Although the South African government had on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 claimed that 67 of its citizens died in the mishap, rescue operators said it was had to ascertain the nationality of the dead as the administration of the SCOAN has refused to produce names of those who were lodged in the building which served as a guest house.
However the South Sest spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Ibrahim Farinloye said he did not know where South African president Jacob Zuma got his figure from, as the death toll as at Tuesday, September 16, 2014 stood at 63.
Farinloye said, “I don’t know where President Zuma got his information from. He is not on ground here but we are. So, we presume he is operating based on information made available to him. We are working on what we got based on operation. As I speak, we have record of 80 persons dead and 131 rescued alive. The figure rose to 80 because we recovered two bodies by 11pm on Tuesday and another two at about 3am today (Wednesday, September 17, 2014) and the rest between 10am and 4pm. We will continue working until we get to the last level of excavation because it is possible that more bodies are still trapped underneath the rubble.”
Meanwhile a member of the church who spoke anonymously stated that the list was likely to be released by SCOAN on Thursday, September, 18, 2014.
The worker said: ”We were overwhelmed by the incident. And we were fully involved in the rescue. I assure you that we will come out with the list by tomorrow (Thursday, September 18, 2014) because there is no way you can hide the corpses, as some of them need to be flown to their respective countries”.