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The world's view & our fake interpreter dude

18 December 2013, 12:17

The government ANC has spoken.

In recent news regarding the whole fake-interpreter mess at Nelson Mandela’s memorial on the 10 December 2013, I read how the government had released a statement apologizing for the use of the ‘allegedly’ fake interpreter.

I had many different reactions to this, first of which was a laughing ‘relief’ because they finally found him.

If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t this fake-interpreter-dude missing for a while after the memorial was concluded?

During which time the ANC had continued to state through their various officials, that they did not know who this ‘Thamsanqa Jantjie’ was or even where he could be.

Then of course the company he worked for seemed to ‘vanish into thin air’, making it impossible to track who it was that hired him as well as the company’s screening processes. How luckily unlucky….

Eventually Mr. Jantjie was found and a new spin to the story was added with him revealing that he had suffered an ‘attack’ and was someone who lived with Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that can only be managed through medication but ultimately has no known cure. The plot thickened as voices were heard and angels suddenly entered the picture, all to most likely solidify his claims of mental illness.

So now we not only have this fraudster making a mockery of the hearing impaired, but also insulting the issue of those with mental illness. Because in effect that is what this is. Countless voices have spoken out and called him out as a complete fake with absolute no knowledge of sign language, and I somehow strongly doubt schizophrenia suddenly takes away your ability to sign. That assumption is made by someone who is not fully aware of what a true sufferer of mental illness goes through.

But I guess our government has fallen that far that it’s okay to do that now. It doesn’t matter that the Deaf community were insulted, they’ll get over it. It doesn’t matter that people with mental illness will now be judged more harshly because of this moron, they’ll forget about it or better yet just leave it be, it’s not like people listen to them anyway, right?

Suddenly Thamsanqa Jantjie was found and the ANC remembered they DID know him, but it was ‘the government’ that hired him, not the ANC party who just so happens to hold three quarters majority [excluding favors]. An official statement was released and an apology given, not that it would matter or change anything. Unless they plan to re-do the WHOLE Mandela Memorial… again.

[I really would like to see these ‘civilized’ deaf people she refers to, simply because I have yet to see an uncivilized deaf person…]

But the icing on the cake, or maybe the nail in the coffin of the ideals and beliefs that Mandela fought for, is probably the international media coverage of the whole debacle.

One thing our shady politicians and corrupt ladder of officials don’t understand is the magnitude of the effect that such incompetency has had on the world’s view of South Africa and inevitably the people who run it, as well as the unfortunate dye the rest of us are cast with simply because we are seen as ‘allowing’ them to run the country as is. – [What Thamsanqa Jantjie ‘REALLY’ said]

Look anywhere on the internet and you will be greeted with growing images, gifs, videos and other forms of social media art portraying ‘The Fake Sign Language Interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial’ accompanied by all sorts of mockery at his conduct, even others that just honestly don’t make sense to me.

Personally, I have found myself conflicted as I watched the videos and browsed the art. While it does have its moments of hilarious content, it still leaves me feeling slightly saddened.

Is this how the world now sees South Africans?

In a time when we had a chance to be remembered for producing one of the greatest and most influential leaders of a century, we are relegated to the status of a laughing stock, a bunch of clicking illiterates who couldn’t even provide the basic services of security and screening for those attending the memorable event. How heart-wrenching!

But on a sadistic high note, at least it served as a representation of how low the quality of service ‘the government’ is willing to let loose on those they serve. A perfect example of the long rusted holes in a stunted democracy that has been dying a slow agonizing death long before the once in a life time event of our greatest achievement now a titan to the ages lost in our history books.

If we’re lucky, maybe that changes something somewhere.

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