Body floats past wedding party

2011-02-01 10:14

Pretoria - As a couple happily posed for wedding photographs next to the Vaal River on Saturday, shocked wedding guests spotted a body drifting in the river behind them.

The 105 guests of the bridal couple, Annelize Rostron, 26, and her husband Sheldon, 26, were waiting at the reception area at the Vaal de Sioleh resort at 17:00 while the couple were posing for photographs on the river bank.

"We were still smiling sweetly (at the photographer) when we suddenly heard the bridesmaids screaming," said Annelize.

The guests all ran to the river bank and saw the badly decomposed body.

"The body floated very quickly past us and there was an emergency worker in a canoe behind it. The body looked like a doll to me," she said.

Missing body

The body was that of Marie Goosen, 67, who drowned last Monday. She was pruning a tree on the river bank in front of her house at Villa Jumanji in Parys when she presumably slipped and fell in the water. Her green pruning shears were found on the river bank, near sliding marks on the ground.

Vaal de Sioleh is about 16km outside the town.

Goosen's husband, Gert, left home at about 16:00 and when he got back at about 18:00, she was gone.

Several rescue workers and police divers from the area were looking for Goosen in the river.

Police spokesperson Maselela Langa said people next to the river had let Parys police know on Saturday afternoon that the body was seen about 8km down the river from Goosen's house.

When they arrived, the body had floated about 8km further down, and they went into the water with a canoe and rubber duck, reported Tom de Wet.

Body drifted 20km

Her body was finally retrieved from the river at about 18:00, about 20km from her home, close to the hills in the Vredefort region.

Her son Johan Claassen, 48, a pharmacist in Parys, said his mother was discharged from hospital about two weeks ago after surgery to repair damage from a previous operation.

"Four years ago, a dentist broke off a drill bit in her jaw during an operation and it caused nerve damage.

"After the recent operation she was able to eat properly for the first time in years."

Goosen is also survived by a daughter, Zita de Lange, 40, and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday.

  • Melly30 - 2011-02-01 10:29

    Shame... What a way to go!! RIP

  • Styvies - 2011-02-01 11:06

    If the majority of comments following such an article are sick attempts at some sort of perverted humour, then I really have to question News24's decision to open comments for all stories... A woman, wife and mother has DIED. This is no time to be making sick jokes. RIP

      maxinemeyer99 - 2011-02-01 11:24

      I completely agree with you! its terribly sad for the family, and i doubt the bride and groom wanted such a tragedy to be the main focus of there big day! condolences to the family

      sean - 2011-02-01 11:35

      Sorry MOM

      Maryna123 - 2011-02-02 08:19

      Styvies - agree with you 110%. Death is not something to be joking about, but unfortunately some people try to cope with death by joking about it. There were even sick jokes about the World Trade Centre. News24 is the guilty one here, the comments option should have been disabled.

      Viv - 2011-02-02 08:31

      Styvies - I agree that death is not something to be joked about but like some has said before some people cope with death differently to how you may deal with it. I think it is very uncalled for for you to make your statement that will only encourage people to be callous. What makes you the News24 Comment Monitor? People are allowed to their opinions no matter how sick they are. And you commenting about the sick attempt before any comments like this were made is just silly. Really live and let live. Dont open yourself to lambasting by people on a stupid News24 column.

      adrianjoebert - 2011-02-02 09:01

      People are not entitled to their opinions, especially if they are sick opinions. I know it's a bit off-topic, but read this interesting article at The Times, titled, "Sorry, but you are not entitled to your opinion": What I can add further is that people are entitled to show respect where it is due. I don't see an excuse for joking about this incident in public. If it makes you cope with death, then you can make the jokes in your head where it won't hurt the feelings of loved ones of the deceased, or generally of those who lost someone and will be offended by death jokes.

      Styvies - 2011-02-02 10:08

      Viv - I understand what you are saying - i generally dont feed trolls, but something needed to be said (most of the comment have been removed at the time i type this reply - i was not the 2nd to comment...) If these cynics have a right to spout their nonsense, do i not have the equal right to call them out? Just because they believe they are entitled to their opinion does not oblige me to agree with them or stand silently by while they 'express' them (thnx for the link adrian!). I understand the same applies to me. BUT dont think im a noobie - i learnt restraint long ago when dealing with trolls - if i had to call out every piece of trolling on this site, then i hope the news24 comment monitor is a well paying job cos i would be doing nothing else... ;i knew i would be opening myself to flak but i did it anyway. And you know what? Im glad i did.

      Viv - 2011-02-02 13:47

      Good for you Styvies - you give them trolls hell.

      Mike - 2011-02-02 16:35

      So who is posting sordid stories?

  • DeonL - 2011-02-01 13:24

    This is a sad story.

  • HarryDampers - 2011-02-01 14:32

    Incredible how callous South Africans are.The lifestyle (or what passes for a lifestyle) in SA must surely contribute to this brain-numbed attitude.

      RB - 2011-02-01 15:56

      Harry, why are you trying to put a Damper on their joviality? Personally, I don't think the South African lifestyle has anything to do with it! Really, what has that got to do with a couple of immature people making a noise on an online forum?.. I reckon NEWS24 should take all the blame for the resultant insensitivity. Please NEWS24, if someone has died or been injured by some bizzare means, just disable the comments section to your story... It's just that simple!

      Viv - 2011-02-02 08:38

      Harry it is not only South Africans. We are a human race have been numbed to the inevitable fact of death. There is so much death in our every day lives that we sometime become immune to it. It is sad that we are like this but it is what it is. So you are very wrong there to say that it is an SA lifestyle. Its world wide!

  • Maryna123 - 2011-02-01 15:19

    Good heavens you lot have a very sick sense of humour. The woman was a wife, mother and family members, and all you have to do is joking about the way she was found. News24 should never have activated the comments for this article.

  • Sparkle - 2011-02-01 16:15

    Shame on all of you that have been so insensitive. I know the family personally and let me assure they have been through hell. Death is never easy to come to terms with and when it is so sudden and so tragic then the pain is even worse. Imagine it being your Mom that dug and dug for goodness knows how long trying to get up the embankment again? Can you imagine how terrible it is to know how frightened your Mom was before she died. Your comments are so callous and cruel.

      Peter - 2011-02-01 16:45

      Dunno why you take offense, there's nothing we can do, might as well see the funny side, millions of people die every day including family members life has to go on might as well enjoy it, if someone makes a joke does not mean they don't feel sorry. That's just how the internet is.

      Warren - 2011-02-01 18:29

      I read these "jokes" & I just can't find the funny side anywhere coz one question keeps popping up in my mind... "How would I feel if these jokes were about my mother & her death?" It just leaves a rotten taste in my mouth. Where's your respect, let alone your humanity? I agree, SHAME ON YOU!!!

      Viv - 2011-02-02 08:36

      Sparkle - my sincerest condolences to the family. It truley is terrible and would hate for anyone in my family to go this way. But please do not let people who make uncalled for jokes/comments get to you. People deal with death differently and it is their right to deal with it how they like. I may not agree with it but who am I to tell them they are wrong. People just need to chill out and if you dont like the comments then dont read them. Again my prayers go out to the family. Strength be with them to get through this tragedy.

  • Bwil - 2011-02-01 18:13

    I lost my sister in a well known plane crash and a lot of jokes followed subsequintly.Thats just the way people deel with sad things like this.I personly think it helps to see the lighter side.

  • Peter - 2011-02-02 04:04

    Wow someone deleted many posts, why bother letting us make comments, Idon't mind the deleting of racial or adult posts but these were normal posts deleted

      Ares - 2011-02-02 13:32

      Indeed... very true.... ALOT was taken off by someone who obviously hasn't got a life.

  • browncow - 2011-02-02 09:52

    It continues to astound me how the internet and in particular - these "comments" sections - allow people to be mean and insensitive... I'm sure most of you are normal, nice people when you're home with your friends and families.... but when you get to hide behind your computers, you can say all sorts of things you wouldn't dream of saying to someone's face... It shows cowardice! Like little children writing on classroom tables while the teacher's not looking... BORING.

  • Antoinette - 2011-02-02 11:29

    Not the way one would like your wedding to be remembered. My sympathy to the family of Mrs Goosen......

  • Sharon - 2011-02-02 15:15

    Hope it's not a sign of badluck for the couple

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