Heavy rains in parts of the Eastern Cape over the weekend came together with a big storm and lightening, leaving Mvezo Welcome Centre gutted as the thatched roof stood no chance.
According to Mandla Mandela, the centre caught fire after it was struck by lightning on Saturday.
The centre was set to be a key point for tourists and South Africans visiting the birthplace of Nelson Mandela.
Reports from Mandela family states that it was an act of nature and no foul play or any other cause is suspected.
It is regrettable that we have lost this infrastructure which was at an advanced stage of construction. R10 million was spent on the first phase and the lightning mast poles were not installed yet, Mandla added.
The building was constructed after R17 million in funding was received from the National Lottery.
“We assure the local community and our development partner, the National Lottery, that no sabotage was involved and that the cause was beyond anyone’s control”, Mandela said on Instagram.
It is not yet clear whether construction at the Mvezo Welcome Centre will continue.