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Newsreader axed after announcing 'death' of Gabon's president

Newsreader axed after announcing 'death' of Gabon's president


A state television newsreader was suspended after mistakenly announcing the death of living President Ali Bongo during a news bulletin last week.

Wivine Ovandong mistakenly announced on Gabon Television last Thursday that Ali Bongo had died in Barcelona.

This announcement was supposed to be about the eighth anniversary of the death of Bongo’s father, Omar, who died in 2009 in Barcelona after decades in power.

The director of the state television Mathieu Koumba announced the suspension of Ovandong after her blunder was widely shared and mocked on social media.

He said during a broadcast on the channel on Friday that they had apologised to Bongo and his family.

“It can happen to anyone. But this was a bit much because it was confusion over the head of state,” Koumba was quoted by AFP.

The newsreader is said to have been put on air only a few days before the blunder after spending years as a field reporter.

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