The Department of Correctional Services said it was shattered following the death of the Umthatha area commissioner’s wife and two children in a fire.
In a statement, the department said a fire broke out at the home of area commissioner John Msimango home around 9pm on Tuesday.
“Most devastatingly, the wife and two children did not survive the inferno.”
According to the department, Msimango and his youngest daughter managed to escape through the window.
“The Fire Department did respond to extinguish the flames but sadly the three had already succumbed. The cause of the fire is not yet known at this stage and an investigation will ensue as the SAPS and fire specialists are already on-site.”
The department concluded that Msimango and his daughter are now in hospital and said staff would receive the necessary trauma counselling.
“This is a devastating incident for the department and our sincere condolences go to the Msimango family.”