SA delegation in Nigeria to fast-track repatriation process

SA says it’s unclear what the delay is and hopes to get answers while in Nigeria.

FILE: Nigerian rescue workers searching through rubble from the collapsed guesthouse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos on 16 September 2014. Picture: EPA.

NIGERIA - Government says its latest trip to Nigeria is aimed at trying to fast-track the return of the bodies of those crushed to death in a collapse at TB Joshua's church compund.

The guest-house section of the church collapsed in mid-September killing over 80 South Africans.

An inquiry is underway into the cause of the tragedy, and has heard evidence that the building had been extended illegally.

Allegations have also surfaced that church supporters blocked emergency workers and frustrated their efforts to rescue those in the rubble.

There have also been reports this week that TB Joshua himself has failed to testify at the inquiry.

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams is in Lagos and says they are doing everything they can to bring closure to the families of those who perished.

"We really need to fast track this process. Right now we don't have any answers to give to South Africans as to what is delaying this process."