Dippenaar convicted on six counts of murder

Niël Terblanché

“I have been waiting for a long time. Justice was served.”

These were the words of Antonia Joschko on the steps of the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court after Jandre Dippenaar was found guilty of, amongst others, six counts of murder.

Besides Dippenaar, she is the only other survivor of a horrific car crash between a Ford Ranger and a Toyota FJ Cruiser near Henties Bay on 29 December 2014.

The crash claimed the lives of her father, mother and sister, along with the lives of three young Namibians.

The people who died in the horrific crash were German nationals Walter Helmut Joschko, Stephanie Dorothea Schemick Joschko, and Alexandra Marlene Joschko, who were passengers in the Ford Ranger. Dinah Pretorius, from Gobabis, Charlene Schoombee, from Windhoek and JC Horn were passengers in the FJ Cruiser that was driven by Dippenaar on that fateful day.

Magistrate Gaynor Paulton read her judgment in front of a court packed with members of both the victims’ families and Dippenaar’s family.

“The State in this case proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person knew full well that his actions on that tragic day could have had deadly consequences and that he therefore guilty of murder on the grounds of Dolus Eventualis,” Magistrate Paulton stated in her judgement.

Dippenaar, while testifying in his defence, informed the court that he is a racing driver who participates regularly in oval track racing and timed rally racing.

“Because the accused person is such an expert driver, he should have known that any form of recklessness could have serious or even deadly consequences,” Magistrate Paulton argued.

She found that the convicted person drove recklessly, which was immaterial to the consequences despite his expertise.

She stated that he continued driving recklessly even after he was warned by a traffic official in Swakopmund of the possible dangers of his behaviour.

“A collision could have occurred at any time and it is inferred that with all his experience as a driver, he still reconciled himself with all consequences,” she argued.

Before pronouncing the guilty verdict on six counts of murder, Magistrate Paulton also found Dippenaar guilty on a count of reckless and negligent driving and a count of driving a vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

The reading of the judgment took a long time. After pronouncing the guilty verdict, Magistrate Paulton inquired from the state prosecutor and Dippenaar’s legal representative if they were ready to continue with arguments in mitigation and aggravation of the convicted person’s sentencing.

Both councils asked for a postponement in order to prepare their arguments, and the presiding magistrate postponed the matter until Tuesday 25 June.

The State Prosecutor requested the court to cancel the convicted person’s bail and stated that he should henceforth be incarnated in police custody until he is sentenced.

Dippenaar’s legal representative requested the court that the bail conditions of Dippenaar be extended until sentencing.

Magistrate Paulton, however, cancelled the bail conditions of Dippenaar and stated that, in light of the seriousness of the charges on which he was convicted, his relative freedom could no longer be condoned.

Dippenaar after greeting his family and girlfriend, was placed in the back of a police van and transported to the holding cells of the Namibian Police in Walvis Bay, where he will be incarcerated until his sentencing is complete in the Swakopmund Regional Court on Tuesday.

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