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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela's memorial told a local newspaper that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.
Thamsanqa Jantjie did describe his qualifications for being a sign language interpreter, but told The Star he works for an interpreting company that paid him $85 for interpreting Tuesday's event. He told Radio 702 Thursday he's receiving treatment for schizophrenia and had an episode while on stage.
Jantjie did not address allegations by sign language experts that he faked interpretation for the Mandela memorial attended by scores of world leaders and broadcast internationally.
The Star quoted him as saying: "I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry, it's the situation I found myself in."
ABC News - Nelson Mandela, the former South African president whose stubborn defiance survived 27 years in prison and led to the dismantling of the country's racist and brutal apartheid system, has died. Mandela was 95 years old.
South Africa's president says Nelson Mandela has died at age 95. Jacob Zuma says "We've lost our greatest son," South African President Jacob Zuma said in announcing Mandela's death.
Mandela had a number of issues with his health in recent years including repeated hospitalizations with a chronic lung infection. Mandela had been listed in "serious but stable condition" after entering the hospital in June before returning to home to receive continued medical care.
In April, Mandela spent 18 days in the hospital due to a lung infection and was treated for gall stones in December 2012.
Mandela's public appearances had become increasingly rare as he dealt with his declining health.
His last public appearance was in July of 2010, when he attended the final match and closing ceremonies of the soccer World Cup held in South Africa.
In 2011, Mandela met privately with Michelle Obama when the first lady and her daughters traveled to South Africa.
Mandela and the Legacy He Leaves Behind
One of the giants of the 20th century, Mandela's career was marked not only by his heroic resistance to racism, but also by his poised and soft spoken demeanor.
After enduring nearly three decades of prison, much of it at hard labor in a lime quarry, Mandela emerged as a gentle leader who became South Africa's first black president. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in ending apartheid without violence, and later became a global statesman who inspired millions people around the world.
Mandela was born in 1918, the son of a tribal leader, in a remote village in South Africa.
His tribal name, Rolihlahla, meant "troublemaker," a moniker Mandela would more than live up to in his lifetime.
In 1952, he emerged onto the national stage when he helped organize the first country-wide protests called the Defiance Campaign. That same year he opened the country's first black law firm.
Ruth Mopati, his secretary at the firm, wrote about the way he was then in the book "Mandela," saying, "He was able to relate to people with respect and therefore he was respected in return."
While Mandela's party, the African National Congress, had always been dedicated to non-violence, in 1960 the ANC was banned to prevent further protests after police shot dead 69 black protestors in what became known as the Sharpeville massacre.
The events radicalized the organization and led to the creation of the ANC military wing, for which Mandela became its first commander in 1961.
In 1962, Mandela was sent to prison on a charge of inciting a strike.
"At 1:30 in the morning, on March 30, I was awakened by sharp, unfriendly knocks at my door, the unmistakable signature of the police. 'The time has come,' I said to myself as I opened the door to find half a dozen armed security policemen," Mandela said.
Two years later, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the white government. Much of the next 27 years in prison were spent in the infamous Robben Island prison where he did hard labor in a lime quarry.
During his nearly three decades behind bars, Mandela would become a myth. The government even banned any use of Mandela's image or words, leaving a whole generation to grow up knowing little about the world's most famous political prisoner.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — President Barack Obama says former South African President Nelson Mandela continues to shine as a beacon of the power of principle and standing up for what's right.
Obama says South Africa's transition from apartheid to a free nation has been a personal inspiration and an inspiration to the world.
He says the recent outpouring of love for the critically ill anti-apartheid icon shows the deep yearning for justice and dignity in the human spirit. He says that yearning transcends class, race and country.
Obama spoke at a joint news conference with South African President Jacob Zuma. The White House says Obama will meet Saturday with Mandela's family but won't visit him in the hospital, in line with the family's wishes.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Some South Africans have given thanks in Sunday prayers for the improvement in the health of Nelson Mandela, the former president who was discharged from a hospital after treatment for pneumonia.
Members of an outdoor congregation in Johannesburg say 94-year-old Mandela was in their thoughts often during his most recent hospitalization. The anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was admitted to a hospital in the South African capital of Pretoria on the night of March 27 and was discharged on Saturday.
Knowledge Modisa, a South African advertising manager, says she and other worshippers have been putting Mandela "first" in their prayers.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison during the period of white racist rule that ended with his election to the presidency in a democratic vote in 1994.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was admitted to the hospital late Wednesday due to his recurring lung infection, the South African President's office today.
"Doctors are attending to him, ensuring that he has the best possible expert medical treatment and comfort," the government's statement said.
Mandela, 94, spent 18 days in the hospital in December for a lung infection and gallstones.
"We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts. We have full confidence in the medical team and know that they will do everything possible to ensure recovery," South African President Jacob Zuma said in the statement.
The anti-Apartheid activist was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on March 10 for routine medical tests and to "manage existing conditions in line with his age," a spokesman for the South African President's office said.
Despite rare public appearances, Mandela, who is credited with changing race relations in South Africa, remains hugely popular in the country.
In November 2012, banknotes featuring Mandela's image were printed and entered into circulation in South Africa.
After enduring nearly three decades of prison, much of it at hard labor in a lime quarry, Mandela emerged as a gentle leader who was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in ending apartheid without violence, and later became a global statesman who inspired millions people around the world.