Attention Secret Service: Schizophrenic ‘signer’ once charged with murder, rape

obama with sign interpreter
AFP/Getty Image via The Daily Mail

The sign language impersonator who spent hours within arm reach of the president of the United States and other world leaders at the funeral for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday has a criminal history that includes charges of murder, rape, kidnapping and theft, the Daily Mail reported Friday.

And many of the charges over the years were dropped because he’s apparently schizophrenic, the Daily Mail reported, citing the South African news site eNCA.

The fake interpreter, 34-year-old Thamsanqa Jantjie, was seen by viewers around the world as he made nonsensical “signs” to interpret speakers paying tribute to Mandela for the world’s deaf.

The incident has received worldwide attention, but the eNCA report maintains it’s the first to uncover Jantjie’s violent criminal past. The website, an offshoot of South Africa’s first 24-hour television news station, argues its cursory investigation highlights the flawed security around an event that gathered leaders from around the world.

“eNCA was able to establish these facts in less than 48 hours, posing serious questions about the security arrangements at Tuesday’s memorial and why the government failed to pick up Jantjie’s past.

“During the memorial, it emerged on social media networks that Jantjie wasn’t a properly qualified sign language interpreter and that his signing during that historic event didn’t make any sense.

“The story went global and Jantjie was portrayed as a joke.

“But this story took a serious turn when eNCA established he was mentally ill.”

“He said that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were ‘armed policemen around me,'” the Daily Mail wrote. “Asked how often he had become violent, he said ‘a lot’ while declining to provide details.”

It’s the second high-profile event where an imposter got within easy attack range of the United States president.

In November 2009, the first state dinner at the White House was notoriously crashed by two Virginia socialites and aspiring reality TV stars. At the time, the Secret Service took responsibility for the security breach, but the White House social secretary, an Obama Chicago crony named Desiree Rogers found herself heading back to the Windy City by the spring.

Reality TV stars get in the presidential receiving line at state dinners thanks to an inept family friend in the White House. Lunatics get on international television to “interpret” for the president at state funerals, thanks to ineptitude of a massive scale in a foreign country.

Incompetence permeates every part of the Obama administration, from basic security to Kathleen Sebelius.

And conservatives are the real threat?

Related: ‘Fake’ sign interpreter blames schizophrenia; he was hearing voices

Signing interpreter at Mandela service a fake; waving hands around with no meaning

Watch: A cappella group’s amazing version of ‘Little Drummer Boy’ goes insanely viral


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