SA team dispatched to Lagos

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cape Town – Government has dispatched a search and rescue team to Lagos to assist in the recovery of the remains of South Africans killed during a tragic building collapse in Nigeria, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

The ten-member team comprises a variety of experts dealing with search and rescue in rubble, as well as doctors, amongst others.

This follows the announcement by President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday night that 67 South Africans were killed during a building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations last Friday.

“As per the instruction of our President Jacob Zuma, government has activated here at home a disaster management process and is treating the matter with the utmost urgency it deserves.

“Government understands fully the anguish and pain of the affected families and we are walking this difficult and painful [journey] hand in hand with the families.

“I am also able to confirm that an advanced team from the disaster management centre that I spoke about are boarding an aircraft to Nigeria with all the expertise that we thought was needed,” she said.

She said the South African Consular General to Nigeria was on the scene and working around the clock to get as much information as possible.

The Minister said affected families would be assisted with the process of identifying their loved ones and the repatriation of the remains of the victims.

She said the department has a hotline, an operations centre number 012 351 1000, for families and relatives to call in and get consular assistance.  

The department has also set up an Operations Room in Pretoria which provides consular services and advice to families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The public can contact the department on the following contact numbers: 012 351 0924 / 012 351 1757/ 012 351 1262 or 012 351 1623.

South Africans can also contact the department by making use of the Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA) website and email facility, or or call 012 351 0682.

The Minister also appealed to the families to send through pictures of their loved ones to the department, on the e-mail address She said this would help officials identify the victims during the search and rescue mission. –



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