This is now getting ridiculous. Thamsanqa Jantjie, the 34 year old sign language interpreter who stood on the high stage at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service to throw his hands about as if he was doing justice to what was being said has come out to explain why his total ‘fakery’
It emerged yesterday that, Thamsanqa Jantjie who signed for a portion of the televised event at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium was simply making up his own signs and the deaf people who were relying on him to understand what was being said were totally LOST as to what he was doing.
Explaining what happened, Thamsanqa Jantjie has said while he was on the big stage, he got a Schizophrenia and begun to hallucinate—so was hearing so many voices…
What an idiot!
According to Sky News;
A “fake” sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service has reportedly said he suffered a schizophrenic episode.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, who was criticised for apparently making “meaningless gestures” while interpreting the speeches of world leaders on stage, said he takes medication for the condition.
He said he did not know whether it was the scale of the event or the happiness he felt about being involved that triggered the episode.
The 34-year-old, who was pictured signing next to the likes of US President Barack Obama, claimed he suddenly lost concentration and started hearing voices and hallucinating.
He also had visions of angels coming into the stadium and was trying not to panic because there were “armed policemen around me”.
Mr Jantjie said the episode impaired his ability to hear things properly and interpret what was being said, but he did not feel able to leave so continued to sign words and phrases that did not make sense.
He apologised and was quoted by South Africa’s Star newspaper 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.
“Life is unfair. This illness is unfair. Anyone who doesn’t understand this illness will think that I’m just making this up.”
Concerns over the interpreter had been raised by deaf people watching the service at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium.
Bruno Druchen, the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, said he “was moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for”.
South African parliament member Wilma Newhoudt, a member of the ruling party, also said the interpreter communicated nothing with his hand and arm movements.
Both Mr Druchen and Ms Newhoudt are deaf.
Three sign language experts said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages.
South African sign language covers all of the country’s 11 official languages, according to the federation.
icole Du Toit, an official sign language interpreter who also watched the broadcast, said the man on stage was an “embarrassment”.
Mr Jantjie, who was accused of being an imposter, which led to security concerns, claims he is a genuine interpreter and a “champion of sign language” who was paid 850 Rand (£50) for one day’s work.
Asked about his interpreting skills, he said: “It is very sad at this present moment because I believe that it was an issue that had to be dealt with earlier.
“If the Deaf Federation of South Africa have an issue with my interpreting they should have clarified it a long time ago, not at this crucial time for our country.”
He says he has photographs of him working next to various people including President Jacob Zuma in the past.
He said felt honoured to be part of the historic event on Tuesday, but the president’s office has contacted him to find out who recommended him for the job.
The South African government is to investigate what happened.