Fake Interpreter Once Faced Murder Charges

South African report says he has lengthy arrest record
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2013 12:16 PM CST
Thamsanqa Jantjie interprets in sign language for President Obama (or tries to) during the Mandela service.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – The news about that Nelson Mandela interpreter who wasn't actually interpreting anything just keeps getting worse. Not only has Thamsanqa Jantjie acknowledged suffering from hallucinations and schizophrenia, but a new report from South Africa's eNCA says Jantile—who was standing about a foot away from President Obama and other world leaders—has been charged with murder, attempted murder and kidnapping, rape, housebreaking, theft, and malicious damage to property over the years. The broadcaster says it's unclear how the 2003 murder charge was resolved, or whether he has ever spent time in jail, but the extensive arrest record raises more questions about the vetting process for such a high-profile role in the service. (Click to read about the "gibberish" that Jantjie was actually signing.)

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