'TB Joshua had no planning approval'

Consultant Bisi Adedire said he warned the church they were ignoring regulations.

FILE: Nigerian preacher and prophet TB Joshua. Picture: Facebook.

NIGERIA - A town planner who worked for Nigerian preacher TB Joshua on Friday told an inquest into the building collapse that the church did not have planning approval.

The Lagos guesthouse building collapsed in September killing 116 people, including 84 South Africans.

Bisi Adedire, who served as a consultant for Joshua, said he warned church officials they were ignoring regulations.

The Pentecostal church attracts a global following of Christians who believe Joshua is able to perform miracles, including curing the ill and raising the dead from the grave.

Joshua, a self-proclaimed prophet, attributed the incident to sabotage.

He has on three occasions ignored a summons to testify before the hearing.

The collapse occurred when three extra storeys were being added to the existing two.

Earlier this week, the South African government said it won't support any civil claim against Joshua and his church.

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in a written reply to Parliament, said government could only provide consular support to the families of the victims.

She was responding to a question from the Democratic Alliance.