Nigeria's Televangelist TB Joshua Dishes Out Cash To Families Of Collapsed Church Building Victims

Nigeria’s televangelist TB Joshua, also known as “The Prophet”, has reportedly sent out teams of his evangelists to drop off cash handouts to the families of those killed when his church guest house collapsed in Lagos last month.

According to the Sunday Times, several families have been presented with gifts that include R5 000 cash, mazie meal and anointed water.

Thanduxolo Doro, whose sister Vathiswa Madikiza died in the tragedy, said that the church had repeatedly tried to set up a meeting with him after he announced his intention to bring a lawsuit against them. Doro said that church officials then met with his family to offer condolences and gave them R5 000.

Church official Kirsten Nematandani confirmed that teams from the church had visited the families of the deceased. “We are assisting the families with whatever they need, school fees, rent, groceries and toiletries.”

Around 116 people, including at least 80 South Africans, were killed and dozens trapped when the multi-storey guesthouse attached to the Synagogue Church of All Nations, run by TB Joshua, collapsed on Friday, 12 September, in Lagos in Nigeria.

About 350 South Africans were thought to be visiting the church, in the Ikotun neighbourhood of Lagos, at the time.

Joshua, one of Nigeria's best-known evangelical preachers referred to by followers across the world as "The Prophet" or "The Man of God", said recently however that he planned to travel to South Africa to meet the survivors and their families.

But the ANC Youth League has called on government to deny Joshua a visa.
"TB Joshua should not be allowed to come to South Africa until we know what happened to our fellow countrymen at his church," spokesperson Bandile Masuku said in a statement at the time.

Meanwhile, News24 reported that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) last week called for a professional and transparent investigation into the tragedy that led to the deaths of 116 people.
"By so doing, we will not only be putting to rest all the speculations, we will be preventing similar tragedies waiting to happen," NLC spokesperson Benson Upah said.

Shoddy work

"Similarly, a shoddy investigation is capable of compromising the image of Nigeria."
On Sunday, government said the number of South Africans killed in the tragedy had been revised from 84 to 80.

"We have established that four of the remains are not South African citizens. Three are citizens of Zimbabwe and another one is from the Democratic Republic of Congo," spokesperson Phumla Williams said.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Sunday that 62 of the South Africans killed had been identified to date, the same figure announced last Wednesday.

The NLC said the victims' relatives deserved to know the truth.
It called on the Nigerian government to empower the national emergency management agency to improve its response capacity.

"We commiserate with the families of the victims, [the] majority of whom are our South African brothers and sisters," the NLC said.

Source: News 24
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