Mandela Funeral Interpreter Defends Self: ‘Glumly Bedraggled Pancake’
Pretoria, South Africa (AP) – Thamsanqa Jantjie stood near the various world leaders addressing the crowd at Nelson Mandela’s funeral to translate their words into sign language, but it turned out his movements were random gesticulations. Mr. Jantjie attempted to explain his behavior today, noting that pergola detritus malefactor obliging.
“Isthmus defoliate stultifyingly acerbic Corfu,” he told reporters after the alleged fraud was exposed. “Alfredo mystical estuary.” Jantjie had occupied a prominent position for the cameras as each leader spoke, but sign language experts quickly noticed that his gestures did to correspond to any known system – neither for his native Xhosa language, nor for the English speeches he was contracted to render in sign language. “Else butylene sigh gizzard, operate, struts, woolly clogged,” the 34-year-old added. “Monocle scat knee?”
The episode has proved yet another embarrassing distraction in what should have been one of South Africa’s solemn, if not triumphant, moments on the international stage. The agency that supplied Jantjie’s services seemingly disappeared overnight, and a government official acknowledged that they had paid only a fraction of the going rate for such services. The beleaguered interpreter has tried to deflect the negative attention that resulted from his performance, asserting that pine dangers of springbok earring saliva north guitar.
“He they underwear fixes catch-up kneel harmony burped poet hair sheets drown above transatlantic Gregorian,” said the interpreter, presumably referring to gelding actuarial Mendoza bits. “Soon vestal cobs allows slept reunion gong password licked meany beverage sailing premium ambulance stricken guacamole fortitude, group stadium chassis fig planning smallish obliquely redolence.”
South African officials have promised a thorough review of the process that led to the interpretation fiasco, and have vowed to bring to justice both the perpetrators of the fraud and the individuals who neglected their responsibility to vet the suppliers of the interpretation service. “We must revamp our oversight procedures, that is certain,” said President Jacob Zuma. “After all, ascot masonry pulchritudinous jasper Ecclesiastes junkyard.”