Mandela Deaf Interpreter: ‘I’m a Sign Language Champ!’

Blames gibberish gestures on schizophrenia

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Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie during the memorial service at FNB Stadium December 10, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Updated: Dec. 12, 7:30 a.m.

The sign language interpreter who outraged deaf people around the world with his nonsensical miming during the Nelson Mandela memorial service has blamed his actions on a bout of schizophrenia, a condition for which he claims to be taking medication.

“There was nothing I could do,” Thamsanqa Jantjie told a local newspaper, according to Reuters. “I was alone in a very dangerous situation. I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on.” In an interview with the AP, Jantjie said while he was on stage at FNB Stadium he saw visions of angels.

On Thursday, however, Jantjie also told the radio station Talk Radio 702 that he was happy with his performance. “Absolutely, absolutely. I think that I’ve been a champion of sign language.”

South African deputy Cabinet minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said  “a mistake happened” in the hiring of Jantjie. Government officials are investigating how he was hired and given a security clearance, but the owners of the company that provided Jantjie “have vanished into thin air.”

This post has been updated to include a comment from the South African government.

[Reuters]

(MORE: ‘Fake’ Sign Language Interpreter: What Happened?)

7 comments
KoolGuy
KoolGuy

GOD BLESS THE INTERPERTER HE TOLD THE WORLD LEADER WHO WHERE ALL FAKEING AS IF THEY REALY CARED FOR NELSON MADELA THAT THEY R ALL A BUNCH OF FAKES!;;;WHEN THE NELSON MADEL FOUNDACION CALLED ON ANY ONE OF THEM THEY ALL WOULD GAVE THEM THE RUN ARROUND!  ------------!SIR NELSON MADELA PASSES AWAY AN THEY ALL RUSH TO HIS BED SIDE !;PARISEING HIS ACCOUMPLISHMENT!''..REST N PEACE SIR NELSON MANDELA!''U WHERE AN AWESOME GENTLEMAN!

KoolGuy
KoolGuy

---!the signnnnnnnnnn interperter!;;DID!!;;JUS WHAT WAS NEEDE D SHOW!;;ALL THOSE WORLDLEADERS WHO CAME TO NELSON MADELA FURNRAL!;;FAKEN LIKE DEY ACTUALLY CARED FOR HIM!  SHOW OFF,THERE WHEALTH AN SECURITY!''DETAIL,AN TO ALL THOSE ORTHER WORLD LEADERS! WHO CAME TO SEE WHO DEY CAN MEET ! AN PERHAPPS DO FUTURE BUISNES!S!''--THE SIGN INTERPUTER!  -JUS HIGHLIGHTED !;;THAT MANDELA  STATE FURNAL PACK WITH WORLD LEADERS WAS PACKED WITH A BUNCH OF WOLD LEADERS FAKING LIKE DEY CARED FOR NELSON MADELA!''-----------------WHEN NELSON MANDELA WAS ALLIVE!;;AN IF THE NELSON MANDELA CHARITY WOULD CALL ANY OF DEM FOR SURPORT DEY WOULD GAVE DEM THE UN ARROUND !;;NELSON MANDELA DIES!;;AN TEH WORLD IS ! AT HIS DEATH BED:;IN MINUTES!''..WORSHIPING HIS LIFE TIME ACHIVEMENTS!''AN WHILES HE WAS BED WRITTEN NOBODIE CARED FOR BUT HIS FAILY AN GRAND CHILDREN!''

I SOLUTE THE INTERPERTER!''...---------------------------------------------------------HE SHOWED THE WORLD ON BEHALLF OF SOUTH AFRICA!;;;YOU WORLD LEADE  R BUNCH OF FAKERS LOOKING FOR ATTENTION:;REST N PEACE SIR MANDELA!;;

BorisIII
BorisIII

He's now lying that he has the schizophrenic gene to cover his not knowing sign language.  Maybe he went a few days without sleep and heard voices.  But the angel thing and past violence sounds like more B.S. that he picked up some where from reading about schizophrenia.  If he was so delusional he forgot completely how to sign and see hallucinations then he wouldn't appear very functional on stage or with all the interviews he is having.  He just a B S artist for a living.

arnv_neo
arnv_neo

This show...after Mandela, where is country going to go...all paiin will go into vain

Openminded1
Openminded1

This guy is so full of crap, he lies more then obama with less creds. Hey 53 is he related to you?

tailhunter10
tailhunter10

He looks like he is flashing gang signs.....