O Billboard Honoring Nelson Mandela Honors Morgan Freeman Instead He may have played Nelson Mandela in a movie, but that probably doesn’t justify mistaking Morgan Freeman for Madiba himself. An Indian businessman is the laughingstock of the subcontinent after financing a billboard honoring the late South African leader that features a photo of Freeman, who played Mandela in 2009’s Invictus . “We should be proud that we were part of an era when they lived,” reads the Tamil-language sign posted in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. That statement could obviously apply to both Freeman and Mandela, but the merchant who purchased the billboard says it was meant for Mandela. “We will replace it with the correct picture of Mandela,” he assured the AFP , adding that he didn’t know how the mix-up occurred, but that it was the designer who was to blame. Naturally. [H/T: Uproxx , photo via Twitter]
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‘Mandela got Mossad training in Ethiopia’
RELATED JERUSALEM: Israeli Mossad agents operating in Ethiopia in 1962 unwittingly trained Nelson Mandela in hand-to-hand combat, weaponry and sabotage, according to a document released by Israel’s state archives. A letter from a Mossad official to the foreign ministry, dated October 11, 1962 titled “THE BLACK PIMPERNEL” and released to the public yesterday, recalls a conversation in which “we discussed a trainee in Ethiopia named David Mobasari, from Rhodesia”. “The aforementioned was trained by the Ethiopians in Judo, sabotage and weapons,” the letter read. “The Black Pimpernel” was the nickname given at the time to Mandela, the revered anti-apartheid hero and former ANC leader who died this month, while he was on the run from white South Africa during the liberation struggle. According to Haaretz newspaper, which first reported the story, the term “Ethiopians” was probably a code name for Israeli Mossad agents working in Ethiopia. “He greeted our men with (Hebrew salutation) ‘Shalom’, was familiar with the problems of (Jewish diaspora) and Israel and created the impression of an educated man,” the letter read. “The Ethiopians tried to make him a Zionist.” “It now emerges from photographs in newspapers on the arrest of the Black Pimpernel in South Africa that the trainee from Rhodesia was using a pseudonym, and the two are actually the same person,” the letter read. According to the letter, Mandela took an interest in the methods of the Hagana and Jewish militias that existed before Israel’s creation in 1948. The Nelson Mandela Foundation, however, said in a statement that “it has not located any evidence in Nelson Mandela’s private archive (which includes his 1962 diary and notebook) that he interacted with an Israeli operative during his tour of African countries in that year”. Mandela “received military training from Algerian freedom fighters in Morocco and from the Ethiopian Riot Battalion at Kolfe outside Addis Ababa, before returning to South Africa in July 1962,” the foundation said. “In 2009 the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s senior researcher travelled to Ethiopia and interviewed the surviving men who assisted in Mandela’s training – no evidence emerged of an Israeli connection,” it added.
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Nelson Mandela ‘fake’ interpreter admitted to psychiatric hospital
Thamsanqa Jantjie has claimed that he had a schizophrenic episode and saw angels descending on the Johannesburg stadium where his bizarre signing prompted consternation last week. The 34-year-old became the subject of worldwide mockery and was bombarded with interview requests. South Africa ‘s Star newspaper said Jantjie’s wife, Siziwe, had taken her husband for a check-up on Tuesday at a psychiatric hospital, which determined that he should be admitted. “The past few days have been hard,” Siziwe was quoted as saying. “We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown.” Jantjie had an appointment for a check-up at the Sterkfontein psychiatric hospital in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, on 10 December, the Star reported. But this was shifted after he was offered the job to sign at the Mandela memorial service, which was held on the same day. On Friday Siziwe confirmed that her husband was in hospital and she did not know how long he would be there. Jantjie has admitted to a history of mental problems and violent episodes in the past and that he had been a patient in a psychiatric institution for more than a year. He was discharged and started working after being medicated and monitored by doctors. Sign language experts said his translations of eulogies at the globally televised service, attended by nearly 100 current and former heads of state and government, amounted to gobbledygook. The clownish performance, just feet from President Barack Obama and other speakers, raised questions over what security measures were in place. Earlier this week the Associated Press reported that a cousin and three friends of Jantjie alleged he was part of a mob that accosted two men found with a stolen television and burned them to death by setting fire to tyres placed around their necks a notorious vigilante tactic known as necklacing. Jantjie never went on trial for the 2003 killings, while the other suspects did, because authorities determined he was not mentally fit to stand trial, the four told the AP. Jantjie has denied the allegations.
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