Many people are still astonished by the fact that a man was able to stand next to President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial and do fake sign language throughout this speech. What is equally astonishing that, even though the man was not really signing, no one seemed to catch on during the speech. This followed concern over the ability of South Africa to handle security for the President and other world leaders. South Africa failed miserably. It now turns out that it not only allowed a perfect stranger and fake sign interpreter to stand near Obama but Thamsanqa Jantjie has said that he becomes violent “a lot” and was hallucinating during the event.
Thamsanqa Jantjie still insists that he was paid $85 to sign at the even by an undisclosed company. He then gave a description that will only deepen the problem for the secret service and the embarrassment of the South African government: “What happened that day, I see angels come to the stadium … I start realizing that the problem is here. 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.” Great.
By the way, Jantjie said that, after the ceremony, he had an appointment to get his regular six-month mental health checkup to determine if he could continue on medication or whether he needed to be kept at a mental health facility for treatment.
Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said that the government has tried to track down the company that provided Jantjie, SA Interpreters, but that its co-owners “have vanished into thin air.”