PREMIER MABUZA TO RECEIVE MORTAL REMAINS OF MPUMALANGA CITIZENS
16 November 2014
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza is in Pretoria accompanying 18 families to receive the mortal remains of people who perished when a Nigerian church building collapsed two months ago.
Premier Mabuza is being joined by Social Development MEC Nomsa Mtsweni and senior government officials.
Initially the number of people from Mpumalanga province who reportedly died in this accident were 24 but only 18 could be positively identified.
The provincial government has been assisting the families by providing support in a form of counseling and food on weekly basis.
The government has again this weekend provided them with transport and accommodation to Pretoria to receive the remains of their loved ones. This assistance will be extended to all the families until the remains are buried.
Once the remains, which were loaded in Nigeria in the specialized provincial government refrigerated trucks have landed in Waterkloof Military Airforce Base today, they will be transported through the same 23-carrier truck to Themba Hospital, in Mbombela overnight.
The provincial government has organized a memorable service which will take place tomorrow [Monday, 17 November 2014] at the Provincial Disaster Management Centre in Mbombela on the R40 Road at will start at 11h00.
The family members who are currently accommodated in Pretoria will depart tomorrow morning [Monday, 17 November 2014] to attend the service in Mbombela.
The one hour-service will be attended by family members, relatives and friends as well as government officials only.
After the service the provincial government will assist the families with specialised government pathology vehicles to transport the remains to their nearest government hospitals. The vehicles are refrigerated to maintain a particular temperature to keep the bodies frozen.
It is from these government mortuaries where families will collect the remains of their loved ones for burial. Because of the state of decomposition and disfigurement through the collapse of the building, most of the remains are not recognizable and families have been advised not to open the sealed covers. The families are advised to bury their loved ones as quickly as possible. Families can be assured that the DNA tests conducted have been verified and they will be burying the correct people.
Of the 84 people who died, a large number of them come from Mpumalanga province, followed by the Eastern Cape.
From Ehlanzeni District, four people come from Nkomazi municipality, two comes from Umjindi, eight come from Mbombela, five come from Bushbuckridge municipality.
In Gert Sibande District, two come from Chief Albert Luthuli, one from Msukaligwa, one Lekwa.
In Nkangala District, one comes from the Steve Tshwete municipality.
The Honourable Premier would like once more to send his condolences to the bereaved families, friends and colleagues; and would like to assure them that the provincial government is sharing their deepest sorrow and will do anything to assist and comfort them during this difficult times.
“We would like to extend our appreciation of the efforts by our national government in assisting the families by returning the remains of their loved ones so that they can get closure after enduring two months of uncertainty and pain.
“We are aware that there are those who are still awaiting the results of the process of identification of the bodies in Nigeria, we will continue to pray with them and hope that they will eventually receive the remains of their loved ones so that they can also get closure,” said Mabuza.
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163
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