Mandela Interpreter Says He’s Schizophrenic

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The “fake” sign language interpreter who stood mere feet from a host of world leaders while he delivered whats being called “meaningless” signs during Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela now says a schizophrenic episode on stage led to international outrage.

Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, insists he’s a real interpreter who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. He claims a schizophrenic episode during the sendoff for the South African president caused him to lose concentration.

“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…Anyone who doesn’t understand this illness will think that I’m just making this up.”

Jantjie says he did not skip his medication and believes the rush of emotions he felt leading up the Mandela memorial may have triggered an attack.