Oncologist tusk case postponed

Counsel still not ready

20 June 2019 | Justice

The matter involving renowned Windhoek oncologist Dr Thomas John Brown van Wyk, who was arrested for the alleged illegal possession of three elephant tusks, has been postponed to next Wednesday.

Van Wyk, 44, appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday for a section 119 plea in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act. This section allows the court to decide whether a matter will be heard in a lower or higher court, depending on the possible punishment that may be meted out.

Van Wyk appeared on a charge of possession of controlled wildlife products, in contravention of the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act.

Prosecutor Precious Matali informed the court yesterday that disclosure had not been agreed to between the prosecution and defence, and that the matter had to be postponed again for this reason.

This is after both parties initially agreed that evidence would be disclosed during Van Wyk's previous court appearance on 5 June.

Magistrate Vanessa Stanely postponed the matter to 26 June for plea.

A police intelligence investigation led to Van Wyk's arrest after his Auas View house was searched at the end of January.

The investigation and search occurred after a tip-off.

Three elephant tusks were allegedly found in his house for which Van Wyk apparently did not have permits.

Van Wyk was at work during the search and was not arrested that day. He handed himself over after consultations with his lawyer, appeared in court and was granted bail.

An agreement was reached between the defence and the State beforehand that bail would be set at N$50 000. Since Van Wyk's first court appearance his bail conditions have also been slightly relaxed.

ELLANIE SMIT