SA ‘must follow’ Nigerian rules for return of bodies

The South African government has to abide by Nigerian rules as it awaits the release of the bodies of 85 South Africans who died in the church building collapse in Lagos.

Answering questions in the National Council of Provinces today, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said government was doing everything possible to ensure the bodies were repatriated.

But, before this could be done, all processes, including the identification of bodies, would first need to be completed by Nigerian authorities.

“They [Nigeria] want to be absolutely certain that they comply with their own laws and their own rules and we are giving them that opportunity,” Ramaphosa said.

“The South African government would not be able to just parachute itself into Nigeria and extricate the mortal remains of those who perished.”

Ramaphosa denied that there was a lack of goodwill towards South Africa on the continent.

“The South African government continues to enjoy good relations with various countries, and indeed many countries, if not all countries on the African continent,” he said.

“We cannot and will not override or undermine any countries we have dealings with.”

Last week, government confirmed the DNA samples from the 116 victims arrived at a laboratory in Stellenbosch, outside Cape Town.

The Nigerian government had appointed the laboratory to identify the victims.

It is believed 85 people from South Africa were among those killed when a multi-storey guesthouse attached to the Synagogue Church of All Nations, run by Nigerian preacher TB Joshua, collapsed in Lagos on September 12.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 905 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1700 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9354 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.20
(+0.94)
ZAR/GBP
20.31
(+0.89)
ZAR/EUR
18.06
(+0.82)
ZAR/AUD
11.18
(+0.32)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+1.11)
Gold
1807.84
(-1.55)
Silver
23.30
(-0.92)
Platinum
957.00
(+3.34)
Brent Crude
45.51
(+2.15)
Palladium
2341.00
(+0.48)
All Share
57761.92
(+1.08)
Top 40
53049.43
(+1.09)
Financial 15
11674.99
(+2.97)
Industrial 25
80126.12
(+0.26)
Resource 10
52568.48
(+1.54)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo