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S. Africa investigates sign interpreter

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 13, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.

JOHANNESBURG — The South African government says it is aware of reports that the bogus sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial once faced a murder charge, and says he's being investigated.

Phumla Williams of the government communications office said Friday that the government is investigating Thamsanqa Jantjie and how he was selected to interpret at a memorial Tuesday at which he stood close to U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders.

Jantjie angered deaf people by making signs they said amounted to gibberish. A South African TV news outlet, eNCA, is reporting that Jantjie faced a murder charge a decade ago, but it is unclear whether the case was concluded. He also reportedly faced other criminal charges.

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