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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Namibians sacked for TV porn gaffe
Windhoek, Namibia
The unscheduled broadcast was beamed across Namibia
Namibian television viewers settling down for the latest instalment of a mini-series got more than they bargained for this week after a control-room technician pressed the wrong button.


I understand it was quite informative

Theo-Ben Gurirab
Broadcasting Minister
Instead of the scheduled programme at 2245 on Monday night, scenes from a pornographic film were transmitted to thousands of homes by the state-run Namibian Broadcasting Corporation.

Two of the broadcaster's employees were alleged to have been watching the offending film on videotape at the time.

The two - a television director and a technician - have been dismissed.

Their claim that they had not known what was on the tape was rejected by a hastily-convened disciplinary panel.

'Laughter'

The BBC's Frauke Jensen in Windhoek says the incident gave rise to a debate about the duties and credibility of Namibia's national broadcaster - not least in Parliament where members were discussing the budget for the ministry of foreign affairs, broadcasting and information.

Parliament building in Windhoek
The incident was discussed in Parliament

MPs not only lambasted the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation for bad reporting and overspending, they also found time to joke about the accidental sex session on TV.

One MP said: "We know that we can do it, and how to do it, but it shouldn't be shown to us."

Broadcasting Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab met the jibe with a comment that provoked laughter all around.

"I missed the show...on TV," he said. "I understand it was quite informative."

See also:

05 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Namibia
02 Aug 01 | Africa
Timeline: Namibia
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