Transcript for Nelson Mandela Memorial Service Signer's Mental Health Questioned
only. In south africa today thousands waited online to pay their respects to nelson mandela as the questions intensified about that sign language interpret ter, the man who was just inches from president obama. Tonight new revelations about his mental state. Abc's alex marquardt is there with him. Reporter: As president obama pays tribute to nelson mandela, the man standing just three feet away says he was having schizophrenic aloose nations. Tonight, sign language interpreter thamsanqa jantjie told us he was seeing angels. When did you know something was wrong that day in the stadium. It's when I see the angels coming into the stadium. Reporter: You saw angels coming down into the stadium? Yes. Reporter: Jantjie says he kept going, making signs we now know weren't real words. He admits he's suffered skets fren ya in the past. Have you had episodes in the past? Yes. But I'm under medication. Were you under medication on the day of the memorial service? Absolutely. Reporter: Jantjie was given accredit tags by the organizers but wasn't screened by the secret service. In fact, he said he was hired just the day before. The south african government told abc news they don't actually know what qualification jantjie has and admitted it was a mistake to hire him. His employers have vanished. In a statement to abc, the secret service tonight blamed the organizers and downplayed the threat to the president's safety, arguing agents are always close by. Given that you are disabled, that you have these attacks, that you were seeing angels that day, do you think you should have been on that stage with those presidents? Absolutely. Reporter: Jantjie says he was honored to stand next to president obama, but tonight many are asking just how he was able to do that. Alex marquardt, abc news, sowe soweto, south africa.
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