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.
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Often now I turn away from things,
from jubilance save that
which from a quiet word
may grant my moment’s wealth:
a home town’s olive orchard
that shivers in dusklight, the pit-pat
as fruit fall free to the ground;
or the homeless manic’s quiet rage at grace
when a shop owner hands him coffee.
Most of all, I walk
so I may reach home and try to know
myself, so I may turn to work.
– Rustum Kozain (Cape Town, Jerusalem) in his volume of poetry, The Carting Life