ONATHINGE– The family of the late Gerhard Simeon (69), who with his daughter and grandchildren died in an accident, is in limbo on how to bury their dead.
They are simply complying with government’s guidelines and regulations, which prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The family is, however, undecided on whether to bury on Saturday or Sunday. Thus, they feel it will be difficult to comply with the directive and restrict mourners and sympathisers to pay their last respect to their loved one, considering it will be a burial of four at once.
They, however, indicated their full understanding of the Covid-19 situation and the rules put in place – to which they have accepted and are adhering to. This could be attested to when New Era visited the family in Onathinge on Wednesday, where containers of sanitisers at the entrance and inside the house were observed. In the same manner, they were practising social distancing. “Since news broke last week, many mourners have been flocking to the house to join other mourners and express their condolences. It is already difficult to contain and regulate that; culturally, you cannot restrict anyone from coming. Our biggest fear and challenge are on the day of the burial; we foresee masses attending, which in its form will be a violation of the government directive. But it is beyond our control,” said family elder Meme Frieda Uushona. The accident happened 35 kilometres from Okahandja on Thursday evening when the vehicle they were travelling in collided head-on with a Combi. The deceased are daughter Albertina Simson (27), and grandchildren Erassy Ihinda (4) and Helena Shivute (8). The Combi driver was identified as Junias Nande (32), while the only survivor, a grandchild of Simson, is still fighting for his life in ICU. “These are four people with many family roots, of which these families all want to pay their last respect, so how do you expect only 10 people to be in attendance?” questioned Uushona.
King of Ondonga Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo paid his tribute to the grief-stricken family on Wednesday, where he encouraged the family to remain strong. “In God’s hands, everything is easy. We just have to pray, stay strong and accept what happened,” encouraged Nangolo.