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Deaf interpreter’s reference company ‘does not exist’

By BONGIWE SITHOLE | 2013-12-12 11:52:35.0 | COMMENTS [ 101 ]

Fake interpreter also gave 'sham' reference.

Thamsanqa Jantjies the so called ‘interpreter’ at the memorial service of former statesman Nelson Mandela was exposed by Deaf SA for being a pretense sign language interpreter.

It became news across the world how the man who had been delegated to represent deaf people gesticulated gibberish in front of millions of viewers at the dignified memorial of Madiba.

The fake interpreters name was revealed yesterday and it has also been discovered that he gave a fake reference according to Deaf SA.

National South Africa language interpreter at Deaf SA, Delphin Hlungwane says the interpreter’s work reference is not creditable anywhere.

“Thamsanqa said he was hired by a company called ‘Interpreters SA’ and that company does not exist, we even googled and found nothing.”

“It was upsetting for Deaf SA because deaf people did not have access to the memorial,” she added.

“SA deaf people were denied from being part of the memorial and other countries did not have an interpreter, it was disrespectful for the deaf,” she said.

“He was not translating from any recognizable language.”

Hlungwane says even if the fake interpreter was translating in African languages it would have been picked up.

“All languages have a gramma structure that can be understood. Although SA does not have a specific interpreter, they needed to get someone professional, well trained with years of experience from a recognizable company. This was just an embarrassment,” she says.  

Hlungwane says they are uncertain about the ‘serious action’ that will be taken against Jantjies.

Sowetan Live tried to get a hold of Jantjies, however his phone led us to voicemail several times.

It was not the first time that Janties translated; he has interpreted at South Africa’s biggest events including the late stalwart Albertina Sisulu’s funeral.

COMMENTS [ 101 ]

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I knew he was fake when he interpreted the boos from the crowd directed at Zuma.

But this is hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. To think he just thought he would stand next to dignitaries and throw his hands up in the air and hope no one notices !CLASSSIC!

Anyway he is a hustler trying to make a living. he's got balls of steel lol mountain sized liver with a bile on the side. Give him a bells!!

2013-12-12 13:03:15.0 | 0 replies

His second name is Bhompi. Who takes a guy who calls himself Bhompi seriously? nc nc nc

I hear he was signing about prawns and horses things which had nothing to with the event.

Thank God he didn't sign anything vulgur imagine if he had insulted the Obamas lol

this guy is a clown true. lol at least he gave us some humour in the middle of difficult time. kuhlekwa no ma kushoniwe

2013-12-12 13:25:34.0 | 0 replies

you south africans are easily conned,you are too egoistic but warped. fake interpreter,fake investors in the guptas,krajicir and a fake president you can't stomach you just have to boo him

2013-12-12 13:26:14.0 | 0 replies


2013-12-12 13:27:55.0 | 0 replies

La Dube

"lol at least he gave us some humour in the middle of difficult time. kuhlekwa no ma kushoniwe"

Sister I think you are missing the point. Africa is once again the coon carnival of the world thanks to the idiots voted into power time and again by people who really don't have the know-how to get it right.. The wold is not laughing with us. It is laughing AT us. And that's not funny.

2013-12-12 13:30:20.0 | 0 replies

At least he got some things right ... whenever he interpreted Zuma's name he made a shower sign above his head.

2013-12-12 13:31:27.0 | 0 replies

Bokker: PRECISELY! What a complete farce has been made of this extremely special event.

2013-12-12 13:33:06.0 | 0 replies


Hold up ! I am not condoning what happened but its done ! Its funny that he got everyone fo0led. I would understand if he stood there for 20 mins but for whole five hours and still nobody realized he was fake !

Yes its very embarrassing but whtas not embarrassing here in SA. Everything is an embarrassment on its from the top officials to the ordinary SA like the fake interpreter. It doesn't mean its ok but there is an element of humour in it !

2013-12-12 13:37:40.0 | 0 replies

Obama: "Nelson Mandela was a legend, a good man..."
Thama the senior interpreter: "Ke Dezemba boss"

2013-12-12 13:38:34.0 | 0 replies

So in the end Zupta managed to turn Madiba's funeral into a circus complete with lunatic puppet show.

Way to go ZANC

I am so furken naaar about this I almost tempted to go to throw shrit at an anc branch office

2013-12-12 13:38:54.0 | 0 replies

Thami the senior interpreter: "Ke Dezemba boss"

2013-12-12 13:40:56.0 | 0 replies