Quote of the week

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?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
30 November 2010

This case turns on the lawfulness of the grant to a company of a prospecting right on the land of another. This deceptively simple statement of the ultimate legal issue at stake, though true, hides more than it reveals. First, it explains little of the invasive nature of a prospecting right on the ordinary use and enjoyment of the property by its owners. Second, it says nothing about the profoundly unequal impact our legal history of control of and access to the richness and diversity of this country‘s mineral resources has had on the allocation and distribution of wealth and economic power. Lastly, it does little to illuminate the effect of past racial discrimination on the ownership of land. – Justice Froneman in Bengwenyama Minerals (Pty) Ltd and Others v Genorah Resources (Pty) Ltd

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