Zuma's ex-lawyers Mike Hellens and Dawie Joubert 'detained' in Namibia
Former president Jacob Zuma's lawyers, advocates Mike Hellens and Dawie Joubert, were arrested in Namibia on Friday, local media reported.
Several media outlets took to Twitter on Friday, reporting that Hellens and Joubert had been detained by immigration officials for working in the country without work permits.
Both of them have previously represented Zuma, and Hellens has also previously represented Zuma's son Duduzane.
Contacted on his cellphone on Friday, Hellens said: "I can't talk. I can't talk. I'll talk when I can."
They were in the country to represent six people, including two former Namibian ministers, Bernhard Esau, 61, and Sacky Shanghala, 42, who were arrested over their alleged involvement in a fishing quota kickback scandal.
The "Fishrot 6" case was in court on Thursday but was postponed to Friday when the six were expected to apply for bail.
But there was drama outside the courtroom.
According to the New Era newspaper, Hellens and Joubert's passports had been confiscated.
Drama is unfolding at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court where two South African senior counsels Mike Hellens and Dawie Joubert representing former ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala have had their passports confiscated after it emerged that they don’t have work permits. pic.twitter.com/qD1raejB5A— New Era Newspaper (@NewEraNewspaper) November 29, 2019
Other news organisation also reported on the arrests.
Prominent South African lawyers, Mike Hellens & Dawie Joubert, who are in the country to represent former minister Bernard Esau & Sacky Shanghala in the #fishrot saga, have just been arrested. The two were taken into custody after it was found that they do not have work permits. pic.twitter.com/QdXssAAeTE— Informanté (@InformanteNews) November 29, 2019
According to The Namibian, Joubert was representing former justice minister Shanghala while Hellens was representing ex-fisheries minister Bernard Esau.
The publication reported that Esau, Shanghala, the former managing director of Investec Asset Management in Namibia, James Hatuikulipi, 44, suspended Investec Namibia clients director Ricardo Gustavo 44, Esau's son-in-law Tamson "Fitty" Hatuikulipi 38, and Pius "Taxa" Mwatelulo 31, made their first court appearances before magistrate Linus Samunzala yesterday.
The six men were arrested on Wednesday.