TB Joshua church collapse: Children sue over father's death

Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos on Saturday, 13 September. Image copyright AP
Image caption More than 100 people, mostly visitors from South Africa, died in the church guesthouse collapse

Two South African children are suing the church of popular evangelist preacher TB Joshua after the collapse of one of its buildings in Nigeria killed their father in 2014.

Kalambaie wa Kalambaie was one of 116 people, including many South Africans, who died.

In 2015, a coroner in a Lagos court said "the church was culpable because of criminal negligence".

Mr Joshua and his church have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

The pastor has so far not been charged, but the engineers responsible for the building are facing criminal charges.

The two children, aged three and six, are looking for at least $520,000 (£370,000) in damages, say Lagos court papers quoted in the Nigerian media.

This is supposed to compensate for the money that their father would have been expected to provide them with until he turned 70.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some followers of TB Joshua say the building was attacked by a plane

Their lawyer Bolaji Ayorinde told the BBC that he has had a lot of inquiries from relatives of people who died in the building collapse about the possibility of taking action.

Mr Joshua, referred to by his followers as a "prophet", is one of Nigeria's best-known evangelists and is popular across Africa.

He blamed the 2014 incident on a small plane which he said had been circling the building, which was a multi-storey guesthouse in a Lagos compound belonging to the Synagogue, Church Of All Nations.

This was dismissed by the Lagos coroner.

Mr Ayorinde said he was not concerned about taking on the popular preacher arguing that "the law treats everyone as equal".

TB Joshua:

  • Founded Synagogue, Church of All Nations in the 1990s
  • Runs Christian television station Emmanuel TV
  • The ministry professes to heal all manner of illnesses
  • Controversially this includes HIV/Aids
  • Known as the "Prophet" by his followers
  • Tours Africa, the US, the UK and South America

Profile: Nigerian preacher TB Joshua

In pictures: TB Joshua's ministry in 2005

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