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?
For a former president in the Nelson Mandela epoch, who repeated parrot-like “a nonracist society”, and who knows how negative comments about “foreigners” can stoke massacres and civil wars (even in his beloved Nigeria), Mbeki’s spit about native whites as “foreigners”, implying they are suitable targets for xenophobic attacks, was racist provocation animated by a malicious spirit acting through a lost soul. Mbeki’s denial of reality — of the very deep roots of white people in SA, whose contributions made him an African president with virtually a private jet to gad about — is, however, mild compared with his fatal denial of a disease that is ravaging his race. His institute would be a conduit for Mbeki denialism, a tragic prospect for other generations and regions. – Meshack Mabogoane in Business DayBACK TO TOP