Well, this story just keeps getting better. We all know about the schizophrenic, hallucinating fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Did you also know that he was once charged with theft, kidnapping, rape, and murder?
According to The Hill:
South African news broadcaster eNCA revealed Friday that the deaf interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial has in the past faced numerous criminal charges, including kidnapping, rape and murder.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, whose sign language at the memorial was denounced by deaf people worldwide as gibberish, faced his first criminal charge in 1994 when he was accused of rape. Over the following decade he also faced accusations of theft, housebreaking, malicious damage to property, and finally kidnapping, attempted murder and murder charges that were filed in 2003.
eNCA says that Jantjie was acquitted of the rape charge and convicted of theft and sentenced to three years in prison. Many charges, however, were dropped after he was found mentally unfit to stand trial. Despite his theft sentence, it is not currently clear if he has spent time in jail.
Details of the 2003 murder and kidnapping case remain hazy, as the court file for the case is mysteriously empty.