Massive Crowds Develop for Nelson Mandela Memorial

Mourners pay final respects to S. African leader, new details on memorial sign language interpreter.
3:00 | 12/13/13

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Transcript for Massive Crowds Develop for Nelson Mandela Memorial
This is a special group. I'm -- and nine and in new York and this is an ABC news digital special report. Tens of thousands of mourners descended on the union buildings in Pretoria South Africa today. To say one last goodbye. To Nelson Mandela the former president's body has been lying in state for three days. He will be buried in his ancestral home in cool new. Sunday and there are new questions today about the -- sign language interpreter who stood just three feet away from President Obama. During his speech at the Mandela memorial Tuesday. Here he speaks about his illness and what he was seen Tuesday. I see it engines -- to -- Sometimes I would yet I don't. Believe. For all the latest on the sign language drama and Mandela's latest lying in state. We're joined via Skype from Johannesburg -- very own ABC's Alex mark -- Alex -- for joining us to this interpreter real or not mentally ill or not was he close to President Obama. What's the Secret Service saying and -- they believe that. Well yes and a wild few days on this story at first when it came out three days ago during the the Tuesday memorial service it was clear from that day that what he was signing was safe and so he was immediately labeled -- -- -- hash tag on Twitter state interpreter and then the next day he started talking to the media including us and he immediately said. I wasn't thinking I wasn't being fraudulent I was a dreaded pertinent -- that -- fool anybody I have a schizophrenic attacked iPad. Attacks in the past this is have a long history -- this. And so when we spoke with him yesterday he said that what happened on that Tuesday it was that angels he saw angels descending into the state you know. And he got completely distracted but. He felt such a sense of responsibility especially with presidents. Assume mood Zuma and Obama and the stage in this being the memorial for Nelson Mandela that he felt compelled to go want. -- and so he just did whatever. And now of course we know that's -- have been complete gibberish. So we thought that perhaps yesterday that was anchored in the end this story but then today. There's a report a south African television station called ENCA. That -- a whole host of charges against this guy including -- rape and murder. Kidnapping. And it -- these have not been confirmed by other south African outlets he's not been confirmed by ABC news in fact we spoke with the national prosecuting authority and they said they have no record of this. But what is clear is that a man -- -- very questionable credentials. On some credentials we believe but it's very questionable credentials. Was able to get assigned to this -- major events just the day before it happened. -- -- -- Seat of President Obama without going through any sort of security screening -- never spoken. To the Secret Service. A man who has had not only schizophrenic attacks in the past and was having when as you spoke. Butt as violent schizophrenic. And again announcing he's not and right -- Eric in the -- well this is reexamining things right I was just gonna ask you we're seeing video of him now. And -- Obama next about interpreter do we know what the Secret Service is saying about this and how someone like this was able to get so close to the president. -- they're very much downplaying it when the president goes overseas it's the responsibility of the local government to make sure that the people people who we're going to be close the dignitaries. Are cleared didn't the Secret Service and ends and the American officials on a -- -- to -- the local laws. It's unclear. How much the Secret Service knew about the security it was going on in the stadium that day I was outside -- stadium for twelve hours I went in and out. Countless times about once going through security -- so not only. When he tens of thousands of people in that stadium. Completely on screened completely unchecked but this man who's sitting there was who was working his standing right next President Obama had also not been screened by any sort of any sort of American officials and it's really unclear how much the south African government if they knew about hadn't yet been hired to -- before as -- said. Armed she had done interpreting in the past. -- -- -- had also been complaints about him in the past now we're seeing possible evidence of of of criminality otherwise as I say that's not in terms of a lot of questions remain. Right it's so hard with these type of large -- -- is what -- showing up to really. Every nook and Ukrainian screen every person as you mentioned coming through that we get back to Mandela now Alex. Today his body was in the capital Pretoria and there were massive crowds gathered for a last look how many people war there and how many really got to see Mandela and pay their respects. -- -- coming to the end of this national week of mourning after -- the only event that is left is the funeral itself on Sunday and so. Today was the last days -- sentence of Mandela lying in state in the capital Pretoria and almost 100000. People turned out to try and see him. So many that it overwhelms. What do what -- -- repertory was able to handle. In circle before -- around 11 o'clock at least thirty saying please don't come down. And telling people already in line no you're not to -- get through because. We need sin because men know be moved back to the hospital. By 5:30 PM that's according to -- close our tradition the tribe that. An indelible it belongs to so there's a lot of anger a lot of frustration. There were so many tens of thousands of people out there who wanted to say their final goodbyes Mandela. And weren't able to but we understand around 60000 people were able to see him today around a 100000 over the last few days but there's still are a lot of people who are going to be disappointed -- tonight. That they -- analysts say good -- suit to this man that they love. And Alex we've also seen some dangerous looking scenes people pushing through barricades. Were there any arrests or any injuries. No I'm glad you mentioned that and that just goes to show the passion. To south Africans who wanted to say good -- MED. Many people had lined up search for hours on end they gotten their very early in the morning -- -- to -- holds. That they wouldn't be able just seeing the man who's been called the greatest son of Africa that the greatest hero South -- ever notes he passed under and a level of sadness. That level of frustration. There wasn't any real sense of danger your -- that right that -- one point a small group of people were able to push through police -- On the police were able to do to maintain control there was -- -- -- any danger and and and and and no real rest. But it it just goes to show the passion that surrounds this event. And I went -- -- are getting a live look right now the body being transported Alex tell us what's next. Where it is Mandela's body go from here. So he -- -- -- the union buildings in Pretoria to go back to the hospital where he had been treated over the summer it's -- one military hospital there Pretoria. Tomorrow he will be Sloan. By the air force by the military to the Eastern Cape which is where he grew up. There'll be a procession tomorrow. And then there will be a funeral on and on Sunday in that's in the -- -- crew -- which is where he grew up. I -- will be attended by. -- was a large number of dignitaries not as many. As the memorial service on Tuesday they'll include Prince Charles from the UK a Jesse Jackson. And then they'll be sold -- will be carried on -- -- on TV on south African TV and that will then be followed. By a private burial and now -- be -- marked the conclusion of this week of mourning and really. The end of a chapter in South Africa. You're absolutely right Alex we thank you so much for joining us and we know you're gonna. Stay on top of this for us the funeral -- on Sunday as well ABC's Alex Marquardt. In Johannesburg Alex thanks so very much. So after three days lying in state the body of the father of modern South Africa is going home stay right here. For all the latest -- -- nine an in New York. We leave you with this scene from Pretoria as a military band gave one final salute to their -- -- Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. -- -- okay. We're -- okay. -- Okay. Okay. Okay. Team. Okay.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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