Mandela interpreter firm ‘vanishes’

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JOHANNESBURG – The owners of the firm which supplied a "fake" sign language interpreter to the Mandela memorial event have vanished, a South African minister has said.

Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu apologised to the deaf community for the poor quality of interpretation given by Thamsanqa Dyantyi from SA Interpreters.

"He is Xhosa speaking. The English was a bit too much for him," she said.

Mr Dyantyi himself has blamed his flawed interpretation on a schizophrenic episode.

He also admitted he has been violent in the past.

During the memorial, Mr Dyantyi was employed to stand on the stage next to key speakers such as US President Barack Obama and Mr Mandela's grandchildren, translating their eulogies.

But the minister denied there was a security issue, saying he had been properly accredited.

Mr Mandela died last week at the age of 95 and will be buried on Sunday.

His body is currently lying in state in Pretoria, with thousands queuing to pay respects.

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