Mandela Memorial Sign Language Interpreter a 'Fraud'

Mandela Memorial Sign Language Interpreter a 'Fraud'

South Africa’s own Borat? A poorly disguised body guard? No one yet knows who the man is who stood next to every speaker at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, including our own president, but we now know he was no sign language interpreter. That, though, didn’t stop this earnest-looking young man from pretending to be one.

Numerous news outlets are reporting that the deaf community, especially those in South Africa, are fuming at the fraud who stood next to every single speaker at the Mandela memorial and pretended to use sign language to interpret the speeches:

South Africa’s deaf community on Wednesday accused the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial of being a fake, who had merely flapped his arms around during speeches.

“He’s a complete fraud,” Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town.

“He wasn’t even doing anything, There was not one sign there. Nothing. He was literally flapping his arms around.”

The interpreter, who translated US President Barack Obama’s speech, looked as if he was “trying to swat a few flies away from his face and his head”.

The story is amusing for all kinds of reasons but could be a sign of something more serious if even a harmless practical joker was able to sneak past the American Secret Service.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC       

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