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Body of drowned man still not recovered

“It has been five days since the incident happened and we have still not recovered his body. I feel terrible.”

These are the words of Manfred Marungu (35), one of the brothers of Michael Shingereshu (40) who drowned in the Orange River near Aussenkehr in southern Namibia on 15 July.

Shingereshu, who was unemployed for several months, went with his girlfriend to allegedly collect /gagapelle, which was used to feed livestock, from a tree in the river.

According to Marungu, they went there every day since 10 July to collect it and sell it to farmers in order to put bread on the table.

Shingereshu was a nature conservation officer, but lost his job several months ago.

On the day the incident happened, Shingereshu left his girlfriend on the bank of the river and attempted to transport the /gagapelle with a canoe about 7km away, says Marungu.

However, on his way, the canoe capsized, causing him to fall into the water and drown.

This was confirmed by the //Kharas regional crime investigation coordinator, deputy commissioner Nicodemus Mbango.

Divers from South Africa have been searching for the body since Wednesday, says Marungu.

“When his (Shingereshu) girlfriend called to inform me about the incident, I felt terrible. At first, I thought it was a joke, but later I realised she was serious when she started crying. I then ran to make a statement at the police, ” he said.

Marungu has shared a house with Shingereshu since he was Grade 5.

They grew up at Sipando village, 111km from Rundu, but relocated to Aussenkehr several years ago in search of employment opportunities.

Marungu is employed at a farm.

“The house feels empty without him, the house always reminds me of him,” he said.

He added that Shingereshu holds a special place in his heart.

“He was the closest among my other brothers. We used to play, talk and make jokes together. He was my confidant,” he said.

Shingereshu, who was also called Muyambo, was known to be a friendly and cheerful man, Marungu said.

“Everyone who knows him, knew he was a good man who could always associate with anyone. He could play with children and be like them. He could talk to grown-ups and behave like a grown-up. He liked to laugh and disliked expressing anger. Everyone used to like him,” he added.

Shingereshu’s girlfriend, Imelda Kaveto (32), on Tuesday she was devastated that the body has not yet been recovered.

Kaveto is employed at a grape company.

She lived with Marungu, Shingereshu and their two children.

She has been dating Shingereshu for about 7 years.

“He was like my husband, my hero, my friend. We did everything together even when he got lost in the water, we were there together struggling for his life,” she said.