Apparently the ANC had been alerted to the completely unskilled performance of this “interpreter” as long as 18 months ago, but are pointing fingers elsewhere for his selection for the memorial because it was a “state-organised” event.
Bruno Druchen, the national director of DeafSA, said that the man “was not in fact a recognised, professional South African sign language interpreter.
“He is not known in the deaf community in South Africa nor by the SA Sign Language interpreters working in the field.”
Druchen said that the interpreter yesterday did not use facial expressions, which was an important part of South African sign language.
He also used none of the established recognised signs for Madiba, South Africa, President Jacob Zuma or former president Thabo Mbeki.
Miranda told City Press that the fake interpreter was a person “just moving his arms and hands with no meaning, no structure and no facial expression”.
“He did our profession harm, we try very hard to get our profession recognised and one person goes on an international stage, at such a big event where deaf people right across the world can see that this guy does not know what he is doing.”
Miranda said a phone call to DeafSA would have prevented the spectacle.
Speculation abounds that the plum job was given to somebody’s lacklustre relative because none of the people in authority over the decision thought that anybody who mattered would ever notice that interpreter was an ignorant buffoon. Whether those responsible are in the ANC or in President Zuma’s administration, it’s still utterly disrespectful to the Deaf community and especially disrespectful to the memory of Madiba’s many years of working for inclusion. Someone needs to stand up and take responsibility and wear the consequences.