A Limpopo ward councillor, Tsakane Mthombeni, has lost everything after her house was gutted by fire while she was away.
The incident happened on Saturday night at Ndindani village, outside Giyani, when Mthombeni was not home.
She said she came back to discover that her house was in flames. It is not yet clear what caused the fire, but preliminary investigations point to a candle that was left burning in the house.
According to Mthombeni, 51, she left the candle burning and went outside to do some chores. When she returned, she was shocked to see that her house was burning.
She said the items that were burnt inside the house were valued at more than R70000.
"I have lost everything as a result of the fire. I'm left with nothing, and it means I must start everything from scratch," she said yesterday.
She said she did not suspect any foul play as she did not have grudges with anyone in the area.