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South Africa: KZN church collapse: Families to identify remains of loved ones

DURBAN – The bereaved families of 13 churchgoers killed in a church collapse in KwaZulu-Natal will identify their remains at the Richards Bay mortuary on Tuesday.

The majority of those who lost their lives when the wall and part of a roof at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Dlangubo collapsed during a passover service on Thursday were women. A 13-year-old child also died. 

On Sunday, the names of the deceased were released:  Samkelisiwe Mzila – Ulundi;Thandazo Dube – Ulundi;Minenhle Mdluli – Ulundi;Nonkanyiselo Shandu – Ulundi;Nokuthula Hlongwane – Ulundi;Alice Mhlongo – eSikhawini;Lungi Mcambi – eSikhawini;Bongekile Masondo – eSikhawini;Ntando Mlondi – eSikhawini;Thule Ncube – eSikhawini;Mthabela Andiswa – Maqhwakazi;Thembi Mthabela – Maqhwakazi; Alta Langa – Maqhwakazi.

News24 previously reported that the collapse was thought to have been caused by heavy rainfall in the northern part of the province, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the identification process would start at 09:00 in Richards Bay after a short prayer service.

“Various government departments and municipalities have been assigned by the provincial government to provide all forms of help and support to the families of the deceased as they deal with the tragedy,” Mabaso said.

Mabaso said counselling would also be given to the relatives identifying the bodies of their loved ones. 

“An additional team of doctors will be brought in to also assist,” said Mabaso.

The collapse of the wall was being investigated by authorities.

Since the incident, the church has received a stream of condolences and support from political, church, government and traditional leaders.

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