Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has sent his condolences to his counterpart, President Dilma Rousseff, following a blaze that broke out in a nightclub in southern Brazil, which claimed the lives of at least 245 people.
"I am deeply saddened by the news of the tragic accident that took place in the southern city of Santa Maria.
"On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, I would like to offer our sincere condolences and sympathies to the government and people of Brazil," said President Zuma.
Local media say the fire started when a band let off fireworks at the Kiss club in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul. Many victims reportedly inhaled toxic fumes or were crushed as panicking clubbers tried to escape.
"Our hearts go out to the bereaved families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured, who are currently being treated in hospital," Zuma said.