Mandela Sign Language Interpreter Says He Had Schizophrenic Episode
by GREG MYRE
Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, appeared alongside President Obama and other world leaders during Tuesday’s memorial for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many in the deaf community are outraged over Jantjie’s sign language interpretation.
Pedro Ugarte /AFP/Getty Images
The sign language interpreter widely criticized as a “fake” for his performance at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa says he suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage, a South African newspaper reported Thursday.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, claims he “lost concentration, and started hearing voices and hallucinating,” according to Johannesburg’s The Star.
He is quoted as saying, “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 reportedly told The Associated Press on Thursday that he had visions of “angels” and previously has been violent.