“I will eventually make a full recover, but it will be a long process. All I can recall from that night is that I was trying to stop my boyfriend from fighting and the next moment he was carrying me away after I was run over.”
This was the recollection of national netball player, 24-year-old Leandri van der Walt, from her hospital bed at the Medi Clinic Windhoek where she has been admitted after a horrific hit-and-run incident on Friday that was caught on camera.
In the two-minute footage taken from a Windhoek fuel station’s surveillance camera on 30 November 2019 at around 02:49, two motorists in white vehicles can clearly be seen chasing one another, before the occupants in the bakkie abandon their vehicle and give chase to the sedan on foot.
One of the occupants in the bakkie has been identified as van der Walt, dressed in a red t-shirt, while the second in a yellow t-shirt is her boyfriend, Xico Coetzee.
A confrontation ensues with the driver of the sedan, before he turned his vehicle around and repeatedly runs van der Walt over.
Another unnamed shirtless passenger from the sedan can be seen falling out of the vehicle, before Coetzee picks up an injured van der Walt in an attempt to rescue her as the driver of the sedan makes a last attempt to run them both over.
He instead crushes into the bakkie, before reversing his vehicle and driving off.
The driver in the sedan has since been identified as 31-year-old Ruandre Wessel.
It is believed that Wessel and van der Walt had a long dragging spat that culminated to unexpected proportions when they bumped into each other on the day of the incident.
Wessel appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday, 3 December, for a case of culpable homicide.
He was also charged for failing to stop after the accident to ascertain the nature of the damages or injuries.
His was remanded to police custody and the case postponed to 5 May 2020.
Van der Walt sustained injuries on her ankle, elbow, neck, shoulder and hips and although she is currently receiving rehabilitation strengthening, will definitely not be playing netball when the season resumes next year.
Rebekka /Goagoses, Netball Namibia vice-president, condemned the incident involving one of their Debmarine Desert Jewels National Netball players, but said that she trusts that justice will prevail.
/Goagoses, who works at the Motor Vehicle Fund (MVA), added that from a road safety perspective, pedestrians are cautioned to be vigilant and to remain safe at all times.
“We are praying for Leandri to make a full recovery so that she can join us on the court, fit and healthy, when we resume the netball season early next year,” she said.
Namibian Police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi, confirmed the incident along the Western bypass.
Police investigations continue.