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Fake interpreter leaves a taint on Mandela service

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JOHANNESBURG — 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 today.

The scandal over the interpreter is another indication of bad organization of the historic memorial service at a huge soccer stadium on Tuesday. Other difficulties included public transportation breakdowns which hindered mourners from getting to the event and a faulty audio system that prevented many of the tens of thousands in the stadium from hearing the leaders’ speeches. In an apparent security failure, police did not search the first wave of crowds arriving at the stadium.

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