Mandela Memorial sign-language interpreter 'cannot sign'

2013-12-11 09:29
Cape Town - As the world said farewell to Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, confusion arose around an on-stage interpreter whose signing was disputed by some prominent deaf South Africans.

ANC MP Wilma Newhoudt, who is DeafSA National Vice Chairperson, asked for help via Twitter from ANC National Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu and Executive Head of ANC Communications Keith Khoza.

The unconventional signing was spotted by sign language practitioners in the United Kingdom, and highlighted on The Limping Chicken. The site, which covers news of interest to the deaf community, described the on-stage interpreter's movements as 'strange' and 'puzzling'.

DeafSA has an ongoing campaign to get recognition of South African Sign Language, as reiterated on Wednesday morning by Peter Druchen, the National Director of Deaf Federation of South Africa - DeafSA.

See the video of the controversial interpreter below. An official SABC interpreter was also visible on screen some of the time in an inset box.

The ANC could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  keith khoza  |  jackson mthembu

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