A sign language interpreter who claims he was hallucinating while
working the Nelson Mandela memorialhas previously been charged with murder, rape, theft, and kidnapping, the
television broadcaster eNCA reports.
Thamsanqa Jantjie — who has schizophrenia and was accused of being a bogus interpreter — was acquitted of the rape charge but was sentenced to three years for theft. It’s not known how the 2003 murder case ended because his court file his “mysteriously empty,” eNCA reports. More from the TV broadcaster:
Court records reveal that the 2003 murder, attempted murder and kidnapping case against Jantjie and other people, was referred to the South Gauteng High Court in 2004. It was finalised in November 2006, but the court file for the case is empty.
Following criticism after the Mandela memorial, 34-year-old Jantjie claimed that he was a “champion” signer, Reuters reported. He says he was just having a schizophrenic episode and tried to carry on for the important event.
“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,” he told Johannesburg’s Star newspaper.
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