Zuma says he is saddened by last Friday building collapse that has left the nation mourning.
“I am greatly saddened to announce that 67 South Africans died and scores of others sustained injuries, after a building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, 12 September 2014, in Lagos, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Zuma’s statement read.
President Zuma says the country has never suffered this size of fatality on its citizens outside the country.
“This is a particularly difficult time for South Africa. Not in the recent history of our country have we had this large number of our people die in one incident outside the country.”
Zuma says the government will facilitate the transportation of members of the deceased for bodies’ identification.
“As we mourn this sudden and tragic death of our fellow compatriots, I have directed the relevant government departments and entities to act with the utmost urgency to ensure that we facilitate the movement of relevant family members to Nigeria to identify the bodies of their loved ones and to ensure that we repatriate the remains as soon as possible under the circumstances.”
According to some media reports, the collapsed six-storey building located inside the church premises served as a guest house for foreigners who visited the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).