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KZN premier calls for probe into fatal church building collapse

A preliminary report by the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs cites heavy rainfall as a possible reason for the tragedy.

The Pentecostal church in Ndlangubo in KwaZulu-Natal after a structural collapse on 18 April 2019. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has called for an investigation into the safety of a church building in Empangeni where 13 people died during an Easter church gathering.

Congregants had been attending a Passover service at a Pentecostal church on Thursday night when the wall came down.

A preliminary report by the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) cites heavy rainfall as a possible reason for the tragedy.

Authorities will now investigate what caused the collapse and whether the building was structurally sound.

“These are unnecessary deaths that could have been avoided if we had taken the necessary precautions. We would like some kind of clarity through an investigation which is led by police and the relevant department which is Cogta,” said the premier’s spokesperson Thami Ngidi.