Something didn’t seem quite right about the sign language interpreter who stood to the side of the various speakers, ‘interpreting’ what they were saying for the benefit of South Africa’s Deaf population.
The ‘interpreter’ signed in a strange repetitive rhythm – his signs appearing to come in threes or fours, occasionally swinging his shoulders, as if he was signing along with an intermittent beat.
In one of the most bizarre Deaf stories of recent years, it appears that there really was something wrong – because, according to Deaf South Africans, the interpreter was a fake.
Which meant that – if true – on a day when the world saluted a man who fought oppression, a guy stood on stage and effectively oppressed another minority – Deaf people, by making a mockery of our language.
And, during the service, rather than remembering Mandela, many South Africans (and others from around the world) who were either Deaf, or work with Deaf people, were expressing their outrage.
Credit: The Limping Chicken