‘I didn’t see the signs’

CityPress - - News - NOKUTHULA MANY­ATHI Nokuthula.Many­athi@city­press.co.za Than­dux­olo Doro’s sis­ter died at TB Joshua’s guest­house in Nige­ria

A month after his sis­ter Vathiswa Madik­iza’s death, Than­dux­olo Doro wishes he had seen the omens – which he now be­lieves were ev­ery­where.

“God speaks, qui­etly, but he speaks. And some­times we don’t lis­ten,” he says as he re­flects on the events that led to his sis­ter’s fate­ful trip to TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Na­tions in La­gos.

Madik­iza, a high school teacher and mother of one, had planned to travel to Nige­ria in Au­gust, but had to post­pone her trip after she had lost her pass­port.

Be­fore she left, she took photographs of all her loved ones – so her fam­ily could be with her on her pil­grim­age.

On their way to the air­port on Septem­ber 11, Madik­iza (40) re­peat­edly thanked Doro for his help. She did so again at the air­port and seemed re­luc­tant to go.

She also sent an SMS from the plane thank­ing him again.

In the last con­ver­sa­tion with Madik­iza on Septem­ber 12, mere min­utes be­fore the build­ing col­lapse, she “sounded som­bre”, dif­fer­ent to her ear­lier self.

But although her de­layed trip led to her un­timely death, in hind­sight Doro, who lives in Jo­han­nes­burg, says the post­pone­ment was an un­ex­pected gift: a chance to re­con­nect with his younger sis­ter who lived in the East­ern Cape.

When Doro learnt about the guest­house col­lapse, he rushed to the air­port “hop­ing she was one of the sur­vivors”. He tried to call her, all to no avail.

Since then, it has been an ag­o­nis­ing wait – for an­swers and to lay Madik­iza to rest. While con­fu­sion sur­rounds the repa­tri­a­tion of his sis­ter’s body and the cause of the build­ing col­lapse, Doro says the vic­tims de­serve jus­tice.

“We want TB Joshua to be held ac­count­able,” he says.

Madik­iza’s death is tak­ing a toll on the fam­ily – their mother has since taken ill. To make amends, Joshua has sent evan­ge­lists to de­liver pay­outs and food.

“They gave us R5 000. But when they saw my mother was not well, they re­turned and left an ad­di­tional R2 000.”

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