ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
72°
Partly Cloudy
H 73° L 57°
  • cloudy-day
    72°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 73° L 57°
  • cloudy-day
    66°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 73° L 57°
  • cloudy-day
    58°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 79° L 63°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Sign language interpreter at Mandela ceremony a 'fake'
Close

Sign language interpreter at Mandela ceremony a 'fake'

Sign language interpreter at Mandela ceremony a 'fake'

Sign language interpreter at Mandela ceremony a 'fake'

A man who appeared to provide sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake," the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa said on Wednesday.

The unidentified man seen around the world on television next to leaders including United States President Barack Obama "was moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for," Bruno Druchen, the federation's national director, told The Associated Press.

The allegation was yet another example of bad organization at the historic memorial service Tuesday, which was marred by public transportation breakdowns that hindered mourners from getting to the soccer stadium venue. In addition a faulty audio system made the remarks of world leaders inaudible for many. Police also failed to search the first wave of crowds who rushed inside the stadium after authorities opened the gates just after dawn.

Collins Chabane, one of South Africa's two presidency ministers, said the government is investigating the matter but has not finished yet because it has been overwhelmed with work organizing public viewing of Mandela's body in the South African capital of Pretoria and his funeral Sunday in his hometown of Qunu. He added the "government will report publicly on any information it may establish."

Four sign language experts, including Druchen, said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages and could not have been signing in any other known sign language because there was no structure to his arm and hand movements. South African sign language covers all of the country's 11 official languages, according to the federation.

Ingrid Parkin, principal of the St. Vincent School for the Deaf in Johannesburg, said she's received complaints from the deaf community from Canada to China about the man on stage and that his movements look "like he's signing gibberish." He also used no facial expression to convey the emotions of the leaders, a key element of sign language interpretation.

"This man himself knows he cannot sign and he had the guts to stand on an international stage and do that," Parkin said.

Nicole Du Toit, an official sign language interpreter who also watched the broadcast, said in a telephone interview that the man on stage purporting to sign was an embarrassment.

"It was horrible, an absolute circus, really, really bad," she said. "Only he can understand those gestures."

The man also did sign interpretation at an event last year that was attended by South African President Jacob Zuma, Druchen said. At that appearance, a deaf person in the audience videotaped the event and gave it to the federation for the deaf, which analyzed the video, prepared a report about it and a submitted a formal complaint to the ANC, Druchen said.

In their complaint, the federation suggested that the man should take the five years of training needed to become a qualified sign language interpreter in South Africa. But the ANC never responded, Druchen said.

Druchen said a fresh complaint will be filed to the ANC about the interpreter he called a "fake" with a demand for an urgent meeting.

"We want to make a statement that this is a warning to other sign language interpreters who are fake and go about interpreting," Druchen said. "I am hoping the South African government will take notice of this."

Bogus sign language interpreters are a problem in South Africa, because people who know a few signs try to pass themselves off as interpreters, said Parkin, the principal of the school for the deaf. And those hiring them usually don't sign, so they have no idea that the people they are hiring cannot do the job, she said.

"They advertise themselves as interpreters because they know 10 signs and they can make some quick money," said Parkin. "It is plain and simple abuse of the deaf community, they are taking advantage of the deaf community to make money."

___

Associated Press writer Nastasya Tay contributed to this report.

___

Follow Alan Clendenning on Twitter at —

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A post on the Pentagon’s official Twitter account called for President Donald Trump’s resignation on Thursday when a message was mistakenly re-tweeted, according to officials with the Department of Defense. >> Read more trending news The tweet was quickly deleted, Politico reported. The original message was posted by Ryan Knight, who goes by the Twitter handle @proudresister. Knight pointed to calls for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, of Alabama, to step down amid allegations that he sexually assaulted multiple women, and for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, to resign after recent allegations that he forcibly kissed a woman in 2006 and groped her as she slept. >> Related: Roy Moore's accuser, wife pictured in yearbook under same high school class, report says “The solution is simple,” Knight wrote. “Roy Moore: Step down from the race. Al Franken: Resign from congress. Donald Trump: Resign from the presidency. GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue. It’s a crime as is your hypocrisy.” Moore has denied any wrongdoing. Franken apologized on Thursday and called for an investigation into the 2006 incident. >> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent The post was shared for a brief time Thursday on the Department of Defense’s official Twitter account. Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said that the re-tweet was posted accidentally. “An authorized operator of the @DeptofDefense’s official Twitter site erroneously retweeted content that would not be endorsed by the Department of Defense,” White said in a tweet Thursday. “The operator caught this error and immediately deleted it.” More than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. He emphatically denied the accusations, which dated back to the 1980s. >> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct? The accusations were made after a 2005 video surfaced in which Trump made derogatory comments about women. 'You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said in the video. “Grab them by the (expletive). You can do anything.' First lady Melania Trump defended her husband's comments, telling Fox News in 2016 that her husband's words were offensive and inappropriate but that they did not reflect his views on women.
  • As the holiday season approaches, many families are preparing to take advantage of school breaks, federal holidays and remaining paid time off by traveling out of state to see family and friends and desirable international destinations. But according to the U.S. Department of State, prospective travelers might want to reconsider any plans to journey across the pond. >> Related: 17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel  In a travel advisory issued Thursday, government officials warned citizens of a heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. The advisory urged American travelers who go abroad to be cautious at holiday festivals and events.  Officials cited two terrorist attacks that occurred in Europe last year -- one in which a man drove a truck into a German Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more, and another in which a gunman shot and killed 39 people during a New Year’s celebration in Istanbul, Turkey. >> Read more trending news  “Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks,” the advisory reads. “U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.” The advisory is in effect until Jan. 31. Americans traveling abroad can always check the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in a destination city for any recent security messages. >> Related: Paris plans to ban all gas cars by 2030
  • The 45th American Music Awards ceremony is set for Sunday in Los Angeles, and if the past is any indication, you can expect a night with a few surprising moments.  Remember Garth Brooks declining the award, or the time Pat Boone dressed in leather? Yeah, it’s likely to be that kind of night. The show will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Here’s what you need to know about the show. What time: The show begins at 8 p.m. ET What channel: The AMAs will be broadcast live on ABC. Who is hosting: Tracee Ellis Ross, star of “black-ish,” is hosting. What about a pre-show: What would a music awards show be without a pre-show? AJ Gibson, Marc Malkin, Laura Marano and Oliver Trevena will host the official pre-show, “AMAs Red Carpet Live presented by Security Benefit.” The two-hour pre-show will stream live from the Microsoft Theater beginning at 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the show on Twitter. Find it here. live.twitter.com/amas or via @AMAs. You can also watch “E! Live from the Red Carpet” from 6-8 p.m. ET. on the E! Network. Who has the most nominations: Bruno Mars has the most nominations this year – eight. Who is nominated for Artist of the Year: The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are up for the award. Who is up for Video of the Year: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ('Despacito'), Bruno Mars ('That's What I Like') and Ed Sheeran ('Shape of You') are the nominees. For a complete list of nominees, click here. Who is performing: Here is a list of those scheduled to perform: Alessia Cara Alesso BTS Christina Aguilera  Kelly Clarkson  Florida Georgia Line Niall Horan Selena Gomez Imagine Dragons Lady Gaga Nick Jonas Khalid Demi Lovato  Shawn Mendes P!nk Portugal. The Man Diana Ross Hailee Steinfeld watt Zedd Anything special: Diana Ross, mother of host Tracee Ellis Ross, is both performing and receiving a lifetime achievement award.
  • STORY: Maddie Clifton sister on killer's apology: 'It still doesn't change anything' 10:32 a.m. Judge Waddell Wallace said this case 'warrants a life sentence.' Says 'this is a sad day for me. I wish you well.'  #JoshPhillips sentenced to life in prison. @ActionNewsJax — Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) November 17, 2017 10:07 a.m. Judge Waddell Wallace says 'It is unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to mandatory life. This is a horrific crime ... it has an extraordinary effect on the community.' Wallace says Phillips had a 'cold detachment' after killing Maddie. @ActionNewsJax — Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) November 17, 2017 10:01 a.m. The hearing has begun. | Watch live  UPDATE: @BridgetteAnJax says the hearing will begin around 10 a.m.  Phillips' attorney is asking for 40 years, Phillips could be resentenced to to life in prison. @ActionNewsJax — Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) November 17, 2017   Convicted Jacksonville killer Joshua Phillips is expected to learn his fate Friday — for the second time.  Phillips is set to be resentenced for the 1998 murder of his neighbor, 8-year-old Maddie Clifton.  Phillips was 14 when he stabbed Clifton to death and hid her body under his bed. I remember this nightmare when it happened. The many people who came out & walked the neighborhood looking for Maddie. Phillips was there & watched. He was only 14. Today is his rese tending. No doubt this opens old wounds for so many in Jax. Watch us live for the latest... https://t.co/lXwT8ORiyI — DawnDLOLopez (@DawnANjax) November 17, 2017 During a court hearing in August, Phillips took the stand and apologized directly to the family.  “I did something horrible, and i am so sorry,” Phillips said.  “It was good to hear,” said Jessie Clifton, Maddie’s sister. “It still doesn't change anything, but I think it needed to be said.” Phillips is currently serving a life sentence. A recent Supreme Court ruling states mandatory life sentences for juveniles without parole are unconstitutional, which means felons like Phillips can be resentenced. Phillips’ case will be up for review again in six years, even if a judge does not change his life sentence.   Convicted killer Joshua Phillips is expected to learn his fate today. I'll have the details on today's re-sentencing hearing, at 6:30 on @ActionNewsJax. pic.twitter.com/vg3ivCHljb — Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) November 17, 2017
  • NASA, in partnership with the NOAA, will launch a satellite Saturday that will help improve weather forecasts. >> Read more trending news The satellite launch was scheduled for earlier this week, but was postponed twice, once because of high winds and once because of technical difficulties. The launch for the JPSS-1 satellite is scheduled at 4:47 a.m. Saturday, according to NASA. >> Related: NASA postpones JPSS-1 weather satellite launch A live stream of the launch will be available on NASA’s website starting at 4:15 a.m. The satellites will help improve NOAA forecasts for the three to seven day time frame. The data collected from the JPSS is fed into the numerical forecast models to help improve them. The satellites will also collect atmospheric measurements, ground conditions and ocean conditions like vegetation, hurricane intensity and atmospheric moisture.  The JPSS-1 will be launch from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California pending proper flight conditions. The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday. >> Related: NASA scrubs launch of JPSS-1 weather satellite again This satellite is a polar orbiting satellite, which means it will orbit the earth from the one pole to the other passing the equator 14 times a day. Full coverage of the planet will then be provided twice a day. JPSS-2 is planned to launch in 2021, and JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 are anticipated to launch in 2026 and 2031.

The Latest News Videos