South Africa’s sending an advance team of disaster management personnel to Lagos following the deaths of 67 of its nationals in the rubble of a church that collapsed in the Nigerian commercial capital.
Pretoria’s foreign affairs chief says an inter-departmental team has been put together to coordinate all government activities relating to the calamity.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashebane was speaking nearly a day after President Jacob Zuma announced the deaths of 67 compatriots in the Lagos building collapse.
Significantly, her statement doesn’t mention cooperation by the Synagogue Church of All Nations headed by TB Joshua or the Nigerian government.
Officials in both her department and the presidency say the Nigerian authorities are being less than forthcoming.
At least five South African tour groups were in the building when it collapsed last Friday.
Nkoana Mashebane says her government’s treating the matter with the utmost urgency.
It understands fully the pain and anguish of affected families.
The South African High Commission in the capital, Abuja, has seconded staff to Lagos to provide assistance to the Consul-General.
She’s provided a hotline for families and friends of possible victims.
Two South African rescue charities skilled at working international disasters say they’re waiting for the green light from Nigeria to send teams to Lagos.