"We understand from the preliminary reports that this area [on Friday] experienced inclement weather conditions with heavy rainfall and violent storms", Oliphant said.
This occurred when a church structure in the Dlangubo area, under the uMhlathuze Municipality, collapsed with congregants inside.
The wall at the front of the Pentecostal Holiness Church collapsed at the start of what had been planned as a weekend-long service to commemorate the Christian festival of Easter.
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The KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Lennox Mabaso says it happened during a Passover service last night.
"It is even more devastating that the majority of the deceased are women and a child of 13 years".
Mabaso says disaster management teams have been dispatched and investigations are now underway. "An inquest docket has been opened and police are still at the scene", she said.
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Friends and colleagues said they remembered McKee as a committed journalist who helped to bring light in hard times. Police said they were in the area last night "protecting the public" when shots were fired and McKee was killed.
Leader of main South African opposition party the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane, has offered his condolences. They said that female congregants were sleeping inside the part of the church that caved in, and that male members were sleeping on the other side.
Mr Maimane also emphasised the importance of building safety regulations.
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is situated on South Africa's eastern seaboard, on the edge of the Indian Ocean.
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