I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to reporting the news, timing is everything. You can’t, for example, report on a devastating fire two weeks after the building burnt down. You want to be there as the action happens, so you can give your viewers accurate information as it happens.
Mostly, good news broadcasting all comes down to having the proper tools and a proper plan of action once news breaks, but sometimes it all comes down to sheer luck.
This much is clear from an SABC news interview with the North West Province’s public safety committee chairperson, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng.
The SABC journalist was interviewing Mahlakeng about an infamous road in the North West. As you can see in the video below, it really is a horrific stretch of road with no clear markings and it’s own set of rules. It’s rather shocking that the road was allowed to decay to that state in the first place, but let’s not dwell on the past.
Obviously, the government has the right to tell its side oft the story, so Mahlakeng stood in front of the camera and proceeded to tell viewers that R220 million had already been spent on that particular stretch of road.
To me it looks as if no more than R220 had been spent on that road, but no matter. It’s the way things are done in South Africa. We see it every time a devastating accident with multiple fatalities happens as well. A few people die and then the minister for transport appears on TV to give his condolences and to express his/her shock that something like this happened. It’s public relations 101.
Unfortunately Mahlakeng’s unlikely story was rudely interrupted by two people having a rather large accident, almost running over a pedestrian. Luckily, no one was hurt.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect, but Mahlakeng’s retort to the accident is by far the best thing about the video: “This guy, what is he doing?”
He’s having an accident, pure and simple. There’s a huge chunk of tar missing and a guy towing his mate at a ridiculous speed. In my personal opinion, the accident would have happened even if those two cars had been travelling on a perfect piece of tarmac. Towing someone at that speed is a very bad idea.
Still, I can’t shake the idea that it might have been a divine intervention of sorts. It’s hard enough to get a government employee to admit to their mistakes (well done to you Mahlakeng), but to get him/her to the right place and have a live-action demonstration of the problem is rather spooky.
Was this just perfect timing, or the universe interrupting someone to reveal the real problem behind the many road deaths in South Africa?
Watch the video below and decide for yourself…