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Investigating officer at pains to explain discrepancies

Investigating officer at pains to explain discrepancies

Niël Terblancé
DETECTIVE Warrant Officer Paula Havenga, the Namibian Police officer in charge of the investigation into the horrific accident that claimed the lives of six people at the end of December 2014 just south of Henties Bay, found herself in a quagmire of discrepancies in the case docket while under cross examination in the Swakopmund Regional Court.
Advocate Louis Botes took the witness under cross examination after she testified for the State in the murder trial of Jandré Dippenaar. Advocate Botes grilled Havenga on various different aspects of her investigation.
She had a hard time explaining the timeline of her investigation and where she found certain pictures that she used in her own statement. Under cross examination it also came to light that certain witness statements in the investigation docket were made available to private investigators.
Warrant Officer Havenga could not explain how these documents were allowed to be viewed and copied by people other than police officers involved with the case since the investigation into the matter was not yet completed.
Another oddity she had a hard time answering was that statements from witnesses in her investigation docket were provided to her by the private investigators that was responsible for investigating the accident on behalf of the insurance company, Hollard.
Advocate Botes put it to the witness that he finds it peculiar that after the years it took for the investigation to be completed that not a single eyewitness statement can be found in the investigation docket that describes the accident from the point of view of the Ford Ranger travelling in a southerly direction when the crash occurred.
“We only find eyewitness statements of people driving north – the same direction in which my client was travelling. No one can shed light on what happened in the opposite direction immediately prior to the incident.”
Advocate Botes put it to the witness that she did not do a proper investigation into the incident.
The cross examination of Detective Warrant Officer Havenga is set to continue tomorrow.

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