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Interpreter For Mandela Event: I Was Hallucinating

The man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela’s memorial told a local newspaper that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.

A fake interpreter on stage next to President Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in South Africa
A fake interpreter on stage next to President Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in South Africa (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Thamsanqa Jantjie did not describe his qualifications for being a sign language interpreter, but told The Star he works for an interpreting company that paid him $85 for interpreting Tuesday’s event. He told Radio 702 Thursday he’s receiving treatment for schizophrenia and had an episode while on stage.

Jantjie did not address allegations by sign language experts that he faked interpretation for the Mandela memorial attended by scores of world leaders and broadcast internationally.

The Star quoted him as saying: “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.”

 

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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