Schizophrenic ‘Fake’ Interpreter Hospitalized: Nelson Mandela Memorial Signer Admitted for Psychiatric Problem

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | December 19, 2013 11:31 PM EST

Thamsanqa Jantjie, the man who dominated headlines across the world with his 'fake' interpretation during Nelson Mandela's Memorial in Johannesburg last week, has been admitted to hospital for his psychiatric problem, reports suggest.

Jantjie's interpreting during the huge memorial service became a subject of discussion in the media after it was discovered that his gesticulations made no sense at all. It was also discussed that instead of interpreting the correct words, he had introduced words like "prawns" and "rocking horse" into some of the speeches made by imminent speakers.

When questioned later, he explained that he suffered a schizophrenic episode during the event and he saw "angels and heard voices".

On Tuesday, his wife, Siziwe Jantjie took him to Sterkfontein Hospital in Krugersdorp near Johannesburg, South African newspaper The Star reported. Doctors suggested that he be admitted immediately.

"The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown," Siziwe told the newspaper.

Jantjie was supposed to have visited the hospital on 10 December for check-up but he was offered the job to interpret in the FNB stadium on the very same day and his wife had to call the hospital on his behalf to postpone his appointment.

Millions of TV viewers saw Jantjie interpreting the statements made by world leaders including President Obama, which was attended by over 80,000 people including more than 90 country leaders on 10 December. But South Africa's leading deaf association later dishonoured him calling him a fake and that he was simply inventing signs.

He surfaced in the news again on 17 December after it was revealed that he was involved in a gruesome mob that was allegedly involved in the killing of two men by burning them down according to revelation made by Associated Press. 

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