Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Derek Klazen says the fishrot scandal did not cause the loss of jobs for over 1,000 fishermen, who were part of a strike in 2015.
At his annual industry address at Walvis Bay, Klazen noted that there is a distinction between the Fishrot scandal and the job losses.
The Fishrot scandal implicated several individuals, including politicians and businesspeople, a situation the Walvis Bay Mayor, Trevino Forbes, said impacted people's lives negatively.
"The effects of Fishrot have been detrimental to the town and its people, leading to a loss of trust, economic instability, negative social consequences, and even death. It is imperative to address corruption within the industry to ensure fairness, transparency, and sustainable growth."
Minister Klazen, however, disagreed: "Everywhere you pop up, it's just Fishrot, Fishrot, even the mayor mentioned Fishrot. Now I want us to have a clear distinction, and you sit there as fishermen, fisheries operators, boat operators, companies, You will know best that there is a separation. People who lost their jobs in 2015 camped at Okapale. That is a story on its own that lasted for more than 5 years. Then your caring government came in and said, Let's assist those people, and throughout there were talks from the unions about how these people were assisted up until now. We are trying our best to assist the people."
Klazen says the people in Walvis Bay can make the distinction between the "Okapale" fishermen, and they should not let people from Windhoek come and tell them a different story.
Fishrot is the biggest corruption scandal in the country, and since its revelation in 2019, there have been public calls for a more transparent system of awarding quotas.