Croatian police wrap up Safmarine cadet death probe

Steve Matthews | LLOYD’S LIST

CROATIAN police have concluded their investigation into the death of 19-year-old South African cadet Akhona Geveza, whose body was found in the sea off Rijeka on June 24 after she went overboard from the Safmarine containership Safmarine Kariba.

The Director of Police Administration for Primorsko-goranska region told Lloyd’s List that it had concluded a criminal investigation into the death and submitted a report to the State Attorney’s office in Rijeka. It will decide on what, if any, further action will be taken. However, he did not reveal the findings of the investigation or the content of the report. He confirmed that no police forces from any other countries were involved in the investigation.

Suspicions were aroused when it was revealed that Ms Geveza had made allegations of rape against the vessel’s Ukrainian chief officer. She was onboard the Safmarine vessel as part of a scheme enabling cadets of South Africa’s National Ports Authority Transnet to gain seagoing experience. The incident prompted further allegations by Transnet cadets of sexual harassment onboard vessels.

Transnet spokesman John Ddudlu said: “Transnet is currently reviewing the cadet maritime programme and, through its employee assistance programme, has appointed independent service providers to conduct one-on-one interviews with all the cadets who have gone through the programme. We will use their experiences to determine appropriate steps to be taken to prevent similar incidents in future. In addition, the conversations will assure cadets at sea that they have access to support should they experience any difficulties. The review is ongoing.”

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