Families of cops who died in chopper crash demand report

Government is headed for a showdown with the families of three police officers who died in a helicopter crash on April 20, 2014 as they are demanding a full report of what caused the fatal incident.

The state attorney on the other hand is maintaining that the report is confidential and thus cannot be availed to the families.

Superintendent Keokeditswe Sobatha, Assistant Superintendent Shepherd Ntobedzi and Inspector Ricardo Modiri Mabotho died in the fatal crash when the chopper they were flying in crashed in the Okavango Delta.

It is believed that the crash was due to negligence as the officers were expected to perform their duty despite the unfavourable weather conditions.

The case was heard this Wednesday at the Lobatse High Court before Justice Abednico Tafa as families, through their attorney Malcolm Thabo Gobhoza of Duma Boko and Company argued that they want a full report not a brief statement that was issued by the police after the incident.

“If the government is allowed to suppress the information, the families will never find closure. We simply want what will amount to a report,” he said.

On the other hand Charles Gulubane, representing the state argued that common law prohibits the production of the report.

“The report is confidential, there is no certainty in this particular application and investigations clearly cannot be disclosed,” he said adding if the report is released it might cause international havoc.

He however quickly withdrew the statement.

Representing the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, Sankari Reddy of Book Binder Business Law said they have information which will only be availed to the Ministry of Justice, Defence and Security.

The case is set to continue on April 14.

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