TB Joshua church not pleased with inquiry findings

Last year 116 people died when a guest house belonging to the church caved in.

FILE: Rescue workers clear away mattresses used by occupants of the collapsed guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos on 17 September, 2014. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Synagogue Church of all Nations says it is not pleased with the findings of an inquiry into the Nigerian building collapse which has recommended a thorough investigation and criminal prosecution against the church.

In September last year 116 people died, including 81 South Africans, when a guest house belonging to the church's pastor TB Joshua caved in.

An inquiry was established and made its findings public on Wednesday.

It found that the church neglected building regulations when it started with construction of the guest house.

AFP reported that the relevant approval was not granted for construction work to continue at the premises when it collapsed.

But Joshua still maintains the building was sabotaged and that he had nothing to do with the collapse.

The church's Bally Chuene said the church wanted to study the judgment by the inquiry.

"As to our view in respect of the findings, of course, we're not pleased with the findings generally. However, let's receive a copy of this particular report with the proper findings and then we'll be able to respond."

Chuene maintained that the church was attacked as a ploy to destroy its image.

Joshua was summoned to appear before the inquiry but he refused to co-operate.

South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, said investigators would now start building a criminal case against the church.

"It's also sad that now the building constructor should also be held liable for prosecution."

The bodies of 74 of the victims were repatriated to South Africa last year.