Family of Nigeria church victim applaud SA government

2014-09-23 08:29

The family of Ivy Langford one of the 26 South Africans injured in the Nigeria church building collapse, have applauded the government and President Jacob Zuma.

“The assistance from our government has been impressive. It has been excellent,” said Magda Petrus, after seeing her mother in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria yesterday.

“Our gratitude goes to everyone who assisted. We would like to thank President Jacob Zuma and all the departments. What the government did is excellent. I was very happy to see my mother.”

Petrus said she had been on edge ever since she heard the news of the Lagos church collapse.

“I could not wait to see her. I arrived in Pretoria today from Uitenhage.

She was in good spirits and I think we will be celebrating the whole night,” said Petrus.

About 115 people, among them 84 South Africans, were killed and dozens trapped when the multistorey guesthouse attached to the Synagogue Church of All Nations, run by Nigerian preacher TB Joshua, collapsed on September 12.

Some 350 South Africans were thought to be visiting the church in the Ikotun neighbourhood of Lagos when the building came down.

Joshua, one of Nigeria’s best-known evangelical preachers referred to by followers across the world as “The Prophet” or “The Man of God”, on Sunday pledged to go to South Africa to meet survivors and their families.

Yesterday morning, a plane carrying 25 South Africans injured in the building collapse arrived at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria.

Chesmaine Booysen said her aunt Langford’s faith had been unwavering.

“She was telling us that the moment she saw us, she could not feel any pain. Being reunited with her family made her feel strong,” said Booysen.

“She comes from a very strong Christian background. She is also a very strong woman,” she said.

Langford, a mother of four children and nine grandchildren, was injured in her maiden trip outside the country.

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