Nigeria collapse: SA victims one step closer to home

Officials will today start the repatriation process for the South Africans killed in the collapse.

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

JOHANNESBURG - A plane sent to Lagos, to collect the remains of the more than 80 South Africans killed in a building collapse disaster, has arrived in Nigeria.

Officials will now start with the repatriation process.

In total, over 100 people died when a guest house attached to 'Prophet' TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed in September.

WATCH: Nigeria: Church collapse caught on camera

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

An inquiry is still underway to determine what caused the tragedy.

The inter-ministerial task team's Phumla Williams says they are now visiting the two mortuaries in Lagos, where they will start repatriating the bodies for the final journey home.

"Preparing of the bodies and taking them back. They will be working throughout the day. We expect them to be done by 7pm in the evening."

After this, the team will start preparing for the departure from Lagos to Gauteng.

The bodies are expected to arrive at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria at midday on Sunday.

Meanwhile, government says it's unlikely that all of the remains of the 81 South Africans killed will be repatriated this week.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe will today reveal the confirmed number of South Africans whose remains will be sent home.

Nigeria has a history of building collapses due to shoddy construction, with 130 reported incidents from 2007 to 2012 in Lagos alone, its vast and largest city of 21 million people.