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.
Even where Malema is apparently pursuing radical change, in the mining industry, he is in fact helping to entrench the spoils system at the heart of Mbeki’s ANC. He recently complained that “those who go around spreading lies and rumours linking the ANC Youth League to big business people should stop doing so because it is not funny anymore”. However, as this column has previously observed, Malema is fronting a putsch by Mbeki-era apparatchiks to create a state-owned mining company. Malema’s presentation to Parliament’s mining portfolio committee last week contained some comic gems. Those who do not yet know how the spoils will be distributed should take note of Malema’s insistence that the state-owned mining company should be “under the direct supervision of the Department of Mineral Resources” and “not public enterprises”. – Anthony Butler in Business DayBACK TO TOP