Thamsanqa Jantjie, the man who has been accused of faking sign language at Nelson Mandela’s memorial last Tuesday, has been in the news for a week now – and his past keeps getting more exposed, according to a Yahoo! News report on Monday.
Jantjie was reportedly involved in an incident where two men who had stolen a television were burned to death near Jantjie's home. This revelation comes from one of Jantjie’s cousins and three of the cousin's friends.
They say that the killing happened by tires being placed around the two persons’ necks and then setting fire to the tires. The method of murder is referred to in South Africa as "necking." The reason that Jantjie never went to trial for those 2003 killings - like the other suspects did three years later – was because he was determined mentally unfit to stand trial, as determined by authorities.
The four who are revealing this story are speaking anonymously because of the embarrassment the entire fake interpreter story is bringing to the South African government.
The actual killing-by-fire story is the same as Jantjie described in an interview he granted the Sunday Times newspaper of Johannesburg recently. He said that the incident was a community thing, mob justice, and he admitted that he was there.
Instead of trial, Jantjie was institutionalized for 19 months, according to the cousin and friends. They also said that he began to get sign language interpretation jobs at events for the governing African National Congress Party.
Last week, Jantjie told media that he had suffered from a schizophrenic incident and saw angles coming towards him during the Nelson Mandela memorial when he stood just several feet away from world leaders, including President Barack Obama.