TV man insists 'patter' was no trivial matter

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 June, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 June, 1994, 12:00am

HELL, it would seem, hath no fury like a TVB commentator scorned.

Our remark that Geoff Cutmore, who anchored the TVB presentation of President Nelson Mandela's inauguration, was given to ''inane pattering'' while the South African national anthem was going on, thus drowning out its stirring sounds, brought a swift (and acerbic) response from Cutmore.

''My 'inane pattering' during the new South African national anthem,'' he writes, ''was an attempt to translate some of the words for the Hong Kong minority who don't speak a South African language''.

Thinking we might have done a great injustice to the poor guy, Keeping Posted reviewed the TVB tape and, indeed, as the opening strains of Nkosi Sikeleli e Afrika rings out in Xhosa, Cutmore interjects that it means ''God bless South Africa'' (actually it's ''God bless Africa'', but who's niggling).

As the anthem proceeds, Cutmore breaks into a discourse on African National Congress veteran Walter Sisulu.

Now, while Sisulu's credentials as a freedom fighter are second to none, we had no idea that he merited a personal mention in the new national anthem.

But, thanks to Cutmore, we now know.