Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams explains Geneva gaffe – now France is involved

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who is the (mis)communications minister for South Africa, has gone viral following an interview on Wednesday in which she claimed Geneva was not in Switzerland, despite the location being the second-biggest city in the country. On social media, the Cabinet member had no choice but to laugh it all off:

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams apologises for Geneva ‘Swiss-take’

Her blunder – made live on eNCA – has had South Africans in hysterics. Some have claimed the minister should brush up on her geography, whereas others have suggested that Geneva is simply “a state of mind”. However, when Ndabeni-Abrahams took to her social media pages, the issue only remained clear as mud:

Where is Geneva?

Eventually, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was left with no choice but to issue a formal statement on the matter, holding her hands up and apologising profusely for making an error. In her explanation, the minister reasons that she did not cross the border into France from the south-west of Switzerland, where Geneva is based:

“During a question that was asked relating to my September 2019 trip to Geneva in Switzerland, I erroneously referred to Switzerland instead of France. I profusely apologise for this, as I meant to say ‘we had not been to France’ in this particular instance.”

“This was informed by previous media reports which claimed my husband travelled to France with me [despite Geneva being the only destination of official government business]”.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams clarifies her mis-communication

So, there we have it. When the minister said she had been to Geneva and not Switzerland, she got her countries mixed up due to a slip-of-the-tongue, rather than a gap in her knowledge. The good people of Switzerland’s second-biggest city will pleased to know they weren’t part of a secret “Swexit”, either.

During the interview, Ndabeni-Abrahams said that questions over her having used taxpayers’ money to fly herself and her husband, Thato Abrahams, to Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary, were outrageous. The couple did indeed attend conferences in both New York and Geneva according to internal government documents. We’re assuming the pair were allowed nowhere near the GPS settings, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *