Family in pain as April crash victims still unidentified

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-The family of the driver and three other relatives who burnt beyond recognition following a tragic accident in April have not yet found closure, as they are still awaiting the results of DNA tests performed on the remains of the victims.

Iileka Amukwa, 28, the son of the driver Onesmus Matti, who perished in the accident that claimed 10 lives, said his mother is distressed and finding it hard to accept that her family members are yet to be laid to rest so that they find closure.

The accident happened on April 30 between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo when an Iveco minibus, travelling from the north and carrying 24 occupants, collided with a Nissan NP 200 bakkie travelling in the opposite direction.

Those who perished in the accident were Matti, a father of 27 children, and his three grandchildren, who were travelling from Elondo village in Uukwaluudhi to Okahandja for the school holidays.

Matti’s son, Amukwa, said they have grown weary over the past two months from going to the mortuary and being told to wait.
“We were there last month. They gave us 90 days to wait for DNA results as they were yet not done,” said Amukwa.
Amukwa said his mother is not well and is in grief. “You will just hear that she was taken to the hospital in the evening because she had difficulties breathing,” stated Amukwa, who lives in Windhoek.
Amukwa said relatives and neighbours had gathered at his homestead at Uukwaluudhi upon hearing about the passing of his father and three grandchildren, but later dispersed when the bodies were not released for burial.
“Mourners have gone back to their houses. If the remains come we will just bury as we have already bought the four coffins.”
Nampol spokesperson Pendukeni Haikali told New Era they are not yet done with DNA testing. She said the waiting period for a DNA test is 120 days for the whole process to be completed.
Haikali said they started counting from April 30 for the DNA tests to be done but of course depending on whether the police received all the necessary exhibits they requested.

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