‘Fake’ Mandela interpreter - ‘I was hallucinating’

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THE man accused of faking sign language interpretation at the Nelson Mandela memorial service has claimed that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.

Thamsanqa Jantjie told South African newspaper The Star that he suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage during the event.

Interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie, who is accused of faking sign language. Picture: AP

Interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie, who is accused of faking sign language. Picture: AP

Jantjie said: “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.”

Jantjie claims to have the requisite qualifications for being a sign language interpreter, and works for an interpreting company that paid him 85 dollars (£52) for interpreting Tuesday’s event.

Mr Jantjie did not address allegations by sign language experts that he faked the interpretation, which was broadcast around the world.

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