Nigerian collapse: Families & survivors hail TB Joshua

Saturday marked exactly a year since the tragedy and a total of 116 people died most of them South Africans.

Wiseman Racine reads out a message from Pastor TB Joshua on the commemoration of those who died when a guesthouse belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed In Nigeria exactly one year ago today. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans who survived the Nigerian building collapse say one year later, they still believe pastor TB Joshua should not be blamed for the tragedy and that there was a reason why they had to live.

Saturday marked exactly a year since the tragedy and a total of 116 people died most of them South Africans.

Families and survivors travelled from all over the country to Midrand to attend a special commemoration service.

Swakile Ndlovu lost his father in the tragedy and travelled from Mpumalanga this weekend to remember his legacy.

He says it's been a difficult year.

"It's been very tricky in terms of formulating family dynamics but by the grace of God it's been manageable."

Survivor Thembelihle Mamafa from Pretoria lost two of her family members, one of them her husband. She still believes it was God's will that her husband had to die.

"I also believe that God has allowed it to happen."

Family and survivors have hailed Pastor Joshua as the "man of god" and their "father".

Veronica Mathebula lost her husband in tragedy but said after Joshua's message she has peace about her husband's death.

"It's ok I can let go now. Somehow I believe the prophet was talking to me so I'm fine."

The church maintains it can't be held liable for the collapse and has urged the Nigerian authorities t give families answers.

The church still believes a plane which flew close to the building prior to the collapse, caused the tragedy.

Pastor TB Joshua could not attend but sent a written message to the families saying their loved ones are with god.

Two months ago, the Nigerian coroner ruled that the church must be investigated and prosecuted for negligence.

Meanwhile, the Synagogue Church of All Nations told Eyewitness News no explosives were used, but it believes some kind of infrasonic sound weapon was used to bring the guesthouse down.

Spokesperson Kirsten Nematandani said, "Those sounds are bombarded on the building, the building tended to resonate. In every structure there are atoms and once those atoms are excited, they begin to shake, and that is how we concluded the building came down."

Infrasonic sound is a low frequency which humans can't hear.

Nematandani said an inquiry set up to investigate what caused the building to cave in, didn't even consider the scientific explanation.