News / Society / One Hit Wonders

Mandela Memorial Interpreter Speaks Out; Said He Saw Angels Come From Sky To The Ground

By Rolly Gacelo | December 16, 2013 05:50 AM EST

Thamsanqa Jantjie hasn't had a good sleep after being scrutinized for his failed job as a sign language interpreter during the memorial of late former South African president Nelson Mandela. Critics aimed a plethora of jabs and insults to the South African national on Tuesday after different groups claimed that he was a 'fake' because of several glaring mistakes.

On Thursday, Jantjie defended himself over the allegations regarding his authenticity. The Associated Press reported that the 34-year old sign language interpreter has admitted that some of his gestures during the important ceremony were incorrect. He then told the news portal that it happened because he hallucinated moments before he got up on stage. He even made weird claims saying he saw angels the moment when top officials started delivering their speech.

 "While I was working, I had a breakdown when I see angels come from sky to the ground, and I start knowing that I'm not well, because it's not something possible," he said.

"I start realizing that the problem is here," he said. "And the problem, I don't know the attack of this problem, how will it come. Sometimes I get violent on that place. Sometimes I will see things chasing me."

Jantjie said he was intimidated by the likes of US President Barrack Obama and President Jacob G. Zuma of South Africa. It also didn't help him that there were hundreds of armed policemen around him.

Later on the interview, Jantjie apologized to the people he thinks he offended.

In an earlier interview with Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702, Jantjie confidently said that he has successfully done his job before. He said he has worked for various South African government officials like President Zuma. However, when ask if he has any current illness, he said that he was "currently a patient receiving treatment" for schizophrenia.

Tagged :  Nelson Mandela interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie, fake interpreter, sign language


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