“Fake” Mandela Interpreter Used “Self-Invented” Gestures Last Year

The South African sign language interpreter deemed a “fake” for gesticulating gibberish during Nelson Mandela's memorial failed to communicate a single word of speech made by South African President Jacob Zuma more than a year ago, NBC News reported. The Deaf Federation of South Africa alleged to the ruling African National Congress that "100 percent of the information was omitted" by Thamsanqa Jantjie after he appeared at an event in January 2012, according to a letter of complaint obtained by NBC News on Friday. The group said Jantjie's interpreting for Zuma was as "a mockery" and that his gestures appeared "self-invented." After Jantjie's performance at Mandela's service was questioned, the 34-year-old told Johannesburg's Star newspaper he started hearing voices in his head and hallucinating, resulting in gestures that made no sense. He translated while standing three feet away from world leaders including President Barack Obama.

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