The story of the fake signer who was exposed for inaccurately translating sign language during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service gets stranger — if you can believe it. A South African government official says the company which employed the phony interpreter has disappeared.
Seeking answers about the embarrassing incident, the South African deputy minister of women, children, and people with disabilities, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, tried to contact the fake signer’s employers. The company, SA Interpreters, was unreachable. As the deputy minister put it, the company simply “vanished into thin air.”
Bogopane-Zulu shared these details while making a public apology to the hearing impaired community and those offended by the incident. She says SA Interpreters have provided low quality services for the South African government for a number of years. It was never a major issue until the recent memorial service held for Nelson Mandela. The company has “been cheating all along,” she charged. The deputy minister was also quick to deflect any fault attributed to the government.
The fake signer, a man named Thamsanqa Jantjie, had attributed the incident to his mental illness. During interviews earlier this week, Jantjie claimed that he suffers from schizophrenia. Throughout the memorial service he says he was experiencing severe hallucinations. He admitted that during much of the event he was unaware of his surroundings or what he was doing.
As reported before by The Inquisitr, reports have since come out revealing the fake signer’s strange criminal history. In the past, Jantjie had faced many charges including rape, kidnapping, breaking and entering, and property damage. The most recent charges were made in 2003 regarding murder. Court documents on the case were mysteriously incomplete. It is unclear if Jantjie was cleared of those charges.
During the press conference, deputy minister Bogopane-Zulu did not address these facts. She instead blamed the incident on the fake signer becoming tired and overwhelmed, saying he eventually lost concentration. English, in particular, was “a bit too much” for Jantjie, the deputy minister claimed. The man sometimes spoke sign language with his friends, but was not qualified to translate professionally.
As the story of Thamsanqa Jantjie, the fake signer at Mandela’s memorial continues to unravel, the stranger it seems to get. What do you think of these latest developments? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!