‘No record of in­ter­preter’s mur­der case’

NPA can’t con­firm he was charged

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NELSON MANDELA 1918-2013 -

NO COURT records of a mur­der case in­volv­ing the “fake” in­ter­preter at Nel­son Man­dela’s me­mo­rial were cur­rently avail­able, the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity has said.

“I can­not con­firm that the guy was charged, but I can­not deny it ei­ther,” said spokesman Nathi Mn­cube. “There are no records right now.”

Mn­cube made his com­ments af­ter eNCA tele­vi­sion news re­ported that Tham­sanqa Jan­tjie was in­volved in a mur­der case, was con­victed of theft, and was charged with var­i­ous other crimes in the past few years.

Jan­tjie was ap­par­ently one of three men in­volved in a mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and kid- nap­ping case from 2003, that was re­ferred to the High Court in Jo­han­nes­burg in 2004, and fi­nalised in Novem­ber 2006.

How­ever, the out­come was un­known as the court file for the case was found empty by eNCA re­porters.

Mn­cube said the tele­vi­sion sta­tion had pro­vided the NPA with a po­lice case num­ber, but de­spite ef­forts to trace a record, one had not been found by yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

He said a case dat­ing back to 2006 would “take a while” to trace.

Us­ing court and po­lice records, eNCA es­tab­lished that Jan­tjie was con­victed of theft in 1995, and was recorded to have re­ceived a three- year sen­tence.

He was charged with house­break­ing in July 1997, and ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty in April 1998.

Jan­tjie was charged with rape in Septem­ber 1994, but was ac­quit­ted.

Jan­tjie was just me­tres away from Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and other heads of state dur­ing Man­dela’s me­mo­rial at the FNB Sta­dium, in Jo­han­nes­burg, on Tues­day.

On Wed­nes­day, Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Collins Cha­bane said the gov­ern­ment would in­ves­ti­gate claims that Jan­tjie did not use in­tel­li­gi­ble sign lan­guage.

Af­ter the re­port on his crim­i­nal back­ground, Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral Solomon Mak­gale said: “As the min­is­ter ( Cha­bane) said, there is go­ing to be an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter the fu­neral.”

In re­sponse to a re­quest for com­ment, act­ing gov­ern­ment spokes­woman Phumla Wil­liams also re­ferred to Cha­bane’s com­ment about the gov­ern­ment hav­ing noted con­cerns about the “al­leged in­cor­rect use of sign lan­guage at the na­tional me­mo­rial ser­vice”.

“Gov­ern­ment is look­ing into this mat­ter, but has not been able to con­clude this in­quiry due to the de­mand­ing sched­ule of or­gan­is­ing events re­lated to the state fu­neral,” Wil­liams quotes Cha­bane as hav­ing said.

“Gov­ern­ment will re­port pub­licly on any in­for­ma­tion it may es­tab­lish.

“This re­port will be pre­sented to the me­dia in due course.”

Af­ter the me­mo­rial, Jan­tjie told the me­dia that he had suf­fered a schizophrenic episode in which he had seen an­gels, and that he had pan­icked when he re­alised he was sur­rounded by armed po­lice. – Sapa

PIC­TURE: AP

SHADY PAST: Tham­sanqa Jan­tjie has al­legedly been charged with a num­ber of crimes.

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