SABC’s Durban office to open after COVID-19 scare

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has confirmed that operations at its Durban office will resume on Friday after the building was shut down when a staff member was informed that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

uKhozi FM DJ Tshatha Ngobe on Tuesday informed his employer of his initial positive results. However, a call from the JDJ Diagnostics laboratory in Durban on Wednesday, where Ngobe was tested, has now confirmed that his initial diagnosis was in incorrect.

JDJ Chief Pathologist, Pierre du Randt, has admitted that the error was due to an employee who prematurely released Ngobe’s results.

“The employee has since been alerted by the lab in question that an error occurred during the initial testing and the employee was presented with new test results whose outcome was negative. We can also confirm that the corporation is in possession of both test results. It must also be noted that as per norm the corporation has followed and adhered to all the internal protocols prior to confirming the case. This latest case has held a serious impact on the organisation including the temporary closure of the Durban office and some staff members having to urgently undergo testing, ” says SABC Spokesperson, Mmoni Seapolelo.

Earlier this week, another SABC employee based at the broadcaster’s head office in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, tested positive for the coronavirus.

This was the second employee to test positive at the public broadcaster’s headquarters.

So far, four SABC workers have tested positive for the virus that has claimed 524 lives in the country.

Last week, the SABC’s offices in Cape Town had to be evacuated for deep cleaning after an employee tested positive, while a journalist from the Northern Cape office in Kimberley was infected in March.

Below are the latest COVID-19 stats: