Two South Africans who lost their relatives in a church hostel in Lagos that collapsed have come out to tell BBC that they intend to sue the Nigerian Pastor — TB Joshua.
The two men, who both lost sisters in the collapse, are appealing for more families to come together in bringing a case against the preacher.
At least 115 people, including 84 South Africans, died when the multi-storey building fell down earlier this month.
The authorities say it had more floors than its foundation could hold.
On Sunday, TB Joshua, who is one of Nigeria’s best-known evangelists and is popular across Africa, announced plans to travel to South Africa to visit the families of the deceased.
Emergency workers allege they were prevented from participating in the rescue, only gaining full access to the site on Sunday afternoon – accusations denied by Pastor Joshua’s Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
One of the South African men said: “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”
Thanduxolo Doro and Mpho Molebatsi waited at Johannesburg’s OR 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.
“It is not that the building collapsed, rather what was done after the collapse – we didn’t get any news from the church,” Mr Doro, whose sister Vathiswa Madikiza died, told the BBC.
“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,” he said