Thamsanqa Jantjie, the man who made fake sign language at Nelson Mandela's memorial service next to world leaders (including President Obama), told The Associated Press he saw angels coming into the stadium and was trying not to panic because there were "armed policemen around me."
Condemnation from sign language experts has been universal. "It was like getting somebody off the street and telling them to flap their hands around," said Cara Loening, director of Cape Town-based Sign Language Education and Development. Apparently, that's close to what happened. Jantjie's references were faked.
Imagine this guy, standing up there all day long, making random gestures with his hands, and keeping a mock serious expression on his face. What did he think was going to happen? Did he think nobody would figure it out? Did he think he'd be paid no matter what and thus not care?
I don't know if I should laugh at the absurdity or admire the diabolical genius. I suppose I should wait and see if the guy ends up doing any time in jail.
When I look at it it seems to be made of the same hand signs in series....
I would have been none the wiser otherwise.
He looked like he wasn't even paying attention. It's an insult to deaf people and to the memory of Mandela. He had to know he would be noticed. I can't fathom his motive. I do hope he is held responsible.
I was very nervous about the concentration of world leaders at the funeral, from a security stand-point. What a juicy target for terrorists, anarchists, or other giant assholes. Turns out the security isn't good enough to keep someone who is either a con-artist or a severely deluded man off of the stage. That is disturbing! Step it up people. We do not need a bunch of dead world leaders because someone was asleep at their job instead of doing background checks. Who else shouldn't have been there?
Much of the time he was the closest person to the world leaders at the podium. I would assume he was checked for lethal weapons before being allowed up there.
Apparently, he's been doing this for years, which raises the issue of whether signing is something that's so rare in SA that nobody clued the government in?