DJ makes twit of him­self

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BIANCA CA­PA­ZO­RIO and SAPA

THE PRES­I­DENCY had to is­sue a state­ment on Nel­son Man­dela’s health yes­ter­day af­ter a Jo­han­nes­burg ra­dio DJ got it all wrong, tak­ing to Twit­ter to an­nounce the former pres­i­dent was ill – af­ter watch­ing TV file footage from Jan­uary.

The footage of the former states­man in hos­pi­tal was be­ing shown by broad­caster e.tv dur­ing a Year in Re­view pack­age it was broad­cast­ing to mark the end of 2011.

Kaya FM morn­ing show host Bob Mabena, watch­ing the footage with the sound turned off, then tweeted: “Break­ing news – Nel­son Man­dela is in hos­pi­tal.”

The news was then picked up by a South African news web­site with more than 30 000 fol­low­ers, which said it was fol­low­ing up on the in­for­ma­tion.

Later the news site apol­o­gised, con­firm­ing that Man­dela was not in hos­pi­tal: “We apol­o­gise for fol­low­ing up an in­cor­rect lead.”

Pa­trick Con­roy, head of e. tv news, later re­sponded: “Bob your (sic) watch­ing our 2011 Year in Re­view! Clearly marked.”

By yes­ter­day af­ter­noon Mabena and Man­dela were trend­ing top­ics.

The Pres­i­dency put out a state­ment con­firm­ing that Madiba was in good health.

A sheep­ish Mabena tweeted sev­eral apolo­gies, say­ing he had “learnt a very hard and heart-stop­ping les­son”.

Jour­nal­ists us­ing Twit­ter yes­ter­day weighed in, with Katy Kat­apodis, editor-in-chief of Eye­wit­ness News, tweet­ing: “We must al­ways tread with cau­tion around is­sues of Madiba’s health. Un­sub­stan­ti­ated ru­mours that he’s ill are ex­tremely ir­re­spon­si­ble!”

Nel­son Man­dela

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