Fake Interpreter Claims Mental Illness Caused Memorial Incident
The fake interpreter for Nelson Mandela’s funeral is claiming that he suffered from a schizophrenic episode while onstage, causing his erratic behavior.
Thamsanqa Jantjie stated that his mental illness caused him to hallucinate onstage. He is unaware if it was the magnitude of the event or the surge of adrenaline he had when he was interpreting that caused the episode.
According to Jantjie, he lost concentration, began to hear voices, and started hallucinating; before it all went downhill and he began signing nonsense. He stated:
“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.
LIFE IS UNFAIR. THIS ILLNESS IS UNFAIR. ANYONE WHO DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THIS ILLNESS WILL THINK THAT I’M JUST MAKING THIS UP.”
However, the illness can’t cover for the previous times he worked as an interpreter. In this video, you can clearly see Jantjie flailing in a similar manner to that of the memorial incident.
The SA Interpreters, the company Jantjie works for, have all but disappeared. A media outlet did manage to get ahold of one of the SA Interpreters, Thoneka Ngqase, but she asked that she be contacted later because she was in a meeting. She never answered her phone or responded to texts after the initial contact.
AP reported that fake sign language interpreters are a widespread problem in South Africa because many attempt to pass themselves off as legitimate for money.
“THOSE HIRING THEM USUALLY DON’T SIGN, SO THEY HAVE NO IDEA THAT THE PEOPLE THEY ARE HIRING CANNOT DO THE JOB. THEY ADVERTISE THEMSELVES AS INTERPRETERS BECAUSE THEY KNOW 10 SIGNS AND THEY CAN MAKE SOME QUICK MONEY. IT IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE ABUSE OF THE DEAF COMMUNITY, THEY ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE DEAF COMMUNITY TO MAKE MONEY.”
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and impaired emotional responses. Symptoms commonly seen are delusions such paranoia and auditory hallucinations, disorganized thinking reflected in speech, and a lack of emotional intelligence.
The South African Government has yet to release a statement regarding Jantjie.
This story is the gift that keeps on giving.