Signer at Mandela event was among group that burned 2 thieves in his South Africa township - InfoNews

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Signer at Mandela event was among group that burned 2 thieves in his South Africa township

FILE - In this file photo from Dec.10, 2013, Thamsanqa Jantjie, right, interprets in sign language for President Barack Obama during his remarks at a memorial service at FNB Stadium in honor of Nelson Mandela in Soweto, near Johannesburg. The South African government says it is aware of reports that Jantjie faced a murder charge a decade ago, and says he is being investigated. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
December 16, 2013 - 5:01 AM

JOHANNESBURG - A relative and three friends of the bogus sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial service say he was among a group of people who accosted two men found with a stolen television and burned them to death in 2003.

They told The Associated Press that tires were placed around the men's necks and set ablaze. Unlike two other suspects who went to trial in 2006 for the killings, the four said on Monday that Thamsanqa Jantjie never did because authorities determined he wasn't mentally fit.

The men, including one of Jantjie's cousins, insisted on anonymity because of sensitivity surrounding the bogus signing, which embarrassed South Africa's government.

They say Jantjie was institutionalized and then returned to his neighbourhood on the outskirts of Soweto.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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