The Sign-Language Interpreter Used For Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service Was A Fake

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Stacy-Ann Ellis / December 12, 2013

While the internets were busy freaking out about Michelle Obama’s non-reaction to the President’s recent selfie session, the real issue during the Nelson Mandela memorial was right up by the podium the whole time. According to The Associated Press, the man who appeared to be the deaf interpreter for speeches during the memorial service was a fraud.

According to Bruno Druchen, national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, the man “was moving his hands around, but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for.” The baffling incident — many wondered how an unaccounted-for man could receive so much access to global leaders — outraged deaf people and sign-language interpreters watching the service as it was broadcasted around the globe.

The South African government is investigating the situation.

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