Monday, December 16, 2013

Fake sign language dude signals all the real problems

Thamsanqa Jantjie, the infamous fake sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela service president Obama spoke at, represents everything that's wrong in South Africa we don't want to read about.

NPR has revealed that Jantjie was part of a lynch mob that murdered two people in 2003 using a local approach known as "necklacing," where a tire filled with gasoline is forced around the victims neck and lit on fire. He escaped legal punishment by being declared mentally unfit to stand trial.

Following the death of Mandela, South Africa has tried to stuff all of it's problems out of view, and the rest of the world has looked the other way. The high rates of violence, rape and unemployment aren't going away and the African National Congress political party that Mandela belonged to has a corruption problem.

Jantjie is part of that problem, just like he was part of at least one lynch mob. The ANC hired him before to wave his hands around pretending to interpret. It's essentially a no-show job, at least how he does it.

Tellingly, Jantjie tried the victim card when he was exposed. He wants us to believe that he really can perform sign language, but his schizophrenia made him unable to perform so he just waved a lot. There are at least three occasions where he has just waved his arms at an ANC event, so he is at best unfit for the job. That's assuming he does know sign language, which no one should believe.

South Africa has made tremendous strides with the end of the Apartheid government, but let's not fool ourselves. The country still has a long way to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment