Deep loss and heart break as KZN church collapse victims named

2019-04-21 21:09

The names of the 13 churchgoers killed in a church collapse in KwaZulu-Natal were released on Sunday. 

They are:  

  • Samkelisiwe Mzila – Ulundi;
  • Thandazo Dube – Ulundi;
  • Minenhle Mdluli – Ulundi;
  • Nonkanyiselo Shandu - Ulundi;
  • Nokuthula Hlongwane - Ulundi;
  • Alice Mhlongo – eSikhawini;
  • Lungi Mcambi – eSikhawini
  • Bongekile Masondo – eSikhawini;
  • Ntando Mlondi – eSikhawini;
  • Thule Ncube – eSikhawini;
  • Mthabela Andiswa – Maqhwakazi;
  • Thembi Mthabela – Maqhwakazi; 
  • Alta Langa – Maqhwakazi.

Another 16 people were recovering from injuries sustained when a wall and part of a roof collapsed on Thursday night during the church's annual Easter obervance at Ndlangubo, near Empangeni.

Bishop Moses Sibiya of the Pentecostal Holiness Church said: "This loss is felt deeply by the families. It is for this reason we thank members of society, community leaders and leaders of political parties from across all corners of the country for the messages of condolences to the families."

READ: 13 killed in KZN church collapse as heavy storms hit province

The collapse of a wall and part of a roof will be investigated by authorities, but in the meantime, the church has received a stream of condolences.

Political leaders, church leaders, government and traditional leaders have offered sympathy and assistance.

Municipalities in the region also offfered to help after the disaster.

Sibiya said President Cyril Ramaphosa, who had visited the church in July 2018, also sent a message of condolences through.

The church said it was grateful to the emergency team which had worked "tirelessly" since Thursday night. 

"We are touched by the spirit of Ubuntu which has been displayed by religious leaders of different faith. We thank religious leaders who have visited the church to offer words of comfort. More importantly we thank the Pentecostal Holiness Church all over South Africa and the beyond."

The church would work with the provincial government under the leadership of Premier Willies Mchunu to co-ordinate activities between now and the funeral. 

This would include ongoing counselling and visits to affected families, a memorial service on Thursday and funeral services over the weekend.

"We pray that God Almighty comfort the families of the victims and mend their broken hearts."

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