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Oh. That explains it.

The man on stage at the Mandela Memorial earlier this week who is accused of faking sign language blames hallucinations on his gestures which have been described as gibberish. 

Thamsanqa Jantjie claims he suffers from schizophrenia. In an interview with the Johannesburg daily, The Star, Jantjie claims he had a sudden attack of schizophrenia. He says he takes medication for his condition.

He told the newspaper that he lost concentration, started hearing voices and hallucinating.

“There was nothing I could do. I was alone in a very dangerous situation,” he said.

“I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry. It’s the situation I found myself in,” he added.

Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town, called him a “complete fraud” and said that his gestures simply resembled someone “trying to swat a few flies away from his face and his head.”

When asked why he didn’t just leave the stage, Jantjie said that, given the historic importance of the event, he felt compelled to stay even though he could not hear or concentrate properly.

“Life is unfair. This illness is unfair,” he said.