Pilgrim’s mom left only with hope

2014-09-23 08:38
Injured people are moved from a plane that came back from Lagos. (File, Sapa)

Injured people are moved from a plane that came back from Lagos. (File, Sapa)

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Pretoria - As one relieved family thanked the South African government for bringing their injured mother home from Nigeria following a church collapse there, another woman could only desperately cling to the hope that her son is not one of the 84 South Africans killed in the tragedy.

"The assistance from our government has been impressive. It has been excellent," Magda Petrus told Sapa after seeing her 66-year-old mother, Ivy Langford, in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

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

But for Martha Marope it was a moment of desperation when she did not find her son among the 25 injured who had been flown back home, reported the Times.

Marope’s son, Kagiso, was one of 349 South Africans who had gone on a pilgrimage to ‘prophet’ TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) in Lagos.

About 115 people were killed when a guesthouse at Scoan collapsed on 12 September. Eighty-four of the dead are South African.

The South African government says the next plane coming home from Lagos will be bringing the remains from the disaster.

But Marope is still clinging to the hope that Kagiso is alive. She said her son might have been the injured person who, instead of getting on the plane back to Pretoria, decided to stay in Lagos and return to Joshua’s church.

Joshua has pledged to come to South Africa and meet survivors and their families, Sapa reports. At his weekly morning service on Sunday, Joshua observed a minute’s silence "in memory of martyrs of faith".

Read more on:    tb joshua  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria building collapse

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