The urgent bail application of the six accused in the Fishrot corruption scandal was rejected with costs in the Windhoek High Court today. Former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhardt Esau, his co-accused former Justice Minister Sakeus Shanghala and four others submitted an application to the High Court on 02 December 2019, challenging the legality of their arrests. The six accused are Esau, Shanghala, former Fishcor chairperson James Hatuikulipi, businessman Tamson Hatuikulipi, former Investec Asset Management Client Manager Ricardo Gustavo, and Pius Mwatelulo. In the matter, Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller today ruled that the urgent bail application was not fit to be heard as a matter of urgency. Esau and his co-accused had asked the court to set aside their warrants of arrest and declare it unlawful. The judge further gave instruction for the urgent bail application to be removed from the court roll and ordered that the applicants should pay the legal costs of the respondents. NAMPA 2 (CAPE TOWN, 27 DEC, ANA) – The Democratic Alliance today called for clarity on Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s reason for putting the Gupta family’s applications for new South African passports on hold in a government safe, recalling that they fled the country in the face of allegations embroiling them in the state capture scandal. ‘It is common knowledge that the Guptas fled South Africa as evidence of their involvement in the ANC’s state capture continued to mount,’ DA home affairs spokesman Joe McGluwa said. He added that should they wish to return to South Africa, it should be to appear before the Zondo commission into the rent-seeking scandal to face the allegations of their involvement in it. ‘Collecting their new passports in Pretoria is the perfect opportunity for members of the Gupta family to return to South Africa and appear before the Zondo Commission to answer to the allegations levelled against them for their involvement in the ANC’s state capture project,’ the DA said. Motsoaledi this week confirmed that two members of the family had applied for new passports from Dubai where they are now resident, adding that no decision has been taken and their application forms have been locked in a safe, at his instruction. ANA 3 (HARARE, 27 DEC, NEW ZIANA) ´┐Ż The High Court today again postponed to next week the bail and appeal hearing for Marry Mubaiwa, the estranged wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is facing four charges, including attempted murder. This is the second deferment of the case after it was initially moved to 27 December when it was heard for the first time on 20 December. The hearing has now been set for 31 December 2019, meaning Mubaiwa, who spent the Christmas holiday in prison, will endure four more days in remand prison. In postponing the hearing, the High Court said this was to allow the state to prepare its response, and the new judge handling the case time to acquaint with the case. Mubaiwa was arrested two weeks ago, and faces attempted murder, money laundering and fraud charges, most allegedly committed against her husband. In the attempted murder charge, Mubaiwa is accused of trying to kill her then gravely ill husband by tampering with his medical equipment in a hospital ward in South Africa where he was admitted in June. NEW ZIANA 4 (MAIDUGURI/CAIRO, 27 DEC, REUTERS) – Islamic State released a video purporting to show it killing 11 Christian men in Nigeria, saying it was part of a campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and its spokesman. The militant group posted the footage on its online Telegram news channel yesterday, the day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio. The video showed men in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives, then shooting one and beheading the rest. A previous video seen by Reuters said the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria’s northeast, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate Islamist state. In that earlier video, the captives pleaded for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to save them. REUTERS 5 (COLOMBO, 27 DEC, AP) – Sri Lankan police arrested a hospitalised former Cabinet minister today for participating in a news conference about abductions of critics under the government of the current president’s brother. Lawyer Gunaratna Wanninayake said Rajitha Senarathna, now an opposition lawmaker, was arrested at a private hospital where he was admitted yesterday. A magistrate visited Senarathna at the hospital today and approved his detention until Monday for investigation. Wannianayake said Senarathna, who earlier underwent heart surgery, will be kept under guard at the hospital.

Source: African News Agency