Website apologises for Telkom April Fool joke

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Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - An April Fool's joke has backfired, forcing a South African publication to apologise to telecoms operator Telkom and energy provider Eskom.

On Thursday, Gugu Lourie wrote on TechFinancials.co.za that the publication unreservedly apologised to Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko over a story on April 1 that said he would be leaving the telecoms operator to head up troubled energy parastatal Eskom.

The publication said that it had misread how the joke would play.

"We know that even though the story was meant to be a joke, it could have been misconstrued," said TechFinancials, tail firmly between its legs.

It is unclear whether the market took any notice of the joke, though, as the Telkom share price only dropped from R80.38 at 10:44 on April 1 to R79.20 at 12:10. The Telkom share price then closed at R80.20 on April 1.

Luckily for TechFinancials, there doesn't seem to be wide social reaction to the joke either. The TechFinancials prank story, though, is no longer available on the website as of Thursday.

Internationally, the BBC reports that tech sites had a number of April Fool's jokes on Wednesday including a Microsoft video that purported to show its Bing search engine could read palms.

One popular video doing the rounds on Wednesday was one produced by Miz Mooz demonstrating a pair of shoes built with phone slots to create "selfie shoes".

During February 1995, the rand took a hit amounting to a R1bn for the country when rumours circulated that Nelson Mandela's health was critical and the South African Reserve Bank had go into overdrive to rescue the currency.

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