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.
The problem with cronies is that they always have to eat first. Again, ask Hosni Mubarak. No matter how straight your face is when you approve your five-year plans and your growth paths and your job-creation schemes, there’s always another priority. The cronies. They’re the ones who need Transnet to build track to their mines today . They’re the ones who want this person appointed to that position. A quick special meeting before the main meeting. They’re the reason you can never truly throw yourself at any problem, just in case you get in their way. The cronies are a direct tax on the poor. Zuma can’t see it because his only direct experience of money is getting it and not making it. It’s almost not his fault, but I won’t patronise him. He is responsible for his actions and he makes his own choices. – Peter Bruce, in Business DayBACK TO TOP