Fake Mandela Interpreter Part of Mob that Burned 2 People to Death

Image: Fake Mandela Interpreter Part of Mob that Burned 2 People to Death

Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 12:29 PM

By Greg Richter

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Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign language interpreter who was accused of making nonsense gestures at the Nelson Mandela memorial last week while standing next to President Barack Obama and other world leaders,  admitted to being part of a mob who burned two people to death in 2003, South Africa's Sunday Times reports.

Jantjie, gesturing with his hands in what amounted to gibberish, stood little more than arm's length away from Obama as he spoke at the memorial at Soweto's FNB Stadium.

Jantjie told the paper he is being treated at a South African mental health hospital and suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage during the event. He said he saw angels descending on the stadium.

Addressing the burning deaths, Jantjie told The Times, "It was a community thing, what you call mob justice, and I was also there."

He and others were arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and kidnapping. Jantie's charges were dropped because he was ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Earlier reports indicated Jantjie also has faced rape charges.

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