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.
“Looking back, I think we have triumphantly avoided being triumphalist. There is no officially commanded art. Artists may be poor but they are free. Freedom of artistic creativity is expressly guaranteed in the constitution, as is freedom of artistic expression. Ours is an admirably open and democratic society. It artists are afraid, it is that they might be regarded by their colleagues and critics as being too politically correct. We take this freedom for granted, which is as it should be. The range and diversity of themes and forms of expression are unlimited; Leading public figures are mimicked and mocked and frequently, if not always, join in the laughter. I feel proud of the maturity of our nation. We are in a strange position. No group is in charge; no section exercises cultural hegemony. The old establishment has lost its hauteur, but no confident and powerful new establishment has emerged to replace it.” – Justice Albie Sachs, Sunday Times, 15 October 2000BACK TO TOP