DJ makes twit of himself
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!”