The man who caused a scandal with his fake sign language during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was hiding more than anyone thought.

The interpreter has faced charges of murder, rape, theft, breaking and entering, malicious damage to property and kidnapping, reports.


The court file for the 2003 murder case was found "mysteriously empty," so the outcome of the case is unknown. Most of the other charges, which go back to 1994, were eventually dropped because Thamsanqa Jantjie was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial. He was acquitted in the rape case.

These revelations bring about more questions about how Jantjie was hired for the Mandela memorial, especially since he was standing so close to some of the world’s most powerful leaders.


Jantjie has admitted that he suffers from schizophrenia, which he claims caused his odd behavior at the service.  According to the Washington Post, the firm that hired Jantjie has disappeared "into thin air."

Read more at and the Washington Post.