Fish rabbit car park: dubious Mandela memorial signer has a Twitter account


Nothing is sacred on the internet, especially when there are 140 characters to go all Tourette syndrome with. Things get even more dodgy when the official sign language interpreter at a state memorial turns out be fake — you know where this is going.

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Here is the gist: the signer at Nelson Mandela’s official memorial service is apparently fake, so now there is a Twitter account (@MemorialSigner) tweeting unintelligible things, because we live in a world of parody.

The internet is exploding with official and anecdotal reports about the incident and the Deaf Federation of South Africa is not impressed. Quoting AP sources, USA Today says that the organisation confirms the man was “literally flapping his arms around”. Additionally, the report states that three sign language experts have chimed in to confirm that the signs meant nothing.

“It was horrible, an absolute circus, really really bad,” Nicole Du Toit, an official sign language interpreter, told the AP. “Only he can understand those gestures.”

Bruno Druchen, the director of the South Africa’s Deaf Federation, told the AP the signer was “moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for”.

Not convinced? Watch this video and decide for yourself.

In true internet style, a parody Twitter account has been created for the “fake” signer. The account, which has been live for all of seven hours, has already amassed around 1 700 followers soaking up its gibberish. Since setting up, no intelligible tweet has come out of the account, but I suppose if it is emulating the object of its inspiration — which the national Deaf Federation of SA says was in essence speaking jibber jabber — then it is spot on.

Here are some samples from the timeline:

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