‘she Was My Only Shoulder To Cry On’

14 Nov 2018 17:10pm
By Maggy Thomas and Mathias Nanghanda
WINDHOEK, 14 NOV (NAMPA) – “She was my only shoulder to cry on. Now that she is gone, we don’t have any shoulder to lean on.”
These are the words of Simon Gotlieb in reference to his mother, Magnaem Andreas, 63, who is believed to be one of the victims of a recent motor vehicle accident between Otjiwarongo and Otavi.
The accident occurred after a minibus, with 17 people on board, collided head-on with an oncoming pick-up while attempting to overtake another vehicle 15 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo.
The impact was so severe that the seven deceased people - five adults and two children - were burnt beyond recognition in the incident. Andreas’ body is yet to be identified.
Two other people succumbed to their injuries later on, bringing the number of deceased persons to nine.
Gotlieb not only lost his mother in the tragic accident, but also his 20-year-old sister, Rauna Petrus and his one-year-old niece, Ndapandula Kaukungwa.
“She encouraged us to study hard and become somebody in society. She was a caring mother and a loving person. She showed us the right direction in life and never let us down. She always endeavoured to get us a better education,” he said while describing his late mother.
It was Andreas’ knack for instilling a sense of performance in her children that had her travelling to Windhoek two weeks ago to attend one of her daughters’ graduation ceremony. It was on her way back to her native Eloolo village in the Oshana Region that the tragic accident occurred.
Little did she know that this would be the last graduation she would attend - not living a day longer to witness her daughter put her degree into practice. Worse, for the family to lose another daughter and grandchild in the same horrific crash.
“It is very difficult to cope with such news. We lost three of our loved ones and it is hard to believe that they are gone forever,” a sombre Gotlieb said.
“It is something that keeps us up through the night. It is not easy to handle, especially when three people are involved,” he said, fighting back tears.
He indicated that it will be more difficult for his young siblings to cope without their mother as they always relied on her after the death of their father many years ago.
“My mother was the only pillar. Right now we have nobody we can lean on,” he repeated.
The Namibian Police earlier said four DNA tests have thus far been conducted to identify the deceased people.
Late Andreas’ daughter Lovis Nankele told this agency that they are still in shock.
She told Nampa from her late mother’s homestead that their burials are not yet determined as they await the completion of the DNA analysis. This process is said to take about three months.
Relatives who came to the mourning after the passing of the three have returned to their respective places to wait for the announcement of the burial date, Nankele said.
“It is costly to keep people here for a long time, providing them with food and drink,” said Nankele.
The family is requesting the government to speed up the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis process, so that the people who are devastated by the tragic death of their family members are not left mourning for such a longer period.
The deceased old woman is described as one of the people that used to accommodate many people, be it family members or outsiders and offer them necessary assistance and support, thus leaving a gap difficult to be filled by somebody else.
Her family members are calling on law enforcement agencies to be on the alert for bus drivers speeding on the road, ignoring road signs, traffic rules and driving without resting.
Lavina Hauwanga, niece to the late Andreas, and David Shilongo, Andreas’ cousin, also expressed concern over the manner of driving of some of the road users who, they said, are the reason accidents happen because of their ignorance towards road rules and regulations.
The festive season is approaching and one life lost, is one too many.