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T.B Joshua takes relatives of building collapse victims on shopping spree

Prophet TB Joshua
TB Joshua has taken some
of the relatives of the 85 South Africans killed when a guesthouse collapsed at
the Synagogue, Church of All Nations on a shopping spree and showered them with
cash.

The
controversial pastor extended invitations to 44 relatives of the deceased for
Christmas dinner and many accepted. Another group is expected to go to Nigeria
this month.
Mpumalanga schoolteacher, Wonder Ndlovu,
47, whose husband, Mbongeni Ndlovu, 52, died in the collapse, was among the
first group to spend time with the pastor after the tragedy.
She
told the Daily News they had a “nice time” in Nigeria and had been taken
shopping – apparently at Joshua’s expense – as well as handed 50 000 Naira
(about R3 200), and taken out to the best hotels.
They
also visited the site where their loved ones died. “He (Joshua) took us to a
five-star posh hotel for dinner, fine food and drinks. The hotel is in Victoria
Island,” said Ndlovu.
“After
chilling, we came back in his luxurious kombis. (There were) more surprises
while (we were) preparing to sleep. The mamas who took us shopping knocked and
presented us with 50 000 naira each and they said we (must not) use all our
(own) shopping money… I just sang A huna ya tshwana le yena (there’s no one
like him),” she said.
On
Monday, the group visited the disaster site and Ndlovu said it was an emotional
experience. “We met with the man of God (Joshua) and he briefed us about the
site visit.
“Wiseman
Harry and other evangelists took us there, it was very emotional for me, but
others were strong and comforting.
“I
brought flowers from South Africa and laid them with my son.” Added Ndlovu:
“The prophet is full of surprises. After weeping, he took us to the city to see
places. To our surprise we shopped till we dropped and the bill is on him.”
Joshua
laid his hands on and prayed for the relatives, a feeling Ndlovu described as a
“touch from heaven”.
“We
were having the time of our lives, forgetting the pain of the past and looking
forward to picking up the pieces and moving on. Yesterday has gone by, but
tomorrow is forever.”
Ndlovu
said of the disaster site: “It is ugly. Looking at the building foundations, we
are convinced it was an attack.”
The
Lagos state coroner is carrying out an inquest into the causes of the collapse
at a guesthouse within the church’s compound.
Expert
witnesses have said the structure was unsound and lacked proper permits but
Joshua’s vocal followers have insisted the building came down as a result of
foul play, and was a bid to destroy the powerful religious leader.
Among the theories advanced by Joshua
loyalists is that a plane flying in the area at the time of the collapse
dropped an explosive device on the building.
One
weapons expert called by the church’s lawyers, Beidomu Iguniwei, has testified
that the collapse could have been caused by an “infrasonic weapon”.
Meanwhile,
some of the KZN families who have received invitations to meet Joshua this
month said they would gladly go.
Simphiwe
Ngcobo, 29, of Durban North, said the trip to the Nigerian capital would help
him connect “spiritually” with his parents, Dickie and Dennis Ngcobo.
He
said he was excited about the trip and would travel with a relative this month.
“It is important for us to go to the site and pay our respects to our loved
ones. We have accepted their death and we are moving on.
“We
could have gone with the first group of families but we decided to be with the
family over Christmas,” he said.
“We have no qualms against
anyone, which is why we have gladly accepted this wonderful gesture from the
man of God.”
Reverend Eric Myeni, whose
29-year-old son, Sabelo, died in the September 12 collapse, has also accepted
Joshua’s invitation.
He
hopes to meet Joshua and receive spiritual guidance. “We need to overcome what
has happened by showing our faith in Christ. We can never reverse our
adversity. But with hope in the Lord we can overcome the pain suffered,” he
said.
While
74 bodies were flown back to South Africa last month, relatives and friends of
the remaining 11 spent the festive season without closure as the forensic
identification process was still under way.
Speaking
from Nigeria, Kirsten Nematandani, a spokesman for the church based in South
Africa, confirmed a second group would visit this month.
He
said the “healing” process for the families began last Friday when they had
gathered for three hours at the church’s “Prayer Mountain”.
“It
is where our prophet’s vision started. When you walk to the sacred mountain,
you have to take off your shoes. It is a life-changing experience,” Nematandani
said.
“We
have been staying at the church premises. The prophet stays here too.”
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