A few months ago, author William Gumede described Zuma as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder — a set of traits defined by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut as “including an exaggerated sense of superiority, a lack of self-awareness about the impact of their behaviour and having a disdain for others, who they devalue to validate their own grandiosity”. These people lack empathy, have a distorted sense of reality and are incapable of seeing anything from anyone else’s perspective. Narcissists like Zuma, Gumede argues, can’t accept responsibility and don’t care if they take down entire countries with them. The events at Nkandla, sadly for Zuma, only reinforced that perspective.
He was laughing, he told me recently, because otherwise he would cry. A member of the government, his sense of the chaotic disorganisation that is the defining feature of so many national departments is driving him to hysteria. And it starts at the top. The presidency appears to be in a mess. – Richard Calland writing in the Mail & Guardian on the Zuma PresidencyBACK TO TOP