President Jacob Zuma had to stop mid-speech when the tent he was in collapsed at a Day of Reconciliation event in Gopane, North West, on Friday.
A fierce storm saw all news broadcasts cut and people stampeding out after the marquee’s top was lifted in the air by strong winds.
Before the tent’s collapse, Zuma was enjoying a warm reception from the crowd as he conducted a lengthy history lesson on various aspects of the holiday.
As he turned to the topic of Marikana, declaring, “The incident was painful and traumatic not only for the families but all South Africans”, the tent collapsed.
Zuma was subsequently removed from the venue by his bodyguards.