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Mandela signer says he's no fake

Friday, Dec 13, 2013 - 01:09

Dec. 13 - Sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie, who was denounced for making up gestures during Nelson Mandela's memorial, says he's properly trained and shouldn't be called a fake. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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He says he's no fake. But Thamsanqa Jantjie has caused outrage among the deaf community who accused him of making up gestures during a memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Jantjie said he had a schizophrenia attack, despite taking medication. He said he has shown his competence in the past, and counts nine years of experience. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SING LANGUAGE INTERPRETER, THAMSANQA JANTJIE, SAYING: "I've got a training as an ordinary interpreter, necessary skills as interpreter, that's why I get a job as an interpreter." Experts say he did not even know basic signs such as "Thank You," or "Mandela," and failed to use facial expressions or hand shapes which are essential to signing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SING LANGUAGE INTERPRETER, THAMSANQA JANTJIE, SAYING: "My worry is that if I was doing something that is speechless for all these years, why were they quiet -- these organisations, these universities, these institutions? Then it's a question that has to be asked before they call me a fake." The controversy has cast a shadow over South Africa's farewell for its beloved leader.

Mandela signer says he's no fake

Friday, Dec 13, 2013 - 01:09

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