mandela_interpreterThe story of the "fake" interpreter for the deaf at the Nelson Mandela memorial service keeps getting more bizarre!  Now we have learned that the "interpreter" has been hospitalized in the past in a mental hospital!

Thamsanqa Jantjile, now infamous worldwide because of his lack of deaf interpretation skills at the memorial, claims he was hallucinating while on stage.  In an interview with the Johannesburg Star newspaper he said "I was alone in a very dangerous situation".  How dangerous can it be when there are 70 heads of state with security details at the service, including the President of the United States who was standing three feet away from him with plenty of armed Secret Service agents not far from there?

The man who has sparked worldwide outrage in the deaf community goes on to say that while on stage he was "hearing voices in his head" (ironic for a man interpreting for the deaf) and he "saw visions of angels".  Wow!  This dude was hosting quite the party in his noggin while the world was mourning.

And how much money did Thamsanqa Jantjile pocket while gaining worldwide infamy?  The equivlant of $85 in American dollars!  That's how much the South African government was willing to pony up to honor the founder of their modern day land?  $85?  That's all Nelson Mandela was worth? 

Think about that when you pay $85 or more for a Christmas gift this week. Or fill your gas tank, or spend $85 at Tops or Wegmans prepping for the Christmas party or meal you're hosting.  And a valuable lesson that the So. African government learned: you get what you pay for.  And it's better to give than receive during the holidays!