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Testimony of expert witness in dispute

Testimony of expert witness in dispute

THE existence of the blind rise again became a point of contention during the cross examination of an expert witness who testified for the state when the evidence was tested by counsel for defence of Dippenaar during the third day of the trial in the Swakopmund Regional Court.

The fact that the existence of a blind crest in the road between Henties Bay and Swakopmund close to the spot where six people died as a result of a gruesome accident at the end of 2014 is in dispute in the murder trial of Jandré Dippenaar, forced a desperate Mr. Jan Horn to approach the engineers currently involved in the construction of the new road between the two coastal towns to provide him with the original plans for the old road to show that such a feature does indeed still exist in order to find justice for his deceased son and for his own peace of mind.

Advocate Louis Botes put the evidence delivered by Mr. Johan Joubert, who concluded in his report that the driver of the FJ Cruiser was responsible for causing the gruesome crash near the turn-off to the Jakkalsputz camping grounds about 12 kilometres from Henties Bay on 29 December 2014 during which six people died, through the wringer.

Three members of a German family, Walter Helmut Joschko, Stephanie Dorothea Schemick Joschko and their daughter, the 19-year-old Alexandra Marlene Joschko died as a result of the crash while on a self drive tour through Namibia. Three young Namibians who travelled in the Toyota FJ Cruiser with Dippenaar on that fateful day also died. They were Dinah Pretorius, Charlene Schoombee and J.C. (Jan Carel) Horn.

The only survivors were Jandré Dippenaar, and the Antonia Klara Joschko.

Joubert is the managing director of Traffic Accident Reconstruction Services in Cape Town South Africa that has investigated several other motor vehicle accidents in Namibia over the years. He was approached by the Namibian branch of the Hollard insurance company to investigate the gruesome accident shortly after it occurred at the turn-off to Jakkalsputz on the road between Swakopmund and Henties Bay during which six people died at the end of 2014.

From the outset of the cross examination certain aspects of Joubert’s report about which he testified in court led to the insurance company not paying out a claim by the Pretorius family to whom the FJ Cruiser belongs, was disputed by Advocate Botes.

The report became part of the state’s case against Dippenaar who stands accused of amongst others, six counts of murder.

Counsel for the defence put it to the witness that he in fact had the vested financial interests of the insurance company and its shareholders at heart when he conducted the investigation and compiled the report and not necessarily the interest of justice.

When asked how the report became part of the state’s case against Dippenaar, Joubert stated that he was requested to hand a copy to the Namibian National Road Safety Council shortly after he submitted it to the insurance company.

Like before with other witnesses, counsel for the defence also put it to Joubert that a blind rise does in fact not exist. The witness testified that the blind rise would have impaired the visibility of the road for the driver of the FJ Cruiser as well as the deceased driver of the Ford Ranger.

Advocate Botes even went as far as to put it to Joubert that the pictures of the disputed blind rise that formed part of his report and testimony’s photo plan was taken about 14 kilometres away from the actual scene of the gruesome crash.

The cross examination of the expert witness is set to continue today and the trial is scheduled to continue until Friday.

The plans obtained by Mr. Jan Horn of the original road indicating that the blind rise does indeed exist has not been testified about and is yet to entered as evidence in the form of an exhibit by the state prosecutor.

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