Interpreter for Mandela event: I was hallucinating

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 30, 2012 file photo, South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela, left, receives a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary from ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, right, in Mandela's home village of Qunu in rural eastern South Africa. Mandela's wife Graca is at center. The emotional pain and practical demands facing Mandela's family are universal: confronting the final days of an elderly loved one. There are no rules for how or when the end may arrive. Some choose to let go with little medical interference; others seek aggressive medical care. Mandela's status as a respected global figure only complicates the situation, doctors and end-of-life experts say. (AP Photo/Lulamile Feni-Daily Dispatch, Lulamile Feni, File)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- The man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela's memorial told a local newspaper that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.

Thamsanqa Jantjie did not describe his qualifications for being a sign language interpreter, but told The Star he works for an interpreting company that paid him $85 for interpreting Tuesday's event. He told Radio 702 Thursday he's receiving treatment for schizophrenia and had an episode while on stage.

Jantjie did not address allegations by sign language experts that he faked interpretation for the Mandela memorial attended by scores of world leaders and broadcast internationally.

The Star quoted him as saying: "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."

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