The high-profile memorial service which was held in honor of the former South African President Nelson Mandela was attended by some of the most important politicians and celebrities today. However, the deaf community of South Africa stated on December 11, 2013 that the sign language interpreter who was present at the memorial was fake and just flapped his arms during speeches.


Cara Loening, the director of Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town said, “He’s a complete fraud. He wasn’t even doing anything, There was not one sign there. Nothing. He was literally flapping his arms around.” Loening went on to say that the interpreter who translated what the US president Barack Obama was saying during the memorial looked as if he was making an attempt to swat a few flies away.

Leoning stated that the deaf community in South Africa are entirely outraged by this and nobody knows who the interpreter is. The director also said that they cannot find a name or anything related to this person and the organizations who have accredited interpreters do not know anything about him.

The event’s government organizers, as well as broadcaster SABC could not be contacted immediately. The person who was on the stage did not interpret anything correctly and the international watchers who observed the memorial said that he did not use any sign language at all.

Photo Credits: News AU


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