Mandela service interpreter stars in bizarre new advert

The advert makes fun of Thamsanqa Jantjie's ill-fated turn next to world leaders.
The advert makes fun of Thamsanqa Jantjie's ill-fated turn next to world leaders. Credit: YouTube/LiveLensApp

The man accused of "faking" sign language at Nelson Mandela's memorial service has appeared in a bizarre advert for an Israeli startup business.

During the commercial for the Livelens livestreaming app, Thamsanqa Jantjie speaks to the camera while a female voiceover explains what his signing "really means".

The advert shows Jantjie's now-infamous turn on stage with Barack Obama as the woman's voice suggests he was actually signing: "Cigarette share, hand me the scissors".

Jantjie states: "Believe me, I am a real professional sign language interpreter" to which the voiceover adds, "I speak sign language - not."

Thamsanqa Jantjie's now-infamous appearance at Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service with President Barack Obama.
During the commercial Thamsanqa Jantjie's now-infamous appearance at Nelson Mandela's memorial service is referenced. Credit: YouTube/LiveLensApp

As he apologises for what happened at Mandela's memorial service, the woman's voice chimes in: "Me famous celebrity," before Jantjie introduces the Livelens app.

But even that has a different meaning according to the voiceover, which states: "Now I do campaign for money."

Thamsanqa Jantijie in the commercial.
Livelens CEO Max Bluvband said Thamsanqa Jantijie had been in a South African psychiatric hospital since December. Credit: YouTube/LiveLensApp

Chief executive Max Bluvband told NBC News: "We decided that the guy who had the worst live show ever would be the best person [for this advert]".

He revealed Jantijie had been in a South African psychiatric hospital since December, adding: "At the end of the day, a schizophrenic guy got paid and did a nice campaign ... We see it as sort of a sad story with a happy ending."