South Africa apologises for fake interpreter, vows reforms

A South African Cabinet minister is apologising for the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela`s memorial who outraged deaf people worldwide by making signs they said amounted to gibberish.

PTI| Updated: Dec 13, 2013, 19:08 PM IST

Johannesburg: A South African Cabinet minister is apologising for the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela`s memorial who outraged deaf people worldwide by making signs they said amounted to gibberish.

In the highest-ranking apology yet from the government, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said today reforms must be implemented to ensure such an incident won`t happen again.

Mashatile is sticking to the government`s refusal to say who was responsible for hiring the sign interpreter for Tuesday`s memorial.
Interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie says he has been violent in the past and hallucinated during the memorial service as he was gesturing incoherently just 3 feet away from US President Barack Obama and other leaders.
A deputy minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, first apologized for the incident yesterday. Mandela died December 5 at age 95.