“Please get RID of this CLOWN interpreter, please!” Bruno Peter Druchen, head of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, tweeted during the memorial. [Washington Post]
SOMEONE NEEDS to answer for how Thamsanqa Jantjie, a man who now admits he saw “angels” while standing as close as three feet from President Obama, as he admittedly tipped towards a violent schizophrenic episode, was allowed so close to the leader of the free world. Obama’s advance security detail in South Africa has some explaining to do.
A statement was released by the Secret Service:
“Agreed upon security measures between the U.S. Secret Service and South African Government security officials were in place during the recent memorial service in Johannesburg. Program items such as stage participants or sign language interpreters were the responsibility of the host organizing committee.”
Lame and unacceptable, because when a person is standing this close to the American president, it’s the job of the Secret Service to do more than just outsource the president’s safety to a “host organizing committee.” It’s flagrant security malpractice.
This is what Thamsanqa Jantjie is quoted as saying by the AP:
“What happened that day, I see angels come to the stadium … I start realizing that the problem is here. And the problem, I don’t know the attack of this problem, how will it come. Sometimes I get violent on that place. Sometimes I will see things chasing me.” [Associated Press]
The minute the guy’s hands started flailing it was obvious he was a fake. Every deaf organization who had a member on Twitter account or was anywhere near a media contact lashed out in anger.
President Zuma and the South African government has reportedly used this man before to sign at events. It was ridiculously obvious he was an imposter, with South Africa’s deaf community quickly calling him out, so how he became such a prominent figure at such a world event truly boggles the western mind.
How the President of the United States stood so close to a man who obviously had not been vetted by Obama’s own people is nothing short of a scandal.