Thamsanqa Jantjie – the controversial interpreter from the Nelson Mandela’s memorial service – has been admitted for a psychiatric evaluation. The interpreter was accused of making up sign language during the ceremony, which included speeches from high-profile politicians.


The wife of the interpreter said that he might have had a breakdown. It was previously reported by the BBC that sign language experts accused Jantjie of referring to ‘prawns’ and ‘rocking horses’ while he translated speeches of dignitaries during the memorial event. When Jantjie was interrogated, he claimed that he suffered from a sudden attack of schizophrenia.

His wife took him to a psychiatric hospital near Johannesburg for a check-up on December 17, 2013 and he was admitted immediately. During the memorial event, Jantjie was seen standing on the stage next to the US president Barack Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma, as well as Mandela’s grandchildren.

Jantjie was assigned to interpret the key speakers’ speeches at the memorial. After the event, many critics and sign language experts alleged that the interpreter was fake and did not have ample knowledge about sign language. However, the interpreter blamed it all on his schizophrenic episode and claimed that he saw angels coming into the stadium.

Photo Credits: Grape Vine


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