Alleged Fishrot paymaster aims for bail after arrest in SA

Marén de Klerk

The extradition case of lawyer Marén de Klerk, who is wanted in Namibia on charges connected to the Fishrot fishing quotas fraud and corruption scandal, has been postponed until Monday.

De Klerk, who was arrested at Paarl in South Africa’s Western Cape province on Thursday, plans to apply to be granted bail and is due to make a second appearance in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Monday, South African media outlets have reported.

De Klerk was arrested on charges of racketeering, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

A Windhoek magistrate authorised a warrant for De Klerk’s arrest in April 2021, and the Namibian government thereafter requested its South African counterpart to have him extradited from that country to face charges in Namibia.

De Klerk left Namibia in January 2020, after he had been questioned by the Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with his role in the payment of more than N$80 million to key figures in the Fishrot case.

De Klerk was arrested under an Interpol red notice in a joint operation conducted by the South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, and Interpol.

Hawks spokesperson colonel Katlego Mogale said in a statement that a cellphone and laptop were seized for further investigation during De Klerk’s arrest.

The extradition case has been adjourned until Monday to determine a date for a bail application by De Klerk.

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