Survivor sipped her own urine under building rubble

2014-10-01 00:00

A SOUTH African woman had to drink her own urine to survive five days under the rubble of a guesthouse on the church grounds of the “prophet” TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church in Nigeria.

The building, which also contained shops, collapsed on September 12, killing 84 South Africans among others.

Lindiwe Ndwandwe (33), from Tembisa, who works in the import-export sector, left for Nigeria on September 10. She was using the bathroom on the first floor of the guesthouse when she heard a loud booming noise.

A wall fell on her and pinned her left hand. She only managed to pull her hand free a day later.

Ndwandwe could hear how other trapped people were being rescued, but the layer of rubble on top of her wall was so thick that no one could hear her yells for help.

She had no food or water.

After a few days of dehydrating in the heat of Lagos, she started to sip her own urine.

Two men started digging over her position several days later.

She anxiously counted the thuds as they removed the rubble. With the fifth thud a tiny shaft of light broke through and she started yelling for help again. The men opened a hole for her to crawl from her prison.

“It felt like a dream. It suddenly started raining. I thanked God that he was with me.”

Her hand was only slightly injured and she sustained no other injury from her ordeal.

Ndwandwe stayed in Nigeria to attend the church service on Sunday.

Jonty Cloete (47), a property consultant with paramedic training from Mossel Bay, who also attended the week-long lectures, was in the church when the guesthouse imploded.

He made a list of all the people who were in the church so that they could determine who was missing.

He said the people who had died “went into glory” and described them as “martyrs for the Kingdom”. A special reward awaits them.”

Ndwandwe and Cloete arrived in South Africa last Tuesday, with Ndwandwe meeting her husband and two daughters while Cloete spent the week visiting the families of people who had died in the collapsed building.

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