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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

SA TV make 'Bush is dead' blunder

George Bush
Reports of George Bush's death have been exaggerated

A South African TV station mistakenly broadcast that former US President George Bush had died during one of its news bulletins.

For three seconds ETV News ran a moving banner headline across the screen saying "George Bush is dead".

The "misbroadcast" happened when a technician pressed the "broadcast live for transmission" button instead of the one for a test-run.

The station said test banners would now be done in "gobbledegook".

The mistake happened when a senior staff member wanted to see how a rolling banner headline looked.

'Wrong button'

"The technical director pressed the wrong button, it took a second for the words to appear and then the words were on screen for only three seconds before they were taken off," said spokesman Vasili Vass.

He said he could not comment on whether the person responsible would face disciplinary action.

"We've learned from it, all test banners will now be done in gobbledegook," he added.

The mistake was first reported on by the Afrikaans language newspaper Beeld, and on the media group's website, News24.com.

"Its unfortunate, because we never comment on their mistakes," said Mr Vass.

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