17 September 2014

Synagogue Church: Death Toll Rises To 78 As NEMA Says Number Of South Africans Unknown


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it cannot confirm the figures presented by South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, that 67 of his nationals died in the collapsed six-story guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations.

The agency’s spokesman, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told reporter on Wednesday that the church was yet to present a list of foreigners occupying the building before its collapse to the agency.

Mr Farinloye said that escalation exercise at the site of the Synagogue building may be concluded by midnight of Wednesday.


In the meantime, Death toll from the incident has risen to 78.

He pointed out that Zuma’s claim, would be between South Africa and the Church Management.

“Whatever the understand between them is, it is not part of our job, but we will do what is supposed to be done when we finish the emergency phase.

“The emergency phase is much more important than identification of victims. Their Ambassador was here on Monday and he was working with the church management without interaction with NEMA,” Mr Farinloye said.

He further explained that other embassies had called the NEMA to get information about their nationals but NEMA had referred them to the church management, as the agency was not given the list of persons in the building.

“We have not been given any list of people trapped by the Church management. We are working on a blind and guess work. Until we get to the last rubble, that is when we will be sure of the figure. The one we have given you is is the one we have accessed personally,” the NEMA official said.

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