As if the still unresolved mystery of how a fake language interpreter got into Nelson Mandela’s funeral was not enough, another case of “fake” misrepresentation got into the media circus as a billboard in India, originally intended to portray the late South African president’s photo, inadvertently showed Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman’s picture instead.


The billboard’s owner, Chandrashekhar, a clothing businessman from Chenai, India, had ordered it erected by the side of one of the roads in Coimbatore as a memorial to the late South African president. The text was in Tamil, one of India’s local languages. Smaller photos of notable human rights forerunners Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa also lined the lower half of the billboard.

After discovering the embarrassing gaffe, Chandrashekhar said that the designer had made the mistake, vowing to make the necessary corrections — but not before Twitter users took hold of a photo of the original billboard and shared it online.

Elsewhere in India, a five-day national mourning period was declared in honor of Mr. Mandela.

Incidentally, in 2009, Morgan Freeman played Mr. Mandela in “Invictus,” costarring Matt Damon.

Mr. Freeman also offered a eulogy during the funeral. “Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century,” Mr. Freeman was reported saying in the New York Daily News.