A PowerPoint presentation in South Africa’s Pretoria parliament was interrupted by a Member of Parliament this week. The Member, ANC MP Salam Abram, had spotted a factual error. And he wanted it to be known. So the ANC MP, not satisfied with simply sitting through the PowerPoint presentation, rounded on the culpable PowerPoint presenter and demanded PowerPoint presentation corrections. Superb.
The presenter? Zacharia Modise, chief deputy commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services. That’s the Prison Service in South Africa.
So, what was the problem? Zacharia had included a slide in his presentation in which he stated that his Department’s Minister had approved some tender bid specifications in October 2011. That was the wrong date. It was certainly a mistake. Probably a typing mistake. But a clear mistake, nonetheless.
Perhaps South Africa’s MPs aren’t used to being presented with wrong information in the PowerPoint presentation format. And perhaps the presenter, Zacharia Modise, had made the mistake of including just a few too many words in his presentation. That’s because PowerPoint text overload can be a problem.
Either way, the MP roundly lashed him for his incompetence. That was a bit unfair perhaps. But Parliament is Parliament. He should have read and reviewed his PowerPoint slides before this presentation. With all his experience in the Department of Correctional Services, perhaps he could have made some corrections to his slides.
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