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?
Malema is no innocent victim. But he has been punished for his role in expressing opinion, not in preventing others from having their say. He is punished for saying that Mbeki cares more about Africans than Zuma — not for storming a stage in 2010 to try to bully Justice Minister Jeff Radebe. He is sanctioned for remarks on Botswana that were crass and embarrassing but no threat to democracy in the ANC — not for driving his opponents out of a hall in Limpopo or ignoring a court order in the Eastern Cape. The message is clear: ANC members can bully and bend the rules, as long as they don’t criticise leaders or deviate from policy. This insistence that the problem is not unfair contest but contest itself will worsen the problem. – Steven Friedman in Business DayBACK TO TOP