NBC News' Alexander Smith reports that the would-be interpreter, Thamsanqa Jantjie, was the subject of a complaint in 2012 for meaningless signing. Apparently, though, the complaint by the Deaf Federation of South Africa didn't stop the African National Congress from using Jantjie for at least one other event, not including the Mandela memorial service.
Nobody can find the sign-language schools he claims to have attended. The South African government now can't even find the agency that employs him. He says he suffered a schizophrenic attack during the service — not before, not after, during — that left him seeing angels.
Whew. If Jantjie is legit, he must have ticked off Somebody Upstairs in a big way to be left looking like such an utter fraud.
The South African government has been embarrassed and heads will roll. The only question is whether Jantjie and the government functionaries who wlll be blamed for this fiasco will wind up in the unemployment line, or in jail.