PRETORIA, South Africa, Dec. 12 (UPI) —
The man identified by the deaf community as a fake interpreter during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service also gave a fake reference, Deaf SA (South Africa) said.
Deaf SA said Tuesday’s memorial wasn’t the first event Thamsanqa Jantjies translated, saying he interpreted at some of South Africa’s biggest events, including anti-apartheid activist Albertina Sisulu’s funeral, Sowetan Live reported Thursday.
But Jantjies maintained he is a fully qualified interpreter and has handled other events, Radio 702 in Johannesburg said.
During the interview with Radio 702, Jantjies acknowledged he was a “patient receiving a treatment in schizophrenia.”
National South Africa language interpreter at Deaf SA, Delphin Hlungwane, said Interpreters SA, the company Jantjies gave as a reference, “does not exist. We even Googled and found nothing.”
Sowetan Live said efforts to reach Jantjies were unsuccessful.
The service to commemorate Mandela, who died last week at 95, was broadcast to millions of viewers.
When world dignitaries spoke during the service, Jantjies did hand signals experts said meant nothing, CNN said.
What gave Jantjies away was the lack of facial expression, Matlin said.