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?
When Menzi Simelani was appointed head of the NPA we labelled it “An Appalling Choice”. We said it was the stuff of which our worst nightmares are made. We said at the time, the real problem, among many others, was that Simelane had said he believed the NPA head must bow to executive authority, i.e. the president, when it comes to making decisions. On the contrary, the Constitution is explicit that the office of the NPA does not bow to anyone. It bows only to the “Constitution and the law”. But now we know that Simelane not only does not see South Africa’s ultimate law as necessarily binding. He is indeed now meddling in it. – Stephen Grootes at Daily MaverickBACK TO TOP