Sign Interpreter at Mandela Memorial Not Qualified


By PAW    11-Dec-2013 18:23 UTC+02:00

The presidency has yet to respond to statements that the sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela Memorial may not have been adequately qualified. In fact, according to media reports, Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town has gone as far as calling him a “fraud”. The director of the organisation, Cara Loening, said: “He is a complete and utter fraud.”

Standing next to the Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa (left) is the mysterious sign language interpreter who has been accused of not being able to sign.  Image: CNN

Standing next to the Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa (left) is the mysterious sign language interpreter who has been accused of not being able to sign. Image: CNN

 

The deaf community feels insulted that the organisers of the event used someone whose credentials appear to be unreliable for an occasion of such magnitude. Another organisation which spoke out against the highly questionable interpreter is the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section (WDF). Braam Jordaan, who is one of the members of the board of WDF, said: “The structure of his hand, facial expressions and the body movements did not follow what the speaker was saying… He made up his own signs.”

Speaking for the deaf community, Loening echoed these sentiments about the interpreter: “If he values his life, he must come clean because the deaf community throughout the world are outraged.”  She said that the façade seemed to have been the result of someone being taken “off the street” and told “to flap their hands around”.

Another authority on sign language who voiced her disappointment with the sign language interpreter is Wilma Newhoudt, the Vice President of the World Federation of the Deaf and a Member of Parliament in South Africa. She said that the interpreter’s signing was “shameful”.

Meanwhile, the public viewing of former President Nelson Mandela’s body as he lies in state began on Wednesday. Thousands joined the queue after his family and dignitaries had paid their respects to the first democratically elected president of South Africa at the Union Buildings. Mandela’s wife Graca leaned on her husband’s coffin in an emotional farewell. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was teary-eyed after saying goodbye to her former husband and father of her children. The body of President Nelson Mandela will lie in state at the Union Buildings until Friday 13 December 2013.


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  1. John Adam says:

    LOL XD

  2. Mark Stuart says:

    Here the world can behold another sad truth of the new, reality in S Africa. Jobs and positions given to the hopelessly unqualified, inept, “connected”.Paradoxically, reverse apartheid, now called BEE or black empowerment, is now the new S. African cancer.This embarrassment of a sign language interpreter has undoubtedly be given this “job”. No doubt too with the appropriate deputy minister’s remuneration status of R1.2 million + BMW + secretary + housing +++Opportunistic, lazy, masses, pillaging a once thriving economy and being shown the way by the practically illiterate “governors” like vultures on a carcass.Madiba RIP

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