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?
Mr Manyi must have realised that the DA had a point because two days later, on Wednesday 28 March, an email was sent to all government communicators which stated the following:
A few days ago the GCIS sent you guidelines on the suggested response to the Democratic Alliance parliamentary question with respect to trips undertaken by government officials to Bloemfontein in December 2011 and January 2012. Please do not respond using the suggested guidelines until further notice. An email will be sent tomorrow morning providing clarity on way forward.
Until then, please do not respond to the question and do contact me if you have any queries.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and assure you that clarity will be provided by 09h00 tomorrow morning.
The new set of guidelines sent out this morning offers an entirely new argument as to why each ministry should not answer the set of questions posed by the DA. The old line that only officials who “happened” to be in Bloemfontein attended the celebration and that that those who did would somehow gain “humility” from the experience is gone. The new line is that “a number of state agencies and departments were mandated to make preparations as part of the courtesies extended to any President/Head of State visiting a country.” It adds that “officials from different departments were deployed to ensure the smooth running of the event.” – Press statement by Wilmot James about the use of state resources for the ANC centenary party.BACK TO TOP