Friday, December 13, 2013

The Fake Interpreter: Cringe, the Beloved Country

Thamsanqa Jantjie

In an exclusive report, eNCA has been able to establish that the now globally-famous Mandela fake interpreter has faced a string of criminal accusations in the past. 

Thamsanqa Jantjie, the man who stood metres from most of the world’s most powerful leaders past and present, including the world’s most populous country (China), the world’s largest democracy (India) and the world’s military superpower (the USA), has been convicted of theft in a 1995 case, although it is unclear whether he ever served his original three-year sentence. Jantjie has also been accused of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping (2003),  malicious damage to property (1998) and rape (1994, acquitted). Claims have also emerged that Jantjies is under investigation for fraud in relation to travel allowance claims totalling R1.7 million. To date, no one in government has been able to explain how Jantjies was vetted or how he received security clearance.

eNCA was able to establish the accusations and sentencing using court and police records, but several of the court records are incomplete beyond basic information. It is not known whether Jantjies served time, or what became of the accusations – although some have speculated that he may have been excused from standing trial due to is schizophrenia diagnosis.

The case has suddenly attracted a rather more urgent kind of attention to what was already a grave national embarrassment and an insult to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in South Africa and the world. The phalanx of security operatives surrounding a majority of the world’s major political figures are an adequate protection from most outside threats, but little could have been done had Jantjie – who has claimed to have suffered a schizophrenic attack involving hallucinations while standing next to Presidents Obama, Zuma and others – moved to harm one of the heads of state standing immediately beside him.

Following a stumbling, vague government response to the initial furore, a low-ranking government official, Hendriette Bogopane-Zulu (Deputy Minister of the scandal-plagued Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities) gave a bizarre press conference in which she downplayed every aspect of the worsening scandal. Bogopane-Zulu defended the interpreter, saying that Jantjies was all right signing amongst friends; it was simply that the level of English used on the day, and the niceties of standard South African Sign Language, were beyond him.

However, the consensus among DeafSA, the South African Translators’ Institute and local and international sign language experts has been consistent: Jantjies signed with zero percent accuracy on the momentous occasion of Madiba’s memorial service. Further questions have been raised by the disappearance of the company that employed Jantjies, who is of modest means and who was allegedly paid only R850 for the whole day’s signing. Experienced sign-language interpreters usually charge in the region of R1200 per hour, and it is unheard of for an interpreter to work alone; a pair of professional interpreters will usually relieve each other at short intervals at this level of international event.

What the world has seen in Mimegate, however, is what South Africans know far too well: in a growing number of departments, South Africans are used to seeing the state make expensive, blundering, embarrassing mistakes that common sense and common prudence would have easily averted. The leaden regularity of these elementary but also serious mistakes suggests that government has become a space free of accountability, prudence, diligence or competence. As Mimegate grinds on, no senior leader has taken responsibility for the shambles. The cabinet and the President are apparently comfortable with humiliation, as long as it settles on the government in general rather than anyone in particular. This immunity to shame may preserve individual careers, but it comes at the expense of the state as a whole: until Mimegate, South Africa had enjoyed a fairly unbroken run of very well-organised major world events.

It remains to be seen whether, as emails from Washington and London and Beijing and New Delhi and the Vatican fly in over the next few days, our leaders will be quite as deaf to foreign questioning as they are to the home-grown kind.

Sourced from:

What the fake interpreter really said:


Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

A nest of bullshitters and liars, the whole lot of them !

eduard said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

What could you expect from a bunch of uncrowned beasts of the field. He was a ANC stooge, crazy as he was. When all the hullyballoo is all over, at least it will be the last of this Nelson Manslaughter.

PreatorianXVI said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

They only enjoyed a run of well orginised events, becuse they were run and supervised by their white South African counterparts, this one is all on them, African Culture in all it's glory for all to see.

Lewis n Clark said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Traditional Chinese is spoken in Taiwan and HongKong, so if you want to trasnlated into Cantonese, then you can find a Cantonese Translation or Traditional Chinese translation services.

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