TB Joshua church collapse: Third Zimbabwean confirmed dead

via TB Joshua church collapse: Third Zimbabwean confirmed dead – Nehanda Radio Sep 27 2014

A 37-YEAR-OLD woman has become the third Zimbabwean to be confirmed to have died after a guesthouse owned by the controversial Nigerian evangelist, TB Joshua, collapsed on September 12.

Jane Sibanda’s brother, Danford Hwature, speaking from South Africa, said his sister had gone to Nigeria “to seek deliverance and salvation” at TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, but the family had since been given the dreadful news of her death.

Jane, nee Hwature, lived in South Africa with her husband.

TB Joshua inspires an almost fanatical devotion from thousands of followers around the world who are drawn to his services by claims of miracle-working and prophecies.

The church hostel, used to house foreign visitors, crumbled because it had more floors than its foundation could hold, according to authorities.

The building, which is attached to the main church, was originally built as a double storey but TB Joshua had ordered the addition of four more floors.

At Jane’s family home in Entumbane, her father, Isaac Hwature, appealed to TB Joshua’s church to bring his daughter’s body home for a proper burial.

“We’re in the dark about everything. We don’t even know where to start,” he said. “Culturally, it’s not right to let our daughter’s body lie in a foreign land for this long. We don’t know much and we’re relying on her elder brother, who lives in South Africa.”

The death toll from the guesthouse collapse continues to rise with at least 115 people — including 84 South Africans — now having been pulled from the rubble. TB Joshua’s church refuses to take questions about how many people died, and their nationalities.

The Foreign Affairs ministry has maintained that it has not been able to establish the exact number of Zimbabweans who died in the disaster, but Sibanda is the third confirmed victim.

The MDC-T’s Mashonaland West chairman Greenwich Ndanga and Catherine Ndlovu, a mother of two from Mpopoma in Bulawayo, are among the dead.

Sibanda’s brother, Danford, told Chronicle from South Africa that TB Joshua’s representatives had been to meet him and her husband to offer their condolences. The church had also pledged to help meet the burial expenses, he added.

Danford said they had also spoken to the South African government which is sending a charter plane to Lagos to bring the bodies of its dead home. The repatriation has been delayed by DNA tests which are underway to identify the bodies.

“We’re waiting for that process [repatriation of bodies] to happen,” he said.

At least two South Africans who lost relatives in the building collapse say they are preparing to sue TB Joshua.

The two men, who both lost sisters in the collapse, are appealing for more families to come together in bringing a case against the preacher.

Last Sunday, TB Joshua announced plans to travel to South Africa once every month for mid-week services to save his followers travel costs — but a campaign led by the African National Congress’ Youth League is underway to stop the government from issuing him a visa.

Emergency workers allege they were prevented from participating in the rescue, only gaining full access to the site on Sunday afternoon — accusations denied by TB Joshua who has stuck to a theory that a small plane which flew over the building four times deliberately triggered the building collapse.

Victim Ndlovu’s family accused TB Joshua’s church of erecting a “wall of lies” in the aftermath of the disaster. At first, they allegedly insisted that she was alive and only after several days did they finally admit she was not coming home.

Thanduxolo Doro and Mpho Molebatsi waited at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport for days after the collapse for news of their sisters. Both families had last heard from their relatives hours before the collapse, which happened at about 13:50 local time (12.50 GMT) on Friday, September 12.

“It’s not that the building collapsed, rather what was done after the collapse — we didn’t get any news from the church,” Doro, whose sister Vathiswa Madikiza died, told the BBC.

“When I contacted them, they wouldn’t tell me anything. We saw reports that emergency workers were denied access initially, access that could have saved lives. The actions of the church after the incident are very telling.”

In an open letter published in South Africa’s Star newspaper, Doro called on more families to sue TB Joshua.

“I need to do this for her. Even if I stand alone, I’m determined to see that something is done,” he said.

“I understand that some families are afraid to take on someone who purports to be God’s messenger and I don’t blame them, but I will do this.”

He has been in contact with Molebatsi, whose sister Hlubi Molebatsi was also killed. Molebatsi says he has called his lawyers.

“I’ve spoken to other families but it has been difficult because this is a time of mourning. I would like to see families get something from the church as some of the people who died were breadwinners,” he said.

Some 25 survivors of the collapse are continuing to receive medical care following their return to South Africa.

Officials say 16 of the wounded are in critical condition, with some having had limbs amputated and other complication.

Since the disaster, at least two journalists have told how TB Joshua tried to bribe them to influence them to write positively about him.

TB Joshua founded the church in the late 1980s with only eight members and at the moment he has between 15,000 to 20,000 people who attend his sermons every Sunday in Lagos.

Some of his followers include prominent African politicians, among them the former Malawian President Joyce Banda, Zanu PF Minister Chris Mushowe and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who said this week that he once slept at the collapsed guesthouse. Chronicle


  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    This is a sad article in filled with incorrect statements from the church authorities in Nigeria.
    If this building collapsed due to the plane which flew over it,then it is technically possible that the foundation of this building was very weak indeed.The noise from this plane created sound vibrations which made the foundation to shake resulting in this sudden collapsing as can be seen from the video that the bottom of it fell first then the rest it followed.
    The church authorities were wrong to delay rescue teams from entering the site,unless they had something to hide before opening the site to the government personnel.Some lives could have been saved if help had been given in good time.
    What really surprises me is that this Prophet can forecast other people’s tragedy but not his or his followers.The Holy Bible is quite clear on these prophets and it says towards the end times many false prophets will do wonders using God’s name,however those who read their Bibles carefully can tell who is false or genuine.Most of these prophets conduct these stage managed services whereby these followers are subjected to collective behaviour whereby a chain reaction is automatically considered as success of the staged acting.When you watch the rehearsed bodily action it makes me question how can intelligent people fall prey to these schemes.
    The massive support these false prophets have is a clear indication that the masses are looking for life solutions from the churches due to stresses caused by our poor performing governments,only to be cheated by these naive and misguided so-called prophets.

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    revenger avenger 8 years ago

    It is quite clear that this is a warning from god to the gullible naive worshippers of all false-profits . You follow withchdoktors at your own peril. Usurpers fleecing the poor

    • comment-avatar
      Alan Paton 8 years ago

      These self-proclaimed prophets taking advantage of the suffering of gullible souls – may the Lord take control.

  • comment-avatar
    mark longhurst 8 years ago

    It is a pity that of god does exist he doesn’t get rid of more of these charlatans and looters of human spirit-the blind leading the blind..

    • comment-avatar
      Reverend 8 years ago

      Why should HE Mark, why dont ‘we’ get rid of them? Those who dont believe in God mock what they feel He is not capable of and yet deny what he does and has done. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God…even me and you, but if you ask Him to reveal himself to you, He will.

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    I think Mixed race has hit it spot on. The suffering cause by poor governances has caused desperate people to look for alternative solutions and these so called Prophets (conmen) are there ready to pounce. There is so much suffering in Africa that you would expect these rich preachers to use their riches to alleviate the suffering. What they do instead is like leaches ,suck out all the remaining blood from their victims.

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      patriot 8 years ago

      @ doc do little. Spiritual problems has nothing to do with politics. People who are flying to Nigeria to seek deliverance from the so called prophet of God TB Joshua are not the poorest people, but are actually the wealthiest people. Flying from South Africa to Nigeria is something like R20000 which shows how wealthy these people are. So can you just refrain from lying to the world that this disaster was attributed by poor governances which is not a valid point in this matter!!!

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    gonzo 8 years ago

    pity god did not teach them how to build houses in a proper way

  • comment-avatar
    chihera 8 years ago

    Kuchekeresa uku, and yet people are so blinded not see it. Be carefull of the Spirits behind some of these so called ” Prophets”

  • comment-avatar
    TB JOUSHA 6 years ago

    Peace of the lord be onto you soul you can contact my private email for personal prayers and advises