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.
I am tired of being part of a white world that sees itself largely unquestioningly as embodying the norms towards which everyone should aspire. I am tired of being called master. I am tired of the permanent distance between black and white. I am tired that my humanity is barely recognized by so many, who see me as master, as enemy or simply as alien, and that my very existence as a white person in South Africa should contribute to the dehumanisation of so many more. – Pedro Alexis Tabensky, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rhodes University, writing in the Cape Times.BACK TO TOP