Jeff Radebe appointed special envoy to Nigeria

2014-11-06 12:45

President Jacob Zuma has appointed Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe as a special envoy to Nigeria to try to expedite the repatriation of 85 South Africans killed in a church building collapse.

“I will hold meetings with the Nigerian federal government authorities as well as the Lagos state authorities with a view to expedite the repatriation process,” Radebe told journalists at Parliament today after Cabinet’s regular fortnightly meeting.

The 85 were among 116 people killed when a guest house attached to TB Joshua’s church collapsed in Lagos on September 12.

Families of the victims had been waiting almost a month for the remains of their loved ones to be returned home.

“We would like to reassure the families and South Africans at large that the government has not taken the foot off the pedal,” Radebe said.

“President Zuma’s appointment of myself as South Africa’s special envoy demonstrates the government’s unwavering commitment to return their loved ones home for a proper send off.”

Two weeks ago, Radebe said DNA samples of the deceased were being analysed at a laboratory in Stellenbosch.

The government was unaware of how far the process was.

“That process is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Nigerian authorities,” said Radebe.

“We depend on the information we get from the Nigerian authorities ... and it’s for that reason the president has appointed myself as a special envoy so that we can get more details as to where this process is.”

A preparatory team was in Lagos to facilitate the repatriation, which would only start once the Nigerian authorities released the bodies.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.