Manhunt launched for fake interpreter at Mandela's memorial service

Manhunt launched for fake interpreter at Mandela's memorial service

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A manhunt has been launched for a fake interpreter who gesticulated gibberish during the memorial service honoring former South African President Nelson Mandela, authorities said on Wednesday.

The unknown man with an official security pass around his neck took the stage, producing a series of hand signals beside dignitaries who were addressing the audience during the memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The event was televised to millions of viewers.

The hand signals by the fake sign language interpreter meant absolutely nothing, experts said. Deaf South Africans have expressed outrage at the fake sign language interpreter.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the government has noted the concerns expressed in various quarters about the alleged incorrect use of sign language.

Police said they had no idea who the man was and how he got the security pass.

"Government is looking into this matter, but has not been able to conclude this inquiry due to the demanding schedule of organizing the events related to the state funeral." Chabane said the government will report back to the public once the investigations into the matter have been concluded.