Families across South Africa have been plunged into mourning since Prophet TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations building collapsed, claiming lives of 67 South Africans in Lagos.
The Matsilas in Queenstown are grieving the loss of their father. 44 year old Sipho Matsila left home a week ago on yet another pilgrimage to Nigeria. The family desperately tried to locate him after news of the church tragedy broke.
For some families there are tears of relief. Devotee Daphne Mkunqwana escaped unscathed and is safely back home.
Mkunqwana’s son, Simphiwe Ntlabi, says: “When I got the news, I was stress relieved because for the last four or five days I was under severe stress. I didn’t even concentrate at work. I was just thinking of the worst but due to the miracles of God, my mother did survive.”
However, other families are still waiting anxiously for news of their loved ones. The whereabouts of Hlubi Molebatsi are still not known. They last heard from her on Friday. They’ve reportedly been told by the church to wait for two weeks.
Molebatsi’s brother Mpho: “I’m getting more frustrated with the church because the church itself has been secretive with everything and they are blaming choppers flying around. Joshua says it’s an attack on him personally. I don’t understand how you can say it’s a personal when people are dying. Not even giving condolences.” International Relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says an advance disaster management team is leaving for Nigeria tonight to establish ho many South Africans were killed and injured by the collapse of a church building in Lagos. The team is to assist the families of South Africans killed and injured in the Nigerian church collapse. The death toll in the collapse of a guest house for foreigners in Lagos stands at 70. Nkoana Mashabane says “As per the instruction of our President, President Zuma, government has activated here at home a disaster management process and it is treating the matter with the utmost urgently it deserves. Government understands fully the pain and anguish of affected families and we are walking this difficult and painful path hand in hand with the families. “