Fake Interpreter at Mandela Memorial Speaks - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Fake Interpreter at Mandela Memorial Speaks

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You wouldn't recognize his name but, by now, his face is known around the world. Thamsanqa Jantjie is the guy who was supposed to give sign language interpretations for those speaking at Nelson Mandela's memorial, including President Obama. But experts say what he actually did that day was the verbal equivalent of jibberish.

The hearing impaired watching the service on television were outraged. South African officials are embarrassed and apologetic.

And now comes word from the interpreter himself that he is schizophrenic. He says he saw angels, heard voices and hallucinated while on stage. And that sometimes he gets violent when that happens. Jantjie was quoted as saying "I'm suffering from a very difficult illness, an illness in which you are not in a position of understanding yourself at times and that condition, I cannot change it."

South African officials are promising a full investigation to explain, if they can, how this man was cleared to be within such close proximity to the world's most powerful leaders. According to Jantjie, he worked for a company called S-A Interpreters, which was hired to provide interpretation services for the memorial. That company has suddenly and suspiciously vanished without a trace.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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