When I watched the 18h30 SABC3 News tonight, most reports were focusing on the collapse of a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. It belongs to the Synagogue, Church Of All Nations.
This is a huge, Nigerian church where around 15 000 people worship every Sunday. The leader is called “the Prophet”. His name is T B Joshua. According to SABC3 a number of prominent leaders from South Africa like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Julius Mandela and Dipuo Peters, the Minister of Transport, go there to be blessed or to get guidance. Could this be true? I have to search the web to find answers.
In City Press I find support that at least Winnie Mandela and Julius Malema have been there. City Press wrote on August 2013:
Julius Malema goes to Nigeria to be blessed
I also find a video on youtube where Dipuo Peters explains why she go to SCOAN and also watches the TV Channel: Emmanuel TV. She underscores the social work of the ministry, which I have no reason to doubt. Many charismatic churches do in fact carry out a lot of humanitarian work.
Another African leader, who finds strength from “the Prophet” is former Malawian President, Joyce Banda.
Back to the accident or catastrophe, rather. I looked at the website of the Synagogue, and nothing is said. Isn’t that an offense in itself?
Mail and Guardian on the other hand reports extensively:
President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that at least 67 South Africans had been killed when the building in the compound belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos collapsed; while three extra storeys were being added to the two existing floors.
To me this is remarkable. If the church cares for people. And if the prophet is one of the riches pastors in Africa. If so, how can one of their buildings collapse after extra storeys have been added?
According to Sunday World the Prophet has an explanation. His suggestion is that a low-flying aircraft was responsible for the collapse. He also claims that the plane was after him. On twitter he allegedly wrote:
Hard times may test me, they cannot destroy me.
But this is too cynical. People have died and he only thinks of himself.
My “research” on internet also takes me to Wikipedia and I am quite chocked to find that this collapse is already included there:
On 12 September 2014 a guesthouse collapsed in Lagos killing at least 67 South Africans. Two extra storeys were being built when it collapsed and rescue officials cited this action, without corresponding reinforcement of the building's foundations, to be the likely cause. However Joshua claimed a small plane had circled over the building four times before it collapsed and it may have been an attempt to kill him. Rescue officials also stated that they experienced hostility by members of the congregation to their rescue efforts.
I don’t claim to have unearthed the full truth here, but most of the information I get makes me rather suspicious.