Cape Town – Twitter has been awash with outpourings of sympathy for seasoned SABC newsreader, Peter Ndoro, who has taken a break from news reading after he mistakenly declared on national TV that President Cyril Ramaphosa had died, instead of Zimbabwe’s MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
In a statement, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said, while the public broadcaster acknowledged that it was human nature, “we take the matter in a very serious light, as it is not only embarrassing, but could potentially affect those involved negatively”.
The SABC had spoken to Ndoro, who indicated that he was fatigued and needed rest.
READ: ‘Fatigued’ Peter Ndoro takes a break after Ramaphosa death blunder
“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.
Many on Twitter felt the SABC had been too harsh on Ndoro.
“His a legend! We all laughed because we understood that it was just a small mistake, @SABCNewsOnline didn’t have to react like that…I hope he returns after a week,” tweeted Nikola Tesla.
“I agree. Their reaction had a Chinese Communist flavour that jarred: “We apologize deeply for our error regarding our Glorious Leader and for Hurting The Feelings of Our Nation”. Seriously? It was a light, funny moment and he’s a great newsreader,” tweeted Michelle Louw.
Ndoro also received tweets of support from media colleagues, including Morning Live presenter Leanne Manas.
“You’re a consummate professional @peterndoro! We worked under the most pressurized conditions this week that nobody can ever in their wildest dreams imagine. The only thing you did wrong was show you were human & not machine! Go rest my friend see you soon..”
ENCA’s Dan Moyane also commiserated with Ndoro.
“My brother @peterndoro none of us are perfect. We’re not robots. As anchors we also make mistakes. I am in solidarity with you at this time & glad that @PresidencyZA has accepted your apology for the unintended on-air slip. See you soon back on @SABCnews,” said
Karyn Maughan said reveling in someone else’s fallibility was not kind.
“I respect Peter Ndoro as a colleague. We are all capable of making mistakes, and exhaustion is a big factor in such errors.
I hope he is given time and space to recover.”
SABC news reporter wished her colleague well.
“Dear @peterndoro, you are one of the most hardworking, kind and compassionate people I know. A professional par excellence. Get rest and see you back on the soon. Haters are going to hate. You are an amazing colleague.”