Poor attendance at Mandela memorial explained


Image by: YVES HERMAN / REUTERS
Image by: YVES HERMAN / REUTERS

Tuesday’s memorial for Nelson Mandela has sparked more than one controversy. What I initially found odd was that the huge stadium appeared to be close to empty. The man they were paying tribute to had endured almost 27 years in prison on Robben Island and these people couldn’t take a bit of rain! But it has come out that the sparse attendance  was a protest of unpopular President Jacob Zuma who refused to designate Tuesday a national holiday. Knowing they would be able to pay their respects to Mandela as he lay in state later this week, many tried to embarrass the President in front of the world.

… perhaps the bogus sign-language interpreter while madly flailing and flapping his arms about, inadvertently signed “The stadium is under attack; run!”

There are a couple of other rumours floating about that may explain the thousands of empty seats. The first is that as Bishop Desmond Tutu took the podium to address the stadium, many in the crowd, knowing the good bishop’s tendency to run-on, took advantage of the situation to leave and burgle his house.

Another possible explanation is that the bogus sign-language interpreter, who now claims to have been having a schizophrenic episode at the time, while madly flailing and flapping his arms about, inadvertently signed “The stadium is under attack; run!” Those in attendance with the ability to understand quickly made for the exits and as word spread the stadium emptied. This guy should have used the Rob Ford “drunken stupor” excuse!

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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One thought on “Poor attendance at Mandela memorial explained

  1. Lady Gaga was playing at stadium next door (just bad scheduling), and Bono was drawing the crown outside by giving a a free demo on “how to wear sunglasses for any occasion”. And I think the sign-language fellow was simply trying to sign-up for Obamacare.

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