Lightning destroys tourist building in Mandela’s hometown


A lightning-triggered fire destroyed a tourist building in a village where former President Nelson Mandela was born, his family have said.

JOHANNESBURG – A lightning-triggered fire has destroyed a tourist building in a village where former President Nelson Mandela was born, his family said on Sunday.

The Mvezo Visitor Center was still under construction and was to serve as the first point of contact for tourists, with an information desk, shops and a restaurant.

The center was “struck by lightning … and its thatched roof caught fire on Saturday, resulting in the complete destruction of the center,” said a statement issued by Mandela’s eldest grandson, Mandla Mandela.

Photos shared on social media showed the thatched roof engulfed in flames.

“This was an act of nature and no criminal act or other cause is suspected,” said Mandela, a parliamentarian who is also the local chief of Mvezo village, the birthplace of the late Mandela. or

Mvezo is in the Eastern Cape province, where five people drowned in flooding caused by torrential rains on Saturday.

Mandela was elected the first president of democratic South Africa in May 1994 and held this post until June 1999.

He died at the age of 95 in 2013.

The building, which was at “an advanced stage of construction” was funded by the organizer of the national lottery.

The fire occurred just days after a scheduled auction of the key to the prison cell that once held Mandela was suspended at the request of the government.

The proceeds from the sale were used for the construction of a Mandela Memorial Garden in Qunu, about 20 km away, where the former president was buried.



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