Mandela Interpreter Committed to SAfrica Psychiatric Hospital

Image: Mandela Interpreter Committed to SAfrica Psychiatric Hospital

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 12:17 PM

By Robert Brothers

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The fake sign-language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service — who caused international outrage as he flapped his arms around while pretending to sign — was admitted to a psychiatric hospital Thursday, according to the South African newspaper the Star.

Thamsanqa Jantjie’s wife Sizie took her husband for a check-up at the Sterkfontein Psychiatric hospital in Krugersdorp, which suggested he be admitted immediately, the Star reported.

“The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown,” she said.

Jantjie claims to have a long-history of mental disorders and on December 10 — the same day as the Mandela service — the interpreter was reportedly supposed to go to Sterkfontein for a check-up.

However, the appointment was moved when he was offered to interpret at the memorial service held at FNB Stadium in Soweto, according to the Star.

Following the memorial service, Jantjie told various media outlets that his performance was sub-par due to a sudden attack of schizophrenia, which caused hallucinations.

“I saw angels falling on the stadium. I heard voices and lost concentration,” he said.

It was later found that Jantjie had been part of a mob which burnt two people to death 10 years ago — an allegation he denies — and that he had also faced rape, kidnapping, and theft charges, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

The South African government apologized to deaf people after the scandal. Last Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the government will investigate claims that Jantjie did not use actual sign language.

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