SA sends condolences to Nigeria, Egypt after church tragedies

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has extended South Africa’s condolences to Nigeria and Egypt following tragedies that occurred this weekend at churches in these countries.

On Saturday, a church roof collapsed during a service at the evangelical Reigners Bible Ministry in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria.

Although estimates indicate that over 60 people were killed, local media are reporting that the death toll could be as high as 160.

“We extend our deepest condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the loss of lives following the church roof collapse in Uyo. South Africa wishes all the injured speedy recoveries,” President Zuma said on Sunday.

In Egypt, a bomb blast killed about 25 people and left many wounded during mass at St Marks Cathedral, the main Coptic church in central Cairo, on Sunday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group celebrated the attack on social media.

South Africa has joined the international community in condemning the “terrorist attack”, saying it has no place in the world.

“We would like to convey our deepest condolences to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as to families of the deceased.

“South Africa wishes to reiterate its commitment to the international initiatives aimed at fighting the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism,” said President Zuma. - SAnews.gov.za