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.
The last session of parliament was the longest for 100 years. At the previous state opening, the Queen had been on the throne for a mere 58 years. She looks a little more elderly these days, a little more stooped, and she walked with that slight caution that you would have if you were carrying the weight of a large bag of potatoes on your head. Or a crown as we call it. You could hardly call it an austerity opening, though looking round the House of Lords I could see only about a dozen tiaras. The place still looked like a festival of bling, a convention of white rappers all desperate to show how minted they were. The event was designed hundreds of years ago to convince continental ambassadors that this wet, windswept country off the west coast of Europe was immensely wealthy. That might well be part of the intention today. – Simon Hoggart, in the Guardian, about the UK opening of ParliamentBACK TO TOP