An SAA staff member has died of cancer, not Covid-19, her family said on Tuesday.
In a statement sent out by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on behalf of the family on Tuesday afternoon, it was confirmed that Tebatso Nakedi Ntshane died of cancer-related complications at a Pretoria hospital on Sunday.
The statement came after a Facebook post claimed a female pilot from Atteridgeville who “fetched South Africans from China”, had died of Covid-19. Screengrabs of the post, which had since apparently been deleted, were trending on social media on Monday.
Family spokesman Elias Mazibila confirmed that Ntshane was part of the team who repatriated South Africans from Wuhan.”She was not a pilot, but a flight attendant on the team,” he told TimesLIVE on Tuesday afternoon. He said the “fake news” about her death “did not sit well with the family”.
“It was really bad. I had to come and talk to her mother, who is taking her death hard. The family has accepted the apology.“Her 11-year-old son misses his mother a lot. As a family, we will always remember and miss her laughter. She was a very bubbly person,” he said.
Mazibila said Ntshane was a cabin crew member working towards becoming a commercial pilot.“The public is reminded and requested to cease spreading fake news related to Covid-19 as this is an offense prosecutable under the Disaster Management Act,” the SANDF said.
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