A man passing himself off as a sign language interpreter punches the air during a speech being given by India's President Pranab Mukherjee at a memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at the FNB soccer stadium in Johannesburg December 10, 2013. The fake sign language interpreter took to the stage during Tuesday's memorial for anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, gesticulating gibberish before a global audience of millions and outraging deaf people across the world. Picture taken December 10. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
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 not 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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