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?
Yet the ANC’s own “Second Transition” document acknowledges that there are worrying signs in the country, which can only be attributable to weak leadership. The documents quote the National Planning Commission’s indicators of “societies in decline” relevant to South Africa today: “rising corruption, weakening of state and civil society institutions, poor economic management, skills and capital flight, politics dominated by short-termism, ethnicity or factionalism, and the lack of maintenance of infrastructure and standards of service.” The implication therefore is that only the ANC is allowed to debate the state of the nation and anyone else who attempts to do so must be beaten into submission. It is a tactic Mantashe’s arch nemesis, Julius Malema, mastered – to insult and ridicule anyone who dares to have a different view. – Ranjeni Munusamy in a Daily Maverick column about the ANC response to remarks made by Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza on the state of the country’s political leadershipBACK TO TOP