Journalist threatened for naming directors in Fishing business

Mosselbayontheline has been threatened and bombarded with emails and telephone calls to immediately remove an article published on our Facebook page and website regarding Afro Fishing’s controversial and heavily contested application to add a R350 million pelagic fish meal and oil processing facility to its sardine cannery on Quay 2 on the Mossel Bay harbour.

The deadline for commentary on the application according to the public participation process by the environmental consultants Cape EAPrac is 12 December 2019.  The public’s grave concerns regarding the overwhelming environmental impact of such a risky industry in the smallest working harbour in the country regarding foul odours, noise, air and water pollution as well as the marine life, infrastructure and tourism-based character of the town, was addressed at a public meeting in the Mossel Bay town hall on 20 November 2019.

In the Facebook article published on 25 November 2019 we referred to the ongoing international #fishrot scandal that rocked the Namibian fishing industry and led to the immediate resignation and incarceration of several ministers and senior officials. We mentioned that one of Afro Fishing’s two directors, Mr Johannes Breed, is also the managing director of the Angola-based company African Selection Trust (AST) which co-owns Seaflower Pelagic Processing (60% share) with the Namibian state-owned fishing company Fishcor (40%). The latter is prominently under investigation in the #fishrot scandal.

In various articles in Namibian and other international newspapers, it has been mentioned repeatedly since 2017 that AST is represented on Seaflower Pelagic’s board by Breed as well as economist Adriaan Louw and lawyer Maren de Klerk.

As part of our contribution towards the public participation process and in the light of the shocking revelations of corruption, bribery, nepotism and state capture in the fishing industry being exposed in the ongoing investigation, we also sent an email to Me. Melissa Mackay of CapeEaprac, requesting that the public participation process regarding Afro Fishing’s application be halted until the #fishrot investigation has been completed.

Other concerned I&AP’s were cc’ed in the email as the public participation process is of public concern. The underneath email caused a flutter of phone calls and legal threats from Afro Fishing’s managing director Deon van Zyl and attorney Donald Curtis from A Chimes Van Wyk Attorneys in George.

The offending part in the article reads:

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.

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 Louw en prokureur Maren de Klerk AST op Seaflower Pelagic se direksie.

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. Dit kom ook te midde van Mosselbaaiers se kommer oor Afrio Fishing se planne vir ‘n vismeelfabriek en owerheidsplanne vir akwaboerderybedrywighede met geelstert in Mosselbaai se waters.

http://www.mosselbayontheline.co.za/index.php/direkteur-van-afro-fishing-se-bande-met-fishcor-ondersoek-in-internasionale-fishrot-skandaal