Who is the ‘fake’ sign language interpreter at Mandela’s memorial?

India's President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at the podium as a sign language interpreter (R) punches the air beside him during a memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela.
India’s President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at the podium as a man posing as a sign language interpreter, right, gestures beside him during a memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10.
Credit: Reuters

The sign language interpreter on stage next to world leaders during Nelson Mandela’s memorial Tuesday has been deemed a fraud, doing nothing more than making meaningless gestures.

The man appointed to conduct South African sign language during speeches in honor of the former South African president has been condemned by DeafSA, a South African deaf association. The interpreter, whose identity is still unknown, stood alongside leaders, including President Barack Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, which is now raising security questions as to how the man got clearance.

“He was basically gesturing. He didn’t follow any of the grammatical rules and structure of the language. He just invented his signs as he went along,” said Delphin Hlungwane, an official South African sign language interpreter, according to Reuters. “There was zero percent accuracy. He couldn’t even get the basics right. He couldn’t even say thank you.”

The man was also seen in television footage last year appearing to falsely interpret at the African National Congress. It didn’t take long for people on Twitter to pick up on the fraud and voice their outrage. A spoof Twitter account posing as the interpreter also sprung up with a bio saying, “My hands are my words.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.