Sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was a fake

The sign language interpreter used at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service yesterday in Johannesburg was a fraud who was “literally flapping his arms around,” according to the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa and at least two other experts.

The man stood on stage with nearly 100 heads of state, including President Barack Obama, who all gave speeches to honor Mandela, and was actually interpreting nothing, making unintelligible signs. Bruno Druchen, the director of the South Africa’s Deaf Federation, told the Associated Press that the man was “moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for.” Druchen’s wife, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, a South African parliament member who is also deaf,…

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