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Tributes pour in for forensic stalwart

2022-06-24  Paheja Siririka

Tributes pour in for forensic stalwart

Those who worked closely with forensic pathologist Dr Paul Stefan Ludik have lauded him as “one of the greatest”, if not the only pioneer in Namibia’s forensic fraternity, saying he played an instrumental role in the establishment of the local forensic science institute. 

The 61-year-old Ludik passed away this week after an illness.

He was the former director of the Namibian Police’s Forensic Science Institute (NPFSI).

“Ludik’s demise is a great loss to the Namibian police and the entire forensic department. He was the founding pioneer since its inception, and was the brain behind the creation and capacity-building of the institute. His legacy continues,” police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga reacted yesterday. He added that Ludik was the best scientist the country has had, and amplified the standard of forensic science and medicine.  “He is the hero who made history in practising laboratory science, and I am fortunate to have worked closely with him, and will never forget his immense contribution,” stated Ndeitunga. Police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi told New Era that Ludik was an expert on forensic science, and played an instrumental role in the field. 

“He retired, and was retained because of the expertise he had. We have lost a genius, a mentor, an educator, not only to the force, but the whole Namibia,” Shikwambi said. 

She continued that the forensic team has lost a giant, and she was lost for words to adequately share and further elaborate on her working experience as well as the role he played in the Namibian forensic fraternity. Leader of the official opposition McHenry Venaani took to Twitter to convey his message of condolences, expressing that the loss of this giant is felt, and he will be dearly missed. “I am deeply anguished to hear the sad news of the passing of our nation’s foremost forensic pathologist Dr Paul Ludik. We commiserate with his loved ones and the forensic fraternity. Dr Ludik’s professionalism and kindness have endeared him a respectable name amongst our people.”

He was born Paul Stefan Ludik on 30 August 1960 in Cape Town, South Africa as a son of Jan Lodewyk and Hugolina Amos (Basson) Ludik. In 1982, he obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of Potchefstroom in South Africa. He went to further obtain a qualification of Doctor of Pharmacy at the same institution.

Ludik was a Research Assistant at the Unit for Catechol Aminergic Studies at Potchefstroom from 1982 to 1984, while being a pharmacy manager as well. He later went on to become a hospital pharmacist at Keetmanshoop from 1984 to 1986. Ludik was also a senior hospital pharmacist in Windhoek from 1986 to 1990. From independence until 1995, he was chief of Clinical and Specialised Superior vena cava syndrome until taking over the role of director: National Forensic Science Institute, Namibia. 

Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) is a group of problems caused when blood flow through the superior vena cava (SVC) is slowed down. The SVC is a large vein that drains blood away from the head, neck, arms and upper chest and into the heart.

Ludik is survived by wife Susan Johanna Lambert and children Stefan and Hugo.

2022-06-24  Paheja Siririka

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