Johannesburg - It appears Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu made a gaffe when she said in the National Assembly on Monday that veteran journalist Peter Ndoro has lost his job after he mistakenly announced on national TV that President Cyril Ramaphosa had died.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago denied Sisulu's claim and said he was shocked that she made such an announcement in Parliament.
"We have never issued any statement to that effect… Rest means rest."
During the State of the Nation debate on Monday morning, Sisulu said a request had come to her to convey to Ramaphosa that journalists covering the change in African National Congress government had "suffered overwhelming fatigue".
"We have learnt with regret that Ndoro has lost his job."
Sisulu then asked Ramaphosa to stand up and assure the country that he was still alive and had forgiven Ndoro for the error.
Ramaphosa, who was visibly shocked by the announcement, did as requested before waving and laughing.
"He is an outstanding representative of this country," she said about Ndoro.
MPs were also shocked at the news.
But Speaker Baleka Mbete, in an attempt to bring order, told Sisulu: "People hadn't gotten the news about Ndoro, so there is a bit of confusion."
Responding, Sisulu apologised and said that she was conveying to the president about concerns that the ruling party has kept the media on their toes.
In a statement released on Friday, Kganyago said the SABC had spoken to Ndoro after the blunder and that he was fatigued and needed rest.
"Management has agreed to his request and he will be taking a break from the show. Ndoro has apologised to the president and his apology has been accepted," Kganyago said at the time.
The broadcaster's newly appointed Chief Operations Officer Chris Maroleng turned to Twitter to confirm that Ndoro had not been sacked.
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