Eyewitness News reports…
“Popular Nigerian preacher and televangelist TB Joshua is under mounting pressure to cooperate with the authorities after the fatal building collapse in Lagos that’s claimed at least 67 South African lives.
The collapse occurred when three extra [storeys] were being added to the existing two of a guest house of the church compound.
Nigeria’s government says Joshua and staff at his Synagogue Church of All Nations have so far failed to disclose information to investigators.
President Jacob Zuma confirmed the South African casualties last night, days after the collapse which occurred on Friday.
Officials have asked the congregation to remain calm and to allow the officials to do their work.
Members of the church have been accused of preventing emergency workers immediate access to the site of the collapsed Nigerian building.
Reports have emerged that emergency workers and journalists were not allowed anywhere near the scene when they arrived.
Prominent South African religious leader Ray McCauley says Joshua needs to set up a crisis centre in Nigeria and give more clarity to the bereaved families who are searching for any information about their loved ones.
“The investigation must be done properly.”
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has appealed to South Africans with missing relatives to come forward.
The department has established a call centre for people with missing families members and says plans to return the deceased home will be announced soon.
The BBC says chances of finding any more survivors are slim.
Thousands of people from across the world flock to the church every year with promises of miracles and prophecies from Joshua, a high school dropout referred to either as “the prophet” or “the man of god”.
He claims to have raised the dead, cured Aids and says he predicted the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane crash and Boston Marathon bombings.
The regular influx of visitors from abroad for the church’s services, which can last up to a week, creates demand for accommodation that the church’s own guest house has been unable to meet, and often spills over into local hotels.
A large crowd has gathered at OR Tambo International Airport after a plane from Lagos arrived this afternoon, hopefully carrying survivors of the building collapse.
Hlubi Molebatsi’s brother and mother are there hoping to see her walk through the arrival doors.
Molebatsi’s brother, Mpho, says the last time they heard her voice was when she called them from Lagos on Friday.
He says they frantically tried getting a hold of her after hearing the news that the building she was staying in had collapsed.
He says they are still optimistic about seeing her again.
“I just hope to see my sister walking through the doors.”
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