Outrage at 'fake' memorial interpreter

The interpreter on stage during the memorial reportedly made no sense and was labelled a fake.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa leads proceedings at FNB Stadium, with a sign launguage interpreter next to him on 10 December 2013. Picture: Picture: supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Members of the deaf community are outraged after it emerged that the interpreter on stage at yesterday's memorial service held in honour of former South African President Nelson Mandela did not know what he was doing.

Several members of the deaf community have voiced their complaints with some taking to Twitter.

During yesterday's event, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, the first deaf woman in Parliament, tweeted that the official interpreter on stage was signing 'rubbish' and was an embarrassment.

She urged the ANC and event organisers to get him off stage.

A Capetonian sign language teacher also tweeted that he was making no sense and was simply moving his arms to try to look busy.

The interpreter apparently made up his own signs during US President Barack Obama's speech.

It's understood the man has been at the centre of complaints before following similar stints at other ANC events.

He's been labelled a fake and a fraud.

The Deaf Federation of South Africa says it's in the process of preparing a statement.

Government says it is following up on the complaints and will respond soon.