“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Peter Furhi, the director of emergency medical services and disaster medicine at the department of health, who sadly died after contracting malaria in Nigeria,” Zuma said.
“It is a painful loss for the family and the country as a whole, of an official who was dedicated to serving his people and his country. May his soul rest in peace.”
Zuma was speaking at the launch of Operation Phakisa II, aimed at fast-tracking the delivery of the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan, at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.
A total of 116 people died on September 12 when a guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church Of All Nations in Lagos, headed by TB Joshua, collapsed.
Eighty-one of those killed were South Africans and the bodies of 74 South Africans arrived back in the country on Sunday.
Zuma said: “This week our country has gone through a painful period as we received the mortal remains of our people who died in Nigeria”.
He thanked and congratulated the inter-ministerial committee that managed the repatriation of the bodies under Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, and the officials who were involved in the process.
“The provincial governments will continue to provide support to the families of the Nigerian tragedy victims until all have been laid to rest.