South Africa's National House of Traditional Leaders, through its chairman Ikosi Sipho Mahlangu have issued an apology after a naked woman accidentally appeared on screen during a virtual meeting of Parliament’s portfolio committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs.
A member of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Xolile Ndevu who seemingly never told his wife that he was in a virtual meeting set Twitter abuzz after she appeared stark naked.
Ndevu was busy explaining how the Eastern Cape province was working with medical doctors on the matter of initiate deaths, when his wife walked into the room stark naked, oblivious that she was appearing on national television.
Visibly disturbed portfolio committee chairwoman Faith Muthambi reprimanded Ndevu during the meeting, saying this had happened before. She said;
“Inkosi, the person behind you is not properly dressed, we are seeing everything, yho! This is very disturbing what we are seeing. And this is not the first time this is happening, every time we see you, we see these unholy pictures. You are on live television."
An embarrassed Inkosi Ndevu apologised profusely for the incident saying that he was unaware that his wife had been in the background.
“I’m very sorry. I was focusing on the camera and not behind me. I’m so embarrassed, chair.”Speaking to TimesLive after the meeting, Ndevu claimed he was technologically challenged and had not received any training on using Zoom. He also claimed that the meeting had gone past the scheduled time of 10 PM when his wife appeared in the live meeting.
“This Zoom technology is new to us and we were never trained. Our houses are not built so we can have privacy for these meetings.
“As the meeting continued after 10 pm, my wife came in to use the bathroom and was unaware I had the video feed on. I apologise."
Mahlangu who apologized on behalf of traditional rulers, also said the incident happened “as a result of an unintentional encroachment into the private space of a family of one of the participants in the committee meeting, and it is regrettable”.
“Even though there are many benefits brought about by virtual meetings, there are inherent challenges. Virtual platforms have a propensity to encroach on individual private spaces as they sometimes allow for meetings to go beyond normal working hours, thus imposing on some of the family activities especially in the evening.
“Many are having a difficult time adjusting to accommodate their personal and professional lives in what used to be a private space where quality time is spent with family. This ability to work remotely from home brings with it major challenges, as it encroaches on the privacy of family members.”