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?
It is truly amazing to what levels of depravity President Jacob Zuma manages to make men stoop. On Friday we had the incredible spectacle of the Minister of Public Works, the until-then-relatively-credible former trade union leader Thulas Nxesi, making a complete ass of himself as he tried to defend the fact that taxpayers’ money is being used to build the president a R238-million palace in his home village, Nkandla. Nxesi – instead of being absolutely outraged that his department is being abused to build the president a private palace while the man has the use of at least three massive residences in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal – used all manner of excuses to try to justify this blatant looting of the taxpayers’ money. – Justice Malala in The TimesBACK TO TOP