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Published: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 11:21:00 AM
Updated: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 4:15:01 PM

Manhunt for fake sign interpreter in Mandela's memorial

In these combination pictures taken on Dec 10, 2013, US President Barack Obama delivers a speech next to a sign language interpreter (right) during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

In these combination pictures taken on Dec 10, 2013, US President Barack Obama delivers a speech next to a sign language interpreter (right) during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

CAPE TOWN: A manhunt has been launched for a bogus sign language interpreter who gesticulated gibberish during the memorial service honouring former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The unknown man with an official security pass around his neck took to the stage and produced a series of hand signals beside dignitaries who were addressing the audience during the memorial service televised live to millions of viewers from the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Xinhua news agency reported that deaf South Africans have expressed outrage at the fake sign language interpreter and experts said his hand signals meant absolutely nothing.

Police said they had no idea who the man was and how he obtained his security pass.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the government had noted the concerns expressed in various quarters about the alleged incorrect use of sign language.

"The government is looking into this matter but has not been able to conclude this inquiry due to the demanding schedule of organising events related to the state funeral," he said.

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