December 13th, 2013
08:36 PM ET

Report: "Fake" sign language interpreter has extensive criminal record

There's a shocking new revelation tonight about the so-called "fake interpreter" and Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

South African news network ENCA is reporting that Thamsanqa Jantjie, who stood just three feet away from President Obama and many other world leaders as they delivered their speeches, has faced a long list of criminal charges in the past including murder, kidnapping, and rape.

Yesterday, Jantjie told CNN's David McKenzie in an interview that he suffers from schizophrenia, but claimed that it is "controllable." CNN has been unable to reach him for further comments.

Errol Barnett has more details on this unfolding story.

December 12th, 2013
08:50 PM ET

Was interpreter a security risk?

The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial, who has been called a "fraud" around the world for allegedly making up gibberish, is now blaming the incident on a schizophrenic hallucination.

Thamsanqa Jantjie told the Associated Press he saw visions of angels flying into the stadium during the event, and that he's had a history of violent incidents in the past.

Mandela memorial interpreter asks forgiveness, calls himself champion

But in a separate interview with our David McKenzie, Jantjie defended his performance and claimed that his schizophrenia was his inspiration for wanting to become an interpreter.

One of the big questions now is: was Jantjie a security risk to President Obama and all of the foreign dignitaries that attended the service?

Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former senior profiler at the FBI, is OutFront.

Filed under: Nelson Mandela • News
December 11th, 2013
08:57 PM ET

Marlee Matlin: Fake interpreter at Mandela memorial was 'offensive'

Shock and outrage around the world amid claims that the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial was a fake.

Interpreter at Mandela memorial dubbed a 'fake,' group says

The Deaf Federation of South Africa says the unnamed man is not a recognized professional.

"The so-called 'interpreter' who interpreted at the official memorial service for late former president Nelson Mandela at FNB stadium has been dubbed the 'fake interpreter' and the deaf community is in outrage," Bruno Druchen, national director of DeafSA, said in a statement.

"He is not known by the Deaf Community in South Africa nor by the South African Sign Language interpreters working in the field."

OutFront: Marlee Matlin, she lost her hearing when she was 18-months old, and went on to be the youngest person to win the Oscar for "Best Actress".  She currently appears on the ABC family series "Switched at Birth".


Filed under: International • Nelson Mandela • News
December 10th, 2013
08:41 PM ET

Rep. Schock: Mandela was an example of democratic change

It was a moving memorial and the largest gathering of world leaders in recent history. Presidents, Prime Ministers and royals joined tens of thousands of South Africans to honor, praise, and remember Nelson Mandela.

Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock led the congressional delegation from the United States and is one of two Republicans who attended the memorial.

Filed under: International • Nelson Mandela • News
December 10th, 2013
08:24 PM ET

Wife of American contractor jailed in Cuba: Obama, Raul handshake is 'irrelevant'

Was President Obama's greeting with Raul Castro just a handshake or something more significant?

The White House says it was not a "pre-planned encounter" but many are calling it a symbolic moment. American Judy Gross is hoping it is an opening to new diplomatic relations.

Her husband, Alan, was arrested in Cuba in 2009 and has been imprisoned ever since. The government there is accusing him of trying to destabilize the government.

OutFront: Judy Gross

Filed under: International • Nelson Mandela • News
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