News / Africa

Fake Mandela Signer Blames Schizophrenia

India's President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at the podium as the fake sign language interpreter (R) punches the air beside him during a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
India's President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at the podium as the fake sign language interpreter (R) punches the air beside him during a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
VOA News
The sign language interpreter criticized by organizations for the deaf as giving "meaningless" signs during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela has blamed a schizophrenic episode for his performance.

Thamsanqa Jantjie told a Johannesburg newspaper, The Star, that he heard voices and hallucinated during Tuesday's service, which affected his ability to interpret the speeches by leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama.

Thamsanqa Jantjie gestures at his home during an interview with AP in Johannesburg, Dec. 12, 2013.Thamsanqa Jantjie gestures at his home during an interview with AP in Johannesburg, Dec. 12, 2013.
x
Thamsanqa Jantjie gestures at his home during an interview with AP in Johannesburg, Dec. 12, 2013.
Thamsanqa Jantjie gestures at his home during an interview with AP in Johannesburg, Dec. 12, 2013.
He said he was sorry, and that there was nothing he could do.  He also told South Africa's Radio 702 on Thursday that he was happy with his work.

"Absolutely, what I've been doing, I think that I've been a champion of sign language as I've been saying that.  You know, I've interpreted many big events, not only the event in question now," he said.

South Africa's Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said that the interpreter became overwhelmed and did not use normal signs.

She said Thursday there was a "clear indication" that the company that hired him has for years provided substandard services.

She also apologized to the deaf community, and said the issue highlights the challenges that deaf people around the world face every day in trying to communicate.

The head of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, Bruno Druchen, said the man's gestures were "self-invented signs" not used in South African sign language, and called the incident a "mockery of the language."

A joint statement from the World Federation of the Deaf and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters also said the interpreter's actions showed he did not know the language.  They stressed the need for the organizers of public events to ensure that the deaf are able to access information through trained, qualified interpreters.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nicholas Akuamoah-Boateng from: Kumasi-Ghana
December 13, 2013 2:36 AM
It is sad ! Why should authourithy treat our physical challenge fellows like that? God have mercy!


by: Benjamin Likute Bauma from: South Africa
December 12, 2013 1:15 PM
Under former President Thambo Mbeki the ANC members blamed him for being too intellectual and not at the level of common people. Under Zuma we are experiencing under-qualify people. Where are we going?

In Response

by: Nicholas Akuamoah-Boateng from: Kumasi-Ghana
December 13, 2013 2:43 AM
Where are we going indeed! You see, some of our leaders are taking so many things for granted.


by: Felix from: Lusaka Zamia
December 12, 2013 12:31 PM
Common symptoms of Schizophrenia are delusions including paranoia and auditory hallucinations, disorganized thinking reflected in speech, and a lack of emotional intelligence. It is accompanied by significant social or vocational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%.[2] Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the patient's reported experiences.


by: yettah from: usa
December 12, 2013 12:21 PM
Can anyone say "paid shill"? The next question becomes this: what high ranking deaf official of what country was targeted to be rattled by this episode?


by: Abel Ogah from: Oju benue state Nigeria
December 12, 2013 11:06 AM
Alas! He got paid for the job. Men needed to survive.Fake men abound, loopholes abound even at that level. This is the end time!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid