Government announces consular services for families of victims of Nigerian church tragedy

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

The Portfolio Committee on International Relations has called on family members of those involved in the Nigerian church accident to make full use of the consular services the South African government has availed.

“The Committee wishes to send its condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones. The incident is unprecedented and no one would have guessed this happening; it is such a distressful time in our young democracy,” said the Chairperson of the Committee, Siphosezwe Masango.

“The Committee welcomes the proactive way with which President Jacob Zuma has acted and got relevant departments involved and offer assistance,” he said.

The Presidency indicated in a statement last night that about 67 South Africans had been killed in an accident which occurred in the Church of all Nations in Nigeria on Sunday, and that all relevant departments had been instructed to assist in trying to repatriate SA nationals.

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), Luwellyn Landers, indicated to the Committee that the number could be more. He urged the Committee to consider whether in the wake of the Nigerian church tragedy, it was not time to make it compulsory for all South Africans travelling abroad to report and register with embassies abroad.

Masango said South Africans needed to exploit the assistance that government has availed especially such facilities as the Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA), and that they should not panic during this distressful time.

South Africans could contact Dirco by making use of the Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA) website and email facility http://www.dfa.gov.za, or [email protected] or call (012) 351 0682.