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Fake Sign Language Interpreter Crashes Nelson Mandela’s Memorial

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Photo by ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

Carson Carson Daly
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You’d think at an event as prestigious as Nelson Mandela’s memorial, every last detail would be painstakingly planned, but it turns out that wasn’t the case.

Somehow, a fake sign language interpreter was appointed to work alongside some of the event’s most esteemed world leaders, including President Barack Obama.

According to the Associated Press, three experts who watched the broadcast confirmed that the interpreter was not using signs recognized by South African or American sign languages.

The Deaf Federation of South Africa backed up those claims, saying he was simply making up his own signs.

The mockery caused an uproar on social media around the world. Wilma Newhoudt, the first deaf person elected to South Africa’s parliament and a vice president of the World Federation of the Deaf sounded off on Twitter:

The South African government is reportedly “looking into the matter” of how this man was hired for the job, but they haven’t “been able to conclude this inquiry due to the demanding schedule” of planning Mandela’s public memorial.

Watch some excerpts of the incident below:


-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles

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