Synagogue Church tragedy: TB Joshua lures families of dead South African victims with cash, anointed water

Posted by News Express | 6 October 2014 | 4,448 times

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General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All of Nations (SCOAN) in the Ikotun area of Lagos, Temitope Balogun Joshua, on whose premises a collapsed six-storey building on September 12 killed about 80 South Africans in addition to some Nigerians, has sent some ‘relief’ materials to the South African victims.

The South African Sunday Times newspaper reported on Sunday that Joshua has sent teams of his ‘evangelists’ across South Africa to drop off R5,000 (about N75,000), maize meal and anointed water to family members of those killed in church guesthouse collapse.

According to the Sunday Times report, several families said they had been presented with gifts on behalf of Joshua.

But not all were impressed, the newspaper also reported.

Thanduxolo Doro, who lost his sister, Vathiswa Madikiza, in the tragedy said since his recent call for a class-action lawsuit against Joshua, representatives of the church had repeatedly tried to set up a meeting with him.

“They met with my family at home, offering condolences, and gave them R5,000. I told them: ‘Whatever you are offering, it can never compare with the life of my sister,’” said Doro.

Madikiza had paid R18,000 (about N270,000) to travel from South Africa to Lagos to visit the church.

So far, the newspaper reported that five families have indicated they will join Doro in his bid to take legal action against the church and that two legal firms have offered their services.

Kirsten Nematandani, a former President of the South African Football Association and a “fellow” of the Synagogue Church of All of Nations, confirmed that several teams had visited each affected family.

“In fact this is the second round of visits,” he said.

“We are assisting the families with whatever they need, school fees, rent, groceries and toiletries.

“The families are so grateful for the help … we take the message from the man of God that they must pray with him for the loss of their loved ones. We give them the anointed water to strengthen them.”

Nematandani assured that the church would continue to support the families.

The son of another woman who died in the building collapse said his family received two bags of groceries as well as the cash.

“It is the thought that counts. I know it’s not much but we took the money.”

Mxolisi Catazo, whose wife, Amanda Fina, was among the 80 South Africans who died in the building collapse, said: “The church people did come to see me on Monday and they said I must call them when I need help with the funeral. They didn’t give me any money.”

A woman who has been travelling with other church representatives told the newspaper: “This is what the church is about. It’s about giving. We are offering families counselling, prayer and practical assistance.”

The woman, who asked not to be named, said the church’s broadcast arm, Emmanuel TV – which is based in Rivonia in northern Johannesburg – was co-ordinating the relief teams.

“The media has been so negative about the church and all the church has been doing is helping people. That is our ministry,” she said.

The woman said families were given food hampers and cash with the promise of more money in the future.

•Text excerpted from a Daily Independent report. Photo shows

Source: News Express

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