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Interpreter for Mandela event: I was hallucinating

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The interpreter for the deaf is accused of signing nonsense symbols while dignitaries, including U.S. President Obama spoke at a memorial for former South African leader Nelson Mandela. The interpreter for the deaf is accused of signing nonsense symbols while dignitaries, including U.S. President Obama spoke at a memorial for former South African leader Nelson Mandela. Image source: ABC News

   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."

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