Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba has apologised to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize for the wrong impression that her "andidikwe" blunder has created, saying it came across as if she was fed up with the briefing but was instead fed up with the clothes she was wearing.
Gomba made the remark at the end of her briefing to the nation on Tuesday night, saying "andidikwe" – or "I am fed up" – seemingly without realising her microphone was still switched on.
Gomba was taking part in a Zoom briefing with all other provincial MECs, as well as Mkhize to give an update on efforts to combat Covid-19.
When she was done with her address, Gomba was seemingly having technological problems. Before the briefing moved on to the next MEC, Gomba, who's microphone was still on, could be heard saying "andidikwe".
In a statement on Wednesday, Gomba said she was "uncomfortable with the warm attire since the early hours of the morning" and made the remark while taking off her doek.
"I understand the impression that was created when I said "andidikwe" ndiyatsha during the briefing. At the time of saying that, I was moving away from the laptop and taking off the doek.
"I profusely apologise for the wrong impression that this created as I am committed in the fight against this pandemic," she said.
Provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the MEC had noted the uproar over the comment.
"The MEC had spent the rainy and cold Tuesday visiting hospitals in the Mthatha area, ensuring medical staff have personal protective equipment," Kupelo said.
"Because of exhaustion the MEC forgot to mute her microphone when she said she was irritated or uncomfortable with the warm attire."