The fire broke out at 4.30pm on Saturday, October 9 while nine people were on board. A German tourist, Michael Mirschel (64) and a Malawian-born chef, Michael Phiri died in the blaze. The chef was employed with the Shayamanzi Houseboats Company since 2002. The third person, who is still missing, is deckhand Maxwell Nyawo.
It is alleged that five passengers and four crew members where aboard for a two-night cruise when the boat caught alight.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed the death of two people.
“SAMSA, with other stakeholders including emergency services, will continue to monitor the situation and update the public as and when new information becomes available,” they said.
Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu extended her condolences to the families affected by the tragedy.
In a statement she said: “I am deeply saddened by the this incident and wish to convey my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. We stand by the two families as they come to terms with this untimely and sudden loss.”