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Fake Sign Language Interpreter at Mandela Funeral Charged With Rape, Murder

Thamsanqa Jantjie

The saga of the "fake" sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial continues to grow stranger and darker: One day after Thamsanqa Jantjie, the interpreter, told reporters he was hallucinating during the ceremony, South Africa's eNCA reported that—over the past 20 years—Jantjie has been charged with murder, rape, theft, and kidnapping.

According to eNCA, Jantjie was charged with rape in 1994, theft in 1995, housebreaking in 1997, malicious damage to property in 1998, and murder, attempted murder, and kidnapping in 2003. Most of the charges were dropped after authorities ruled Jantjie mentally unfit to stand trial, and he was only convicted on the 1995 charge of theft, though it's not clear how much, if any, jail time he served.

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