Updated 19 December 2013

'Fake' interpreter: more on schizophrenia

The 'fake' sign language interpreter officiating at Nelson Mandela's memorial claims to have suffered a schizophrenic episode at the time. Here's more about schizophrenia.

The unintelligible hand signals used by Thamsanqa Jantjie during Nelson Mandela's memorial service continue to cause outrage in deaf communities around the world.

Security concerns are also in the spotlight as Jantjie stood  within arm's length of several dignitaries and state leaders while supposedly doing his job.

Jantjie told the Cape Times that he used medication for schizophrenia, and suffered a schizophrenic episode during the memorial service.

Take a look here at a video comparing a real sign language specialist to the supposedly fake one.

In a 94.7 Highveld radio interview he claimed that he had often done interpreting before at big events. His tone was aggressive and defensive and interrupted the interviewer several times. He says that people are attacking him for nothing and that he had never had complaints before. A representative from DeafSA,  Delphin Hlungwane, pointed out that this was not true as there had been complaints about him before.

He claimed that he had become a professional sign language interpreter because he felt that too many people in the deaf community were not 'represented'.

He said he had been hired by the boss of SA interpreters - a company not known to the interviewer, a representative from Deaf SA..

When asked how he would sign the message: "I love you" he refused to answer the question. He became very agitated.

Here's more about schizophrenia, its symptoms and its treatment.

The A - Z of schizophrenia

Read more about the benefits of sign language.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Quit smoking »

How to beat triggers that make you crave a cigarette

You need to learn how to beat the behavioural, environmental and emotional triggers if you want to succeed in quitting smoking.

Hygiene »

Your showerhead may be bathing you in germs

You probably think showering will wash away dirt and germs, but your showerhead might dump nasty bacteria on you instead that may cause lung infections.