Fake Mandela Funeral Interpreter Not Terrorist, Just Psychotic
A man claiming to be the fake sign language interpreter who appeared on stage just feet away from world leaders ranging for the President of South Africa to the President of the United States talked to a South African newspaper and said he was having a psychotic episode during the event:
Johannesburg – The man who has been blasted on social networks and accused of providing “fake” sign language interpretation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service says he suffered a schizophrenic episode.
Thamsanqa Jantjie said his schizophrenia, for which he takes medication, has not only left many people angry and accusing him of being an impostor, but it was also the reason he was medically boarded a few years ago, resulting in him having to rely on a social grant now.
He doesn’t know whether it was the magnitude of what he was doing or the happiness he felt throughout the day that might have triggered the attack while on stage.
Suddenly he lost concentration, and started hearing voices and hallucinating.
Afterwards, it all went downhill and he just signed things that didn’t make sense.
“There was nothing I could do. I was alone in a very dangerous situation. I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry, it’s the situation I found myself in.”
Jantjie said that although he was having an episode and continued seeing things and hearing loud voices in his head, things that impaired his ability to hear well and interpret what was being said, he couldn’t leave, so he stayed on and continued to sign things that didn’t make sense.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that the company that purportedly provided this man’s services has disappeared:
The owners of the firm which supplied a “fake” sign language interpreter to the Mandela memorial event have vanished, a South African minister has said.
Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu apologised to the deaf community for the poor quality of interpretation given by Thamsanqa Dyantyi from SA Interpreters.
“He is Xhosa speaking. The English was a bit too much for him,” she said.
Mr Dyantyi himself has blamed his flawed interpretation on aschizophrenic episode.
He also admitted he has been violent in the past.
As amusing as all of this is, and it does have its amusing side, there’s a serious security issue underlying all of this. A schizophrenic guy just feet away from several world leaders who admits to a history of violence? Yea, that makes sense.