Weighty issue takes a break under the table

Cecil Motsepe

Cecil Motsepe

The chairman of the finance portfolio committee Nhlanhla Nene is no lightweight.

But on Tuesday he added some levity to a live parliamentary review programme on SABC2 - A View from the House - when he disappeared from view as his chair gave way beneath him.

The resounding creak in the stillness of the studio should have served as a warning that the piece of furniture was about to disintegrate.

But the beefy Nene ignored splintering sound - though a faint smile could be detected around his mouth. Suddenly he was gone from view with a loud bang and only his hands could be seen flailing in the air.

Presenter, Hayde Fitzpatrick, didn't bat an eyelid and the programme went to a quick commercial break.

But in no time Nene had bounced back and he continued with the interview on a more stable chair.

The embarrassing footage found its way into cyberspace with people chortling.

When Sowetan approached Nene he said: "This is a reflection of the type of media we have in this country."

Nene, who admitted to being big, said the incident and the subsequent media hype would not be good for his public image.

"It reflects more on me than on them (SABC). I don't want to blow this out of proportion. It was a minor fall," he said.

We asked if his weight had anything to do with the accident and he said: "I know that I am heavy but I sit on these chairs all the time. It can't be my weight."

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said: "There was a loud crack, and then suddenly Mr. Nene's chair broke and he fell behind the studio desk."

He said: "The incident was unforeseeable and an accident. Mr. Nene must be applauded for being a true professional. He carried on with the interview after a short ad break."