Nigerian church collapse: Joburg family refuses to bury dead relative

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

A family from Benoni, east of Johannesburg - one of the last families to receive the remains of their loved one following the collapse of a guesthouse belong to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, Nigeria, last September, is reportedly refusing to bury the body until they are certain it is indeed their relative.

The Mkhulisi family decided to view the body handed despite government's advice against this. The deceased's brother, Lwandle Mkhulisi, who viewed the body, says it is not his sister.

Mkhulisi insists that his sister Phumzile had a distinctive gap between her front teeth and the body he saw doesn't.

He says, however, he'll take his mother to view the body as well.

"She's the mother, she knows what to look for, maybe she'll notice something that we missed. I told her that what you're going to see is not a good sight, but she wants to see the body. We'll simply go to private pathologists to give them samples of this body and then wait for another week or so, to hear results," says Mkhulisi.

Government has made it clear that the verification and the testing of bodies was done by the Nigerian authorities and that they provided the necessary information to ensure that the process was finally concluded.

Eighty-one South Africans, as well as three Zimbabweans and a Congolese resident in South Africa, were killed when the guesthouse belonging to self-proclaimed prophet and popular televangelist, TB Joshua’s SCOAN, collapsed on 12 September 2014.

A total of 116 people were killed in the tragedy.