Mandela memorial 'signer' rubbishes murder claims
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - An allegedly bogus sign-language interpreter hired for a Nelson Mandela memorial service addressed by the likes of Barack Obama, on Monday dismissed media claims he had faced murder charges in the past.
The signer, Mr Thamsanqa Jantjie, had stood just metres from the United States president and other world leaders on the stage at last Tuesday's event at Soweto's World Cup stadium.
Enraged sign language experts said the signing by Mr Jantjie, who claims to be schizophrenic, amounted to little more than "flapping his arms around".
Raising further security questions, the Sunday Times newspaper reported that Mr Jantjie had admitted being part of a mob that burnt two people to death in 2003.