Thanduxolo Doro: Calling TB Joshua to account for the SCOAN deaths

Doro3Thanduxolo Doro lost his sister in the SCOAN building collapse. He has been instrumental in leading a group of around 10 families in taking legal action against TB Joshua. In this post we interview him and give details on how families of other victims can join the campaign to hold TB Joshua to account for the deaths. Please visit his website: http://tbjoshuamustaccountfordeaths.co.za/

TBJW: Hi Thanduxolo, first of all, huge condolences on the death of your sister, but great work fighting for justice for her and the other families. How many families have joined with you so far?

Thanduxolo: Thank you for your words of condolences and encouragement. So far there are eleven families that are willing to sue TB Joshua. But I must add that this number fluctuates now and then. Some families drop out due to promises  of TB Joshua’s disciples that they are going to educate the deceased’s kids etc.

TBJW: Have you (or your family) received any assistance from SCOAN since your sisters death? If so, what?

Thanduxolo: Yes, in my family they left R7000 ($630) and other families report having received from R2000 ($180) to R5000 ($450) Editors note: as we mentioned in the previous post, not all families have received something.

TBJW: What contact has SCOAN had with you, did they initiate any contact, or was it just in response to you? How truthful have they been to you?

Thanduxolo: They went to my family because of the noise I am making. I continue making noise because my sister is worth much more than any money SCOAN can give. In fact, I told them this is an insult and a disempowering act to already struggling families. I shared platforms with their chief coordinator on public radio. They have been wanting to have a meeting with me. I refused because other families backed down from this campaign after such meetings. They brainwash people, making them watch a video of a collapsing building and promising to take care of all their needs.

TBJW: How can people help with the civil case? What should families do if they want to join with you?

Thanduxolo: Families need to be able to come to a common venue for an explanation of the process by the lawyers. On consenting that the families agree to the process they sign powers of attorney. Affected families can join the campaign calling for ‘TB Joshua to account‘ by sending an e-mail to info@tbjoshuaMustAccountForDeaths.co.za or by calling 079 057 2083. I have also written to South African Government to provide on-going counseling to affected families as we continue to wait indefinitely for the remains.

TBJW: Thanks for your time, we commend you for the brave work you are doing while fighting to get justice for your sister.

Thanduxolo: I really appreciate your support. We need to do more in educating people about God. TB Joshua followers are bombarding me with insults and threats of wrath from God. The God I worship is a very compassionate God. He is a loving God, in fact He is Love. But people do not know that, they idolize and worship fellow human beings. It is so sad.

Building collapse updates

Inquest begins

On Monday the 13th October, the inquest into the building collapse begins. It is reported that TB Joshua will take to the stand, but we’ll believe that when we see it. SCOAN have been doggedly continuing their propaganda, flipflopping between a mad hypothesis involving a UFO and claiming it was a controlled explosion. Hopefully this inquest will put to rest these ridiculous claims and the appropriate people will be held to account for their irresponsibility. Please pray that the inquest will be honest, thorough and get to the truth.

Suffering of the victims

Some of the bereaved families have started to receive a paltry amount of compensation from SCOAN. We’ve heard figures from between R2000 – R7000 ($180 – $630) per victim. For reference, it is likely the deceased family member paid at least R5000 on flights to Lagos alone.

Some families have not even received anything. One lady who lost her husband has told us “He was the only breadwinner in our house and he went to see TB Joshua in the hope that he will receive prayer for the cancer he has been fighting for almost a year. We saved up for the trip as this was our last hope. I am now at home and do not even have money to pay the rent or the kids school fees as there has been no income. My husband was not suppose to be gone for so long and now he is gone for good.”

One man Thanduxolo Doro lost his sister in the building collapse. He is mobilising a group of bereaved families to sue TB Joshua. You can visit his site here: http://tbjoshuamustaccountfordeaths.co.za/ we will have an interview with him posted in the next couple of days.

Please pray for the grieving relatives of the deceased. Pray they will be supported and that justice will be served.

TB Joshua’s UK Terror prediction

On the 29th August, the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) changed the UK threat level from international terrorism from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE (source). Right on cue, two days later TB Joshua predicted a terror attack in the UK sometime between the middle and end of September. This was a fairly safe bet to hedge, but thankfully was wrong.

Thank God the UK has remained safe recently from terror attacks, and shame on TB Joshua for taking advantage of peoples fear through these constant fake prophecies.

SCOAN lies exposed on Nigerian “Channels TV”

Nigeria’s Channels TV have done a great job of covering the SCOAN disaster in a balanced and thorough way. In an extensive hour long interview, SCOAN spokesman Ken Emeakayi (a former politician who was allegedly once kidnapped but rescued thanks to the anointed water) wilted under the questions put to him by the presenters and viewers. His words were a mixture of blatant lies, and bold definitive statements that will most likely soon be exposed as lies. For example:

Blatant lies

  • CCTV clearly shows the plane was a Hercules C-130 and it hovered less than 40’ from the building (First of all, a plane cannot hover and wasn’t shown to hover in the video, second if the plane was as large as a C-130, then it was considerably further away than 40′)
  • Building fell down between 5 to 15 minutes after the plane last hovered, in fact their own CCTV footage shows it to be nearly an hour, to which he claims “it is not possible” (Part 5, first section). See screenshots below, and compare for yourself on the Emmanuel TV youtube channel.

    Proof that it was 50 minutes between the last flyover of an aircraft and the building collapse

    Proof that it was 50 minutes between the last flyover of an aircraft and the building collapse

  • No building in the world has ever fallen down like this all by itself (The presenter is quick to rubbish this ridiculous claim), it must have been a controlled explosion.
  • In these days of modern technology, explosions don’t always make a noise.
  • We were not doing any construction work on the auditorium. The only work being done was on interiors, the exterior and structure was complete (see photo showing scaffolding, missing windows and unrendered exterior)Pack_of_lies_from_SCOAN_-_Google_Docs

Bold statements, likely to be exposed as lies

  • We had approval for 12 floors, the authorities have come and inspected the foundations and found they were suitable for a 12 storey building.
  • We have provided all approval documentation to the authorities (the authorities claim they’ve provided nothing)
  • The sound of the explosion was captured by the CCTV (then why wasn’t it on the video they released and why is he talking about new “silent explosions”?!)

He was evasive with the truth for the entire interview. When asked about the allegation that TB Joshua bribed journalists to only report those who survived, not the deaths, he claimed he knew nothing of it, and that it was impossible it would have happened (he’s either lying or kept so isolated from outside news sources that he’s genuinely not aware that his master was caught on tape bribing journalists).

When asked 4 times how many people had died, he refused to give an answer, saying that wasn’t the job of the church. Again, SCOAN are trying desperately to ignore that fact that multitudes died on their site.

We commend the presenters on Channels TV for asking the hard questions that should be on everyone’s mind, for example:

  • Don’t planes often fly over this area?
  • How do you know it’s the same aircraft?
  • There are multiple guest houses, why did the plane target this specific one, that happened to be under construction?
  • Why would the “man of God” have been expected to be in that guest house when the supposed attempt on his life took place?
  • If you know that you have done nothing wrong and you have the proof, what have you got to worry about?
  • The CCTV that captured the plane hovering – did the same CCTV capture when those explosives were put in there? Did you see those who planted it?
  • CCTV Video appears to show helicopter, photo clearly shows a C-130 plane. They are two different aircraft.
  • You have said multiple times that the aircraft was hovering, but the CCTV clips just show it following a path near the building, coming and going. It’s not hovering, or circling.
  • Don’t you think you’re exaggerating the aircraft issue?
  • Why would an aircraft be needed to detonate the explosives? Isn’t that quite an indiscreet way of doing it?

What a shame Mr Emeakayi was either unwilling or unable to give a coherent answer to any of these questions. We’ll close with the words of a commenter from the Channels TV site that sums up our feelings very well:

I listened to the guy’s cock-and-bull on Channels TV Sunrise programme in the morning. It was too good to be true. I couldn’t believe his blank yet persistent attempt at deception. He couldn’t even convince himself! I am shocked at the length men can go to deviously manipulate others in the name of Christ. I can’t blame them. I blame those who would rather believe the flowery lies of preachers/false preachers without cross checking with the Bible. THAT GUY WAS A BAD LIAR.

Full interview (5 parts)

Ex-disciple Gareth reflects on the SCOAN tragedy

Workers and visitors were housed in this unfinished building before it collapsed.

Workers and visitors were housed in this unfinished building before it collapsed.

I am sickened by the horrific loss of life at SCOAN. My heart bleeds for the injured and those who have lost loved ones. The responsibility for these deaths is with TB Joshua – he sees himself above the law and this tragedy is an awful culmination of his meglomania.

Nigeria, let justice be done. Bangladesh (hardly the bastion of transparency) handled the case of the Rena Plaza building collapse much better – a case was filed against the owners THE NEXT DAY. Why haven’t cases been filed against TB Joshua and SCOAN? Why are journalists and politicians even discussing the “unknown aircraft”?

Lets look at some of the bizarre events following the tragedy:

NEMA officials were prevented from accessing the site for 3 days.
This is criminal in itself. Why would it happen? TB Joshua see’s himself above the law and wanted to control the story. He was far more concerned about his appearance than the potential to save lives. Press and cameramen were also driven away for the same reason. Why on earth would you fight away the press and rescue officials unless you had something to hide?

TB Joshua denied the above with a cryptic statement. But who’s word do we take? Several independent witnesses or TB Joshua? My experience with TB Joshua has taught me to never take him at his word – always look at the actions. There is a huge difference between what he says and what he (or his followers) do. For example: “The church members however remained hostile to journalists despite the apology by Mr. Joshua“.

“A building, not the church auditorium as was reported, “The few people that were there are being rescued…”
This first “official” statement is wrong on so many levels. They knew there were many people in the building including large South African groups. They knew those people were missing. They knew because all of those visitors had paid to stay at the church. This statement is TB Joshua trying desperately to control the story – again with absolutely no regard to the victims or their families. He was more concerned that people thought his church auditorium had collapsed. The statement doesn’t even make sense – this is proof positive that it was directly from TB Joshua. If you’ve ever heard him speak, you know that he speaks in cryptic half sentences.

The Sunday Church Service continued as normal
I just don’t understand this. How can TB Joshua, all dolled up with make-up have a service as if nothing had happened. While people were still trapped just metres away! The service should have been cancelled to ensure the emergency services could operate effectively. But TB Joshua wanted to try and control the story. Sunday was his chance to try and blame Boko Haram and UFOs.

I could go on, but I’m sick. Lives are lost and this man is playing the media.
Please shout for justice to be done.

Pressure mounts on Nigerian authorities to #arrestTBJoshua

SCOANThe final death toll for the SCOAN building collapse is now at 115. The building was illegally constructed, with a further 3 floors added without approval. Furthermore – it now transpires that the building didn’t even have “Occupiers Liability Insurance”, something that is required by law for public buildings.

Section 65(1) of Insurance Act, 2003 provides that “Every public building shall be insured with a registered insurer against the hazards of collapse, fire, earthquake, storm and flood.”

Despite having blatantly broken the law in a way that killed 115 people, and maimed many more, TB Joshua remains a free man. A growing number of people believe this is unacceptable and are putting pressure on the Nigerian authorities to demonstrate that TB Joshua is not above the law.

Open letter from 5 Nigerian academics

5 Nigerian academics signed an open letter saying it was time to arrest and prosecute TB Joshua because:

Mr. Joshua has done everything humanly possible to cover up the truth about this tragedy. First, in the first three days after the incident, he illegally barred officials of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) from accessing the site and rescuing survivors. Second, while this illegal interdiction was in effect, Mr. Joshua attempted to dictate the narrative and deflect possible culpability by blaming the incident on a mysterious ‘small plane’ which had purportedly hovered above his church complex moments before the collapse. Third, as public anger mounted in South Africa, Mr. Joshua declared the dead ‘martyrs of faith’ and sought to change the subject by promising to ‘take his teachings’ to the country every month for the foreseeable future. Fourth, an audio recording has just emerged of Mr. Joshua paying a gathering of journalists N50, 000 each in exchange for suppressing the truth and privileging his version of events. The recording, whose authenticity has not been challenged, was released by Mr. Nicholas Ibekwe, a Premium Times correspondent who was present at the meeting.

They then turn their attention to the Nigerian authorities

If Mr. Joshua has comported himself as one above the law, it is precisely because the Nigerian state has offered him every license. [...] The site should have been barricaded by the relevant authorities—the police, town planning, etc.— to secure evidence, given that the presumption ought to be that even if it is not immediately clear that a crime has been committed, something definitely has been remiss in the entire tragedy. Getting to the root of the matter should be the only concern next to solicitations for the welfare of the survivors.

They conclude

Mr. Joshua is a person of interest, not for his callousness, but for his cynical and persistent attempts to obliterate the truth and pervert the course of justice.

Lawyer accuses Lagos state of giving TB Joshua preferential treatment

Human rights lawyer Samuel Ilori points out that

Section 74(1) of the Physical Planning and Development Law of Lagos State states inter alia that at any time there is a collapsed building within the state. Wherever it is discovered that there is a negligence on the part of the owner or the developer, that land will be confiscated and whoever is at the other side of the law will be prosecuted. [...] Every other collapsed building in Lagos State have been taken over immediately evacuation has been done. So all these time that they are trying to buy for the man, we are not going to wait. (source)

Illori wants TB Joshua charged with culpable homicide, because “he knew very well that that foundation that contain two storey building cannot take six storey building, yet he allowed it to go on”. He has written to the Lagos state governor, giving him 7 days to take necessary action:

Failure to which we will be left with no other option than to approach the competent court of jurisdiction for an order of mandamus for your good office to implement the law you signed in 2010 without delay. (source)

Families of South African victims intend to sue

A South African man who lost his sister in the tragedy has written an open letter calling on other families who lost loved ones to unite and:

  1. Advocate for the banning of TB Joshua from visiting South Africa and SADC,
  2. Advocate for the betterment of the lives of the children orphaned by the heart-breaking but deliberate collapse of that building,
  3. Educate individuals and communities on early identification of tendencies of being possessed working in partnership with the faith community,
  4. Unite and advocate for the de-registration of Emmanuel TV by ICASA
  5. Advocate for the suspension of what’s left of the ‘diplomatic ties’ between Nigeria and South Africa until an investigation is concluded on the collapse of that building and conviction of TB Joshua (as the person who bears the ultimate responsibility for his church) is done,
  6. Institute civil claims against TB Joshua.

The BBC are reporting that at least one other family has joined his cause, and they are preparing to take legal action against TB Joshua.

ANC Youth League say TB Joshua should be denied visa for South Africa

Nine days after the disaster, when TB Joshua finally started showing sympathy for the dead, he pledged to visit South Africa every month in honour of the victims. We would be very suprised if he kept his word, especially after he so quickly forgot his pledge to personally take annointed water to Ebola affected countries. However, if he does follow through with the pledge, the ANC Youth League are doing everything in their power to ensure he isn’t allowed to enter the country:

“TB Joshua should not be allowed to come to South Africa until we know what happened to our fellow countrymen at his church, We will make sure we engage with the department of international relations and co-operation to make sure they do not issue him with a South African visa.” (source)

Conclusion

It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next few days, and there are encouraging signs that the pressure is being felt by the authorities, there are reports that the investigation is moving forward and that the outcome could be TB Joshua being charged with culpable homicide. There is a part of us that has sympathy for the government, prosecuting him will not be easy given the huge number of dedicated followers he has. Already some are saying that even if he is imprisoned, this will only put him in the same category as the apostles who were also imprisoned (though I don’t recall any being imprisoned for causing the death of 115 people). However difficult this situation may be, it is hard to see any justification for the closed door meetings with Lagos governor, the president visiting to “commiserate” with TB Joshua, or the fact that services are still going on at SCOAN despite evidence that other buildings are illegally constructed. Let’s pray that justice is done, and the bereaved families get the answers that they are seeking.

Victims of the SCOAN building collapse

The current number killed by the collapsed building at SCOAN is 115. Many families have been devastated, at least two young children are now orphans after losing both their parents. Many are now suffering major injuries that may impact them for the rest of their life, including amputations and gangrene.

There is a time to kick up a fuss and demand justice is done, and there is a time to mourn with those who mourn. Let’s pray for those who have lost loved ones, and those who are injured. We encourage you to leave messages of condolence in the comments.