My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
This morning it was agreed that Nyami Booi, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, will forward a letter to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Leader of Government Business, advising him that the portfolio committee:
• has received guidance from the Max Sisulu, Speaker of the National Assembly, that parliament has the power to require any person or institution to produce reports;
• is now formally requesting that the interim reports be produced within a reasonable period of thirty days;
• that until the interim reports are received the portfolio committee has taken a decision to suspend deliberations on the Defence Amendment Bill; and;
• that in the event the interim reports are not produced the portfolio committee reserves the right, as a measure of last resort, to compel cabinet to produce the interim reports. – Statement of DA MP David Maynier