SA govt working on repatriating remaining bodies from Nigeria

11 bodies still remain in Lagos while SA pathologists work hard to identify them.

FILE: A policeman monitors the excavation of the collapsed guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in the Ikotun neighborhood of Lagos on 17 September, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has assured families who are still waiting for the remains of their loved ones to be brought back from Nigeria that they haven't been forgotten.

On Sunday, the bodies of 74 South Africans who died in a building disaster in Lagos were repatriated while 11 remain in Lagos, having not been positively identified.

More than 80 South Africans were among over 100 people killed in the tragedy in September.

Families who are yet to hear on the repatriation of their relatives say watching others receive the remains of their loved ones this past weekend was a bitter sweet moment.

A man whose aunt was a killed in the collapse says the unsuccessful repatriation of her body has left his family with a deep sense of longing.

"It makes the pain more severe, simply because we had high hopes that our aunt was going to be returned."

However, government says pathologists will not rest until the remains of all South Africans are returned.

On Sunday, government gave an emotional sendoff to the South Africans killed in the Nigerian church collapse.