Death At Synagogue Church Hits 115....84 Are South Africans

South African minister in charge of Pretoria’s response to disaster, Jeff Radebe, said yesterday that the death toll from the Synagogue Church building collapse has now increased to 115, and 84 of them were South Africans.

He said, “We understand from our assessment team that the total number of people who have perished is now 115, but those are not all South Africans”.

Speaking after about two dozens injured survivors were repatriated home, he said the casualties included 84 South Africans.

Minister Radebe gave the number of the injured that arrived home as 25, saying that one person refused to board the medical evacuation plane in Lagos and chose to return to the church which crumbled in Lagos on September 12.

“The plan was to bring back all the 26, but “there were only 25 who actually boarded the aircraft because one returned to the Synagogue yesterday,” he added.

The 26 survived after being trapped under the rubble when a Guest House attached to the church run by a prominent Nigerian preacher, TB Joshua collapsed more than a week ago.

Biggest evacuation in 20 years

A 19-member medical team including specialised doctors, nurses and medical military paramedics took care of the injured on board a military C-130 aircraft.

“It’s the biggest evacuation effort by the (South African) Air Force since the dawn of democracy two decades ago”, said Radebe.

Two orphaned toddlers that lost their parents in the tragedy were among the survivors that returned home yesterday.

Sixteen of the wounded were in critical condition, with some having their limbs amputated and one developed gangrene in the toes.

Others had developed kidney failure and were on dialysis.

Radebe thanked the “Nigerian government for the cooperation that they have had with us in order to ensure we executed this task as a matter of extreme urgency.”

“We are keenly waiting, as the South African government, for the investigation that is being conducted by the Nigerian government so that we get to the bottom of the cause of the collapse of this building that has caused us this national disaster,” he said.

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the first investigation meeting would be held today involving state and federal bodies as well as engineers to assess the collapse and determine its causes and the next step to take.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan visited the church on Saturday and promised to investigate the cause of the tragedy.

But South Africa’s largest opposition party the Democratic Alliance would like the government to sue the church over the deaths.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


  1. It's well oo. May d souls of d departed rest in peace..

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