Accident leads to legal row

17 May 2021 | Justice

Marc Springer



WINDHOEK

An accident involving a light lorry, a truck and a train has led to a High Court case, where the involved parties are suing each other for damages.

The two plaintiffs are Bulk Mining Explosives and TransNamib, who are suing Cecil Nurse Namibia for N$2.05 million and N$1.06 million respectively.

They argue that Cecil Nurse employee Gideon Iileka, who is cited as a respondent, caused the accident, which occurred on 11 June 2019 on the B1-road between Karibib and Usakos near the railway station at Kranzberg.

As a result, he and/or Cecil Nurse were legally responsible for the fact that a truck belonging to Bulk Explosives and driven by its employee Petta Beukes was forced off the road and crashed through a bridge, falling onto the railway tracks below where a train collided with it.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendants were liable for the damages caused in the process in that Iileka didn‘t keep a proper lookout on the road, failed to apply his brakes at all or on time or was travelling at an excessive speed.

Burst tyre

In their plea, the defendants disputed being liable for the accident and the resulting damages. They argued that Iileka could not have avoided the accident, because a tyre on his lorry had burst, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

Beukes, on the other hand, could have avoided the collision had he applied his brakes or taken evasive action on time, they said.

Meanwhile, Bulk Mining had neglected to maintain its truck, leading to the tyres being completely worn out, they claimed.

As such, Beukes and/or Bulk Mining was legally responsible for the accident and liable to pay Cecil Nurse the market value of its irreparably damaged lorry, to the tune of N$170 000, the defendants said.

The matter was referred to mediation by judge Orben Sibeya. Suené du Plooy is acting for the plaintiffs, while Francois Erasmus is representing the defendants.