Dirco minister avoids ‘finger-pointing’ over Nigeria church building collapse

By Andisiwe Makinana –

The South African government did not hear from its Nigerian counterpart about the deaths of 67 South Africans during the collapse of a church building in Nigeria last Friday.

It instead heard from its own diplomats over a period of four days that the incident was “quite serious and tragic”. But Department of International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane refused to point fingers or raise doubts about the strength of the diplomatic ties between the two countries when she spoke to journalists on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s un-South-African to get into finger-pointing at a time where we’re dealing with a tragedy,” she said. Nkoana-Mashabane also refused to entertain the reports that Nigerian authorities were denying that South Africans had died in the incident.

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