"Fake" Mandela Interpreter Was Charged With Murder, Rape, Kidnapping

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.

Making Jantjie's history more mysterious: When eNCA found the court file for his 2003 murder and kidnapping case, all of its contents were missing.

The eNCA said they put their report together in less than 48 hours, raising further questions about the background checks performed by the South African officials in charge of security at the memorial.

[Image via AP]