Mandela tribute sign language interpreter says he suffered schizophrenic episode

12/12/2013 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

South Africa – South Africa has admitted that the sign language interpreter at a recent event held to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela was not a professional. As reported by Reuters, the man, 34-year-old Thamsanqa Jantjie, says he suffered a schizophrenic episode during the event causing him to gesture things that didn’t make sense. Many people were outraged by the incident.

Jantjie is quoted as telling the Johannesburg’s Star newspaper, “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.”

As noted in the report, the South African government played down purported security concerns regarding his sharing the stage with world leaders.

Deputy Disabilities Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu is quoted by the AP as stating, “He was procured. He did not just rock up… Did a mistake happen? Yes. He became overwhelmed. He did not use the normal signs. We accept all that.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – World News

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