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South African Victims' Relations Vow To Sue T.B. Joshua

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Two South Africans who lost their relatives to the SCOAN (Synagogue Church of All Nations) building collapse in Nigeria have told the BBC they intend to sue the founder and general overseer Pastor Temitope Joshua.

The two South Africans; Thanduxolo Doro and Mpho Molebatsi who both lost their sisters at the Synagogue building collapse on September 12th have vowed to drag Pastor T.B. Joshua to court for what they describe as negligence on the part of the church for not allowing rescue workers help save the victims after the collapse as well as withholding information after the unfortunate incident.

The South Africans who were guests on a BBC program this week said they are calling on other family members to come forward so that they can unanimously press charges against T.B. Joshua.

"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. 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", Doro, whose sister, Vathiswa Madikiza died said.

Doro published an open letter in South African Daily, calling on more families to come forward so they can all sue T.B Joshua.

"I need to do this for her. Even if I stand alone, I am determined to see that something is done", he said.

At least 115 people, including 84 South Africans died, when the multi- storey building fell down on September 12.

The authorities said it had more floors than the foundation could hold.

On Sunday, Pastor Joshua announced plans to travel to South Africa to visit the families of the deceased.

Emergency workers alleged they were prevented from participating in the rescue, only gaining full access to the site on Sunday afternoon. Joshua however denied these accusations.

In a related development, the Lagos state government has announced the commencement of the DNA identification test of the 115 dead bodies brought out from the collapsed building. While announcing this, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris called on families who lost loved ones to come forward with DNA samples so that the bodies can be properly identified and released to them for proper burial. He said loved ones of the dead victims are to visit the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to submit samples that could aid the forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies. He said only parents, children, and siblings of the deceased are eligible to submit samples.

The Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye in a statement today (26 September) said Mgistrate O.A. Komolafe, who headed the Dana Air crash case will be heading a coroner inquest that will investigate the real reason the building collapsed.

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