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Fake interpreter murder: False Mandela interpreter charged with murder and rape

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The fake interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was charged with murder and rape earlier in his lifetime, though he has only been convicted on the sexual assault charge. The man in question, Thamsanga Jantile, has claimed that he had a schizophrenic episode at the event, causing him to make false sign language motions, but his criminal past is a new surprise to people learning of the mentally ill man working in South Africa. The Orlando Sentinel offers the new details this Saturday, Dec. 14, 2014.

Jantile is being dubbed the “fake interpreter” after he was found making no sense at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, and a statement made by the ENCA newspaper this week reveals that the man faced first degree murder charges back in 2003. While he was never convicted, it only stands as another mark leaving people wondering why he was allowed to be the official interpreter for speakers like President Obama in the first place.

As an explanation for his random signs to deaf observers, Jantile said he suffers from schizophrenia, and was having a strange episode where he hallucinated of angels flying in the stadium during the memorial this Tuesday. The fake interpreter’s mental illness might also be used as justification for his criminal charges in the past, which include rape and even murder. The charges were later dropped because a judge found him mentally incapable of a formal trial.

Other dings on his record include various accusations ranging from a second rape in 1994, housebreaking and theft a few years later, property damage in 1998, and attempted murder/kidnapping most recently. He faced a three-year jail sentence for the rape charge, but it is unknown if he actually served time behind bars. According to eNCA, the false Mandela's speaker was also in trouble for making bogus signs at an earlier event last year.

What’s your reaction to the “fake interpreter murder” story? Sound off below.

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