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.
Unlike with kaffir, when the word “coolie” came to South Africa through the slave trade, it slipped into the local languages. Growing up, I cannot recall any other Setswana word to describe people of Indian origin other than as makula. I perceived no malice (and I believe that none was perceived) in its use except when conferred by tone or context in much the same way that the words “whites” or “blacks” are innocuous except when an inflection or the context gives clues to an underlying prejudice. Batswana and Basotho don’t usually use makula in a derogatory sense… while its etymology is derogatory the current use is not. – Osiame Molefe over at Daily Maverick on Julius Malema’s use of the word perceived by some to be racist.BACK TO TOP