Twitter Is on the Case of the ‘Fake’ Sign Language Interpreter at Mandela’s Memorial

While we all watched the moving tribute, South Africa’s deaf community wasn’t thrilled.


Take a look at this sign language interpreter from Nelson Mandela’s televised memorial service:

Now take a closer look: He’s using very few facial expressions—an important component of sign language—and he’s repeating the same hand gestures over and over again. In other words:

During the broadcast, Bruno Druchen, the national director of DeafSA, tweeted:

And Wilma Newhoudt, a deaf member of the South African Parliament and vice president of the World Federation of the Deaf, tweeted: