In a significant legal development related to the infamous Fishrot corruption scandal, Maren Brynard De Klerk's attempt to challenge a Preservation Order has hit a roadblock.
The High Court ruled that the case, which involved challenging the asset freezing order under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), would be struck from the court's docket due to non-compliance with document indexing requirements.
De Klerk, a central figure in the Fishrot scandal, had sought to set aside the Preservation Order dated December 2, 2022, which was issued under Section 58 of POCA.
The Preservation Order had frozen De Klerk's assets, as they are suspected to be linked to alleged corrupt activities in the Fishrot scandal.
De Klerk's legal representative, James Diederick, argued on his behalf during the court proceedings, while Loide Angula represented the Office of the Prosecutor-General.
The central issue that led to the court's decision was a lack of compliance with Rule 131(7) regarding document indexing.
According to the court order issued by Justice Shafimana Ueitele, the matter was struck from the roll due to the failure to meet these document compliance requirements.
This ruling is a significant setback for De Klerk's legal efforts to challenge the Preservation Order and unfreeze his assets.
The Fishrot scandal, a multibillion-dollar corruption case that has rocked Namibian politics and garnered international attention, involves allegations of corrupt practices related to the fishing industry, and several individuals, including De Klerk, former Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, and others, are facing legal proceedings.
It is unclear whether De Klerk's legal team will take steps to rectify the document compliance issues and refile the case.
The ruling underscores the legal complexities and challenges surrounding the Fishrot scandal, as well as the rigorous legal procedures and requirements involved in asset forfeiture cases under POCA.