Eastern Cape Social Development MEC Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi says her department will assist with the funeral arrangements of seven family members who died in a house fire at Ciko village in Willowvale last week.

Nomthandazo Xalisile (56), her 28-year-old daughter and five grandchildren, including a set of twins burnt beyond recognition when the house they were sleeping in caught fire.

Lusiothi says her department will work with other stakeholders including the Amathole District Municipality to ensure the deceased get a dignified funeral.

“We were here as the government of the Eastern Cape to give our words of comfort to the family. Clearly the family is still heartbroken, their wounds are still open but we are here to say they must be comforted knowing that their peace is going to come from the Lord. As the Department of Social Development we are working with Amathole Municipality, Mbhashe Local Municipality and other sector departments in assisting the family in preparing for the burial.”