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Phony Mandela Interpreter Wasn't Faking, He Was "Seeing Angels"…

But where does this stack up amongst the best/worst excuses of all time?

Photo: STR/ Lansov | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

The news media (including us) has been in a tizzy over the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's funeral, who — those who actually know how to sign noticed — was just waving his hands in the air like he just didn't care. We speculated that the guy, identified as Thamsanqua Jantjie, simply had enormous stones, and maybe thought he wouldn't get caught. Alas, the dude's excuse is even better: He was having a schizophrenic episode and was hallucinating angels. If this is true, well, it's not really that funny. And Jantje certainly seems chastened by the event, telling the Associated Press, “I would like to tell everybody that if I’ve offended anyone, please, forgive me. But what I was doing, I was doing what I believe is my calling, I was doing what I believe makes a difference.”

So, yeah, we're not really sure if this is an awesome excuse or a terrible one, but he definitely went all in. But how does "hallucinating angels" stack up compared to some other brazen excuses?

"I didn't want to hurt them; I only wanted to kill them." 
- Serial killer David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz, who murdered six people in 1976.

"I didn't inhale it and never tried it again."
- Bill Clinton, on smoking weed while a student at Oxford University

"I have severe acid reflux."
- Ashlee Simpson, on why she was caught out lip-syncing (and dancing a goofy jig) on Saturday Night Live.

"I'm a human being, I'm not a machine. I'm 72. I'm dyslexic."
- Actor Robert "Baretta" Blake, on why he gave conflicting accounts of the night his wife was murdered.

"I was told that I should shoplift. My director said I should try it out."
- Winona Ryder after being arrested for lifting almost $5,000 worth of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue.

"I got caught up in the excitement of the moment."
- Michael Jackson, apologizing for dangling his baby out a third-story window.

"I was just giving her a ride home."
- Eddie Murphy, after being pulled over by cops with a transvestite prostitute in his car.

"I made mistakes, I drank too much, I smoked some crack some time. What can I say? I made a mistake, I’m human.”
- Rob Ford, blaming his drug abuse on his alcohol abuse.

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