Sept 25, 2014 – Family Of South Africans Killed At TB Joshua’s Collapsed Church To File Lawsuit
On behalf of their loved ones who died in Nigeria while seeking miracle at TB Joshua’s church in Ikotun Lagos, two South Africa men have threatened to file a legal case against the controversial prophet.
This came as NEMA rescue workers claimed they were prevented from entering the church compound by overzealous church workers who allegedly received instruction from TB Joshua to disallow entry into the compound.
Their action led to more deaths as many people who got trapped under the wreckage of the building died in the process.
In a chat with BBC, two family members of the victims, Thanduxolo Doro and Mpho Molebatsi said they waited at Johannesburg’s Tambo airport for days after the collapse for news of their sisters, who had been visiting SCOAN. Both families had last heard from their relatives hours before the collapse, which happened at about 13:50 local time (12.50 GMT) on Friday 12 September.
Mr Doro, whose sister Vathiswa Madikiza died, told the BBC:
“It is not that the building collapsed, rather what was done after the collapse – we didn’t get any news from the church. When I contacted them they wouldn’t tell me anything. We saw reports that emergency workers were denied access initially, access that could have saved lives. The actions of the church after the incident are very telling.”
In an open letter published in South Africa’s Star newspaper, Mr Doro called on more families to sue Mr Joshua.
“I need to do this for her. Even if I stand alone, I am determined to see that something is done. I understand that some families are afraid to take on someone who purports to be God’s messenger and I don’t blame them but I will do this.”
Mr Doro says he was informed by South African officials about his sister’s death this week, but has to wait for the results of DNA tests before her body can be repatriated for burial. He told the BBC that he had spoken to two families who were eager to join him in suing Mr Joshua, but no concrete plans had been made. He has not been in contact with Mr Molebatsi, whose sister Hlubi Molebatsi was also killed. Mr Molebatsi says he has contacted his lawyers.
“I have spoken to other families but it has been difficult because this is a time of mourning. I would like to see families get something from the church as some of the people who died were breadwinners,” he told the BBC.
In the attack, 85 South Africans died while 25 others were severely injured. 10 out of the 25 had their limbs amputated as many still remain on life support.