THE resumption of the trial of Jandré Dippenaar, the young man accused of murder after six people died in a horrific car crash at the end of 2014, came to an abrupt end after a state witness had to be afforded the time to compose herself after she became emotional under cross examination.
Before the court was adjourned to allow Bernice Olivier to compose herself, State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu informed the court that she was sick and unable to continue with the trial. She requested Magistrate Gaynor Poulton to stand the matter down for a day.
At the resumption of the trial, Olivier, the general manager of Europcar in Namibia, was called to the stand to testify for the state in the matter.
Olivier testified that the company rented the white Ford Ranger to Walter Helmuth Joschko for a period of ten days. She stated that the rental agreement started on 19 December and would have ended on 29 December 2014, the same day of the horrific crash.
“Europcar did not have a manager in Walvis Bay and while my family was on holiday in Henties Bay I travelled back and forth to help out that the office in Walvis Bay. On the day of the accident I was on my way to our holiday house in Henties Bay when I drove past the accident scene. As I entered the town I received a call from the office in Windhoek informing me that one of our cars was in an accident near Henties Bay.”
With regards to the tracking device fitted to the white Ford Ranger in which three members of the Joschko family died, Olivier testified that in the days after the crash that she as the general manager of the car rental company, had to handle the administration in regards with the accident.
Advocate Ndlovu asked her about a tracking report to which Olivier testified that according to the document she received from the tracking company that the vehicle on the day of the accident never exceeded the national speed limit of 120 kilometres per hour. The report she received indicated that the car was driving at between 80 and 85 kilometres per hour in the last few minutes preceding the crash.
Another more accurate report was received from the vehicle tracking company’s head office in South Africa when independent investigators on behalf of the car rental company and its insurance company started with their investigations into the incident.
Olivier testified that she received the second report quite some time after the incident and that she was asked to produce a sworn affidavit by one of the independent investigators.
The more detailed report indicated that at the time of the crash on 29 December 2014 at 17:04 the Ford Ranger was travelling at a speed of 105 kilometres per hour.
After her evidence in chief Olivier was taken under cross examination by Advocate Louis Botes.
It was during the cross examination that the witness was overcome with emotion to such an extent that the court proceedings was halted for her to regain her composure.
Magistrate Poulton had no choice but to postpone the matter until today after Advocate Ndlovu informed the court that she is too sick to continue with the proceedings.