• No_Ads
World
Mandela signer admitted to psychiatric hospitalPublish Date: Dec 19, 2013
Mandela signer admitted to psychiatric hospital
  • mail
  • img
In these combination pictures taken on December 10, 2013 US President Barack Obama delivers a speech next to a sign language interpreter (R) during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO
newvision

JOHANNESBURG - The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial, who said he had suffered a schizophrenic episode during the service after being labelled a fraud, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, South African media reported Thursday.
 
Thamsanqa Jantjie's performance at last week's event sparked outrage, with sign language experts saying his translations of the eulogies -- including those by US President Barack Obama and Mandela's grandchildren -- amounted to little more than "flapping his arms around" and "just making funny gestures."
 
On Thursday the Star newspaper said Jantjie's wife Siziwe had taken her husband for a check-up at a psychiatric hospital near Johannesburg on Tuesday, which suggested that he be admitted immediately.
 
"The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown," she was quoted as saying.
 
Jantjie had been scheduled for a check-up at the Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, on December 10.
 
But the appointment was moved after he was offered the job to sign at the Mandela memorial which took place the same day, the newspaper reported.
 
Jantjie has claimed that he is a qualified signer for the deaf but that his performance was down to a sudden attack of schizophrenia, for which he takes medication.
 
"I saw angels falling on the stadium. I heard voices and lost concentration," he has said.
 
Local media have since reported that he was part of a mob that burnt two people to death 10 years ago -- allegations he has denied -- and that he had also allegedly faced rape, kidnapping and theft charges.
 
Mandela's memorial was attended by nearly 100 sitting and former heads of state or government.
 
The South African government has admitted a "mistake" had been made as it launched an investigation into the scandal. It has also apologised to the deaf community for any offence it may have caused.
 
In recent media interviews, Jantjie has come across as incoherent.
 
Last week he shouted at an AFP reporter, initially referring to her as "good" then suddenly accusing her of being "evil" and a "demon".
 
In his home province of Free State, local media have claimed Jantjie has impersonated a lawyer and a traditional healer, though he has not commented on those allegations.
 
The revelations that the signer may have been mentally unstable, has raised questions about how Jantjie, who was at one point little more than an arm's length away from Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was vetted and received security clearance.
 
Pretoria said none of the service providers at the event had had their health status checked.
 
The African National Congress (ANC) has admitted that Jantjie previously did work for the country's ruling party, signing at one of its conferences, but that it was unaware of any complaints regarding the quality of services.
 
The ANC is also probing claims that some of its officials were directors of the company for which the signer worked.
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
S. Sudan army battles rebels in worsening war
South Sudan's army said on Saturday they had "lost communication" with commanders battling rebels in a key oil state where rebels have seized a major town....
MH370 search at
The effort to find missing flight MH370 is at a "very critical juncture", Malaysia's transport minister said Saturday as authorities mull whether to reassess a challenging search of the Indian Ocean seabed that has so far found nothing....
CAR longs for the "good old days" of Jean-Bedel Bokassa
In the nightmare of the strife-torn Central African Republic, many citizens have begun to long for the "good old days" of Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the emperor who became infamous for his brutality yet worked economic wonders in their eyes....
Korea ferry captain arrested, divers enter ship
The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized three days ago was reportedly arrested early Saturday, as divers overcame strong currents and near zero visibility to enter the submerged vessel for the first time....
Captain not at helm of capsized S. Korean ferry
JINDO - The captain was not at the helm of the South Korean ferry that capsized two days ago, investigators said Friday, as anger spread over stalled rescue efforts for hundreds of missing passengers trapped by the submerged vessel....
Man
A young Iranian man escapes being hanged to death with just seconds to spare when his victim''s mother intervenes....
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter