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Sign language "Interpreter", Thamasanqa Jantjie translates for Barrack Obama at Nelson Mandella's memorial service in Soweto.

Sign language “Interpreter”, Thamasanqa Jantjie translates for Barrack Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Soweto.

I don’t know who created this animation, but I think it’s brilliant!

Based on what I’ve read and heard on the matter (and I try to take only from reliable sources) I feel that Thamasanqa Jantjie is not someone who is entirely in touch with reality on a constant basis. The same could be said for many people though, so an element of empathy must be entered into the reckoning here. Many people suffer from constant or periodic compromised mental and emotional functioning. But I think that in this case, one of his lapses in definitive cognition coincided with someone else’s lapse in responsibility to do their job properly and ensure competent and trustworthy services, delivered by professionals at what could possibly the biggest and most momentous social event the world has ever seen! The result is embarrassment on multiple levels, on one of the biggest forums the world has yet witnessed.

While apparent evidence points to a man who is sincere in his desires to work as a sign language professional, yet sadly oblivious to his total incompetence and lack of formal qualifications, the role of the person who elected to hire him can only be described as gross negligence!

It’s my hope that the indecent will soon blow over; that many a fitting eulogy delivered on the day will greatly over-shadow and outlast a balls-up that is an embarrassment to a nation mourning the loss of our son, who is regarded as the highest icon of our nation, and a beacon of humanity.

The shame of the irony brings waves of pinkness to my cheeks, intermittent with bouts of laughter!

I hope that Mr Jantjie receives the judgement he deserves, and subsequently the guidance he needs. I do think that he’s a troubled man, whose woes have brought him a series of bad choices and now a lot of trouble to boot. I hope that the person or people responsible for his hiring – supposedly of “sound mind and judgement”; who overlooked essential cross-checks of his résumé – are fired and severely fined.

Let’s hope this never happens again.

Thank goodness, though, that people seem to be seeing the humour in it. I suppose that if you can’t cry over it, you might as well laugh about it.