Wait for repatriated bodies from Nigeria almost over

Nigeria has finally given the go ahead for the bodies of 81 South Africans to be repatriated.

FILE: The plane carrying 26 South Africans, including three children, who were injured in the Lagos building collapse more than week ago landed at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria on 22 September 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government has thanked the families of those killed in the Nigeria building collapse for their patience, as the bodies are set to return home this weekend.

Government says the agony is almost over, as Nigeria has finally given the go ahead for the bodies of 81 South Africans to be repatriated.

The bodies and possessions of the victims are due to arrive at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Sunday, more than two months later.

The South Africans are from across the country and had travelled to pastor TB Joshua's church in Lagos with tour groups.

An investigation into the collapse of the guest house at Synagogue Church of All Nations is still underway and the church maintains it was caused by evil forces.

Spokesperson for the special South African envoy to Nigeria, Phumla Williams, says everything is going smoothly so far.

"We want to continue to thank the families for their patience. We know it's been a difficult two months, but we're now getting to the end of this agony and we hoping that they will get to be with the bodies of their loved ones by Monday at the latest."