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Home / ‘My son was a go-getter’ …family heartbroken as NDF aspirant dies after fitness test

‘My son was a go-getter’ …family heartbroken as NDF aspirant dies after fitness test

2022-08-25  Aletta Shikololo

‘My son was a go-getter’ …family heartbroken as NDF aspirant dies after fitness test

ONGWEDIVA – The family of Efraim Weyulu Ndeshaanya, who died yesterday after a fitness test for cadet soldiers, is struggling to come to terms with the demise of their son.

The 24-year-old from Onawa-Epalala died at the Eenhana hospital after he completed the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) fitness test in Eenhana.

NDF spokesperson Petrus Shilumbu confirmed the death to New Era, describing it as a sad incident. “The young man completed the test, but later collapsed and was transported to hospital, just for us to be told he passed on,” he said.

After he collapsed, he was rushed to hospital by members of the army, who left him there.

“He called his brother, who went to check on him. He was discharged, but the brother felt he was too weak to leave the hospital, so they stayed,” said a close family member, adding that he died in the early morning hours of yesterday in his brother’s arms.

His father, Petrus Ndeshaanya, is a retired NDF member, and expressed disappointment with how the NDF handled the matter. He said until late Wednesday afternoon, they had not received a visit from anyone from the NDF.  

“We are hurting, and have been robbed of a brave young man,” said the grieving father.

The deceased recently graduated as a nurse from the Welwitschia medical school.

Ndeshaanya described his son as a go-getter, who would get what he wanted if he put his mind to it.

Also, the deceased was to celebrate his brother’s wedding today.

Out of 40 000 applicants who vied for recruitment, 3 000 were shortlisted. However, only 1 500 will make the final cut.

The shortlisted candidates reported on Tuesday for written and physical fitness tests (including a 2.4km run in 13 minutes, plus 43 sit-ups and 30 push-ups for men) at various centres countrywide.

The successful recruits will undergo training at the Okahandja Military School.

Speaking to New Era, Efraim’s brother Frans Ndeshaanya said upon his arrival at the hospital, he found his brother alone.

“He was already discharged, but I noticed he did not look good. So, I asked the nurses to attend to him as his condition had been deteriorating. During the early morning hours, my brother sadly passed away in my arms,” he added.

He described him as a hardworking village boy.

“He loved taking up any opportunities that he got. He and his twin brother were inseparable. They both applied for NDF training, but his brother was not succesful. He left for the fitness test with so much determination, hoping that he would emerge successfully. Unfortunately, God had other plans for him,” he said.

Shilumbu informed New Era that further information would be provided as soon as the autopsy is out.

“I can’t comment further. Let’s wait for the autopsy,” he added.

Medical professionals contacted by New Era did not want to comment, saying it would be irresponsible to speculate. The aspirant soldier could have suffered from an undiagnosed condition, and the training might not have been the cause of his death, they reasoned. -

2022-08-25  Aletta Shikololo

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