JOHANNESBURG: A fire ignited by a lightning strike has destroyed a tourism building in a South African village where anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was born, his family announced on Sunday.

The Mvezo Welcome Centre was still under construction and due to serve as the initial point of contact for tourists, with an information desk, shops and an eatery. The centre was on Saturday “struck by lightning... and its thatched roof caught fire resulting in the complete destruction of the centre,” said a statement released by Mandela’s oldest grandson Mandla Mandela. Photos shared on social media showed the thatched roof engulfed in flames.

“This was an act of nature and no foul play or any other cause is suspected,” said Mandela, a parliamentarian who is also the local chief of Mvezo village, the late Mandela’s birthplace where Mvezo is in the Eastern Cape province where five people drowned in flooding from torrential rain on Saturday.

Mandela was elected as first president of democratic South Africa in May 1994 and held the role until June 1999. He died aged 95 in 2013.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Back to politics
Updated 29 Nov, 2022

Back to politics

PDM and PTI must realise that neither will get what they want if they keep fighting bitterly at every turn.
Election delay
29 Nov, 2022

Election delay

OF recent, leaders from the ruling PML-N have been dropping hints about a possible delay in general elections after...
Sugar woes
29 Nov, 2022

Sugar woes

IT’S that time of year again when cane growers get anxious over the delay in the commencement of the new sugar...
1971 in retrospect
Updated 28 Nov, 2022

1971 in retrospect

The point of no return came when the military launched Operation Searchlight in March 1971.
Gender-based violence
28 Nov, 2022

Gender-based violence

IT is a war without boundaries and seemingly without end. A UN report on femicide released on Nov 25, the...
Battle against dacoits
28 Nov, 2022

Battle against dacoits

THE Punjab police is clearly fighting a formidable, and so far losing, battle against the criminal gangs based in ...