Fake Mandela memorial interpreter reportedly burned men to death

BY newsdesk  December 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM EST

A video still from Nelson Mandela’s memorial service shows Thamsanqa Jantjie on the right.

The fake sign language interpreter at last week’s Nelson Mandela memorial was reportedly among a group that burned two men to death in 2003. The Associated Press cited one of Thamsanqa Jantjie’s cousins and three of his friends in its story on Monday. Jantjie never went to trial for the 2003 killings, which stemmed from the discovery a stolen TV, because authorities deemed him not mentally fit to stand trial.

The group set fire to tires placed around the necks of the men, the relatives and friends told the AP. That account matches the description Jantjie gave in an interview published Sunday by the Sunday Times in Johannesburg.

The AP said Jantjie was not at his house Monday and was unreachable by phone.

H/T Sam Lane