Dippenaar case in limbo

22 September 2021 | Crime

Swakopmund / Windhoek ∙ [email protected]

After nearly seven years since the horrific traffic accident near Henties Bay that claimed six lives, a trial date is set to be fixed in the civil matter in the High Court.

However, the defendant Jandré Dippenaar has to find a lawyer in the criminal matter against him set to continue next month.

The Directorate for Legal Aid will not provide Dippenaar with a lawyer in the civil proceedings. He therefore has to hire his own lawyer and was given the opportunity to do so until 2 November.

On that day, a new trial date is set to be fixed, according to the latest court order.

Due to the large number of cases heard in the High Court, the matter will most likely only proceed next year.

Originally, the civil trial was set to begin in May, but the matter was adjourned as Dippenaar appeared in court without a lawyer.

He said at the time that he could no longer pay his defense attorney, Petrie Theron, which is why the latter withdrew from the case.

Dippenaar submitted an application for a lawyer at the directorate for Legal Aid at the beginning of April - but without success.

“...we have a moratorium on the outsourcing of instructions to private lawyers and we also do not have the capacity to instruct in-house lawyers”, it says in the application.

Details from a status report published thereafter state that “the defendant feels that he does not have the ability to represent himself in this case due to the complexity of the case”.

Dippenaar therefore “urgently needs the assistance of a lawyer, but he cannot afford to employed one” (sic).

As such he intends to employ a new lawyer by securing loans from “banking institutions, friends and family”.

Due to the complexity, duration and volume of the matter, Dippenaar would need at least N$150 000 as a deposit to secure the services of a lawyer.

Dippenaar is being sued in the civil matter for compensation to the tune of close to N$11 million (depending on the euro exchange rate).

The plaintiff, Antonia Joschko, accuses him of negligently causing a head-on collision on December 29, 2014 near Henties Bay.

The German Joschko family was on a trip in Namibia, and Antonia was the sole survivor of the accident. She lost her father Markus Joschko (48), her mother Stephanie Schermuck-Joschko (49) and sister Alexandra Joschko (19).

Dippenaar, who was the driver of a white FJ Cruiser on the day, survived the accident with severe injuries, while three Namibians also perished: Dinah Pretorius (30), Charlene Schoombee (24) and Jan-Carel Horn (27).

Apart from the civil action, Dippenaar is charged with six counts of murder, reckless or negligent driving, fraud and driving without a valid driver's licence.

The criminal matter before the regional court in Swakopmund is set to resume on 18 October. Here he is represented by Petrie Theron and Advocate Louis Botes.

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