Questions loom how killer Manson hid near podium at Mandela memorial

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Authorities in South Africa are uncertain how convicted murderer Charles Manson was able to slip past security and stand next to several dignitaries — including President Barack Obama — during Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

Little notice was taken of Manson, who had planted himself near the podium where world leaders and luminaries took turns eulogizing the former South African president.

It was only the next day that observers wondered why organizers had let a man dressed in inmate attire be prominently displayed in photographs. Soon afterwards, questions were raised about the man’s identity.

Manson was convicted for a series of gruesome murders in 1969 that were carried out by his followers in the “Manson Family.” It is not known how he was able to travel to South Africa without a valid passport.

South African deputy cabinet minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu says allowing the schizophrenic killer to stand next to world leaders was “a mistake.”

An investigation is underway.