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Schizophrenic, Fake Signer Breaks Obama’s Mandela Security Circle

President Obama, with deaf sign imposter standing just behind him, over his left shoulder.

President Obama with schizophrenic, fake signer Thamsanqa Jantjie standing just behind him, over his left shoulder.
[President Obama speaks at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Soweto, South Africa, Dec. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)]

“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.

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3 Responses to Schizophrenic, Fake Signer Breaks Obama’s Mandela Security Circle

  1. mjsmith December 12, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    People watching on television have closed caption. It is unfortunate that people in attendance who are deaf was done a disservice. The problem is not the crazy guy waving his hands around, the real problem is how he ended up next to the President of the United States. I would like to think the Secret Service learned their lesson from Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

    “As our investigation continues, appropriate measures have been taken to ensure this is not repeated,” Sullivan said in a written statement.

    “The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list,” Sullivan said. “Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours.”

    What is up with our Secret Service?

  2. Mike Light December 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I think it is too early to declare the flailing signer as schizophrenic. There may very well have been a number of Angels flitting around, and while I might have been tempted to throw vegetables at them, I can understand that wild gesticulations might be another person’s attempt to cope.

  3. mjsmith December 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Yesterday everybody reported on the fake sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial. Turns out that he was not a fake but a violent schizophrenic who was hallucinating that angels were flying into the stadium. So at least there’s a simple explanation for what went wrong. For a minute I thought there might have been some kind of security problem.

    So let me get this straight. The NSA is listening to our phone calls, but no one is checking up on the violent schizophrenic who is 18 inches from the president of the United States.

    - Jay Leno

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