13 March 2018

Namibia: Warrant of Arrest for Doctor

The doctor captured on video zigzagging across the busy Otjiwarongo and Okahandja B1 road last week has an outstanding warrant of arrest issued by the Karibib Magistrate's Court after he failed to appear and answer to a culpable homicide case.

Police spokesperson Edwin Kanguatjivi yesterday said the doctor, Yeukai Chiradza, who is based at Otjiwarongo, was involved in an accident which killed three family members along the Karibib-Usakos road on 12 July 2015.

Those who died are Welmine Louw, her son Konrad Louw, and Welmine's sister, Alet Junius.

Kanguatjivi confirmed that a warrant of arrest for Chiradza was issued on 8 March 2018 after he failed to appear in court on 7 and 8 March 2018.

Chiradza was video-recorded on the day he was supposed to appear in court, and the health ministry has since sent the doctor on indefinite leave pending investigations, and considering "previous incidents concerning substance abuse".

The doctor was not arrested for Thursday's incident as the breathalyser test was negative.

Police are reportedly obtaining statements from witnesses to formulate a charge against him.

Kanguatjivi said while Chiradza made a first court appearance in 2015 on the culpable homicide charges, a warrant of arrest was issued after he absconded from the hearing last week.

According to a statement made to the police by him in 2015, and seen by The Namibian, Chiradza stated that he was driving from Otjiwarongo in a hired silver Polo sedan.

He said while he was driving between Karibib and Usakos, he heard the right tyre of his car burst, which caused him to go onto the right side of the road where there was oncoming traffic.

An official indicated in an accident report document that Chiradza appeared "neat, normal and sober". One of the survivors wrote in a police statement that Chiradza was driving in their lane while he was supposed to travel in the other lane.

The daugther of the late Welmine, Norelle Louw, was in tears yesterday, saying she has been asking herself for the past two years and eight months why her "mom is gone".

"My heart is broken, and I am in immense pain. I now know why my mother, brother and aunt died after I saw the video," Louw said.

She said that she wants the nation to know that Chiradza does not deserve to drive on Namibian roads.

Although the doctor claimed in his testimony that he had a tyre burst, Louw said they are challenging that claim as witnesses said there was no tyre burst, and that the doctor was driving into oncoming traffic.

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