Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his family are unharmed after the living area of their house in Onrus, Hermanus, was damaged in a fire.
According to a statement by his foundation, the couple did not sustain any injuries and they "were in good spirits, considering events that unfolded around daybreak" on Wednesday.
"Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu have extended their love and gratitude to staff at their retirement village and members of the local fire department after a fire damaged the living area of their cottage in Hermanus in the Southern Cape," the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said.
Tutu added: "We cannot thank the staff at the village enough for their kindness and quick action; or members of the fire department, unsung heroes, on whose courage one leans in the most difficult circumstances. God bless them all."
The cause of the fire is unknown. It is believed to have been triggered by a faulty gas heater, the statement said.
A picture on the Facebook group Onrus-Vermont, captured smoke rising from one of the houses in the distance.
- Compiled by Paul Herman