Eveline de Klerk
Family, friends and mourners from all walks of life bade farewell to the late Shannon Wasserfall in an emotional ceremony on Saturday at the Kuisebmond cemetery.
Sadness could be felt throughout the proceedings, as her distraught parents, siblings and loved ones struggled to hold back tears while paying their final respects to their daughter whose life was abruptly cut short.
“I was looking forward to her graduation, to slaughter a cow at her wedding and be part of every milestone of her life. Never did I imagine that I would stand in front of her casket,”
Shannon’s godfather Erongo governor Neville Andre said while paying tribute to the 22-year-old during a church service in the Kuisebmond Roman Catholic Church. Andre then appealed to residents to confront the darkness that is threatening the community so that they can see the true gift of love and caring.
He added the death of his goddaughter has cast a dark cloud over Namibia, hence he is praying that everyone touched by her death will find peace and healing. “Our hearts are broken but grateful that you were part of us,” Andre said.
Parliamentarian Elma Dienda, who also attended the burial, said losing a child is one of the deepest pains any parent can go through.
“I know the pain that you are going through. I also lost my daughter six months ago, but her death will not be in vain. Namibia needs prayers and your daughter is not here today to remind us that, as mothers we should not only pray for our children but for everyone,” Dienda said.
Shannon’s uncle Raymond Wasserfall, during the church service, also said as a family they have forgiven those responsible for her death.
“We are broken but want to move on as a family. We forgave them but justice must take its course,” he said. According to Wasserfall, they prayed for her to be found and God has given her back to them, even though she was lifeless.
“Hence our families cannot be angry. We feel bad about all this, but those that were responsible are forgiven. Unfortunately, it is up to the law now, but we forgave you,” he said.
Shannon was born in 1998 in Walvis Bay.
She started school at Tutaleni Primary School at the harbour town and later moved to Windhoek where she completed grade 12 at the David Bezuidenhout Secondary School.
After matriculating with flying colours in 2016, Shannon got a scholarship to study in Canada and was to start her tertiary education in 2017.
It was during this time that she fell pregnant and so she had to put her studies on hold.
Last year in December, she returned to Walvis Bay to visit her mother, Poppie Wasserfall.
She had planned to leave for Windhoek earlier this year but could not do so due to the Covid-19 lockdown that was imposed at the harbour town to curb the spread of the virus.
On 10 April, she was reported missing.
Tragically, her remains were found almost six months later on 6 October in a shallow grave at Walvis Bay. Her close friend Azaan Madisia and half-brother Steven Junior Mulundu are the only two people charged and arrested in connection with her death thus far. They remain in police custody after their case was postponed to early December.