Now we know why "fake" sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie was charged with murder in 2003: According to reports in the Associated Press and Johannesburg's Sunday Times, the interpreter was one of several people who burned two accused thieves to death by setting fire to tires placed around their necks.
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.
As if this story wasn't strange enough: The "fake" sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial claims he was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode during the ceremony, causing him to hallucinate and hear voices. Meanwhile, the company that hired the hallucinating interpreter has "vanished."
Leaders from at least 91 countries gathered along with tens of thousands of South African citizens to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg's FNB stadium. Undeterred by a constant downpour, the crowds, which included four U.S. Presidents, celebrated Mandela's life through speeches, dancing, and music.
In the wake of Nelson Mandela's passing, a great many people will come forward to offer their reflections on a man who suffered for decades in order to help black South Africans defeat Apartheid. Let's not forget, then, there once was a time when mainstream political notables had no qualms slurring Mandela and the African National Congress—and whitewashing the crimes of Apartheid South Africa. Here are some of those instances.