Dippenaar murder trial resumes

13 July 2017 | Justice

Jessica Botes

Harrowing details of an accident which claimed the lives of six people in December 2014 emerged in the Swakopmund regional court yesterday as one of the survivors delivered her testimony.

The 19-year-old Antonia (Toni) Klara Joschko was called to the stand as a state witness in the trial against Jandré Dippenaar. The accused faces six counts of murder, reckless and negligent driving, fraud and non-possession of a valid driver's licence.

Antonia’s entire family perished in the accident which occurred 12 km outside Henties Bay towards Swakopmund on 29 December 2014. She recalled the moments just after the accident when she held the hand of her sister, Alexandra Marlene, as bystanders tried to free her from the wreckage.

“I took her (Alexandra) hand and told her that we will make it. However, the hand did not feel as though it was a living hand,” she testified.

Antonia was on tour in Namibia with her father, Walter Helmut (48), mother, Stephanie Dorothea Schemick (49), and Alexandra Marlene (19), when the car they were travelling in collided with Dippenaar's vehicle, which had four occupants.

Dippenaar’s passengers, Dinah Pretorius (30), Charlene Schoombe (24) and JC Horn (27) were all killed in the accident.

Antonia testified that her parents had decided the family should travel to Namibia to celebrate Stephanie’s 50th birthday as well as their 20th wedding anniversary. When the Joschko’s arrived in Windhoek they decided to rent a Ford Ranger to take a self-drive safari.

On the morning of the accident, Antonia testified that they left Palmwag Lodge and drove towards Cape Cross where they had lunch and stopped to view the seals.

“On our way to Swakopmund, I was speaking to my sister who was sitting on the back passenger seats with me. I was sitting behind my father who was driving and my mother was sitting in the front passenger seat.

“As usual my father was driving very considerately and carefully as the road was quite busy. I was still talking to my sister as we were driving up a small hill and a big white vehicle suddenly appeared right in front of our car,” she said.

According to Antonia her father had no time to react to avoid a collision as Dippenaar’s vehicle was too close and was travelling at a very high speed.

“I remember seeing my father trying to turn the steering wheel to the right just as the collision occurred. I believe this saved my life as it concentrated the point of impact furthest away from me.

“The car turned over, and until it came to a stop, I couldn’t make out where I was. I did not lose consciousness but I felt severed pain in my stomach. I was still hanging from my safety belt and I succeeded in freeing myself by first climbing out of the top and then the bottom of the belt. As I was kneeling on the roof of the car, I tried to open the door but I couldn’t as my arms were paining,” she said.

Antonia managed to attract a bystander’s attention that smashed the car’s window and pulled her out. As she was placed on the ground, Antonia testified, she saw the accused lying close to her with a big wound in his leg.

“I tried to move to see what was happening to my family but the pain was too severe and as soon as I moved my head I felt like I was going to lose consciousness, which I was trying to avoid,” she said.

Dippenaar pleaded not guilty to all the charges last year, saying that he could not remember anything from the accident and that he had done nothing to intentionally cause the accident or the deaths.

The trial was set down until Friday by magistrate Gaynor Poulton. Advocate Louis Botes represents the accused and prosecutor Faith Chipepera is representing the state.

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