Nigeria Collapse: Inquest postponed

The inquest was adjourned to 24 October because parties involved needed more time to prepare evidence.

A victim of the Nigerian church collapse is stretchered into the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Monday 22 September 2014, Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

NIGERIA - The coroner in charge of the inquest into the deadly Synagogue Church of All Nations collapse in Nigeria, is appealing to South African authorities to allow families to make blood samples available, to enable the identification and repatriation of the victims.

A total of 80 South Africans were killed when the building, run by controversial Pastor TB Joshua, caved in last month.

The collapse occurred when three extra storeys were being added to the existing two of a guesthouse in the church compound, where visitors from abroad flock to stay.

The inquest was adjourned to 24 October as the Coroner Oyetade Komolafe told the hearing that all parties involved needed more time to prepare witnesses and evidence.

A visit to the site of the collapsed building has also been planned for Thursday.

The coroner has however indicated that prosecuting or convicting those found culpable in the building collapse does not fall within the purview of the inquest.

Legal teams from Lagos and South African governments were present at Monday's hearing.

Meanwhile, the process to identify the remains has not yet been concluded.

Lulu Mnguni, South Africa's High Commissioner to Nigeria, said last week that all DNA testing will be processed in the country over the next few days.

So far, 62 of the South Africans have been identified and more remains have been collected from the site.

Mnguni added that experts from South Africa will be doing all the DNA testing and report back to Nigeria.

The identification consists of direct identification, photo identification, fingerprint data base comparison, dental record comparison and DNA sampling.