Saftas blushes keep haunting them!

The Saftas made a hugely embarrassing mistake during the live broadcast on SABC3 when they announced the wrong winner and then failed to immediately correct their mistake, allowing the incorrect “winner” to accept an award.

When it was time to announce the award for Best Writing in a TV Drama Series, the recorded nominees introduction for the category was screened to the audience at the venue and watching at home.

But the winner of the Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama, was announced instead.

“And the award goes to: Nazli George as Shireen in 90 Plein Street,” read co-host Nik Rabinowitz from the golden envelope he opened.

When he realised the mistake, Rabinowitz looked offstage as if helplessly looking for support after announcing a winner for another category entirely.

“It seems …” he said, dumbfounded, perplexed and visibly embarrassed. Rabonowitz then simply stopped talking as he looked sheepishly into the star-studded audience assembled at the Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg.

Music blared. Obliviously, the voice-over announcer declared the correct winner for the Best Writing for a TV Drama: “The 4Play Sex Tips for Girls writing team wins their first Safta. It’s also their first nomination.”

But that was not the end of the increasingly awkward incident.

Having heard his TV show announced by Rabonowitz, which was incidentally also nominated for Best Writing along with actual winner 4Play Sex Tips for Girls, Teddy Mattera, a writer from 90 Plein Street then walked onstage and took to the microphone – mistakenly under the impression that 90 Plein Street had won the writing category.

No-one from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), Saftas production team or Vertical Limit Productions producing the show emerged to stop him.

Mattera then launched into his acceptance speech, making the live on-air gaffe even worse.

“It’s miraculous. Khalo Matabane, our head writer couldn’t be here today, but respect to Sue de Groot, Ndumiso Khovano, and myself Teddy Mattera, it’s been a beautiful ride. Finally we predicted the fall and the rise of somebody in our story. You know who. Thank you,” Mattera said in his speech.

The announcement error essentially also spoiled the next category – Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama Series. The show went on, announcing the nominees for the category – but since Nazli George’s name had already been erroneously announced in the writing, it was already public knowledge.

After the spectacle, the Saftas continued by handing out five further awards without getting the writing team of 4Play Sex Tips for Girls – the actual winners of Best Writing in a TV Drama Series – on the stage.

Then 4Play Sex Tips for Girls won in the category for Best TV Drama Series. The e.tv show’s production team blatantly made mention of the blunder when Harriet Gavshon, accepting the award, said: “For the wonderful writing team who I hope will still be acknowledged …”

Then after a musical performance by Chris Chameleon the Saftas finally rectified the mistake.

“Earlier we didn’t give the writing team for 4Play Sex Tips for Girls an opportunity to make their acceptance speech,” said Rabinowitz, “so please welcome the 4Play Sex Tips for Girls writing team.”

The 4Play Sex Tips for Girls writing team of Minky Schlesinger, Gillian Breslin and Busisiwe Ntintili then, finally, made their way to the stage to accept their prize.

The Saftas’ error caused huge embarrassment – for Born Free Media’s writing team, SABC2 and 90 Plein Street, as well as e.tv and Quizzical Pictures which produce 4Play Sex Tips for Girls.

The NFVF and Saftas have yet to issue a statement explaining how their embarrassing on-air mishap came about, or to apologise to all the affected parties.

American film star Samuel L. Jackson also made an appearance and presented the award.

Meanwhile, Reeva Steenkamp, the current Tropika Island of Treasure 5 contestant on SABC1, was left out of the In Memoriam tribute.

The segment honours people in television and film who have died during the past year.

The usually botched In Memoriam tribute was however, for the first time in the history of this usually dismal South African TV awards show, done properly.

The In Memoriam segment is a tribute dedicated to South African film and television talent on and behind the scenes who’ve passed away in the last year. A noticeable omission was Steenkamp who appeared on SABC1 an hour before the Saftas started on SABC3.

29-year-old Reeva, a model, was shot and killed in Oscar Pistorius’ home on Valentine’s Day.

The producers said they’re going ahead with the broadcast of the reality show with Steenkamp in it because her TV contribution needs to be shared.

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