Today 12 December
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — As one world leader after another paid homage to Nelson Mandela at a memorial service, the man standing at arm's length from them appeared to interpret their words in sign language. But advocates for the deaf say he was a faker.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Black and white, old and young, South Africans by the thousands paid final tribute Wednesday to their beloved Nelson Mandela. In silence or murmuring, they filed past the coffin. Some glanced back, as if clinging to the sight, a moment in history.
Most Africans believe their politicians can commit crimes such as stealing and mismanagement with impunity, according to a survey released on Wednesday of 22 of the continent's natural resource-producing countries. Despite attempts to improve governance and transparency in the natural resources sector, a majority said it was difficult to find out how their government was using money from sectors such as mining and oil production. "The two streams of perception create interesting challenges for governments trying to negotiate with foreign companies for the best mineral and petroleum extraction deals while maintaining transparency and accountability," the survey, by Afrobarometer, said.
Tens of thousands of South Africans danced and sang for Nelson Mandela on Wednesday as formal ceremonies were put aside to celebrate the hero who was known for his own trademark shuffle. International and local stars from Johnny Clegg to Annie Lennox took to the stage in the free concert in Cape Town to pay tribute to Mandela's remarkable life and journey. "This is what he would have liked because he liked music very much," said Nodumo Dayimani, 33. "He knows how we celebrate in South Africa -- we like to sing, we like to dance.
The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial was accused Wednesday of being a fake who merely flapped his arms around during speeches. "He's a complete fraud," Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town told AFP. The interpreter, who translated eulogies including those of US President Barack Obama and Mandela's grandchildren, looked as if he was "trying to swat a few flies away from his face and his head". "The deaf community in South Africa are completely outraged and nobody knows who he is," said Loening.
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