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Pretoria – The Presidency has confirmed that 67 South Africans have been killed and scores others injured after a building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, 12 September, in Lagos, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

President Jacob Zuma has expressed his sadness at the loss of lives and sent his condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones.

“This is a particularly difficult time for South Africa. Not in the recent history of our country have we had this large number of our people die in one incident outside the country.

“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues that have lost their loved ones in this heart-breaking tragedy. The whole nation shares the pain of the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who have lost their loved ones. We are all in grief,” said President Zuma.

President Zuma said he has directed the relevant Government departments and entities to act with the utmost urgency to ensure that the movement of relevant family members is facilitated to Nigeria to identify the bodies of their loved ones and to ensure that the remains are repatriated as soon as possible under the circumstances.

“I would like to take this opportunity also to thank all family members and friends who have provided information to Government, which information has assisted the South African High Commission in Nigeria in its efforts to locate our fellow citizens.

“I would also like to commend all affected families for their patience and resolve during this very painful period.”

President Zuma thanked the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their support during this difficult time.

“We also send our sincere condolences to the people of Nigeria and all other nations affected by this tragedy,” he said.

He assured all the affected families that the Government will provide all the necessary support and said Government will keep the public informed of developments around this tragedy.