SA remains to be home from Nigeria by weekend

2014-11-12 06:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The South African government said it was ready to repatriate on the weekend the bodies of 81 nationals killed in a September church building collapse in Nigeria.

“We have 100% fool-proof plan that should we get a green light, we should be able to dispatch two chartered flights to Lagos so that Saturday evening we can be able to transport the remains to South Africa,” Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe told journalists last night.

Radebe, who is leading a powerful South African delegation to Nigeria over the repatriation of the bodies, said he met President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Monday over the issue.

Radebe, the special envoy of President Jacob Zuma, said he discussed with the Nigerian leader “the need for the speeding up of the process of repatriating 81 South Africans who perished in the tragic event” of September 12 in Lagos.

A total of 116 people were killed when a guesthouse at the Lagos megachurch of one of Nigeria’s most popular preachers, TB Joshua, collapsed.

Joshua, founder and head of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), has so far failed to appear at a coroner’s inquest to explain how the people died.

Radebe said that the government was ready to repatriate all the 81 bodies, including those of three Zimbabweans and one DRC national “who are also carrying South African passports”.

Both Presidents Jonathan and Zuma have been communicating over the repatration of the bodies, said Radebe, who also plans to meet Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola today to finalise the process.

“We on our part, we stand ready, as soon as we get the green light ... if everything goes on well, we should be able to repatriate them ... to arrive in South Africa on Sunday,” the minister added.

TB Joshua, the self-styled miracle worker had earlier claimed that sabotage from a low-flying aircraft and a terror attack may have caused the tragedy.

But experts witnesses at the inquest have previously ruled out the theory of aerial sabotage or an explosion.

The court had been told that the guesthouse did not have planning permission.

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

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.