SA duo claim t o have seen plane

Mys­tery plane blamed f or La­gos dis­as­ter

Weekend Witness - - Ne Ws - MARIDA FITZP ATRICK

TWO South Africans claim to have seen the mys­te­ri­ous aero­plane that T.B. Joshua says caused the col­lapse of his church guest house.

Up t o 84 South Africans ar e no w feared dead in the dis­as­ter in La­gos last Fri­day.

Juanita Sikanyika (38), a la wyer from Fair­lands, and Themba Mohlapi (36), a Sand­ton e vent plan­ner , said y es­ter­day they sa w and hear d the plane.

Sikanyika and M ohlapi spok e in J ohannesburg at a me­dia c on­fer­ence on Em­manuel­TV, J os­hua’s TV chan­nel.

Sikanyika is a mem­ber of the Rhema church while Mohlapi be­longs to Joshua’s S yn­a­gogue Chur ch of All N ations (Scoan).

Sikanyika w as in Lag os on bu­sine ss last Fri­day, but “I also w an­ted to go to the church”, she said. She said she w as stand­ing on the b al­cony of her hot el room near the church when she saw the plane. “It w as fl ying v ery, v ery lo w. It looked sus­pi­cious t o me. I lat er sa w it again. It was shaped like a fish,” she said.

A while later — she could not say how long — the church hos­tel col­lapsed, but she didn’ t see or hear this, “be­cause I was in the b ath”.

Mohlapi was on a “spir­i­tual visit” to the church and was stay­ing in one of the three­storey hos­tels op­po­site the build­ing that c ol­lapsed.

He heard a loud bang when the build­ing fell. Shortly be­fore that, he hear d a plane “fl ying close t o the build­ing ”.

“When I heard the bang, I thought the plane had crashed. I ran to the win­dow and saw dust and peo­ple. It was a ghastly scene. I saw peo­ple with their legs hang­ing by a piece of skin. It was shock­ing.”

Joshua has pr evi­ously been r eported as blam­ing “I slamic e xtrem­ists” f or throw­ing a “chem­i­cal” out of a small plane and caus­ing the c ol­lapse.

PHOTO: REUTER S

Na­tional Emer gency Man­age­ment Agency (Nema) spokesper­son Ibrahim F arin­loye re­acts at the sit e of a c ol­lapsed build­ing at the Synagogue Chur ch of All Na­tions.

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