Jan­tjie on video clip says he is ‘great fake’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE BOGUS sign lan­guage in­ter­preter at Nel­son Man­dela’s me­mo­rial ser­vice, Tham­sanqa Jan­tjie, has called him­self “a great fake”.

“Even if they call me a fake, but I am the great fake be­cause I ex­pose what is go­ing on in the gov­ern­ment and sys­tem,” Jan­tjie is heard say­ing in a video clip posted on so­cial net­work­ing site Face­book.

In the clip he is seen ad­dress­ing a group of men seated in­side a car while he stands out­side the open front pas­sen­ger win­dow. He is wear­ing a blue T-shirt with the word Sterk­fontein on it (a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal in Krugers­dorp, on Gaut­eng’s West Rand, to which he was re­port­edly read­mit­ted last week).

Jan­tjie’s ap­par­ent lack of in­ter­pret­ing skills at Man­dela’s me­mo­rial ser­vice at the FNB Sta­dium on De­cem­ber 10 caused global amuse­ment, out­rage among the deaf com­mu­nity, and con­cern at how he came to be within touch­ing dis­tance of world lead­ers such as US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

He ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards that he was re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for schizophre­nia, and was a pa­tient at Sterk­fontein.

He told var­i­ous me­dia out­lets he suf­fered a schizophrenic episode dur­ing the event, and saw an­gels. He claimed he pan­icked when he re­alised he was sur­rounded by armed po­lice.

In the clip Jan­tjie re­alises he is be­ing filmed, and asks the men not to dis­trib­ute the video, say­ing “this clip can go some­where”.

The men as­sure him it won’t be dis­trib­uted, and he goes on to say that he is an ad­vo­cate for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, and that the needs of the dis­abled should be catered for. “To­day I am here… Our peo­ple are out­side there not hav­ing wheel­chairs. There was not any­one with a wheel­chair there in that sta­dium while I was in­ter­pret­ing, and then you tell me I was wrong. Where was the right if I was wrong?” he asks. – Sapa

PIC­TURE: TIRO RAMATLHATSE

ME­MORA­BILIA: Amina Manini sells Nel­son Man­dela T-shirts on the street op­po­site Madiba’s Houghton home. She vol­un­teered to clean the street af­ter the for­mer states­man was laid to rest at his home in Qunu.

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