A senior manager at the holiday town’s municipality appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on corruption charges and a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice while the police still have to arrest a former traffic official currently residing in the Zambezi Region in connection with the matter.
Andre Plaatjie, the manager of corporate services at the Swakopmund Municipality and Epenetus du Toit was arrested on 30 January and appeared in the court the following day on two counts of corruption and the charge of defeating the course of justice. Precious Kasika, the former municipal traffic official is yet to be arrested in Katima Mulilo and brought to Swakopmund for trial purposes.
According to an official report by the Anti-corruption Commission the charges against the three people stem from a motor vehicle accident in the streets of Swakopmund during June 2016.
Kasika is charged with using her position in a corrupt manner to obtain gratification for her own benefit or that of another person. In this case she did it to benefit Plaatjie.
On the evening of 25 June 2016 Plaatjie allegedly crashed his vehicle into another vehicle and was recognised by the driver of the other vehicle, Mr. Rainer Becker, also a resident of Swakopmund.
“A few minutes after the accident, Kasika arrived at the accident scene with a municipal traffic vehicle and went straight to Plaatjie. She never spoke to Mr. Becker neither did she ascertain the nature and extent of their injuries or damage to the vehicles. Kasika removed Plaatjie and a female person who was with him in the car from the scene in her official vehicle.”
Plaatjie was taken to the Swakopmund Municipality’s traffic office where he was tested for blood alcohol levels.
According to the ACC report Officer Gerhard Haraseb was called to the office by Officer Kasika and requested to switch on and prepare the specialised breath alcohol analysing machine. Upon the arrival of Kasika at the office, Haraseb recognized Plaatjie and told investigators later that the former traffic officer was also accompanied by Du Toit.
During the first alcohol test, the traffic officers noted that Plaatjie blew well over the legal limit but they recorded certain information incorrectly on their affidavits. They, however, prepared the machine for a second test that was to be performed on the Plaatjie.
At some stage during the proceedings, Du Toit was requested by Kasika to blow into the breathalyzer machine and this test showed that he did not have any alcohol in his bloodstream.
According to the ACC report all the operator affidavits and breathalyser result documentation was given to Kasika and she was ordered by one Officer Dai to arrest Plaatjie since she was the first officer on the accident scene.
Kasika allegedly refused to arrest Plaatjie and told her traffic colleagues that she will take responsibility for any consequences that may arise.
In the end Plaatjie was not taken into custody because of the falsified results from the second test where Du Toit blew in the machine instead.
When the matter came before court last Thursday, the presiding magistrate granted Plaatjie and Du Toit bail of N$3 000 each. The matter was remanded to the first day of April 2019.
Once Kasika is arrested she will be brought before the Katima Mulilo Magistrates Court. She will then be transferred to Swakopmund for the matter to continue before court.