Paramedic's body not released to family after three weeks

2015-09-07 20:11
Debris after the Cessna 441 Conquest V5-NRS plane crashed in the Plattekloof area. (File, EMS)

Debris after the Cessna 441 Conquest V5-NRS plane crashed in the Plattekloof area. (File, EMS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – The family of a Namibian paramedic has not received his body from South African authorities three weeks after he was killed in a plane crash in Cape Town.

To add to their distress, they have not been given a death certificate. His two phones were still ringing, despite the family being told they were destroyed in the crash, and someone has been active on his Facebook account and Skype profiles.

Alfred Ward, 24, was one of four people killed when an E-Med Rescue 24 plane crashed on the Maastricht Wine Farm in Durbanville on Sunday, August 16.

"Sunday when he passed away, I tried phoning him and it was off. Someone charged it and it was ringing yesterday [Sunday]," his girlfriend Tarryn Klaaste said.

"We don’t even have a death certificate. We can’t close his account. Everything is just standing. Our hands are cut off."

On Monday, Ward’s father Terence received an e-mail from Captain Marius Joubert of the Western Cape’s forensic science laboratory, apologising for the delay.

Joubert told him the DNA test results would be available this week; the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had appointed a new investigator to the case and they would receive an update on Tuesday.

"I want my son’s body back so we can bury him. We can’t move on. My wife went back to work, but we are struggling. This thing is hanging over us. We can’t plan."

He questioned why the body had not been released, saying his son had no bearing on the investigation, especially since he had not been flying the plane.

Last week, authorities had tried questioning him about his son’s mental stability, the implication being he may have had something to do with the crash.

"Are they sick?" Ward said. 

He said his son’s Skype status until recently was "out of town". On Monday it had been changed to "not available". They had no idea who was using his phone.

The lack of a death certificate meant they had not been able to close his accounts, which were going into arrears. Ward said he had to make his son’s car payment to stop it from being repossessed.

Ward, Gabriel Le Roux, 80, his daughter Charmaine Koortzen, 49, and pilots Steven Naude, 53, and Amore Espag, 23, were killed in the crash. The plane was en route from Oranjemund in Namibia to take Le Roux to a Cape Town hospital after he sustained a head injury in a fall.

IOL reported the plane had been instructed to fly in a holding pattern due to a radar problem. It quoted Air Traffic and Navigation Services saying there had been a "minor technical glitch" which affected departures and arrivals.

CAA spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    namibia  |  cape town  |  air crashes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.