Zuma's former lawyers admit to working in Namibia without permits, pay R10,000 fine - reports
Two prominent SA advocates, Mike Hellens and Dawie Joubert, have been fined N$10,000 (R10,000) for representing the accused in a high-profile Namibian court case without work permits.
Hellens and Joubert — who were both previously on former president Jacob Zuma's legal team — 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 so-called "Fishrot 6" case was in court on Thursday but was postponed to Friday when the six were expected to apply for bail.
But reports in the local Namibian press said that Hellens and Joubert were arrested on Friday morning after it emerged they did not have work permits.
When contacted on Friday, Hellens said he could not talk and cut the call.
Informanté, a news website, reported on its Facebook page that, after their arrest, the high-powered lawyers were escorted to police holding cells where they spent most of the day.
It said Hellens and Joubert elicited the services of local senior advocate Esi Schimming-Chase and were afforded an urgent appearance before magistrate Venatius Alweendo later on Friday afternoon.
Informanté said they entered guilty pleas on the first count of conducting business in Namibia without a proper work permit and the second count of furnishing false information to an immigration officer upon entering Namibia.
Informanté said after they were sentenced, the convicted lawyers were released on their own recognisance to pay the fines and to find their own way back to the Hosea Kutako International Airport to catch the next flight back to SA.
A text message to Hellens on Saturday morning was not immediately responded to.