ACC nabs three in drunk driving case

In what appears to be an elaborate scam to protect a driver over the legal limit, another allegedly took his breathalyser test, the ACC says.

04 February 2019 | Crime

The Anti-Corruption Commission has announced that it has arrested two out of three suspects, both of whom have appeared in the Swakopmund Magistrate's Court on varying charges relating to corruption. André Plaatjie, 49, manager of corporate services at the Swakopmund municipality, and Epenetus Tertius du Toit, 43, self-employed, were arrested and charged on 30 January and appeared the following day. They were granted bail of N$3 000 each. A third suspect, listed as the first accused, is yet to be arrested and charged in Katima Mulilo and the matter will then be transferred to the Swakopmund Regional Court.

On 25 June 2016, there was an accident in Daniel Kamho Street in Swakopmund. Plaatjie was not tested for alcohol by breathalyser by the attending traffic officer (accused one). Du Toit had in fact submitted to an alcohol test and those results were attributed to Plaatjie. According to the commission, the accident, which took place at around 22:45, involved a family in a Nissan Navara, and a maroon Audi carrying Plaatjie.

The latter was apparently travelling at high speed. The driver of the bakkie, Rainer Becker, along with his family, all sustained minor injuries. The commission said that Becker, when he got out of his vehicle, immediately recognised Plaatjie.

“A few minutes after the accident a female traffic officer arrived at the accident scene with a municipal traffic vehicle and went straight to Plaatjie. She never spoke to Becker neither did she ascertain the nature and extent of their injuries or damage to their vehicle, nor did she conduct a breathalyser test on the driver. She took Plaatjie, and a female person who was with him in the vehicle, from the scene by placing them in her official vehicle and drove away from the accident scene.”

The commission says Plaatjie's alcohol levels were tested at the municipal office with a reading of 0.9mg/1 000ml. At this time, he was accompanied by Du Toit. However, an error on the documentation of that test caused the print-out to be torn up. Plaatjie's particulars were then again submitted onto the machine and then Du Toit was tested and gave a zero alcohol reading. The traffic officer listed as accused one, tested Du Toit and not Plaatjie in the second test.

“All the relevant documents (the new operator affidavits and breathalyser result) were given to the first accused in order to arrest Plaatjie since she was the first officer on the accident scene. She refused to arrest Plaatjie and she apparently said that she will take responsibility for any consequences that may arise.”

The commission says she then made an entry in the occurrence book, indicating that Plaatjie tested 0.10mg/1 000ml on a machine, but listed another testing device, instead of writing the correct reading which was 0.90mg/1 000ml on the correct device. The 0.10mg result she recorded for that particular device could also not be found on that device, the commission said.

The matter has been remanded to 1 April this year.



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