Security tight at Nigeria collapse victims’ memorial

Emotions are expected to run high as families will soon be handed over the remains of their loved ones.

Inside the Waterkloof Air Force Base, where a special ceremony for the victims of the Lagos building collapse will take place later today. Picture: @UbuntuRadioZA via Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Accredited journalists have been blocked for security reasons from certain areas at the Waterkloof Air Force Base as they wait for the official ceremony for those who died in the Nigeria building collapse to start.

Security is extremely tight and only the South African Broadcasting Corporation has been allowed to get close to the plane for the arrival of the remains of 74 South Africans who died more than two months ago in Lagos.

More than a 100 people died when a guest house belonging to Pastor TB Joshua collapsed.

#NigeriaCollapse the programme that's scheduled to start at 3pm. BB

The family members of those who died are also expected to attend the service, led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Emotions are expected to run high as families will soon be handed over the remains of their loved ones.

The remains of 10 South Africans who also died in the collapse have not been repatriated as they could not be identified.

Relatives taking up their seats near the stage at Nigeria collapse victims' memorial, Waterkloof Air Force Base, Pretoria. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

Over the next few days families will start preparing their own private funeral services for their loved ones.

They will also receive the belongings they had with them on their journey to see 'Prophet' TB Joshua.

The inter-ministerial task team's Phumla Williams says the families have received counselling, to prepare them for today.

"We will not offload the bodies from the trucks. They will then move out from the trucks to mobile trucks and will be proceeding to their respective provinces. The idea is to be able to hand these bodies back to families as soon as possible."

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.