After admitting that he suffered from a schizophrenic episode during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the bogus sign language interpreter who caused an uproar has finally been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
The Star newspaper reports that Thamsanqa Jantjie‘s wife Siziwe had taken her husband for a check-up at a psychiatric hospital near Johannesburg on Tuesday, and they suggested that he be admitted immediately.
“The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown,” she was quoted as saying.
If you recall, Jantjie’s performance sparked outrage after it was revealed he was relaying none of the eulogies or messages at the memorial correctly. In fact, his interpretation amounted to little more than funny gestures and flapping his arms. He blamed the botched signing on his schizophrenia, telling AP that he hallucinated on stage and tried to keep his cool.
But that wasn’t the end of Jantjie’s troubles. Earlier this week, it was revealed that he was involved in a 2003 murder. A relative and three friends came forward to detail the murder, telling the media that Jantjie was part of a group that burned two men alive.
According to the Star, Jantjie was scheduled for an evaluation the day of the memorial, but rescheduled to take the job as a sign language interpreter at the Mandela event. South African authorities continue their investigation into how Jantjie was hired, but he insists he is a qualified interpreter.
To let those who know Jantjie tell it, however, he has impersonated a lawyer and a traditional healer in the past, though he has not commented on those allegations.
In short, nobody knows exactly who Jantjie is.
We’ll keep you updated on this bizarre case.