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.
As a nation we seem to have lowered the bar on ethics, our moral high ground and values. Politicians and state officials are awarded government tenders directly or via proxies. The ruling party – which gets a lion’s share of funding for political parties – quibbles with its alliance partners over its involvement with a company that does business with a state enterprise, notwithstanding an adverse finding by the Public Protector. South Africa is suffering serious reputational damage and the mood in the country is pessimistic. Our government must seriously attend to the country’s brand and reputation. This must entail the governing party and its subsidiaries saying and doing the right things and holding on to its values that have made our country great. – Makhosini Nkosi in SowetanBACK TO TOP