Chair collapse during TV interview

2008-10-22 00:00

Johannesburg - A chairperson not so lucky with chairs, Finance Portfolio Committee chair Nhlanhla Nene is fast becoming an internet celebrity thanks to a clip of his chair collapsing under him during a live interview on SABC2 on Tuesday.

But Nene, who was speaking ahead of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's mini-budget speech on Tuesday, has taken the incident in his stride, saying he was asking people not to use the word chair around him.

"I get worried something might happen to me!" he said yesterday.

The clip taken from an early morning interview on SABC2 shows Nene replying to a question from a presenter.

There is a crack as a wheel under the chair breaks but Nene continues answering the question until a few moments later he suddenly collapses out of sight with only his glass of water and notebook in view. The camera returns to a flustered presenter.

He laughed when asked if he would give the SABC a bigger budget for sturdier furniture in the future. "I don't allocate to the SABC," he said.

The clip has appeared on several sites including YouTube as well as locally on sites like Play and Zoopy, with several comments from users.

"Bwahahahaha! Apparently he is NOT a chair-person," said one reader on a blog hosting the clip.

"Just like the Rand -> Dollar - he fell hard," said another while a third predicted the clip would become "the next big viral hit".

Nene chuckled at the thought of the number of people who had watched the 26 second clip. "It was quite embarrassing because you know you can imagine when the millions are watching..."

He said colleagues had teased him about it since.

Meanwhile SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, told News24 he was waiting for a report to ascertain exactly what happened.

Nene said everyone in the studio has been very helpful. "They were sympathetic," he said.

Someone from the studio had called to apologise to him, he said, and the SABC head of news, Snuki Zikalala, had left a message on his phone which he was yet to return.

But Nene was just thankful he had not hurt himself. "The chair literally broke," he said. "The wheel came completely off."

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