Language translator at Mandela’s Memorial responds

Onyeka Ibeanusi  | Thursday, 12 December 2013 | 794 Total Views


The 34 year old sign language translator at Nelson Mandela's memorial service Thamsanqa Jantjie, who was accused by the SA Deaf Federation of making up his own signs during the ceremony, has responded to the accusation. 

He told Johannesburg Star newspaper that he had a schizophrenic attack during the ceremony hence his senseless signs. He said he started hearing voices & was hallucinating while on stage with world leaders.

"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," He told the paper. He said he was on medication for Schizophrenia and wondered why he still had the attack

He was also asked by an SA based radio station, if he was satisfied with his performance, he replied "Absolutely, absolutely. I think that I've been a champion of sign language".