The man who stood just feet away from President Obama as he paid tribute to Nelson Mandelatold ABC News today that he was having schizophrenic hallucinations during Tuesday's memorial service in front of a crowd of tens of thousands and millions more on television.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, who has been accused of pretending to be a sign language interpreter during the event, today described the moment he knew something was wrong during the memorial at FNB Stadium in Soweto, South Africa.
"It's when I see angels come into the stadium," he told ABC News in an interview at his home.
Jantjie said he felt compelled to keep signing because of the magnitude of the event.
"If I start panicking, I'll start being a problem," he also told The Associated Press.
Sign language interpreters, however, have said his signs were not real words. Jantjie would not comment on those accusations but insisted he'd done a good job.
Jantjie also admitted that he'd had many episodes over the years that have turned violent.
"But now it's under control because I'm under medication," he said, adding that he was on his medication the day of the memorial.