South Africa 2.2.2015 12:22 pm

Nigeria collapse bodies to return

FILE PICTURE: An aircraft carrying one of the pathology vehicles with the remains of some of the South African victims killed in a building collapse in Nigeria. Picture: Siyasanga Mbambani/DoC

FILE PICTURE: An aircraft carrying one of the pathology vehicles with the remains of some of the South African victims killed in a building collapse in Nigeria. Picture: Siyasanga Mbambani/DoC

Families of the 11 victims of the Nigerian church building collapse whose bodies remain in that country almost five months after the disaster, will know on Tuesday which of them will be returned this week.

The government has announced it would bring back to the country the remains of some of the people who died in the Nigerian church building collapse.At least 85 South Africans were killed in September in the collapse at TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations church.

The government repatriated 74 bodies in November.

At that time, eleven of the South African remains had not been positively identified and therefore could not be repatriated.

Spokesperson for the inter-ministerial task team Phumla Williams said the South African National Defence Force C130 aircraft would be departing to the Nigerian capital Lagos with a repatriation team on Monday.


Read more: TB Joshua foots R376 000 bill 


“The long wait of these families, friends and communities is finally over,” said Williams.

She would not reveal the number of the bodies that had been identified, and whose remains would be repatriated.

“The aircraft is expected back at the Air Force Base Waterkloof on the evening of Wednesday. The remains will be transported from the Air Force Base Waterkloof to the nearest government mortuaries. Government social workers are in continuous communication with the families about the specific details thereof.”

The government expressed its appreciation to the Nigerian authorities for the cooperation accorded to it during the identification and repatriation of the injured and deceased South Africans, added Williams.


Read more: Nigerian church building collapse was not the first

 

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