challenged by Icelandic journalists at a recent summit in Oslo about his involvement with Tundavala Investment Limited — the company owned by Hatuikulipi in Dubai — said repeatedly: “I don’t know, I don’t know anything. Go and investigate some other things. I don’t know the company. I never invited them (Samherji). They came to introduce themselves.”

“What about payments to the company in Dubai, which is owned by James Hautikuilipi?” the reporter pressed.

“I don’t know, I don’t know anything,” the minister persisted.

“Do you know your son in law said he was going to bring money to you?”

“Go investigate some other things,” Esau retaliated. “I don’t know anything.”

Based on the data released by Wikileaks on 12 November, investigative journalist Ingi Freyr Vilhjálmsson concluded that Samherji’s business “strategy in Namibia can be said to have been so successful, partly because the company had ‘political support all along’, secured by hundreds of millions of bribes called consultancy fees.”

– Background reporting by Stundin

Sources: 

//medium.com/@Jade_Lennon/icelandic-and-russian-captains-arrested-as-fishrot-scandal-deepens-d28d73262d16">https://medium.com/@Jade_Lennon/icelandic-and-russian-captains-arrested-as-fishrot-scandal-deepens-d28d73262d16>

 

Related: //medium.com/@Jade_Lennon/i-bribed-the-minister-to-get-fishing-quota-in-namibia-norwegian-fishing-firms-boss-admits-9769f24bb1ee" How I bribed the minister to get fishing quota in Namibia

 
 
 
Related Articles:
Geingob shows Esau, Shanghala the 'fish'gate
 
By Jade McClune
 
NAMIBIAN FISHERIES Minister Bernhard Esau and Justice Minister Sacky Shangala were forced to stand down from their ministerial posts yesterday following explosive revelations of high-level bribery and corruption within the fishing sector amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, which point towards the likelihood that the former ministers will face criminal prosecution.
 
Impeccable sources close to the Presidency told Confidente yesterday that President Hage Geingob had asked for the immediate resignation of the two ministers, who are heavily implicated in what may prove to be the biggest corruption scandal yet exposed in the history of independent Namibia.
 
Speculation was rife yesterday, following the release of a database and publication of an international investigation by Wikileaks, Al Jazeera, Namibian reporters and the daily paper Stundin in Iceland that fingered Esau and Shangala as central figures in multifaceted corruption within the fisheries sector.
 
Afro Namibia1
 
Axed Namibian fisheries minister Bernhard Esau being quizzed by a journalist from Iceland on his involvement in the 'Fishrot' saga
 
It emerged this week that the Icelandic fishing firm, Samherji, paid hundreds of millions of Namibian dollars in bribes to politicians and related individuals in Namibia to obtain a fishing quota that laid the foundation for much of the company's billion-dollar profits in recent years.
 
Stundin said a cache of confidential records availed to them in the form of email correspondence, company records, video footage and WhatsApp messages showed how profits and bribes flowed through a network of offshore tax havens into the pockets of politicians and company executives.
 
 
Pelagiese vis
 
The Icelandic paper claimed that Samherji has since 2012 paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to individuals linked to Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau to secure access to a fishing quota.
 
“According to documents available about Samherji in Namibia's operations, large payments, amounting to ISK 2 billion (N$238 million), were made to parties making decisions on fisheries issues on behalf of the Namibian state.
 
In addition to paying bribes, Samherji had set up a website for offshore companies where the company engaged in “capital transfers with low transparency and unclear tax payments”.
 
 
 
FISCHOR IN SPOTLIGHT
 
Stunden said “One of the people who has received payments from Samherji is James Hatuikulipi, chairman of the board of a state-owned company called Fishcor, which among other things distributes quotas to shipping companies in the country.
 
“Another one that has been paid is his nephew, the son-in-law of Fisheries Minister Esau, Tamson Hatuikulipi.
 
The third is Namibia's current Minister of Justice Sacky Shangala, who is one of the pioneers in organising the business, including owning one company that received payment from Samherji.
 
“The fourth is Mike Nghipunya, CEO of the state-owned company Fishcor, which [the whistleblower] says has received payments from Samherji through intermediaries.”
 
 
The case is now being investigated in several countries, including Norway.
 
 
 
Stundin noted that Samherji is by far the largest shipping company in Iceland, factoring in domestic and foreign operations. It generated profits of around N$14.4 billion between 2011 and 2019.
 
 
Part of this huge profit can be attributed to Samherji's operations in Africa.
 
 
 
Samherji's operation in Namibia makes up about 10 percent of annual income of the Samherji group,” with revenues of close to a billion Icelandic Kroner a year, it was estimated.
 
The deep-going investigation produced evidence that Samherji was, in fact, paying bribes for quotas in Africa, including through payments to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from its partner in Cyprus, Esju Seafood, which Stundin said could be called “the centrepiece of the international operation of the Akureyin fishing company”.
 
“Among other things, Samherji paid over US$4 million, close to half a billion, to a Dubai-based company, Tundavala Investment Limited, owned by James Hatuikulipi, the chairman of the state-owned company Fishcor in Namibia, from 2014 to 2019 to help Samherji's access to Namibia's fishing quota in the country and in Angola.
 
Pelagiese vis1
 
Hatuikulipi is a close relative of the son-in-law of Minister of Fisheries Bernhard Esau, ‘Fitty’ Tamson Hatuikulipi. Fitty's wife, named Ndapandula, is the daughter of Esau.
 
“The payments were made through Esju Seafood Limited, a holding company and fish company of Samherji in Cyprus, and Noa Pelagic Limited, another Samherji company in Cyprus.
 
Payments from Samherji's companies to these individuals in Namibia amount to more than half a billion kroner”, (circa N$60 million at today’s exchange rate).
 
‘CONSULTANCY PAYMENTS’
 
According to the whistleblower, Jóhannes Stefánsson, a former company employee, Samherji paid a bribe for the very first quota the shipping company acquired in Namibia. The payments were called “consultancy payments” at Samherji, but as the former managing director of Samherji in Namibia from 2012 to 2016, Stefánsson says these were in fact bribes.
 
Stefánsson said he made the decision to reveal what he knows about the company because he feels bad for Namibia – a poor country with the greatest wealth disparity in the world where about one-fifth of the population lives below the poverty line.
Stefánsson, who is assisting the Namibian Police, said of Samherji: “They do not hesitate to bribe and break laws to make the most profit out of the country and leave nothing but … money in the pockets of corrupt parties.”
 
 
He said he paid money to the minister of fisheries and others in Namibia on behalf of Samherji from 2012 until 2016 when he left the company.
“Payments continued to be received by the Namibians after he left Samherji in July 2016, and the last transfers from Samherji to Tundavala Investments in Dubai, the company of James Hatukulipi, were in January 2019, according to evidence seen by Stundin.
 
“ More than half of the nearly ISK 500 million (N$ 60 million) bribe paid by two of Samherji's Cyprus companies to Tundavala Investments, totalling just over ISK 265 million, was paid out after John left Samherji in Namibia in July 2016.”
 
“Samherji now fishes in Namibia with two to three factory trawlers, Geysir, Saga and or Heinaste, each of which catches 3,500 tonnes of horse mackerel per month. Alongside these tens of billions of revenue, the total bribe amounts to about and more than a billion dollars.”
 
Horse mackerel
 
 
TAX HAVENS
 
Stefánsson also claimed that about US$100 million of Samherji's income in Namibia could not be traced, and suspects that this money was taken out of Samherji, possibly through tax shelters.
 
“It can therefore be said that a steady stream of money stems from Samherji's operation in Namibia, as well as from  Samherji's holding companies in Cyprus, such as Esju Seafood, and is in at least three of the world's tax havens, Marshall Islands, Dubai and Mauritius.
 
In addition, numerous payments are made in large sums to all kinds of offshore companies, including the British Virgin Islands. Little is known about most of these companies.”
 
No answers were received from Thorstein Má Baldvinsson, CEO and largest shareholder of Samherji, about claims of bribery. When employees of Kveik news asked Baldvinsson about the bribery allegation on October 28, he preferred not to answer questions but spoke instead about the weather. No answers to the bribery were in fact received from two of the largest shareholders and key executives of Samherji.
 
Confidente was not able to obtain on the record responses from the parties involved by the time of going to press, but a statement from the Presidency was expected to be released by Thursday morning.
 
ASKED TO PAY
 
According to the report, Stefánsson said that in 2012, “Fitty Tamson Hatuikulipi asked him to pay Esau, the minister of fisheries . . . 
 
He claims to have called Aðalstein Helgason, the managing director of Kötla Seafood, who was his next manager, and asked him about it.
 
"I called Aðalstein and told him that I was to pay the Minister of Fisheries 500,000 Namibian dollars.
 
“Then Adalsteinn told me that whenever I had the opportunity to pay the minister of fisheries, I should pay the minister of fisheries. He somehow put it this way. I took it out in cash and let Tamson have it. Tamson was an intermediary in this. I did this twice.”
 
He said the minister received personal pay, even though the amounts were small compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that the data show the three closest to him received from Samherji.
 
“However, these are the examples of direct payments, as he was supposed to receive them through an intermediary.
Whether and how much Bernhard Esau, the minister of fisheries, receives from the hundreds of millions of kroner that the trusts have paid from Samherji over the years is still an issue to be shown or mapped, since the case data does not
cover cash payments or their fate,” the report said.
 
Esau, Shangala pushed out: 
 
Afro NamibiaAfro Namibia2
 
 
The Anti-Corruption Commission: Paulus Noa
 
We are busy with investigations. We are looking at many things. What is reported is one part of broader investigations. The allegation is that this was an [quota] agreement between Namibia and Angola and some people to line their pockets.
 
 
That is the source of our investigations. It involves a lot of companies (both locally and internationally).
It is a daunting task that is taking up a lot of time. It is a cross-border investigation in collaboration with our counterparts. This is not news to us, what is reported, that is. We have collected documents and we will continue to do more. We have more than what is reported.”
The arrest of the two ministers at this stage will not necessarily guarantee a credible case before court.
The attachment of their properties will be determined by evidence collected in terms of the POCA law (Prevention of Organised Crime).
 
We cannot do things based on people’s emotions, as this will spoil a good case. A majority of information we gathered was with the help of people from outside the country while local people have a tendency of working in collusion with those suspected of corruption. Had it not been for those sources outside the country, we would not have developed this case to
where it is now. We will continue to collect information to prove whether or not there is a case.
 
Political commentator
 
Dr Hoze Ririuako
 
The issue of corruption is being used by those that are campaigning for Swapo as a yardstick, saying that the government is corrupt because the video clips that we saw (on social media) are very incriminating, while we take cognizance of the fact that the due process in any institutional law system like ours, means nobody is guilty until proven guilty in a competent
court of law.
But, given the gravity of the incriminating clips the President and the party are caught between a rock and hard place because these people are on the list...that will create another paradoxical type of consideration.
 
 
Political Commentator
 
Henning Melber
 
I think if evidence of large scale corruption is credible enough, a sacking of the two culprits from their current posts is not enough. Then they should be at least for the time being suspended from all offices (including MP status), as long as any investigations and maybe legal proceedings are pending. Their assets should also be seized and frozen until it is established if and how much money they have illegally appropriated, which then should be confiscated and returned to the state.
Given that the President terminated their posts in government with immediate effect, there seems to exist sufficient plausible evidence that they did wrong. Then consequences should be bigger than their mere dismissal from cabinet.
 
 
Afro Namibia
 
Axed fisheries minister Bernhard Esau
 
Afro Namibia2
 
Axed justice minister, Sacky Shanghala 
 
 
‘I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING’
 
In secretly recorded video footage obtained by the investigating team, the fisheries minister can be seen negotiating in a hushed voice with Samherji executives at what appears to be his farm about the payment of “200,000”.
He raises some concern about “money laundering” regulations and about the costs of maintaining the farm, which he
said he runs at a loss.
 
Such compromising footage, observers have said, raise the prospect that the minister was vulnerable to blackmail if it
were used against him in fisheries-related negotiations.
 
Esau when challenged by journalists at a recent summit in Spain about his involvement with Tundavala Investment
Limited, the company owned by Hatuikulipi in Dubai, said repeatedly: 
 
 
“I don’t know, I don’t know anything.
 
Go and investigate some other things. I don’t know the company. I never invited them (Samherji). They came to introduce themselves.”
 
 
 
“What about payments to the company in Dubai, which is owned by James Hautikuilipi?” the reporter pressed.
“I don’t know, I don’t know anything,” the minister persisted.
 
“Do you know your son in law said he was going to bring money to you?”
 
“Go investigate some other things,” Esau retaliated. “I don’t know anything.”
 
Based on the data released this week, investigative journalist Ingi Freyr Vilhjálmsson concluded Samherji's business
“strategy in Namibia can be said to have been so successful, partly because the company had ‘political support all
along’, secured by hundreds of millions of bribes called consultancy fees.”
 
– Background report by Stundin
 
Also read: 

Former Namibian minister arrested after Al Jazeera investigation

Former Minister of Fisheries Bernhard Esau arrested following corruption and money-laundering allegations.

by
 
 
#Fishrot: Also read: 

Icelandic and Russian captains arrested as fishrot scandal deepens

Amid the unfolding bribery and money-laundering scandal that has rocked the local fishing industry, Icelandic captain Arngrimur Brynjolfsonn and Russian Yuri Festison were on Thursday arrested for fishing illegally some 200 nautical miles from the Namibian shoreline.

https://medium.com/@Jade_Lennon/icelandic-and-russian-captains-arrested-as-fishrot-scandal-deepens-d28d73262d16>

#Fishrot: Also read: 
 
FISHCOR overpaid for fish factory by N$50m, gets fishing quota worth N$1,8billion that will also benefit Angolan-based partner.

The fish factory ownership will be foreign-dominated since it is managed by a new company called Seaflower Pelagic Processing, a joint venture between Fishcor (40%) and the Angolan-based African Selection Fishing Namibia (60%).
by Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, Shinovene Immanuel
THE state-owned National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) bought a fish factory at the coast for N$160 million in 2016, amid concerns that the parastatal overpaid by as much as N$50 million for the building.

The Namibian reported this week that fisheries minister Bernhard Esau handed Fishcor a fishing quota worth more than N$1,8 billion over a 15-year period. This deal would also benefit an Angolan-based company which partnered Fishcor.

It has turned out that Fishcor did not only get a sweetheart deal from the fisheries ministry, but the parastatal paid N$50 million more on the fish factory that is old.

The details and background of this transaction are included in documents obtained by The Namibian, while seven people who were either involved or directly briefed on this matter, confirmed the details of this deal.

Most of the people did not want to be named because they fear that the fisheries ministry would cut their fishing quotas in retaliation for their comments.

Etale Fishing, which closed in 2013, laying off about 700 workers, owned the property through its subsidiary, Etale Properties.

The sources said Etale Fishing put the factory up for sale in 2015 for N$110 million, which was the valuation of that property. A source said the factory was valued by another valuer at N$90 million in 2015.

Etale Fishing eventually sold the factory in 2015 to well-connected Walvis Bay businessman Jose Luis Bastos, who was a director of Etale at the time.

The exact price paid by Bastos for the factory is unclear, but two people said it was between N$70 million and N$85 million. Bastos then sold the factory to Fishcor the following year for N$160 million.

Bastos declined to comment on the price he bought the property for from Etale.

“I cannot tell you. I don't want to be rude to you, but my business is my business. I sold the property two years ago,” he said.

Fishcor never publicly advertised the tender for buying the fish factory, a decision that would have given the state-owned fishing company better options.

Esau's supporters claim that the minister's decision to spoon-feed Fishcor with 50 000 metric tonnes of fish every year (around N$120 million) is aimed at empowering Namibians.

Some critics have, however, argued that the Fishcor transaction is favouring a state-owned entity that has a history of failing and forcing the closure of private fishing companies which employ thousands of Namibians.

In fact, the new fish factory ownership will be foreign-dominated since it is managed by a new company called Seaflower Pelagic Processing, a joint venture between Fishcor (40%) and the Angolan-based African Selection Fishing Namibia (60%).

One of Etale Fishing's former directors told The Namibian this week that the sale of the factory was “very questionable”, and that the state-owned company must explain and account for the transaction.

“They must explain how they ended up being the buyers of that property,” the former owner-director said, adding that fisheries minister Esau should also explain the purchase of the property.

Esau did not want to comment on Fishcor when approached by The Namibian on Wednesday, saying he can only comment after his ministerial budget discussion was completed in parliament.

As it stands, Fishcor's new partner in Seaflower Pelagic Processing, which is majority-owned by a South African businessman based in Angola, will take up the market left by Etale Fishing and Bidvest Fishing that is expected to close any time soon after reduced quotas.

The former director said the fall of Etale Fishing is a setback to empowerment in Namibia.

“This was the only black-owned processing plant in the country at the time. I cannot even tell you how everything happened. You know when you are standing in the middle of a storm, a real storm, a hailstorm, you don't know what is going on around you, and the next thing you know is everything is over. This is what happened with Etale,” the ex-director said.

Fishcor demolished the Etale factory, but the former owner said the factory had not reached the end of its useful economic life, as claimed by Fishcor.

Fischor plans to build a N$530 million fish factory, but people familiar with the factory said even this amount appears inflated.

The Namibian understands that several Cabinet ministers are nervous about the Fishcor saga.

A person familiar with this matter said Fishcor board chairperson James Hatuikulipi and the parastatal's management briefed the board last year, and some board members visited the plant at Walvis Bay.

DENIAL

Fishcor's chief executive, Mike Nghipunya, told The Namibian last week that the purchase of Etale Properties was a strategic move “as it is the only available piece of land with quay (besides the sea) access”.

 
Also read the follow-up article:
 
Seaflower Pelagic Processing ready to start operation by mid-January 2019:
 
 Pelagiese vis2
 
 
 

Horse mackerel could stem pilchard job losses

 

WALVIS BAY– The only hope for saving jobs in the pilchard industry is by allocating horse mackerel quotas to United Fishing Enterprises and Etosha Fishing companies.

This was said by the chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, Matti Amukwa, and the president of the Namibia Seamen and Allied Workers' Union, Paulus Hango, on Wednesday.

The two companies own fishing rights for pilchard, the fishing of which was barred for the next three years to allow the stocks to recover in an announcement made by information minister Tjekero Tweya on Tuesday.

Approached for comment on Wednesday, Amukwa said the best solution would be to allocate horse mackerel quotas to the two fishing companies so that workers can retain their jobs.

Another suggestion is that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources arranges with other horse mackerel right holders, for their catches to be processed at United and Etosha Fishing.

Some of the horse mackerel right holders – Namsov Fishing, Kuiseb Fishing and Gendev – do not have land processing factories.

The processing factory at United Fishing closed last year due to low catches, but Etosha managed to sustain its operations by importing pilchard from Morocco, though they still had to retrench some workers.

As such, more than 3 000 employees from the two companies lost their jobs since last year.

Amukwa said it is not clear whether the stock will recover in the next three years and that if it did not, the jobs would remain at risk.

Hango also agreed that horse mackerel canning is the solution.

He, however, said it could be difficult for fisheries minister, Bernhard Esau to give such quotas to companies who do not have rights, considering that the public and right holders could object.

“I personally feel for the people who lost their jobs and those who might follow if this situation is not addressed. Our industry is supposed to create jobs, not to retrench people,” Hango said.

About 600 seasonal and 200 permanent workers are currently employed at United and Etosha Fishing.

Also speaking to the media on Wednesday, managing director of Etosha Fishing, Pieter Greeff said the company will continue to import fish from Morocco and that there would be no job losses next year.

Greeff admitted that there will be no profit as the company will only be paying salaries and other operational costs to stay afloat while monitoring the situation. – Nampa

 
 
 
 
Related Articles:

Fears fish factory might stink out Mossel Bay

 

Afro Fishing

Mossel Bay's economy will soon receive a major boost if the establishment of a fishmeal and fish oil plant gets the green light from the authorities. Afro Fishing, a local sardine-canning fishery, has raised foreign capital of nearly R350 million to expand its operations in the port. It is planning to process thousands of tons of pelagic fish species such as anchovies and red-eye herring at the plant and will provide an additional 200 people with seasonal work.

However, not everyone is excited about the project and about 420 residents have signed an online petition to stop the factory. Hundreds of people also registered as interested parties; they want to know what impact the factory will have on the scenic seaside town on the Garden Route and whether a stench will permanently hang over the town?

Afro Fishing Managing Director, Deon van Zyl, says the plant is applying for authorization to build a state-of-the-art plant that will use the best proven practices and technology available to combat the odor caused by fishmeal factories.

afro4 Deon

According to an air quality impact study conducted last year for the proposed project, a so-called wet scrubber will prevent unpleasant odors from being released into the atmosphere. According to the study re-generative thermal oxidation technology (RTO) will be used in addition. It is already being applied abroad and the Mossel Bay plant will be the first in South Africa to use it. A team involved in the planned project recently visited a fishmeal factory in Peniche, Portugal where RTO is used and is full of praise for the technology.

However, the vast majority of Mossel Bay's residents are still concerned that the town will follow the same path as Hout Bay and Gansbaai. In Hout Bay, there has recently been a flurry of complaints about the rotten smell coming from the local fishmeal factory and research is now even being done on the impact that bad smells can have on human health. In Gansbaai, the smell became so bad that a few years ago the fishmeal factory stopped working during holiday periods because the smell had a negative impact on tourist numbers.

Afro Fishing pilchards

 

The Mossel Bay community also fears that the factory is the precursor to the establishment of a fish farm or so-called aquaculture, such as those now envisaged for the West Coast. Fish farms can pose serious environmental risks and are also difficult to sustain. The fish that are kept in the unnatural conditions are fed fishmeal and with the factory in the harbor, aquaculture may now be a step closer.

The editor of the online news platform Mosselbayontheline, Elsa Wessels, says in South Africa, as in other African countries, the problems are worse because the relevant authorities rarely apply and enforce the necessary measures and legislation on water, air and environmental pollution.

"Will never-ending court cases await Mossel Bay residents, as is now the case in Saldanha Bay? And who's going to see that fish quotas are maintained and the right fish species are caught?” These are some of the questions that Wessels recently asked her readers.

Afro Fishing has existed since 2007 but changed owners last year. Records with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPROZA) show that five of Afro Fishing's directors resigned in 2018. Shamera Daniels, a member of the Western Cape's sea fisheries industry, is still on the board with Johannes Breed the only new director appointed.

The 37-year-old Breed, a chartered accountant by profession, has served on the boards of eight South African companies in the fishing industry since last year. According to the online Fish Information Service (FIS), Breed is also the managing director of the Angolan company African Selection Trust (AST). AST's website says the company's vision is to restore existing fish factories and obtain maximum production that will bring employment and food security to Angola.

AST has been spreading its wings in Southern Africa since 2017 and owns a 60% stake in the Namibian company Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty) Ltd. Namibian state-owned Fishcor owns the other 40%. According to the Namibian daily, The Namibian, Breed, the economist Adriaan Louw and lawyer Maren de Klerk, represent AST on Seaflower Pelagic's board.

In 2017, the amaBhungane Center for Investigative Journalism reported that the Namibian fishing industry was outraged because an international interest group, referring to AST, benefited from the allocation of a huge fishing quota to the state-controlled Fishcor. According to the Daily Maverick, the quota comprises 50 metric tons of mackerel per year for 15 years with an estimated value of R120 million per year.

At the time, it was said that at least five Namibian companies could qualify as partners for Fishcor, but were overlooked. At least one, Bidvest Namibia, had to stop its operations in the meantime and about 1 200 people lost their jobs. Seaflower Pelagic has just commissioned a fish factory of nearly R540 million in Walvis Bay. The plant can process as many as 600 tons of mackerel per day.

fishmeal

If Johannes Breed is involved in AST's operations in both Angola and Namibia, then the logical question to ask is whether AST is also the investor behind the R350 million injection in Mossel Bay's Afro Fishing? What is AST's share in the other local fishing companies where Breed also serves on the boards? And what does all this mean for the local fishing industry?

Afro Fishing Managing Director, Deon van Zyl, denies that the company is a subsidiary of AST and was only prepared to say that the money for the Mossel Bay fishmeal factory is a privately acquired investment from abroad.

Noseweek’s research shows that Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, started a private equity fund in Angola in 2010 and that several European banks and development funds have since joined Norfund. Angola Capital Partners (ACP) manages the fund. Its website is referring to six elected Angolan companies, including the African Selection Trust, in which billions have been invested for expansion over the last few years.

In Angola, it has brought progress for communities by creating jobs and empowering the local population. But in Namibia, more than a thousand people have reportedly lost their jobs, newspaper reports said.

The planned fishmeal and oil production is intended exclusively for the export market where it is used as a component of animal feed. About four kilograms of fish are needed to produce one kilogram of fishmeal. This means fish that could feed the local population is being exported to feed animals in other countries and their meat will then be imported as a source of protein for the local population. The cannery is currently supplying tinned fish to school feeding programs in in South Africa.

It's actually ironic how the fishing industry works because Afro Fishing's existing canning plant has imported thousands of tons of frozen sardines from Morocco since 2016 to still meet the local market demand after quotas were cut some time ago. This was a direct result of the drastic reduction in the total allowable catch (TAC) for sardines issued by the department of Forestry and Fisheries from 90 000 tons in 2014 to 23 964 tons in 2017.

 

SardinesNoseweek

School feeding scheme loses out as processing plant switches to importing pilchards and sardines for animal feed.

 

Van Zyl says Afro Fishing does not have fishing quotas itself but WILL buy pelagic fish from companies that do have rights.

 

But what about Mossel Bay residents’ fears about fish farms in the sea and on land and the environmental problems that can come with it?

Experts agree that the chances are slim that Afro Fishing will also start a fishing farm because fishmeal and fish oil are already in high demand worldwide and are getting top prices.

Yet it is not too far-fetched to believe that aquaculture may well be on its way to Mossel Bay. Johannes Breed's father, Jannie, was for many years the managing director of Ridge Solutions Aquaculture in Angola, where shrimp were widely grown for the export market. Then it has also been said that Mossel Bay is regarded as the most suitable place in South Africa to start a fish farm where Yellowtail can be farmed. And just last year there was a controversial briefing on aquaculture hosted by the Mossel Bay Municipality.

The planned developments may create jobs and give the Mossel Bay economy a huge boost, but at what cost?

 

Norfund is Norway’s Development Finance Institution that was founded in1997 by the Norwegian Government. Its mandate is to support the building of sustainable businesses in poor countries and contribute to economic and social development. The fund is an active strategic minority investor that is wholly owned and funded by the Norwegian Government.


At the end of 2018 Norfund’s committed portfolio was USD 2,6 billion and included more than 900 companies. Its strategy is to invest in sectors and countries where it can have the greatest impact, where the private sector is weak and access to capital scarce. The priority geographical areas are primarily sub-Saharan Africa.

Norfund invest in three sectors namely clean energy, financial institutions and Food and Agri-business.

In South Africa it has invested in the Bronkhorstspruit Biogas Plant where electricity is produced from manure. Bio2Watt is the first commercially viable biogas organic waste project in South Africa and is located on the premises of one of the largest cattle feedlots and an agricultural stronghold in Gauteng.

https://www.noseweek.co.za/article/4331/Fears-fish-factory-might-stink-out-Mossel-Bay

 

Related Articles:

Three years (including a lengthy and costly legal battle) after the Mossel Bay Yacht & Boat Club (MBYBC) lost its annual lease agreement with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to Mossel Bay Waterfront Pty Ltd in October 2016, the dust has still not settled on this coveted landmark. 

The new lessee, a Mossel Bay-based, woman-owned micro-enterprise, officially took over the lease in February 2019 and huge expectations were created about the premises being transformed into an exciting and inclusive tourism hub with a top-notch restaurant sporting an extended deck, and a festive flea market vibe all around.

However, very few of the predicted enhancements and activities materialised since February. When the popular annual Mossel Bay Yacht Race from Simons Town was cancelled this year, and the Mossel Bay Skipper Foundation had to store their expensive vessels in an open field behind Santos Express, we questioned TNPA regarding their lack of support for sailing, as well as persistent rumours of financial problems and non-payment by the lessee.     

TNPA immediately responded to the query with a strong-worded media release which we published with our other news on our Facebook page. (Scroll down).  

This week, the Mossel Bay Yacht & Boat Club, in turn, responded to TNPA's media release. We publish both media statements as is, as well as a letter on the same issues that was published in the Mossel Bay Advertiser. 

Mossel Bay Yacht Club4

Mossel Bay Yacht Club logo

MOSSEL BAY YACHT AND BOAT CLUB - MOSSELBAAI SEILJAG EN BOOT KLUB Mossel Bay 6500 Mosselbaai 6500 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. http://www.mbybc.co.za

The Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club (MBYBC) wish to respond as follow on the media statement of TNPA as published in Mosselbayontheline on 7 November  2019:

The MBYBC does not intend to get involved in a war of words, but unfortunately, are forced to answer on some of the allegations as made by TNPA.

Over a period of 63 years, MBYBC members have developed the land on which the MBYBC were situated, which initially was just a little piece of rocky shoreline.

The infrastructure associated with the Club and the premises have over time been transformed and routine maintenance has ensured that an asset of real value has been made available to a wide spectrum of the Mossel Bay inhabitants and the valuable holiday visitors.

These developments were entirely funded by contributions and subscriptions from the members. This includes the fifty walks on moorings that were built inside the harbour walls. When the MBYBC were forced to leave the premises at the end of January 2019, they were also forced to leave behind a fully developed Clubhouse, Braai area, slipway, parking area reclaimed from the sea and other assets, the replacement value which is worth well in excess of Ten million Rand and without receiving ANY compensation from TNPA.

Despite being a registered Public benefit and Non-Profit organization, the MBYBC had to pay commercial monthly rental rates, eventually amounting to R125,000.00 per month. This was done without missing a single payment in 63 years! The lease agreement stipulated that the MBYBC had to remove all plant & machinery as well as freestanding items and vacate the grounds in a clean condition at the termination of the lease. This was indeed done by MBYBC.

All damage that resulted from such removal was repaired & painted before the hand-over inspection took place. Port Security was on-site during this removal process and there were no reports of vandalism then or when the keys were handed over to the Port Officials.

After the premises were vacated, it became clear that TNPA was not happy with the fact that the MBYBC rightfully removed their MOVABLE assets (eg fridges, bar counter etc). They claimed these as they did all other improvements to the premises.

The National Port Authorities acted irrationally in allowing an entity to occupy State-owned property without a signed lease agreement, paying the necessary deposits and rental !

The Port & Property Manager should accept responsibility for this instead of blaming an organization that paid it's dues and served the Community with distinction for many years. It must be mentioned that the basis of the MBYBC's review to court was indeed the ability of the competitor company to pay the hefty monthly rent.

It is significant that no rent has been paid to date - and TNPA states that as yet no rental agreement has been signed. If the property was in such bad shape, it raises the question how it is possible that the new tenant could start trading virtually from day one after occupying the premises and generating significant income to this day.

Liquor and food are sold, portions of the property are sublet, membership, slipway & mooring fees are charged and the mooring rights are sold - all of this income being pocketed without paying any rent.

It is unheard of to be granted beneficial occupation for nearly a year while Government and the Taxpayer are losing out on millions of rand in rental income. We trust this clarifies the unfounded allegations made by TNPA which are rejected.

Best regards from the Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club!

The MBYBC team.

Mossel Bay Yacht Club

 

MEDIA STATEMENT

Transnet logo

TNPA refutes rumours about Mossel Bay Waterfront

[Mossel Bay, South Africa, 6 November 2019]

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Mossel Bay places on record that there is nothing untoward about the status of its lease relationship with the Mossel Bay Waterfront Company. The current rumours brought to our attention are purely malicious.

The previous lease holder’s objections were heard before two courts of law, both of which ruled in favour of TNPA as the lessor.

TNPA took over the property in February 2019. At this time, it was discovered that the premises were in a poor state of maintenance and had been vandalised, including the removal of immovable furniture and building structures either during or immediately after the previous tenant’s departure.

The premises were in a dire state and unsuitable for occupation or lease due to poor maintenance and a damaged, non-compliant electrical system. The new occupant was therefore allowed a Beneficial Occupation to allow him time to fit out, refurbish and ready the premises. This is well within the parameters of TNPA’s Real Estate Management Policy and lease manual.
Both the new tenant and TNPA have invested significantly to refurbish the building and are presently in the process of finalising the repairs and the lease agreement. The tenant will be expected to pay a deposit and rent, once the agreement has been signed between the two parties.

The new lessee was awarded this lease because of its strong business model that sets out to provide all members of society from all walks of life with an equal opportunity to participate in port activities – not merely an elite few.
There have been several events and angling competitions hosted by the occupant, while water sports such as boating, sailing and scuba diving are all on offer from the premises. The premises is also now a SAMSA approved training centre offering several maritime courses never before offered in Mossel Bay.
With the property now open to the general public, there has been significant growth as tourists are now able to enjoy virtually unrestricted use of the facilities.

The facilities have been upgraded, including the addition of a kiosk offering take-away meals for beach visitors. A one-stop shop will be opening at the end of November offering all marine users equipment and general goods for fishing and sailing trips.

The sailing community is still able to use these premises for sailing competitions. Sailing remains a big priority for Transnet National Ports Authority and the Mossel Bay Waterfront and discussions are well underway to start a sailing school early in the new year. Sea Cadets still use the premises and the Mossel Bay Waterfront intends placing some of these cadets on courses such as skippers, radio licence, first aid and pre-sea etc.

There are over 200 boats registered with Mossel Bay Waterfront as a launching facility and for the first time, there is now a tractor service available.

The Mossel Bay Waterfront has over 250 members who get to use all the facilities including a members’ bar, while the public bar and restaurant ensure unrestricted access for the general public at all times.
It is indeed unfortunate that a campaign is underway to discredit the Port’s management and the new tenant while the entity is still newly established and already making a positive contribution in our community.

ENDS

Mossel Bay Yacht club1

Letter in Mossel Bay Advertiser on 7 November 2019:

Waterfront Company has never paid rent

Concerned businessman, writes:

In connection with the old yacht club premises in Mossel Bay, it came to my attention that the new tenant, the Mossel Bay Waterfront Company, of the premises, has since it moved in, never paid rent to Transnet National Ports Authority.

The contract was awarded to The Mossel Bay Waterfront Company after a tender process, whereafter the previous paid-up tenant, the Mossel Bay Yacht Club, was forced to move out.

The Mossel Bay Waterfront Company has been occupying the premises since February 2019 without paying rent.

This does not seem right as the property belongs to TNPA but it is also in the interest of the public as it's government property. In this case it is very unfair that TNPA is wasting the taxpayers' money by not collecting the rightful rent which was previously paid in full by the previous tenant. The lack of management by TNPA is starting to become obvious and cumbersome and one wouldn't want to put TNPA in a bad light because of this but its opinion in this regard will be appreciated.

Usually a tenant not paying the rent would have been evicted from a TNPA premises by now. This is a business premises after all. Money must matter. Otherwise, the old yacht club wouldn't have been forced to leave for R200 more rent on top of an already very high monthly rental.

 This is how we reported on the planned grand opening on 16 April 2019: 

Die ou Mosselbaai Boot- en Seiljagklub - nou die Mossel Bay Waterfront - is besig om 'n gedaanteverwisseling te ondergaan wat op 16 April amptelik ingewy gaan word. Albe Durand (regs) direkteur van die maatskappy Mossel Bay Waterfront is ná 'n duur en uitgerekte hofgeding van sowat R3 miljoen wat hy en Transnet met regskoste teen die bootklub gewen het, vuur en vlam om die perseel te omskep in 'n gesellige en toeganklike eet- en kuierplek vir alle Mosselbaaiers, en wat toerisme bevorder as deel van die nuwe waterfrontontwikkeling. Hier is hy en Greg Aberdeen, opsigter en "jetty-skipper", voor die kiosk-deel wat reeds op 16 April ingewy gaan word. Hulle is tans besig met groot opknappingswerk en 'n restaurant op die boonste verdieping word vir einde Mei beplan.

 
 

Hope, concern over multi-million rand Mossel Bay Waterfront development

30 September 2018   

While huge plans for the multi-million rand harbour development in Mossel Bay are enthusiastically announced by the stakeholders and port authority, locals and small business owners are hovering on the cusp between cautious optimism and concern - especially since the public and small business owners have thus far been excluded from all discussions and stakeholder meetings. Read more: http://www.mosselbayontheline.co.za/index.php/mossel-bay-harbour

Mossel Bay Yacht Club2

 Mossel Bay Yacht & Boat Club must vacate premises

27 November 2018

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Mossel Bay has welcomed the judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal to dismiss with costs an appeal by the Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club (MBYBC) against the judgments handed down by the Western Cape High Court in favour of TNPA on two occasions, in the MBYBC’s Review Application. 

Read more: http://www.mosselbayontheline.co.za/index.php/mossel-bay-yacht-club

 

 

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