2 minute read
17 Sep 2014
10:17 am

Nigerian elders helping to find missing people – Julius Malema

Elders from the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) in Nigeria have been helping search for missing people following a building collapse that also claimed the lives of 67 South Africans, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Wednesday.

FILE PICTURE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

“I am in touch with the elders of the church. They are doing everything in their power to ensure that every individual that was there is accounted for and that the rescue mission continues,” Malema told Sapa in a telephone interview.

Although there had been loss of life, very seriously injured church members were rescued as well, he said.

Scoan’s multi-storey guesthouse in Lagos collapsed on Friday claiming scores of lives, including 67 South Africans, who were believed to be part of five South African tour groups lodging at the church of faith healer “prophet” TB Joshua.

Agencies reported that over 100 survivors had been rescued.

Malema said he had not yet spoken to Joshua, who he describes as his “brother”.

“I haven’t spoken to him yet. I felt I must give him some space to deal with this disaster,” he said.

Malema visited Scoan a while ago, staying there for seven days. At the time no less than 16,000 people were in attendance at the church “and 50 percent of those were from outside Africa”.

“Yes, I was there to create friendship and take lessons from the prophet. He is my brother, we talk now and then. I also received spiritual guidance from him,” he said.

“The church is very big, he has a lot of followers. He receives people from all corners of the world, both rich and poor. They go there for different reasons and they all want to be blessed by the man of God.”

Malema described the church as a “five-star” venue.

“When I was there I was treated very well. The hospitality is so amazing. The people who looked after us there did it with passion. They love what they are doing and they respect people.”

Malema sent his condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones.

“We also would like to say to the prophet that he should find strength during this difficult time. This is a testing time for him.

“He is a very good man. He inspires hope in hopeless people, we hope he will not be discouraged. He must continue to inspire hope and feed the children of God.

“When I went to his church he never asked for a cent from me. TB Joshua never preached about money and he never insisted on having contributions for the church.”