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.
We need to continuously remind ourselves and each other that a working democracy is not a society in which leaders are always right. If there was such a society, there would be no need for democracy because we could leave governing to the leaders. Democracy is, rather, a system in which mistakes are noticed and, quite often, corrected and in which leaders accept that citizens and the courts have the right to tell them that they were wrong. – Steven Friedman in The New Age, commenting on the Chief Justice affairBACK TO TOP