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Mandela interpreter a 'fake': Deaf community outraged over 'mockery'

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The Mandela interpreter for the deaf is called a "fake," today. He was just a man making odd hand gestures that meant nothing, but he looked official doing it. This interpreter stood on stage at the memorial for Nelson Mandela memorial and moved his arms and hands around as people spoke. The problem was that the movements didn’t mean a thing and many are calling the man a fake today, according to "Fox and Friends" live on Thursday morning on Dec. 12.

CNN reports today that the deaf community is outraged, they see this man as making a mockery of sign language. This was an important event, but instead of someone reputable showing up on stage, they had a man who conveyed nothing but demonstrated a good beat with his movements.

Millions of viewers got to see this man who stood with a straight face and moved his hands as dignitaries from around the world spoke. According to Bruno Druchen, national director of the Deaf federation of South Africa, facial expressions are key in South African sign language and this man was void of expression on his face. This man made a “total mockery of the language,” said Druchen.

Marlee Matlin, the actress who is deaf, watched the Mandela interpreter and said: “It was almost like he was doing baseball signs.” She too said his lack of facial expressions was a “dead giveaway.” She continued:

"I knew exactly right then and there that he wasn't authentic at all, and it was offensive; it was offensive to me."

According to “Fox and Friends” live on Thursday morning, the man was interviewed and he said he was hearing voices. He said that he suffers from Schizophrenia and was compelled to go up on stage to do this. He said he was hallucinating while on stage at the Mandela memorial.

He stands by his performance saying he has been an interpreter for other events, which he has. He said “there is no one at all that said I interpreted wrong.” Well, that part isn’t true, the head of South Africa Translator’s Institute was yet another person who said the man did not do this correctly.

So who put the man with the odd gestures on the stage? The investigation is ongoing, but Thamsanqa Jantjie told a CNN affiliate station that he is a “fully qualified interpreter,” even though people who know sign language said that he is not.



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