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 mere act of reporting accurately on the lives and experiences of black people constituted a political action during those decades of white minority rule. The indefatigable Henry Nxumalo, “Mr Drum” of the early 1950s, deliberately engineered a week’s imprisonment by violating some degrading curfew law and brought out a harrowing report on prison conditions. But rather than improve its prisons, the apartheid regime passed the Prisons Act, making it illegal to report on any South African prison — the law Gandar and Pogrund fell foul of. Yet imprisonment for breaking one or other of the hundreds of laws and ordinances that regulated the lives of black people was the experience of thousands in urban areas. – Pallo Jordan in Business DayBACK TO TOP