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S’Africa claims Synagogue death toll now 115

S’Africa claims Synagogue death toll now 115
September 22
15:18 2014
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South Africa has urged the Nigerian government to probe the collapse of the guest house of Synagogue Church of All Nations, claiming the death toll is now 115.

Official toll remains 86, with 84 South Africans killed in the September 12 tragedy.

South African minister Jeff Radebe was quoted by Reuters on Monday as hailing the efforts of his country’s air force in the rescue operations.

He spent much of his news conference congratulating the work of South African emergency workers for the “biggest evacuation by the air force since the dawn of democracy”, ignoring the efforts of the Nigerian government which is being criticised for slow response.

South Africans are angry at what they see as the Nigerian government dragging its feet on launching an investigation into the collapse and for not reacting more quickly to help those trapped under the rubble.

South Africans have expressed anger after the founder of the church, Prophet TB Joshua, described the victims as “martyrs of faith” on his Facebook page.

Joshua and his supporters say the collapse was an “attack” somehow linked to a mysterious aircraft they say flew over the building before it fell down.

“We are keenly awaiting as a South African government the investigation that is being conducted by the Nigerian government so that we get to the bottom of the cause of … this national disaster,” Radebe said.

South Africa’s media has been scathing of Joshua and the Nigerian government, especially after the Nigerian emergency services said the church had failed to cooperate and had blocked rescuers’ access to the site.

“Blood on their hands” was the front page headline of South Africa’s Sunday Times.

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